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 (bostonadvancedmotorists.co.uk 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.