Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Training

Rider training is something that most people think about when they are wanting to first take up motorcycling and obtain their motorcycle licence. Beyond that relatively few riders undertake further or advanced rider training.

Riders may spend considerable sums of money on bolt-on performance parts for their bikes, but very few opt to spend money on improving their skills through further / advanced training.

Advanced rider training is something every rider should consider and it is positively encouraged by the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Indeed, all our FireBike riders are qualified to a minimum of RoSPA Gold Standard, which is recognised as the highest riding award available to the public. Even at such a high standard however our FireBike riders are constantly learning on the roads, and undertake annual riding assessments.

Whenever we ride our bikes, we give little consideration to the fact that it may be the single most dangerous thing we do on that particular day.

Undertaking an advanced riding course will help you be a better rider. It will improve the skill and safety of your riding so that you can make the best use of road and traffic conditions. Advanced training will help you ride defensively and avoid preventable accidents. As a result you will be better able to anticipate dangers, control situations and reduce your risk exposure.

It will help you further improve your skills by increasing the awareness of the range of factors that affect your riding – your own capabilities, the characteristics of your machine, and the road and traffic conditions.

In short, it will help you be a better rider, no matter what kind of bike you ride and regardless of how long you've been riding. As a consequence you will get far more out of your riding experience and, above all, be safer on the road.

There is also a financial benefit as many insurance companies will offer discounts for motorcyclists with advanced rider qualifications.

We would ask you to consider the benefits of undertaking some advanced rider training. In doing so, ask yourself the following:

When riding, do you ever find yourself:

  • Having to brake sharply?
  • Misjudging bends/corners?
  • Riding too close to the vehicle ahead?
  • Having near misses?
  • Feeling anxious, tense or intimidated?
  • Regretting what you’ve just done? (e.g. accelerated through an amber light)

If so, maybe you could benefit from advanced training. It is not just for people who travel particularly high mileages or who ride large, powerful sports bikes. It is also relevant to people buying their first big bike or those returning to riding after a prolonged gap. It will be of considerable benefit to any rider of a reasonable capacity machine who is motivated to improve their riding and safety on the road.

Advanced rider training can take many forms, from single day ride assessments by advanced instructors to formal courses of study and instruction leading to a formally recognised advanced riding qualification.

Our Better Biking Course is a half day course providing advice, guidance and assessed ride feedback designed to improve your existing road riding skills and help you to enjoy safer biking even more.

A FireBike team member will undertake an assessed ride with you and provide practical advice and guidance on your riding, highlighting strong points and suggesting areas where improvements can be made through practice. You’ll be given tailored feedback on topics like about observation, positioning, gear selection and overtaking.

At the end of the course you’ll get immediate feedback from the FireBike team member. You will be presented with a certificate of attendance and a ‘goody bag’. A concise written feedback report will be sent to you shortly after the course.

You can book a place on a FireBike Better Biking Course by emailing firebike@essex-fire.gov.uk and providing your full name; address; bike make, model and registration number; contact phone number and email address.

Or just speak with a FireBike rider at one of the many events we attend throughout the year.

The FireBike Advanced Machine Skills is a full day course held at Wethersfield Airfield, the focus of which is all about machine control - slow speed handling; positive steering; merging exercises; swerving skills; emergency avoidance techniques and advanced braking skills. 

Each of the skills elements is covered in depth with highly experienced instructors, with plenty of opportunity for participants to practice before moving on to the next element, building skill levels as the day progresses.

These training days are all about sharpening some key skills, which unfortunately are rarely practiced but will help improve riding on the road and help reduce the chances of a collision.

We are working in partnership with a team of highly experienced well respected instructors from Hopp Rider Training to assist us in providing the training days. 

There are just 12 places available per course on a first-come-first-served basis. The course is for everyone, no matter what you ride, however long you’ve been riding, whatever your experience. We promise that you will learn something from the course that will improve or transform your riding. You will leave the course a better rider!

You can book a place on a FireBike Advanced Machine Skills Course by emailing firebike@essex-fire.gov.uk and providing your full name; address; bike make, model and registration number; contact phone number and email address.

Or just speak with a FireBike rider at one of the many events we attend throughout the year.

Bikesafe Essex

This is scheme run by the Police and set up for the sole objective of reducing motorcycle casualties in Essex. Bikesafe offers each rider an insight to riding skills aimed at making their riding more enjoyable as well as safer. It is an excellent opportunity to sample some advanced riding before moving on to advanced training.

The Bikesafe workshops are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests, and are particularly suitable for those that may be returning to biking after a period of absence and in particular, sportsbike riders.

The workshops are very much practical and hands on. In addition to a classroom based theory session there will be two observed rides, one rural, one non-rural, in company with experienced advanced riders. Each workshop is of one day’s duration and operate between 9am and 5pm. There is space for 16 people on each workshop. The cost will be £60 per person. This will include a lunch and some pre course literature as well as the classroom input and two observed rides.

Our FireBike team are members of the Essex Bikesafe scheme and in signing up for a Bikesafe course you can opt to ride with a FireBike rider rather than a Police officer, if you prefer.

Bikesafe is highly recommened by the FireBike team.

You can find further information and register for a workshop at the following link:
www.bikesafe-essex.co.uk/

We hope that, having undertaken a FireBike or Bikesafe course, riders will be encouraged to further enhance their riding skills by progressing to a formal advanced rider qualification.

Further information on advanced rider training can be found at the following links:

RoSPA Advanced Riders www.roada.org.uk
Essex RoSPA Advanced Motorcyclists www.rospariders.co.uk
Chelmsford & District Advanced Motorcyclists www.cadam.org
Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group www.eamg.org.uk
Institute of Advanced Motorists www.iam.org

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