Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Ride?

I want to ride the green lanes around the Surrey and surrounding area, so what are green lanes?

  • Green lanes are ancient un-surfaced roads; we only ride where we have a legal right to ride, so your bike must be road legal (insurance, tax and MOT)
  • These are Byways Open to All Traffic, known as BOATs or Byways, and Unclassified County Roads (UCRs). These are shown on ordnance survey maps although some may have restrictions on them.

What Bike Should I Buy?

There are a large number of trail bikes of varying weight, capacity and power, so what bike should I buy?

  • We find that a light weight, small capacity bike is best for trail riding, something between 200cc and 400cc. Over the years we have found that a 4 stroke with electric start is preferable.
  • We do not recommend big trail bikes as they are too heavy and too powerful. Though a few people do use these.
  • Come along to a club night to ask what our members ride if you are not sure or discuss what you are considering buying.

Club Ride Outs?

There are ride outs for club members; we will also take out non-members once to see if they like trail riding. These ride outs are led by a volunteer from the club, the leader for the ride out will decide the route, duration and difficulty. There is a request for a small donation to the club funds for everyone attending the ride out.

  • Club ride outs are advertised on our Surrey TRF Forum.
  • Ride outs are limited to 6 riders, and places must be pre-booked; contact the run leader to book a place.
  • We have three types of ride outs: “Easy”, “Inbetweener” & “Intermediate”. The Easy runs are ideal for new members/beginners, Inbetweener runs are for people who have been on a few easy rides and want something a bit more challenging and “Intermediate” runs are for more experienced riders.
  • We also organise specific rides for Beginners or easy training rides.
  • Trail riding is more difficult than it appears bear this in mind, persevere with it and you will enjoy it more with each ride.
  • Go at your own pace, the leader will always wait for you, and feel under no pressure to continue the ride out if you feel that you are tired or want to stop, Just tell the ride leader.

Before the Ride – What Will I Need For my Bike?

  • OK, so you bought your bike, how do you prepare it for trail riding and what spares do you need to carry?
  • Slightly slacken off the brake & clutch levers, (at the mounting with the handlebars) so they move when they hit the ground, rather than breaking. (These can break even with wrap around hand guards fitted)
  • Fit wrap around hand guards to protect your hands and levers.
  • Try the lever and hand guard position standing up on the bike to ensure they are in the correct position. You can also ask your ride out leader to check them for you.
  • Full tank of petrol
  • Enough tools to carry out small repairs on the trail. You will probably fall off and have to straighten something or repair a puncture. I.e. Spanners, Allen keys, screwdrivers, plyers, 3 tyre levers, spare tube (a 21” tube will fit both wheels) small bicycle pump, spare spark plug and spark plug spanner. Note: Check all the nuts and bolts on your bike to ensure you have the correct size spanners.
  • Recovery service, to get your bike recovered if you cannot fix the bike.
  • Spare levers. (These can break even with wrap around hand guards fitted)
  • Fit a small tool bag to the rear mudguard for your tools.

Information sheet / FAQ sheet – Trail Riding – South London & Surrey TRF

  • Adjust your tyre pressure to around 16-18 psi. If you go lower you will get more grip but more chance of a compression puncture.
  • If you have never ridden off road before, make sure you have ridden a few miles on the road on your bike before going trail riding. This is so you get used to the bike, brakes, handling and riding on knobblies. Also wear your trail riding clothing and kit to get used to it.

Before the Ride – What Clothing & Equipment Will I Need?

Depending on the time of the year Trail riding will either be wet and muddy or dry and dusty or both!

Also there is a chance that you may fall off so you need to reduce the risk of injury to yourself (the

same as if you were riding on the road!).

Essential –

  • Moto X boots, (you need these to protect you from rocks, tree stumps, roots and when you fall off the bike)
  • Eye protection (Goggles, Visor or Safety Glasses to protect you from stones, branches and dust in the eyes).
  • Knee & Elbow protectors to protect you when you fall off
  • Waterproofs to keep the mud/rain off you.
  • Water – see below.

Recommended –

  • Moto X type helmet & goggles, which is light and allows air to circulate
  • Body armour.
  • MX or enduro gloves as these are lighter and more comfortable than road gloves. If you canbring a spare pair of gloves as gloves get wet and muddy.
  • Camel Back or similar rucksack/drinks system will keep you hydrated and you can carry tools/spare gloves/tube/pump. Like any physical activity make sure you do not get dehydrated.
  • If you do not use a drinks system make sure you carry bottles of water with you. You will get hot on the trail, so do not overdress.

Ride Out Information/Rules

  • Turn engine off when meeting horses
  • Slow down to walking pace when meeting walkers
  • Close gates
  • At all junctions or turnings ensure that you wait for the rider behind you.
  • If you do get lost or separated, wait where you are, we will come back for you.
  • If you are a new rider, do not attempt to keep up with the more experienced riders if they are going faster than you feel comfortable with. We do not want you to have an accident, we will always wait for you at the end of the Byway or at a suitable part of the Byway.
  • Your Run Leader will brief the riders before the ride and remind everyone of the rules.
  • You can ask your run leader or experienced group member to check your bike before you start to ensure tyre pressure is ok, levers are in correct position etc.

Riding Tips

Trail riding is different to riding on the road, and some of the techniques will seem alien to you. After a few rides they will feel as natural as your road riding skills.

  • Stand up on the bike with your knees slightly bent, elbows bent. Trail bikes are designed to work best when the rider is standing up; look at Trials, Enduro & MX riders.
  • Grip the bike with your legs.
  • Look ahead so you can see what’s coming up, and prepare for it.
  • Use the appropriate gear for the speed/terrain, do not use too low a gear, this is a common mistake.
  • You need to ride at an appropriate speed so that your bike glides over rocks, roots, etc, if you ride too slow the bike will hit these obstacles and you are more likely to fall off.

Information sheet / FAQ sheet – Trail Riding – South London & Surrey TRF

  • Attending an Off road training school is a good idea before you come out trail riding, or you can ask your leader and he will give you tips before and throughout the ride.

What Maps Do I Need?

List of Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps for the main areas where we ride:

Landranger Series 1:50,000 scale

  • Dorking & Reigate. No 187
  • Aldershot & Guildford. No 186
  • Winchester & Basingstoke. No 185
  • Chichester & the Downs. No 197

Explorer Series 1:25,000 scale

  • Dorking & Reigate. No 146
  • Guildford & Farnham. No 145
  • Crawley & Horsham No 134
  • Basingstoke & Alton. No 144
  • Winchester & the Meons. No 132.
  • Haslemere & Petersfield. No 133

The Explorer maps are more detailed and easier to read, but you would need to carry more maps with you.

We recommend that you use a map holder to make navigating easier, and mark up the Byways & UCRs with a highlighter pen.

You can bring your maps to club night and use our Master Maps to mark up yours.

Club Night

We meet: the fourth Tuesday of each month, 8.30 – 10.30pm.

Ripley British Legion, 25 Rose Lane, Ripley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6NE

Come along and say Hello, we are happy to talk and answer any questions that you have.

Joining the TRF

You can try out trail riding with the Surrey TRF group without joining the TRF. But if you enjoy the run & want to continue riding with us we would expect you to join the TRF.

Join on line from the National TRF web site. (Also linked from the Surrey TRF web site) or see Steve Sharp at club night for a membership form.

When you have joined the TRF please let us know by saying hello on our new members section of the forum or emailing your membership number, telephone number and email address to Chris Edwards & Steve Sharp. See contacts section.

Contact Details

  • Steve Sharp Group Representative: Tel: 020 8773 4204, 07840361348
  • Chris Edwards New Member Co-ordinator: Tel: 07973 782807
  • South London & Surrey TRF Group web site
  • South London & Surrey TRF Group Forum
  • National TRF web site

Forum Instructions

  1. Go to the Forum and click Register (towards the top right).
  2. Follow the prompts, questions enter a username, password etc. Then click Submit.
  3. You will then receive an email from SurreyTRF, you may need to check your junk mail folder to find this. You must then reply, providing a sentence about trail riding. This is then checked by our administrator and only when they receive and verify your reply will your account be activated.

Once you’re set up there are some useful features:

Information sheet / FAQ sheet – Trail Riding – South London & Surrey TRF

# The ‘digest’ – this will email you all Forum posts every day, week or month at an hour you can choose. To set this up, log in, then click `User Control Panel’, and then click on the `Digest’ tab where you can set this up.


To receive notifications of postings sent to your email address please carry out the following:

  1. Log in to the Forum – Select a main category i.e. Runs & Meets, Political & RoW, and select “Subscribe Forum” at the bottom of the page.
  2. You will have to subscribe to each main category you wish to be notified about.

To quickly and easily catch up on the most recent discussions:

  1. Bookmark the Forum, so it’s in your favourites list or bookmark bar. Then every so often, use your link to log in.
  2. Log in to the Forum – and then select “View active topics”
  3. You will see posts in the last 7 days by default, to see older posts there is a drop down, towards the bottom centre of the page.