I’ve finally done it, I’ve passed my IAM Skill For Life Course, I’m now officially an ‘advanced rider’.
I started the course back in January, when I signed up with the East London Advanced Motorcyclists (ELAM) group. The course is based upon the Motorcycle roadcraft police rider’s handbook, but is presented through a slightly more digestible ‘How to be a better rider’ book (included with the course). The ELAM group begin the course in a fairly structured manner; starting with a machine control day on an airfield to practice slow manoeuvres, emergency stops and slalom. This is followed by 5 observed ride outs roughly every fortnight, each concentrating on particular areas, e.g. overtaking, bends, motorways, town riding etc. There were also 3 theory night sessions around these rides which covered the ‘system’ – an underlying principle to apply to your riding, various best practices and many legal points.
Continue reading “IAM Skill For Life Test Passed – Yippee!” »
Most of the time when on a motorcycle in London you are immune to commuting delays, as you can filter past pretty much anything. However on this day, my commute was delayed by a cruise ship. Bummer.
Here we are at Tower Bridge, waiting for this large Cruise ship to undock from HMS Belfast and make it’s way down the Thames. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t quite filter past this one. Still, it was a nice day to take stock of the fact I ride past some great icons of British architecture everyday.
What iconic landmarks do you commute past on your way to/from work?
Smashed her up pretty bad. Fairing number three trashed!
Continue reading “Whoops! I Did It Again…” »
As the days grow longer and my IAM course progresses, I have been looking for decent routes to hit after work on my commute home to squeeze in some extra practice and take advantage of the lovely weather. I ride home Eastbound on the A13, so have been hunting down quiet, yet interesting roads in close proximity to the areas of Upminster, Bulphan, Tilbury, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Brentwood. This is my route:
Check out full route on Google Maps here.
Continue reading “After Work Twisty Road Circuit” »
I made a quick visit to the Ponderosa Cafe near the Horseshoe Pass, just outside Llangollen in North Wales whilst in the area for a family holiday. Unfortunately I was not on the bike, but still great roads and stunning views whatever you ride or drive.
Good turn out of bikes (not just these two old Brit bikes in the photo!) and a change encounter with a London Biker friend too. Do pop by and ride the pass if you’re nearby.
As the weather turns cold and we have more wet days, the bane of all bikers strikes – a steamed up visor. And if you wear glasses, they’ll mist up too, double trouble. Visibility drops to zilch and riding becomes a nightmare. The simplest solution is of course to stop breathing. However, I tend to find this detrimentally affects my riding, especially on long rides…
Cold air, wind chill and rain dramatically reduces the temperature of your visor and glasses, such that moisture in the air your exhale condenses on these surfaces causing them to mist up.
Continue reading “Howto Stop Your Visor & Glasses Fogging Up” »
The summer has most definitely long gone, now replaced with some glorious (and not so glorious) Autumn sun. This mild weather is a boon to us bikers, but be mindful of the low sun blinding other drivers and masking your presence. Like the fighter pilots of old who surprised their targets by flying out of the sun, riding West in mornings and East in the evenings could potentially see you surprising fellow road users.
Bear the sun in mind, the scope for SMIDSY’s is even greater. Anticipate drivers pulling out, even when looking directly at you. When filtering, drivers may only see glare in their mirrors, or your headlights may blend into the setting sun. Take it steady and don’t assume others have seen you (even less so than normal).
We maybe having a particularly warm and dry autumn so far, but it won’t last long. So now is the time to start thinking out your winter preparations. At Beginner Biker Adventures, we’re not fair weather bikers,
we’re not fair weather bikers
it’ll take some pretty extreme weather to stop us riding and we use our bikes to commute year round. Granted, in London the weather rarely gets too bad and very few roads will be impossible to ride in the winter, never the less, good preparation ensures safe riding throughout the winter months. Check out these useful tips to prepare. Continue reading “Winter Preparation” »
On Sunday, the weather was dry, sunny and perfect for a ride on the bike. We set out early, to make the most of quieter roads and avoid the unbearable midday heat and set off into deepest Essex.
This was Evie’s first proper ride out, having only been on short journey’s around local streets to get used to riding pillion. Decked out in a Hein Gericke textile suit with armour, RST boots and Caberg lid, she was more than prepared. We briefly stopped at the High Beach tea hut, but got bored waiting for it to open so dashed off straight to Finchingfield, via Ongar, Leaden Roding and Great Dunmow, a popular run for all bikers. Evie was a good pillion, quickly got the hang of leaning with me around all the twisty bends. Just a bit wobbly as she was looking around lots.
In Finchingfield we popped into the Bosworth’s Tea Rooms for a quite bacon buttie and coffee, Evie had a sausage sarnie and juice. Very nice and far better espresso than High Beach. Fed and watered we set off home and were back for noon. There’s definitely plenty of good arguments for an early Sunday morning ride out.