By Alan Dowds
ONE of the best ways to improve your fitness and bike control is off-road riding. Getting out and about in the muddy stuff is physically demanding enough to improve your fitness, and also builds up a whole panoply of moto-skills, from body position, weight transfer and control of power and braking, to managing a bike on the edge of grip.
Where to start though? Well, if you’ve got a vaguely off-road capable machine you can have a go on your local green lanes. Many rough unpaved dirt roads in the UK are totally legal to ride your bike on, and green laning, as it’s known, is a simple, low-octane way to get off-road miles in.
We spoke to our old mate, Phil Steinhardt, who as well as being a top moto-photographer, runs Ride the Wild – an off-road riding company in Wales. Here’s Phil’s five essential tips on beginner green-laning. Starting with…
1. Route prep
“Plan a route: you can use OS maps, local council websites and/or an app/site like Viewranger. Failing that, get on some forums, contact the local Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) or book a guide.
“Always take a mate; riding off road alone is never the best idea, especially for a beginner. Ensure you have someone to help in case you get stuck, break down or worse.”