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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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Teddy Hospital Run & a Group Riding Warning

S5000350 Hi Chums,

For those of you who will be joining us on the Teddy Bear Run to the Heath Hospital….if you haven’t bought your cuddly toy yet then here is an idea that will give a double benefit.

I was at Ikea today (yes…I know… we all have to go…) and they have a range of cuddly toys from just 39p upwards.  So for a couple of quid you can fill a big bag of Teddy’s.

If you do, at the moment, for every cuddly toy purchased, no matter what the price, Ikea will donate 1 Euro to UNICEF to aid Children throughout The World.  So make your pound go even further, all aiding Children less fortunate than they should be.

If you can’t make the run, please remember that you can drop your Teddy off at Hein Gericke and we will make sure it gets to the Children’s Casualty Unit.

Now for a bit of a Group Riding Warning which may have a far reaching effect on our 1st Class Rider Ride Outs, as well as your own riding, if you are riding with a mate or in a group no matter how small!

Have a read of this.  I recieved this in an email so have no details of the Court ruling other than that given here but the petition is active with over 1200 signatures so far.

Whilst we at 1st Class Rider Training would never condone the example given of Ken Clark riding at 85mph in a 60mph limit, I am sure I do not need to explain how this could be applied to any kind of group riding activity, including our own tours, ride outs or even motorcycle training.  I would urge you to take a few minutes to read this and sign the petition and pass it on to anyone else you may think it may effect.


Motorcyclists at the head of a group of riders will face stiffer penalties for speeding under a Crown Court ruling.

Being the lead rider in a group is an aggravating factor making you partly responsible for speeding offences of those behind you according to the decision.

The ruling can be applied in any future cases where two or more motorcyclists riding together are accused of speeding. The head rider might be only a few mph over the limit but could be given the same penalty as the worst offender behind.

Road traffic solicitor Robert Dobson said: “Any crown court decision can be stated in future cases. This is potentially a very dangerous judgement for motorcyclists.

“Riders in a group change position frequently.

“If you are riding at the front any group at excess speed, then the very fact you’re at the front is an aggravating factor.”

Ken Clark, 49, reached 85mph on his Yamaha R1 while leading a group of three riders on the 60mph A272 near Rogate, Sussex, last June.

The speed is within the usual threshold for a fixed penalty of three points and a £60 fine.

But Chichester Crown Court ruled he should receive the same penalty as a following rider accused of going 103mph.

Barrister notes on the ruling given to Clark after the hearing state: ‘Although his was the lesser speed, [the bench] found it an aggravating feature that he was the lead motorcyclist, was setting the pace and he knew that the other two motorcyclists would want to catch him up and would be speeding to do so.’

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