A quick chat with the trials Cadet World
We recently caught up with trials rider Ben Slinger at an Onza demo in London. Ben’s only 16 but believe me, this kid’s got balls; the Onza demo rig was two storeys high and it was scary to look at, let alone ride – this guy will go far.
MBUK: Let’s start with basics – what’s your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
Ben Slinger: Ben Slinger, age 16, from Lancaster.
MBUK: How long have you been riding?
BS: Since the summer of 2000
MBUK: That’s not very long
BS: err, it’s four years!
MBUK: Actually, that’s like a quarter of your life. What got started?
BS: Some of my mates got bikes and it looked fun so I got a bike too and it just went from there.
MBUK: What’s the trials scene like in Lancaster?
BS: There’s only about two of us left now. Most of the guys I started out with have discovered drinking and going out and stuff and don’t ride any more.
MBUK: So, World Champion eh? That must be pretty cool.
BS: Yeah, I’m the Cadet (15 – 16 year-olds) World Champion. You’re judged over five rounds in places like Slovakia and Japan.
MBUK: It must be difficult to fit all that travel in around school?
BS: I left school this year actually. I’m not sure what I want to do yet but I’d like to make this (riding) into a career.
MBUK: So it’s all early nights and riding-riding-riding at the moment is it?
BS: Yeah, pretty much – we went out in London last night though which was cool. Riding is good fun though – when you train and you have a good day it’s great. I ride for about four hours every day now.
MBUK: Geez, you must be pretty fit.
BS: You’ve got to be now as all the sections are timed. Riding keeps you fit though and the riding’s the fun bit so it’s not hard. You’ve got to be dedicated but fortunately, all my friends are riders so that makes it easier.