Sunday Muddy Sunday - Motorbike enduro practice day at Driffield Image
Trail Riding

Sunday Muddy Sunday - Motorbike enduro practice day at Driffield

The serious amateur enduro riders are shaping up for the busy racing season. The practice day was held at the army training site just outside Driffield. It is a vast area with woodland, steep-sided hills for tank training and a disused open quarry.
Early March
The day at Driffield was organised by Wayne Braybrook, a former motorbike trials rider and later, supremely successful pro enduro rider. These days, he lives near Pateley Bridge and, as an ACU approved Enduro Coach runs a motorbike training and event business. Check out his website. You couldn’t wish for a friendlier, more amenable bloke. As we arrived, a few other vans and trailers (some more often used for transporting sheep) were already there. The guys were unloading their bikes and warming up the engines. The noise and the anticipation were building. The bikes were beautiful, the subject of much work and attention prior to the practice day. As I looked around the paddock, I could see a rainbow of Yamaha blue, Kawasaki green, Honda red, Suzuki yellow and of course, KTM orange.

The Honda CRF 250L is not an enduro bike

I am inexplicably drawn to the world of enduro. Is it the bikes, the blokes or the fact that it just looks so cool? So not for the first time, I found myself in the wrong place on the wrong bike. My 250L is now pimped with a Yoshimura exhaust and a 13T front sprocket but it just is not an enduro bike. It is a trail bike. However, there was no reason not to give this enduro course a go. It is more about the rider than the bike, surely? Wayne said, “No problem, just give it a go. Stay relaxed, stand on the pegs, don’t grip with your knees and let the bike move under you”. Cool. “How hard can it be?” I thought but without conviction.

The course started on twisty

A woodland singletrack which was greasy with the early morning wet. Predictably, I set off with tense shoulders, knees gripping the bike for grim death and managing to choose all the wrong lines. As a smallish female, I felt I was fighting with the bike. The course opened out onto the tank training area with a short, steep climb ahead. Great relief when I crested the top and descended sharply. I then headed over a pleasing rhythm section towards the quarry. The entry looked a challenge with a narrow, off-camber climb but it turned out to be easy enough. More woodland singletrack and then back to the wide, twisting track which completed the loop.
Wayne Braybrook ACU approved Enduro Coach at Driffield

Keep at it, girl

During the day I completed five laps, slowly improving my speed and confidence. My friend did a lap on my bike. He said that he felt the weight of it compared with his Honda CRF X but as an experienced enduro rider with some 25 years riding under his belt, he pushed it much faster and was impressed with the smooth power delivery. His regular riding mates were also there and I enjoyed watching their speed and skill as they negotiated the course along with the other 130 riders. On the way home ,we went for a beer and then to the jet wash. A small mountain of ‘Driffield concrete’ washed out of the bikes leaving the garage forecourt a messier place. Sorry. I have set myself a couple of targets following the day. Firstly, I need to get faster. Secondly, I need to get faster. Maybe I’ll book myself onto one of Wayne’s training courses as well.


6 Mar 2014

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