Peter made contact with me as he was getting some concerns raised by his wife about some of the things that he was doing on the bike. She had been to a couple of bike events/meets as a pillion and there were a few moments which made her feel uneasy.
We started as always about how Peter felt about his riding – his experiences, his ‘moments’ over the years, what he felt his strengths and weaknesses were and also what he might want to get from his riding in the future. This self assessment is really important as it gives us both a clear indication of what we need to cover in the session. I knew some of this as I had sent Peter a pre-ride questionnaire.
Peter opted for the half day session which gave us a decent amount of time to assess his riding and make any adjustments. Peter chose to be linked to me by radio but that is optional as not all riders like it or get on with it.
The first half hour was an observed ride where I looked at what Peter did on the bike, how he conducted himself on the road and to pick up any issues.
Peter had said in our earlier briefing that he had ‘moments’ that seemed to come out of nowhere; in that he was pootling along and there would suddenly be a drama.
It was clear from the first hour that a big part of Peter’s issues was that his road positioning – where the bike was on the road – needed improvement to give him a better view of what was in front of him. In essence – the more you can see and the earlier you can see it means you give yourself the maximum amount of time to assess it and deal with it – no more surprises!
After a coffee break, we spent the remainder of the session working on Peter’s road positioning and some other issues including his gear selection. I led the way to show the best lines and then we swapped. He also tended to be in too high a gear most of the time (eg, in 5th instead of 4th or even 3rd) which meant that if he had to take some action, his bike did not have the drive to support his actions.
Peter made really good progress and the last part of the session saw me shadowing him on the road and he was much smoother and far more ready to deal with the dramas that might come his way.
As a footnote; a few months after our session I came across Peter on his bike when I was driving my car and I was able to follow him for a bit. He was still doing the right thing with his road positioning which was really satisfying for me – he looked a highly competent and confident rider.
- Thanks to Peter for allowing me to use his time with me as a case study!