Our Review Of The MCI Off Road Day 2013
Last year’s hugely successful event saw the sport’s leading manufacturers; KTM, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha, gather their official off road tutors and machines together for a weekend in the Nottinghamshire countryside. The purpose – to give a series of 4 hour sessions designed entirely toward giving the off road novice a try at riding a crosser on the dirt. All the safety equipment is supplied by the teams, and instruction starts with the very basics of machine control, but in no time you are let loose on the nursery slopes to get yourself acquainted.
As the session continues your instructors will move you toward an increase in pace, get you out of the saddle, and ultimately on to the big course where the fun can really begin.The land that hosts the event is owned by the AMCA and as you might expect is ideal for the purpose, the track is challenging enough for the novice to be tested but has enough fun features to let those with some prior experience really enjoy themselves, fully marshalled and being led by the instructors, safety is always paramount but not to such a degree that you can’t test your limits
That instruction is of the highest quality as each manufacturer’s official off road training school will be providing world champions to lend assistance! Notably present will be, Barry Johnson, Ady Smith, Mick Exstance, Dave Thorpe and Neil Prince, who between them have amassed a spectacular array of World and UK championships, all of whom will be ably assisted by the rest of their respective teams. Having attended last years, I can whole heartedly recommend it.
Fittingly I was assigned a KTM and sent to Ady Smith and his team for instructions, bad jokes, safety gear and banter. Once geared up we were shown the bikes, shiny new KTM Freerides, and walked through the do’s and don’ts. The riding started by doing loops around a grass track on the side of a gentle slope, giving us the opportunity to get to know the bikes and to give the instructors the chance to see what level of ability you have. Once you get out of the saddle the light flickable bikes weren’t intimidating at all and it wasn’t long before the more confident had grass and mud rooster tailing behind them and big grins all over their mucky faces.
Short breaks and lots of water were frequent as the sun was shining and we were all starting to appreciate just how tiring chucking these bikes about can be and before long, those that were deemed fit, were out onto the big course. Most took it slowly at first, but started to find the lines and the jumps and after a couple of laps most were getting air and making the bikes move around a bit.
After about 4 laps, thinking I was ready to take on motorcross full time, clearly born for it and with a massive grin on my face I got humbled by being passed by Ady himself, on one wheel, waving at me to get on with it and smiling with encouragement!More short breaks followed with water, petrol and friendly words of advice from Ady, then we were back out again. As the day went on the sessions did get shorter as the riding continued and folk started dropping off with exhausted arms and thighs pumped but all grinning from ear to ear, chuffed to bits with their progress.
Some of the folk from my group had travelled for hours to get there; one lad having set off from Cornwall sometime the night before, but all were unanimous that it was all worth the effort.How much did all this fun cost? Just a £25 token gesture of a fee.
So have I been inspired to take up off-roading? Yep, nearly, just need to find a cheap bike.
Would I do this event again? Absolutely!
There are only 400 places up for grabs and a women-only session on Friday 20th is planned so to secure your place make sure you are online on the dot of 10am tomorrow (10th) as last year’s places were gone in just a couple of hours.
Our gallery is here http://londonbikers.com/galleries/1704/mci-off-road-experience-more-2013
To book your place or find more information visit, www.rideoffroad.co.uk