Adventure Training Camp
Welcome to the Bret Tkacs’ Adventure Training Camp in Greenville, Virginia. We are looking forward to training and riding with you. This is a great experience that will help you better understand your motorcycle and improve your precision riding skills while making new friends and future riding partners. Please read the following information closely to answer your questions prior to arrival. Access a printable PDF of the daily schedule here.
Our basecamp and training areas are located at Penmerryl Farm at 273 Penmerryl Drive in Greenville, Virginia. This is a privately-owned 129 acre equestrian and motorcycle property nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, only minutes outside of Greenville. Follow signs towards the “Resort” once you enter the property.
Please do your best to arrive between 3pm and 6pm. If you arrive outside these hours, Bret may not be available to greet you.
Tenting and parking are included in the cost of the camp, and you will have access to a single shower and bathroom in the Tavern onsite. If you prefer, there are cabins available with a full kitchen, or double-bed lodges for an additional fee. You may reserve a lodge/cabin or reserve an RV site by calling Penmerryl Farm at (540) 292-8539, as these options are not included in the cost of the camp. In addition, there are hotel options in nearby Staunton.
Penmerryl Farm provides a full breakfast each morning as well as a Thursday night welcome dinner and a Saturday evening graduation dinner. Fruit, water, and snacks (that accommodate several dietary preferences) are available throughout the day, but lunches and Friday night dinner is on you.
Recommended Camp Supplies:
→ Tent, sleeping bag and pad (if camping)
→ Cooking gear and food (if desired)
→ Headlamp / light (if camping)
→ Snacks for special diets
→ Ibuprofen or similar
→ Rain gear / hot weather gear
There is a big difference between minimum gear requirements and what we recommend. Training will be at slow speed in the heat of the day; ankle and knee protection is paramount. It may be very hot or cold and raining, so check the weather just before heading out to join us. Consider wearing dirt bike padding under a light shirt if you are sensitive to heat. If you are attending the additional off-road training day, full riding gear is important as you will be traveling at street speeds.
Recommended Riding Gear*:
→ Full face helmet like the Shoei Hornet X2
→ Eye protection (goggles/riding glasses/visor) like the ArcLite Optics
→ Motocross or enduro type boots like the Sidi Crossfire 3 or the Alpinestars Tech 7
→ Neck brace like the Leatt Road Neck Brace (designed to fit over your gear)
→ Jacket/Pants with CE2 padding (hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, back) – Bret wears the Rev’It Defender 3 GTX or the Rev’It Sand 4 and Christina wears the Klim Artemis or the womens’ Rev’It Sand 4.
Minimum Riding Gear Requirements*:
→ Eye protection
→ Adventure or Enduro boots (hiking, work or street riding boots are not acceptable due to the increased likelihood of ankle injuries)
→ Long sleeved shirt and shoulder/elbow armor – Paul wears the Leatt 3DF AirFit Hybrid
→ Long pants and knee armor
The Adventure Training Camp teaches critical skills that can help all levels of riders, from absolute beginners to experts. Speed hides flaws; before we can be fast, we must first master slow. We will be spending a lot of time riding at slow speeds and working extensively on balance and clutch work. You will soon find yourself expertly going through challenging sections that cripple faster riders.
The attitude at the Adventure Training Camp is humble. Everyone is likely to drop their bike at least once and your fellow participants will help you pick it up, as that’s the attitude that we as adventure riders should have. In addition, if you are a slower rider your speed will not hold anyone else up. Everyone has the attitude of riding their own ride as each person is there to increase their own riding skill, not to judge the riding skills of others.
You will have the opportunity to adjust your handlebars, levers, and other items during the bike setup session at camp. This will occur after you’ve ridden so the instructors can see what you need to adjust. Tools are available, however you will need to bring the tools you travel with so you can put them to use. Expert advice is freely available during this time.
Panniers are highly encouraged to be removed during training as each activity will take place very near to the basecamp. Falling with panniers increases the risk of pinning your leg or foot under the bike. If you would like to practice riding with panniers, please talk with Bret during class as he will first assess your skill level.
Recommended Bike Set-up*:
→ Tires appropriate for the weather/terrain (50/50 or more aggressive are recommended due to the high likelihood of moisture):
Aggressive option: Anakee Wild
50/50 option: Mitas E07+
Budget option: Shinko 804/805 or Kenda Big Block
→ Lever protection (handguards or short levers)
→ Radiator/body protection (crash bars)
→ Engine protection (OEM or aftermarket skidplate)
→ Short windscreen (or remove at camp)
→ Tool kit (we have extra tools for you to borrow)
Although knobby tires provide excellent grip, all of the activities at the Adventure Training Camp can be easily performed with street biased tires in dry conditions. Bret and Paul often teach on street tires just to show that technique is first and equipment is second. You will be riding on dirt and rock where knobbies (or more aggressive ADV tires) will certainly help in this type of terrain. If the forecast is rain, then those without knobbies may get stuck.
As you already know, riding a large motorcycle off-road can be physically demanding, especially riding slow speeds during the heat of the summer. Even though our riding methods are focused directly on reducing riding effort and using less energy, you might find you are too exhausted to complete an activity or need to end your day early. You are welcome to rest at camp and rehydrate or sit back and watch the other riders while taking in the lessons being taught. Bret highly encourages riders who are off their bikes to continue learning by staying near him as he teaches – you can learn a lot from simply watching other people ride and listening to feedback given to others.
Sunday Training Outride:
The optional training outride (additional tuition) is where you put together all the skills you’ve learned throughout the camp, apply them in real-life scenarios and learn lessons that cannot be taught in a closed training environment. You are welcome to leave extra gear, panniers, etc. at the campground.
Although it’s preferred you sign up beforehand, last minute sign-ups and cancellations are fine as long as there is space available. It’s difficult to know how you’ll feel come Sunday morning after spending the weekend using muscles you didn’t know existed.
The total distance of the outride is under 100 miles, which will accommodate any stock fuel tank, so there’s no need to carry extra fuel. Make sure you fill up Saturday evening.
You are welcome to bring a spouse or significant other with you if they would like to watch the training. It’s highly recommended to train with a passenger if you are intending to ride with one. If you would like to practice riding double-up at the Adventure Training Camp, we do not charge extra for passengers but you will need to let Bret know if you haven’t already noted it on your registration.
For questions, please email us at email@example.com
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