Mentors Report - Ride 1
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Andrew Anderson © 2012 The Happy Biker All Rights Reserved


Mentor Report - Masters Preparation Ride 24th March 2013

Hi Andy,

As promised please find below a few notes from yesterday’s ride.

I appreciate it’s very daunting having a new person follow and critique your ride, but hopefully over the next couple of trips that influence will lessen and lessen. However I felt that the ride was a good first outing and showed me what potential you have to get a respectable test pass, even a distinction. It is obvious that you have been riding for a long time and at no time did I see you fluster or make a mistake with the controls of the bike. Furthermore apart from that one corner, the ride was 100% safe and at no time were you a danger to yourself or any other road user. As we discussed the Masters test is a significant step up from the IAM test, as now you will be compared to a Class 1 Police Motorcyclist and not the ‘average’ motorcyclist as you were with IAM test. With this in mind, I have detailed the areas where some attention is required and improvements will need to be made.

Andy - Daunting, you need extra help and training as your comments and body language are inappropriate most of the time.

Andy - I am not here for a respectable pass, if I was I would not have mentoring, if you cannot get me to 90% plus distinction then I need another mentor.

Andy - the corner was safe however your attitude and body language was not.

Andy - the Master test is not compared to a Class 1 Police Motorcyclist, if it is please give me a copy of the paperwork to prove this, otherwise remove this saying.

Andy - reply the disagreement and actions of the mentor, many of which he has not put in this report, has stopped me from taking too much notice as this mentor has shown he is lacking in many area’s of observation.

Shoulder Checks.  (now known as Blind Spot Checks)  As we discussed these should be considered as part of the System, and not done automatically.  See page 31 of HTBABR and page 45 of Roadcraft.  You obviously took on board everything we chatted about at our mid-ride break, as the 2nd half was much better.

Andy - See RoadCraft and Highway code rule 159 before moving off.

Indicators and Indicating.  We now know that the indicators on your bike have a habit of turning themselves off, so always be aware in case you need to be continually indicating through the entirety of a manoeuvre.  Also signals should only to be used when they may be of help to another road user, including pedestrians. Part of the Masters is to show that you are a thinking, cerebral rider and you don’t do things by rote. So if no-one can possibly benefit from your signal then you shouldn’t be using one, but likewise if there is a possibility that someone could benefit (maybe including a vehicle in front) then you should use them.  If it is unnecessary to use your indicators, then all I would ask is that you acknowledged my signal.  This is normally done by either raising your left hand of by putting your indicator on for one cycle.

Andy - Not sure why this is here as advised mentor, I was only indicating to confirm, some of the mentors indicating was hard to see as so far behind, whilst at other times indicating far too early on approach to turnings which indicators would switch themselves off, and then having to put them back on, latterly I was then switching on, then off briefly to confirm acknowledgement.  Briefing guide here would have been good before we started, but I was expecting him very close to me, not so far away I cannot see if his indicators are on or not!  Will not raise hand and if I put indicator on for one cycle he will say again my indicators are faulty, so will stick a leg out instead!

Positioning. On the whole this was very good, but when leaving a roundabout and here you haven’t got 100% vision around the exit, treat this in the same way as you would a left hand bend.  In addition, a couple of times you did slightly apex a right hand bend before you had 100% view of the road ahead.  There was also one occasion where you’re ‘Safety Bubble’ was compromised.  Although these were isolated incidents, we need to get you fully up to speed so as not drop from any ‘1’s in the test

Andy - reply to roundabout, this is where I straight lined a roundabout and the mentor has not said everything which he said at the time, he advised me I do not go straight across roundabouts and that I go round them, the mentor advised that I had confused the motorist to where I was going. SEE VIDEO AND MAKE YOU OWN MIND UP!

Andy - reply to apex a right hand bends, if the mentor was further over to the left he would have see as much across and around the bends as me.  I advised mentor that some of my riding might not be understood to those who have not been trained properly or unable to take in information given. SEE VIDEO AND MAKE YOU OWN MIND UP!

Andy - reply to safety bubble compromise, this is about overtaking a parked post van. SEE VIDEO AND MAKE YOU OWN MIND UP!  

Off Siding.  As per the IAM guidelines this is not permitted, but as you correctly said straight lining when you can see the exit of the bend/curve and 100% of the tarmac ahead is fine.

Andy - reply not sure why this is here, as when mentor start about off siding I quickly said “I was straight lining”, he changed his tack and would have gone down a different mentoring path had I not been so firm.

Junctions. When pulling up to a junction, please make sure that the bike is slightly angled towards the direction that you wish to go.  (I found the HTBABR pictures.  Bottom of page 43)  Also, and especially when exiting from T junctions, look up the road ahead to see what position in the road you will need to adopt, and take up that position straight away rather than ‘swan necking’.

Andy - Ok, good I learnt something here.

Briskness.  This is very difficult to quantify, but when you are able to, please get up to speed briskly, whilst of course staying 100% safe.

Andy - reply I prefer smooth and assertive.  Briskness means “Abruptness” , “Coldness” and “Impatience” to name but a few.  There is a difference, I open the throttle and get to the limit within milli seconds of your anticipated time the difference is only milli seconds apart from your brisk impatience, what I do means I am smoother and assertive. And you are still too far behind.  Remember the four S’s of Advanced Riding.

Overtaking.  Whilst preparing for an overtake, please use both the following and overtaking position and switch between them as the situation dictates.  The examiner will be paying at lot of attention to how you deal with other vehicles, and your preparation to overtake, even if you are eventfully unable to complete the overtake.  In essence he will be expecting for you to be ever watchful and ‘hunting’ for overtakes rather than waiting for overtakes and will expect you never to give up.

Andy - We spoke about this and my prefer position is to ride in the readiness to overtake when the circumstances allow as I am generally always hunting for the overtake, as this I find keeps me smooth and alert.  If we have solid line, built up area etc, then I ride a position appropriately for the conditions, the text books do not allow for every eventuality / local condition.  However if this is what I have to do not to get marked down will do it, but it does not always feel right for the conditions.

Andy - There was an overtake that I did not take as previously described in #2c. I tried to give the mentor my reason and reply but was just over talked and then thought there was no point after receiving further ridiculed for not taking the last non opportunity.

I hope you are ok with all the above, and as part of your preparation, please read, and inwardly digest Chapters 7 & 8 of Roadcraft.

Andy - reply yes I did this and never got asked any questions so take it, this is all I really need to know for the Masters test.

Well done for today and good luck with your practice. If you have any questions at all, please email me or call.

Andy - reply how can I email or call you when all you will do is shake you head with lowering it towards the ground and then slowly saying no .  .  no .  .  . no .  .  .  . or just stating I know these roads and have used them for years  .   .   .    .    .  But cannot see all the WARNING Signs along the road. Familiarity breeds contempt (IAM link).

Mentors Report - Ride 1