My apprehension was completely unfounded
I was a little apprehensive when offered a place on a BikeSafe workshop. Having ridden in ‘my youth’ and returning later in life to biking, I was aware that things move on and bad habits develop.
As the day of my workshop grew closer, I became increasingly aware that as traffic/motorcycling police, the officers who deliver these workshops have almost unrivalled ‘saddle hours’ and experience.
That said, my apprehension was completely unfounded, as I found the Northamptonshire Police motorcyclists (PC Tall and PC Hutchings) to be very approachable, understanding, and very much aware of the real world of biking.
Both officers were good at putting us at ease, and I quickly felt more relaxed and less apprehensive. The theory class at the start was well delivered, and made the physics of riding a motorcycle relate to what happens when cornering, braking etc.
Supportive, non judgemental, and concentrated on the positives
The initial observed ride was a bit nerve wracking to start with, but as I settled in and concentrated on what we learned in the theory session, I felt more comfortable. Our first fuel stop was a good time to get feedback and discuss putting theory in to practice. Again, our workshop leads were supportive, non judgemental, and concentrated on the positives, in a consultative way, rather than being critical and listing our faults. Any feedback given was always linked back to the importance of motorcycle roadcraft.
Personally, my main takeaway is the importance of positioning correctly on the road (1,2 &3) and I’m more aware of positioning for the next corner when exiting the previous corner and adopting a ‘heads up’ approach.
Overall, BikeSafe has improved my riding and I actively put what I have learned into practice every time I ride. My thanks to your officers – a top team and you can’t help feeling their passion for helping motorcyclists to be safer and more skilful on the roads, which I now am.
Attended Bikesafe with Northamptonshire Police (Sept 2023)