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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

April 2024 - What a month! Training, Mallory Park (twice!), BMF Instructor meeting, IAM &, RoSPA tests, BikeSafe & FireBike, and nearly all done in my waterproofs!! Will it ever stop raining?!


I can't believe how wet it's been these last few months, it seemed to rain every day! Fortunately, with some dry days and the temperature rising above freezing (but only just!), I've finally managed to get some serious bike work completed.

Training.

Steve was up first in April on his 1250GS. Steve has had a 'pre season' refresher with me around March/April every year for the last 4 years. He's also previously completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme. It was a cracking day, and we never got caught in any of the forecasted rain. Result!

Next up was Mike on his 1250RT. Mike is an experienced rider who already holds an IAM test pass and has completed various days with other training providers. We started with some theory refresher and was then soon out crunching the miles. We swapped over the lead a few times so I could give demo/commentary rides, but overall Mike only needed minor tweaks here and there.

Richard came along for 2 sessions on his 700 Tenere. Richard trained with me last year, on his Royal Enfield and decided he wanted to complete the Enhanced Rider Scheme, and that's exactly what he did, successfully passing all modules. Great result, and a great foundation to work from to achieve further riding qualifications.

Sean came up from Lincolnshire on his Yamaha 600 Thundercat. I met Sean a couple of years ago when we paired up at a BikeSafe event and since then he has had further sessions with me, and last year successfully completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme.

Dave was on his NC750 for a rare Sunday training session. Dave only passed his bike test in Nov 2023, but wanted to improve on those basic skills, so decided to complete the Enhanced Rider Scheme. It was a fab day, covering approximately 120 miles, resulting in with Dave successfully completing the ERS. Great result and thoroughly deserved.

Heath had 2 sessions on his Triumph Trophy 1200 to finish off the month. Heath had a few training sessions with me in 2022 and returned in order to complete the Enhanced Rider Scheme, which I'm pleased to say he did successfully.

BikeSafe (x 2)

It was another good month with the FireBike project. We've been out all over the county talking to riders and trying to encourage everyone who'll listen to take some post-test training. Humberside Police and Lincolnshire were both very receptive to the FireBike project, inviting me along to their BikeSafe events.

The first event was with Humberside. 10 candidates, supported by 10 observers made up of 4 police riders, 4 IAM observers, 1 RoSPA Tutor and me. I was paired up with Simon on his Suzuki 750. The rain held off and the wind wasn't as bad as forecast.

Simon and his Suzuki.

Me and Simon leaving for our road session.

BikeSafe team. 10 candidates, 4 police riders, 4 IAM observers, 1 RoSPA Tutor and me.

Lincs BikeSafe.

The following day, I made my way over to Police Headquarters in Nettleham for the Lincs BikeSafe event. It was an early start, leaving York at 7am to get to the event for an 830am briefing. There were around 80 Observers and over 200 candidates for assessed rides, along with pop up stands from RoSPA, IAM, Blood Bikes and more. I was paired up with James on his Hayabusa, a rider with experience of advanced driving techniques.

All in all, it was another great day giving me the chance to speak to lots of riders about the FireBike project. and post test training.

James and his Hayabusa

80 Observers, 200 candidates, stalls, stands and more.

FireBike - BMF Mallory Park.

Myself and FireBike project leader Andy C visit Mallory Park race circuit to meet with Helen at BMF HQ who had invited us down to chat about the project and get some photos ahead of the FireBike project being featured in a future edition of the BMF magazine, 'Motorcycle Rider'. It was a great day, but very wet and windy at times.

Many thanks to Helen and Net at BMF HQ for the warm welcome, and to Andy and Ruti for taking the photos for the article. More photos to come, once the article is finalised.

I know it may look like it, but it's not just me riding the Firebikes! The other riders Andy, Mark, Karl and Stuart have also been out and about, attending events, shows and BikerDown courses, but I'm really enjoying being involved in the project, and getting out on the bikes and talking to riders. My FireBike mileage for the month/year stands at;

April - 736

Year to date - 2347.

BMF Instructors meeting - Mallory Park.

The week after the FireBike visit to Mallory, I was there again, this time to 'host' a meeting for the Blue Riband Advanced Rider Award instructors. It was a well attended meeting, with instructors attending from all the UK nations. We discussed the recently updated website, (https://www.britishmotorcyclists.co.uk/bmf-blue-riband.../) the new brochures, the fact that BikeSafe and NABB are now on board and promote the course alongside RoSPA and IAM qualifications. Massive thanks to Helen at BMF HQ for all her help to make the day happen and to Andy W for the photos. All in all a fab day, only slightly marred by the very wet, 6c, 130 mile ride down....and this very shoddy selfie!

Thanks to Alf and Mark for the company on the not so wet ride back north.

Blue Riband Advanced Rider award Instructors - from L to R; Leigh, Richard, Roger, Kev, Paul, Mark, Helen, Jim, me, Neil, Alan, Alf, Colin, Steve, Ron and Mark.

Worlds worst selfie!!!

Alf and Mark, patiently waiting while I fight to get my wet hands back in my gloves!

RoSPA.

Only 1 RoSPA test to conduct in April and that was with Andy on his BMW1250GS.

Andy rode really well and was awarded with a Gold pass grade. He was well chuffed!

IAM Roadsmart.

Alan came along on his Triumph 660 Sport for his IAM advanced test. Alan rode well and passed successfully.

BMW 1250GSA.

With so much going on in April, I finally managed a decent monthly mileage but also noticed the current tyres were getting close to their wear markers having covered nearly 8000 miles. I made a call to the excellent team at Leeds Bike Tyres, and a few days later the GSA was in and having a new pair or tyres fitted. As with all my previous GSAs, I went for a set of Michelin Road 6's and the bike is rolling onto its edges again and no longer following the ruts in the road. It's such a great feeling going from old tyres to new.

Here's mileage figures for the month

GSA Miles in April - 1683 (+736 FireBike miles).

GSA mileage for the year to date - 3092 (+2347 FireBike miles).

Like an expectant father waiting for news.....

Front done, rear out and being fitted.

Finally - over 1500 followers.

My Facebook coverage has continued to increase, with April seeing me 'smash' through the 1500 followers mark. Current total number of 'followers' stands at 1531. Massive thank you to everyone who continues to support me, it's very much appreciated.

And that my friends, rounds off April. Until next month, ride safe.

Ian S

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