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Andrew Anderson © 2012 The Happy Biker All Rights Reserved

Ride 1 – 23 March 2013

After showing documents a brief “alleged getting to know you chat” which was more about the mentor telling me about himself than him asking questions on me though I did tell him I had received some very bad family news before this meeting (he ignored this) and being told by this mentor he had just passed his senior observer test again and was a better rider than his Chief Observer.  He also advised he would be very close to me when following me (this I am used to and expect a distance of between one to ten meters).

An eyesight test was required, no worries except for;

#1 Eye Sight Test.

Do you normally wear glasses, yes all the time, please could you read that registration plate over there, which one?  The far one, I cannot see it from here, ok we will move closer (three parking bays) ok perhaps read that one (different car) it’s ok I can read the first one now and the second one.

The first one was XXX meters way over the recommend distance and so was the second at XXX meters.

I asked could you read the first car registration number, yes he replied, I asked what from back there where we stood originally? Oh no, so why did you want me to read that one? To see how far you can see.

Is this what an IAM mentor does, start to demoralize me and reduce my confidence with asking me to perform tasks he cannot!  Strange start, what's going on?

Highway code rule 92.

#1a Ride 1 – First Part - Completed

We then rode the local roads for a while, his closeness to me was some 100 to 300 yards behind me most of the time, it was difficult seeing if he had his indicators on at that distance and only once did I overshoot a turning this was when he was in excess of 300 plus yards behind me, he was only close on occasions when he had caught up!  I am used to Alec and SAM seniors being some 3 to 30 feet behind me.

#2 Ride 1 - First part De-brief.

#2a So how was the ride for you? fine just a bit fast round one of the bends a bit tighter than what I thought, no problem though as there was no oncoming vehicles. There could have been, that could have been disastrous if a car or lorry had been coming, he ranted on for a while before I managed to say, there was nothing coming as I could see through the trees before I got to the corner, he looked at me and very slowly said NO, I again repeated I could see through the trees and all was clear, NO he said again, I assure him that I could, he then shook his head and said No, then he started lowing his head and if I tried to speak just said No, waited a bit with lowering and shaking he head and said No again and then repeated the action.  Then keeping his head lowered so I could see his scalp if I tried to speak he just repeatedly said No, and every time I tried to speak in my sentence would say No, and again if I tired No, and again No.

Whether you know body language or not, this is a block sign, so knew I was not going to get any communication with this person, so just said ok, as I knew he would then speak properly, he then stated “I have been riding that road for years and know you cannot see through the trees”, ok I said whatever you say, mentor repeated again “I have been riding that road for years and know you cannot see through the trees”, me “if you say so”, mentor “I do”.

He then rattled on again about that particular piece of my riding, I said again “ I could see the road was clear as I looked through the trees”, this only started him off again as above in fact on this one areas it went round and round at least three times before I just said “Whatever you say, ok”.  I just wanted this barrage and belittlement to stop, I knew what I was seeing as I had to put up with this sort of demoralising none belief and body language for years from my childhood (say no more), my time with the Pearl Assurance taught me how to understand signs of body language and when it is by unmindful or deliberately means, the mentor was doing this deliberately.

Video clip, can you see through the trees?

Clip by Clip, can you see through the trees?

Please note my camera is 24” below my eye height and 12” to the right of centre, so my eyes could see more than my camera!

#2b next, was his telling me that I corner I had taken was not correct?  After a brief description from the mentor I knew what corner he was talking about.

I advised I had taken the bends correctly and was reducing the radi on the corner; he started his head shaking and going no, no, no again.  So just said “whatever you say, but I was reducing the radi”, I also then said “some of my riding you may not understand unless you have been trained by ex-police motorcycle officers”, no good as he then just started to again shaking and lowering of the head with the no, no, no again.

During this the mentor stated: “I have been riding that road for years and know you cannot see through the corners”.

It was now that I had closed myself off from this mentor as I knew nothing I said was going anywhere and was only making me very, very sad by his actions if I spoke, so now I had cut myself off from him to give any answers / explanations as no matter what I said I was only going to receive more humiliation.

Video clip, can you see across the bends / corners?

Please note my camera is 24” below my eye height and 12” to the right of centre, so my eyes could see more than my camera!

#2c He then asked why I had not overtaken a van and told me I had a number of opportunities to do so, I advised that I did not have a number of opportunities due to road circumstances and speed of van, but the last one was close to an overtake and did not do the overtake due to the circumstances.  I was about to advise why but then was getting over talked when already speaking, so I stopped speaking and allowed his over talk to carry on. He advised “I know this road very well and you could have overtaken the van a number of times”, no there was only one and due to the circumstances would not proceed with the overtake.  This time I just got two no .  .  .  , no from him with finishing “I know this road very well and you could have overtaken the van a number of times”.

I knew again I was not going to get anywhere so just stopped and thought, what's the point of this?

#2e He then rattled on about this and that I answered a few of his questions but I got the impression he was not listening to my answers.  My thoughts of him listening came to be true in his ride report that shows he did not listen to what I said.  He rattled on more, then tried to give me reassurance “saying my ride was safe apart from that one corner” by then I was not really interested and really thinking, what have I done? What have I let myself in for? What should I do about this situation?  Wishing I had put my video camera on.  So he gave a brief on what route we were going on next, then went off to the loo, leaving the café when he was in the loo thinking, shall I just go? Just leave go home?

No, let’s put a camera on and see what happens!  This I did to which he was not aware of as the camera was away from his bike and view.  I had already switched the camera on to record.

#3 Ride 1 - Part Two  – Completed

#4 De-Brief of part two

On stopping I did not hide the camera and from where he was could have seen me turn it off and put it away. On starting his debrief said that was better and went on to re-run the route through his head then stopping and telling me “you passed that Post Office van far too close you should have been much further away, I replied I was away from it enough if the door had opened then it would have missed me”, no you were too close, I said again “no I was far enough away, and any further would have put me in danger of the in/out driveway of the house opposite the van”.  Mentor; “No in my opinion you were too close and should have made a wider berth of the van in case the door opened and you should have been further away from the door”.  I said confidently “I will not put myself in danger just to appease you, my distances were fine for missing the van door should it open and allowing time to react should a vehicle pop out from the dive, I will not put myself in danger”, “If you do not like what I say I will show you the video and you will see I am correct”.  Mentor “ok, really!  Ok, well I give you that one”.

During this he also advised that the IAM Masters is looked at as the same as a Class 1 Police Motorcyclist, this mentor is now talking trash, unless he was a Class 1 Police Motorcyclist, which I doubt and will have to ask him.

Video clip, am I too close to the van?

What about the oncoming danger not mentioned!

#4a Was your camera on? Yes, for the whole of the second part of the ride, thought I’d put it on after what happened after the first part of the ride, he now seemed a little unnerved by this.

#4b Then after recalling another part of the ride said that roundabout, (described which roundabout so I knew what he was talking about), as you crossed over it the car coming up to it did not know what you were doing and you riding path of going straight across confused him, you need to go around roundabouts not straight across them.  When you come up to it you need to be in the second lane (the mentor was, I could see in my mirror, as he was in the second lane across the roundabout) I did not say anything on this other than ok, as by now due to the mentors body language and words he had managed to shut me off from any discussion, besides I thought mentors were supposed to be excellent riders and communicator and would understand my riding actions without me having to describe why I did this? Why I did that?

Video clip, is this driver confused?

Looks like this motorist may be an advanced motorist!

#5 Link to Mentors Report - Ride 1 (my comments are in yellow)

I was feeling what has this mentor got against me?  What have I done to annoy him? What is he trying to prove?  What else is going on I am not aware of?

IAM Masters Mentoring - Ride 1