I thought it was important to bring you up to date with my progress through IAM.
As many regular readers will be aware I have done a lot of KM's during the last few months. My South Island trip. East Coast, numerous adventures on to gravel. During all theses rides I am always trying to ride to the IAM standard. Quite frankly once you are into and you realise the benefits of riding to IAM and its system you soon discover no desire to go back. Once your in , your in, there is no going back.
My last observed ride with Phillip in December produced a mixed bag of crap riding and advanced riding skills. Simon Pampling one of the other observers who I have mentioned before contacted me late January to arrange another observed ride. I was looking forward to this immensely. I had certainly been putting a lot of work in and was keen to at least show that I had made good progress. I felt that my riding had improved a great deal from the months previous.
We left from my work mid afternoon and headed through peak hour traffic south. I seemed to handle all of the issues, speed restrictions and other issues reasonably well. Once south, we started on some country roads. I was familiar with the roads and thought that if ever I was gonna get it right it would be today ....until........I came across a truck and trailer unit. It was to be the undoing of me as I executed a shocking and badly thought out passing manoeuvre. I knew the moment I had done it that I had well and truly screwed up. I carried on with the ride trying hard to put it behind me. That one passing maneuver saw me getting marked down considerably. I finished with a D. To say I was gutted would be a complete understatement. Actually I really did consider giving up. It took me a few days to pull myself together and refocus on the bigger picture. I realised that regardless of the fact I had ballsed up on that particular ride, I am still a far better rider than I was at the beginning of the whole process.
So this Sunday I went along to the monthly ride. As Geoff has pointed out IAM is really beginning to grow. It is exciting to watch and be a part off. I hope in some small way to contribute to it's continued success and growth. On Sunday 18 riders turned up, a mixture of Observers, members and associate members.
Once it was sorted who was going with who, I found myself with Phillip the Chief Examiner and my mate Andy, who in my opinion is an excellent rider. I drew the short straw and was to lead for the first part with Phillip following and Andy behind him. Earlier in the morning Andy, and our other mates Richard and Bruce had met up for an early morning ride. This was mainly for my benefit and although that ride was a mixed bag it did help immensely in dialing in for the rest of the day.
When we stopped I felt that I had done pretty well. I had had a few tricky things I needed to negotiate but over all I was happy......the big question was what did Phil think?
Andy had his go and showed his normal excellent technique, although the "hand on the tank" incident didn't win him any awards with Phil. But overall it was a pleasure to ride behind two very confident and skilled riders.
Then comes the DE-brief. Much to my surprise I discovered it was in fact a check ride. (A pre test ride to ensure you are up to standard and can go and sit the test) I passed....even got an A.....whoooo. So some time in the near future I will be sitting my test. Andy passed as well so we will be out together practising and honing our skills. The key for me is getting out first and getting a few kms under my belt. It seems to work wonders with me. Trying to relax and ride my natural ride.
So the journey continues, still have a lot more to accomplished, but it was a great feeling to see things clicking for me. The fact remains that I still have to continue to work hard, the standard of riding is high.As so it should be, if they gave passes out with cereal packets there would be no point. Will go back and continue to read my copy of Motorcycle road craft as well as the rode code.