This allowed the riding day to entirely focus on practical on-road work
I’ve been on a number of BikeSafe days over the last dozen years or so, and I’ve never failed to bring something worthwhile away from them. Previous formats have been to have a group classroom session, followed by on the road observed rides. This works well, but for my BikeSafe workshop with Northamptonshire Police, the format changed slightly by the sending of video clips, on all the separate aspects of motorcycle roadcraft, a few days before the booked date. This allowed the riding day to entirely focus on practical on-road work. I felt that this change was a very positive one. We all learn in different ways, and it suited me.
Geoff Watson, my police observer, was very personable and easily understood. I have damaged hearing and I was grateful that he remembered this during the day. Helmet off, earplugs out and hearing aids in, is a bit of a tiresome process. Geoff was observing two motorcyclists, as usual, and they were from either ends of the experience spectrum. I have over fifty years on two wheels, and our colleague had only passed her test six weeks prior to attending on the day. Personally, I was delighted to have a novice rider along. It did not compromise my day, and I was frankly astonished at her level of ability.
Changing places every twenty minutes or so, with swift roadside debriefs
On the road, we set off in the familiar student – observer – student formation. Changing places every twenty minutes or so, with swift roadside debriefs. This was better than a much longer single stint ‘out front’, that had been my experience on previous BikeSafe days. The regular changeovers gave me the opportunity to better study Geoff’s technique after the debriefs. Geoff was a great relaxed tutor, his routes were well-chosen, and it was an enjoyable day’s ride. What did I take away? Better positioning in towns and villages, especially passing rows of parked vehicles. We also had very useful conversations that validated many other aspects of safe riding.
I'm certain that it has helped my stay in the saddle as long as I have
I recommend BikeSafe days whenever I get the opportunity. I’m certain that it has helped my stay in the saddle as long as I have. And on the subject of Hi-Viz kit: I know it’s not universally popular, but I’d rather be a live canary than a dead blackbird!
Attended BikeSafe with Northamptonshire Police, September 2023
New confidence in my riding and a desire to continue to improve
Hutch, it certainly was a pleasure to spend the day with you and practise our craft in what were undoubtedly varying conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has given me new confidence in my riding and a desire to continue to improve it. A great day, thank you.
Anon – attended the same Northamptonshire BikeSafe workshop, September 2023