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Thread: ORS Level 1

  1. #1
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    ORS Level 1

    I did the Off Road Skills Level 1 last weekend and am now paying the price, with aches in places I didn't know I had!

    I drove to Wales in a howling gale and torrential rain, fearing the worst for the course. The Old Tredegar B and B was warm, dry and welcoming and the pub was only a short walk away.

    On day 1 we drove to the ORS base where we were allocated bikes, got our kit (boots and gloves for me) and rode to the site. It was my first ride on nobblies and I don't doubt this was true for several of us as one bloke fell off on a roundabout on the way to the site.

    We were split into 2 groups; those who had off road experience and those that didn't. I was in the latter group. 10 of us with 2 trainers. First exercise, lay the bike down and then pick it up again. A fully fueled gs is a heavy bastard! A morning of basic riding skills on a flat but muddy, slippery field, getting used to the feel of riding standing on the pegs and using body weight, of which I've got plenty, to steer.

    After a decent lunch we progressed to riding fire trails, up and down increasingly steep hills, skidding (great fun), falling off (less fun) and more riding. That evening we all (40 students and instructors) went for a meal together at a pub. I slept well that night.

    Day 2 was more of the same, only more extreme and it was lashing down all day. It got muddier by the minute and puddles got deeper and deeper. For experienced off roaders what we were doing must seem tame, but to us novices riding stood on the pegs on a muddy track with arms stretched out sideways was a hell of an achievement. Steep down hill with no brakes or deliberately locking the front wheel on gravel, deliberately stalling on a hill and having to turn the bike round to ride back down. Each completed task was a victory and cheered and clapped by the other students, with loads of encouragement from Gary and Kevin, the instructors.

    Gary and Kevin got loads of practice helping us pick the bikes up after we took tumbles. No one got badly hurt, just a few bumps and bruises.

    The final exercise involved riding up and down extremely steep, but short hills, with tight u turns between the ups and downs and lots of falling off! We then rode back to the base, handed back the keys and got our certificates with a round of applause for each student.

    Is it worth £500+? Absolutely. I went from absolute beginner to having some ability and a great deal more confidence in what I and the bike can do. I did things that I thought were impossible for me, a fat, lazy 60something. I laughed more than I have for ages, learnt loads, enjoyed the company of many strangers and have a real feeling of success. I ache like a good'un and my riding kit is disgustingly filthy, but it was brilliant. I can't recommend it enough.

  2. #2
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    Haha, very good.

    Gary and Kevin are a good guys

    When you've done Level 2... join the TRF (Trail Riders Federation) and jump to Level 10 !!


    Oh my god, can you see any corrosion yet?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bristolsaint View Post
    ...............

    I went from absolute beginner to having some ability and a great deal more confidence in what I and the bike can do. I did things that I thought were impossible for me, a fat, lazy 60something. I laughed more than I have for ages, learnt loads, enjoyed the company of many strangers and have a real feeling of success. I ache like a good'un and my riding kit is disgustingly filthy, but it was brilliant. I can't recommend it enough.
    And that, in a nutshell is what shit like that is all about. Nice one and glad you had a ball

    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

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    Always reminds me of a famous golfer, Gary Player, and in his words, "the more I practice the luckier I get"

  5. #5
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    I know some riders that could not ride on the second day because they ached so much after riding the first day. When they got up in the morning they struggled to get out of bed. You have to be fit to ride a big bike off road.

    Some people opt for a smaller bike for the course but don't tell anyone, the 1200 is the easiest to ride and pick up.
    Anyone riding slower than you is an idiot, and anyone riding faster than you is a maniac

  6. #6
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    and it only falls as far as the heads [usually].......Great fun up by the Windmills and miles of tracks to try out, Im glad you had fun and it built some confidence in your new abilities.
    Caution : May stop suddenly

  7. #7
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    Glad you had a great time, but just wait till your on your own bike and your looking at something that has the potential to smash cyl heads, dent tanks, crack plastics.....

    Training in the rain and mud is good for big bikes, you get used to it early on. Also you don't want to be doing those exercises with lots of folks around when its dry, the dust is a PITA.

    The GS is an incredible machine offroad, it's not the best of the big bikes for sure, but they are hugely capable with an able rider.

    Next stop GS challenge and / or Taffy Dakar 2019

  8. #8
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    I need to spend more time out with you Blueranger, but I'd like to have a go at the Taffy Dakar...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueranger View Post

    The GS is an incredible machine offroad, it's not the best of the big bikes for sure, but they are hugely capable with an able rider.
    The one I rode at ORS was hugely capable even with a fuckwit on board

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    I need to spend more time out with you Blueranger,
    Yeah, I'll be trail riding all through the year, though it will probably be into December now, even got out in the snow previously. That was fun up, until the 1190 got stuck and we had to turn back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    but I'd like to have a go at the Taffy Dakar...
    That is a very good event there are plenty of trails that are tricky enough to be interesting, though there are one or two that are "challenging"

    I was going to do the event again in 2019, but I'm going to do the GS challenge instead.. I'll be pushing my luck to use up both May bank holidays on bike events.


    Quote Originally Posted by bristolsaint View Post
    The one I rode at ORS was hugely capable even with a fuckwit on board
    They are very forgiving to a point. Though decent offroad tyres help immensely too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andi_archer View Post
    and it only falls as far as the heads [usually].....
    Haha, not when your front wheel digs into a rut on a steep decent, throwing you over the handlebars..... by the way, yes it did hurt

    The bike was wedged in a bush.. verticle!! back wheel pointing skywards.

  12. #12
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    I blame the driver
    Caution : May stop suddenly

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andi_archer View Post
    I blame the driver
    Haha yep

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