A beginner’s guide to the TRF

A lot of us have a GoPro stashed away in a cupboard somewhere collecting dust. It sounded a great idea at the time, film our rides, share it with our mates, capture that feeling of hitting the dusty trails with not a care in the world.

I turns out making an interesting riding film is not always that easy. Now try making a series of films that is designed to capture what the TRF is all about and help potential new members get involved in riding Green Roads.

That's just what Rupert Jordan (Herts TRF) has managed with his series 'A beginners guide to the TRF'. We caught up with him and one of the stars of his film Vagelis Sk to find out just how you make a great film.

Rupert:

I’d put together a few videos of my rides with the TRF and included a bit of narration. This seemed to add another dimension to the films (I’d been inspired by the Awesome Players’ videos on YouTube - well worth checking out). Someone saw them and asked if I’d be interested in making a few short films that show potential members what it’s like to ride with the TRF.

Rupert:

There was a fair bit of planning. First of all I needed a beginner’s ride to shoot, but I didn’t want to lead it and film it at the same time. So I asked on the Herts Facebook page if anyone would be interested in getting involved. I had a great response - both from new members and from more experienced TRFers. Mario put the route together and I spent an afternoon trying it out and finding good spots to film. On the day I had two cameras on my helmet (a Sony Action Cam facing forward and a GoPro facing backwards), and a more traditional camcorder to shoot with at the key filming spots. Every time we approached the chosen spots, I’d race ahead and get set up. Despite all the planning, there was still an element of capturing the unexpected, so I didn’t know exactly what the four films would be about until the edit stage.

Rupert:

I hope they persuade more people to get involved with the TRF. I doubt they’ll change the opinions of our critics, but they might give someone a nudge in the right direction if they’re sitting on the fence.

Rupert:

Well, fun is important - else what are we doing it for? But we do also have an image to protect. So I think the videos we share need to tread a line.

Rupert:

I’m far from experienced at filming with bikes and action cameras, but I can draw on my experience as an advertising creative. My advice would be to tell a story. Most of what you film won’t be spectacular, so you need to keep people interested some other way. I think narration is great; it adds personality too (and don’t worry about hating the sound of your own voice, you’ll get over that...eventually). Oh, and keep your films short; editing software is your friend.

Rupert:

I’m enjoying the filming, so I’ll keep doing it. I recorded the recent London Dakar event, and I’ve done a rough edit, but it’s currently over 20 minutes, so there’s a lot of cutting to do.


Vagelis:

It was my first ride out with TRF Herts and I was very surprised by how organized the group was.

I live in Luton and I use my bike everyday to go to work or for rides around Beds and Herts. I went to my mechanic 3 or 4 days before the ride and he suggested that I should join the TRF. I’ve Had long conversations with my mechanic about off road rides in Greece in the past and luckily I found all about you guys.

Vagelis:

I was very nervous before doing the ride and mostly because I belived that my bike was a bit big for this kind of riding on green lanes etc.

After the first 2 minutes of riding with 25 other bikers you are so enthusiast that you have found so many people with the same interests that you forget all about your stress.

Vagelis:

A briefing in these cases is the most important thing before start riding. I wasn’t sure about what I was expecting but the briefing was very detailed and for me very important.

Vagelis:

It was better than my expectations! I met lots of people and we had some great fun doing something we really like safe and organized. I didn’t have any surprises on this ride, maybe in the next one!

Vagelis:

Make sure you do a small research about what green laning is and always remember that when we go out there we need to respect everyone and everything! It is a noisy hobby  and we need to make sure that we are not causing problems for people living locally . Make sure you have the right tools and water with you!!

Vagelis:

I believe I have! I am back from holidays on September so with the next (local) ride I am in!


The TRF exists to conserve green lanes in England and Wales. Join today and make sure that you can ride tomorrow.