TRF:Hi Chris. Thanks for talking to us. I came across your story via the excellent Central Bristol TRF website. It seems as though there is a good energy around riding Green Roads over your way?
Chris:Yes there a good bunch down here. Its not just about Greenlaning. We tend to get stuck into all things two wheeled and off road. Last year alone i was a traveling marshall at an enduro, raced my 1st time card enduro (which almost killed me), entered a couple of rally’s and entered a horse event to help Wiltshire TRF, although the van broke down and we never made it. I had a go at riding trials bikes and learnt a hell of a lot about green roads. How to identify them on maps and after about 6 months started leading my own runs. And this was all through members of Central Bristol TRF.
TRF:So you’re a fairly new member of the TRF but obviously you’re getting stuck in. How did you find the club in the first place?
Chris:I’ve been riding road bikes for while, I love to travel on two wheels and the great outdoors. I always wanted to have a go at trials bikes, I grew up on BMX and mountain bikes and the odd C90 in the old quarry’s where i used to live, but the problem was where to ride. Thats when i came across the TRF and green roads. I didn’t know anything about either. I went out and bought an old XR250 and signed up with the TRF just over a year ago. I didn’t know what to expect. The club has some great characters and is laid back and friendly. I had potterd around on the bike not really knowing what i was doing, drowning my XR and almost myself in a swollen ford in the process (valuable lessons learned there!) until a newbies ride came up with Andy Howes as run leader. He took us up the Fosse Way and into the Cotswolds. Andy doesn't do things by half’s, We clocked up some 120 miles that day, I was knackered but totally hooked and buzzing for days from the new adventure I had just had.
Has the TRF lived up to your expectations?
TRF:What’s the riding like over in Bristol? Have you got a good network of Green Roads?
Chris:We are quite lucky down here. We have one of the highest concentrations of Green Roads in the country. Bristol is perfectly placed and surrounded by different areas all with very different types of lanes. The most local ones in Bath and north Somerset are unsealed rocky affairs between hedge rows. Some are quite technical but nothing too difficult. To the north east we have the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. A great place to take newbies with its easy going flowing lanes. East and South east we can ride over in to Wiltshire TRF's area and you have the vast open planes of the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain with chalky lanes that can be lethal in the winter but have some fantastic panoramas. Then if we really want a challenge we just hop over the Severn Bridge to the Wye valley. Its full of steep rocky knarly technical lanes, some of the hardest I know, but always a great day out and set in the lush green wooded valley that follows the river Wye. We spent a fair bit of time in the Wye last year helping Andy Howes work out the route for the final day of the Byways Tour which the club led. And all of this can be ridden to from your own doorstep. So yeah we are pretty lucky.
TRF:Great stuff Chris. Any advice for anyone out there thinking of joining the TRF?