Thomas Ohler is the world champion of bike trials, and he came to the University of Massachusetts Boston as a guest during Harbor Day. He has been riding trials since he was 12 years old, and started the sport after seeing various riders in mountain bike magazines. Han Rey, a popular rider at the time, was one of the people he looked up to.
“One of the hardest challenges I did was the world record highest wall climb on a bicycle,” said Ohler. “From a kicker that is limited to a maximum height of 50cm, I jumped onto a platform that was 2,895m high! It was a really scary climb.”
He is always searching for new challenges to accomplish, and wherever he goes he rides on and over things. One of Ohler's dreams is to ride on an airport-operating airfield. Whenever he's on an airplane looking out the window, he spotted cool thing to ride. Unfortunately, getting on a operating airfield with bike is near impossible.
Ohler learned about his first trial competition by finding a competition schedule in a magazine. He started on a national level, and only in his second year, is competing in international events. As a child he loved to ride his bike, but he did not plan on being a professional cyclist.
While at UMass Boston, Ohler did many different trials, including jumping over students with his bike. He also jumped effortlessly onto, off of, and around picnic tables. The students truly enjoyed the show.
Even though Ohler never imagined himself as a pro-cyclist, he admits that the sport has come naturally to him, and he grew into a pro.
“During my career, Red Bull played a very important role though; they showed me how to be professional in so many ways, whether it’s training, media, or planning events,” said Ohler. “It was a school for life really.”
If interested in getting involved with bike trials, Ohler suggests they take their bike out and start with the basics. Ohler says to start with balancing, doing wheelies, and practicing bunny hops. When getting better and more interested in the sport, it's important to get a proper bike and to search for a local community of trials riders. Ohler loves this sport because it never gets boring, and he can always find new challenges to accomplish. It's safe to say that he loves being the best.
“I get to travel the world and meet lots of interesting people and explore new places. Not just in terms of riding, it’s also great to see and experience new cultures," said Ohler. “It’s pretty surprising where my bike got me in the past years”