R5K members hone their biking skills

Members of MCN’s #ride5000miles community have been busy improving their riding skills, with many passing IAM and RoSPA courses.

We caught up with a dedicated band who are not content with just taking the course and have become instructors and now spend their spare time passing on their riding know-how.

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Honda Crossrunner rider Bernie McFarlane attended a training course run by his police officers, which spurred him on to volunteer with IAM and RoSPA.

"Both organisations teach from Roadcraft (The Police Driver’s Handbook) but have a slightly different approach," he said. "RoSPA conduct an assessment every three years and if you pass you’ll be awarded a bronze, silver or gold riding standard.

"The IAM groups are more fun and each local group organises trips, regular rides and monthly meets with guest speakers. With the IAM, if you meet the standard, you will receive a pass or first, there’s no follow-up assessments.

"I love to see the lightbulb moment when a student 'gets it' but there’ve been a few funny moments, too. One time I told the rider to go straight across at the roundabout and they did just that!"

Derek Ade is a blood biker

When he’s not out with IAM associates, Derek Ade volunteers for SERV Blood Bikes. He said: "I joined the IAM rather than RoSPA after doing some research online, I was interested in the social side of the IAM as well as the training. I belong to the Herts and Beds group who have an active social programme.

We recruit an awful lot of volunteers for SERV through the IAM and encourage SERV volunteers to take advanced training, too."

Meeting new people and helping them improve, is the main motivator for RoSPA instructor, Peter Genet. "Many people ride well, but it’s about getting that final polish," he says.

"Where they don’t ride well, it’s about working on the basics such as machine control and use of gears."

Find out more at www.iamroadsmart.com/ or www.rospa.com/safety-training/on-road/advanced/

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Alison Silcox

By Alison Silcox

Office Manager and centre of the MCN universe.