RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders Thames Valley

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Affordable advanced driver and rider training delivered in a friendly club environment

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Your road to becoming an Advanced Rider starts here

We can show you how to get the very best out your bike, while at the same time enjoying the experience and staying safe, all in a dedicated one-to-one training environment with like minded enthusiasts.

The principal reason we exist is to offer training to members, usually in preparing for their RoSPA Advanced Test. This is provided to new Associate Members starting their training and also to existing Full Members for their 3 yearly re-test (which is a requirement for continued membership).

Thames Valley RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (TV-RoADAR), was formed in 1978. We currently have about 240 members.

We are a mixed group with both car and motorcycle members split approximately 50/50. There is no separate membership for the two sections, even though we operate independently, we are governed by one committee. Advanced training is managed through a network of qualified tutors all of whom are volunteers.

Along with the training we provide, we offer a select calendar of events. Available to all members at subsidised rates these include Social Rides, Track Based Training, Away Trips, Slow Riding Courses and much more.

Joining could not be easier – simply click on the “Join Here” button below and follow the process through. The cost of membership is just £99 and this includes free training, plus a copy of the latest edition of Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code (together worth over £20).

Acceptance is automatic, once complete you will be contacted by someone from the Training Team who will take you through the allocation process.

All our training is carried out one-to-one, your allocated Tutor will be your mentor through the whole period that you are training, so it is therefore important that we make sure you are paired with a Tutor who is well matched to your needs and able to plan your progress.

All of our Tutors are made up from enthusiast members who volunteer their time for the benefit of other members. Other things they do include, helping to organise the programme of social rides we offer to members.

All of our Tutors will have been themselves tested to the very highest standard as part of their qualification process. They also undergo regular additional training and monitoring to ensure they are able to offer the very best training, matching these standards.

All of our training is centred around the Highway Code and the Police Federation publication – Motorcycle Roadcraft – which is identical to that used by all the emergency services.

Some other training organisations often insist that everyone – trainers and associates alike – follow a rigid and very inflexible approach and generally, their test pass level is significantly lower than that required by RoSPA. This method of training will also often rely on working within a fixed and prescriptive framework, with little adjustment being made for individual needs and abilities.

Although the RoSPA test will be at a fixed standard, we do not believe that getting to that standard is a simple mechanical process. Real road situations require real solutions, to answer this we pride ourselves in adopting a flexible tailored approach, with Tutors matching training technique to the varying needs of Associates.

Achieving a Gold during a RoSPA Test is recognised worldwide as being the highest qualification available at civilian level. A Gold pass at test cannot be bettered, all of our Tutors are trained to this standard.

Training will take place with you using your own bike, accompanied by your tutor riding their own machine. Your Tutor, being a volunteer, is giving you their time without charge but they will have to pay for their own fuel and cover their own expenses. As is normal practise, we expect Associates to make a contribution to help cover these costs of up to £20 per session.

We find that use of radio during training accelerates the process considerably. During training sessions your Tutor will supply you with a radio and earpiece so that they can make comments on your ride, give instructions on route changes and also provide a commentary during demonstration rides.

Training is what is sometimes described as “Pursuit Style Training”. Normally you will ride in front with your Tutor close behind. They will not Instruct, the decisions you make will be yours alone. However, the Tutor may well make timely comments about what they see, which will be discussed in detail at debriefs. Also, your Tutor may well draw your attention to features or hazards that they feel you should be responding to. Again, these will be part of later discussions. At some point your Tutor may well give you a Demonstration Ride, together with a running commentary on what they themselves are responding to.

Depending on ride content, weather, time of year and time constraints, each training session will usually be between 2 and 4 hours. Generally, they will be somewhere between 30 and 80 miles, but all these factors are negotiable and varied to your circumstances, and subject to what you have and agreed with your Tutor.

All training is carried out in your free time, the amount of which is available varies from person to person. Then, people start from different levels and learn at different rates. It is therefore not possible to predict how long it will be before you are ‘Test Ready’. As a general rule, 8 -10 sessions are sufficient, but it often depends on outside factors such as an Associate’s ability or commitment to practice.

Your Tutor will be as keen as you to get to a point where you are test ready. When this time comes, your Tutor will arrange for another Tutor to offer you a ‘Mock Test’, which will give you good insight as to what to expect with the real thing. Providing you and your Tutor are happy with the result, they will guide you through the process of applying to RoSPA Head Office for your test.

Remember this is not compulsory, it is designed to provide a fitting end to all your hard work.

The test will be conducted by a RoSPA Examiner, who will most likely be either a serving or a past Police Officer on similar roads that you will have been using during training and it will last about an hour. Depending on your performance you will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze (or in the case of a disaster, a Fail).

Included in the test fee you will pay, will be your initial subscription to RoSPA (which is different to belonging the us at Thames Valley). If you keep up your annual membership (currently £40 per year), you will be offered free re-tests every three years, which everyone finds very much help us all keep up our standards.

I joined RoSPA because I didn’t know just where I was with my riding capabilities on the road, so joining a reputable organisation was key. After enrolling and meeting a tutor I liked the easy going approach with no pressure to perform and enjoyed the sessions. This felt reassuring and knowing the feedback would be fair / open contributed to making me a better, more thoughtful rider, and I went on to achieve a Gold pass.” – Mark Larkin

The process of joining RoSPA was very smooth. Following an introduction phone call, where I could ask questions, I was put in contact with a local tutor Graham who is very patient, knowledgeable and friendly. My monthly training sessions consist of a mixture of theory and practice. I continue to learn new techniques and improve existing skills in order to make me a better and safer rider – which is my goal.”- Nick Fifield

From the initial phone call I felt comfortable knowing Graham was going to be my tutor. He was accommodating with riding times and organised varied and challenging routes to my skill set. Whilst I have been riding for years to have my riding assessed and improved making me more aware of things that I have forgotten over the years. I thoroughly enjoyed the process. Thanks again to all at RoSPA. ” – Mark Pitkin

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