Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Progress. Could you tell me a little about your general background?
I’m originally from Leicestershire and moved to London at age eighteen to study music. I graduated last summer and have now started up my own video production company. I live in Vauxhall.
And what about your motorcycling background?
I’ve been riding for five years, having taken my CBT at eighteen and my full test shortly after that. I rode a YFZ125 for two years, keeping it even after getting my full licence, then a KTM 390 which I recently sold in favour of a Tracer 700 which I’m very happy with as my first big bike as it’s smooth and torquey.
I obviously have to ride a lot in urban areas and know to always expect the unexpected. I’ve had two mishaps, one where a pedestrian walked out in front of me; the other when vehicle pulled out when I was in a bus lane.
Which leads us to reasons for joining LAM
I read Roadcraft for my test and felt that I had a good knowledge of the principles, I just wasn’t applying them systematically. I did a Bikesafe day when they resumed after lockdown and received feedback that I was a natural rider but needed to develop. Which then led me to LAM.
You’re obviously among the younger riders in the group. Any thoughts on how more in your age group could be attracted to Advanced Riding?
Firstly there just aren’t that many young riders due to high barriers to entry. Also a lot of younger riders enjoy riding as they do and don’t have any wish to change. Older riders are probably more realistic about the risks involved and want to make sure they stay safe.
I see myself as committed to riding on a life-long basis. After passing my test I would like to proceed to do the Masters and to become an Observer. Hopefully this will also set an example to other young riders.
How do you feel it’s going so far?
I’ve now had four ORs. They’ve all been different and all helpful. One of the main improvements has been in my ability to judge appropriate cornering speed and to make good progress while staying safe.
What’s the main type of riding you do?
I use my bike to get to work every day and get out at least once a week to Kent/Surrey/Sussex to practise. When I go to visit family I enjoy riding in the Derbyshire dales.
Your present bike is obviously very new, but how in principle do you keep bikes in good condition?
I give them a thorough wash at least once a week – more if necessary and do regular POWDERS checks and basic maintenance and adjustments. As I have to keep the bike in a car park, for security I have a tracker, a chain and keep it covered.
Any favourite meal or snack while riding?
I always carry nuts and protein bars as well as a packed lunch and a shake – I go to the gym a lot so am always hungry. I’m new to riding in the LAM area so am always discovering new places to stop. Recently I’ve enjoyed Reigate Hill Tea Rooms and Godstone Flower Farm.
What do your family and friends think about you riding?
My parents know that I’m serious, focussed and mentally aware so they are confident that I will ride safely. My friends will ask for a pillion ride and I appreciate that they show this level of trust.
Finally, any suggestions as someone who is fairly new to the group?
I am pretty confident and able to strike up conversations. I have however noticed that at meetings there are some Associates standing with no one to talk to. Perhaps something could be done to include them more in the community.
Thanks Sam, hopefully I’ll see you at meetings.
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