This month we meet National Observer, Local Assessor and Committee member Peter Hase.
When did you start riding?
I was a nightmare youth, desperate to drive and ride and often doing so without much regard for the law! First legal ride was a Honda PC50 after turning 16 in 1973 with my Provisional Licence, I soon graduated to the ultimate teenage thrill machine, a Yamaha FS1E. That bike and I had so many adventures and after a flirtation with the 250cc limit bikes at 17, I moved onto 4 wheels; which I confess was motivated by the ability to transport other people, especially the ladies in my circle. It was my daily commute to London from Cambridge some 25 years later that prompted me to once again get back to 2 wheels and I bought a 125 Honda, which had the biggest white fairing in history, which reduced the speed to about 50mph on a motorway in a head wind, with a passing lorry causing much steering adjustment!
How long have you been an Observer?
I got my bike Green Badge in 2008 up in Cambridge and having moved to London I joined LAM. What a difference to ride up and down hills, through wonderful Surrey and Kent, away from the flat fens. I started Observing in 2012 and became a National Observer in 2017.
What does LAM mean to you?
The whole LAM group is a wonderful, passionate, kind and highly professional bunch of people, with the focus on enjoying riding motorcycles, but never losing the focus on safety.
There is a huge pool of expertise and skills in LAM and all of the Observer team are inclusive, experienced and ready to share their abilities. I personally have learnt so much from LAM and continue to learn more, never expecting that I have all the answers.
What is your favourite route?
Now that depends on whether I am solo out on my own, or with mates or with pillion, or Observing.
I have done a huge amount of riding in the South West of France and Spain, so routes around Pamplona, Bilbao and San Sebastian are awesome. That was the foundation for Brit In The Basque, which whilst mothballed for now, will start up again when I get time – the website is still up here www.britinthebasque.com
When Observing, I love Ide Hill, around that whole loop out from Tatsfield along Titsey Hill to Botley Hill.
Another super route after you get past the A303 is the A39 from Minehead, up the infamous Porlock Hill, along Countisbury Hill into Devon, hugging the high coast road, dodging sheep and into Lynmouth for fish and chips by the harbour. Any run inland from there is amazing.
What is your number one safety tip?
I guess there are two that I find help and can make a huge difference, both are based on Information from IPSGA –oone, always look as far ahead as you can, look ahead to plan; two, look where you want to go. Watch all the racers or good safe riders and they look where they want to go. Bikes go where you are looking, so if you a fixated by that tree, or the car that nearly pulled in front of you, that’s where you will end up.
What is your number one tip for passing the test?
Practice. Do the hard miles, use the system and make advanced riding intuitive. The test is also a learning experience – embrace it, use what you know and stay using the system. Hey, if I can do it ...
What is your favourite piece of riding kit? There are so many great options for bikes and kit – I love the power screen on the Tiger, cruise control and the suspension adjustment on the fly – all things I thought I would never use!
Actually, the one piece of kit I really do love is the flip up helmet. Great for Observing, Blood runs and just so useful.
What is your favourite bike?
I have had so many and actually loved them all in the main. The Honda CBR600RR was a bit scary, the early fuel injected system made the throttle on or off. My Blackbird was a favourite until the ECU blew up – and that moved me onto the Haybusa, which my wife did not want to sell.
The current Tiger Explorer is very capable and I enjoy that machine a lot – a bit heavy though so when I do less mileage I would consider the smaller 900 or a BMW S1000XR.
The one bike that is my pride and joy and I can never see selling is the 1957 Norton Dominator, which used to belong to – Norton!
What has been your best or funniest moment on a bike?
Where to start? How about my first ever Blood Run, picked up from St Georges Hospital, Tooting in my sparkling dayglo uniform jacket, rocked up at St Peter’s (ironic) in Guildford and was unstrapping the blood box when a “merry” young lad covered in blood after some disagreement comes up and says “Is that blood there mate?” “Yes” I reply, somewhat nervous. “Better hurry up and get it in then, I am gonna need some”! And he walked into A&E.
Ask me about …..
The time I spent all morning washing and polishing my XJ600 only then to throw it down the road …. and why I will not buy a GS!
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