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Thread: Bikesafe

  1. #1
    6' of techincal awesome FreudianSlip's Avatar
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    Bikesafe

    Last Sunday (1st July) I attended a Bikesafe course in Sheffield that i'd booked (after being on the waiting list for a few weeks) a couple of months ago. I didn't know what to expect, how the day would be run and what I'd learn as a result.

    Executive Summary: Do it - it's well worth the dosh and you'll learn at least *something*.

    I was a bit nervous - after all, I'd just been done for speeding a couple of weeks beforehand (in the car) and I'm lead-wristed to an even greater degree (and with far more performance to play with) when I'm on the bike, so most of the nerves were about my own ability to keep within the speed limits and not ride like a dick. I am careful, especially in built up areas, but .. well, ya'know.

    The day started with a brilliant ride up through Mansfield, Chesterfield and into Sheffield keeping away from the motorways. I was early and the sun was out, very little traffic and confidence was high. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I arrived at the wrong police station and had a 5 minute chat with a faceless intercom whilst the lady on the other end tried to direct me to the Operations Centre.

    Eventually I made my way there. Only 4 of us turned up from an expected 6 which meant not only were there a couple of extra lunches (yes, they provide lunch!) but I got 1:1 observation as well - so, thanks to the no-shows . The morning was spent in a meeting room being shown videos and powerpoints. It was a bit dry, but it was also very interactive with the officers present in the room. Very easy going, flowing conversation, and off-the-record, down-to-earth conversation and situations, both factual and hypothetical.

    Following this, we snarfled down the lunches that were provided, and divvied up the spare ones between us. If you're a big eater, these lunches are proper small, so take a supplement. It was at this point, the pile of yellow bags on the table were pointed out to us. I'd clocked them, but had no clue they were meant for us. We still didn't know what was in them.

    The afternoon was spent (for me at least) riding in front of a fully equipped, high-vis police BMW (RT1200 I think) which I have to say, was a fantastic feeling. The policeman said that *he'd* have to stick to speed limits in the 30/40/50's but provided it was safe to do so, in the national speed limit areas - do what you want :-) . We rode out through Lincolnshire through some tiny villages, small towns and plenty of open roads many of which were limited to 50. I got plenty of concerned looks from motorists and pedestrians - a dude on a high performance bike will a police bike up his chuff! I tried to use some of the techniques and road positioning that the uniformed chaps had spoken about and I did find that I was suddenly able to predict more than I did before, see around corners better and ride smoother.

    We stopped in a petrol station where the nice policeman bought me a cold drink and he then explained where I could have done better and basically *told* me to go faster. The locals filling up their cars kept glancing over at us, I'm sure assuming that I was being read the riot act and given plenty of fines. Some of the cars that turned into the station were ones that I'd just hooned past whilst in the national speed limit areas - of course with a copper chasing me I noticed a few smiles and a couple of sad nods in my direction.

    Now usually, this is where the 2nd civilian would have taken the lead but as they'd not turned up, I was in the lead again, this time remembering more clearly what had been said in the meeting room and petrol station. Corners were taken more smoothly, bends straight-lined where safe to do so, more of the road used to see around left handers etc. Roads were read in greater detail, signs clocked at greater distances and assumptions made (some correctly) about potential hazards.

    Another fantastic tarmac tearing session was completed by Mr Policeman taking the lead on the motorway (as we'd gone a lot further out that he thought we would and he had to be back for a certain time). This was great - me chasing a police bike down the M18 at speed with no fear about being pulled up - that in itself is an experience I'd like to repeat As we pulled off the M18 on the M1, I was signalled to come past - which I did at a *very* naughty pace but had to slow down when I'd joined the M1 due to speed cameras & traffic. (note, we were all told that although we wouldnt be getting tickets from our 'escorts' today, they had no indemnity to speed cameras (unless on a critical call) and neither did we).

    The day rounded off with a brief chat back at the police station followed by a written evaluation of the days riding (I achieved an A!) and presentation of the aforementioned yellow goody bags. Inside of which were some pamphlets, a neck 'buff', a dvd of a ride by a police rider and his running commentary, some think bike stickers, the bag itself, and the pièce de résistance - a copy of the latest RoadCraft handbook.

    All in all, for £50 plus a bit of fuel, it was a fantastic experience from which I have learned. Highly recommended.
    Last edited by alex; 5th July 2018 at 11:25 AM.

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  3. #2
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER mibridger's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Great write up, I have done some similar training days with the police, they are well worth it, you can always learn more and improve your riding.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #3
    Forum Moderator alex's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Fixed the formatting

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  7. #4
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER RickS1K's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Agree it's worth it. I try to do every couple of years as much to get warning of bad habits developing, as enjoying the confusion on people's faces when you're at the back chasing down a police bike.... They've also found me some cracking roads it didn't know, never mind that we tend to get lunch in a roadside diner so the portions are fine. You need to move south Freudy :-)

    I was speaking to a girl I know about her recent bikesafe experience just the other day, and she got the same go faster advice. She took them a little too literally, and nearly got given a ticket by her own observer, lol

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  9. #5
    Forum Moderator alex's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Great write up. I agree it's well worth it. I must do it again, my road riding has gone to s**t being based in London.

    The white circle with a black stripe in it means 'no speed limit' right?

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  11. #6
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Huge's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Very interesting Freudy, thanks for the write up.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by alex View Post
    ...my road riding has gone to s**t being based in London...
    London riding is the definition of misery. I'd rather boil my nads than go back to commuting across town on a bike.
    Last edited by Huge; 5th July 2018 at 12:09 PM.

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  13. #7
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER frednec172's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    I've done one of these quite recently as well and had the benefit of some one on one instruction as people dropped out. I can't recommend it enough well worth it.

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  15. #8
    Forum Moderator Oli's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Excellent write-up, it was a throughly enjoyable read!

    Am very glad to hear you had a fun and beneficial day.
    I would like to do BikeSafe in future, especially after reading your review!


    - Oli

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  17. #9
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Flyingscotsman's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    I did a Bikesafe about 8 years ago & would echo what has been said. Well worth the (small) cost for some 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 tuition. As said the officers who do it are enthusistic real world bikers.

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  19. #10
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER bmwbadboy's Avatar
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    Re: Bikesafe

    Quote Originally Posted by Huge View Post
    Very interesting Freudy, thanks for the write up.
    -

    London riding is the definition of misery. I'd rather boil my nads than go back to commuting across town on a bike.
    Totally disagree with you both.

    London actually taught me how to ride motorbike properly. I used to commute from east london to west via city road every day for 9 months or so. It was greatest experience ever.

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