IAM RoadSmart bike experts deliver rider training … on the other side of the world in Nepal!

Two friends who work for the UK’s biggest road safety charity IAM RoadSmart have just completed the project of a lifetime, passing on their motorbike training skills to other bikers in Nepal recently.

Scott Tulip and Pete Doherty, both area managers for the charity – who as it turned out both trained together in their previous lives in the Motorcycle Wing at the Metropolitan Police Driving School, were contracted to deliver the training as part of a two-week project by The Ghurkha Welfare Trust.

The Trust offers financial, medical and community aid to Gurkha veterans, their widows and communities in Nepal – many of whom live in the most remote and hazardous parts of the country – hence the need to provide safe riding skills training … enter Pete and Scott!

Many of the roads are tracks not wide enough for a four-wheeled vehicle, and others are metalled tracks.

The pair had the brief of ‘teaching on and off road training’ to the group of 12 students, starting with the basics of road safety training, called IPSGA – information, position, speed, gear, acceleration. It forms the basis of advanced driving and riding here, and has no less importance in Nepal.

Scott rightly said: “The idea is to ensure they are getting it right by skill rather than luck so we will have a theory session then it’s a case of putting into practice which is the key to any effective training. They are, rightfully, a proud nation and proud of their country. We need to engage with care and not be condescending or disrespectful to them or their nation.”

The GWT has over 20 offices and over 400 staff spread throughout the country. Their staff work tirelessly to ensure that their beneficiaries are well looked after, and able to live with dignity. The abiity of the Trust’s staff to be mobile in times of need is critical – hence the importance of its motorbike riders being able to get around safely.

After starting in Kathmandhu, the pair moved down to Pokhara for training in earnest, a distance of 200km – with its own fair share of dramas, including unpredictable cattle grazing where they choose and sharing the road with brakeless buses!

The trainees were given a comprehensive session on repair and maintenance techniques – which unlike the UK involves not only getting hold of the right tools, but having them made especially!

The team took part in comprehensive on and off road training; some of the off road training involved riding through riverbeds, gravel and mud tracks.

The end of the trip saw Pete and Scott assessing how much their students had learned and progressed – and thankfully all passed. The next stage would involve them training each other and then passing this training down amongst the ranks.

Women bikers’ unique chance to ride with the best

Female bikers have the unique chance to ride with ‘queen of bikers’ Maria Costello MBE this summer, at a unique women-only Skills Day with road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.

Maria is one of the country’s most successful and accomplished racers, who has recently branched into a four-wheeled racing season for the first time in 2018.

Maria, who is also IAM RoadSmart’s Rider Ambassador, has made more than 40 starts at the world famous Isle of Man TT and will be back there this summer, became the first women ever to claim a podium around the course – with third place in the Ultra Lightweight race of the 2005 Manx Grand Prix.

For five years Maria held the Guinness World Record as the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course, when she lapped the Snaefell mountain course at an average speed of 114.73 mph in 2004.

This year Maria continues on two and three wheels but will also embark on a season driving an Austin A30 car in the Historic Racing Drivers’ Club (HRDC) Championship.

Maria’s Skills Day takes place at Thruxton Circuit on 11 July. Riders attending will enjoy one-to-one riding instruction and tips direct from Maria herself. Places are limited, so anyone interested is advised to book as soon as possible.

Riders attending the Skills Day will ride their own your motorcycle and the day is carefully structured to develop skills in a modular way. Most attendees end the day with a much greater understanding of their machine and themselves as riders.

Some specifics of what will be covered include:

Entry, apex and exit points, how they vary from road to circuit, how we use them and where we should position for view, stability and progress

Where to brake, when and how much to brake, how it feels in an emergency. Most people have never used their brakes to their full potential

Controlled, progressive, smooth cornering

Gear selection and how to decide which is the most appropriate gear for the circumstances

How to use the accelerator or throttle to add stability to the motorcycle when cornering

Maria said: “I love coaching at my own trackdays so I’m really looking forward to heading up this event. It’s wonderful seeing them progress gain more confidence and get more out of their bikes and become safer riders. It will be a fun day for all of us, and I can’t wait!”

This full day session is £149. To book call 0300 303 1134. For more information visit  https://www.iamroadsmart.com/campaign-pages/skillsday