Superb vehicle for teaching the basics of advanced motorcycle riding
As a long-established Advanced Motorcyclist and IAM RoadSmart National Observer I have supported West Mercia BikeSafe for a number of years and watched it develop with great interest. BikeSafe is not only a superb vehicle for teaching the basics of advanced motorcycle riding – which in turn helps to keep riders safe on the road, but also encourages riders to move onto a full advanced training course either with IAM RoadSmart, RoSPA or one of the accredited BikeSafe providers. This was my own route into advanced riding when I completed BikeSafe in May 2007.
Whilst BikeSafe is a police-led motorcycle safety initiative, of note is that for some participants, there has at times been a perceived credibility gap between advanced police motorcyclists and the non-police observers who volunteer their time in support of BikeSafe. With this in mind the West Mercia BikeSafe team have piloted putting its non-police observers through an intensive one-week non-response police riding course – the rationale being to ensure the highest standards of riding, observation and feedback for those select few non-police observers who meet the criteria required of BikeSafe Accredited Observers.
Enlisted to complete this excellent police non-response motorcycle course
I was privileged to be amongst the pilot group enlisted to complete this excellent police non-response motorcycle course. This comprised classroom elements covering the system of motorcycle control, cornering, slow riding, advanced observation and overtaking as well as over 800 miles of on road training, all under the watchful eyes of PC Simon Damm, an advanced trainer with the West Mercia Riding and Driving school.
Two-way radios were used for the instruction and instructor commentary was also used to good effect. This was a brilliant learning experience which built on my existing advanced riding knowledge.
Having the opportunity to learn directly from advanced police motorcycling experience was both interesting and humbling. There were many takeaways and tips which I will make use of in the months and years to come. The correct use of off-siding and slow control skills, whilst under pressure, were significant revelations and learning points.
From my perspective as a volunteer National Observer I feel very confident that my future BikeSafe candidates, as well as my IAM Associates and Masters Candidates will benefit greatly from the knowledge gleaned from this excellent initiative and I know that the others who completed the course feel the same way.
Acknowledgments: Marcus McCormick, Dave Williams, Jeremy Tromans, Andy Bennett, and Simon Damm.