We are very lucky in the UK to have some great biking/adventure/travel related events take place in the Summer and I have been particularly lucky to attend a few of them so far.
My season started big - with an entry in the 99th Land’s End Trial. This is a long distance trial originally from London to Land’s End but now starting at multiple points along the way, my start being Cirencester. I somehow got carried away and entered the full main trial on my first attempt, as class F. To be honest, I was reasonably happy to “learn through failure” this year, ready for the 100th event in 2024. And boy, did I learn!
Using a road book is kinda new to me, though I did receive it before the event and was able to both reformat and print it how I wanted and create a GPX file, attached.
The off-road sections in class F are hard - really hard. And at night. The event starts in the early evening, continues through the night and finishes about midday. Off-road in the dark is a new experience to me - at least on a motorcycle - I’ve done plenty on the mtb. I now know I need a head torch of some kind to see around the corners - they are so dark outside the beam of the KTM’s headlight!
I didn’t finish, retiring to a hotel in the early hours of the morning as I was just dog tired - I was making mistakes on the road that I couldn’t allow to continue. I had a great time, though, and know exactly all the things I need for 2024!
I then joined everyone at MotoCamp Wales for Overland Event’s “Spring Into Action” weekend. This is a little different to many of the other events in that it is very much about activity rather than listening to others and I really enjoyed it! We were able to participate in some many things over the weekend, including the obligatory ride outs but also some training from the Moto Junkies team, some trials riding, cookery with Lisa Thomas, photography with Simon Thomas, all sorts!
I think I’ve finally realised it’s time to stop spending money on bits for the bike and start spending it on me and my skills. This was why I booked onto a weekend, again at MotoCamp Wales with Moto Junkies up on the awesome trails around Dolgellau. Jack and Steve provided the support that meant I and other people on the weekend could ride that little bit harder than we might do elsewhere and try things out and learn. And we certainly learned! After such trails as Happy Valley, my confidence off-road has improved no end.
I’ve also been brushing up on the basic core skills - including a day’s adventure first aid training with Cambridgeshire Fire Service and another Bike Skills course. Apparently, I’m “very comfortable” in my riding, whatever that means!
Of course, the ABR Festival was, once again, a lot of fun. Especially the adventure trail. It’s weird how I’m now the one looking to pass people all the time, rather than being passed. Kind enjoying that aspect.
This weekend, will see me heading to the Peak District for the Lightweight Adventure Festival. Apparently, some kind of “awards ceremony” will be taking place and they want to see people dress for the occasion - in a field - in the rain 😂
Hopefully, I’ll see you at one of these events?