The Lake District Motorcycle Film Festival

Why did you organise the film thing?

I was really impressed with The Green Lane Relay film, it is very well done, with very high production values. It shows trail riding in a very positive light and it acknowledges the historic rights of way that we continue to enjoy in a responsible and positive way.  I wanted to show the film to a wider audience and to recognise everybody who helped and was involved in the trip.

I love motorbikes, I enjoy film and have a fantastic venue (with a bar) and some of the best trails in the UK on my doorstep.  What’s more I am in the film and I wanted my kids to see daddy the motorbike film star!

Did you set out with any bigger objectives?

Like all things TRF it is down to us members to make stuff happen, and I organsied the ‘film thing’ in that spirit.  What I got out of the event was a bunch of new riding buddies, and as many invites to go and ride with my new pals all over the country.  As a organisation we really should foster relationships with our neighbouring ‘fellows’ and make it easier to go and ride in different places, sharing GPS routes and the like.

I also think we should get out amongst the non-riding public to show case what we do in a more positive light in order to gain greater acceptance, and an acknowledgement that what we do is a valid, harmless way of enjoying the countryside. That a reduction in our rights is a break against many years of tradition and access entitlements for all.

How did you make it happen?

It really was a very simple process.  The key is to find the right venue, and Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is a fantastic place which hosts the internationally well known ‘Kendal Mountain Festival’ every year, so it was ideal, and they were really keen on the concept.  I found a couple of other great films made by willing film makers, then advertised the event though Facebook and the Cumbria TRF mailing list. Easy.

I must confess to a bit of a wobble on the evening when people arrived from far and wide.  This had better be worth their efforts!  However the feedback I received has been very generous and wholeheartedly positive.  So I needn’t have worried.  The event ‘sold out’ and I ended up turning people away, which was a shame, apologies to those folk.  I asked for donations to cover the costs of the event, which were more than met, so there is £60 going to the TRF Fighting Fund.

Will you be doing something similar next year?

I am not sure.  There is a fabulous Adventure travel film festival run by Austin Vince and Lois Pryce in London.  But maybe there is scope for a northern version, and the trail riding is certainly better up here!  I did enjoy the informal, just a bunch of mates having a laugh and a few beers approach, and would not want to loose that.  I like the idea of an outdoor, camping event which the Lakes would be perfect for.  I would welcome thoughts, offers of help or recommendations for venues in and around the Lake District.

I would also like to thank the lovely people at Triple D in Kendal who came along and provided a base for the ride outs on Sunday, opening up especially for us.  Thanks also to my pals Andy H and Andy R, and the guys from Cumbria TRF for leading the rides on Sunday, much appreciated.

"I travelled 200 miles to the Lake District Film Festival to watch three short motorbike films on the Saturday night in Kendal, in a small cosy cinema which had sofa's for seating and later had drinks with a few TRF members.

The next day some of us got together to ride out on the Sunday as planned. Being the last one to turn up I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of three groups had waited for me. I turned up on my Yamaha WR250R which is the road version to find the local lads riding light KTM's. We set out from Tipple D Motorsport in Kendal, we did a couple of lanes before getting on the Windermere Ferry where we bumped into the group that left before us. On the ferry I heard one man say they were planning on going up the lane with the stone Fox on top. I thought to myself 'I walked that about ten years ago, how am I going to ride my bike up that!?'

Coming from East Anglia where I'm used to riding on fast, flat sandy or chalky tracks the terrain here was certainly a challenge with steep bouldery tracks going up and down the fells. It was tricky but I only dropped the bike once in a controlled manner (no, really)! The lanes got bigger and better through-out the day, one track we had to work as a team and drag our bikes under fallen trees which had blown down in recent storms.

We stopped at the Cafe Meadowdore in Coniston where all three groups (18 bikes in total) had stopped for lunch, to the surprise of many a walker and cyclist but the staff working in the cafe were more than happy to serve us!

The views looking down into the lakes were breath taking and the Aberdeen Angus cow's were quite frightening until I realised they wouldn't move for us or because of us. So we simply rode around them.

I'd really got up to speed with the lanes on the way back. I had an awesome day trial riding with some great people, some of them becoming friends. I finished the day by going back to the hotel, having a nice swim in the pool and a sauna before making the journey home. I would highly recommend riding the lakes and I'm sure I'll be back again next year!"

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