TRF:Hi Gary. So was this weekend about riding the bike or 'talking shop'?
Gary:Riding the bike was high on the agenda for all of us, talking shop was a definite second although bringing both together was a great idea, if we do this again we need an agenda and a timetable as most of the time no one knew what was planned except for the directors so it was all quite off the cuff.
TRF:Lets start with the riding. What's it like at Sweet Lamb?
Gary:Sweet Lamb is a fantastic off road training centre which all trail bikes can use with permission. Due to the layout and surface, the vistas are stunning. The HQ is well set up and has a bunk house and briefing room. Power comes from a generator and parking is adequate. We rode the grounds most of Saturday from about noon, led round by staff. It was great fun without too many incidents except one - Sue managed to drop her KTM Freeride in the river with the engine still running and it sucked in water. Sue was ok but the KTM needed some love - it was emptied, flushed and refilled with oil ready to go again. Most of Sunday was set aside for the Conference.
TRF:The TRF is all about trail riding on legal Green Roads, it's about access to the countryside. Why is it still important to have centres such as Sweet Lamb?
Gary:At Sweet Lamb you can ride with freedom. As its all private land this lends itself to off-road training on all sorts of off-road bikes, big and small. Places like this are a breath of fresh air, fast open trail riding is entirely possible and highly rewarding.
TRF:And of course the day was all about the National Conference. That sounds very grand. Was it?
Gary:The Conference was primarily about local Welsh issues and riding. National Issues took a back seat although the use of bibs being worn on trail rides was discussed with mixed results as to whether it should or should not be adopted. The finances were talked about and we were told about the account balances all of which are healthy. The question of group funds and subs was also raised the result being that National TRF does not consider those funds to be at their disposal as those funds are generated and set aside for individual group use.
TRF:The plan is to have more of these conferences all over the country. What do TRF members get out of attending them?
Gary:Primarily members get to ride their bikes as a reward for attending the conference and we get to meet other TRF members from other groups. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the Directors and feedback on issues that, as TRF members, we feel are important on a local and national level.