Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Bother?

On the ride on Sunday I had the opportunity to talk to Simon (my observer) in some detail.  I wondered what would inspire a man, or anybody for that matter, to give up there time freely to educate others bikers.  To put time and effort into teaching with no possible financial reward.

I have spent a few days since Sunday thinking about this very thing. 

In the end I came to several conclusions.

All over NZ, and obviously many other countries, countless individuals will give there time and commitment to helping others, or promoting some thing that they consider important.  They do this because they are passionate about it. They do it cause they love to do it, and they do it because the results far out way the time they put in.  Weather it be couching a girls soccer team, or a boys rugby team, weather it be meals on wheels, or collecting for the blind.  There is some thing very rewarding about doing such activities.

But...........what motivates people to do such things?

Which brings me back to IAM, and the conversation I had with Simon on Sunday.  I asked him why he did what he was doing.  Mainly because it was clear to me that he is a busy man and I am sure he probably had better things to do with his time than follow a chubby guy around behind a red triple.

He went on to tell me about a recent motorway accident involving a biker.  With out going into detail, the biker lost control while entering a on ramp, slid across three lanes and into the wire rope barrier  (or as we call them over here "Cheese cutters") He was picked up in four pieces.   This alone is motivation for encouraging better riding.  Seeing the consequences of some body's riding and knowing that you can teach and help people to ad void such tragedy's would be very motivating.  It would be for me.

When he stops a biker  for reckless or dangerous driving he always promotes IAM and encourage's them to seek out and get some better training.   Not one single rider has ever taken him up on his offer. 

Which brings me to a point which applies to every sport or exercise where training is required.


and here lies the problem.

The single and most motivating factor for me in  getting some training was not my stupidity or lack of was some else's. Some one who, if I could of I should been able to offer some commonsense and some up skilling. But if you are blind you can not tell a blind man what you don't see.

I have long given up on the government doing anything sensible about such things.  If I want to make a differenc then only I can do so.  In your chosen field what ever it maybe, if you are passionate about it then you can make a difference.

I look at like this.  If I and Geoff get to a position where we can train just two people, and those two people go on and train another two people each, and those four train two each, and those eight train two each....... you can see where this is going. 

Thanks for reading everyone..............and or all the Kiwi Fathers out ther, Happy Fathers day on Sunday!


  1. Roger,
    That's a really thoughtful post and you've already hinted that there isn't a single answer. Some people are motivated by a passion for what they do, others because of need (perhaps Simon's motivation). Some people simply because they care about others. All we can really do is doff our hats to all the unpaid volunteers everywhere.

    I think in our specific example, the answer is easy. It lifts our game, hopefully keeps us safer and we can put something back into the pastime which we hold so dear. Win-win, a no-brainer really.

    Incidentally, had an email from Andy today. He's in it for the long haul too.

    Nice one mate!

  2. That is great news on Andy Geoff. I knew he would be into it, so that makes four!! He will be aesome to.

    Thanks for your comment, it was just a few thoughts that i wanted to write down. Hopefully though it is thought provoking for others.

  3. Great write-up, Roger. I try to encourage my little biker in training (a.k.a. as spousal unit), and he is an avid learner. We will both take an advanced rider course once we get a spot (the good ones have to be books months ahead), and it was you and Geoff inspiring me/us to do that. You can never stop learning.
    The story of the poor bloke grated by the wire rope barrier is horrible, the guy who invented this piece must have had misanthropic tendencies or simply hate bikers.

  4. Well thank you Sonja. It's lovely if something rubs off - it was David Hough's emails to me and correspondence with Roger that got me back into re-skilling/upskilling.

  5. Sonja: Thanks. It think it is awesome that you and hubby are sharing what is a fantastic hobbie. If Geoff and I have been able to encourage you a little then iam a happy man.

  6. Great post Roger. I think we all can use skill building classes. No matter how long we've been riding there always seems to be more to learn and to learn how to do those skills even better.

  7. The other thing is, have fun! Ride outs with a purpose other than coffee and donuts - there's the rub!

    Best wishes from Autumnal Britain, N

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  9. Roger, I have to admit that I'm somewhat ambivalent about rider training, though I did do a Honda Australia Rider Training course (HART) some years ago. I have all of the usual excuses, I'm too busy, I'm doing OK as is, it's too expensive, what if I crash my bike etc etc, because most of the rider training that I'm aware of in Oz is all track based and is 'for profit'.

    I'm very much attracted to the fact that your training is not track based and that you are actually training in an authentic riding environment. I must investigate a little more and see if IAM or something like it exists in Oz.

    Ride safe.


  10. Trobirtz: Thanks. Any training is good traing. Ihope i an encourageing people to get out and do it!

    Nikos: Well said!

  11. Jules; You dont know what you dont know....till you learn it. I am sure there must be some thing in Melbourne along similar lines. Improving your skills, on the road, is important for me..........and you wil discover it is imortant for you to.

  12. This is a subject I have much experience with. I agree with Spider Bite Geoff. Good post. I think you hit a vital point that I try to express to those who mentor new instructors.

    Yes, it's true that the class might have done just a tiny bit better if you were teaching it directly. However, think how many riders you can touch in a positive way if you help make a good instructor out of this person.

  13. Roger, I think I can almost put a good bet on that you and Geoff are excellent material for becoming Observers. I know that Phil your present Observer will already be getting a good gut feel about seeing your advanced skills being applied and hence your safety levels rising. Good point about wanting or not wanting to learn further skills,for me the ones that decide to switch from not want to want have already opened their minds and hence are a good part there.
    Good luck on the "Green Badge" path.