I signed up to do a Cheshire Constabulary ‘BikeSafe’ with feelings of trepidation. It was only four months after I had passed my test by Direct Access and although I had scrambled round fields and done a bit of trials as a kid, that felt like a long time ago and I had limited road experience. I thought that the two evenings of classroom sessions would be police officers preaching about rules and regulations, signs and lines and to some extent it was. The emphasis however, was placed on how to use them, how to read the road, plan ahead and make progress safely using a riding system used by the emergency services: Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration (IPSGA). We talked through the aspects of riding that all bikers need to know including; cornering, overtaking, position, how to make use of everything you can see, smell and hear. I was given an on-foot demonstration of limit points, a way of assessing your speed of approach to a bend, and by the end of the second evening, wondered why my pre-test instruction hadn’t covered all the information needed to be that bit safer. The content was delivered in plain English. The supporting video material, which examined why bike crashes happen, brought the theory to life and, to my delight, I was not the only female in the room. The following Saturday was the ride out. My 20 year old restored Honda XBR500 and I arrived at McDonalds on a cold day in October. I was given a very thorough safety briefing and a police officer for the morning. The ride took in all types of road; very bendy ones, very straight ones and some very muddy ones. Again, emphasis was placed on making the most of the signs, lines, observation skills and IPSGA in order to make progress safely. The route was broken into 20 minute rides followed by a discussion about what went well and what could have gone better. Sometimes I followed the police bike demonstrating and sometimes I took the lead. At first it was quite disconcerting having a police bike in the mirrors, knowing the rider was getting a good look at what I was doing. Putting the classroom theory into practice suddenly made sense. I now use the roads to my advantage, searching out hazards, planning much further ahead and gliding round corners like I’m on rails. I have a much better idea about what options I have if I do run into a heart fluttery moment and I understand that I can’t take safety for granted. ‘BikeSafe’ has been the catalyst and I am now keen to take some training and build on what I have learned so far. Biking can only improve with experience and my ‘BikeSafe’ experience has made me far more aware with better planning, better skills and a better ability all round. I now practice the riding system constantly and I am more aware even when driving my car. Every biker, at any level of skill or experience should do it, at least once. I now intend to take training to consolidate my riding.
Dave – Crewe
September 2009 – This course should be compulsory every 5 years for all bikers. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Len – Crewe
September 2009 – Excellent tuition from Andy and John in the evening sessions and from Frank during the Rideout. This course should be compulsory after passing your test, then only then will you be taught how to ride a bike and not just satisfy an examiner tickbox! Well worth the money, I would have no hesitation in recommending and advising anyone to take this course.
David – Chester
October 2009 – Very enjoyable workshop, well run with a relaxed, informal atmosphere. The enthusiasm and willingness to help from all involved was evident throughout the workshop.
Tim – Crewe
October 2009 – I feel from what I have learned over the 3 sessions that BikeSafe should be compulsory for all motorcyclists to take when taking a motorcycle test. BikeSafe is a credit to the Police Force and improves relations between bikers and the Police. Thankyou very much for a positive experience.
Fenella – Wilmslow
November 2009 – This was the best £50 I have ever spent. The lecturers were friendly and very knowledgeable. The rideout was relaxed, calm and very professional which gave me confidence and ensured I enjoyed the day. I have learnt so much and I am sure I will be safer as a result.
David – Macclesfield
November 2009 – A really worthwhile investment in time and money, it really made me think about my riding ability. I had assumed that I was a competent and safe rider. Brian made me reconsider my riding ability. I will be taking further training – Many thanks