Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding

Along with Group Rideouts (see calendar), weekends and other activities, all full members can take advantage of several ways to either improve their riding skills or make sure they are riding at the same standard as when they passed the test.

There are several options listed here and we encourage all members to take advantage of the continual improvement opportunities available. You may even want to consider offering to lead a rideout - its very rewarding being the leader of the pack, taking others to see new roads and places of interest....but you are 'front and centre' so your skills need to class="textreg" be up to scratch! Talk to Graham Bailey if you would like to know more.

The other question we get asked often is 'can I be "tailend charlie" - the sweeper on a rideout?'. This is actually sometimes more demanding than leading the rideout and, to comply with IAM Insurance, the Sweeper should be an Observer. Again, talk to Graham and see where that goes.

In the meantime, any queries regarding any of these options please let us know.

Formal IAM Reassessment

Anyone who has already passed the Advanced Test can book a formal IAM reassessment, or Members Assessment, with the Examiner. There is a charge for this, currently £35 and should be booked via the IAM website (you will need to login via the members page). You might also consider using an IAM skills days as a means of improving machine control skills in a safe controlled environment, with guidance from instructors. Again these can be booked once logged into the members area of the IAM website.

Q: What happens if I have a Members Assessment and 'fail'?
A: Currently you are not removed as an IAM member, but perhaps you should think about ways to rehone your skills, and retake (see Group Reassessment below).

Q: Can I achieve a higher grade pass than the previous test?
A: Yes. The IAM have now introduced the F1RST Register which recognises excellence during the IAM advanced test (including a Members Assessment). a F1RST pass is achieved by scoring a 1 in every assessment category. Members will receive a special certificate and membership card complete with the F1RST logo. Their names are also entered into the F1RST register.

Masters

This is open to all accomplished advanced drivers and riders. The IAM Masters programme provides true one to one mentoring support and guidance that will help you attain the highest level of civilian riding standard in the country. http://www.iam.org.uk/riders/riders-courses/masters

Skills Days

An IAM designed skills course based at a circuit with Instructor guidance to improve anticipation, cornering, planning, smoothness and understanding how your bike performs in a variety of situations. Have a look at the IAM website http://www.iam.org.uk/riders/riders-courses/riding-assessment/skills-days for details.

Q: Why not just go on a Track Day?
A: The IAM Skills Days are based at a track but are not the same as they are based on guidance and education.

Q: Will I get time on the track?
A: Yes. There is a huge amount of time on-track with typically smaller groups than generally attend traditional track days.

Q: Is it more expensive than a track day?
A: Typically the IAM Skills Days offer better value for money when you consider that the emphasis is actually on learning rather than just paying a fee to ride your bike around.


Observing

You'll need excellent riding skills and good communication capabilities amongst others but becoming an Observer is an excellent way to both checking your skills as an Advanced Rider and continually improving these through self-assessment, Observer Team skills improvements - sometimes one to one, sometimes as a group. The route to becoming an Observer is easy - send an email to Tim Hutt our Observer Trainer and he'll be in touch. You will first have an assessment with a Senior Observer - often our Chief Observer, PC Simon Ross. If you pass, you'll then be working with Tim on the skills needed to be an Observer which don't just mean your riding skills need to be top notch! If you don't pass that first assessment, the Senior Observer will give you guidance as to where you need to improve - use the options on this page to work on them.

Group Reassessment

Any full member of CCAM can ask for a reassessment with an Observer anytime. We can't guarantee that this would take place the very next day and availability is subject to the workload within the Observer team who are working with new Associates to help them get to Test standard. That said, we will do our best to accommodate requests - so send an email to the membership secretary and we'll be in touch.

Q: What does the Group Reassessment mean and is there a pass/fail?
A: This is simply a one-off (usually - unless the Observer suggests a follow up session) ride, being observed by one of our Group Observers. Exactly the same as when you prepared for your test. There is no pass or fail but the Observer will provide feedback and any points you need to work on.

Q: Will I go out with my 'old' Observer again?
A: Probably not. It usually helps more to go out with someone different who doesn't necessarily know you and can give an impartial view of your riding skills.

Get out on your bike!

Too many bikes are left in the garage for too long! Don't wait for that sunny day - we don't have a Californian climate so there's a fair chance of a shower pretty much anytime...riding in different conditions allows you to learn about your capabilities and may highlight areas you might want to work on more. The kit is really good these days so get yourself a decent waterproof set, some layers for the cooler days and enjoy your bike all year round.

Weekends, tours, holidays

There's miles and miles of roads to explore in this country and beyond....so why not take the bike next time you are planning a trip? It's easy to take the bike on a ferry or the Channel Tunnel and for the vast majority of the European continent all you need to take your bike is your passport, driving licence and valid insurance for the country you are visiting. You may find that your insurance already covers you as many policies do but check this out before you go.

Other riding skills, learning experiences

Dare we say it, there are other organisations who offer training in lots of different skills - all of which are bound to have a positive effect on your bike control, confidence and abilities. Here's a few:

Off-road skills

Yes, off road. You'll find more grip than you know what to do with after one of these courses. There are options but start here: http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/world-of-bmw/off-road-skills/.

Track skills

As well as the IAM Skills Days, you may want to progress to more race orientated track skills. Again there are options but here's a start: http://www.haslamraceschool.com/

Moto Gymkhana

Traditionally on horseback but now adapted to motorbikes, this is best described as speed pattern racing and timed games. It’s all about skill – requiring accurate control, bursts of speed and ruthless braking – rider ability not horsepower is the key to steering round a course of obstacles in the fastest time. You can take part on any kind of motorbike and learn some great techniques see http://www.motogymkhana.org/



Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding