The RAC/ACU Training Scheme

At the beginning of l976 the Leicester Phoenix began a Rider Training Scheme under the local authority and the RAC/ACU. We have known the value of such schemes for many years but only given them lip service. Now we join the Fosse Riders who have provided Leicester with training facilities for so long.

Support for our training scheme, while endorsed by the club, has to come from individual members prepared to sacrifice their time and effort. There needs to be consistent commitment so fortunately it is a very rewarding occupation. Each twelve week course is run on Tuesday evenings and our Chief Instructor, Wal Bradshaw, demands that his Instructors write off all other activities on those nights. Even between courses Tuesdays are often taken by Instructors meetings when the layout of the Scheme and working arrangements are scrutinised and improved.

The importance of the work goes almost without saying. Despite national trends the county accident rate is climbing even faster than the rise in motorcycling. Proper training is seen as a most valuable measure in countering this increase.

Setting up new training scheme is not easy. To provide a pool of potential instructors and prevent a scheme from fragmenting, it is a proven help for the scheme to be based on an existing motorcycle club. This is the only official connection between the scheme and the club.

It is also important that the scheme should have a minimum number of individuals who are willing and able to administer the scheme. With Wal Bradshaw, Dave Smith and Pete Vines we have that core. There are others with the potential. The scheme is still in early days yet. It is a living structure undergoing evolution; although we are pleased with its present state it will change along with the people which comprise it. To survive we must constantly look for new instructors. The present instructors would probably describe their induction as being " chucked off the deep end". We are learning as we teach and our pupils have encouraged us by their comments and test results. For new people wishing to help at this stage we have formulated an induction policy. While learning the ropes new instructors can also provide a useful contribution to the team as well as bringing in new ideas and fresh enthusiasm.

Each instructor trains six riders per year. This valuable contribution to motorcycling is surely motivation enough. If you are willing to give your Tuesday evenings for this please see Pete Vines, Dave Smith or any of the other sixteen instructors who are club members.

A new course begins on February 14th. It would help if new instructors could also start on that date.


Ben Crossley