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Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists - Survival Skills Newsletter - Kevin Williams

Survival Skills Newsletter – 7th March 2022

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ON THE ROAD IN 2022 – mini-rideouts

Technically, meteorological spring starts on March 1, but right now, with the garden a bog after a month of rain, and the temperature hovering 5c even with the sun sets in a clear sky, it doesn’t seem much like it.

But sooner or later – sooner I hope – the sun will warm us all up. And my thoughts are turning to organising some ride-outs over the next few months.

This is actually a reboot of a plan I formulated in 2019, but for one reason and another, I failed to get any organised. And of course COVID did for much of the 2020 and 2021 riding seasons.

Anyway, here’s the idea. I know that some riders are put off group riding by the high-speed, crash-happy reputation of big ride-out groups, so that’s not what I’m planning. So the first thing I want to say is that these will not be high-speed blasts as I like to look at the countryside I’m riding through. If you’re on an A2 bike, you’ll be perfectly at home on these rides.

The jaunts will be for just a few riders – in fact, a maximum of four bikes per ride-out. That makes them ideal for riders who find big groups intimidating.

They won’t be long – under 100 miles and something like 60 to 75 minutes riding each way – and we’ll have a leisurely mid-ride break to rest and socialise – say three to four hours total. Keeping the rides reasonably short and relaxed means they are accessible to riders who aren’t used to longer rides.

Although we’ll be starting from locations around the M25, I know plenty of interesting and scenic routes which will mostly avoid the main A roads and be along B roads or wider minor roads.

I’ll also try to make a stop for a decent early lunch rather than the standard greasy spoon. Where possible I’ll make an interim stop at a farm shop too, just in case you fancy some nice produce.

You’ll be riding with an experienced trainer too – whilst I won’t be offering any training, I’ll be happy to discuss anything to do with riding. And I may just have a few copies of my books with me available to buy.

A couple of other points –

  • rides will be WEATHER DEPENDENT. I’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast and if it looks like a wet day, I’ll postpone. They’re meant to be fun rides, so there’s no point in going for a ride in pouring rain on wet roads.
  • rides are PRE-BOOK ONLY – you can book the first ride via the link below. No turning up on the day. But if you realise you can’t make it please let me know so I can offer your place to someone else.
  • if a ride is fully booked, drop me a line and I’ll put you on the reserve list and offer you a place on a repeat ride from the same location.

I’m anticipating weekend dates would be more popular, but there’s no reason they can’t be run on weekdays – drop me a line if you’d prefer that. Similarly, if you know a couple of people and would like me to put a ride together especially for you, let me know.

Here are the first three dates in the diary:

Sat April 23 – St Albans and over the Chilterns
BOOK HERE: http://thq.fyi/se/Xk6QJOg

Sat May 28 – Epping and into NE Essex

Sat June 25 – Beaconsfield and the Thames Valley

Lots of daring-do won’t be needed, just bring along the enthusiasm to enjoy a nice day out on two wheels.


WHAT’S ON IN THE SURVIVAL SKILLS UNIVERSE

MARCH’S LIVE EVENTGroup Riding tricks and tips… went out on Wednesday last week and was excellent received… here’s some of the feedback. Nick said “Very comprehensive presentation” and Kevin responded “Good maiden presentation”, whilst Adrian and Theresa said “thanks for this evening, lots of helpful stuff to work through”. So why not make a date for the NEXT TWO LIVE EVENTS?

APRIL’S LIVE EVENT – ‘SOBS – the full presentation’… Science Of Being Seen is a 45 minute talk covering human visual perception and motorcycle conspicuity, and explains why conventional hi-vis clothing and day-riding lights have proven less than successful at preventing junction collisions. Discover how to use Survival Skills ‘proactive measures’ in your own riding.
WEDNESDAY, 6 APRIL 2022 AT 20:00
Tickets cost £5. BOOK AT: http://thq.fyi/se/9Lw_pWQ

MAY’S LIVE EVENT – ‘OVERTAKING – making it out the other side’… Overtaking is another of the activities that we tend to take for granted when we’re riding a motorcycle, yet lead to more open road fatalities than the crash that riders fear most – the collision at a junction. I’ll offer you insights from my time as a courier, plus sound advice to help you stay out of trouble. Sometimes it’s better practice NOT to make progress!
WEDNESDAY, 4 MAY 2022 AT 20:00
Tickets cost £5. BOOK AT: http://thq.fyi/se/E9yZwAQ

CLUB & GROUP TALKS – As well as an online talk scheduled for New Zealand, I’ve now got talks scheduled for Oxfordshire, Uxbridge, Cornwall, Devon and Gloucester and more are in discussion. 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, via ZOOM or in person. Drop me a line to sort something out.

ELEVENSES ANCHOR PODCAST – the Elevenses webcasts that go out live (almost always) on Wednesdays and Sundays are now available as an audio-only podcast – check them out HERE on Anchor.


LAST WEEK’S ROUND-UP

Elevenses 220 Sun 6 Mar
in today’s show… Scottish Motorcycle Show next on the trading standards visit list… Manchester gets brand new bike fest in May… Triumph U-turn to restart manufacturing in UK again… Taiwan power failure leaves electric vehicles the only ones able to ‘fill up’… Indian join the e-bike trend… youth from Ghana builds e-bike powered by recycled computer batteries… Yamaha ‘reconsiders’ hybrid bikes… today’s better biking point – “riders 29x more likely to be killed on a bike” and how bike crashes are a worldwide phenomenon…   WATCH NOW…

SoS March 5 Get the Big Picture – Smith System Pt 5
For the previous four weeks, I’ve been looking at the guiding principles behind the old-as-the-hills ‘Smith System for Space Cushion Driving’. Dating back the 1950s, the underlying guidance have been as sound today as they were seventy years ago. And here’s the last of the five – ‘make sure they see you’.  This one is particularly important to motorcyclists, of course. But it’s not simply about dressing up as Dayglo Derek by covering yourself in hi-vis riding kit and lights.   READ MORE…

FoF March 4 Instructing & learning, training vs coaching
Last week I started off by saying that when the word ‘training’ is used, most of us will naturally think of the teacher – pupil ‘chalk and talk’ relationship from school, and since most of us learned about driving sat next to the instructor, most people think that this instructor – trainee model is right for rider training too.  But as I also pointed out last week, our expectations aside, there’s no reason that we can’t use an approach called ‘blended learning’. This week I talk about the difference between instructing and learning, training and coaching.  READ MORE…

Elevenses 219 Wed 2 Mar
in today’s show… ground movements close Snake Pass ‘for months’… more bikes in bus lanes for west Yorkshire… former Norton boss Stuart Garner’s sentencing postponed… RoadPeace call for replacement of dangerous road infrastructure… DVSA update A2 test bikes but fail to update ‘updated’ list… Japanese big four combine on hydrogen engines… is the Voge 650 too expensive for a Chinese bike… support the Yorkshire air ambulance and win a track bike…  WATCH NOW…

ToT March 1 Pedestrians – how to fail your bike test Part Seven
Whilst I spent most of my time as a DAS trainer teaching novices to ride well, I also spent a lot of effort coaching trainees to avoid the mistakes that had tripped up previous candidates. Today, we’ll take a look at one of the interactions that tends to be overlooked – how to deal with pedestrians and the kind of errors that can see you fail your bike test. And if you’re an experienced rider, you may get a useful reminder of how you should be riding, rather than how you are riding!   READ MORE…

And from the 60 Second Safety series on YouTube…

That’s it for today. Each issue is usually out Monday’s but other commitments may mean a change of date. I’d welcome your feedback, as always.

Kevin Williams / Survival Skills
www.survivalskills.co.uk

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