Last weekend, I took advantage and did something that has been on my To-Do-list for my stay in England, namely the Bike Safe workshop. I found the course very useful, both theoretically and practically – not at least regarding the first aid component. Living and riding in different countries has its advantages but following different rules and regulations can also be confusing. My long term followers might remember a post a wrote some years back on the topic “The helmet – remove it or not?!” where I contemplated what to do in case of an accident, since I had been taught conflicting things in Sweden and in Spain. So, now in addition, I know how things are taught in the UK as well – luckily this very much resembles what I was taught in Sweden a long time ago, although with some updates. Now it is believed that chest compressions are enough and that compressions alone will make the air circulate. Therefore, there is no need to remove the helmet, at least not if the air way is unobstructed. I think, however, that there must be a legal difference between Spain, on one hand, and Sweden and the UK on the other hand, since I was taught, both in Sweden and the UK, to act and do whatever seems appropriate to help save a life. While in Spain I was told that I could be held liable if, for example, a person lost a leg due to me making a torniquete to stop the person from bleeding to death. Well, enough about that – off you go and take your own first aid course!
The main part of the Bike Safe workshop was focused on how to prevent getting into the kind of situation where first aid is needed – in other words – how to “bike safe”. A lot of focus was put on how to read the road and the environment for signs of danger, how to interpret other road users’ behaviour and how to ride sensibly. This was followed by practical riding advice where we were riding a stretch of road while being observed by a police officer who then gave us advice on how to improve. I was told to adjust my positioning on the road to improve safety both in cornering and while passing potential dangers. Sounds easy but it is harder to implement than one might think – old habits die hard and all that. Having said that, I found the workshop hugely motivating albeit a bit scary. I’ve never been observed by a police officer before. I was also told to practise slow riding since he thought I put my feet down too much, I didn’t tell him that I hang my legs down as much as I can to prevent my legs going numb. Maybe I should have – but I learned in Spain never to argue with the police and I didn’t feel like investigating whether or not the same goes for the UK.
Despite this misunderstanding, I hugely enjoyed the workshop and I wish I could continue and do the Advanced Riders Training. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can be around long enough to complete it – I did check the possibilities to rent a room around here to stay a couple of months longer but it seemed difficult. Ah well, I can always start reading “Motorcycle Roadcraft – The Police Rider’s Handbook”, and of course, the Highway Code. I have both on my tablet.