Whether you are new to adventure riding or an ADV rider with extensive experience, the same skills are needed to master your motorcycle off road. The difference between the beginner and expert is the depth of understanding and the terrain those skills can successfully be applied too. The ADV Training Camp offers an environment where you can immerse yourself in learning and – regardless of your experience or background – grow to new heights in your skills and understanding.
Training will take place on Class 1 and Class 2 terrain with focused training occurring on elements of Class 3 terrain. Depending on interest, skill level, and the type of terrain available for use, some riders may be invited to ride some additional features with Bret.
Early check-in begins at 3:00pm on Thursday afternoon. You will have time to check into your room/cabin or set up your tent and get acquainted with your fellow participants and training staff.
At 7:00pm we host a welcome dinner (no cost) where you can meet your fellow riding partners as well as the instructors (including Bret) and discuss what specific skills you will be learning. It is HIGHLY recommended to join us for the the Thursday evening meet and greet.
Penmerryl is only 170 miles from Washington DC. At this location, you have the option of staying at this incredible privately-owned farm in a cabin, lodge room, tent camping (no cost) or your RV.
Training starts at 8:30am sharp (7:30 check in for late arrivals) and takes place in large, grassy fields with natural features and trails. Snacks, water, and electrolytes will be available throughout training.
You will develop your off-road skills through a better understanding of forces and physics rather than the traditional step-by-step instruction. If you are an advanced rider, you will learn critical details that will lead you to excel in your riding skills. Understanding the “why” is critical to mastering your machine.
Every class is a little different as Bret, Paul, and Greg are always trying new techniques to teach you more effectively. The objective is to learn the following skills:
– Seated and standing riding techniques
– Motorcycle ergonomics… setting up your motorcycle to your body
– Low-energy riding techniques
– Traction management skills
– Control of power delivery
– Slow-speed balance and maneuvering
– Lifting (single person and multi-person)
After a good nights’ rest, your mind will reset and you will be ready to build upon the skills learned the previous day.
This day is about turning the gross motor skills from day one into fine motor control techniques that will reduce your energy use and make your bike feel lighter and more agile. Various terrain features will be utilized to tease with your brain as you learn how to evaluate each obstacle. All of this is done without the need to remember the “right formula”.
Depending on what terrain is available, lessons may include:
– Narrow track riding and ruts
– Loose surfaces (sand, mud, or loose rock)
– Trail turns
– Hills (ascending, descending, starting, stopping, u-turns)
– Slide turns and other useful skills that will set you apart from other riders
Time to leave the farm and take your new skills to the real world and join us for the Timewarp class (affectionally called Sunday school by the instructors). This 4-5 hour class takes you on a real ride while teaching you how to eliminate the number one cause of accidents on pavement and on dirt. Using local roads to develop advanced visual process and terrain reading you will learn to eliminate information overload. These advanced techniques are identical to those we taught to United States Army Special Forces and others for 11 years.
In partnership with the advanced terrain reading skills you will be learning you will also be using the skills from camp to to achieve your riding goal of using less energy, riding with less stress and removing the “surprises” that catch many riders unprepared. Get a taste of what adventure riding is all about, done correctly with the right skills.
This optional training day is provided for an additional cost and is only available for the students who have attended both days of the ADV Training Camp. There is a ten student limit unless three instructors are available.
1. Can I bring my Honda Grom? (or fill in the blank with any other kind of motorcycle):
Of course! This class is not exclusive towards so-called adventure bikes or dualsport bikes. Whichever bike you want to learn how to ride off-road, you can bring to class. However, you may not be able to participate in all activities due to limitations in suspension and clearance.
Dirt bikes and small dualsports (like the Yamaha XT-250) are also welcome – since training is geared towards larger bikes, activities may be easier for you. Three-wheelers and sidecars are not suitable due to trail width and the types of lessons we teach. All bikes must be street-legal unless trailered to the training site each day. If you choose the optional on-trail ride, you must have a valid license plate and skid plate (OEM is fine).
2. Which tires should I have on my bike?
That depends. When the ground is dry or damp, the terrain can easily be ridden on street-biased adventure tires but when it rains, even the more aggressive tires may have a difficult time gaining traction in the wet grass and mud. Bret and Paul normally ride and train on 50/50 tires such as the Mitas E07+ or similar.
3. Do I have to buy new boots?
Maybe. Street boots are like leather slippers with padding and are not accepted at the training camps. Crashing at speed is very rare during training, but ankle and foot injuries are likely for riders wearing less than an enduro or MX boot. When learning new skills, slow speed tip-overs are not uncommon due to the inability to immediately apply all the lessons/coaching. This can result in a foot caught underneath the bike or getting twisted when doing an unintentional rapid dismount. An ADV boot with a stiff sole is the minimum requirement but we strongly encourage the most protective boot you can afford. Enduro/MX boots are preferred.
Hint: The more you can feel your controls and the more you don’t mind walking in your boots the less protective they are. Some people choose not to wear heavier boots because they can’t feel the controls. Being able to “feel” the controls underfoot is not essential. You can easily determine if you’ve shifted or if you’re braking even while wearing the heaviest motocross boots. Also, by practicing in dirt bike or motocross boots, you will learn how much pressure is needed to shift and/or brake.
4. Is ADV Camp set up near the training area?
Yes, the cabins and camping area are quite close to where we will be training and you can easily make a quick trip back to your room or tent during class.
5. Do I bring my own food?
Penmerryl Farm will provide you with a hearty, homemade breakfast every morning. Coffee and snacks will be available throughout the day as well. Dinners are not provided aside from the welcome dinner Thursday night and the graduation dinner Saturday night – if you have food allergies, please email Penmerryl Farm for their awareness; food preferences are already accommodated. Restaurants are a short drive away; some riders bring food they can prepare at camp with a camp stove. The three bedroom lodge does have kitchens.
6. Will water be provided?
Yes, we provide water at all times. You can fill up your water bladders or refill water bottles as needed.
7. What is the lodging situation like?
Lodging is not included in the price of ADV Camp unless you tent. Penmerryl Farm has an assortment of lodge rooms and cabins for reservation. These accommodations are blocked out for ADV Camp riders until a few weeks before Camp starts; please reserve and pay for your cabin directly with Penmerryl Farm as we do not manage cabin reservations.. If you prefer to camp, you have a multitude of choices – either in a field, in the trees, or inside a old horse arena. You can choose to camp near other campers, or you can find spots farther away. There are no established campsites, but you will have access to an indoor bathroom and a shower that will be shared.
8. Can I bring my RV / camper van / bike trailer?
There are RV sites available, both with hookups and without. Please reserve and pay for your site directly with Penmerryl Farm. Self-contained camper vans and trucks with small bike trailers are welcome to park at our camping area at no additional cost.
9. May I arrive early?
Bret and Paul will be available to greet you starting at 3pm Thursday afternoon. If you’ve booked a cabin, you may request an early check-in.
10. Am I too old to take your class?
Maybe. Learning to ride a motorcycle off-road is mentally and physically challenging, but we have seen numerous riders in their 70’s do well while much younger riders struggle due to poor physical conditioning. Age matters, but it’s not about age. You can’t change your age but you can change your health. We strongly encourage you to come in the best physical condition you can manage. We teach low-energy riding techniques however learning by its very nature is not low-energy.
11. How large are classes?
Depending on the number of staff and how many instructors we have available, classes may have up to 18 riders but no less than 12. A normal class will have 2-3 instructors, including Bret Tkacs. Both Bret and Paul are full time professional instructors with more than 42 years of motorcycle skills instruction and are extremely skilled at managing and coaching riders on a personal level no matter how large the class is.
12. Can I bring my family with me?
Family members and significant others are welcome to stay with you. Dogs are also welcome, however since this is a working horse farm, make sure you get permission to bring them to your cabin. As much as we’d like to accommodate those accompanying you, we need to focus on the paying customers and your family can spend time with you before and after class.
13. May I take the class double-up or with my pillion rider?
There is no straight answer to this question as it depends on many factors. Please email us for a more specific answer to your situation.
14. Is there a motorcycle rental company nearby?
We haven’t built any relationships with nearby motorcycle rental companies, but Eagle Rider does rent ADV bikes. Keep in mind, you may be tipping over (hopefully not crashing) during training so make sure your borrowed bike has crash protection.
These questions have all been asked by other students. If you find your question has not been answered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question may be added to this list.
Included in your cost: Instruction and personal coaching, snacks (fruit and snack bars), beverages (including coffee), on-site camping for tents and small trailers, daily breakfasts, graduation dinner, dedicated support vehicle for emergencies.
Not included in your cost: Optional training day (must be purchased separately), lunches and dinners aside from the graduation dinner, gasoline, alcohol, travel or medical insurance, campsites for large trailers or RVs, hotel rooms/cabins, gratuities or your motorcycle – we do not provide motorcycles.