Andrew Anderson © 2013 The Happy Biker All Rights Reserved
I attended a BikeSafe day at Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS) Winnal in Winchester ran by PC Martin Vine & PC Dave (GS rider) Dyer of Hampshire Police on 22 September 2013.
#1. I wanted to know more about BikeSafe as since 2011 when talking with other bikers who do not yet want involvement with any motorcycle club. I have recommended BikeSafe as it “bridges the gap” and gives information to help biker help themselves in riding safety. #2. I would also welcome all advice on my own riding to help me be a better biker.
08:00 to 08:30 First meet and greet then started with
checking your licence and bike documents, which you
were asked to bring on the day some two weeks prior. Then a look over you bike to make sure all was legal. No one was sent away, so all must have been in order!
08:30 to 13:00 Now the start of the theory info.
We were informed of IPSGA and how the system works and this was complimented by an excellent moving presentation of Hazard Awareness, Overtaking, Bends left & right, stopping and reading the road, this was not completed in a fashion of sit and watch their was active discussion and interaction on all that was being shown to us to help us understand how we can help ourselves and others.
As this was a 1 day event, it was split into two, morning theory and remainder road practise, we were advised from the beginning when we go on the road, it is not an assessment but observation to help you, this is true.
13:00 to 16:15 Road practise, this was with a Police Motorcyclist PC Holmes a nice officer with a Welsh accent. Each officer has two rider each and they swap around being in front and behind the officer who remains usually in the middle so he can give his observations to us about our riding and we stopped infrequently for his comments.
After my first session, he could see that my riding was different and that I was right on the correct ride lines for the situation and road, he said jokingly I was a spy and this was just all clean fun , a little later he saw the IAM badge on my bike jacket and had a smile and then asked a few questions.
PC Holmes also demonstrated a part of an advanced riding technique which he thought we would benefit us from being shown on how to gain a better view by riding on the other carriageway to gain a much extended view. I spoke about this to PC Holmes saying that the IAM request we do not do this. His reply was; well that is advanced riding which we are taught, I said I used to do this when safe to do so as I find it much safer to gain an extended view and feel uneasy by refraining, he again said that is advanced riding and we are taught to do this, it’s up to you if you wish to use this.
We spoke about our overtakes and the two stage and three stage overtakes as per RoadCraft, he commented on that perhaps I was a little too close and was breaking the two second rule, we then spoke about this some more and I advised I feel safer from not being so close to the vehicle I am about to overtake, he said you still need to keep the two second rule there, I said this is what I used to do and now will go back to.
On one of my four vehicle overtakes advised I went out too soon as there was a gravel driveway opening and should have delayed by another second or two, I agreed with PC Holmes as at the time I had trouble thinking where that was so agreed with his observation comment. Later in the day realised where it was and whilst being a driveway there is a pile of gravel stopping vehicles if they got in there from coming out PC Holmes is right on this as the type of overtake manoeuvre is the classic where a vehicle does come out turning left and BANG collision, the worse part is I did asses the situation and could see it but still went ahead, so should have refrained.
When riding on Dual Carriageways stay over in the near side lane unless overtaking, and not to go out for the view, even though there is no traffic behind you.
BikeSafe does “Bridge the Gap” and is well worth doing if you feel you do not as yet want to get involved with a Motorcycle Club, however if you would like to take your riding further PC Martin Vine did mention that a chap from the Solent Advanced Motorcyclist will be at the finish (Loomies) with a clip board to sign you up to the IAM but do not feel obligated as it up to you.
A great day and well worth it as knowledge is invaluable and better still when put into practice. BikeSafe is a police led motorcycle project that is run by most Police forces throughout the UK, see BikeSafe links.
My advice of BikeSafe, go on it do the 1 or 2 day course as the information given out by professional Police Riders could help save your life!