Sunday, 14 June 2015

Northumbria TRF Camping Weekend 13/14 June 2015

An annual event for all the TRF members is the camping weekend in Northumbria, Lucy & I were lucky enough to be around for the weekend and went along as run leaders to help out.

We arrived late of Friday night to find the field near Hexham almost full with caravans, vans and bikes. BBQ's were on the go and the more organised guys had their own little bike garages set up, gossiping away with old & new friends beers in hand!!

We had decided to trial a couple of bits of kit for the weekend, so I'd sorted out my tarp and some tables and chairs, got the cooker sorted for the van and just generally set the back of the van up as a rough camper.

Once the bikes were unloaded and the tarp in place we wandered around saying hi to lots of folks we'd never met before.

Once we caught up Nic, one of the Northumbria TRF organisers, we knew we were taking out 7 guys form around the country, 3 of whom knew each other and rode together fairly regularly. Bob, the oldest guy there, from Great Yarmouth on his Suzuki DR250 was a character, with loads of stories about various rides and his beloved Toyota truck. Dino & Alison were old hands at the TRF thing and both lovely people riding a Honda CRF and a Yamaha Serow. Steve was a retired farmer riding a Honda NX 400 Falcon, great little bike and very well ridden too, Rob had his WR250 and was pretty handy too, leaving Paul with his new KTM 350 EXC-f.

Saturday morning dawned cloudy but dry, so as a fair few were heading north, I decided to do the Alston run today and the northern run on Sunday. So at 8.30 we all met up for the first time properly outside our van and set off. I cocked up almost straight away with the nav, turning right instead of left and then heading down into Hexham, completely forgetting nobody needed fuel, so a quick U turn and we were back on track.. all the usual lanes including Limestone Brae, Isaac's tea trail and a bunch of the smaller lanes to get us to Alston.

Lunch at Hartside saw us ready to tackle the classics of Tynehead and Coleberry Moor, with a blast across Blanchland and into Slaley, where we did a loop round a couple of new sections for me, some quite rocky and rutted, but great fun.

By now, a pretty tired group were flagging so I decided two more lanes would see us finished for the day, so Juniper called with it's steep descent and a now very shallow river crossing, then the last lane of the day, nice and easy and next to the camp ground. Beer was now calling!

As we arrived the rain started and Greg Villalobos turned up with the BBQ, so of course that signalled heavier rain, which carried on for a lot of the night... still everybody got into the spirit of things with the Lincolnshire group having a good crack and a few beers, the Northumbria boys getting wet stood around the smoking barrel stove. They're all tough lads though and used to it!! ;-)

Sunday dawned very wet in the morning, our group weren't too fussed about going out, but at least 30+ folk went out for the day, with various plans of the Alston run, a Bellingham run and some I never found out about. One lad was on his KTM 990, what a monster but to him, it was a la'al wee thing he just chucked around like a 125!!!

On the whole a great first time at a TRF event for us, we met some great new people, whom we've swapped email addresses with plans to meet up/ride with again, we had good fun sorting kit out for the van and used the whole thing as a test run for the VINCE next month. We also managed to see a lot of people's work on their vans and set ups, finding some cool little bit of kit... lots of good ideas on show. There must have about 60+ people went out on the ride out on Saturday, with everyone back safely with stories to tell...

Magic, Biking is so cool!!

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