This month we meet National Observer, former LAM Chair and winner of the 2018 Brian Bennett Award, Steve Pratt.
When did you start riding?
I got my first bike in 1975, a Honda CB200, and had a few like-minded friends and would go out every weekend, even load the bikes and ride off on holidays. A lad I worked with was an instructor with the RAC/ACU and got me a bike training course for cost price. I took my test in 1976.
How long have you been an Observer?
I have been Observing for nearly 7 years and the last 3 as a National Observer. Having got so much from the group, I seen Observing as a way of giving back, but totally understand it is not for everyone.
What does LAM mean to you?
An awful lot. I have met some incredible people and made some incredible friends. Biking has become a large part of my life, and that was driven by LAM. We are so lucky that there are so many people who have a passion for the group and make it the amazing place it is.
The Observer corp are so dedicated to making better safer riders, giving up so much time and doing so much behind the scenes to ensure they are at the top of their game. I have recently moved up to Yorkshire and joined the local IAM group. Given comparisons it shows LAM is in an incredible place.
Since being up north I have joined the Safer roads team as a Bike Safe Instructor, the statistics and reports I see on motorcycle KSI (killed seriously injured) are truly frightening and re-enforce why the training we deliver is an essential lifesaver.
What is your favourite route?
As said previously, I now live in the north, and I am now discovering some amazing roads in the North York Moors and the Dales, but on my numerous trips down I use a brilliant road from the Humber Bridge across the Lincolnshire Wolds on the B1225 to Horncastle. I never get bored of it.
What is your number one safety tip?
Plan for what you can’t see. Always imagine there is something around the corner that is going to impinge on you and plan accordingly.
What is your number one tip for passing the test?
Just do what you have been doing throughout your training not anything different, and try and get at least an hours’ warm up pre-test.
What is your favourite piece of riding kit?
Hand guards and heated grips
What is your favourite bike?
I loved my Honda VFR800 CrossRunner (Mk2)
What has been your best or funniest moment on a bike?
During a Motorcycle Control Day I was practising an emergency stop, once I came to a halt, for some unexplainable reason I looked at the ground, and we all know that where you look is where you go. Yes me and the bike on the floor This was all done in front of the Observers running the course. The only saving grace was it was out of sight of all the Associates.
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