In association with

IAM RoadSmart

My path

My path to becoming an Observer
by Brian Collins.
Brian Collins Observer

I passed my module two motorcycle test at the Lee-on-Solent test centre, which at the time held the distinction of having the highest pass rate in the UK. This was primarily because I was in 20/30 mph limits for about 38 minutes of the forty-five-minute test. At no stage during my training was I ever spoken to about safe riding in NSL’s or how to overtake; you just pass, buy a bike and work it out on your own.

As soon as my partner started joining me, riding pillion, I decided that I needed to do something to keep us both safe. It was for that reason that I signed up for the ARC.

I was paired with Max, one of WSAM’s observers, and Oliver, who was completing his observer training at the time.  Both quickly illustrated to me that advanced riding and the IAM aren’t focused on riding slowly, resplendent in Day-Glo yellow. Instead, the ethos is about providing you with the skills and confidence to enjoy motorcycling while keeping yourself safe.

I was carefully guided through the process of improving my riding, with the advanced test itself taking a backseat. However, when I passed with a F1rst I was asked to consider returning in a year or two to perhaps become an observer myself.

Having gone through subsequent observer training, I’ve found the process of imparting that same positive experience that I had with Max and Oliver incredibly rewarding. Trying to support people in a similar situation to myself, guiding them in developing their confidence, enjoyment and safety on the roads. I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone try a taster ride and see if this experience is for you.