The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is out to bust those urban myths about being an advanced rider and encourage everyone to consider sharpening their riding skills to achieve a more enjoyable and ultimately a safer ride.
Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “Unfortunately the image of advanced riders is still stuck in the past, whereas today there are a range of different options for riders of all ages and abilities to challenge themselves and be better riders; ERS, IAM, BikeSafe, the list goes on.
“We are seeing more and more people using their scooter or motorbike as their main form of transport for commuting, work, college, shopping and travel. Which means using it in very different environments to the sunny Sunday ride-out with your mates.
“Advanced riding is all about having the skills and knowledge to deal with anything that you may come across on two-wheels, from the Parkway at 4pm on a busy weekday, to riding home on Manvers Way at 4am in the rain after your shift has finished.”
John Taylor from South Yorkshire Police runs the county’s BikeSafe sessions.
“Whether it’s just for fun, travelling to work or to improve your mental well being, there are so many great things about riding a bike or scooter,” he said.
“The BikeSafe sessions are a great way to get some real-world feedback on your riding and discuss what other options are out there. We have all kinds of riders that come along, from everyday commuters on 125’s, to new riders moving up to larger sized machines.”
South Yorkshire has two advanced riding groups whose main aim is to improve the skills of motorbike and scooter riders from around the county. The Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists and the Rotherham Advanced Motorcyclists provide everything from skills sessions to a busy social calendar of ride-outs, track-days, and trips to everywhere from Whitby to Morocco.
Martyn Smyth from the Rotherham Advanced Motorcyclists said: “We are all volunteers in both groups who want to improve the riding skills and therefore safety of riders in South Yorkshire.”
Paul Conway from the Sheffield group added: “Members of RAM and SAM are from all corners of South Yorkshire and ride everything from sports bikes, tourers, naked street to adventure bikes. All makes and style of machine are welcome.”
You can also improve your riding skills with your local training school even further, it doesn’t just end with your full licence, with many trained to provide the national DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme. This is very much bespoke and can be tailored to suit your individual requirements, from using your bike for business, carrying a pillion, to more advanced riding techniques on your commute.
Joanne added: “Attaining your riding licence is only the start of the learning process on two wheels. Improving your skills and knowledge constantly through your riding career, not only makes you a safer rider but also improves your enjoyment. Why not set yourself a new challenge to be the best rider you can be?”
Further information about ERS, BikeSafe and both IAM groups are available on the Safer Roads website: www.sysrp.co.uk