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  • June 01, 2020 3 min read

    This month we meet national observer Keith Culling.


    When did you start riding?

    I started riding when I was 17 and became the proud owner of a Suzuki GT250 (the one with Ram Air for those who remember). I'd always wanted to ride and wanted to get a moped (FS1E of course!) when I turned 16 but my Dad thought they were "death traps" and felt I'd be safer waiting until I could ride a "proper bike"! So bikes have always been a big part of my life. They've given me new friends; great holidays; adventures and also a means of earning some extra money as a DAS qualified Instructor.

    How long have you been an Observer?

    I joined LAM in 2016 , became an Observer in 2017 and qualified as a National Observer in 2019. 

    What does LAM mean to you?

    I love to share my passion for riding while at the same time help people to develop and improve their skills and take their own ride up a couple of levels. What struck me about LAM when I first joined was the high quality of the training on offer. At the time of joining I'd been riding for some 40 years and so I had a degree of experience behind me; I'd done BikeSafe, had a Diamond Advanced certificate, and was a DAS qualified Instructor. I wasn't completely green. But the impact and quality of the training I received from LAM/IAM took my riding quickly to a whole new level. The Observers at LAM are top quality and provided you're willing to listen and take on board feedback and then put in the practice hours....they can help you transform your riding. I wanted to be part of that team which is why I originally became an Observer. I've since completed my Masters with a Distinction. At my age I'm living proof...you never ever stop learning and you're never too old to learn new skills!

    What is your favourite route?

    I guess there's no one answer to this.....the scenic route down to the South of France, the route through Brecon in Wales.......the A272 on an early summer Sunday morning. To me it's about the journey not the destination. Every time I go out on my bike it's an adventure!

    What is your number one safety tip?

    Two tips actually !

    Number one ....CONCENTRATE ! Stay 110% focussed for 100% of the trip. A fraction of a second lapse in concentration is all it takes to spoil your day. Don't let it happen. Put everything else out of your mind when you ride !

    Second....be critical of your own ride. When you get where you're going ask yourself what went well , what went not so well and how can I improve next time?

    What is your number one tip for passing the test?

    No easy answer to this! Practice, practice, practice; and LOTS of it! Be critical of your own performance. And never, ever break the law on test....a stop sign/line means STOP!

    What is your favourite piece of riding kit?

    If I had to choose I guess it would have to be my heated waistcoat.....as I tend to ride throughout the year it really makes the cold winter days bearable. 

    What is your favourite bike?

    It’s got to be my current bike my BMW R1200GS Adventure I'm afraid. I've had all sorts of bikes over the years...but my GS just does everything so well! Ok it might not be as quick in a straight line as my Blackbird or K1300S were but it can keep up with anything out on a run. I can tour on it; go to the shops or teach a CBT. It's the best most comfortable and capable bike I've ever owned by a light year.

    What has been your best or funniest moment on a bike?

    Taking a couple of guys out for a days’ Mod 2 training.....pulling over in a country lane and putting my foot down on what appeared to be a hard grassy verge.....the only problem being that it wasn't hard at all and my boot just sank straight into it ! Over I went into the mud with the bike on top of me! No harm or damage done (other than my pride) and we all had a good laugh at my expense!

    Ask me about …..

    The time I was playing 3 a side Motorcycle football with a team of highly experienced riding Instructors....all of whom should have known better.....!!!

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