This evening the IAM Glasgow North Group (motorcycle section) season started again. Every Wednesday from now until September a big wodge of bikes will converge on the car park at the retail park at Crow Road in Glasgow, before setting off for about an hour of riding to a destination where there will be cups of tea and sandwiches, or plates of chips, or sustenance of some description. Tonight the McDonalds restaurant at Balloch, next to Loch Lomond, was the chosen place. Their hot chocolate is perfectly acceptable, I can now say.
So anyway, as of this evening I am now an IAM trainee observer, and the next while will be spent learning how to observe (funnily enough) and how to offer advice to associate members of the IAM who are training to take, and pass, their advanced motorcycle test, like I did in December. This takes the form of me riding behind an associate and watching what they do, and stopping every so often to offer constructive advice on how to ride better and, more importantly, more safely, with a view to passing the IAM test. All the while, or at least most of the time anyway, while I follow the associate a senior observer will be riding behind me watching what I do, and at the end of the ride, out of earshot of the associate, offering me advice and criticism.
This will lead to another test for me which when I pass will make me a qualified observer, allowed to be with an associate without having a senior observer following me. Apparently the time scale for this is usually 3-6 months, so watch this space!