I’ll let John Simeons answer this one too:
“Having actually done Bikesafe (as a consumer), my comment would be that it is not really training at all, more an assessment and a pointer to areas where real training might be useful and/or necessary. OK, there is a bit of training in the classroom bit, but the ride is almost pure assessment with an odd bit of feedback thrown in for free. It was useful to me, but I learned far more on a day’s real training with Kevin.”
A lot of riders are confused as to what Bikesafe is supposed to be.
For instance, one rider recently stated:
“BikeSafe seems a pretty cost effective, common sense check/pointer for most of us (opposed to the unregulated variance of expensive, private instruction).”
When another instructor pointed out that Bikesafe is usually an assessment, as opposed to a training course, we were promptly told it’s not important to make the distinction between an assessment and training.
Unfortunately, it’s this kind of misunderstanding that undermines the function of Bikesafe as a lead into proper training.
As an assessment, Bikesafe does what it says on the tin – it’s an opportunity for the person being assessed to have their knowledge, skills and progress MEASURED, with constructive feedback for their future development.
Training is also what it says on the tin – it’s an organised activity that focuses on delivering a learning opportunity to DEVELOP knowledge and skills beyond what the person being trained already has.
I agree fully that Bikesafe is a cost-effective common sense check on your riding though I would point out that I also offer an assessment for £50, so that’s right in the ball-park for typical Bikesafe charges, so I would dispute the statement about the “private sector” being ‘expensive’.
I’ve always encouraged people to do Bikesafe, but the most important point to remember is that it is NOT an end in itself, and virtually any rider will get far more out of a structured training course.
Constructive criticism is good, but how many riders will be able to take that criticism and by themselves turn it into a learning opportunity?
It’s important for people to understand Bikesafe really aren’t a full-on training course; having said that, if you have never done any advanced riding, you’ll learn quite a lot of new stuff, and even for an experienced rider they are a useful refresher – I did the Met Police one a few years back, they were a great bunch of blokes run by Katrina, I thoroughly enjoyed the day, predictably made a classic gaff on one of the rides, and picked up a couple of useful tips myself.
So be realistic; they are a great starting point but not the only thing someone should do as they really ARE only a toe in the water of what advanced riding is about.
You’ll learn more by joining the IAM, or dare I say it, even more with a decent advanced riding school.