We all know how much fun riding green roads can be. We also know how challenging it is on man and machine. Some people prefer the round world credentials of a big bike, or the nimbleness of an enduro machine, or the sheer cheapness of a 20 year old trail bike. But who on earth would want to tackle the lanes on a pizza delivery bike?
We caught up with Sam Berlyn (Herts TRF) on Facebook to find out
So, Sam, it was great to see you out with the Herts guys today on Facebook. You weren't riding the usual orange bike. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your bike and how you ended up out with the TRF?
Sure. I guess you could say I don't really fit the typical biker stereotype in any way.. Despite having had a full bike license for a number of years, I'm exclusively riding a 1991 C90 at the moment. It's normally used for "bimbles" at weekends, and until today hadn't been off the tarmac at all! Having spoken to Austin Vinceat the Motorcycle show a while ago, I was reminded of the work the TRF does and decided to join up. The Herts branch is my nearest active one, and Paul was arranging a beginners run, so I thought I'd tag along!
Sam's C90 looking pretty fresh at the start of the ride
Great. I guess a lot of people are aware of Ed March's C90 adventures round the world, but I can't recall seeing anyone green laning on one over here. You're a brave man. How did it go? Is it still in one piece?
Ed's doing a fantastic job of promoting C90 ownership on an international scale, and Nathan Millwardalso did his bit by riding a CT110 (C90 variant) all the way from Sydney to London. I had a brilliant time, definitely an awful lot of smiles per horsepower! Being able to get both feet flat was brilliant for building confidence. Road tyres (a ribbed front one!) are obviously not ideal, so I think some mods will be needed before long!
I can only imagine the looks you got from the other guys when you rocked up. Was it a newbie ride out? How were you welcomed? Was it what you expected as your first TRF run?
The bike's still in one piece and made the 55 mile ride home without any issues! The only damage was a cracked front indicator lense, and even after hosing about a handful of mud out of it, the indicator still worked! Fantastic build quality on these older machines.
I'd given the guys a bit of warning and checked that they were OK with me bringing a C90, and they welcomed me along like a group of old friends. We had a dedicated sweeper for the run who assisted to reattach my drybag of spares and tools after it repeatedly bounced out of my front basket. Note to self, don't bring luggage on a green laning trip!
The bike may not be sensible but at least Sam's wearing a high vis jacket
So will the C90 be making more appearances on the lanes?
I'm pretty sure it will! Another rider has given me some really good tips on other places I can ride to build my confidence, so I think I'll put in some solo practice and then get back once I can hold my own! I'm definitely considering a middleweight dirt bike but I think the C90 will always have a place on the right type of lanes!
Sam's first ride out was with Hertfordshire TRF. Most TRF groups welcome new members on rides that introduce less experienced riders to green lanes. Get in touch with your local group to find out what's going on in your area.