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Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists - Survival Skills Newsletter - Kevin Williams

Survival Skills Newletter – 25th November 2021

Welcome to the second edition of the new-look newsletter that links to this week’s posts on Ko-Fi rather than Facebook as was previously the case. In case you are worrying, Ko-Fi is NOT a subscription-only site, and everything in this newsletter is FREE TO READ for at least seven days. All you have to do is click the link, and read the post and it won’t cost you a penny, nor will you be tracked or have ads deployed on your screen.

If you want to get updates on those as they go up, become a FOLLOWER – it’s free, you just get alerted via email that a new post is ready to read.

If you find them useful enough, please consider supporting my writing by becoming a SUPPORTER or SUBSCRIBER, which will open up content to well over SIX HUNDRED other articles covering everything from riding technique to rider psychology. Not bad for a little as £3.

And don’t forget the BLACK FRIDAY OFFER – the ‘Tarmac Tactics’ ebook at less than half-price!

‘Tarmac Tactics’ takes you from city centre to mountain top and shows you how to deal with the problems posed by the road layout, the weather and other road users… and plenty more besides… use Tarmac Tactics to cope with 21st century roads.

BUT HURRY – ONLY 50 COPIES AVAILABLE! When they’re gone, they’re gone!


I’d welcome your feedback, as always.


NEXT LIVE PRESENTATIONSCIENCE OF BEING SEEN (SOBS) – SOBS is an in-depth investigation of the most common motorcycle crash of all – the ‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’ or ‘SMIDSY’ collision at junctions. We’ll look at why drivers don’t see motorcycles, why day-riding lights and hi-vis clothing are often ineffective and suggest some pro-active riding strategies for staying out of trouble… all based on REAL SCIENCE.

Tickets cost £5 – get yours here:


DECEMBER’S TALK: Filtering – what’s legal, what’s illegal and what’s common sense – in this webcast, I’ll use my background as a courier to offer not just sound advice for staying out of trouble, but also explain how the law determines responsibility for filtering collisions. Tickets cost £5 – get yours here:


CLUB & GROUP TALKS – I’ve delivered one more group talk and added another to the diary for some weeks ahead, and if you’d like me to arrange something for your own group or club, get in touch. As well as ‘Science Of Being Seen’‘Crash Course (in how not to…) and my latest ‘Fewer skills, more Insight’ presentations, I have a selection of others on various riding issues. Available weekday evenings and weekends. Drop me a line to sort something out.

Nov 24 2021 – Workload revisited

[Originally written May16, 2012] A tweet arrived this morning which I followed to end up reading a slightly odd press release from the British Psychological Society that rather confusingly spreads two messages at the same time. The first is that drivers (I think we can safely assume that includes riders!) overrate their driving skills, and whilst it may be confirmed by the new research linked to in the press release…

Elevenses 191 Wed 24 Nov

In today’s show… MC Edwards insurance business fails… save over 50% on Tarmac Tactics e-book with the Black Friday deal from Survival Skills… MV Agusta 5.5 targets middleweight adventure riders… Nawa Racer to incorporate nano-capacitor fast charge technology… Honda Navi – Mini-moto? Motorcycle? Monkey bike? Scooter?… 30 years of the Fireblade… inexpensive waterproof over-jacket from RST… today’s discussion point – if a scheme can be targeted at improving drivers understanding of cycling, why not motorcycling?

ToT November 23 “Which position approaching a single lane roundabout?”

The road junctions that cause me most problems as a rider aren’t side turnings, but roundabouts, partly because they are ridden and driven badly by riders and drivers alike, and partly because their design is rarely what the Highway Code teaches us to expect. So this is Part Two of a four-part mini-series looking at how we can all improve our roundabout technique

Statistics, damned lies and regression to the mean

[Originally written on February 29, 2012, minor edits for clarity] You have probably heard the expression: “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. We can thank Mark Twain for that insight, which – unfortunately – has given statistics a bad name. Statistics is the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Done right, statistics are highly useful. Done badly, statistics can lead to very misleading thinking.

MYTH-BUSTING MONDAY Is the best the most expensive?

Well, if you believe the ‘Ride Better’ campaign poster from 2 Wheels London, which has just resurfaced on the Safer Roads Greater Manchester Twitter account, that’s exactly how it is.  “Protect yourself and buy the best gear you can afford”.  So is it true? Not really.

How much protection does the new CE standard offer?

[Updated from the original article, published on Facebook Wed 25 September 2019] If you’ve been following developments to the official European standard for protective motorcycle clothing, you’ll know there have been some changes.  First and foremost, all clothing sold as ‘protective’ riding kit MUST now be certified to the new CE standard pr-EN17092. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

SOBS Why I recommend yellow lights

I know I keep telling you about SOBS but there’s a reason – so many riders seem unaware just how invisible they are on the road.  Bill Robinson – who took one of my ONLINE COACHING courses earlier this month – sent me a short video clip of an incident he’d had when riding his bike.

Elevenses 190 Sun 21 Nov

*** ELEVENSES *** Elevenses 190 Sun 21 Nov in today’s show… TfL to earn less than expected from extended ULEZ charge… scary on-bike photos show just how invisible we are on two wheels at night… French bikers mobilise to protest parking charges… mobile phone use rules tightened again… Tesla owners locked out of cars by server error… let them ride Cake – if you can afford them… buy a bike, ride it 2800 miles and sell it for a profit… today’s better biking tip – more on cognitive biases and how they affect our riding decisions…

SoS November 20 Vision Blocker = SURPRISE! (yet again)

If there are three concepts that ought to be nailed in to any new rider in the first minutes of riding, they are the ‘Vision Blocker’ that conceals, the Surprise Horizon which hides, and the SURPRISE! that derails our ideal response. None of them are complex ideas. 

FoF November 19 “Why don’t you just TELL me what to do?”

Years ago, that was what a frustrated trainee screamed at me in the middle of his Direct Access training course. And my immediate answer wasn’t what he wanted to hear at that precise moment: “Do you think you would learn better if I did?”


TRAINING – I’m still training but bookings are now short notice only to take advantage of dry days – there’s no benefit to working in wet, windy and freezing weather – and in case the weather doesn’t look promising, on the day the Survival Skills WET WEATHER GUARANTEE will kick in.

Visit for more info on training courses – it’s had a bit of a makeover.

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER – Survival Skills is all about helping you improve your knowledge, your skills, and your understanding of riding and the newsletter goes out on Thursdays with links to ‘better biking’ posts on my Ko-Fi page.


Please Please PLEASE pass on the newsletter to biking family and friends. If everyone who reads it shares it to one other rider, that’s another hundred riders who have a chance to read something potentially useful to them. Let’s get everyone we know ‘better biking’.

See you all next week

Kevin Williams
Survival Skills Rider Training

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