Michael – Volunteer IAM Observer
There is a thing called Advanced Riding. In simple words it is a deliberate, skillful and responsible riding technique admired by others. Some of the benefits of learning the Advanced Riding is reduced risk of having a crash, improved fuel consumption, less wear and tear to your vehicle.
Michael Pumfrey is a volunteer observer at the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists (IAM) – the UK road safety charity founded more that 60 years ago with the purpose to improve driver and rider skills through coaching and education.
Michael agreed to share some of his volunteering experiences with us all:
“The feeling of counter steering, the trust in your tyres as the bike pulls you around the corner are all things that some people just don’t get and I’ve been riding for over 20 years now. I’ve ridden all over the UK and in parts of Europe racking up around 60,000 miles of almost pure social riding. I have ridden with people that scare me due to the speeds that they ride, and show a complete lack of experience due to either being new to biking or are born again riders.
My first experience of advanced riding was whilst conducting rider training with Hampshire Police. Literally 2 tips they gave me changed my riding ways and that was to; always be prepared; and expect the unexpected. With the learning of a few new tips it spurred me on to complete the IAM Course. Within days I was riding more progressively and safely due to a better understanding of how my bike works, but also how to read what the road is telling me.
Once I passed my IAM Rider Assessment I felt I was more confident and that the bike ran more efficient. With a lot of social riding in Scotland, where I live now, I felt that I wanted to pass on my knowledge to other riders so I decided to become a Local Observer in Moray County. So with some observer training delivered and completed under the IMI program from the IAM I qualified as an IAM Observer. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the change from riding behind someone at the start, wondering what they’re going to do next and them making you gasp for air with nervousness to almost riding in synchronization near to the completion of their training. This I do at no cost to the trainee apart from a donation of some fuel for my time and the pleasure I get for seeing the changes in a persons riding.”
If completing an Advanced Rider Scheme is something you are interested in, then contact your local IAM (https://www.iamroadsmart.com) or RoSPA branch (https://www.rospa.com/safety-training/on-road/advanced/motorcycle-course/) and see how they are scheduled. Both Groups provide a free initial rider assessment.