Australian female trials champion Janine Jungfels describes her sport as ‘parkour on wheels’.
Imagine climbing over obstacles such as boulders and logs, while hauling a bike along with you. Points are lost if feet touch the ground. There is a time limit and points are lost if the rider goes over time. For the unsung heroes of competition trials riders, balance is key.
Oh and there is no seat on the bike.
A pioneer in Australia for trials, or observed trials as it is also known, Janine was crowned world champion in 2015.
She moved to Ipswich last year where the Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve is now in her backyard.
“I’m really loving Ipswich so far. It’s nice and quiet and everything is really close,” Janine said.
“It only takes me three minutes to get to Castle Hill and it’s not far from Brisbane or Gold Coast.”
The sport has taken Janine all around the world over the past 10 years but she still thinks Queensland is the best place to be.
Janine recently consulted with Ipswich City Council on designing and building a trials park at Castle Hill.
“It was really good to be able to work with council on the first stage,” she said.
“You don’t need a big area to do it and the natural terrain there is really good.”
Janine describes trials as an underground sport.
“It’s skills based and really challenging,” she said.
“You have to put a lot of time and effort into it, but once you have built those skills it is really rewarding.
“One of my most difficult obstacles I’ve ridden was a rock cliff face in Mallorca a few years ago. (See video above). It was an obstacle I had seen my riding heroes ride in videos and I was ecstatic when I did it with riding hero Charles Diaz standing at the top next to me.
“The sport is very balanced based.
“When I first started I would spend hours just trying to balance as long as I could within chalk squares I drew on the road. The balance you develop over the years is really useful for other sports and has helped me learn wakeboarding and with my mountain bike riding.”
As much as Janine would like to on the world championship circuit overseas, given the sport is relatively unknown in this country, her participation in the sport is self-funded, despite her successes.
“I work full time in environmental management and I am completing a masters in water management part time so I practice whenever I can,” she said.
“I will be heading to the world championships in China at the end of the year.”
In the meantime you might find Janine at Castle Hill making the most of the spectacular location, looking for the next obstacle to overcome.
The Nitty Gritty
What does your daily routine look like? How do you stay fit and healthy?
I work full time (start at 6.30am) so I train after work and on the weekend.
My training consists of riding trials three to four times a week and strength training at the gym twice a week.
The days I train will usually vary depending on my university work load.
What sorts of food do you eat and don’t eat?
I’m a pesco-vegetarian (a vegetarian who also consumes fish and seafood) so I for breakfast I usually eat muesli, yoghurt and fruit; lunch I’ll have a salad and egg wrap or some form of leftovers; dinner I usually have pasta, veggies and tofu or egg.
I avoid eating coriander because I despise the taste. I’m one of those ‘I hate coriander’ people haha.
I love hazelnut gelato but try to save that for special occasions.
What type of training do you do?
I vary my trials training by rotating between technical, power, competition section (cardio) and individual technique training.
My strength program is four to six weeks which my coach changes up depending on things like upcoming competitions and improving areas I’m weak in at the time.