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.