In This Issue:


Did You Know?

Les Parsons: Obituary


Well done to the following members who have passed their advanced test / re-test:
Advanced Tutor (Gold)
  David Blackledge (M)
  Mike Ibbitson (M)
  Paul Smith (M)
  Stephen Wilkinson-Carr (M)
  Martin Ball (M)

A warm welcome to new group members:

  Paul Giles (M)
  Dan Nash (C)
  Jo Noble-Finch (M)
  Mihali Rayer-Gulyas (M)
  Mike Smith (C)
  Stefan West (M)
  Simon Yule (M)
Diary Dates:
  Sat 27 Aug  Skillshare 
  Sun 28 Aug  Group Ride 
  Sun 4 Sep 
  Low-speed skills
  (Tutors only) 
  Fri 9 Sep  BikerDown 
  Tue 13 Sep  
  AGM & Tech Talk
  Sat 17 Sep
  Glos Police Open Day
  Sat 24 Sep  SkillShare 
  Sun 9 Oct  
  Low speed skills
  (Open to the public)
  Fri 21 Oct  BikerDown
  Sat 22 Oct  SkillShare
  Sun 28 Oct  Group ride
  Sun 6 Nov
  Tutor refresher training
  Fri 11 Nov  BikerDown
  Sun 27 Nov  Group Ride

Articles needed

If you have interesting snippets or would like to write a short article for this newsletter then please let us know. 

All contributions welcome.

Wanted: Group Ride Leaders 

We need more volunteer Ride Leaders - No experience required, full training given.


Call Stephen Wilkinson-Carr on 07976 644485 for more details.



August 2022
Chair's Introduction
In 2012 I was invited to attend a Motorcycle Advanced Tutor training course run bJulian Burton, then of Wiltshire RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders.

After weeks of intensive sessions covering both theory and practical aspects of advanced riding I applied for and took the test.

  Julian Burton
Sounds straight-forward doesn’t it? Not a chance!

The demanding test comprised:
   ·      riding at Gold standard for about an hour
   ·      tutoring the examiner role-playing an Associate
   ·      identifying core faults in the Associate's ride
   ·      coaching him to identify solution(s) to core faults
   ·      a difficult 25-question theory test with an 85%
          pass mark
I am forever indebted to Julian for his hard work and patience while training me and my colleagues - I suspect we were a nightmare group for him at times.

Of course, I promised 
to take the time and effort invested in my development and pay it forward one day. 2022 was my chance and I had the privilege, along with Mark Sealey, of training an invited group of Glos Approved Tutors during a 13-week training programme.
I am delighted to reveal that, so far, four candidates have taken and passed their Advanced Tutor Test with flying colours. They can all be very proud of how hard they worked and what they’ve achieved.

I am delighted to reveal that all five candidates have taken and passed the Advanced Tutor Test with flying colours: a 100% pass rate across four different examiners. I am enormously proud of how hard they have all worked and what they’ve achieved.

L-R Paul Smith, Mike Ibbitson, Andy Cheetham, David Blackledge, Phill Colbourne

An outstanding result. Congratulations to you all.

Advanced Tutor - David Blackledge

Many congratulations to David Blackledge on passing the motorcycle Advanced Tutor test 
on 15th July.

David said:

The achievement of Advanced Tutor was the next step on my journey to be the best trainer I can possibly be, helping riders to improve their skills and in so doing reducing the risk of a serious accident or worse.
So when approached by Stephen, my original RoSPA Tutor, to join the Advanced Tutor course I had no hesitation in saying yes.

When I received the initial pack the scale of what was ahead was obvious, and in particular that if I thought I had a good knowledge of Motorcycle Roadcraft, the Highway code etc, think again as the theory test for the Advanced Tutor qualification would explore my knowledge at a level never experienced before!

The workshop sessions challenged me to think at a deeper level as to how my approach, choice of words, choice of comments and choice of questions impacted on the associate. I had always, as a tutor, understood the each associate was an individual and tried to engage with each associate I had the pleasure to support so that they came up with the solutions, but the course changed my understanding about how my inputs could both positively and negatively be “heard by the associate” irrespective of my intentions.

Building up to the test, I was nervous (because I didn’t want to let myself or those who had given up their time to lead the sessions down), but I can honestly say that the examiner was calming. The theory test, true to its billing, tested the depth of my knowledge, but because of the preparation took little time to complete and I was confident I would pass. Then onto the road where the examiner provided a scenario and undertook a stooge ride in numerous sections, each of which I debriefed (all the time thinking…. What had I missed, particularly on one section when I couldn’t identify a fault (as he was stooging the perfect ride)). At the end of rides the examiner to my relief confirmed a positive outcome, I had passed, and then provided superb feedback to further enhance my skills.

My objective now is to apply my new, and enhanced knowledge to improve the delivery of the course to my associates, to provide enhanced feedback to those who I assess on Bike Safe courses, but importantly also to give back to the group/s who supported me and support them in enhancing the skills of current and prospective tutors and who knows help them become future Advanced Tutors, and ultimately make my small contribution to road safety….. maybe one comment can help someone avoid that unnecessary incident!

Advanced Tutor - Andy Cheetham

Many congratulations to Andy Cheetham on passing the motorcycle Advanced Tutor test 
on 5 August.
Andy said:
I’d started learning to ride in my twenties but family and career took precedence so it fell off the radar. Then, after encouragement from my better half – Ali, I passed my motorcycle test back in 2014, around my 50th birthday.
Little did she realise…. 😀
Me – “Why do advanced rider training? I’ve been driving a car for years there’s not much difference is there?”
Well after a few ‘run ins’ with cars and other riders I had a bit of an inkling that there might be room for improvement. 🤪
Fast forward a few months and I am at the NEC bike show. There’s a stand for NBBA (National Blood Bike Association).
Ali – “That sounds like a way for you to give something back – why don’t you do it?”
Me – “Ok -why not?”
NBBA – “We only accept advanced riders”
Me – “Oh”
This was the best thing to happen to me, as it gave me an incentive to train for the Advanced Rider Test. Once training started, I soon became aware of how poor my Motorcycle Roadcraft was, but  with the help and support of my tutor, Will, passed with a silver grade six months later!
So now I’m riding a blood bike, which was my original goal, but much more importantly I am not having ‘moments’ out on the road and thoroughly enjoying the challenge of a smooth and safe ride each time I get on my motorcycle . I’m also feeling much more confident about my riding.
Me – “Everyone who rides should do Advanced Rider training. It will help you to become a better rider - smoother, safer and more confident”
Gloucester ROADAR – “Why not help others to learn advanced riding skills”
Me – “Er, Ok but it’s not something I know how to do” 😬
Gloucester ROADAR – “Don’t worry we can help with that and give you the support you need
Me – “Ok, I’ll give it a go”
So now, after a few training sessions with coaching and shadowing by an established tutor, I’m helping others on the same journey - it’s really rewarding to see them develop and then gain the qualification. It’s also made me a better rider in the process so, Win-Win 😀
A few years later..
Gloucester ROADAR – “Why not help others to learn how to teach advanced riding skills”
Me – “Er, Ok but it’s not something I know how to do” 😬
Gloucester ROADAR – “Don’t worry we can help with that and give you the support you need
Me – “Ok, I’ll give it a go”
So here I am six months later, after a fairly intensive training process, embarking on a Highway Code theory test, a Gold standard A R and the a mock tutoring session where the examiner becomes an associate and throws in some riding faults for me to spot  and help the ‘associate’ identify and come up with a strategy to improve.

Not as traumatic as it sounds, given the training and support I’ve had (in advance, if you’ll excuse the pun)
I passed! 🥂🎉

Advanced Tutor - Phill Colbourne

Many congratulations to Phill Colbourne, of Wilts RoADAR, on passing the motorcycle Advanced Tutor test 
on 5 August.
Phill said:

I chose to take part in the advanced training in order to give something back to Wiltshire Advanced Drivers and Riders, having joined the group as an associate 6 years ago.
I’m incredibly grateful to all the Tutors who enabled my journey to advanced riding, which meant I could become a blood bike rider with Severn Freewheelers and then become an Approved Tutor and now an Advanced Tutor.

It’s essential that the group keeps moving forward, developing tutors and training, as well continuing the excellent collaboration with the Gloucestershire group, to ensure we can keep passing knowledge and skills on to the next generation of riders.

I can personally recommend the Advanced Tutor Training programme created and delivered by Stephen & Mark, along with a number of other Advanced Tutors from both groups and I look forward to using these skills and techniques going forward and working on joint initiatives.
Advanced Tutor - Mike Ibbitson

Many congratulations to Mike Ibbitson on passing the motorcycle Advanced Tutor test 
on 21st July.
Mike said:
Recently, after I passed the latest hurdle I had chosen, I was asked about my journey and involvement with advanced riding and if I’d share this story which, if you are reading this, you will gather I was happy to do! With all the recent Covid 19 pandemic and perhaps less socialising than we’d like we don’t often have the opportunity to swap stories so this seemed like a good medium.
I started riding at 16 in 1979 on a Yamaha FsiE (the old rules where mopeds qualified as anything propelled by pedals and you could squeeze darn near 60mph out of them flat on the tank and downhill!) then went through the usual progression of bikes, Yamaha RS125, Honda Superdream 250 (on which I passed my old style test at 17) and then Suzuki GS550 and then a range of what used to be called ‘superbikes’ (750cc and over).
I currently ride a BMW R1250RT and have a 1993 Ducati 900SS Supersport single seater for odd summer rides.

I got into the idea of bike training after a few near misses around the age of 22 when I was commuting long distances, in all weathers, on a BMW R80RT (the 'all of 49hp' model which seemed like plenty then!). I took a course at a bike school, led by an ex-police rider, which took us through Roadcraft and culminated in the IAM test. I really enjoyed it and liked the thorough approach of the system (albeit that the manual was about 30% the thickness of the current one so a lot less reading).

I didn’t join any groups but enjoyed my riding and kept persisting with the basics of what I had learned applying this to a variety of machines, FJR1200, FJR1300, Triumph Trophy (old and new models), Ducati ST (always had a sweet spot for those!) and R1200RT in a variety of settings from commuting to European touring. But of course my skills declined and in 2017 I got put on a speeders education course because I’d been caught on camera on the A40 at 77mph. That really annoyed me because I generally had a clean licence and also because I should have seen it coming, decent observation would have done the trick. But the course was great, I learned stuff and was re-acquainted with things I had not studied for a while.
The bug had bitten again and I signed up for re-training with RoSPA. After around 8 sessions with my tutor, Neal Scrivener (who was great) I had managed to reach test standard and got a Gold at test in 2018. After a little while I felt I wanted to give something back and I was accepted to train as a Tutor where a bunch of Advanced Tutors assisted me to not only reach the standard but consider aspects of how people learn and can be coached which is a key (and great) aspect of the RoSPA approach. I enjoyed the course and, despite a Covid affected sequence of associates after I qualified I really liked helping others on the journey – each associate provides new challenges and it’s really satisfying to unlock the keys to help them learn – we are all individuals.

I have now just passed my Advanced Tutor Test – the latest and definitely the toughest of the challenges on my journey and rightly it should be – it’s a responsibility to contribute to training tutors and doing pre-test check rides, I feel a great sense of obligation to do these to the highest standard I can and I’ll have to keep my standards up!
Please feel free to help me do that if we ever ride together because despite nearly 40 years of trying for that ‘perfect standard’ ride I’ve never achieved it – the next challenge continues!
Advanced Tutor - Paul Smith

Many congratulations to Paul Smith on on passing the motorcycle Advanced Tutor test on  21st July.
Paul said:
I’d ridden with different groups of riders and realised there are lots of average riders out there. A job change meant more riding with work
to different parts of the UK. After a couple of hours with a company-provided trainer l started looking at advanced training.   

Started the advanced process with the IAM in 2011 so I could give something back to the NHS via the local blood bike group, Severn Freewheelers. They require a three-yearly retest so I took my RoSPA Advanced Test for a different view. After passing this in December 2012 the Motorcycle Coordinator, Mike Wescott, suggested Approved Tutor training which I took and passed in 2013.  

After taking a number of associates to test I wanted to be able to do more for the group but did not want to go for the RoSPA Diploma so I took and passed the IAM Masters course in 2015 and wondered what was next.   

Being invited to attend the Advanced Tutor training came at a perfect time and now, having passed it, I am in a position to do more for the group which was my original aim.  
AGM & Technical Talk

Our AGM will be on Tuesday 13 September 2022 beginning promptly at 7pm.

Due to the current wave
of Covid-19 infections, this AGM will be held as a Virtual Meeting using the Zoom Video Meeting software. 

In the last week of August members will be sent an invitation to the Zoom meeting with all necessary details about how to join online.

After the Committee's presentations, elections and other AGM matters are concluded there will be a 1-hour Technical Talk, suitable for both drivers and riders, by Stephen Wilkinson-Carr (see below).

Low Speed Skills - 9th October 2022 (Open to all riders)
We will be holding a FREE and open-to-all Low-Speed training day on Sun 9th October 2022 to be held at the  Lower Car Park, Berkeley Power Station, Berkeley, GL13 9FB / N51 41.406 W2 29.727 / 

You do not have to be an advanced rider or even a member of an advanced riding group to attend. All are welcome.
The day will run from 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m. and will include a range of low-speed riding skills and exercises designed to improve rider confidence and skill. The low-speed circuit favourites such as the snowman, figure of 8 and intersection will feature alongside braking drills and a slow race to make for an enjoyable learning experience.  
A number of favourite exercises such as the snowman, figure of 8, offset cone weave, the 'W' and intersection will feature and you will have plenty of time to learn and practise each obstacle.
It does not matter if this is all new to you as we will be running a session to revise the basics and if you have been before there will be an advanced low speed circuit to test your skills – and a slow race - there really is something for everyone!
Example of an advanced circuit
Please e-mail Tony Dix to register an interest and further details will be sent out nearer the time..
The Lower Car Park
Berkeley Power Station
Berkeley, Glos
GL13 9FB
N51 41.406 W2 29.727

Gloucestershire Police / OPCC Open Day - Sat 17 Sep 2022

Gloucestershire Constabulary and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner's (OPCC) Open Day returns on Saturday 17th September 2022 from 10am to 3pm.

The open day is a fun-filled, family friendly event that is suitable for all. 

There will be plenty to see and get involved in on the day. So far, the following visitors and events for the day have been confirmed:

  * Police dogs and horses
  * Tours of Custody
  * Arena displays
  * Free fun for kids
  * Fire and Rescue Service
  * Police history and archives
  * Local food stands and suppliers
  * Projects from the OPCC
  * Rural Policing Team

We will be announcing even more about the day on this page soon!

Glos RoADAR will have an exhibition stand at this event and we need volunteers to help run it. If you have time and are keen to help then please contact Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Why Advanced Driving / Riding?

 What are the benefits? 

 These are some of the benefits enjoyed by advanced drivers and riders after training
 with Gloucestershire Advanced Drivers And Riders:

    Increased safety; keep yourself, your passenger(s) and other road users safe

    Reduced risk; using anticipation and planning skills
    Increased awareness; being more observant and using enhanced handling
    skills to anticipate changes around you

    Increased passenger comfort; with good forward planning and anticipation,
    your driving / riding will become smoother and more relaxed

    More enjoyment; experience the satisfaction of driving / riding from A to B more
    smoothly with more time to react to the unexpected
    Greater control; by understanding and knowing how to deal with the various
    forces that affect your vehicle

    Increased confidence; learn how to anticipate and deal with expected and the
    unexpected road and traffic situations

    Reduced wear and tear; get more out of your vehicle by learning advanced
    machine control methods 

    Discounted insurance; many insurance companies offer a discount to
    advanced drivers / riders

    Save money on fuel; using defensive driving / riding and forward planning
    techniques to achieve greater control and better fuel efficiency 

    Enhance your CV; gain a professional qualification you can put on your CV
 What is advanced driving / riding?
 Advanced driving / riding is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle
 safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to progress
 unobtrusively with skill and responsibility.  

 This skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving /
 riding competence based on concentration, effective all-round observation, anticipation,
 and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills.

 An advanced driver / rider will always have their vehicle in the right place on the road,
 at the right time, travelling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can
 always stop safely on their own side of the road in the distance they can see to be clear
 (DSA, RoADAR, IAM, 1997).
 What will you learn?
 Our driver / rider training is provided on a one-to-one basis. All our tutors are
 volunteers and have passed the advanced driving / riding test, hold a current tutor
 qualification and are registered with RoADAR HQ.

 You will learn how to drive / ride:

    Safely – By being safer you give yourself more time to react, to both expected
    and unexpected situations, and improve your own and passenger confidence in
    your ability.

    Systematically – By doing things in a systematic way, one thing at a time,
    you will learn how to ensure your vehicle is in the right place, at the right speed,
    in an appropriate gear and capable of being stopped, on your own side of the road,
    in the distance you can see to be clear.  We use the Police System of Car /
    Motorcycle Control acronym IPSGA (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration).
    Smoothly – By learning how to use vehicle controls in a smoother, and more
    controlled, way you and any passenger will feel more comfortable and relaxed.

    At an appropriate Speed – Learn how to drive at the appropriate speed, making
    progress and showing restraint when necessary.
 What does it cost?
 Training is free for car drivers who use their own vehicle with an assigned Tutor. 

 Motorcyclists pay a £15 contribution toward the Tutor’s costs per training session.

 It’s important that you to commit time to regular training sessions.
 Car and Motorcycle Tests
 The RoSPA advanced test is widely regarded as the highest civilian driving / riding
 standard available. The test is based on the Police Foundation publication 'Roadcraft:
 The Police Drivers Handbook' or 'Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Riders Handbook'
 and the Highway Code. A thorough understanding of both Roadcraft and the Highway
 Code will be required to pass the test at a high standard.
 Test Standards 
Gold is only awarded to the driver / rider who shows a consistently high standard of driving / riding throughout the test. The driver / rider will demonstrate a confidence in their ability together with a thorough understanding of the principles contained in Roadcraft / Motorcycle Roadcraft and how to apply those
 principles to situations that occur during the test.

Silver is awarded to candidates who display a skill level well above the average. They will show a thorough understanding of the principles contained in Roadcraft / Motorcycle Roadcraft and how to apply those principles to situations that occur during the test. The driver / rider will make safe systematic progress however not
 demonstrating the consistency, final polish and smoothness of the Gold grade candidate.

A Bronze grade will be awarded to those candidates who show that they have an understanding of, and the ability to apply, the principles of advanced driving / riding demonstrating a good level of observations and anticipation, but not doing so consistently throughout the test. They will however drive / ride in a safe and
 legal manner, to a standard that is significantly above that required to pass the
 appropriate DVSA test.

Biker Down - FREE Workshop

This FREE workshop is split into 3 main parts:
  • safe scene management lasting about an hour
  • first aid dealing with major blood loss, CPR & helmet removal, about 90 minutes
  • the 'Thinking biker', discussion about SMIDSYs, what can be done to mitigate the potential conflict & numerous other factors which come into the 'why' & 'how' of a collision.
The workshop begins at 6pm and aims to finish at 9:30pm (depending on audience enthusiasm and questions).

The course is aimed at all levels of motorcyclists from the seasoned biker to the young and inexperienced rider.
One biker who attended the Biker Down course said:
“As a direct result of going on this course, I was able to go to the aid
of a fellow biker who had been catapulted off of his bike by an
old lady. He was in the road with lots of broken bones.
I was confident to go straight to him and knew from the course what to do.
When the paramedic arrived he needed to remove the helmet, but hadn’t
been trained on how to do this, so I was able to show him how to do it.
I was on the floor with him for over two and a half hours; 
the course
gave me the ability and knowledge to do this comfortably”.
 Remaining dates in 2022, places still available:
 Fri 9th September     Fri 21st October     Fri 11th  November
For more details, or to apply for a place on a course please contact
Simon 'Rossy' Ross, a member of the Gloucestershire Biker Down Team,
SkillShare - FREE Assessment Ride With a RoSPA Tutor