F1RST-class ticket

Congratulations to Anton Flexer, who recently passed his Advanced Test with a F1RST award. Anton provides this account of the journey

I began my IAM observed rides with Rich Bell in October 2017, with a watchful eye from Julie D’Alessandro. Having ridden for 7 years it seemed like time to polish up my skills & iron out some bad habits I could feel developing

We rode into winter (with & without heated grips), the feedback suggesting I was making good progress. Then, in January 2018, I was knocked off my bike. The spill proved the worth of my protective gear, but unfortunately left with me a bike in bits. Luckily a fellow biker, passing in his pick-up, scooped me up and dropped me home, bruised but in working order, along with a broken bike

The silver lining was the opportunity to get a new bike, but this put a bit of delay on the training. After some further great sessions and more learning I was feeling confident. Sometimes life gets in the way: with two kids under 3, I took a year’s break. I started back up again in May 2019 with new Observer – Keith Tremeer – who picked up seamlessly from where Rich had left off with the consistent support of Julie

With further sessions I was again feeling confident and deemed ready for a pre-test ride, kindly conducted by Chris Curryer. Chris gave me  feedback focused on specific points. A final confidence boosting check-ride with Keith, and it was time for the test

I arrived for an early morning start with PC Simon Burgin at Trumpington. It was a beautiful autumn day and the genuinely enjoyable ride had me smiling as we rode south towards Barley. I was hoping at a minimum for a solid pass, and it was a very pleasing surprise to have come away with top pass in the form of a F1RST

My thanks to Keith Tremeer, Rich Bell and Julie D’Alessandro for getting me to this point. I have enjoyed myself, learnt a lot and remain impressed by the commitment of the volunteers who make this happen!

Next step: finally manage to join a Sunday ride out 🙂

IAM Skills Day review

Many thanks to Associate member Steven Libby who, having recently completed an IAM Skills Day on the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, has written and shared a review of his experience. Read Steven’s account of his Skills Day here

Inspired by Steven’s review you may wish to sign up for a Skills Day at Thruxton, Croft or Mallory Park. A total of eight Skills Days were held between May and September this year, with one date reserved for female riders. The 2019 season is now ended, but we’ll keep you posted when the 2020 schedule is announced so you can get your name on the list at the earliest opportunity

Associate Theory Evening

Thursday September 26th, Orwell Pavilion
See the Events Calendar for timing & further details

The evening is aimed at Associates preparing for their Advanced Test, but full members are also very welcome for a refresher on the theory of advanced riding. Observers are also encouraged to attend and share their insight and experience

This training takes the form of an interactive session which is led by experienced National & Local Observers. There will be plenty of time for questions & discussions. It doesn’t matter if you have been to a previous session, there are always new topics to debate! Please let Catherine know if you will be attending (if only to ensure she gets sufficient biscuits)

Night Ride

This event will provide an opportunity for members to gain more experience riding at night in a variety of road types, from motorway to B-roads. Departure details can be found in the Events Calendar here

The evening will start at 7.30pm with a briefing on night riding by our group examiner, PC Simon Burgin. The ride will cover approximately 90 miles, with a coffee stop at the half-way point, before finishing at around 11pm

The ride is limited to 12 motorcycles and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that it is a prerequisite that riders wear suitable reflective clothing

For more details and to book a place, please contact markpawson@live.co.uk by 14th September

Meccanica Ducati

Still time for a taster…

Know a rider who you think might benefit from IAM membership? There’s still time (just!) to alert them to the free taster ride day being held on Saturday 7th September, from 10am to 4:00pm

Having booked a slot, a rider will enjoy a 40-minute rideout with one of the Observer Team. who will give them detailed feedback at the end of the ride with pointers to how they might take their riding forward

The venue is Ducati Harston, in whose showroom visitors can browse the renowned Italian manufacturer’s latest models. CambsIAM will be in the car park, where Taster Rides will begin and end. There will even be a van selling burgers & cold drinks!

Please contact Graham Scott to book a slot. Partcipants are asked to ensure that their bikes are fully fuelled before departure