Out in the Welsh mountains, at Triumph’s Adventure Experience, there’s no hiding from the winter. It’s cold. It’s muddy. It’s wet. As part of Triumph’s ‘Don’t Hide Away’ campaign to encourage riding this winter, two riders donned the best cold weather gear and used the best tools for the job – Triumph Tigers.
Richie Norton, is a Yorkshireman who runs The Strength Temple, a Bristol-based company that champions healthy living and mindfulness.
Richie jumped on a Tiger 800 to tackle some of the worst conditions at Triumph’s Adventure Experience: “It was the rainiest week Wales had ever seen. We still rode every day because I love to ride. Just prepare properly and do it right and you’ll be absolutely fine. You miss a lot of the fun if you just ride on sunny days.
“I felt privileged to be involved. It was super exciting to me when I saw the Triumph Adventure Experience. The guys really know their stuff. We got into the trees and through the mud – it was extremely muddy and very slippery.
“The water was so deep, thick with mud and stones. There’s so much to see up there. You can go for really technical sections and steep climbs. The adrenaline was pumping. I’d never been on a Tiger 800 before and the more I started to play with the bike, the more I trusted it and could get the back wheel sliding.
“The winter is a great time to ride, especially off road. The more mud the better and with the right gear, like the Triumph clothing we were wearing, it’s a great experience.
“We were allowed to simply get out there and get stuck in and the Triumph team were there to capture the experience. The camera was rolling and me and Ethan would chat about which lines to take and we just rode. We focused on capturing genuine riding.”
Ethan Roach has had his fair share of motorcycle adventure. He started his off-road riding in Vietnam and has since ridden long distances in New Zealand and Scotland.
“My love of adventure was sparked when I bought a bike in Vietnam and rode through the mountains to the Chinese border. I realised how much I enjoyed getting off the beaten track. I love to travel and just take a tent and go; for me it’s pure freedom. You might be wet but getting out in the open makes you feel truly free. It’s the feeling everyone’s searching for.
“I’ve had Bonnevilles before and I’ve done a little bit of off-road, but I hadn’t done anything quite like this. The mist came down from the top of the trees with a bit of sunlight beaming through – it was really atmospheric.
“The fog was hanging in the valley and in the forests. The river crossings were mad. There was one point where Richie looked like he needed a snorkel! The Tiger 800s are so good and they pretty much take care of themselves. You can push through the worst terrain and they cope with it. Conditions were quite harsh, but with great gear and a capable bike, it’s a dream.
Triumph’s Adventure Experience instructors were incredible. They took us to the best locations and gave us invaluable tips – they really are pros and know how to ride.
“Richie was a good inspiration. He’s really chilled and keen to get amongst it. On these bikes it’s quite easy to find yourself in places where very few people would get without a bike like this.
“To be on a bike is natural. Richie and I both agreed, if we could be out there in the woods every day we would. Just ride, whatever the weather.”