New Skills - Offroad Training
Updated: Feb 23, 2020
Learning new skills like riding off-road has been a challenging but a REALLY fun part of the preparation process. My first ever experience of going off-road was in March 2015. We did a 'taster day' with Adventure Trail Rides Wales, where I got to ride a CRF230 for the first time in my life, and it was the model of bike I ended up buying several months later because after that cold, wet, misty March day, I was hooked.
A month or two later, Kelvin managed to get his old Kawasaki KDX 125 up and running again. It even passed its MOT! I rode it for the first time, again in Wales, with our good friends Mo and Rob. Despite being a little high, a two-stroke and a kick start, I did survive to live another day with a big grin plastered on my face. The KDX was a great bike however it was also a good lesson for me...I really wanted an electric start! Kelvin managed to get himself a Husqvarna TE450 so that he could also brush up on his slightly, but not too rusty, off-road skills.
A short while later, we joined the Central Bristol TRF to get us out and off-road a little more. Kelvin also began to learn how to use a Garmin GPS, which should hopefully come in useful next year. I sold the KDX and got myself a 2004 CRF230F to make life a little easier and I loved it to bits. We did several trips and events with the TRF including riding locally in Gloucestershire, the Sailsbury Plain, Fosse Way, Wye Valley and taking part in the 'Ubley Muddle'. It was all a great experience, although unfortunately Kelvin managed to damage his knee in the Wye Valley in September last year and hasn't been able to get on an off-road bike very much ever since. Hopefully he will be fully rehabilitated from his operation by the start of our big trip.
We met some great people in the TRF (too many to mention everyone here), however a special thanks to Andy Howes, Dean Allen, Alcuin Wilkie, John Hewer, Martin Burman and Paul Andrews.
We had also been to Mo and Rob's place in Wales a couple more times to practice our skills on the green roads and on their property, as well as also catching up and having a good old BBQ. It was great to see how much better I had got since the first time I ever went there in 2015 on the KDX. I still had a long way to go, however it was a nice feeling to know that I had actually progressed a little over the previous 12 months. A HUGE THANKS to Mo and Rob for hosting us, teaching us lots, and taking us on some awesome green-roads in Wales.