“Ordinary training? No, extra-ordinary training”
Since 1997 Survival Skills Rider Training has been at the forefront of post-test and advanced training, helping motorcyclists at all levels – newly qualified, intermediate, and advanced – to develop their skills and ride with more confidence and enjoyment.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re interested in improving your riding skills and the quickest and most effective way to do that is to take some training. But it’s important to get the right kind of training.
If you’re looking for a standard riding qualification or a certificate that nets an insurance discount, then by all means look at the national organisations.
But if you want to develop in a specific area or need a fix for a particular problem, then it’s unlikely their ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will be appropriate. No two riders are the same and Survival Skills avoids turning out ‘clone riders’ – we adopted ‘client-centred’ training in 1997 long before it became fashionable.
“A good course doesn’t deliver a fixed syllabus nor force you to change style to fit, but should show you how new skills fit in around your existing style of riding.”
So before you book a course, we’ll discuss your training, help you choose from our range of courses, and if nothing fits we’ll offer bespoke training. We won’t force-fit your style to suit ours but work with you, around your needs.
Training is based on the latest education practice including goal setting and task analysis to achieve a building-block approach to cover the core skills whilst staying flexible enough to move at your pace. You’re never asked to do anything you’re not ready for and there’s no push to ‘make progress’ on these courses.
There’s no test at the end of the course, just your own challenge to be the best rider you can possibly be.
Next, ask yourself “what do I want from the trainer?” Do you want a club atmosphere or a professional, full-time, independently-qualified, rider coach with a long history of training at all levels from CBT to expert?
A proven communicator, presenter and writer with a higher degree in science and an NVQ in distance learning, Kevin has worked with Bucks County Council and Somerset Road Safety Partnership on rider safety schemes. Kevin is part of the team delivering the international road safety award-winning ‘Biker Down’ course in Kent and presents on the ‘Ride Skills’ courses at Brands Hatch.
Kevin researched and wrote the ‘Lucky 13’ cartoons for ACEM (the European Motorcycle Manufacturers Association) and in February 2018 spent five weeks in New Zealand as a keynote speaker on the NZ Department of Transport’s rider safety initiative, the ‘Shiny Side Up Tour 2018’, delivering his rider safety message at venues all over the country.
With the educational and technical knowledge to deliver appropriate training for all riders, you can be sure you’re getting top-quality training from a top-notch instructor.
The fact Survival Skills has been around for over twenty years speaks for Kevin’s continuing success as a trainer.
Like all post-test training, Survival Skills courses aim to improve your machine control and planning skills. But Survival Skills courses move a step beyond Roadcraft-based training by introducing an understanding of driver and rider error.
“I spent sixteen years as a courier and survived half a million miles on the roads. If there’s one thing that I learned, it’s that no matter how good we are at riding, it’s just as important to recognise when things are about to go wrong. Understanding how crashes develop, then having a strategy ready, is the only reliable way to stay out of trouble. Riding is a continual exercise in disaster management and that’s what Survival Skills emphasises. The best bolt-on accessory for any motorcycle is the rider. No Surprise? No Accident!“
What keeps us out of trouble is a full and honest understanding of errors, our own or someone else’s. That way we can avoid mistakes whenever possible, and have a chance to get out of trouble when we have to.
If you want to be ahead of the pack, then you need to think about riding in new ways, and Survival Skills courses are based on the principles of the ‘No Surprise? No Accident!’ safety initiative. No Surprise seeks to change the way we think about riding by promoting what’s known as ‘insight training’. Increasingly used in airline pilot training, insight training eschews the conventional ‘more and better skills’ approach, and instead promotes the need for knowledge and understanding to work alongside the technical skills.
An important insight is that a key risk factor in motorcycle crashes is surprise. When we’re surprised, we forget our training, whatever our level of technical skill. Surprise derails our training, so we need to learn to avoid surprises. So the Survival Skills challenge is to improve our ability to predict what happens next and prevent surprises.
Survival Skills courses run seven days a week from March to November from convenient locations near the M25 in Kent and Buckinghamshire. We also go ‘On Tour’ several times a year to locations such as mid-Wales and Devon. It is also possible to offer bespoke training by arrangement.
Tuning our Biking Brains
If you’re interested in the mental side of riding, then Survival Skills is here to help, whether you attend our practical courses or not.
As well as details of the courses, there are links to ‘better riding’ posts. Some are here on the blog, some on the website and you can get regular new items on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/survivalskills
The Survival Skills series of better biking paperback books:
There are three books in the series:
‘Survival SKILLS’ has been completely rewritten from the first edition (which was a CDROM presentation) and released as a paperback. It’s a DIY guide to better riding covering not only machine control, risk management and cornering theory, but containing some highly practical exercises that you can use to improve your skills.
‘Tarmac Tactics’ is the second book in the series and focuses on improving your knowledge of the kind of situations any rider might encounter on the road, covering everything from what to look out for in city centre traffic to how to deal with Alpine roads.
‘MIND over MOTORCYCLE’ completes the series and deals with the mental aspect of riding, and just how it is that the human brain, which developed tens of thousands of years before motorcycles, and which has a design top speed of less than 20 mph, can cope with riding a motorcycle at speed.