Steve Hubrecht

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Invermere resident Trystan Hart is now firmly established as one of the top professional dirt bikers on the planet. 

In early June, Hart grabbed bronze for the second straight year at the Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo Hard Enduro in Austria, and then followed that up a week and a half ago by winning the US Hard Enduro Championship for the third straight season.

The Erzberg Rodeo Hard Enduro is commonly regarded as the premier off-road event in the world, and draws the best dirt bikers from around the globe.

“It’s pretty crazy. There are 20,000 to 30,000 people gathered there, many of them camping for four days. It’s more like a festival than a race,” Hart told the Pioneer.

Hart has some fun doing a burnout after winning the US Hard Enduro Championship for the third straight season.
(Photo submitted)

As reported two years ago, Hart managed to finish 14th during his first trip to the Erzberg back in 2021. He returned in 2022 and turned more than a few heads by ending up on the podium with a third place finish. 

Hart is the first Canadian ever (and second ever from North America) to make the podium at Erzberg. To do so in just his second attempt at the race astounded many in the enduro world.

“It is pretty hard to get on the podium there (at Erzberg), especially as a North American. A lot of the top contenders (at Erzberg) have been doing it for eight or nine years, so they have plenty of experience with the event,” said Hart. “Then you add in jet lag, and different food, and the other stuff that comes with being on a different continent, and that adds a bit of challenge as a Canadian.”

Hart’s second Erzberg third-place finish earlier this June showed that his first bronze in 2022 was no fluke, and firmly entrenched him in the upper echelons of enduro. Although back-to-back bronzes would be a delight for most, Hart sets high standards for himself and had wanted to do better in 2023 than he did in 2022.

“That first podium was a super good feeling,” said Hart. “But to be honest, I did expect more from myself this time around. After I finished, I knew I could have ridden better. It wasn’t a bad ride, but I know I am capable of more. So, as strange as it is to say it, I am a little disappointed.”

The US Hard Enduro Championship was a different story: Hart couldn’t possibly have done better. Not only is it his third straight time winning the Championship series; it’s also his second straight time winning with a clean sweep (i.e. he has literally won every single race in the series for two years running).

Invermere’s Trystan Hart seen here competing in the Erzberg Rodeo Hard Enduro in Austria.
(Photo submitted)

In 2021, his first year winning the Championship, he won five out of nine races in the series. Over the past two years the Championship series has involved a total of 14 races and Hart has been victorious in all of them.

“I’m super proud of that consistency, to not miss a single race in two years, and to not even slip to second even once,” he told the Pioneer. “It’s not easy to do, because in an enduro there’s so much that can go wrong — crashes, injuries, your bike breaking.”

Hart is 26 years old and has been dirt biking since he was three. He started riding as a professional when he was 16, so he’s got plenty of experience. 

He trains rigorously, and keeps a laser sharp focus on constantly improving that helped him through two major injuries earlier in his career and continues to help him now. 

First he started getting on Canadian podiums, then podiums in major continental-level races south of the border, before breaking out and hitting international podiums and consistently taking the top spot in continental races.

“There’s a bit of luck involved in enduros, in anything in life really. But you also create your own luck. The harder you work, the better your chances of being lucky. I’ve taken no shortcuts in the last 10 years,” said Hart.

He trains as much off his bike as he does on his bike, making sure to do plenty of stretching, cardio and weight training.

“It’s been a long journey, but I want to keep going. I want to put Canada on the map (for dirt biking),” said Hart.

The rest of the summer is busy for Hart with races in Romania, Tennessee, and Calgary. That’s just fine with Hart, who loves his sport.

“There’s a sense of freedom you get riding on a dirt bike. You’re in complete control. When you come to a crazy line, you get to decide how to ride it . . . it’s always been super fun for me. There’s, I guess, a certain adrenaline rush to two-wheel sports — dirt biking and mountain biking — that’s addicting for me,” he said.