As you are all ELAMites, you’ll be well aware of the IAM course you have either done, are on now or even waiting to start.

The course always starts with the machine control day (MCD) which gives both victims (ahem!) – students and observers a first look at each other, a bit like a scene from “high noon”. Of course I jest, it’s a great place to have a look at our own skillset and start to improve and learn. I think this intake of riders are in for a treat if the MCD was anything to go by, for a start North Weald, is normally cold, wet, windy or all three, however, on this day it was lovely sunny and still, you lucky buggers 😂

As usual, there was a great mixture of bikes, people and what they use their bike for, from a sporty R1 to a lovely big (or should that be huge) Kawasaki Voyager (my apologies if it wasn’t, it was definitely a Kawasaki though), and everything in between. It’s a bit like a bike show to be honest, and who doesn’t like them? 😂

I was surprised by the turn out if I’m honest, what with all that’s been going on with the dreaded Covid, it’s great that people are still interested in learning in these hard times and as we all know (or should do) we never stop learning/improving. Even the best observers will tell you that.

The MCD gives us the chance, as I’ve already mentioned, to see our own skill levels in a safe environment. Where else can you practice slow riding and emergency stops with a group of like-minded individuals, who can help each other, yes that’s the great thing, everyone likes to help give advice. The observers’ main goal, even pleasure is helping people learn and improve, it gives them great pride and a feeling of accomplishment.

Some people may believe that the observers are stern, sticklers for perfection, with no leeway or compromise, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Even observers are willing to learn from their students (and often do), so treat them as your biker mates, as in a way they are 😁

So please bear that in mind on your course runs, firstly enjoy the rides, they should be fun as well as a place to learn. Ask plenty of questions, trust me nothing you can say, hasn’t already be asked. The more you put in the more you will get out, and not only will you become a much better rider, but you could also end up with friends for life.

All the best

Paul