Thursday, February 17, 2011
Advanced Rider Training.....Why?
To attain a motorcycle license in NZ, you first have to complete a basic handling course. This entails about three hours of rider instruction on the basics of riding a bike. Breaking, gear changing , ride around a few cones, and presto you have a BHC. You then take this to the testing station, answering 20 road code questions, and presto you are legal to ride on NZ roads. After a further six months you sit another test with a tester who will either pass or fail you, if you pass you move onto a Restricted license, a few months later you eligible to sit your full test.
This was how I got my license. I personally think the first part, especially, is woefully inadequate to prepare riders for the dangers of our roads, yet this is all that is required. Alex who worked for me was at this stage of his license, when he was killed on his way to work. New Zealnd has a shocking motorbike accident rate. Last year on NZ roads there were 356 deaths, of which 56 were motorcyclists.
The full extent of my rider training is as above, everything else I have learnt ,I have learnt from other riders, by the mistakes I have made, and by reading a few books.
I have been encouraged of late by Geoff James and his desire to complete an Advanced rider instructor course, and this has made me painfully aware how little real training I have ever undertaking. During my visit to him on Saturday we briefly discussed a left hand cornering technique, his view so much different to mine, and once again I was made aware of how little I really know about riding a bike.
With this all playing heavily on my mind I have finally got myself organised and booked some one on one training with a a highly recommended instructor. I don't think I have been as nervous about something bike related since I first sat my license. I mentioned to a friend who does not ride a bike, what I intended doing. Why he asks? you ride thousand of miles a year. I tried to explain to him , how much more is involved to riding than just hoping on a bike and going. I am not sure he got it....
So on February 28th I will undertake my very first advanced rider training. I will let you all know how I get on.