Coltishall i2i course: a condensed blog

Text: Terry Jacobs
Images: Terry Jacobs, Ian Dunckley, Martin Brooks

Day 1 – Sunday

After lots of e-mails five members finally met up at Ely Tesco for a 2pm departure heading for Sprowston Manor Hotel. This was via an 85-mile route of mixed roads skirting north of Swaffham, arriving around 2½ hours later

First hiccup. Under Covid, the hotel was running a restricted food service so no tables were available.  Choice of ride somewhere else for sustenance or stay put, have a beer or two and order pizza.  Second option won and we were joined by two more members who had arrived after an interesting Garmin route!

Day 2 – Monday

Up for a hearty breakfast to get ready for the day.  Off we go and b*$$3r – road closed!  Quick U-turn (something we would later learn more about and practise) and we arrived ‘just in time’ to find Tom from i2i waiting for us.  The rest of Class of 2021 arrived a few seconds later and off we go to a far corner of the airfield

Tom explained tyre profiles, the relationship between front and back tyres, the natural ‘balanced’ state of a machine, the science of counter-steering, lean, weight transfer and grip giving us demonstrations on one of his Triumphs to ‘prove’ what he said

Now it was our turn to ‘feel’ what we had learnt. Part of this was braking exercises to sample something we rarely practise. Our group average stopping distance at 40mph turned out to be 11 metres, surprisingly short. This distance increased to 30 metres at 60mph!

School was over and a small group headed for ice-cream at Wells-next-the-Sea.  Cold and a bit drizzly but very nice.  Back to the hotel and ready for dinner.  That is when a number of red faces appeared!  Who would have thought an overcast Norfolk would give us sunburn?

Day 3 – Tuesday

More in-depth explanations of machine dynamics, how the human body affects control and it is the body’s instinct to protect the head to survive which often causes negative inputs and problems on the road.  More demo rides by Tom

Our turn again and armed with our new knowledge, cornering, slalom work, U-turns, acceleration and braking followed, all whilst riding one-handed!  Fortunately, not a scary as it sounds

Class dismissed to go home to nurse the red noses and muscle aches

In summary

A good two-day course which certainly make you think. There is always something to learn as modern bikes, tyres and technology are very much different to the machines of the past.  Tom certainly knows his stuff and tailored the course for us as IAM members.  He also uses a light-hearted presentation method to get his points across. It was good to be with a group of like-minded people for discussions over a drink, leaving with the knowledge to hopefully be better prepared to deal with those difficult situations we shouldn’t, but do, occasionally find ourselves in