They say a passion for riding bicycles can start at a very young age. However, it’s not every day you see a young child take to trials riding the way Mikolaj “Miki” Woźniak has. Born in Cracow, Poland, when Mikolaj was a little boy, less than two years old, he started riding a balance bike. After his second birthday, he rode a normal bicycle without additional training wheels. He was fascinated with bikes and while looking at his Dad Damian riding a trials bike one day, Mikołaj wanted to imitate his Dad as a trials rider. Wanting to be just like his dad, he was looking for every obstacle to jump over them on his bicycle.
When Mikołaj switched to a normal bicycle, he continued his passion for riding difficult obstacles. He kept searching for stones or holes and tried to hop and jump over each one of them. Riding on flat ground bored him and wasn’t the challenge he wanted as a little kid. He wanted to excel on the bike and it showed. When he was 3.5 years old, his Dad and a friend decided to adapt Mikołaj’s bike to trials riding. The idea was to make small, light bike with a low frame, and no seat to facilitate off-road trials riding. They had to build it themselves, because professional bikes are mostly dedicated to taller and slightly older children.
After turning 4 years old, Mikołaj’s parents bought him a real trials bike. They then found a competition in Slovakia and took Mikołaj there. He did very well and in fact he WON. First start and victory straight away!! He started participating other events in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria. He was highly successful and won the competitions he entered. More and more the bike became his ultimate passion in life.
Each event is an adventure, exploring new places, making friends, but also rivalry and good physical effort that goes into trials competitions. To achieve success, Mikołaj trains a lot as a trials rider, both with a trainer and during training camps under the guidance of world champions. To be well prepared for competition not only good technique and endurance is required, but also recognition and development of the optimal way of riding the trials course.
In 2019, Mikołaj won his biggest victory – he won the European Championship in Italy, outclassing the other riders in his age group, and even gaining the recognition of Italian fans. This year he wanted to go to UCI Trials World Youth Games 2020 in France (he was among the favorites to win) but unfortunately the championship was canceled due to Covid-19. Mikołaj still has dreams about appearing in that competition as he grows up.
As of now Mikolaj and his parents are Privateers in competition. To achieve such results, both Mikołaj and his parents must dedicate their time and hard-earned money. A lightweight professional bicycle adapted to Mikołaj, plus the costs of training, additional bike equipment, travel and accommodation, all accumulate as quite large amount. Mikołaj is developing, setting new goals, e.g. world championships, which is why parents are looking for sponsors or equipment manufacturers, whose products Mikołaj could be testing and using in competition.
Mikołaj loves competition and rivalry with the best riders, but also wants to promote physical activity among his peers and encourage them to ride a bike. That is why he has been traveling around the country with bike trials shows, taking part in several types of events, visiting schools, sharing his passion and inspiring others. Young bike fans can even use the trials course that Dad built for Mikołaj. They can observe him, learn to ride and grow their trials riding skills. Thanks to social media, he reaches enthusiasts all over the world (Mexico, Africa), making friends and giving advice to peers who want to start the adventure with cycling and trials riding.
Mikołaj’s tells us that among all the famous trials riders his favorite is Benito Ros “a legend of the trials, a great champion”. He loves trials riding so much and claims that he doesn’t want to change the discipline, but he also rides everything that has wheels: BMX, MTB, unicycle, and even scooters. He hops, jumps over obstacles, rides a slackline, and performs an evolution of new bike tricks.
Ridestoke would like to thank Mikołaj, his parents, and Magdalena Kukla for the collaboration on this article. Keep on winning those competitions and keep the bike riding fun Miki!