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Facebook Digest 17-23 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: From Claudia after a two-day Confidence: BUILDER / Performance: BENDS course in Oxfordshire:

“Many thanks for your comprehensive feedback. I really enjoyed the course and have now started to practice my new knowledge. As I said on the day, I found the course very good and really effective, once I have consolidated my learning I will book another session with you as a follow up. I am also investigating buying a second bike and have booked a weekend test ride on a BMWF700GS (to take to the Calne Bike Festival in Wiltshire next weekend).”

“Also, I have thought about what feedback to give about the course and really the only thing that for me that could have been better would have been if the radio had worked properly. There were a couple of occasions where you gave feedback over the radio (like ‘look up’ , don’t forget the brakes etc). For me this immediate feedback whilst I was ‘doing something wrong’ was great as it allows instant correction there and then.”

Yes, the radio is a definite weak point. I’ve investigated Bluetooth systems and the big problem with them remains mounting – they all – bare one – require mounting to the side of the helmet, and quite frankly that’s a no-non when training with riders’ own helmets. It’s just too complicated, and the mounting systems aren’t resilient enough to resist being attached and removed fifty times a year. The ones with detachable mics / speakers nearly all a proprietary plug which means a standard earphone can’t be plugged in. I thought I might have found a system in the winter, but when it arrived, the headphones turned out to be far too thick for my own helmet. They’re fragile too – I just discovered I’ve managed to snap a boom mike on one of the earlier twin-sets I purchased, and it’s been stuck in a drawer, barely been used.

Otherwise Claudia made great progress over the two days but the course really did indicated the importance of learning a skill BEFORE tackling it for the first time. I am first in the queue to say that DAS instructors do a great job, but there are areas of riding – in Claudia’s case tight corners and specifically hairpin bends – that her training didn’t equip her for and that’s where the course was targeted, with positive results.

Meanwhile, teaching for different learning styles is an interesting topic and something I should revisit, and I also have something in preparation on commentary riding which looks at some real research into the impact on the rider – look out for an article soon.

LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS: Sorry – none available for the next week

LAST WEEK ON FACEBOOK: I continued the Zero-effort Bike Maintenance series in TIPS on TUESDAY with a look at tyre wear, whilst WEEKEND WORKOUT pulled together the previous seven weeks by looking at Riding Systems in part eight, and in FOCUS on FRIDAY I reprint some feedback from Bennetts the insurance people of my module on roadcraft on the Ride Skills days I teach on at Brands Hatch. In other news, there’s a report on a protest ride in London, the revelation that Ducati’s sports twins are to be killed off for a V-four and a video of a ride that had comes to a rapidly hardening end.

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

Enjoy your reading!

*** VIDEO NASTY *** Set in stone?
Sometimes it’s best not to use that motorcycle only overtaking lane!

*** SKILLS ON SATURDAY *** Weekend Workout Pt 8
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 *** Review of Survival Skills by Bennetts
As regular readers will know, as well as running training courses, I devote a considerable amount of time totally free-of-charge to initiatives I believe have a genuine role to play in improving rider safety.
I’m currently working with Kent Fire and Rescue on two projects. Up to a dozen evenings every year I deliver one of the three modules that make up the ‘Biker Down’ course at Rochester. Bike Down has not only …
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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 *** After the We Ride London ride
Having spent more time riding the capital’s roads in the last year or so than I have done at any time since I was a courier, this article is – in my opinion – a well-balanced look at the current problems surrounding riding a motorcycle in London, and the protest ride that occurred on Monday.
Bike theft has been a problem for as long as I’ve owned two-wheelers and like many riders, I’ve suffered personally, as have both of my bro…
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*** COMMENT *** Ducati to kill off V-twins?
News started doing the rounds a few days ago that Ducati is to pull the plug on their iconic Panegale V-twin range. Naturally, to ease the pain – and lighten the wallets – there’s a Final Edition of the 1299 Panigale R available for £35,000.
Ducati’s Claudio Domenicali says that Ducati stands “on the cusp of a new era in which our desmodromic system will be used on a new generation of V4 engines derived from extensive experience in…
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*** TIPS ON TUESDAY *** Zero-effort Bike Maintenance Pt 3
After bike kit, the most hotly promoted consumer item in motorcycling is the tyre. Tyre models, even tyre brands, go in and out of favour almost as quickly as ice cream. And like ice cream, some brands have supporters who stick with them regardless.
One of the questions that tends to come up over and again is about the way that front tyres tend to wear down to the limit to either side whilst there’s still plenty of tr…
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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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