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  • Ian Speight

A Look Back at October 2020

Updated: Nov 1

Well thanks to some fairly mild weather, October was another busy month during which I assisted Humberside Police to deliver BikeSafe, carried out IAM Masters Mentoring, completed Enhanced Rider Scheme assessments, conducted a RoSPA bike test, very nearly moved house and had my gall bladder removed!

BikeSafe

I was very pleased to yet again be asked to assist the Humberside Police BikeSafe team to deliver one of their events, only the second one of the year. I left York in glorious sunshine, stopping to take this photo of the 'vista' because it was such a lovely morning.

Little did I know what was waiting for me 20 miles down the road....this!

Luckily the rain had eased by the time everyone was ready to be paired up and soon we were all getting our riding gear on for the session ahead. As you can see, a good mix of bikes were present.

I was paired up with Gary on his lovely Urban Tiger Fireblade. The paint scheme is close to my heart because I owned an original Urban Tiger back in the 90's.

Here's Gary on his bike, followed by me on mine, circa 1994.

It's not the best picture but camera's weren't what they are now!

For more details about the BikeSafe, go to www.bikesafe.co.uk

RoSPA

Only one test completed this month but at least it was another chance to wear my official RoSPA Examiners tee shirt! (I won't subject you to another photo of it!) No photo of the test candidate on this occasion.

For more details about RoSPA go to; www.rospa.com

IAM - Masters Mentoring

Mark on his GSA had a couple of final sessions before he took his Masters test, which I'm very pleased to announce he passed successfully! Well done Mark and well deserved.

While Mark was successfully passing his Masters, Jim on his GSA is just starting his preparations, he had his first session in October and is hoping to complete his training and test before the end of the year.

For more details about the IAM Masters, go to; https://www.iamroadsmart.com/campaign-pages/end-customer-campaigns/masters

Enhanced Rider Scheme

Two riders completed their Enhanced Rider Scheme assessments in October. First up was Ian on his GSA.

Later in the month Paul on his 1200GS completed his assessment.

Paul had also asked for a refresher with slow speed manoeuvring, so after completing his road assessment we headed down to Anchor Motorbike Training in Dewsbury where we were able to use their training pad. Paul initially used the schools bike before swapping to his own to complete feet up slaloms, figure of 8s and U turns.

Having completed their ERS, both Ian and Paul now want to progress their riding to a RoSPA test pass standard, so will be returning for more training in due course. Many thanks to Keith at Anchor Motorbike training for the use of their training area and for Keiths expert help and guidance. www.anchormotorbiketraining.co.uk

For details about the Enhanced Rider Scheme, go to;

https://www.gov.uk/enhanced-rider-scheme

Training

Away from RoSPA, IAM, ERS and BikeSafe, several riders came for training in October on a great variety of bikes.

Tudor already holds a RoSPA test pass and has completed the ERS assessment and now wants to improve further and had two sessions with me in October on his Yamaha XSR900.

Due to family and work commitments Gareth hasn't ridden very much over the last 2 years, however, the purchase of a new BMW 750GS reignited his riding flame. After a very successful session Gareth is now considering taking an advanced test and will be returning for more training in the future.

Following Gareth was Paul on his Yamaha R6. Paul is already undergoing some training with his local IAM group but wanted to work on a couple of specific areas. He travelled from the Peak District for his training and despite the very changeable weather conditions had a great session and has already booked his next.

Mark was up next on his Honda 500. Mark is a relatively new rider who wants to take the Enhanced Rider Scheme and then hopefully go on to the IAM or RoSPA tests. Mark will be back again in the new year.

Steve on his Triumph is an IAM National Observer who I met at BikeSafe. We got chatting about my training and he decided to have a 'skills check'....(IAM speak for a riding assessment). Obviously already a good rider, Steve was prepared to listen and take suggestions on board and implement some small changes to his riding style.

House move

The 23rd October should have been our house move date, but as is often the case, the buying/selling process rarely runs smoothly. Hopefully we'll be back on track shortly.....watch this space.

Days out

As I was due to have my Covid test on Friday 24th followed by 48 hours of self isolation before my gall bladder operation on 26th, (see below) I decided to have a final couple of days out before it all kicked in. So on the the 23rd I had a day out with fellow RoSPA Tutors Paul, Dave and Simon. All 3 of the guys are RoSPA Gold qualified so their standard of riding is very high and we had a great time, covering around 170 miles.

We met at the Vue Cinema for a socially distanced starting point...

before taking a very meandering route to Boroughbridge for our first coffee stop.

From Boroughbridge we headed across to Manor Farm Cafe at Bellerby near Leyburn for lunch. It was pretty quiet with only 3 other bikes there.

Here's Paul making the teas while Dave orders the food and Simon waits patiently.

From Bellerby we headed north to Stokesley and then 'enjoyed' the B1257 down to Helmsley. That really is a cracking road!

Here's the guys, L-R - Dave (Multistrada), Simon (1200GSA) and Paul (1250GS).

The following day I hooked up with long time biking buddy Daren for another day out.

The day started early with a visit to B&Q, I was there at 7.30am!

But I was soon on my way to meet Daren at Seaways Cafe, Fridaythorpe.

Having consumed tea and a bacon butty, we were off over the muddy lanes of the North York Moors.

We even passed between this lot. There was a bull on the left just at the start of the main group and it's fair to say that the big guy never took his eyes off us as we passed through 'his' territory, very slowly!

We ended up near Whitby before dropping south through Castleton for a brew in Rosedale.

It was then a final run back to Seaways. Great day out covering around 160 miles.

Operation

As some of you know, I was admitted to hospital 3 times earlier in the year and was diagnosed with gall stones. I was informed that normally I would have had my gall bladder removed whilst in hospital but due to Covid it had to wait. Now things have settled down a little bit (albeit now getting worse again!) I was admitted to hospital on the 26th and had my gallbladder out.

I was only in hospital for two days but as there was some minor issues with the operation, the rest and recuperation period means no riding for 5 weeks......5 weeks!! That has meant some cancellations with training in November but as always everyone has been totally understanding, for which I am very grateful.

As I type this it's only been 5 days since my op and I'm still a little sore but I hope to restart training on Monday 30th November....fingers crossed.

Looking ahead

Obviously not riding doesn't mean I'm not planning! October saw me take delivery of some new 'company' t-shirts as well as the latest edition of Roadcraft, I even took time out of my recovery to 'pose' for a photo of each....smiling through the pain...ever the professional!!

RoSPA Training Officer.

As the Training Officer for my local RoSPA group (Advanced Riders North Yorkshire) I also started to put together some training documents for the Tutors. These will cover Tutor Q&A checks and also the protocols for the use of comms whilst tutoring. In years gone by it was either (unreliable) radios or stop start debriefs but these days more and more riders use bluetooth units so comms are more readily available. The training will be rolled out over the winter months.

Motoradd Tours

Unfortunately Covid put paid to many tours in 2020 but the 2021 tours are all planned and should be published in the next few weeks. Obviously much relies on the Covid situation but fingers crossed, the world is in a better place in 2021. My tour requests are submitted so once I know which tours I'll be leading I'll let you know.

Next month

Obviously there's not going to be any riding in November so next months 'Look Back' will have a different content. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

And that sums up a very busy and eventful month. Thanks again for all the 'get well soon' messages, all very much appreciated.

Ian S



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