How we do it
We meet on the first Sunday of every month (2nd Sunday in Jan 2017) at Ripley Village Hall (map) in Surrey, come rain or shine. Starting as an associate member, having signed in and maybe bought a tea and a bacon sandwich from our cafe, you’ll be paired up with an observer.
The observer will put you at ease, discuss your history and experience of biking and explain how the observed run will proceed. You’ll then head out for about 2 hours on a variety of roads, sometimes leading, sometimes following your observer as he or she demonstrates an element of advanced riding. We don’t use radios on the observed ride, but typically there will be one or more stops for discussion about theory, practice and technique.
We understand that not everyone ‘clicks’ but not to worry, your observer will change each Sunday. If you do prefer a particular observer or your life doesn’t allow you to get down to Ripley each month, you can also approach the club for a mentor who is available to carry out midweek runs.
The method we teach is based on the Police system of motorcycle control, designed to make you a better and safer rider and is used by the emergency services to train their own riders. Known as IPSGA, the system is made up of four phases – position, speed, gear & acceleration, all encompased by information. This may not seem like rocket science, but even the most competent riders develop bad habits over time.
After your observed ride you’ll return to Ripley for another cuppa and sit down with your observer for a debriefing. Using the same scoring as the IAM Roadsmart test, your observer will give you constructive feedback and areas to work on, if any. Ahead of your next observed run you should work on what you have learnt so far, aiming to cover about 100 miles or so.
At the end of the observed ride and debrief (typically between 1 and 2 pm) you can join in on one of our social rides or head home. We have a marking system for social rides that ensures that you can ride at your own pace, knowing that every key junction will be marked. You need to know how this marking system works, so the social rides following on from the observed runs are specifically tailored for this purpose.
After an average of 4-6 observations you’ll then go for your IAM Roadsmart test. Your examiner will be an ex or serving Class One Police rider who will be looking for you to demonstrate a safe, smooth and progressive ride.
Most riders will pass the Advanced test first time, but if you don’t we’re here to support you with further training.
We don’t make any charge for observed runs, but we do ask that you make a contribution of £5 towards your observer’s fuel expenses (Or £2.50 if there are two associates).Join us