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Andy Smith is a former Police Motorcyclist with years of experience in motorcycle training at all levels. He offers training through 1stClassRider.co.uk, and ride outs through his newsletter blog right here. To contact Andy click here.

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Christmas Teddy Run, Bethlehem, Rorke’s Drift Follow Up & Scotland Training

There’s a few things in this Blog, and hopefully some of it will interest you.

Details of the next 2 ride outs, the Christmas Hospital Teddy Run, Bethlehem to post your Christmas cards and a follow up from our recent Rorke’s Drift Ride Out.  Also details of our Three Countries Advanced Training extravaganza!!

so to run through them in date order……

Tuesday 12th November. 7pm. The Broughton Arms, Peterchurch, Golden Valley. After our Rorke’s Drift Ride Out to visit the grave of Robert Jones VC there is a presentation taking place in the village, at the village pub, The Broughton Arms.  This was the pub that we visited on the corner alongside the Churchyard.  The presentation will be given by the Curator of the Regimental Museum at Brecon, and will focus on the involvement of Robert Jones.  It starts at 7pm.

This is just for your information for anyone wanting to attend.  I’m not organising a ride for this.  I will be going, but in a car with my brother, but feel free to come along for more information on the story of the life of this very brave young man and those who fought with him.

Saturday 30th November.  Bethlehem Christmas Fair.

We’ve been before, but we’re going again.  Meeting at Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar for a 9.am departure.  Please note this is an earlier start than usual, to enable us to travel to Bethlehem, (it’s near Llandeilo – so you won’t need your passport).  This is the date of the Christmas Fair and for those wishing to post your Christmas Cards in the Bethlehem Post Office you will get the cards hand stamped with a commemorative post mark, “Christmas Greetings From Bethlehem”.  Please note that the hand stamp post mark is only given for 1st Class stamped cards.

The Post Office is only open at certain times of the year and only for short periods, hence the early start to ensure we get there during the opening hours, and to enjoy the attractions at the Christmas Fair.  This is a quaint little village event and gives you the chance to buy some local gifts and produce.  And you may even get to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what you want in your stocking!

Sunday 8th December. Christmas Hospital Teddy Run.

Following on from the success of previous years (all thanks to you) we are doing it again.  Meeting at Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar for a 10am departure to ride to the UHW Heath Hospital, in Cardiff to donate our Teddies and Cuddly Toys.  We aim to arrive at the UHW around 11am.

As a Traffic Cop we found ourselves at the Casualty Unit on many occasions dealing with the aftermath of road crashes.  When these crashes involved children it always makes the incident all the more upsetting for those involved.

It has long been believed that if a child becomes attached to a toy whilst in hospital being treated, that it aids their recovery if they are allowed to keep the toy at the end when they are discharged.

So what we want to do is to take a Teddy (or 2, or 3, or more…) to the Children’s Casualty Unit at the Hospital to be handed out to any child who is unfortunate enough to find themselves in A&E over the Christmas period.

Smaller Teds are best so that they won’t hinder any treatment that the child is receiving at the time. So lots of small (Child’s hand sized) Teds are better than one big one.

At the moment Ikea are selling ideally sized Teds at just £1 and for everyone you buy they will donate 1Euro to UNICEF so double money benefit.  And for just a couple of quid you can fill your panniers.  There is no need to wrap the Teds.

So please come along and help us to beat last year’s turn out, when hundreds & hundreds of Teds found new homes, thanks to you.

After delivering the Teds to the Staff we will then  ride to a suitable Biker Friendly Eatery nearby for some sustinance and chit chat!

April 2014.  Six Day Advanced Motorcycle Course.

We are taking our Advanced Motorcycle Course across Three Countries offering a unique opportunity to experience what we believe to be the closest thing to a Police Motorcycle Course currently available. Find the details here.

Wales, England & Scotland Advanced Motorcycle Course.

Six Day ADVANCED MOTORCYCLE COURSE.   On Road Dates. Wednesday 23rd April – Sunday 27th April 2014.
( Plus one classroom based day prior to departure to be arranged)

1st Class Rider Training-Cardiff are offering a unique motorcycle training experience. We believe that currently there is nothing like this on offer anywhere else.

We believe this is the closest thing you will get to a Police Advanced Course and is aimed at fully qualified  riders.

We are offering a Six Day course which includes Bed & Breakfast Hotel Accommodation on two nights, and Bed, Breakfast & Evening Meal Hotel Accommodation on two nights, with 5 days on road.

This course will take you across three Countries and will include riding in Wales, England and Scotland.  You could expect to cover approximately 2000 on this intense motorcycling experience.

Using only the highest qualified Instructors our trainers are either Police Class 1 Riders, RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Advanced Tutors, RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Instruction Diploma Holders. RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Test Examiners, or members of the Register of Post Test Motorcycle Trainers. (Some of them former or still serving Traffic Cops who hold the coveted Police Class 1 Motorcycle Grade). You will be in good and very experienced hands.

You will be in radio contact with your instructor and will be riding in a maximum ratio of 3:1 with your instructor. ( Although on occasion 2:1 may be possible).

The training will all be based on the Motorcycle Roadcraft, The Police Rider’s Handbook, and this is essential pre-course reading.    (ISBN 978-0-11708188-8)

You will be taken on some of the most challenging and breathtaking roads that the UK has to offer.

The course structure is as follows.

About a week or so prior to departing for Scotland we will conduct a group theory, classroom based day to cover the essential theory behind expert control of the bike on the road.  Light refreshments will be provided during this classroom session. You will get to meet the other members of the tour and also get to meet with your instructors.

Day 1 on Road. On departure day we will meet as a group in South Wales and depart through the Heart of Wales before joining the motorway near Chester for a relatively short run before heading cross country again into Northern England, crossing the border at the infamous Carter Bar before settling for the night in the Scottish Border Town of Kelso. Where a quality evening meal and a comfy bed awaits.

Day 2 on Road, we will leave Kelso and head for the Isle of Skye, passing Lochs and spectacular mountains along the way, taking the road through the magnificent Glen Coe.  No evening meal is arranged on Skye but there are plenty of hostelries in the vicinity of the hotel so you will be free to make your own choice.

Day 3 on Road,  will see us circle Skye before heading north along the coast towards Ullapool.  Weather permitting we will take the challenging road to Applecross.  This mountain cattle pass known as ‘Bealach Na Ba’ rises to over 2000 ft with 1 in 5 climbs & hairpins, this is an experience in any weather!

Day4 on Road, we leave Ullapool, our most Northern point of the trip, heading South along the banks of Loch Ness, passing along the coast towards Oban before turning inland to our chosen hotel just North of Glasgow.  Again an excellent evening meal awaits and afterwards a short walk, (very short) can take you to the oldest licenced pub in Scotland.

Day 5 on Road will see us head South for home and for those wishing to do so, the opportunity to take the Advanced RoSPA Test can be arranged for along the way.

This is an intense experience and on some days high mileage will be covered but you will experience the kind of riding that Traffic Officers have to undergo before being let loose on patrol.  With a Standard Police Course being of 4 weeks duration we aim to give you a taste of that training rolled down into 6 days.

The inclusive cost of this training and accommodation and meals as described above is yet to be finalised but we envisage will be just approximately £1450.

This does not include your own personal incidentals and daytime refreshments or petrol which will be at your own expense.

There is a separate charge payable to RoSPA for those wishing to take the test.  This fee of £56 includes your membership of RoSPA.

A RoSPA Grade is also recognised by some insurance companies for you to qualify for a discount on your premium.

For our courses that have previously been run locally we have a 100% pass rate for candidates taking the RoSPA Test. So this is an opportunity to take your riding to the next level.  Thinking you’re good is one thing, but knowing you’re good is even better!

We expect demand for this course to high so get your name on the list as soon as you can.  A deposit will be payable at the time of booking, as this will be used to secure your accommodation for the course.

When this was first published, within half an hour we had taken bookings for this course, so don’t miss out.

To get your name on the list please email me your details to


So I hope there is something here that appeals to you, so please come and join us.

Come on…… you know you want to…….

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