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Thread: IAM training/"making progress"

  1. #1
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    IAM training/"making progress"

    Good morning,

    Just wanted to share some thoughts on IAM training now that I've done it.

    I'm currently sitting here, questioning the point of it all.

    For me, most of the training was concentrated on "going for gaps" and "making more progress". From the outset, my observer had been telling me that I'm a safe, competent and legal rider, but I lack "sparkle". The examiner who did my test also commented on it - saying that I had displayed "just enough sparkle" to pass the test, and that my "making progress" bit was acceptable, but could have been a lot better.

    Here's the thing, though. Before I started the IAM training, I was riding a lot more conservatively. I was working on the assumption that every single car driver is a maniac who is, at the same time, drunk, looking at his phone, and trying to come up with a clever way of killing me.

    I used to filter a lot more slowly than IAM encourages me to do - because you never know whether a car driver will swerve into your path because he may suddenly feel the need to scratch his knee.
    I used to go round corners on country lanes a lot more slowly - because, even if there is enough of a gap between you and the oncoming tractor, you never know when bits of crap are going to fly off the tractor, and into your visor.
    I used to be a lot more cautious with overtakes - because you never know whether the driver whom you're about to pass in what IAM tells you is an acceptable gap, will suddenly get annoyed at you overtaking him and speed up, putting you into too much proximity with oncoming traffic.

    All of these things have happened to me.

    So I think that by "making progress", as the IAM people call it, I'm actually compromising safety.

    And for what? For getting there two or three minutes earlier?

    Discuss......

    Thanks.
    Last edited by agfoxx; 26-06-17 at 08:24. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    You tend to find a lot of the IAM and ROSPA groups are populated by serving or ex police officers which leads to them tending to put to much emphasis on making progress. The examiners are all ex or serving police.
    They don't seem to realise that as civvies riders and drivers we are not using response equipment and don't need to be in such a rush.
    I once went out for I ride with a rospa examiner who I considered to be to fast. I caught up to him as he walked his bike back onto the road after having a ,moment, when going round a blind bend at speed and coming across a stationary gully sucker.
    At the end of the day it's about safety. Not progress.
    Remember, safety takes presidency over all other things.

  3. #3
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    May I ask what motorcycle you were riding?

  4. #4
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    1200 gs lc

  5. #5
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    I did the IAM skill for life course and passed in about 2006. My "senior" observer IMO, suffered from short persons disease and liked to humiliate his charges, he was all about progressive riding. He was a cock, but I learned several useful things from him. I thought his views on progressive riding was wrong but he couldn't be dissuaded. Some years later I went for a check ride with the local bloodbike group and when asked about my history! I gave the guy the full story. Turned out my local IAM group had folded and a few of the observers were not invited to join the neighbouring group. When I expressed an interest in getting refresher training this guy suggested RoSPA and put me in touch with the not so local group.

    I found my RoSPA trainer to be completely different and my relationship with this group blossomed, I am due my third test in October and have enjoyed becoming a tutor myself as well as making lots of new friends and going on many trips, holidays and even Motorhome trips with some of them.

    I don't believe it's a RoSPA v IAM thing it's a group dynamic situation and you need to find what suits best. There are prima donnas in both, idiots and worse, but there are also lots of people who promote good safe riding.

    My advice is you tried IAM, give RoSPA a go, you have everything to gain and only a few quid to lose.
    Edited because I cannot type

  6. #6
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    SSV is one of the things I discuss at length with new associates before we head out.

    S - Safety
    S - Stability
    V - View

    Safety first
    Edited because I cannot type

  7. #7
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    Having done both; ride at your own speed/pace.

    The major tenant of any advanced riding, is that you "NEVER" sacrifice safety. I describe it as bubble around me, nothing enters it without my approval.

    It goes a bit like this.

    You take cornering position; why?

    So your vehicle is more stable and you have better vision; why ?

    So that you see any hazard earlier and that your vehicle can respond quicker; why?

    So you can get out of the way of any problem !!!


    If you've worked out where you can safely overtake, then why would someone speed up to stop you overtaking them ? Surely you've taken that into consideration ? You formulate it on three things, what you can see, what you cannot see, and what you could reasonably expect to develop. So if you see someone trying to stop you passing, just drop back.

    If they are a dickhead, do you think any negative response from you will stop them being a dickhead or just turn them into an bigger arsehole ?


    So now you done some training; and ?

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    All very true. But what I'm saying is that a lot of it is subjective. What I used to consider "safety" before IAM is, I'm told, too conservative.
    With the overtake, the car driver may be acting perfectly fine when I was catching up to him, but may wake up and become a maniac when I pull out to overtake. Entirely possible. It has happened to me.
    So do I not hang back in a gap which i would have considered borderline, rather than going for it? Am I not better off waiting for a gap which is 100% safe, where I can see for half a mile? (Exaggeration but you see my point).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stever1 View Post
    You tend to find a lot of the IAM and ROSPA groups are populated by serving or ex police officers which leads to them tending to put to much emphasis on making progress. The examiners are all ex or serving police.
    Police rider/driver training is based on the Roadcraft handbook. It's very comprehensive and worth a read if you can get hold of a copy.
    There is an emphasis on 'making progress' safely. Pick out of it what you will, there's lots of knowledge in there.

    Not all of us think 'getting a move on' is the be all and end all, and prefere a more relaxed pace to enjoy our motorcycling.
    It's each to their own.
    Some people are more violently opposed to fur than leather,
    because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.

  10. #10
    Beaky Farkler Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Doesn't sound like the same IAM that I'm part of.
    Yes we expect an associate to be looking for overtakes but the decision to overtake or not is yours and "it is never the wrong decision NOT to overtake".

    When I passed my advanced test in 2003, we used the Police riders handbook. Nowadays, IAM Roadsmart has its own handbook and as far as I recall, the "making progress" stuff isn't in it. If you gained a F1rst test pass you would be eligible to enroll for a Masters course where all this would be taught.

    As Stever1 says, all the examiners are Police class1 riders who may or may not be familiar with the IAM book.

    My personal experience of IAM training is that it's improved my safety and increased my enjoyment of riding my bike. That's what I want to pass on to new associates when I observe.

    It's your bike, it's your ride. Move on from the IAM comments and Enjoy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeyBMW View Post
    Yes we expect an associate to be looking for overtakes but the decision to overtake or not is yours and "it is never the wrong decision NOT to overtake".
    I was explicitly told by my examiner that it was a mistake not to have overtaken "that blue Fiesta"...

  12. #12
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    I got caught in a 50 - 50 situation

    If I go for overtake I may well be too cocky

    If I don't I may well not be progressive enough

    After the test the examiner was a bit huffy (maybe because I had the better road position and had not earmarked time for him to do the same manouevre?)
    But once I explained my 50 50 to go for the pass or not and how I had observed all the possible access points and been observing car occupants to see if they were looking for a location ......

    He nodded approvingly and gave me a pass with 1 and 2 s which I was quite happy with

  13. #13
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    At the end of the day, if you ride for your self and have a reason for not overtaking, that's good enough. I have heard examiners discussing going to look for an overtake and changing your mind as being a positive. Whereas just following and not even looking for a O/T would be considered not advanced. Maybe this is somewhere RoSPA have the edge on the IAM with grading the rides. Silver is a high standard, Gold includes the sparkle !
    Edited because I cannot type

  14. #14
    When riding my own motorbike, safety absolutely first, a healthy safety margin when taking corners, overtakes are cautious. When I was on a work bike, it did necessitate riding a lot faster when a call warranted it (escorting a couple with a sick infant to hospital), but otherwise I pottered along.

    I did the 4 week standard course, learnt a lot, did the car course, learnt a little more.. but always knew that a bad overtake would kill me.

    There's a very poignant video of a police officer who was following his father, father did a bad overtake and died. link:

    http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/...bike_accident/

    you can have fun on a bike, you can push the limits at times, but why bother "making progress" if it compromises safety? take your time, enjoy the scenery, enjoy getting away from the office / wife / kids... if you are nervous and tense, you're going too fast.. slow down.

    I'm not an eloquent man so hope the above makes sense.. training is good but keep it well within your limits. Don't let an instructor push you into making mistakes because you are outside your comfort zone.
    ___________________________________________

  15. #15
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    Making maximum safe progress is an excellent method of showing whether a rider is assessing his or her hazards fully and correctly.

    In the police, you make maximum progress, because even a few seconds could be the difference between saving somebody's life or not - clearly this isn't the case for IAM candidate riders under test.

    When candidates ask what maximum safe progress is, I tell them that, when we are in 30, I expect to be doing 30 unless they can articulate to me in the debrief why we were going slower. I expect the same in any other speed limit - and of their decision to overtake or not. "I didn't feel like it" is not an acceptable reason during the test - although you are free to do whatever you want afterwards, whether you pass or fail.

    I have probably failed more people for failing to make maximum safe progress than for any other single reason, over the years...
    We will never be here again - have a good look around

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by agfoxx View Post
    I was explicitly told by my examiner that it was a mistake not to have overtaken "that blue Fiesta"...
    well, he's obviously got his police head on because the overtake is your decision, not his. Did he give you the opportunity to explain your decision?

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