About the Author

author photo

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.

See All Posts by This Author

We’re in the Real Radio Charity Auction (and other stuff)

Real Radio Wales Charity Auction. Hi Chums.  Real Raknee downdio Wales are currently fund raising for the Children’s  Hospice, Ty Hafan, in Sully, South Wales. With their ‘Bring a £ to Work Day’ earlier this week and with a Charity Auction

1st Class Rider Training-Cardiff have donated two prizes for the auction which are currently waiting for bids on the Real Radio (Wales) web site.

One prize is for a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training – worth £125).  The prize includes the use of a Yamaha YBR 125cc bike, and the loan of a helmet, jacket, gloves and waterproofs for the duration of the training.

The other prize on offer is a full day of Advanced Training with a Police Class 1 Motorcyclist, (worth £180).  This would normally be carried out with you using your own bike but we can provide the use of a Honda CBF 600cc if preferred.

Both great prizes worth placing a bid for such a worthy cause.  Visit www.realradiowales.co.uk for details.

There are just a few days left to run on this, so place your bids, grab a bargain day out,  and support this worthy cause.

Next Ride Out – Thruxton Circuit.

Just a reminder that the April Ride Out is this Sunday.  An earlier start with an 8am departure from MacDonald’s at junction 32 of the M4, Coryton Interchange.

We will be using the ‘2nd Man Drop Off System’ that has served us so well in the past (except last month when I ran out of ‘drop offs !!) So by way of a reminder as to how it works I have put an explanation at the foot of this Blog Post….. but just in case… here is a brief outline of the proposed route for Sunday.

Turn left out of MacDonald’s car park!!!  Okay, okay… we can get that bit right.

M4 Eastbound to junction 18 – Signposted Bath.

A46 towards Bath and then the A4

A4 to Box

A365 towards Melksham

A365 – A361 towards Devizes

A342 towards Andover

A338 towards North Tidworth

A303 towards Andover

To Thruxton off the Dual Carriageway. Into Car Park…join queue at the Burger Van.

Website News Blog

For some time I have been running a News & Views Blog page on my main website.  There are over 60 posts there already covering a whole range of bike related topics.  As this Ride Out Blog generates an automatic email to your inbox, I didn’t want to inundate you every time there was something to write about so I’ve been up dating the website news blog instead.

So if you visit the website and click on the ‘News’ link in the list on the left you might just find something of interest.

I’ll be posting an index listing on there so you can browse at your leisure.

Hein Gericke Sale Now On.

A big thank you to Stefan and James at the Cardiff Hein Gericke store for the tea and Bacon Toasties they did for us at the start of the Wootton Bassett Ride Out last month.  Cheers Chums, enjoy your lie in this Sunday as we won’t disturb you for the early start for Thruxton.

But you should still go and visit them during their normal opening hours as they are having a Sale.  Running from the 16th of April until the 3rd of May they will give you a massive 20% off, (and you might also get a cup of tea whilst you are there). So grab yourself a bargain. First Class kit, worn by 1st Class Riders.

The Drop Off System.

Here goes….  At the start of the ride we will nominate a lead rider (usually me) and we will nominate and identify a tail end rider (usually someone else!).

The way the ride operates is that the positions of the lead and tail end bike never change, so you shouldn’t overtake the lead and you shouldn’t need to drop behind the tail ender.

If the route we are travelling takes us straight ahead we simply follow the road ahead, without turning off.  If we need to turn left or right I wil indicate to the rider behind me to pull in somewhere safe, but also visible to the rest of the following group.  This ‘drop off’ rider will point the way for the rest of the group, to turn either left or right accordingly.

It is important that the ‘drop off’ rider remains in position until the tail end bike arrives and the tail ender will allow the drop off to pull out in front of him and re-join the group.  If we are passing through a town with several sets of traffic lights or on longer, faster stretches of road it may be some time before the tail ender arrives if the group gets spread out, but it is important that you wait, as if you leave your junction before the tail ender comes along then the group will break up as the followers will continue straight ahead past the junction where they should have turned.  (This is what happened last month – someone left their junction too early and the remaining riders didn’t have any direction to follow.)

When it works, it works well, as you don’t need to keep the bike in front in view, or put yourself under pressure to play ‘catch up’ as you know that there will be someone waiting ahead to show you the way.

This system allows for easy travel even in areas which are new to us, as you simply follow the route taken by the leader and should all end up at the tea stop or eventual destination together.

Easy…go straight on unless someone tells you otherwise.  If you are the one showing the turn off point, wait until tail ender indicates for you to move on.

We’ll try it again this Sunday!

So come on and join us……come on, you know you want to.

Leave a Comment