Who said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? Well they weren’t exactly old dogs. They were a group of 20 or so riders of all backgrounds and experience who decided to succumb to their curiosities and dispel the myth that Roadbook Navigation is a dark art reserved for Dakar competitors… and new tricks they did learn! This was a weekend for popping the Roadbook cherry and finding out what all the fuss over Adventure Rallying is all about.

Our new Roadbook Navigation Training Programme included a series of online videos to explain the basics and everything you need to know to get you started.  Participants completed the video training in their own time ahead of the weekend, and on the Saturday they took their knowledge to the trails.  No better way to learn a new skill than to dive right in and start practising as soon as possible.
Now, loading a roadbook into the holder for the first time can be a bit of a daunting experience.  First and foremost you want to keep the paper scroll dry, as a soggy roadbook can easily lead to tearing down the track.  So their first challenge was to get them securely loaded into their holders in a torrential downpour.  A credit to the riders, they got the job done, and equipped with the custom made RallyMoto Roadbook holders, GPS trackers, and smartphone app-based tripmeters, they were soon hitting the trails of Salisbury on their first Roadbook adventure.
A couple of short practise loops gave the riders a chance to get a feel for the terrain under their tyres, get a feel for the navigation equipment, and test out how waterproof their waterproofs really were!  Once they were happy, the trips were reset to 00.00 and off they went on a 120km route to simulate one of our Adventure Cannonball events.

The commitment and positivity of the group was rewarded with an afternoon of sunshine and blue skies which thankfully dried us all out ready for the Salisbury 200 Adventure Cannonball the following day in which the training group were invited to take part. With the announcement of the impending lockdown on the Saturday evening, Sunday’s event was embraced with an extra sense of appreciation, knowing that we were all facing at least 4 weeks of no Rallying. So a combination of Roadbook rookies and experienced RallyMoto regulars all hit course on the fine Sunday morning with great enthusiasm.  For the most part they made light work of some slippery trail conditions which had been impacted by heavy rainfall on previous days. Marshals were stationed at these sections to help guide the riders through, although in the end it was courage and competence that saw them all ride through with relative ease.

For those who attended both days of riding, it was many hours in the saddle and a huge learning curve.  Nothing gives us greater pleasure than to usher in a new wave of RallyMoto members, to impart our knowledge and to share our love of Roadbook and Adventure Rallying with new faces.  Now that we have a few weeks ahead of us with no events, what a great opportunity to study the tulips, service the bikes, maybe even trawl the internet for some new rally kit…?  Whatever you do, make sure you’re good to go for the next round of Adventure Rallies and Cannonballs.

Well done everyone, and welcome to the club!