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I couldn’t have put it better myself – John Simeons on Survival Skills

Want to know what a Survival Skills course is all about?

Here’s a comment, off the cuff, from a guy who’s done my courses, on a forum:

“As an old rider, with an already very well developed “spidey sense”, I learned a lot from advanced training with Kevin. So yes, I think it is worthwhile. Don’t go looking for simple answers though, instead you will get thought-provoking questions. YOU are responsible for your safety, there are often several options and you need to understand the pluses and minuses of all of them to chose the right one. And if you ever think you know it all – you are wrong!”

That’s John Simeons, AKA Cousin Jack on

The usual observations after I’ve done a commentary ride for a trainee are:

– You’re looking so much further ahead than me – You see so much more than me – You’re preparing for so many more eventualities than me

I’m not saying this simply to show how good I am, but how much riders miss in terms of absorbing the clues around them. And the clues ARE out there!

These are all skills that are relatively easy to develop, but for whatever reason, riders often fail to develop them fully. ‘Spidy Sense’ (a vague feeling that things aren’t quite right) comes with ‘experience’ and should be seen as a clue that as a rider (or driver) you’re halfway to seeing where danger develops.

The problem is that Spidy Sense only works up to a point. It doesn’t help you plan how to deal with a problem if all you have is an instinct things are wrong; we just tend to roll off the throttle, maybe brake a bit, and generally tense up…

…which unfortunately predisposes us to many of the ‘survival reactions’ that Keith Code identified in his ‘Twist of the Wrist’ books; freezing, panic braking, target fixation being the most difficult ones to overcome.

So the next and in many ways the most important step is to know WHAT and WHY things aren’t right, so you can decide what you’re going to do about it.

If you already know how you’re going to get out of a sticky situation, you’re far less likely to fall foul of survival reactions.

This is why having an “out” is a key point of Survival Skills training.

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