LENGTH: 2 or 3 days

BASE cost: $1,400


ADV classes in Virginia are here to stay! 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 at our Virginia Adventure Training course.  The difference between the beginner and expert is the depth of understanding and the terrain those skills can successfully be applied to.  The Virginia Adventure Training course 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.


Penmerryl Farm is a privately-owned facility that specializes in hosting equestrian and adventure motorcyclists alike. Located only 170 miles from Washington DC, this is a destination location for DC-area ADV riders looking for a place to stay and practice their off-pavement riding skills. When attending the Virginia Adventure Training course with us, you have the option of staying in a Penmerryl Farm lodge room, private cabin, camping or bringing your own RV.

Penmerryl Farm offers over 6.5 miles of trails, several training fields, the “spaghetti trail” plus an ever-developing terrain park including ruts, ditches, hills, logs, steps, and more.

Training with us also includes a Thursday socialization dinner, daily breakfast, 24hr access to the the onsite BYOB tavern with a pool table, TV and social area, as well as a buffet dinner during graduation. 



Designed for all riders, ranging from new-to-dirt to dirt-experienced.

You will develop your off-road skills through a better understanding of forces and physics rather than the traditional step-by-step instruction. Turn gross motor skills 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".


Designed for riders who enjoy learning in more difficult environments (not intended for riders who have only ridden graded gravel roads).

You will learn critical details that will lead you to excel in your riding skills. Understanding the "why" is critical to mastering your machine.

We cannot guarantee all lessons will be taught, nor that all riders will be able to complete the training due to the location and style of training as it requires mental and physical fortitude. The ADV Camp is not a prerequisite for the Virginia Challenge training but is highly recommended.


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 ADV ride while teaching you how to eliminate the #1 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 other professional organizations for 11 years.

You will also use the skills learned from the Virginia Adventure Training course 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 Virginia Adventure Training course.


Which tires should I have on my bike?

That depends. When the ground is dry or damp, the terrain can often easily be ridden on street-biased adventure tires but when it rains, even more aggressive knobbie-style tires may have a difficult time gaining traction in wet grass and mud.  

It’s important to note that it has been our experience that the least-experienced riders commonly arrive with the least-capable tires and ultimately struggle unnecessarily and/or hold back the entire class when it could have been a simple solution to arrive with tires that ensure they would get the most out of their investment in time and tuition. Due to this pattern, we have implemented minimum standards with recommendations.

A complete list of tires and our recommendations is found here.

Do I have to buy new boots?

Maybe… The one piece of safety equipment that does not cross over to riding on dirt are street boots which are often no more than leather slippers with padding and are not acceptable at any of our off-road training events. Crashing at speed during training is very rare but falling over or planting a foot while learning isn’t.

Riders wearing less than an off-road boot (adventure touring boots are NOT off-road boots) are more likely to experience a foot, ankle and/or lower leg injury along with a higher level of foot fatigue. 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. We strongly encourage the most protective boot you can afford. Note: We cannot allow you to ride if you choose to bring a boot that offers no off-road crash protection. A complete list of boots are found here.

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 protective 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 most protective motocross boots. Also, by practicing in off-road boots, you will learn how much pressure is needed to shift and/or brake. After all this is why you are taking training.

Do you rent motorcycles?

No, not anymore. You will need to bring an appropriate bike to your Virginia Adventure Training course whether it’s your own, borrowed, or a rental.

We don’t have any direct relationships with any motorcycle rental companies, but Eagle Rider does rent ADV motorcycles nationwide.

There are also individuals and apps that may give you access to a motorcycle for training. Keep in mind, you may be tipping over (hopefully not crashing) during training so make sure your borrowed bike has crash protection. It is uncommon for riders during adventure training courses to sustain damage, however the Challenge Training events are more risky to equipment and minor damage is more likely for riders on the lower end of the learning curve.

Do I bring my own food?

We contract with Penmerryl Farm to provide you with a hearty, homemade breakfast every morning. Coffee and snacks will be available throughout the day as well.

Dinner on Friday is on your own, but we do host and provide a welcome dinner Thursday night and a graduation dinner Saturday night – if you have food allergies, email Penmerryl Farm for their awareness: gluten free and vegetarian preferences are already accommodated.

Restaurants are only a few minutes ride away. Some riders bring food they can prepare at camp with a camp stove and the three bedroom lodges onsite have kitchens.

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 or ground clearance.

Dirt bikes and small dualsports (like the Yamaha XT-250) are also welcome, however since training is geared towards larger ADV style bikes, activities will be much easier on a small bike. 

Three-wheelers and sidecars are not suitable due to trail width and the types of lessons we teach. All bikes must be street-legal.  If you choose the optional Sunday School, you must have a valid license plate.

Will water be provided?

Yes, we provide water at all times.  You can fill up your water bladders or refill water bottles as needed.

We will not have access to enough water to refill your tanks if you are bringing an RV. There are limited RV hook ups (must be reserved directly from Penmerryl Farm).

Is there a hotel nearby?

Camping is included with your Virginia Adventure Training Camp tuition but lodging is not. Penmerryl Farm has an assortment of beautiful lodge rooms and full cabins for reservation.  These accommodations are blocked out for ADV Camp riders until a few weeks before class begins. Please reserve and pay for your cabin directly with Penmerryl Farm as we do not manage cabin reservations.

If you prefer to tent camp (included) or camp in your van/car, 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 there are showers and toilets available for campers. 

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.

May I arrive early?

Bret and Paul will be onsite several days before class getting things ready, but will not be available to socialize until the official arrival time at 3pm Thursday afternoon. If you’ve booked a cabin, you may request an early check-in.

Am I too old to take your class?

Possibly. Learning to ride a motorcycle off-pavement can be mentally and physically challenging but that applies to all riders regardless of age. It is not uncommon for us to have one or more riders their 70’s attend the Virginia Adventure Training courses and do well while much younger riders struggle due to poor physical conditioning or mental perseverance.

With that said, age does matter and we recognize that our endurance does decrease over time, but that is no excuse to not keep improving your life through learning. It is easy for us to adapt and work with riders of all ages and physical abilities during the Virginia Adventure Training courses and still help them grow as riders. So in short, it’s not whether you are too old, it’s a question of arriving with the proper mental attitude.

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.

How large are your classes?

Depending on the number of staff and how many instructors we have available, classes may have up to 18 riders. A normal class will have 2-3 instructors, including Bret Tkacs.  Both Bret and Paul are your primary instructors and are both 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 the size of the class.

Can I bring my family with me?

Family members and significant others are welcome to stay with you during your Virginia Adventure Training course. Dogs are also welcome, however since this is also 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.

May I take the class double-up or with my pillion rider?

Maybe… 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.

What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy is found here.

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 welcome and graduation dinners, gasoline, alcohol, travel or medical insurance,  campsites for large trailers or RVs, hotel rooms/cabins, gratuities or your motorcycle – we do not provide motorcycles.