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Facebook Digest 9 – 16 July 2017




TRAINING: It’s hard to believe we’re now halfway through the summer months, and bookings haven’t been too bad at all in the last couple of weeks. Which means I have fairly limited availability for what’s left of July and into August. So it you want to get a course booked up to make the most of what’s often the best riding weather of the year, don’t delay.

LATEST CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: I got an email from one of my old trainees at the tail end of the winter. She’d had a collision with a turning driver at a junction, and although she’d nearly avoided him, she didn’t quite manage to stop and landed awkwardly and suffered some bad fractures. She also had psychological issues as a result of the crash and had engaged a psychologist. In response, I sent her some advice on avoiding these collisions, plus copies of the series of articles I ran earlier this year on regaining confidence after a crash. I followed it up a few days ago and was very pleased to get this response:

“I’m doing alright. I still jump sky high at the slightest hint of sound or movement but I’m much happier on the bike and, hopefully, remembering all we discussed during my day out with you, including covering the brake when in doubt and I’ve found it useful a couple of times already, so it was a good thing to learn. I’m still waiting for the psychologist to get finished and do her final report. You set my mind at rest far more then she has managed to so far so I’m very grateful to you.

So, more proof that writing (and reading) about riding issues really does help

LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS: Sorry – none available


LAST WEEK ON FACEBOOK: TIPS on TUESDAY continued the new Zero-effort Bike Maintenance series with some thoughts on tyre pressures, WEEKEND WORKOUT moved to part six of a series of practical exercises we can all apply to improve our riding, and looked at slow riding. FOCUS on FRIDAY hit another contentious note by commenting on the argument that we drive better when we concentrate harder. In the news BMW are requesting an inspection on the Telelever front suspension on 1200GS models whilst Ducati are axing the Panegale. There are details of a rideout in support of an air ambulance and I comment on how the marketing technique of ‘vendor lock-in’ is being applied to motorcycles years after Steve Jobs applied it to Apple.

IMPORTANT – can’t see the links? Turn off any anti-tracking browser extensions that are blocking Facebook.

Enjoy your reading!

*** NEWS *** BMW to check all 1200GS models
Longstanding reports of failing front suspension has prompted BMW Motorrad to request that owners of their R1200GS and GS Adventure models take their bikes for an official dealer check-up.
Whilst this means every GS series machine manufactured over a three and a half year period needs inspecting, BMW have carefully avoided designating this a factory recall and instead refer to it as a service campaign. …
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*** SKILLS ON SATURDAY *** Weekend Workout Pt 5
What riding have you got planned this weekend? Why not spend a few hours giving your riding a Weekend Workout? Here’s the next part of the Survival Skills FREE step-by-step guide to improving your own weekend riding skills.
If you’ve missed the previous parts, I really do recommend you go back and start from the beginning – although I started with what might seem like some very basic stuff, putting effort into getting the basic…
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*** FOCUS ON FRIDAY *** Cues, not concentration
I make no apology for returning for third week to a recent Guardian article penned by Lisa Dorn, who is associate professor of driver behaviour at Cranfield University.
Professor Dorn states: “The average driver negotiates traffic in a habitual way, often with little conscious thought. Concentration is constantly required despite driving sometimes being monotonous.”…
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CONVENIENT LOCATIONSSurvival 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 GUARANTEEthough 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 *** Rebooting the motorcycle
Last week I wrote about the KTM models which have been factory-recalled for an LED headlight problem which involves a factory software update to stop it turning off when it shouldn’t.
Coincidentally, I also watched the Steve Jobs biopic which charts the stormy history of Apple. It made for interesting viewing. …
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*** DATE FOR THE DIARY *** Lincs/Notts Air Ambulance Ride
The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance second annual Ride to Save Lives event takes place on Sunday September 24 with two fully marshalled rides around the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire countryside.
The morning route will start at 10.30am and the afternoon route at 1.30pm. The Notts route will be just over 56 miles and the Lincolnshire route 65 miles. Both routes will start and finish at Newark Showground and for a one of…
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*** TIPS ON TUESDAY *** Zero-effort Bike Maintenance Pt 2
It’s that time of year again when my regular forum abounds with “my bike’s not handling right” threads. They usually set off a series of responses ranging from the distinctly unhelpful “the bike handles like rubbish on the standard shock – I know that because a magazine said so” to rather more useful questions such as “what symptoms are you getting?”
Unless you crash it and bend it, motorcycle handling only changes as …
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WHAT’S THE DIGEST FOR? 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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