IPSGA transformed my riding
At the age of 51 I decided to take my bike test in early spring this year, and through the team at my motorcycle training school I progressed through really enjoyable and high quality training that allowed me to get my full license in June this year.
I immediately got a bike and before long had racked up 1,000 miles, but during those miles I realised I was encountering roads and hazards that I wasn’t fully comfortable with. I found myself still braking as I entered some tricky corners, sometimes on tight downhill junctions I’d find myself running wide and the etiquette and rules of filtering were unclear to me. All in all these issues were beginning to detract a little from my enjoyment of riding my bike.
Realising I had plenty more to learn I enrolled on the Enhanced Rider Scheme for a days riding on a beautiful Bank Holiday Monday in August, not really knowing what to expect.
We started with a classroom session which did a great job of re-positioning the training we were about to enter, it was no longer about passing a test to the satisfaction of the DVSA examiner, it was all about road craft in the real world. During this initial session we were introduced to the IPSGA system of riding which would prove transformational later in the day.
Accelerating & braking too hard
Once the classroom session was complete we were out onto the bikes and into the Worcestershire countryside riding along a variety of roads. We stopped regularly along the way to get a quick debrief on how we were riding and to discuss concepts such as counter steering. Each time we would switch position on the road to allow someone else into Simon’s spotlight!
By the time we reached the pub for lunch it was clear to me that I was accelerating too hard and then braking too hard between corners. By concentrating on my speed and gears I was starting to become a little smoother. Over lunch we had a much deeper discussion on what Simon had observed with us, and related it back to the IPSGA system. The penny was beginning to drop!
Beginning to ride to a system that makes me safer
After lunch we started to head back, again over a variety of roads, but it was on a long section of twisty A-road that I really started to put my new knowledge into practise. By using better gear selection I was able to regulate my speed much better on my throttle, significantly reducing the times I needed to use the brakes as I approached a corner. As I rode along I realised my confidence and enjoyment of riding my bike were increasing by the mile, and the number of instructional comments from Simon were decreasing by the mile!
Once back to the training centre we sat down with a coffee and had a really good debrief as a collective. We looked at each aspect of our riding, had a great conversation and came away with a clear picture on where we were beginning to develop some strong skills and which areas we need to focus on for further development.
On the ride home I realised that I was beginning to ride to a system that makes me safer, gives me more confidence and as a result increases my enjoyment, which after all was why I wanted a motorbike in the first place!
I’m now off to get another 500 miles under my belt before returning to have a look at some other areas that need work.
Great day, would highly recommend it!