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Facebook Digest 8 – 14 May 2017

*** LAST WEEK ON FACEBOOK *** Facebook Digest

Welcome to the Survival Skills Blog and the Facebook Digest post, which catches up with last week’s social media posts to Sunday 14 May.

LATEST TRAINING NEWS – A few more quiet days have seen me send out the text-only draft of the newest Survival Skills book to some reviewers for feedback. The book, ‘Survival Skills (Course Notes) aims to provide a complete DIY training environment, covering not just the techniques of riding (as covered in my practical training) but giving you over 40 practical exercises to work through – you don’t just read the book, you learn from it too. Look out for some sneak previews over the next few weeks whilst I add the illustrations and correct typos that have been caught by my reviewers. On Sunday I was out running a course with Tim on my newest routes starting from Beaconsfield, just outside the M25. then I’ll be back in Kent for a two day course next week. The session in Cumbria is go for June, and a provisional time-table is now in place. I’ll be running 2:1 three-hour Basics: BENDS courses or one-day courses up there. So if you are in the North West and fancy a Survival Skills course then drop me a line and I’ll fill you in.

Actually, it’s a review of the Facebook Page and one of the SKILLS on SATURDAY posts. lan Rogers was kind enough to write: “This is one of the few Facebook pages I follow where I read every post right to the end. Keep up the good work… For me, they’re exactly right; engagingly informative without waffle.” Thanks Ian, the nice words are much appreciated.

LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS – Sorry – none at the moment
Late booking discounts (save £15 on a one day course, £25 on a two day and £35 on a three day) apply and I’ll even throw in a free book! Please note that availability can change at the drop of a hat, so check with me ASAP to grab your chosen date.

More information about the courses available at http://www.survivalskills.co.uk thendrop me a line at info[at]survivalskills.co.uk.

Meanwhile, what’s been happening over on the Survival Skills Facebook page?

TIPS on TUESDAY started a new mini-series on slow control and how online diagnosis by an experienced instructor can really help, whilst the SKILLS on SATURDAY series on group riding concluded with how to actually ride when you’re actually out on one. There are two items on bike theft, including a link to a Facebook page dedicated to fighting the problem, and a look at a very realistic 3D driving environment put together by 3M, the manufacturers of retro-reflective materials to showcase their products. It shows the way I think rider training should be moving. And finally FOCUS on FRIDAY reviews the Survival Skills Confidence: BUILDER course to help you decide if this is the course you’re looking for.

Enjoy your reading!

*** COMMENT *** Bike Crime – take two
Darcy J de Sade popped this comment up regarding the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community on the item I ran last week about theft of parts from bikes in Canterbury. As it vanished in the nested comments (I do with there was an option to turn them off), I’ve reposted as a separate item:
“Guys the MCPC is an action group open to everyone (but the thieves obviously) to join together to make a difference. For too long bikers have been experi…
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*** SKILLS ON SATURDAY *** In a group? Ride for yourself!
So what if you’re joining a group? Make sure your bike is filled up with fuel, ready to go and get there in time to listen to the briefing. But once you get moving and out on the road, then ride for yourself. Many riders worry about being too slow; as one rider put it: “the other bikes just disappeared so might as well have rode by myself. Felt a bit bad them having to wait for me.”

Don’t feel bad. The only right pace…
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*** FOCUS ON FRIDAY *** The Confidence: BUILDER course
As we’re well into spring now, I thought it was about time to take a look at the different courses I offer, and give new (and existing) readers a flavour of what a Survival Skills course is all about. Today it’s the Confidence: BUILDER course aimed at bridging the gap between basic training and advanced courses, or for fixing specific riding problems.
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CONVENIENT LOCATIONS – Survival Skills is taking bookings for any of my regular training locations, Oxford, Buckinghamshire and Kent. And don’t forget – one day of our Performance: BENDS or SPORT courses booked in Kent can usually be taken in northern France at NO EXTRA COST on deserted, well-surfaced roads just minutes from the Channel Tunnel. Our route takes in sweeping bends, twisty roads and around a dozen hairpin bends – perfect training for those looking to take a summer ride down to the mountains of Europe!

As well as the regular training locations, I also train several times a year on the wonderful roads of the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales to train on the wonderful roads up into the Cambrian Mountains. Training can also be arranged in Devon, visiting Dartmoor. Contact me for more details and to discuss suitable dates. I may also be visiting Cumbria this year – watch this space!

Survival Skills courses are about real-life riding and incorporate thinking from the new ‘No Surprise? No Accident’ campaign and the latest rider safety ideas based around ‘insight’ training into rider safety. Drawing on the latest theories of human error and accident reduction, which have proved successful in redesigning pilot training and reducing aircraft crashes resulting from pilot error, my courses look at risk assessment and risk management. 

I’ll show you where to predict that things might go wrong, how to predict other road users mistakes and how to eliminate our own ‘pilot error’, and why it’s so important to avoid being surprised as we ride. I’ll demonstrate how to use easy-to-apply risk management techniques and explain that by reducing the nasty surprises, we’ll enjoy our riding all the more, because riding is a lot more fun when we don’t scare ourselves every time we ride.

Survival Skills courses are also client-based; that is, rather than force you to ride like me or to pass a test, I’ll fit your new skills around your existing style of riding. Of course, I’ll help you improve in the areas you thought you were weak in, but I’ll also show you what you didn’t know you needed to know.

WEATHER GUARANTEE – though she tries hard, my weather genie can’t always arrange good weather and there is little point in attempting training in tempests and storms. Whilst we train in ‘ordinary’ rain, if the forecast looks particularly poor, I’ll always recommend postponing the course.

So if you are looking for personalised, real-world training from one of the most qualified and experienced instructors in the country, then drop Survival Skills a line via the new contact app at the website: http://www.survivalskills.co.uk

I’m already taking bookings for up to eight weeks ahead, so if you’re interested in a course don’t wait too long – remember, weekends in particular book up fast! Survival Skills closes again for the winter at the end of November 2017.

*** COMMENT *** Is this the future of road-based training?
One of the most common criticisms of the driving test (and by implication the training leading up to the test) is that it does not prepare novice road users for real driving and riding.
As a former basic instructor, I’m actually of the opinion that the preparation is better than many critics suggest. After all, most of what you will ever use on the road is learned on basic training – think about it. …
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*** COMMENT *** Bike crime on the rise?
I was sent a link to this post on a Canterbury residents group on a social media site just a few days ago:
“…recently there’s been a series of thefts in the Gulbenkian car-park on the Kent University campus. They’ve been targeting motorbikes (taking parts such as break [sic] levers) as the motorbike bay isn’t covered by the car park’s CCTV. But the lack of concern from the university about improving security, really worries me about h…
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*** TIPS ON TUESDAY *** I can’t turn right at slow speed Pt 1
It sometimes surprises people just how much diagnosis and correction of riding issues it’s possible to do online. I’ve been doing just that since I first set up the Survival Skills website back in the mid-90s, and at one point had so many questions flooding in I actually created a section called the ‘Doctor’s Surgery’.
There’s more and more places to go for help now, but I still get questions about riding technique…
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The Facebook Digest helps with a number of problems.

Firstly, some people don’t ‘do’ social media, but if you follow this blog, then you can access the posts on FB just like any other webpage.

Secondly, even if you are FB regular, you won’t get every post appearing on your own newsfeed. For example, Peter said: “I’ve just noticed that stuff from this page hardly ever appears on my feed. What can I do to fix that?” The simple answer is ‘follow this blog’! It lists each post I make. There’s more about the problem here:

And finally, I know that FB is hopeless as an archive even with the search facility – sometimes I can’t even find my own posts! So recording FB posts here via a weekly ‘digest’ means we’re recording them here in a way that allows them to be retrieved in the future. 

MISSING OUR POSTS? Many of you will not get our updates. If you are on Facebook, we ask people to LIKE and SHARE all our posts, and to comment on posts; it helps spread the word but even helps what YOU see. Facebook is picky about what it posts on your own wall so if you want to see our posts that depends on your interaction with our page – the more you interact, the more you see! So know you know what to do to get this particular post visible to our followers! We’re not asking you to go clicking everything in sight – but it really is YOUR input which helps others see what we write.


About Kevin Williams / Survival Skills

Motorcycle trainer, motorcycle author, motorcycle safety consultant, motorcycle forum moderator, former courier and ever a recreational rider. Is there a common theme here?


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