Tips and blogs

IAM RoadSmart has more than 60 years’ unrivalled knowledge and experience of riding and driving. Our regular tips provide helpful hints for all road users.

Tips

For the love of bikes

Blog post posted on 16/10/17 |
Insight

I started motorcycling when I was 14, back in the ‘60s! Not on the road, but on our private farm lane and in the fields. With a group of friends I bought and sold British bikes for £5-£15 … those same bikes would be worth thousands today!

We learnt to ride by falling off, mostly on soft landings. We also learnt how to repair and keep them going on a shoestring budget, which included full engine rebuilds, two and four strokes.

I was on the road in ‘66 with my ‘64 Triumph Tiger Cub motorbike; this was the start of over 50 years of motorcycling on the roads. I have owned many bikes from many manufacturers as you can imagine. I have also survived a few collisions. The only broken bone I received was my collar bone, at 0 mph in a garage! The side stand did not lock in position and over I went; very embarrassing and painful.

I never considered any advanced training until 2007. I owned a 1250 Bandit and attended a local BikeSafe session. I enjoyed the day and learnt some useful hints and tips which I worked on to improve mainly my road positioning. Since then I attended two Performance Plus days at Cadwell Park, another BikeSafe course and three track evenings at Cadwell. 

In 2015 I joined the Lincolnshire Advanced Motorcyclists  (LAM) and took the Skills for Life course which I passed in June that year. I was inspired so much with the thought of potentially helping others, I signed up for the local observer programme which I passed in 2016. Since then I have taken seven associates through the advanced course with six passes to date and one awaiting a check ride.

I had been thinking about helping to bring on new observers also when our group chairman asked me if I would consider becoming and national observer (NO); of course I said yes!

Recently I had my NO assessment and passed. I am now applying for Local observer (LO) assessor which will enable me to assist in the training and development of LOs.

In 2016 I took the advanced course in my car and gained a F1RST. I reckon there are a lot of transferable skills from a bike to car, try it!

The whole experience since that first BikeSafe day has been immensely fulfilling and satisfying; my only regret is that I wish I had started sooner. Helping others to become better and safer riders is now a passion of mine. What can be better than an associate thanking you for helping them to be a safer rider? I have made seven new friends for life.

If you are thinking of becoming an observer - go for it, I guarantee you won’t regret a single moment.

At 66 working with IAM Roadsmart, keeping my motorcycling skills to a high level, working with people and always seeking to improve keeps my brain sharp, that can’t be bad!

 Roland Johns, observer at Lincolnshire Advanced Motorcyclists

Blogs

For the love of bikes

Blog post posted on 16/10/17 |
Insight

I started motorcycling when I was 14, back in the ‘60s! Not on the road, but on our private farm lane and in the fields. With a group of friends I bought and sold British bikes for £5-£15 … those same bikes would be worth thousands today!

We learnt to ride by falling off, mostly on soft landings. We also learnt how to repair and keep them going on a shoestring budget, which included full engine rebuilds, two and four strokes.

I was on the road in ‘66 with my ‘64 Triumph Tiger Cub motorbike; this was the start of over 50 years of motorcycling on the roads. I have owned many bikes from many manufacturers as you can imagine. I have also survived a few collisions. The only broken bone I received was my collar bone, at 0 mph in a garage! The side stand did not lock in position and over I went; very embarrassing and painful.

I never considered any advanced training until 2007. I owned a 1250 Bandit and attended a local BikeSafe session. I enjoyed the day and learnt some useful hints and tips which I worked on to improve mainly my road positioning. Since then I attended two Performance Plus days at Cadwell Park, another BikeSafe course and three track evenings at Cadwell. 

In 2015 I joined the Lincolnshire Advanced Motorcyclists  (LAM) and took the Skills for Life course which I passed in June that year. I was inspired so much with the thought of potentially helping others, I signed up for the local observer programme which I passed in 2016. Since then I have taken seven associates through the advanced course with six passes to date and one awaiting a check ride.

I had been thinking about helping to bring on new observers also when our group chairman asked me if I would consider becoming and national observer (NO); of course I said yes!

Recently I had my NO assessment and passed. I am now applying for Local observer (LO) assessor which will enable me to assist in the training and development of LOs.

In 2016 I took the advanced course in my car and gained a F1RST. I reckon there are a lot of transferable skills from a bike to car, try it!

The whole experience since that first BikeSafe day has been immensely fulfilling and satisfying; my only regret is that I wish I had started sooner. Helping others to become better and safer riders is now a passion of mine. What can be better than an associate thanking you for helping them to be a safer rider? I have made seven new friends for life.

If you are thinking of becoming an observer - go for it, I guarantee you won’t regret a single moment.

At 66 working with IAM Roadsmart, keeping my motorcycling skills to a high level, working with people and always seeking to improve keeps my brain sharp, that can’t be bad!

 Roland Johns, observer at Lincolnshire Advanced Motorcyclists