Doing a tidy out of some files, I found some reports and ‘Thank You’ mails that I’d put to one side intending to put up on the website.
So better late than never, here are some observations students have made about Survival Skills training with myself, the ‘Spin Doctor’, in the last few years!
“Grassington Revisited” from ‘TwoWheeler’ on Visordown
Sunday night: Pack tank bag, top-up Scottoiler reservoir, check tire pressures and oil level.
Monday morning: Check weather forecast (two days solid sun!), quick bowl of muesli, slip into leathers, get bike out of garage, add tank bag and self and set off.
Get to Grassington very early (I cheated and used the map this time – it took far less time than last year ). Head up to Forrester’s Arms to look for Spin, who has been staying there all week, and Marty Boy, who did the Sunday ride-out and stayed over. No bikes. Ask inside and find that Spin doesn’t have a room there???
Enjoy sunshine and let the world drift by for a bit. See silver Kawasaki heading for Forrester’s – go and meet Marty Boy, who went back home last night. And it turns out that the good Doctor has been camping. Does the man know no limits in the cause of giving value for money?! Black Hornet arrives – sure enough it turns out to be Spin – we’re all together and it’s time to get started.
Course components are explained to us: Assessment Refresher SS course Psychology of riding/learning Requests
Also there’s a video camera on Spin’s tank, ready to capture any bike/sheep interaction for immortality on t’internet.
And so off we go.
In brief, the assessment had me riding like a fool, desparately trying to remember all the stuff I had only really practiced in the first month after last year’s course But it did the job of showing what I needed to work on and the refresher course soon started putting things right.
The psychological work was brilliant. Having an understanding of what’s going on with respect to a model of learning is really useful. This was particularly relevant to Marty Boy and myself because we knew (by now at least) that we hadn’t integrated all of last year’s course into our day-to-day riding and wanted to better understand how to practice and assimilate new skills and techniques.
Last thing on Tuesday we did some work on overtaking, in response to my request. I got a much better understanding of how to use long range observations and the lie of the land to best advantage in overtaking. And after I had practiced with Spin pretending to be a slow car, we came across a nice, slow flat-bed truck and I was able to practice on a “real one”. I guess it’s just luck but the timing was so appropriate it was as if Spin had sent the guy up the road to wait for us
By the end I felt that I had got the most out of the course that I possibly could have done, bearing in mind rider-fatigue and weather conditions (you can’t do wet weather riding when the sun’s shining all day ).
And if you can’t tell already, I also had a really good time, not least because Spin and Marty Boy are intelligent, friendly folk who know how to enjoy a couple of days good biking.
Tuesday evening: Return to York despite not looking at map and ending up in Harrogate for some strange reason. Harrogate was under a huge, black cloud so I stopped to put on my waterproofs for the first time in the entire trip. In the end I saw about four drops of rain on my visor. (If/when you book a course with Spin, make sure you order the no-cost, “good weather” option )
From ‘Bad Jelly’ on Visordown
Had a brilliant day out training with The Spin Doctor yesterday. Learnt loads and had a great time.
If you’ve been thinking of booking up some training, do it now!! (Leave at least one day for me when the weather warms up though, I’m going back for more).
For those not in the know:
Thanks again Kevin.