It’s always a good feeling for an Observer when an Associate passes the IAM test, but when two in as many weeks achieve the Green badge it’s very rewarding.
Nigel Green, National Observer, is pictured here following the “Start of Summer ride” with Nick Lowczowski (left) and Nicki Gilbert (right). Nick was also delighted with a “1st pass” achieved with LAM in less than a year of joining and only 6 ORs. Nicki also had her first assessment in June 21 and passed after only 8 ORs. Both of them showed a determination to improve and put in much practice in between Observed rides.
Nigel said, “ I carried out Observed rides with both Nick and Nicki and also their Check Tests so it was fantastic when they both passed within two weeks of each other. Other Observers who also had an input into their training will also be delighted. Observing can be very rewarding and is a team effort to get the Associates across the line. We can’t take the test for them however and they deserve credit for doing it.”
"My experience with IAM and more specifically LAM began in June 2021, having started riding the previous summer taking the CBT course then moving immediately onto a Direct Access course with an excellent local teacher. I passed my test in September and immediately bought a bike. It was at this point I realised I still knew nothing really about riding a motorcycle. I took some off road courses to build machine control skills and started putting the miles on my bike but still felt there must be more to riding on the road, cue the IAM.
The sign up process was simple enough, I received my welcome pack and handbook, and I booked my first observed ride / assessment. The Observer, Mark Barling, got in touch and we arranged a date and went for a ride. Afterwards Mark provided excellent advice explaining how to implement the system known as IPSGA, and general tips on improving my riding. I was then sent away to practise. A further 3 sessions with Mark continued to build upon the skills and areas requiring improvement from the previous session. Importantly the sessions were great fun, discovering some great new roads and coffee locations, whilst never feeling like being under too much scrutiny.
The consensus within the IAM is to get input from different Observers so an additional shared session with Jane Harle and one other Associate proved productive and informative.
Finally at another group meet, Nigel Green was assigned to be my Observer and managed to identify some areas requiring attention and provided great advice on how to put these things into practice. He recommended taking a mock / check test and offered to do this, again providing clear information on how to best prepare for the test.
The test itself was a great experience, a lovely sunny day, and the examiner, Guy Allen made the experience very relaxed and stress free, with some very useful advice to boot.
Having now become a full member, other possibilities have opened up within LAM including members’ group rides and mechanical workshops.
Possibly one of the most important aspects of joining the IAM are the members, they are always friendly and inclusive and it's a great opportunity to meet people with a shared interest in all things biking.’
"I started the Associate training in conjunction with getting my first large bike.
Learning best practice from highly experienced and respected riders has been great - plus there's real camaraderie in the group rides. I'm continually surprised by just how much craft there is yet to learn; every ride offers new insight and that keeps me hooked. All the observers at LAM are supportive and generous - thanks to Nigel for his ever-positive mentoring and feedback. The IAM examiner (Paul Tydeman) made the test as relaxed and useful as possible - nothing to fear there - and now I've passed there's a summer of fun riding ahead.”
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