Ride like a 14th century French knight?
You may recall our story last week about a police force’s plans to stage a photoshoot using knights in shining armour to spread their Bikesafe message. We felt we couldn’t deprive you of the pictures. So here they are.
Why have West Mercia police gone all medieval? Well, as a spokesman said last week: " The force is drawing the comparison between knights in shining armour and bikers in leathers, in a bid to highlight the belief of some motorcyclists that their protective clothing and equipment makes them invincible on the roads. "
Professional knight Mark Vance was called in by the force and quoted as saying: " Over confidence in their abilities and a belief that their armour made them invulnerable led over 7000 French knights into a suicidal charge at the Battle of Crecy. Over confidence about their invincibility by bikers encourages them to push their machines and their own riding ability to the limit. "
Clearly a lesson from history for us all (ah hem). Baffling though all this may be (the campaign is meant to be about improving rider skills rather than bringing into question the value of decent protective kit) we’ll do our best to see past the dressing-up box to tell you the bits about the initiative you’ll find useful.
The force will target the " 12 worst routes for motorcycle collisions in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire this summer. Based on 2003 figures they are: Herefordshire: A49, A438, A465, Shropshire: A49, A442, A5, B5062, Telford and Wrekin: A442, A5; Worcestershire A456, A442, A449, A44, A38, A448, A451
60 riders will be offered two-day accompanied rider training with experienced professional police riders to sharpen their skills. If you want to take part check out the national BikeSafe website at www.bikesafe.co.uk
Sgt John Roberts, the BikeSafe co-ordinator for the area says the theatricals aren’t meant to be taken too seriously, they are intended to grab the attention of the local media, and in this they have succeeded.
" We certainly don’t want anyone to believe we don’t think protective bike kit is a good thing. But we do feel there are riders who behave as if they are invulnerable and more training for them can help. "
Amusingly, he points out, car drivers caught speeding are contributing directly to the BikeSafe training scheme. The fines they pay are being used to help subsidise the £80 cost of the two-day course.