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.
As you can see the houses are close up, so you might be thinking “Yes, I can see the road from here”. Think about the same scene if you were a considerable way away from that area.
By using your eyes to look up to the farthest point you could make your riding plans that much sooner and have no surprises. The farther you look the more skilled at observation you will become.
When apposing all houses and hedgerows give a first-class visual point which will confirm what the angles of the buildings are displaying.
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