Advice

Training Video’s & Winter and Summer Riding Advice

Total Advanced ‘Off Road’ Facility
Introduction to Total Advanced ‘Off Road’ Facility
Instructor’s Commentary with helmet-cam
Police Advanced Riding Video
Instructor’s Commentary with helmet-cam
Advanced Test Examiners Commentary
Instructor’s Cornering Commentary
Cornering
Instructor’s Overtaking Commentary
Instructor’s Rural Riding Commentary

 

Winter Riding

* Avoid or break up long journeys as the cold will reduce your concentration.

* When temperatures are near freezing remember to adopt less exaggerated lines, which can mean riding on dry areas that have been generated through car tyres.

* With greasy roads always leave extra braking distance.

* Try to use more engine braking to avoid excessive use of brakes.

* Wind factor will mean closed visors, and possibly misty vision. Consider a ‘pin lock’ or other visor de-misting inserts.

* Never stop closely behind a stationary vehicle. Always try and leave a bike length so if the car following you doesn’t stop in time you have an escape route.

* Always ride with an exit strategy, so don’t tailgate in the centre of the vehicle you are following.

* Other drivers will also suffer from frosty windscreens so never assume they have seen you – always ride defensively.

Your Bike

* The combination of less use and cold temperatures mean tyres quickly lose their pressures.

* Salt rots your bike so be prepared to use soapy water each day.

* Those heated grips perhaps aren’t so silly after all.

* Consider spraying areas prone to the elements with a protective coating.

* Invest in a battery trickle charger.

Summer Riding

* If you have not ridden your bike for a while your reactions and familiarisation of your machine could be rusty – so take your time, you will not be able to pick up where you left off.

* With the better weather, comes dryer roads and your confidence levels are increased. It is all relative as the chances are you will be making quicker progress maintaining a higher tempo, so your braking distances must be increased.

* Statistically, more accidents occur in the summer months. Speed, junctions and derestricted roads usually feature as a characteristic.

* Never be tempted to wear less protective clothing. ‘It will never happen to me’ is unacceptable, as sooner or later it just might. Equally, the experience of a bee entering your helmet through an open visor will ensure it is closed for the rest of your riding days. In both cases don’t learn through experience but learn through wisdom.

* Diesel/petrol on dry roads is more difficult to spot, so any liquid at exits from garages should be treated as suspect.

* When group riding only ever go at your own pace/ability. Do not get affected by peer pressure. Always stagger your riding position and never follow blindly into overtakes. If you know the riding style of your friends and believe you will be under pressure that you cannot deal with, then the safest thing to do is not go out with them.

Personal riding style

– Mick Jones

* Defensive riding. What does this mean to me and how do I personally adjust my riding style. I actually do regularly ask the question ‘what if ’and adopt the safest position for dealing with that hazard. This often means putting as much distance between the two of us, as I can. Whether it be following vehicle, moving away from a car emerging from a junction, all the time I’m trying to maintain a safe environment around the bike. Subject to the speed and nature of the hazard, this environment is increased or decreased. I always try to ride within that protective buffer zone and believe it is the single most important aspect of defensive riding.

* Prioritising hazards. Whilst you do need to raise your vision and search the horizon, the more pressing issues are obviously those nearer to you. Your vision therefore has to be split to cover both aspects, as well as what is going on behind you. Within the scope of that vision you then need to prioritise the hazards and it doesn’t always follow that their priority is on the basis of their approach order. By example, 50 yds up the road a child is playing on the pavement, whereas 75yds away is a loose horse running down the middle of the road. Having, prioritised the hazards you can then often link them together and adopt a safe position and speed to deal with them.

Advanced Test Tips

Here are a few do’s and dont’s

* Do use high visibility attire and ride with headlights on

* Do learn Road Craft, the Highway Code and the usual daily maintenance checks for your machine

* Do ride with style, which means avoid paddling or having both feet down

* Do use mirrors with life savers and shoulder checks

* Do consider using arm signals to reinforce indicators where necessary

* Do ride to the system

* Do maximise your view by taking exaggerated lines but never to the point of reducing safety margins

* Do plan ahead and where possible link developing hazards

* Do prioritise hazards. It is no good planning for the right hand bend a quarter of a mile ahead by adopting a position near the kerb too early. What about the blind left hand junction and cyclist for example? These must be dealt with prior to the bend.

* Don’t turn up on a dirty bike

* Don’t think it is all about speed. The examiner will be looking for a fluid ride, taking all opportunities to make good progress, but all of this is within the speed limits

* Don’t take too high a gear as you will have no engine braking and be constantly on the brakes

* Don’t disregard the rules of the road such as overtaking on double white lines etc

* Don’t cut across lanes on dual carriageways. When exiting be in the nearside lane at the 300 counter board to demonstrate good planning.