Trails Newbie - Getting into greenlaning, help!

Trails Newbie - Getting into greenlaning, help!

Author
Discussion

graham22

3,048 posts

150 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
Have a look at Long Distance Trials (on YouTube as Road Trials or LDTs) - as you are in Bristol you are central for events on Exmoor and in Wales.

A couple we do often are the Westcott Trial based in Minehead in November and the Jubilee Trial near Taunton (Raleaghs Cross) in May.

You will have to have a trials rear tyre but any proper trail bike can be used. These are usually 70-100 miles using by-ways, lanes, private woods and minor roads to join observed sections - nothing that will kill you in these events but a good bit of competition with great views & company.

Even worth going to watch some to see what gear people use - there's no 'standard' in kit. Because you are tackling brambles/gorse & getting dirt ground into kit, it's not worth spending good money on expensive kit.

Probably best to seek out a textile jacket either in the sales or on e-bay, people are giving up moto-x all the time so trousers/knee protection can be had - cheap unlined waterproofs if the going is wet. Gloves, as said above depends on season, Moto-X helmet again as above because it will get sweaty & muddy but get new, they aren't expensive.

Boots is where you'll have to make a choice - Moto-X boots, bulky, masses of protection but no feel and not nice for walking in. Trials boots offer more dexterity, better for walking and have better grip (ie pushing bike) but slightly less protection and no so easy to buy 2nd hand.


eta - my kit: Jacket - new in J&S Sale, Bell Helmet, goggles & Weise Gloves - New from local dealer, 2nd hand moto-x trousers from a friend, 2nd hand Hebo Trials boots from KTM forum.2nd hand, 68mile Montesa Honda from mid-Wales - win on first (this) event. You can see the state kit gets in though:



Edited by graham22 on Thursday 1st February 09:59

larrylamb11

433 posts

196 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
I will get roasted for this, but I think it's worth pointing out the other side of green-laning.....

For a lot of people that live in the countryside green-laners are a bloody menace and you have to expect to be greeted with hostility and worse if you happen to bump into any locals. Regrettably it appears there are a LOT of have-a-go hero's who don't bother to do the research about where you can and can't go, ride where they like and generally treat anywhere off the black top as their own personal playground where anything goes. Not surprisingly this really pisses off the locals and has fostered hostility between them and anyone / anything off the beaten track - a problem that has only got worse as it has become more popular and more accessible through cheaper kit. As always, the mindless few wreck it for the responsible majority and everyone gets tarred with the same brush by the lowest common denominator.

Don't allow yourself to feed this problem and make every effort you can to hold yourself up as an shining beacon of exemplary behaviour off-road - don't give the anti's any ammo basically. That means double check before you go that the lanes you are planning to ride are actually open (and to bikes) and that there aren't any TROs on them. If you get there and find they are actually in a bit of a mess, don't exacerbate the problem by pressing on regardless, find somewhere else or go home and wait until they aren't so boggy - don't forget it's an offence to damage the surface of the highway (which includes byways) and if your riding is going to chew it up the right thing to do is to give it a miss, irrespective of what everyone else is doing / has already done. Ride responsibly, no rooster tails of dirt spraying out behind you, expect to meet horses, cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers, ride accordingly and be prepared to stop, switch off and wait for them to get past (horses particularly are remarkably stupid and skittish animals that often seem to take great fright at bikes!). If you are planning to ride with a group, don't go in a big one - again locals hate big groups of noisy off-road bikers streaming through their sleepy villages, far better to ride in 2s or 3s and easier to stay under the radar. On the subject of staying under the radar, noisy off-road bikes attract grief - antsy observers assume you are going far too fast because of the noise, they upset animals and give away your position. Far better to swerve the grief and get the quietest bike you can, you'll be surprised how much less agro it will attract.

I know someone is going to say this, so I will answer it now - yes, you have the right to ride the byways just like anyone and yes, so long as you are doing it legally there is nothing anyone can do about it, no mater how noisy your steed.... it's just a question of how enjoyable the ride out is. Having some irate cotton-top screaming abuse at you while he waves his walking stick can leave a really sour taste and spoil an otherwise great ride. If you don't really care about that then crack on fella ..... but accept that you will be adding to a growing problem that could ultimately lead to these pursuits being more tightly controlled or even banned. Accept that we all have a part to play and do it in a way that's sympathetic to those people who's back yard you are playing in and you'll not only have a better overall experience but hopefully do something to help secure it for the next generation. It's not all 'hop on and hit the dirt'.....

cbmotorsport

2,767 posts

63 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
larrylamb11 said:
I will get roasted for this, but I think it's worth pointing out the other side of green-laning.....

For a lot of people that live in the countryside green-laners are a bloody menace and you have to expect to be greeted with hostility and worse if you happen to bump into any locals. Regrettably it appears there are a LOT of have-a-go hero's who don't bother to do the research about where you can and can't go, ride where they like and generally treat anywhere off the black top as their own personal playground where anything goes. Not surprisingly this really pisses off the locals and has fostered hostility between them and anyone / anything off the beaten track - a problem that has only got worse as it has become more popular and more accessible through cheaper kit. As always, the mindless few wreck it for the responsible majority and everyone gets tarred with the same brush by the lowest common denominator.

Don't allow yourself to feed this problem and make every effort you can to hold yourself up as an shining beacon of exemplary behaviour off-road - don't give the anti's any ammo basically. That means double check before you go that the lanes you are planning to ride are actually open (and to bikes) and that there aren't any TROs on them. If you get there and find they are actually in a bit of a mess, don't exacerbate the problem by pressing on regardless, find somewhere else or go home and wait until they aren't so boggy - don't forget it's an offence to damage the surface of the highway (which includes byways) and if your riding is going to chew it up the right thing to do is to give it a miss, irrespective of what everyone else is doing / has already done. Ride responsibly, no rooster tails of dirt spraying out behind you, expect to meet horses, cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers, ride accordingly and be prepared to stop, switch off and wait for them to get past (horses particularly are remarkably stupid and skittish animals that often seem to take great fright at bikes!). If you are planning to ride with a group, don't go in a big one - again locals hate big groups of noisy off-road bikers streaming through their sleepy villages, far better to ride in 2s or 3s and easier to stay under the radar. On the subject of staying under the radar, noisy off-road bikes attract grief - antsy observers assume you are going far too fast because of the noise, they upset animals and give away your position. Far better to swerve the grief and get the quietest bike you can, you'll be surprised how much less agro it will attract.

I know someone is going to say this, so I will answer it now - yes, you have the right to ride the byways just like anyone and yes, so long as you are doing it legally there is nothing anyone can do about it, no mater how noisy your steed.... it's just a question of how enjoyable the ride out is. Having some irate cotton-top screaming abuse at you while he waves his walking stick can leave a really sour taste and spoil an otherwise great ride. If you don't really care about that then crack on fella ..... but accept that you will be adding to a growing problem that could ultimately lead to these pursuits being more tightly controlled or even banned. Accept that we all have a part to play and do it in a way that's sympathetic to those people who's back yard you are playing in and you'll not only have a better overall experience but hopefully do something to help secure it for the next generation. It's not all 'hop on and hit the dirt'.....
Best post yet.

You'll quickly learn that you're not very popular riding a bike off road in the countryside. You will be shouted at, people will claim that you can't ride here, it's a footpath/bridleway etc etc when it's a Byway. Stop, be friendly, point out to them it's a Byway. Avoid confrontation if they persist, but always be friendly. Stick to the path, don't veer off because that bit over there looks more fun, byways get closed for these reasons. As has been said, always stop and switch off for horses, as much for your safety as theirs. Always have in your mind that round the next corner there could be 35 members of the local rambling club, covering the whole path...so ride accordingly. Expect some interest form the police, and a regular tug. There are a lot of people turning up in vans and riding non road legal bikes on byways, and they give everyone a bad name.

The TRF are good at advising best practice, and want as many lanes to be open as possible, so heed their advice.

if you're in Bristol, lock up that bike, and don't advertise you've got one.


graham22

3,048 posts

150 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
cbmotorsport said:
larrylamb11 said:
I will get roasted for this, but I think it's worth pointing out the other side of green-laning.....

For a lot of people that live in the countryside green-laners are a bloody menace and you have to expect to be greeted with hostility and worse if you happen to bump into any locals. Regrettably it appears there are a LOT of have-a-go hero's who don't bother to do the research about where you can and can't go, ride where they like and generally treat anywhere off the black top as their own personal playground where anything goes. Not surprisingly this really pisses off the locals and has fostered hostility between them and anyone / anything off the beaten track - a problem that has only got worse as it has become more popular and more accessible through cheaper kit. As always, the mindless few wreck it for the responsible majority and everyone gets tarred with the same brush by the lowest common denominator.

Don't allow yourself to feed this problem and make every effort you can to hold yourself up as an shining beacon of exemplary behaviour off-road - don't give the anti's any ammo basically. That means double check before you go that the lanes you are planning to ride are actually open (and to bikes) and that there aren't any TROs on them. If you get there and find they are actually in a bit of a mess, don't exacerbate the problem by pressing on regardless, find somewhere else or go home and wait until they aren't so boggy - don't forget it's an offence to damage the surface of the highway (which includes byways) and if your riding is going to chew it up the right thing to do is to give it a miss, irrespective of what everyone else is doing / has already done. Ride responsibly, no rooster tails of dirt spraying out behind you, expect to meet horses, cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers, ride accordingly and be prepared to stop, switch off and wait for them to get past (horses particularly are remarkably stupid and skittish animals that often seem to take great fright at bikes!). If you are planning to ride with a group, don't go in a big one - again locals hate big groups of noisy off-road bikers streaming through their sleepy villages, far better to ride in 2s or 3s and easier to stay under the radar. On the subject of staying under the radar, noisy off-road bikes attract grief - antsy observers assume you are going far too fast because of the noise, they upset animals and give away your position. Far better to swerve the grief and get the quietest bike you can, you'll be surprised how much less agro it will attract.

I know someone is going to say this, so I will answer it now - yes, you have the right to ride the byways just like anyone and yes, so long as you are doing it legally there is nothing anyone can do about it, no mater how noisy your steed.... it's just a question of how enjoyable the ride out is. Having some irate cotton-top screaming abuse at you while he waves his walking stick can leave a really sour taste and spoil an otherwise great ride. If you don't really care about that then crack on fella ..... but accept that you will be adding to a growing problem that could ultimately lead to these pursuits being more tightly controlled or even banned. Accept that we all have a part to play and do it in a way that's sympathetic to those people who's back yard you are playing in and you'll not only have a better overall experience but hopefully do something to help secure it for the next generation. It's not all 'hop on and hit the dirt'.....
Best post yet.

You'll quickly learn that you're not very popular riding a bike off road in the countryside. You will be shouted at, people will claim that you can't ride here, it's a footpath/bridleway etc etc when it's a Byway. Stop, be friendly, point out to them it's a Byway. Avoid confrontation if they persist, but always be friendly. Stick to the path, don't veer off because that bit over there looks more fun, byways get closed for these reasons. As has been said, always stop and switch off for horses, as much for your safety as theirs. Always have in your mind that round the next corner there could be 35 members of the local rambling club, covering the whole path...so ride accordingly. Expect some interest form the police, and a regular tug. There are a lot of people turning up in vans and riding non road legal bikes on byways, and they give everyone a bad name.

The TRF are good at advising best practice, and want as many lanes to be open as possible, so heed their advice.

if you're in Bristol, lock up that bike, and don't advertise you've got one.
Both very valid & true.

Have to say that horse riders on these lanes are different to the 'slow down I have every right to be on the road' brigade, I think they are up against the ramblers and such like too.

Never a problem stopping & switching off engine for these, usually some banter to be had, many are fit & wearing tight jodhpurs too wink

Fleegle

16,639 posts

121 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
graham22 said:
Both very valid & true.

Have to say that horse riders on these lanes are different to the 'slow down I have every right to be on the road' brigade, I think they are up against the ramblers and such like too.

Never a problem stopping & switching off engine for these, usually some banter to be had, many are fit & wearing tight jodhpurs too wink
I have had very little in the way of problems with horse riders, even though I bloody hate horses with a passion. My negative experiences generally tend to come from short, bobble hatted flask wielding bumblers

moto_traxport

3,970 posts

166 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
Watching this with interest.

I've just moved to south of Bristol and my biking future could involve knobbly tyres - almost had it with normal biking on the road and track stuff seems massively infrequent and needs horrendous amounts of investment for an ever diminishing return.

OP - Keep the thread updated with your progress if poss.

Bordtea

Original Poster:

314 posts

91 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
graham22 said:
cbmotorsport said:
larrylamb11 said:
I will get roasted for this, but I think it's worth pointing out the other side of green-laning.....

For a lot of people that live in the countryside green-laners are a bloody menace and you have to expect to be greeted with hostility and worse if you happen to bump into any locals. Regrettably it appears there are a LOT of have-a-go hero's who don't bother to do the research about where you can and can't go, ride where they like and generally treat anywhere off the black top as their own personal playground where anything goes. Not surprisingly this really pisses off the locals and has fostered hostility between them and anyone / anything off the beaten track - a problem that has only got worse as it has become more popular and more accessible through cheaper kit. As always, the mindless few wreck it for the responsible majority and everyone gets tarred with the same brush by the lowest common denominator.

Don't allow yourself to feed this problem and make every effort you can to hold yourself up as an shining beacon of exemplary behaviour off-road - don't give the anti's any ammo basically. That means double check before you go that the lanes you are planning to ride are actually open (and to bikes) and that there aren't any TROs on them. If you get there and find they are actually in a bit of a mess, don't exacerbate the problem by pressing on regardless, find somewhere else or go home and wait until they aren't so boggy - don't forget it's an offence to damage the surface of the highway (which includes byways) and if your riding is going to chew it up the right thing to do is to give it a miss, irrespective of what everyone else is doing / has already done. Ride responsibly, no rooster tails of dirt spraying out behind you, expect to meet horses, cyclists, dog walkers and ramblers, ride accordingly and be prepared to stop, switch off and wait for them to get past (horses particularly are remarkably stupid and skittish animals that often seem to take great fright at bikes!). If you are planning to ride with a group, don't go in a big one - again locals hate big groups of noisy off-road bikers streaming through their sleepy villages, far better to ride in 2s or 3s and easier to stay under the radar. On the subject of staying under the radar, noisy off-road bikes attract grief - antsy observers assume you are going far too fast because of the noise, they upset animals and give away your position. Far better to swerve the grief and get the quietest bike you can, you'll be surprised how much less agro it will attract.

I know someone is going to say this, so I will answer it now - yes, you have the right to ride the byways just like anyone and yes, so long as you are doing it legally there is nothing anyone can do about it, no mater how noisy your steed.... it's just a question of how enjoyable the ride out is. Having some irate cotton-top screaming abuse at you while he waves his walking stick can leave a really sour taste and spoil an otherwise great ride. If you don't really care about that then crack on fella ..... but accept that you will be adding to a growing problem that could ultimately lead to these pursuits being more tightly controlled or even banned. Accept that we all have a part to play and do it in a way that's sympathetic to those people who's back yard you are playing in and you'll not only have a better overall experience but hopefully do something to help secure it for the next generation. It's not all 'hop on and hit the dirt'.....
Best post yet.

You'll quickly learn that you're not very popular riding a bike off road in the countryside. You will be shouted at, people will claim that you can't ride here, it's a footpath/bridleway etc etc when it's a Byway. Stop, be friendly, point out to them it's a Byway. Avoid confrontation if they persist, but always be friendly. Stick to the path, don't veer off because that bit over there looks more fun, byways get closed for these reasons. As has been said, always stop and switch off for horses, as much for your safety as theirs. Always have in your mind that round the next corner there could be 35 members of the local rambling club, covering the whole path...so ride accordingly. Expect some interest form the police, and a regular tug. There are a lot of people turning up in vans and riding non road legal bikes on byways, and they give everyone a bad name.

The TRF are good at advising best practice, and want as many lanes to be open as possible, so heed their advice.

if you're in Bristol, lock up that bike, and don't advertise you've got one.
Both very valid & true.

Have to say that horse riders on these lanes are different to the 'slow down I have every right to be on the road' brigade, I think they are up against the ramblers and such like too.

Never a problem stopping & switching off engine for these, usually some banter to be had, many are fit & wearing tight jodhpurs too wink
Yes, very good point, very well made. I'm sure a cheery wave will go a long way!

Bordtea

Original Poster:

314 posts

91 months

Thursday 1st February 2018
quotequote all
moto_traxport said:
Watching this with interest.

I've just moved to south of Bristol and my biking future could involve knobbly tyres - almost had it with normal biking on the road and track stuff seems massively infrequent and needs horrendous amounts of investment for an ever diminishing return.

OP - Keep the thread updated with your progress if poss.
Well I've bought the helmet... so I'm committed now!! Completely agree re. track - too much expense and I do so few days a year that I feel my efforts could be better spent elsewhere. Keep the R1 for trips to Europe, Wales, Devon etc and have the 250 as a dick around bike!

fergus

6,416 posts

220 months

Friday 2nd February 2018
quotequote all
Bordtea said:
moto_traxport said:
Watching this with interest.

I've just moved to south of Bristol and my biking future could involve knobbly tyres - almost had it with normal biking on the road and track stuff seems massively infrequent and needs horrendous amounts of investment for an ever diminishing return.

OP - Keep the thread updated with your progress if poss.
Well I've bought the helmet... so I'm committed now!! Completely agree re. track - too much expense and I do so few days a year that I feel my efforts could be better spent elsewhere. Keep the R1 for trips to Europe, Wales, Devon etc and have the 250 as a dick around bike!
Same here. I think a sale of my R1 beckons and a search for an EXC KTM begins....

Harry H

1,625 posts

101 months

Friday 2nd February 2018
quotequote all
Always stop for horse riders. Mainly because 99% of them are resonably fit women and invariably have erect nipples. I assume it's all that powerful meat between their legs.

Bordtea

Original Poster:

314 posts

91 months

Friday 2nd February 2018
quotequote all
All excellent tips. thanks guys

DoubleTime

1,342 posts

87 months

Friday 2nd February 2018
quotequote all
OP - this will assist greatly in your riding technique > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJAvmhgP0h1AEKY8v...

To validate what I'm about to say, I'll first say that for the past 4 years I have been riding (and modifying) a CRF250L all over the trails in Thailand. Proper off-road dirt bikes are very expensive in Thailand hence why so many pick up a CRF and modify for the trails. Personally, I wouldn't buy one of these bikes in the UK for off-road riding because you have to throw too much money at them to make them competent at handling off-road. They are also comparatively heavy compared to proper off-road/enduro machines like WR250f/CRF250x/KTM exc-f etc

The weight of the bike and the other compromises make it a bike that can hinder your skill progression and if you get into it, you will likely end up selling and buying one of the aforementioned bikes. My advice would be to save yourself the trouble and just get a nice 2nd hand WR250f to get you started. They are cheap enough and well built with good standard suspension. The CRF250L standard suspension is terrible off-road.

Zwen

1 posts

1 month

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Fleegle said:
keirik said:
TRF is made up of 50% really nice people and 50% of people with huge issues and chips on their shoulder.
Prior to joining the TRF, I thought it was made up of miserable old farts who went only marginally faster than miserable old ramblers. Fortunately I was proved wrong and pleased to say that the Surrey mob warmly welcome new members and are very active in having regular runs at all levels
Hi Fleegle,
You mentioned the Surrey mob of nice people. That sounds very inviting smile Any chance to get in touch?

Andybow

1,022 posts

63 months

Sunday 18th August
quotequote all
Like most things in life, the more you get into off-road the more you find laning a bit dull, it’s still great to get out, but walkers, nimbys etc ruined it for me.
I always loved enduro practices and events as you get to rag the bike and use it properly.
Trail bikes are ok and work well at laning but don’t go spending loads on something like a crf L
As most people soon upgrade to a enduro bike as the suspension etc is so much better.
Mousses or are well worth it as is as much protection as poss for you.
For me the best do it all enduro, laning bike is the Ktm or husky 350
It’s quiet enough to not feel a hooligan laning and has plenty of go for a Enduro

Tiggsy

9,932 posts

197 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
While there is an overlap between enduro and green lanes....there are plenty that exist in either hobby and never cross over.

I green lane - and it takes me on holidays all over the world, regular weekends away in the UK (or longer - just back from green laning to Lands End and back) and is a thing I can do with my partner. I can't replicate (let alone improve) any of the aspects I enjoy about it by doing an enduro (which I have done, years ago)

I get that many people that lane really would rather be doing something faster/different (and they should, because they are often not the best types to be on lanes!) but the assumption that lanes/enduro are close pals for all is wrong.

BobSaunders

1,759 posts

100 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Green laning and enduro are nothing alike!

That's a green lane -



thats enduro -


3nduro

160 posts

43 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Fleegle said:
Prior to joining the TRF, I thought it was made up of miserable old farts who went only marginally faster than miserable old ramblers. Fortunately I was proved wrong and pleased to say that the Surrey mob warmly welcome new members and are very active in having regular runs at all levels
Yeah dont know what gave Fleegle that wrong impression of the TRF all those years dicing on our urban enduro commute :-)

like every group you do get a right mix .. but the trf is fabulous so definitely get involved


3nduro

160 posts

43 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Zwen said:
Hi Fleegle,
You mentioned the Surrey mob of nice people. That sounds very inviting smile Any chance to get in touch?
https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/surreytrf/

our website isn't working right now but we have a meet up in Ripley once a month (4th tuesday at 2030 in ripley british legion)

friendly group and will give you all the help you need.

3nduro

160 posts

43 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
bennyboysvuk said:
If you're just trying it out and trying to get some thoughts together, I'd recommend going on an Ady Smith KTM day. Not only is it utterly brilliant, but you'll get the opportunity to ride all the bikes from the 125 to the 500, learn some new skills and also push your own boundaries as far as you want.

http://www.adysmith.co.uk/
totally agree with this ... and do it a few times .... riding with him on his North Wales farm jolly ... you see what is actually possible on a bike ... he is an amazing smooth rider and lovely guy

teabagger

723 posts

142 months

Monday 19th August
quotequote all
Get a crf250l and join the trf yes

Edited by teabagger on Monday 19th August 20:05