Stephanie has been on two wheels since she was a 16-year-old when she purchased her first bike, a Puch Maxi Moped. Struggling with the rising cost of public transport, Stephanie found the moped a cost-efficient alternative.
Having a bike allowed Stephanie much needed freedom in her late teens and the opportunity to explore and enjoy the countryside.
Stephanie said: “I rode until I got married and when I went on to have children the two wheels weren’t convenient any longer. Once the children were old enough to drive, I was the one who couldn’t get anywhere as they tended to borrow the car. I then bought a scooter but found it wasn't powerful enough and gradually with time the size of my bikes seemed to grow.”
After raising her family, Stephanie went from four wheels back to two and decided it was probably best to take the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course to make sure she was equipped with the knowledge and skills to travel safely.
“We’re all wanting to stay safe on the road and this course gives riders the opportunity to learn new skills and polish those they already have. It doesn’t matter where you are in your motorcycling journey there is always something new to learn and the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider course is the best place to start.”
Stephanie has been with IAM RoadSmart since seeing her Driver Instructor mother become an Advanced Driver.
“As a result, advanced skills have been with me since driving a car and gave me a good starting point with advanced motorcycling.”
“I had a reasonable idea of the theory behind what was to come, that may or may not have been a good thing, however, yes it met my expectations and offered even more with additional opportunities to practice skills we don't practice enough, including slow riding.”
The next step was to learn to help others on their journey, Stephanie added: “I spent several years enjoying the social side of my local group trying to improve my advanced riding skills. Roughly 10 years ago, I was encouraged to become an Observer and with all the support and encouragement I had received I felt it was time to give something back and underwent the training. From 2019 to 2022 I was delighted to serve my local group in the capacity of Chief Observer. I continue to observe and get as much pleasure from it today as I did all that time ago.”
An observer provides the one-to-one observed drives or rides and play a key part in helping Associates pass their Advanced test.
“I decided to work towards my Masters early on, taking and passing the test with a Distinction which absolutely delighted me. Since that time, I’ve continued to work on my riding and was flattered to be asked to become a Masters Mentor, it was such a privilege.”
“The skills and practice associated with Observation, Anticipation and Planning (OAP) certainly compliment all aspects of riding and driving. Becoming aware of situations, through observation, at the earliest opportunity allows time and space to plan your own ride and re-adjust should circumstances change, whilst helping to keep you safe. The skills are lifesaving!”
Getting out and about and meeting new people is very important to Stephanie and she spent several years enjoying the social side of biking before joining a local group.
“My local group is friendly, social, and active, offering advice and support if needed. In the summer we can join rides at weekends and evenings as well as additional opportunities to keep our skills up to scratch, which include slow riding, braking exercises and cornering technique (Look, Lean, Roll) sessions for all abilities.
“For those who may be considering the course, do give it consideration along with an open mind - it could be the best investment you make, and your life is certainly worth every penny.”