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Yesterday I passed the IAM advanced driving test and can now justifiably assert that I really can ride a bike!

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is all about promoting road safety and their test requires you to demonstrate excellent control of your machine, excellent observation, anticipation and general road-reading capabilities, knowledge of and adherence to all legal regulations (especially speed limits :() whilst making safe, smooth, progress.

I emphasis "progress" as it's often auto-translated into "speed". Progress is all about making the best of conditions available whereas speed is that thing that some people do to excess on straight roads :D

The examiners are all holders of police advanced riding certificates and in my case an active central London based met class 1 traffic officer. I doubt that fluking a pass is possible. (I say this not to boast but many of you will be aware that the 'L' test can be and often has been fluked)

I didn't reach the standard all by myself, I had a lot of help from TVAM (Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists) and I would recommend them to anyone within striking distance (50-60 mile radius around Wokingham, Berks)

Advanced riding is not about being better than anyone else in a snobby way, it's about developing your skills and awareness to make riding safer and more fun.
 

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Congratulations, saphena! How long were you working on this? Classroom and road work? Does it get you any kind of break on your insurance?

And what's this about excess speed on straight roads? Straight roads? Did I accidentally log on to chopperforums.net? :D
 

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Congratulations, saphena! How long were you working on this? Classroom and road work? Does it get you any kind of break on your insurance?

And what's this about excess speed on straight roads? Straight roads? Did I accidentally log on to chopperforums.net? :D
About a year (I'm a slow learner, the norm's 6-8 months although it can be done in even less) and 15,000 miles.

Yes it does get me cheaper insurance although I won't know how much until I renew and, I recently discovered, it qualifies me to do blue light runs for hospitals should I feel the urge. :D

There are several peripheral benefits like that but my main motivation was that I wanted to get good in less than the 10-30 years it might take relying on experience alone.

A major side benefit of the training is that I can do (not on a public road obviously:D) excessive speed on bendy roads as well as the straight ones.
 

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Well done Saphena - that is no trivial milestone. I did the IAM advanced rider course, and can recommend it. It definitely improved my riding skills, made me a safer rider, and as a result massively improved my enjoyment of riding.

I can also recommend the RoSPA test - similar to the IAM, but with the RoSPA you get graded bronze, silver or gold, and have to retake the test every (3?) years to maintain your status. So that gives you refreshers and a monitor of your aility, if you're into that. Just kind of helps keep you on your toes.

Again - nicely done!
 

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Thanks guys, I was a bit scared when I posted that you'd all go "yeah, so?" :)

I can also recommend the RoSPA test - similar to the IAM, but with the RoSPA you get graded bronze, silver or gold, and have to retake the test every (3?) years to maintain your status. So that gives you refreshers and a monitor of your aility, if you're into that. Just kind of helps keep you on your toes.

I looked at the specification for RoSPA Gold a few months ago and decided that I'd never be that good but it now looks like something I might manage, maybe next year.

As far as maintaining things goes, I'm well aware that pride often comes before a fall and I'm keen not to suffer that fate. I shall continue riding with TVAM and, having gained some post-test experience, I'll sign up for observer training as well.
 

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Congratulations Saphena!

I just wish there was such a program here in Norway. It's the sort of thing that the vast majority of bikers would benefit from - if they were mature enogh to realize that they need it :rolleyes:

Last year I did a two-day course, and have signed up for it this year also. Great chance to improve riding-skills.
 

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I achieved grade silver on my first attempt at the RoSPA. I was pretty happy. I didn't do much wrong, but as you say you have to be pretty sharp to get graded gold. It's all good stuff. Then I moved to the USA so I never got the chance to see if I improved to "Gold" status.

Keep it up man, good stuff! If you become an observer you'll be able to get that gold.
 
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