4 Sept 2012

Motorcycle Post Test Training - Part One

Yes, I can hear you all switching off right now; just by reading the title- and here come the comments I often hear when I’m out and about on my bike and chatting with fellow riders:

‘I’ve been riding motorcycles for 35 years, I know all there is to know; why should I have any training?’
‘I’m a safe rider; I’ve never had an accident’
‘Training is for beardy types who ride BMWs’
‘Training just isn’t cool’ ‘Training costs too much, passing my test cost me enough as it was!’
‘Other road users need the training, not me! They cause all bike related accidents’

I can understand the reasoning behind these opinions, but I think I can go a fair way towards changing your mind; or at least make you think twice about saying them in the first place……

OK, let’s start at the beginning- ‘Training just isn’t cool’. I know why you think that; it’s the word Training. Reminds you of being back at school, doesn’t it? Sitting in a classroom; being droned at by some old man wearing horn-rimmed spectacles and a jacket with leather elbow pads, barking out instructions and not letting you give feedback. Boring as hell, right?

And you know what, I thought that too, which is why I got involved with the Road Safety Team at Norfolk County Council when they launched their new campaign aimed at motorcyclists; fronted by a little fellow called Hugger (pictured left). Research and opinion polls showed that riders, especially the younger generation, thought that there was nothing out there to encourage them to improve their skills, especially activities that sounded fun and interesting; that the Police were common enemies, that they as road users were treated as a minority.

That’s where the Hugger concept sprung from. A character that appeals to everyone- appearing in adverts and road signs which use bright colours to grab people’s attention, and overall helping to make riding a more fun experience.

I thought it was a great idea – as someone who isn’t ashamed to admit I’d never had any post test training as I also thought it was probably going to be dull, expensive and meant that afterwards you had to ride like a nun- which frankly took all the fun out of owning a bike to start with! So I decided to become a volunteer and help spread the word; and that meant I had to be coerced into doing the courses myself….

Before you ask or make any rash judgements, I’m not in my 40’s and I’m not male (see right) – I’m a 29 year old female who has now been riding road bikes for over 10 years, and surprisingly I don’t have a beard or own a BMW! I’ve got 2 bikes; a Yamaha MT-03 and a Yamaha XT660X, and I ride for pleasure, not for a living.

So, now I have your attention (I hope!) I’ll move on to the different types of training available and why you should give them a go…..

©Angela Freeman