My Road to Full Member

I suppose I’m another born again biker; in which case, my birth was in 2010. On escaping from full-time employment, I was looking forward to getting up from behind my desk and seeing if that passion for two wheels was still alive. Recognising that
today’s bikes and roads have moved on since I was a teenager, I’d booked a training weekend in mid-Wales to test the water before engaging with dealers.
Well the Brecon Beacons, the Elan Valley and the A44 seduced me completely and my first bike arrived within a few weeks. Soon after, a second bike had arrived in the garage. Initially, I was more than satisfied with ride-outs from home and regular pilgrimages back to mid- Wales. In 2015 I had toured New Zealand’s South Island with my wife on pillion but had no other touring experience. Eventually, the pull of the continent became stronger and I signed up for my first European tours in 2017; firstly, to Luxembourg in May and
then to Spain in October.
Riding in the group on these tours it soon became apparent that some riders stood out; they exhibited skills that I just didn’t have. Much could be quickly picked-up by observation but the seed was sown; I now aspired to raise my game towards the best practice they consistently demonstrated. From my hotel bar ‘research’ of my fellow riders’ experience it seemed that the Advanced Rider programme through IAM Roadsmart was the key.
A chance meeting with BAM member Mike Cross encouraged me to take the plunge and to attend my first club meeting in March 2018. Eager to take on a new challenge I immediately signed up. Things moved very quickly; I was introduced that same evening to my enthusiastic
Area Coordinator, Suki who was now tasked with finding me an Observer. In the meantime, I was encouraged to join the observed ride-outs.
So, on April Fool’s Day(!) my programme got underway as Mark Willis put this rookie at ease and we set off in search of daffodils in Worcestershire. I soon got used to looking out behind me for Mark’s directions and settled into a relaxed and enjoyable ride. We only managed to practice the ‘missed turn’ procedure just once and shared the blame fairly! With feedback expertly given and painlessly received over a brew at the destination, this April day hadn’t turned out to be foolish after all.
Within a few weeks Suki had worked his magic and I had arranged the first meeting with my Observer, John Lickley at Bassetts Pole. In fact, it seemed like a BAM hub with several Observers and Associates gathered. I had to quickly learn new skills such as collecting the loyalty tokens off coffee cups at MacDonalds!
We were soon out on an initial appraisal ride and I was hopeful that I had at least shown enough for John to work with. With GoPro footage to hand, John was able to illustrate the good, the bad and the ugly. This set the syllabus for our work in future
I really looked forward to all my Observed rides; John’s knowledge and experience are an inspiration to me. I even enjoyed it when John ordered some really foul weather to challenge me. In fact, I had enjoyed the whole experience so much that I was rather reluctant
and sad when John said it was time to apply for my test!

Kevin Songhurst

kevin songhurst

The website design team working with BAM, from UK Design Group. Also do work with TUI formerly Thomson Holidays and First Choice holidays.

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