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Jason Knight on the two-day 'Silver' Performance: SPORT course - a 10 when another course was a 5

Jason Knight gave me some terrific feedback after he booked up for the two-day Silver Performance: SPORT course.


Day one of the course (the same content as the one-day Bronze Performance: BENDS course) covers the essential core cornering skills that give us a sound grasp of how to tackle corners. It majors on a full and comprehensive explanation of just how the painted centre line road markings, SLOW markings, the red-and-white triangular hazard bend warning signs and the black-and-white chevrons all work together to tell us about the bend ahead, as well as a full explanation of the twin issues of 'Vision Blockers' (anything we can't see through such as a hedge, a building or another vehicle) that could hide a 'Surprise Horizon' - an opening such as a field gate, a driveway or a side turning from which a vehicle could potential emerge or one could turn into.


Learning just WHAT to look for really 'powers up' our Situational Awareness.


Jason said after the course:


“The observation stuff you do really made me think. I thought [insert name of very well known police-run advanced training school here] covered it all…


…but that was like a 5 on the scale where what you do is a 10. I never realised you could get so much information from looking at things as you ride along.”


So, that gives you an idea of just how much importance I place on gathering the maximum possible amount of information - to use the term familiar to anyone who has read 'Motorcycle Roadcraft' - from painted markings and road signs.


I’m still astonished that more use isn’t made of them on other post-test training, because as the Institute of Incorporated Highway Engineers handbook says on the very first page:


“The road should be capable of being read like a book.”


The fact is, the language the engineers use depends on these very road markings and road signs, and there are two key takeaways, beyond what the symbol on the sign.


Why are they so under-exploited? Maybe it's because we first encounter them in the Highway Code, and we have to learn the meaning of the markings and signs in order to pass the Theory Test. Perhaps that’s why in a forum discussion, another ex-police instructor dismissed them as “only for learners”. Perhaps that’s why the ‘very well known police-run advanced training school’ barely mentioned them to Jason.


Having said that, it IS important to appreciate that signs are certainly not infallible. Signs certainly don’t flag up every hazard, and the ABSENCE of a sign doesn't mean there's nothing to worry about. And they can often be hard to spot, since they are not always placed well. But having said that, spending some time learning how to interpret the information that markings and signs offer us means that we can exploit them when we do see them.

 

For more information on our Survival: SKILLS two day course and our Performance: SPORT two day course, use the contact form on our website at www.survivalskillsridertraining.co.uk – you can find out about those courses and all our other carefully-focused training for riders of all abilities.

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