A few years back, I’d put myself down for a day of green laning, organised through works motorcycle club. I really hadn’t enjoyed it, in fact I only started it and straight away gave them all their gear back and went home!
This year, me and two others from work had plumped for a day of Motocross in Winchester, again organised through work. I was a little nervous following my poor experience of motocross bikes years before, but knowing my experience was tainted by the organisation and equipment, more than the event itself, I thought I should give it a go again.
Before I could even get to this even though, I was made aware of a Motorcycle Off Road Experience day, for only £15. It’s an event arranged for the last two years, with all the major manufacturers getting together, to try and encourage new people to take up motocross.
Already I could see this would be a better day than my green laning day, all their equipment fit me!
First off was the introduction to the bikes. Not much new here and all our group of 10 rode road bikes, although they were prepared to look after complete non-riders if necessary.
It felt a little awkward initially, especially as they asked we always had two fingers over the break and clutch. It really got uncomfortable!
Still, after just one session on the grass, off we went onto the main track!
I wont lie, one lap in I was thinking it would be green laning all over again, I would come in and watch while the others enjoyed themselves.
I stuck it out for the session though, in the blazing heat and came back in for some water. Determined to get the hang of it, I went back out again for the second session. This time I found myself behind one of the instructors, so I figured I should try and do everything he did. What a difference!
The biggest change was how much time he (and so I) spent stood up on my pegs. It made a huge difference for me. Maybe it was the fact my legs and arms acted like a cushioning system between the road and my body.
Basically the bike moves around a lot on the unstable, dirt surface, which ordinarily feels very uncomforting on a bike. On a motocross bike, I found standing up and just giving it more gas made it feel much more stable.
With this new knowledge, I had an amazing time on the 2nd and 3rd session. By the end, I was chasing an instructor round who I think was pushing and pushing me to go faster.
We finished around 12 midday, tired, sweaty and satisfied. What a great morning, even in the almost unbearable heat. I was now very much looking forward to my full day of motocross, with JLP and Yamaha.