Get Down From There Fabio!

Talented young Austrian with so much to live for high-wires a 200-meter-tall dam on a bike

Fabio Wibmer/YouTube

Sometimes you spend the night wildly productive. Fixing things. Laundering. Writing. And sometimes you start watching videos of trials riders at four in the afternoon and when you look up it’s dark and pushing 8pm and the dog wants his dinner and all you have to say for yourself is a hopeless gesture toward the mountain of beer bottles at your feet. That, and that you'd like to be Fabio Wibmer.

Wibmer, a rather brave young Austrian, has gone and done a very silly thing in riding a trials bicycle on a rail out over the 200-meter-high Koelnbreinsperre dam in Austria. His feat (and I’ll spoil it here, he survives) is damned nerve wracking to watch—and highly recommended.

For the uninitiated, trials riding is a proper challenge. The sport is profoundly difficult to achieve any kind of excellence at, whether your weapon of choice is a bicycle or a motorcycle. Frustration with trials comes quick because it’s a sport driven by precision riding. Like many red-blooded Americans, left to my own devices I’d rather bash my way through my challenges. Or just endure them until they end. Trials riding is infuriating because it’s slow, precise, controlled and thoughtful. Everything I’m not. And mastery comes with repetition. Sometimes endless repetition. So consider this our collective hat tip to a beautiful sport alongside Fabio’s rather dashing accomplishment. Now get down off that dam!