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Andrew Anderson © 2012 The Happy Biker All Rights Reserved

Mentors Report - Masters Preparation Ride #2 on 17th April

Hi Andy,

Please find below some notes from Wednesday’s ride.

Overall it was a very good ride and a definite improvement on the last ride.  However for the first half you didn’t appear to be enjoying yourself, but it seemed more like you were giving an IAM Demonstration ride.  Overall it would have probably got you a Masters Score in the low-mid 60’s, but I know you want to get into the 80’s hence why I’m being very particular about various areas of your riding. The good news is that with application, they can all be dealt with.

Andy - I was and did enjoy the ride, I gave a SAM Advanced +’s / RoSPA Gold and I enjoyed the ride very much.

Andy - If you can only get me to 80’s mark I need another mentor, besides I have advised you I want to achieve a score in the high 90’s.

Shoulder Checks.  These were much better, but there were still a couple that were completely unnecessary. Although this is not a problem or a safety issue in itself, the Examiner does not want to see anything done mechanically (or slavishly as described in HTBABR). Instead everything (as per the system) should be considered and only carried out if appropriate and necessary.

Andy - Where were they unnecessary? Shame you did not point this out specifically, however if you are referring to the Mc D car park as we pulled away, look further as vehicles were emerging behind the building coming from the drive through.

Rear Observations.  On the approach to any hazard, you must check the situation behind you.  As per the system this should come in the Information stage right at the beginning and then continue all the way through whilst dealing with that hazard.  On more than one occasion your rear observations have been too late and you nearly missed a couple of turns.  Pages 34-37 of Roadcraft

Andy - We spoke about this, and you apologised for giving late signals and acknowledged the focus on front hazards in a difficult busy town roads with multiple turns. Where the hazard focus is ahead and lower concentration looks are to the rear. Perhaps you need to plan a route that is easier to pass and indicate through that will not be challenging for you to give (which you advised it was) and easier for an associate to pick up on with out being watchful of the multiple hazards in front.

IPSGA & Gear Changing.  The use of your gearbox was much better in today’s ride, a definite improvement over the last ride.  However you do need to work on not continuing to use the brakes after you have changed gear.  This was most noticeable when going down from higher limits (i.e. NSL’s) to 30’s and 40’s.  As per the system the gear changing phase should be done after the speed phase and before the acceleration phase.  It is permissible to overlap the speed and gear, but the speed phase (braking) should not then continue once you have changed gear.  Find yourself a quiet piece of road where you go from 60mph down to 30 mph and just practice and get used to what it feels like.  Once you’ve re-programmed your brain, you will be fine. Pages 34-37 of Roadcraft and pages 26 & 27 of HTBABR

Andy - I have not changed, mentor need to be closer so can see what is actually happening and not just saying things “without real knowledge” as this now confirms the mentor is just saying many things “without real need to” or in short “irrelevant to what is actually happening”.

Andy - re-programming my brain!  I am sure he is on drugs.

Road Postioning.  For most of the ride, again this was much better, but for right hand bends you need to stay in Lane 2 (tyre track 1) until you can see 100% of the road at the exit of the bend.  This tended to get a little looser as the pace got a little higher. At no time was this dangerous, but that occasional puff of dust from your rear tyre is confirmation that you are not as accurate as you could be.

Andy - If your belief is in the positions you state is correct, then I would need Jon Taylor SE to confirm in writing as otherwise we have a contradiction.

Andy - To do as you say “Lane 2 - tyre track 1” will restrict my extended vision which my riding position is further to the left on right hand bends than you.  This now explains why you cannot see me reducing the Radii and think by your own position I am cutting the apex of the bend.

Andy - When the pace gets higher I am further over again to the left in right hand bends so you get a little dust, so what! I am safe and get the better view than you times, this is Advanced Riding - “riding with a view in the distance that I can see to be clear” where the mentors position is restricted due to position.  

Overtaking Position.  For some of the ride, and whilst considering an overtake, your overtaking position needed to be a little closer to the vehicle in front.  As per Roadcraft there is no set distance for this but (as well as putting you in a slightly more vulnerable position) it does let the vehicle in front know you intention and then gives you less distance to travel to execute the overtake.  Also, if the situation allows, do not be afraid to sit on the opposite lane in readiness for the overtake.  Diagrams on pages 128 & 129 of Roadcraft and on pages 74 & 75 of HTBABR

Andy - I ride at the “two second” rule or further back depending on conditions and circumstances.  To ride as you and the book indicates by drawings, and does not with description by words as we have discussed is dangerous as it is or less than “one second” behind the vehicle in front readying for an overtake.

Andy - I usually do sit in the opposite lane where circumstances allow in readiness for an overtake, but did not want a barrage of head shaking / ridicule from you so did not.

Briskness & Sparkle.  As I previously mentioned, for the first half of the ride you didn’t appear to be enjoying yourself or having any fun.  As well as being Smooth, Systematic, & Safe, the Examiner will also be expecting a little ‘Sparkle’.  The second half of the ride was much brisker, but you must not allowed yourself to get ‘sucked’ in to an overtake or end up riding at a too higher speed.

Andy - As mentioned above I gave a SAM Advanced +’s / RoSPA Gold ride and you could not or did not want to see this and just saying what you did as you could not come up with anything else.  

So, in summary, on the whole a good ride but with a few areas that need a bit more polishing.

Andy - There is no 100% ride, so all rides need more polish.  Are you able to help? Have you given a demo ride? NO.  Are you getting reciprocal communicating with me? NO. Why do you block me with head shaking and ridicule if I were to try to communicate with you?

Mentors Report - Ride 2