Riding a motorcycle was just something I wanted to pursue
I’m Sian Owen, a 32 year old female, working in HR and relatively new into the world of biking.
My motorcycling journey began back in April 2017 (at the age of 30). No-one else in my friendship circle or family had any real connection go motorcycling but it was something I just felt that I wanted to pursue. Out I went and bought the best possible gear that I could and turned up for my CBT, equipped with all the gear and no idea. After my CBT, I took a couple of months to do some riding around on my 2016 plate Honda CB125F before selling it and getting booked on (and subsequently passing) my DAS.
I didn’t have a bike for the best part of a year from mid 2018-2019, and by turn of incredible fortune, at a local bike festival in May 2019 I happened to get talking to another lady biker who had been looking for someone to gift (yes, gift!) a 2001 Honda CB500 to. This was how the bike came to her when she passed her test. It was sitting in storage waiting for the next lucky person…and that turned out to be me! What an incredible act of kindness that gave me the bike I now ride.
Developing confidence and competence with ERS
Wanting to learn the ‘right’ way to ride, develop confidence and competence and minimise the risk of picking up bad habits, I did some research and discovered the ERS scheme through a Facebook group, where I (virtually) met Polly Chapman. Myself and one other female biker met up with Polly one damp Sunday in Warwick, to spend the best part of the day working through road positioning, negotiating bends and making progress, where safety was the number 1 priority. Learning about vanishing points was invaluable, as was practising the skill of planning and preparation, through scanning and evaluating both the immediate and upcoming landscape for hazards and riding considerations.
Polly, our Instructor, was wonderful at balancing the necessity of frank feedback, without making us feel in any way stupid. We had kit fitted to our helmets to enable live communication while riding as well as periodic rest breaks for feedback and re-fuelling (ourselves and the bikes!). She was very supportive and encouraging, I felt comfortable to push the limits of my bike further than I had done before.
Fantastic next step after DAS
Polly gave us both the fantastic news that we’d both passed at the end of the day, and although tired, I was buzzing with pride and my head was filled with positive memories from the day. The real success of the instruction and training was evidenced in the ride back home (a 30 minute ride), where I overtook 14 cars, and felt totally safe and in control. Bearing in mind that I could count on one hand how many times I’d overtaken anything on the bike prior to the ERS training, that I’d just done a tiring day of riding and it was damp on the roads, I’d say that it pretty phenomenal.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the ERS training, particularly for those new(ish) or returning to riding after a break. It was a fantastic next step after passing the DAS and has markedly improved my riding and my overall confidence.