Not often would I brag about spending almost the entire day in the company of the police. Lets face it, you usually have to deal with them if you have done something wrong or something wrong has been done to you and nobody I know really wants that.
But I think it was all for a common good today. A large group of mostly police volunteers organise workshops and observed ride-outs under the scheme called Bike Safe. You can read more about the initiative on their website. Many police forces in the country do it and this particular one was organised by the West Midlands police force.
We had a 8:30am meetup at the Halesowen police station and most of the talking was left to the charming and highly experienced retired police officer Marcus. It was very educational and quite entertaining.
Motorcycle riders account for about 1% of all vehicles on the UK roads so a normal everyday driver will naturally check for a car approaching him or her, not something like a bike. This accounts for many issues where bikers are just not seen by drivers. Also, it must be said that riders should also ensure their own safety by anticipating hazards and avoiding them in an appropriate manner.
After the theoretical bit and a quick coffee/tea break we went through document checks and then geared up and set of. We were in small groups of two with one observer to every two riders. The route took us down urban streets and country roads from Halesowen to Pershore.
It took me about an hour to get to Halesowen so that day I made loads of miles. 130 to be precise. Would highly recommend. At the end of the workshop they strongly encouraged us to continue improving our riding by going to one of the advanced schools like IAM, ROSPA and the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS).