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About our Riding Days

We know that when you gather on the day, there may be a few nerves and a fair bit of anticipation and excitement. No charge is made for use of our protective clothing or accidental damage, except for a couple of exceptions. These include ignoring a direct request from a leader, not looking ahead and crashing as a consequence, and any riding behavour which is causing danger to yourself, other riders or users of the roads or byways, i.e. farmers, walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Please note that personal accident insurance is not provided.

Our motorcycles are fitted with special folding mirrors designed for trail riding. If you break a mirror because the mirror is in the "road" position when you crash, we will ask you to pay £20 to replace it. If you prefer not to have the mirror, please ask Colin to take it off before we begin. If you are not familiar with trail riding techniques, we will provide help and advice. Colin and Marianne have been ACU coaches in the past, but are not currently qualified. You can find hints and tips here.

Care of the bikes

Please ride through water slowly sitting down - too fast and water gets into the electrics and even into the combustion chamber which can cause engine blow-up. If you are unlucky enough to fall off in water, and the air filter has gone under, do not try to start the bike until it has been dried out, as you can cause irreparable engine damage. Please do not sit with the engine running and the clutch in! It will start to drag if you keep sitting still in gear. Please don't alter the tyre pressures on the bikes. They are set correctly for the tyres and terrain we use. If you get stuck on a hill and can't get any grip, please don't keep trying: get off and wait for assistance. (The clutch could burn out – we have had one go in less than 5 minutes!)

After falls

Please don't pick the bike up by the rear mudguard as it breaks. Pull the lower handlebar as far forward as possible (front wheel pointing up in the air) and lift with both hands on the lower grip. Check throttle action is not damaged, and have a look for oil leaks on the casing beside the gear lever, and coolant leaks. If the bars are not straight, it is unlikely they are bent; it is easy to straighten them, so please ask. If a lever is broken, we will usually have a spare and can replace the broken one. If your brakes seem to be getting spongy or the travel is increasing, please mention it. The disc brakes can suffer from hydraulic fluid leakage if the master cylinder takes a knock and the junction nut loosens. Be careful to ride with your foot out slightly (except in deep ruts) to avoid keeping the rear brake on by mistake. We accept that minor damage will occur to the bikes, especially if it is your first time trail riding. Please do not be afraid to tell us if you think something is not quite right. Very often it can be sorted out quickly and simply.

Trail riders having some tuition