Royce's Triumph Adventure Experience, South Wales
When a lot of us think of riding bikes we think of tarmac, and if we think of off-roading we think of quads or trials riding. Since shows like "Long Way Round" our eyes have been opened to throwing large machines across vale and dale, or in Triumph's case, quarries! The Global Adventure Training Academy, based in South Wales at the foot of the Brecon Beacons, is introducing riders across the globe to a new style of riding - including our very own Royce!
Royce was one of ten of the top sales staff from Triumph Dealerships across the UK and chosen to go for a day's training at the new academy in South Wales. Here's what he had to say!
"First thing to say, I'm a total novice when it comes to off-road riding. I'd never even considered off-road riding, so this was a really interesting thing for me to be chosen for. I had no idea what to expect.
The first thing they did was kit us out in all the top Triumph gear, which was pretty great. I think Rob has the same boots we were issued, so he was impressed when I told him that back at store. We chose our bikes, I went for the 800 XCA, and they start training at square one. They did a full intro to the bike, and how to stand on the bike, because of course everything we did all day would be done stood up; this wasn't a casual Sunday ride! Then 30 mins later we heard 'Follow Me!' and we were off! Couldn't believe it, really, but it soon became clear that this is just the practical bit of the introduction, they weren't throwing us down the side of mountains before lunch or anything. They took us around a sort of Off-Road CBT course which put tested the fundamental things we'd face out on the trails.
After all that, they took us out onto the Quarry course. Being a quarry, we tackled a lot of loose stones and rocks and such, but I was impressed by how the Tiger took it all in its stride. We went from there on to the road and rode down to the forest trail, which was a different kettle of fish altogether. We were lucky that the weather had held out so it wasn't super muddy, but it was still a good challenge with the uneven ground beneath and they even took us through a stream, which was a bizarre experience. All of this was before lunch, by the way!
We stepped it up a notch after lunch back out on the quarry working on hill skills. They taught us all how to climb and negotiate the hills and how to stop, without falling off! After that was descending the hills, learning how to use the brakes and engine together so you don't just fly down or slide all over the place. Again, all without falling off.
We took that and moved onto some moor riding which, again, was totally different but definitely not as difficult as it could have been due to the great weather.
I had an absolute blast, I completely understand why people do it, and how they get hooked! I can't praise the team enough down there. Everything is so well put together that at no point do you feel so out of your depth you feel in danger. You're totally equipped to do the courses they lay out, and you feel you are, importantly.
The real stars of the day, though, were the bikes. They're so nimble it's unbelievable. I see these bikes day in day out, I know the specs, I know the reviews, and even I was completely blown away by just how capable these machines are.
I went with an open mind, not knowing at all what to expect, and I was totally thrilled. I'd definitely do it again!"
We're all pretty jealous of Royce, it sounds like an absolutely great day. Keep reading for more great photos!
The Triumph Adventure Riding Experience is based in Ystradgynlais, South Wales
The Global Adventure Training Academy!
Little History in the Foyer
Team Talk before we head out
We made it to the top, thankfully...
...and we got a top view when we got there
yes, the Scrambler actually scrambles!