When I bought my first Tiger back in March 2011, my plan was to ride it overland to Hong Kong. Quite early on, I signed up to several forums so that I could get information in order to prepare for that trip, but soon discovered that my dream adventure would not be so easy… then life got in the way and the whole dream was shelved. During that time, the orange Tiger and I did venture out on the trails and byways around Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire but I soon realised that the bike was way too heavy and my talent was way below what it needed to be to manage such a powerful bike on anything but tarmac.
So, it’s been 5 years since I’ve ventured off the black stuff and life has moved on again. My second Tiger, that has only seen tarmac, is going up for sale and a brand new CRF250 Rally sits in the shed with a plan for a friend and me to ride to Mongolia and beyond in 2020. This weekend, it was time to get the bikes baptised with mud!
Over here in East Anglia, we don’t have too much in the way of mountains or even hills for that matter: what we do have is Thetford forest and a couple of hundred miles of trails. We didn’t want to do anything too stressful so I suggested doing a bit of the PeddarsWay, a 46-mile trail that starts just east of Thetford and goes in a north-northwest direction, ending on the north Norfolk coast by Hunstanton. Anyway… we ended up doing virtually all of the trail apart from a few miles at either end which are not accessible to vehicles.
Considering that neither Mike or I had been off-road for 5 years or more, we were both amazed that neither of us fell off. That could be down to the fact that the trail wasn’t that technical or it could be down to the fact that the bikes are more suited to this kind of riding than some 230 kg touring bikes!
We both agreed that we had a great time with laughs aplenty. We were also amazed that we didn’t see anyone else out on bikes as the day was perfect. It was a little drizzly in the morning but once we had a few miles under our belts, the sun came out and it was the perfect day: not too hot and not wet.
We arrived at the end of the accessible trail and rode to the nearest village to find a chip shop where we had a much-needed tray of chips and curry sauce. Then it was back on the bikes for the long ride back home. In total, we covered around 195 miles, setting off from home at 9:30 am and returning at 7:30 pm; exhausted but happy with our day.