After last year’s soaking on the way up to the Peak District for the first of the annual “Survival Skills on Tour” training events held away from our normal bases in Kent and Oxfordshire, this time I loaded the bike in the people carrier and headed up on four wheels with the heater and radio.
Almost predictably, the weather changed almost overnight from “chilly for the time of year” to warm spring weather. Not that I was complaining!
The trip started with a day’s training in Oxford, with a guy who did the Bends course in France last year, and came back to do the Double Bends day. He was kind enough to say that he’d found his cornering skills much enhanced and on his holiday in the mountains he really saw the benefit of what I showed him.
I had been planning to get up to the Peaks on the Wednesday evening but due to last minute hitches I hadn’t been able to confirm the B&B, and so had to go up on the Thursday morning. Fortunately, the traffic was reasonably light and I arrived on time to greet Mike, and we had a good day out doing a “Confidence Builder” for a newly qualified rider on some great roads.
On Friday I had Scott (who had also done a Bends course last year) and his buddy along. Now this course needed a bit of sorting out… as his buddy hadn’t done the Bends day, I did a 90 min solo session with him, a bit of theory over tea and cake, then did around three hours 2 to 1, to get the both up to speed on the bends skills, then followed up with some of the topics from my “Double Bends” course to give Scott something new to play with.
Unfortunately, the fog had come down during the night, so they were a little late, and the first hour or so of training was made slightly difficult by restricted views, but it cleared nicely by 11am.
So it was a long day, and made rather longer by the tractor driver whom I had to follow for 12 miles before I could get past. And by a wrong turn where a new exit off a roundabout that confused me and the Sat Nav so that I ended up on the M6 rather than the M69 after a diesel stop.
The weekend was spent back in Oxford, doing a 2:1 course for a couple of friends, Dave and Wil. We spent the Saturday getting the core “Bends” skills in place, then the Sunday working on the Double Bends day. Aside from a kamikaze driver in a 75 grand Mercedes who decided we were too slow and tried to run Wil off the road, a good day riding out over the Cotswolds and back was had.
I’m looking at another trip up there towards the end of April perhaps 27 and 28th of April. Drop me a line if you fancy taking a training day or two in some of the best scenery in England.