You should never be afraid to try something new…..
On a beautiful sunny day in January, the temperature was showing -3° with a bit of a frost… Tinto Park is set on a 120-acre hillside site off the B7055 Rigside to Winston Road in South Lanarkshire, about 3 miles off the M74.
When I first contacted owner Robbie Allan I explained that I’m primarily a road rider,
although I have ridden off road before, in no way am I ‘experienced’. On arrival, I was met by Robbie and a couple of his team, I also
met John who had travelled up from County Durham to get some experience before his new WR250 arrives – so we were both ‘inexperienced’.
We were to have a ‘taster’ session, which is a basic introduction to 3 different off road riding skills – Enduro, Trials and Motocross. After getting kitted up, Robbie introduced us to our Honda CRF250’s, explained about positioning, suspension and the racing gearbox (which made life a lot easier). The morning Enduro session was about getting used to the feel of the bike, learning how to position the body for both inclines and descents, how to manage cornering on slippery surfaces. We then spent an hour or
so riding across the hills to get more experience of different situations, it was great fun and it’s amazing how quickly you pick up information and learn how to deal with situations.
“…it’s amazing how quickly you pick up information and learn how to deal with situations.”
It was then down to the motocross track, Tinto Park has 5 different tracks, at different grades depending on rider experience – from Novice to Pro. Thankfully we went on the novice track, it hadn’t been used for a few weeks through winter, so with the frost cover it was slippy, but great fun – it’s amazing how these bikes and tyres find grip. After a good number of laps it was lunchtime and a badly needed break!
After a lunch break we had a spell in some rough stuff on Robbie’s Montessa 260 trials bike, fantastic fun so nimble and grippy, it’s also a fantastic way to lean about throttle and clutch control – a bit strange not having a seat!
It was then back on the CRF’s for a ride out on the Enduro trail, it’s a chance to put everything that has been discussed into practice – 15kms of hills, tracks and forest rides, again great fun, hard work, but great fun.
Robbie is not only a fantastic rider with a competition background he’s also a very good coach. It’s a great benefit when someone can show and explain clearly what new skills entail.
Would I recommend it? You bet. The whole day was set around our confidence levels, I leant a lot about myself and what the bikes can do and we only scratched the surface.
If you want to try something new in a fantastic setting, with great coaching just do it. But beware, it’s addictive!
A 4 Hour Off Road Taster with introduction to basic off road riding skills and experience riding motocross, trials and enduro with bike hire and provision of protective clothing. (2 riders per session) is £120 each.
“Robbie is not only a fantastic rider with a competition background he’s also a very good coach.”