Motocross was probably my first love when it comes to bikes. My first ever bike was a Motorcross, a Yamaha YZ 125 which was endless fun! When an invitation landed from Red Letter days to try out one of their motor experience days, there was only going to be one answer!
I was invited to try out one of their motorbikes & quad riding experiences from their selection. With so many great choices, it took me a while to deliberate! But in the end I chose the Off road biking adventure which was The Mick Extance Ultimate off road day.
The booking process was really easy, once I’d received the gift voucher from Red Letter Days. I followed the link to the booking site for the experience and inserted the voucher code. That’s it, booking complete! As you might expect, the Off road biking adventure is a popular activity, weekend dates book up well in advance. I was quite lucky as I booked a mid week day which seemed to be a bit less subscribed!
The experience is based just outside of Shropshire, set in 1500 acres of amazing Welsh forest in the Berwyn mountains. The day was scheduled to start at 9am, which meant getting up at 5.30 that morning for the trip down from Leeds!
We met at the New Inn, Lanngynog, where Richard from the Mick Extance team greeted us and took us to get kitted out with clothing, helmets, boots and googles! everything was already laid out ready to change into, as they’d already requested clothing sizes! A quick drive in the mini bus up the mountains, where we met the bike and the rest of the team.
Introduction & Safety briefing
Mick Extance, the lead instructor has competed at British and European level & even won at World Enduro level. He’s also competed in the in 7 Dakar rallys! So its fair to say he knows a few things about off road biking! After an introduction to the bikes themselves, KTM 250cc SXF and the obligatory safety briefing it was time to get out on the bikes and have some fun!
The morning was all about getting used to the bike and building up confidence. Even if you’ve not ridden a bike before, they cater for first timers and guarantee to have you riding with a smile on your face. The ride up to the first training area was via twisting gravel tracks, the views along the way and from the top of the mountain were very impressive! If only I’d of remembered my camera!
They were lots of challenges, climbing and ascending different terrain. The instructors are always on hand to give you guidance along the way. One of the instructors told me to sit slightly more forward and keep my knees tucked in and I’ll notice a difference in control. And he was right, I did!
A lot of off road riding, especially over harder terrain is better done standing up! This distributes your weight to a lower part of the bike which gives you more control. It’s similar to using your feet when turning as it puts more weight to the front wheel, giving you more traction.
After a quick lunch break, we got back out in the Welsh mountains for some more off road action. The downhill slopes got steeper and trails more challenging. This meant we could put the skills we’d learnt in the morning session into practice. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you get out of your comfort zone! No doubt I’ll be able to use some of my new found skills on the road. Watch this space for a video of the day!
What an absolutely fantastic day from start to finish! I’d definitely return for another day as I’m sure there could be even more to learn a second time around. I’d even recommend this experience day to someone who hasn’t ridden a motorbike before. They do cater for those people who’ve had no previous riding experience as well! Be sure to check out Red Letter Days.
Have you tried any of the Red Letter experience days?