BMF Blue Riband Rider Development Weekend, October 2021
The weekend of 8th, 9th and 10th of October saw the first ever Ian Speight Advanced Rider Training, BMF Blue Riband Rider Development Weekend take place. I was joined by fellow BMF Instructor Assessor Ian (Alf) Garnett and 6 customers.
From L-R BMF Instructor Assessor Alf G, Chris (K16oo), Tony (Multistrada V4), Neil (R1250GS), Stuart (1100 Africa twin), Andy (1200GSA), Mark (1250GSA) and me.
All the guys already hold either RoSPA or IAM qualifications and came along to develop their riding and to take the DVSA approved BMF Blue Riband Rider Award assessment.
Meeting up at 9am on Friday 8th, the guys were split into 2 groups, Chris, Tony and Mark with Alf and Neil, Andy and Stuart with me. The weather was fine and dry and we set off on our meandering route to the Scottish borders.
The route took us from north from York and through Boroughbridge, Ripon, Masham, Hawes, Kirby Stephen and onto Alston where we had lunch at The Nook Café.
Fortunately, Fridays weather was kind and we enjoyed 240 dry miles.
Each rider had a stint at the front of their group and as we were using 'comms' it meant Alf and I were able to offer 'on the move' pointers and guidance, meaning shorter debriefs and quicker hand overs between riders.
Once we'd arrived at the hotel, rooms were allocated and we reconvened in the bar to debrief the day before sitting down to a well-earned meal together.
Saturday dawned dry but very over cast and with rain forecast we cracked on with the pre ride briefing and getting the comms paired.
Unfortunately, during Saturdays session I managed to pick up a rear puncture. It seems that these days I can't go to Scotland without getting one!
The guys went on ahead and linked up with Alf's group and after managing to get the tyre plugged, I was on my way.
Despite the dry start to the day, the heavens soon opened and it turned into a mostly wet day but the area around Dumfries offers some great riding and all the guys all seemed to enjoy it even in the rain.
Alf managed to find an amusingly named cafe for lunch, before the guys hit the road again for the final stint back to the hotel.
Once back at the hotel, debriefs were carried out and despite the weather, Chris was still smiling!
Saturday evening was another chance for everyone to get together and 'chew the cud' over the days routes and riding and what went well/less well etc.
Sunday morning arrived and the sun was shining and the skies where blue. Alf and I swapped groups and headed out to start of the BMF assessments. Unfortunately, Alf didn't quite make it out of the car park before he got a puncture! Unbelievable!
Fortunately, it was a quick fix and he and his group where soon back on the road.
The 6 assessments were all done whilst making our way back towards home. The first route was Dumfries towards Moffat before heading south to Gretna for the changeover.
The second assessment route was south along the M6/A6 before heading over the impressive Hartside Pass and down into Alston.
The final assessment route was Alston to Barnard Castle and down to Scotch Corner, although due to 2 road closures, we weren't able to take the intended route but soon came up with an amended one.
On reaching Scotch Corner the 2 groups regrouped and results were awarded and discussed. It was a great weekend and it was great that all the guys passed their assessments successfully and not only will they get a full test report, a certificate and years membership to the BMF, they also all got a badge!
My thanks go to Neil, Tony, Chris, Mark, Stuart and Andy for taking part and for their limitless enthusiasm despite the weather and the punctures!
Thanks also to fellow BMF Instructor Assessor Alf G for his help with the planning, the coaching and the conducting of the BMF assessments.
It is my intention to run further development weekends in 2022 and dates will be announced when hotels have been confirmed. The weekends will be limited to 6 riders with 2 instructors. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for future details.
For further information about the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award, go to
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