Dear Chief Constable Adderley, I feel compelled to write to you after a recent experience of a BikeSafe course with the Hampshire force on Sunday May 2nd – in this case organised by APS Robin Tompkins. Before I go too far – can I let you know this email is *all* good news.
I had originally tried to get on a course in March 2020, I was booked but of course it had to be cancelled due to Covid. While I was disappointed about the resulting wait to get on a reorganised course – I can hardly be bitter when other people have suffered so dreadfully during the pandemic – all I had to do was wait.
I have to tell you that the wait was very worthwhile. Although we were not able to meet in person for the morning briefing/tuition, the new BikeSafe eLearning was more that worthwhile and gave plenty of food for thought for the observed ride that followed. I will admit that I thought I was well prepared by studying prior to the course – but the depth of knowledge when explaining, and with the aid of video, demonstrating, the value and depth of the Information element of IPSGA made we aware that I had a lot to learn. The rest of IPSGA was covered of course – but the importance of ever changing information element was shown to be vital and fed everything else.
I should point out that I am no spring chicken. If anything I am your worst nightmare having come back to biking after 40 years having never passed my test back then. I am recently retired and keen to feel the wind blowing in what is left of my hair.
Despite having plenty of time to study online, the face to face morning briefing was remarkably enlightening. The session was also entertaining, something that I know is important having spent 30 years educating people in my previous job. People are far more receptive when in a good mood and I feel the general banter was totally well aimed and received. Having been enlightened we had the afternoon session to look forward to, and to be honest this was the part I was slightly nervous about. I am daft enough to worry whenever I am being followed by the police while driving my car – I doubt if I am alone in this. I spend more time looking at the speedo than I should, and the rest of the time slyly looking at the mirror to see if they are still there. God knows why – I rarely speed, and when I do it is through ignorance rather than deliberate. Having retired early I need to watch the pennies – and slow acceleration and adherence to speed limits does wonders for the fuel consumption, as well as making me more laid back. Nonetheless just the thought of being followed by a policeman for a few hours does make one think!
Having met these guys I have even more respect for police motorcyclists now, not only for the professionalism displayed - but also the knowledge, the patience, the good humour and the grace with which they conducted themselves and made both of us feel very relaxed.
I met with PC Clyde Jerrard at Whitchurch Police Station along with another course attendee at about 1pm. PC Paul Freeman was also coming along in this case, I think possibly as a mentor. I cleverly allowed the other attendee to go in front first, I thought I was therefore able to sit at the back and relax, however Paul was behind me. I didn’t need to worry – it was a truly grand experience. Three riding sessions, three really informative de-briefs and the smile didn’t leave my face until I went to bed that evening. As well as learning, I had a ball. Having met these guys I have even more respect for police motorcyclists now, not only for the professionalism displayed – but also the knowledge, the patience, the good humour and the grace with which they conducted themselves and made both of us feel very relaxed. I learned a lot, and I learned it while having a really enjoyable afternoon in the saddle. I might add that overtaking while being followed by two fully liveried police bikes is something I may never experience again, but felt bloody great!
Sorry for the lengthy email, and I won’t go on any more – but as I say – I do feel compelled to write and say thank you so very much for allowing this programme to happen. I learned a lot, enjoyed it a lot, and have even greater respect for the policemen we are lucky enough to have in the UK. I am old enough to know we must respect policemen and I always have – even though they are now all younger then me!! This whole day showed the force in its best possible light as far as I am concerned.
Apologies for the lengthy email. Please accept and pass on my grateful thanks to you, as well as those involved on Sunday May 2nd. I shall endeavour to keep the shiny side up. Phil Boulter
Good Morning Phil. Thank you for the recent email to Chief Constable Adderley in respect of your experience at the above event. As Mr Adderley is off on annual leave, I am responding on his behalf. It was really good of you to take the time to let us know how it went; in-particular, the favourable comments about our new e-learning platform were very welcomed. An incredible amount of hard work has gone into that from teams across the UK so to hear it was well received is something I take as an endorsement of its quality. I’ll pass on your well wishes to Tompers and his team (Hampshire Police) and hope that you continue to put into practice the hints, tips and skills they shared with you on the day. Ride safe and thanks again for getting in touch.