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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

March 2024 - Training, FireBiking, BMF, RoSPA and IAM assessments. It was even drier than February, but only just!


March was another wet month, but there were some signs of the better weather being on its way. Hooray! Here's what I got up to.

Training.

Neil came along on his 1250GSA. Neil holds IAM Masters and RoSPA Gold qualifications but believes in continual personal development. Neil trained with me last year when we worked on his cornering, which he felt wasn't quite where he wanted it to be. This time was more of an overall refresher, but still with some emphasis on entry position, entry speed, and throttle control through the corner. Thoroughly enjoyable session, covering around 110 miles.

Enhanced Rider Scheme.

John came along for 2 sessions on his K1300GT. John is a member of the IronButt Association and is a very experienced rider. However, never one to rest on his laurels, he decided it was time to obtain an advanced qualification. We had 2 great great days, the rain mainly held off, we covered lots of miles and John successfully completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme.

Another Enhanced Rider Scheme successfully completed with Steve on his 1200RT. Steve trained with me back 2021 and 2022 and decided to have refresher, whilst also working through the ERS modules. A great result for both guys, and a great base to work from towards further advanced qualifications in the future.

BMF Blue Riband Advanced Rider Award.

Dave is a RoSPA qualified rider and Tutor and decided to take the BMF test to add to his qualifications. Despite the mixed weather conditions, Dave put in a great ride on his K1600GT, and successfully passed with a Gold grade. Here's Dave receiving his BMF enamel badge, and will also receive 1 years membership to the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF)  

RoSPA.

I conducted 1 RoSPA test in March, it was with Rich on his Harley Davidson. Despite the wet weather, standing water and generally changeable conditions, Rich put in a great ride and passed successfully, achieving a Gold grade. What's even more impressive, is that Rich only obtained his full bike licence in Oct 2021!

IAM National Observer Assessments.

I conducted 2 N.O. Assessments in March. Unfortunately, one candidate did not quite meet the required standard, however, Moto Guzzi riding John, put in a great effort, and passed his National Observer Assessment successfully. Well done John, great result.

NYF&RS FireBike.

March saw the FireBike team get together for some 'classroom' based training. Agenda covered BikerDown, the 2024 events calendar, and process and procedures relating to the FireBike project. We were joined by Helen from the York & North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, Jade from DocBike Yorkshire, who updated us on the project and we discussed how the 2 projects can work together in the future and Mark from NY Police.

Not everyone made it to training, but here's the current riding team.

From L to R - Me, Karl, Andy, Stuart and Mark.

March was a busy month, with the whole team getting out to events around the county.

Here's a few photos of my days on the bike and where some of the team got too..

Me and Andy C at the NY500 Cafe, Pickering.

Another from the NY500.

Visiting the newly re opened Shed 30 Cafe near Northallerton.

Andy chatting to riders in Helmsley Market Place.

Seaways Café, Fridaythorpe.

Karl and Andy at the Squires Easter Egg run. Hundreds of riders involved.

Easter egg run.

Stuart and Andy headed over to a busy Devils Bridge.

Having been to Devils Bridge, it was too good an opportunity to miss, so here's the bikes next to the famous viaduct landmark.

Busy at Strawberry Fields Café, Crockey Hill.

March also saw both bikes fitted with sat navs. As ex police RTs, there's no 'built in' place for a sat nav. After a bit of research and taking the FireBike budget into consideration, (which is very small!) It was decided to buy Garmin XTs. The navs were purchased from the guys at Infinity Motorcycles in York and then the bikes went into Barrie Robson BMW in York, who very kindly donated their time for fitting the navs.

Garmin XTs, they actually look a lot neater on the bikes than the photo suggests.

Barrie Robson BMW, York.

So, what is FireBike?

FireBike, is an exciting project from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, which is supported by the York & North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership. It is a motorcycle safety initiative, which sets out to Reduce Injuries by Direct Engagement (RIDE) with motorcyclists and other road users, by being at the very heart of community events and connecting directly with riders at specific motorcycle meeting venues and events. If you see the guys out and about, please pop over and say hello.

BMF Motorcycle Rider Magazine

As some of you know, from time to time, I manage to get my ugly mug featured in biking mags. Well, March saw me pop up in a couple of features. First up, I put an article together about the Blue Riband Advanced Rider Award, which appeared in the BMF magazine, Motorcycle Rider.

Motorcycle News.

In February, I spent a weekend with my local RoSPA group, to assist with some initial training for new Tutors. It was a cracking weekend, which ended with a group photo. Well, that photo made it into MCNs Ride 5000 miles weekly round up.

L to R is Advanced Tutor Phill, Advanced Tutor & Diploma holder Simon, trainee Tutors Paul, Pete and Mat, and yours truly on the end. (Many thanks to Lee for sending me the digital image)

My BMW 1250GSA.

Mileage 29/2/24 - 11485

Mileage 1/4/24 - 12153.

Mileage in March - 668

Another relatively low mileage month, although it's up on February and I did about another 400 miles on the FireBike too. It was 12K service time in March, so my bike was dropped off with the guys at Barrie Robson BMW in York. When I went to collect it, not only had it been serviced, it was even cleaner that when I dropped it off, thanks guys!

Finally....not bike related, but wanted to share.

March was a big month for our dog Vinnie today. As some of you know, Vinnie is not a people person, and he particularly dislikes dog groomers and vets. This is because they man handle him, and vets in particular, stick things were he doesn't want things sticking. Obviously his dislike of dog groomers means he doesn't get a trim as often as he should. He used to let us do a lot of him, but anything around his face is now a definite no no!

But on 2oth March, Vinnie went for his service, which for most owners is simply a case of taking their dogs to the vets, the vet examines them, weighs them, clips their nails, takes their temp and gives them their annual booster injection. Simple. Not with Vinnie. The first issue was getting him out of the car, and then into the vets, because he seemed to recognises the building, and doesn't like it! Then, because he's grumpy, the vets now have to sedate him, but here's the good news, because he's sedated, they're also gave him a proper trim and groomed him....hallelujah!!

So, here's the 'before and after' shots. In the car just before he headed off with Kim, and how he looked when he returned.

Is it even the same dog?! Of course it is. Love that dog xx

And that my friends, rounds off March. Thank you to everyone involved in my biking month. I hope you enjoyed the read and Vinnie brought a smile to your face. Until next month, ride safe.

Ian S

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