MIKE WAITE served in the Dorset Police for 20 years as a police motorcycle instructor training police officers to the very highest level of high-speed pursuit riding. Now you can buy his expert training DVD on Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com.
HAVING seen an advertisement for your Police Advanced Riding Techniques video in a popular national riders’ journal, I promptly sought more details from your website before telephoning to order a copy, so I hope you will not mind if I offer my first impressions—though I know from experience that by no means all genuine experts welcome criticism of any kind, even when it is directed at individuals or firms who have been assisting with production—or perhaps I should say especially when so directed. It is painful to criticize willing friends . . .Anyway, secondly the praise and congratulations that are due to all concerned. The benchmarks that I use for comparison are in no particular order of excellence, because your video ranks with the very best I have so far encountered: that made by then Police Traffic Sergeant and Institute of Advanced Motorists examiner on motorbikes, cars, and HGVs Rennie Ritchie, shown at the 1990 IAM Motorcycle Rally in Lancaster, with the disclaimer that it was not intended as an instructional film with the Institute’s blessing, but “could be used in any way to further motorcycling”, which had no title, and it is or was available free from him on receipt of a stamped, addressed envelope with a blank video cassette; Top Rider, the Skills of Superbiking, by Kerry Dunlop for the British Motorcyclists’ Federation and the IAM in 1994; and, but on cars, not bikes, the video Roadcraft, an Advanced Driving Course, based upon Police training at Hendon, for both the IAM and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, at a high level of skills but naturally not to pursuit standard; Shire Training Services High Performance Motorcycle Riding Skills video; and the Focus Lifestyle PC CD-Rom car-based Driving Test Theory Success (including the new Hazard Perception CD-Rom), a close copy of the official material. What all of those videos (and the unofficial but very good indeed Hazard Perception CD-Rom for learner drivers), and now including your own superb video, have in common is not ensuring that what can be seen by the rider/driver in the far distance, and expertly commented upon in the ‘film’, also is clearly visible to the video/CD-Rom viewer; this being apparent to me in the first instance when the IAM’s Advanced Driving journal featured a few scenes from the DSA’s own Hazard Perception set-up for use in L-testing stations, one example being of a child running into the road who could not be detected in the picture—and it is the same with my CD-Rom. As for your video, although I have described it as one of the best I have seen, and wished it had gone on for a whole lot longer than its published length, so as to be far more comprehensive—as I would expect from the Roadcraft people, had they the good sense to make a motorcycle video as good as the one for aspiring advanced car drivers—I suggest you could have made clearer the dangers of unexpected dips in the roadway, making nonsense of the Police mantra of “being able to stop within the distance one can see to be clear”, needing to be amended to what one knows to be clear. Also, although I would be happy to ride as pillion with you or your filmed companion, I am afraid that some of the road safety ignoramuses who call for “slower” speed limits—and don’t forget that very often largely ill-informed Authority tends to take their inexpert ‘nannying’ approach quite seriously—would be having kittens with fright if put in a position to see close-up your surgical overtaking skills!A.D.
Picking daises is a phrase I use meaning riding close as possible to the nearside, on the approach to acute blind summits, and gradual blind summits.
If we take any blind summit one should ask ones self what is the worst scenario? May I suggest to you that the worst being a vehicle out of your sight overtaking a vehicle which places the overtaking vehicle on your side of the road. If you could calculate his speed combined with your speed which equals closing speed, should the two meet it would invariably mean a fatal accident for the rider.
This kind of situation has never confronted me but I am always prepared for it.
I have had three students who have contacted me to say that this position has saved their lives. It does happen as I have dealt with accidents in this situation. [See futher below]
If you think about this situation I think you will agree with me that on a motorcycle picking daises on a blind summit is far safe than being in a four wheeled vehicle.
What I suggest to my students on the approach to a blind summit is first think about the scenario.
Position to the nearside. (Picking Daises) Check your mirror. Adjust your speed with accurate throttle control; select the gear for the speed as you reach the brow. You would more than likely be still slowing down as you gain a view over the brow (This initiates the first stages of the breaking mechanism just in case you require to brake) As the view comes in, mirror, accelerate and move into the next position.
Again this will be a combination of accurate movements and control, which flows smoothly and skilfully.
With an acute blind summit there is normally no visual point at all.
I have been asked many times “What if there is a stationary vehicle or obstruction is over the other side of the brow?) Let me assure every rider, which you can check out for yourselves, your eyes will be in contact with any obstruction well before your machine reaches it. This will give you time to react, either by changing direction or breaking.
I would ask you to consider, if you were to the middle of the road would you have time to break or change direction with a vehicle coming towards you? I know what position I recommend.
There are always variables to every situation regarding position. For example you would certainly consider your position if there was a junction on the nearside anywhere near the summit. There may be debris, which would cause you to reconsider or maybe a pedal cyclist. In all cases planning on what to do is down to the rider. The important thing is you think about it, evaluate it, and make a decision. It is better to make the wrong decision than no decision at all.
A gradual blind summit is a summit where you cannot see over the brow but other features such as hedges or the movement of other vehicles show you that the view is not restricted enough for you to give your position up. You will be able to judge distances. This is important because you should be making a decision on whether you would have adequate time to move from that position should a high speed vehicle suddenly appear overtaking towards you. If in doubt 'pick daisies'. DON’T TAKE CHANCES
Feedback from customers.
Shortly after buying and viewing my DVD “Police Advanced Riding Techniques” a motorcyclist and his pillion passenger escaped being killed by following just one of the simple techniques he had seen and heard on the DVD.
Not long after receiving the DVD “Police Advanced Riding Techniques” in the post, Stuart Jones of Aberdeen was out for a ride with his partner on the pillion. As he topped the last blind summit of the roller-coaster section of Glenshee in Scotland he was suddenly confronted by a Range Rover overtaking straight towards him on his side of the road.
“It was closer than it sounds” Stuart wrote, “but at the same time, due to your “Picking Daisies” commentary, I was far enough into the side of the road never to be in trouble. SO I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR DVD and for me being able to grow a little older and still enjoy life”.
This is the fifth rider who has been in touch stating that this technique had saved their lives
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