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RIDE’S Sarah Nor­man has been rid­ing for just over a year and this month sub­mit­ted her­self to an IAM as­sess­ment ride

THIS MONTH I com­pleted a suit­abil­ity as­sess­ment for the IAM Road­s­mart Ad­vanced Rider Course. The com­plete course costs £149, which cov­ers this ini­tial as­sess­ment, all the train­ing and your first test. How­ever, it’s recog­nised by many in­sur­ers (check when get­ting your quote), so it may help bring down the cost of your pre­mium.

My ob­server for this as­sess­ment, Mick, is a vol­un­teer for the Bos­ton Ad­vanced Mo­torists Group (boston­ad­vanced­mo­ or 07742 552223) in Lin­colnshire. It’s one of more than 200 groups across the UK set up to de­liver the IAM Road­s­mart course based around the same prin­ci­ples as the po­lice Bike­safe course. It ap­plies the IPSGA (In­for­ma­tion, Po­si­tion, Speed, Gear, Ac­cel­er­a­tion) sys­tem to var­i­ous el­e­ments of rid­ing, such as cor­ner­ing, over­tak­ing and so on.

The as­sess­ment is a 90-minute ses­sion where the ob­server talks you through what the course in­volves

“I was, at times, com­ing too close to on­com­ing traf­fic”

be­fore head­ing out on a 30-minute ob­served ride. Feed­back is given on your suit­abil­ity for the Ad­vanced Rider Course, what ar­eas you need to work on and how many ses­sions they think you may need to get to test stan­dard.

Fol­low­ing the feed­back sec­tion your ob­server then gives a demon­stra­tion ride, al­low­ing you to see in prac­tice the feed­back you’ve been given.

In my case, the main piece of feed­back I re­ceived was that I was now try­ing so hard to ap­ply the ‘move­ment of road po­si­tion’ through cor­ners that I was at times com­ing too close to on­com­ing traf­fic when tak­ing left-hand bends. Mick re­minded me that while the prin­ci­ples should be fol­lowed, you should also be con­stantly ask­ing your­self whether your ‘safety bub­ble’ is ad­e­quate and move back to the cen­tre of the road if there’s on­com­ing traf­fic.

The good news for me is that I passed my as­sess­ment and plan to start my ad­vanced course in the spring.

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