NewsTRF & Trail Riding

Heritage Library

History, Heritage and Posterity

Trail riding as a pastime is rooted into our national heritage. Ancient roads were the transport network of past inhabitants of this lovely country and indeed, this county. Unfortunately, like the railway & canal network, they have been gradually changed over the years. New technology, including materials and vehicles and the ever changing needs of a population have seen huge changes in the ways roads are used. The sealed road network has taken over as the more important method of transport and the unsealed roads have become used more for pleasure. Long may that continue as far as we are concerned!

Sine the invention of the internal combustion engine, which was then attached to a frame with wheels on it, humans have sought out places of interest, challenges and found uses for the vehicles that have been built. The first motorbike was made in 1864 by the Michaux Brothers, with Diamler Reitwagen producing the first combustion engine in 1885. As soon as 1907 is the first recorded ‘Continental Tour on Motorcycles’. This was an article in the Motorcycle Journal written by E.M.Baxter and detailed a trip from London to Lucerne.

Competitions seem to have started around 1901 with the first Lands End to John O’Groats ride was completed by Hubert Egrton on a Werner Motorcycle. 1904 saw the first London to Edinburgh Trial which had 70 bikes entered and 34 completing the trip!

Here in Cumbria, 1913 saw the first of the International Six Days Trial which started from Carlisle and went around various parts of Cumbria. The route included many of the High Passes such as Hardknott, Honister and Gatescarth Pass. The first recorded ladies team to win the ISDT was in 1927.

Cumbria TRF was founded in 1972, two years after the National TRF was founded. This was in direct response to a group of agitators who were trying to close the access by motor vehicles to almost everywhere! Since then, both the TRF and Cumbria TRF have managed to attract a fantastic array of members, including major local business entrepreneurs, farmers, engineers, doctors etc etc. Modern day finds the membership just as varied and everyone is enthusiastic and passionate about trail riding, their county and helping out.

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TRF Ride 1970’s. Crossing Little Langdale Ford.
1983 Water Park, Grizedale Forest
1980 Kentmere – TRF Ride out day.

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News ArticleArticle on trail riding by John Ebbrell in Motor Cycle Magazine, September 1964View here
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Magazine articles from Motorcycle Magazine. Articles include the reliability trials in Cumbria from August 1913 View Here
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1927Press clippings and articles relating to trials and trail riding from 1927 View
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Homemade slide show with commentaryA charming presentation of Cumbria TRF rides between 1979-1985 by Peter Dealey View here