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 🙂

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