3 Countries Advanced Motorcycle Course - 21st May – 26th May 2017

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The week of  21st  May – 26th May 2017 I will be joining others for an advanced motorcycle course, with the opportunity to gain RoSPA and IAM certification. As the title suggests, the riding covers roads in Wales, England and Scotland.

As time goes on, I intend to return here with updates for you.

This is being run again by Andy Smith at 1st Class Rider in Cardiff, UK.

If you are also booked on this course, please feel free to join the discussion. 

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Having now completed the 3 Countries Advanced Motorcycle Course (May 2017), I thought it time to to let you know how things went and what I thought of it.

The whole event started with an extra (free) day of training which was more about getting to know each other as well as getting an insight on how the process works; a taster day before the course started proper in the classroom on Sunday.

Saturday 20th:  Those that could attend, met at the McDonald's restaurant, Rhydycar Leisure Park, Merthyr Tydfil. After something to eat and/or drink, we were paired-up and assigned to an Instructor for a monitored ride around South / Mid Wales; returning to the same waypoint for a chat and debrief.

Sunday 21st:  The location for this was Driver Management Training Services (DMTS) in Aberbargoed. The whole day was dedicated to the theory side of advanced riding, and was based on the following publications

  • Police Rider's Handbook - Roadcraft
  • IAM Advanced Motorcycling, Essential Guide. “How to be a better Rider”.
  • The Highway Code

It was quite a long day and, if nothing else, demonstrated to us how little we knew or how far out of date we were. Tip:  make sure you know what a STOP sign looks like and what you are required to do when faced with one. If you are unsure - ask Russell; I think he might know. ;)

On a serious note - make sure you have properly read and understand these publications before you attend the theory day.

Monday 22nd:  Our meeting & departure point for the first of the practical riding days was 07.30hrs at the McDonald’s restaurant, Rhydycar Leisure Park, Merthyr Tydfil. This was the start of a very long day's riding in small groups to the hotel in Scotland. The route took us up through Wales, the Lake District and into Scotland via Gretna Green. The weather was reasonable - right up to the motorway approach to the hotel when the heavens just opened; not great when you are still in leathers. Man - was I tired (and slightly damp)!

Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th: These were spent pumping-out the miles around the Lochs and Mountains of Scotland. The roads are excellent and interesting riding; ideal for putting you to the test and allowing the Instructors to monitor your riding so they could offer constructive coaching on ways to improve. Whilst the weather wasn't the best, the views were still stunning!

Thursday 25th:  TEST DAY - For those of us that had elected to undergo the RoSPA (RoADAR), IAM and Enhanced Rider, this was crunch day. Weather wise - everything changed. The weather was amazing with wall to wall sunshine. I can only speak for myself but I totally enjoyed the experience. My examiners Bill (RoSPA) and Mike (IAM) were very professional but kind and encouraging. I would never have believed it, but I came away with a RoSPA Gold and an IAM Pass - thanks guys!

Friday 26th:  Whilst there were still some tests to be conducted, these were completed on the return to South Wales. Again - another amazing day weather wise. The return journey seemed to be quicker - it must be because we were going downhill to Wales! ;)

As with most courses, there are good points and not so good points, some of which I understand were 'discussed' with Andy Smith. :D

The hotel was very nice, the food (breakfast & evening meal) were delicious, and the staff were excellent.

Overall, if you want to really improve your riding (and yes, we all have room for improvement), and enjoy yourself doing so - contact Andy and book yourself on the next course as soon as possible.

The Instructors know their stuff and are very keen to help. The students were from very diverse backgrounds and it was a pleasure to spend the week with you all. All the best and be safe.


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