What to expect from an off-road training

What to expect from an off-road training

Deciding to take an off-road class is not always easy, and one of the reasons for it is the unawareness of what to expect once you reach the school.

Off-Road training is by definition a class, however, due to the risks and kind of activity involved, it is not like being back at our classroom taking History with Miss Jane. 

With that in mind, if you have never attended a training like this, the idea of what expects you may be daunting.

Will I be pushed to do something that scares me?

Will I get hurt?

Will I be able to keep up with the group?

Those questions and more are normal for many newcomers to the sport, and they shouldn't go unanswered, so today, I will tell you exactly what you should expect from a good off-road training.



It all starts with precise information.

 

Once you arrive at the school, your instructor or welcome guide should be able to inform you about:

  • Their instructors: 

    Who they are, what their experience is, as well as certifications, both in teaching as well as in first aid. 

    Any extra and personal info about them is not necessary per se but it is always a nice touch that will help you connect with them.

 

  • The training grounds: 

    Before reaching the school you should be aware if there is lodging and other amenities, as well as know if the school's training grounds have permanent exercises or training areas like logs, sandpits, or water crossings, however during the presentation that should also be addressed.

    You should be informed on how big the training area is, if the classes are to be held in a closed park, or on public roads, where the exercise areas are, where the lodging is, as well as food, toilets, and other amenities are.

    Some schools have training grounds and amenities spread across many acres, so having all of that information is key for you to be safe, feel comfortable, and have fun.

 

  • Their curriculum: 

    It should be clear what they will be teaching you and the day's schedule.

    It doesn’t matter if it is a one day workshop or a ten-day training, you will be more relaxed if you know what to expect.


  • Safety:

    Some schools have first aid rooms, dedicated EMT's, instructors certified in first aid, a mix of all, or any other kind of safety measurements in place.

    You should be informed of them, as accidents can happen to anyone when off-roading, including to your instructor.




The training itself



A motorcycle is nothing more than a tool we use to ride, and as such, you cannot “get to work” if you don’t know how to operate your bike.

Good schools will start by explaining and helping you set up your bike, and trust me, a bike set up for us is an entirely different machine than the one we rolled out of the dealer with.

Depending on the kind of training you are doing, your instructor may also talk about bike gear and accessories.

That is not always possible with most training schedules, but it is nice when schools offer that either as workshops or as an integral part of some types of training.

Now that you know what to expect from the school, and your bike is set up for you, its time to hit the training grounds, and regarding those, there are some topics you should expect to be addressed.

Balance and control are crucial, and should cover most of the available time for entry-level and even intermediate training.

Going fast is a trick many apply to overtake certain difficulties, but it is not necessarily the right approach.

Yes, speed and commitment are many times the answer, and the rule of “when in doubt, braaaaaapp it out” is applicable, however, not without a clear explanation as to why.

That explanation, however, is subject for a different article.

What is important to retain is that for you to be proficient in riding, you need to learn how to control your bike slowly, as slow as you can.

That means that the skills you are about to train should be approached slowly, systematically, and coherently with the curriculum you were presented beforehand.

You can’t start to brake-slide if you can’t perform emergency braking, have an excellent triangle position, and have great control over your footpegs, for instance.

The skills learned need to be logically linked and trained slowly.

With time and practice, those skills will sink into muscular memory, and without paying much attention to it, you will become faster and more proficient.

During this entire process, regardless of the level of difficulty of the training, there is something you should expect, better off, demand.



Your fears should never be undervalued.



Even though some people react better to being pushed bard, that shouldn’t be your instructors' approach from the get-go.

I don’t mean you should expect to be coddled, but if you are afraid of an exercise, or find yourself with any block that doesn’t allow you to commit to a task, pushing you to do it, or bluntly saying “it's easy,” won’t help.

Riding is dangerous and off-road riding has extra layers of danger, as such, forcing you to do something is a risk, telling you its easy, is a lie.

Its pointless how easy or hard something is to your instructor, classmates, or your riding friends back home. You are the one riding, so if it is hard for you, expect that position to be respected, and to be offered solutions to overtake your adversities.

On the other hand, to expect and demand limits, you also need to define them for yourself.

A school, training program, and instructor can only go so far, and at the end of the day, you are the only one that can set your limits, and you shouldn’t be afraid to express them.

Owning your limitations allows you to learn faster and enjoy more. 


Overall, an off-road training should be a comfortable, safe, and respectful experience, where you will be offered a series of exercises and situations designed for you to evolve and learn, and no one needs to be afraid or scared of that.



What to expect from an off-road training


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