As well as getting some photo and video footage, it was a great way to chat to members and non-members - and browse the variety of stunning bikes - and talk to them about why they’re here and see first-hand the great work IAM RoadSmart does.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I’d never been to a Skills Day before. As soon as I arrived, the trainers were already there and it was obvious that they were excited and eager to get the day started - and so was I. As more motorcycles started to turn up, there was an electrifying buzz in the air.
The morning consisted of a briefing for the trainers which demonstrated the passion these instructors had for the day, and for road safety. This was then followed by a briefing for all those attending – members and non-members. The room really came alive when Maria Costello walked into the room as her fans gave her a huge applause. Here was the ‘Queen of Bikes’ doing what she did best; inspiring women.
It actually felt quite empowering to see so many women turn up for this event. One thing I learnt was that the Motorcycle Skills Day is for motorcyclists with all levels of experience. We had experienced National Observers attending, to a learner on a 125cc who was there to develop her understanding of riding.
As a spectator, it was comforting to see these dedicated motorcyclists grow in confidence with each lap they took around the course (and it was lovely to see their partners supporting them).
But the Skills Day aren’t just about developing your knowledge on the road, it’s also about the theory side of riding. Discussion sessions were active throughout the day, with Maria attending various sittings to share her riding experiences. Not only did she create a buzz in the classroom, she also shared the track circuit with other motorcyclists and personally went up to a few ladies to give them a warming hug and tips on how to improve their riding.
It was now obvious why she received an MBE for her inspiration to women. It was clear to see how much appreciation these women had for Maria. She was easy to talk to, down to earth and approachable, and she was more than happy to talk to anyone and pose for more than a few photographs with her fans!
The fact that she was speaking to all these women and demonstrating that just like them, she has a passion for learning and developing skills, really boosted the confidence of these motorcyclists.
Throughout the day I talked to the ladies to ask them how they were getting on and it was great to hear such positive feedback. Some women were returning to a Skills Day for the second or third time because they loved the previous ones so much, and for some, this was their first Skills Day and were looking forward to attending more in 2019. After speaking to Maria, she expressed her excitement for the day and the importance of road safety.
After seeing with my own eyes how much this day boosted rider confidence and improved their skills, I highly recommend every motorcyclists to attend one of these events; no matter what level of experience you have. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day – even for a non-rider. Who knows, could this could be the event that leads me to taking up motorcycling!By Junique Aujla, IAM RoadSmart’s digital marketing executive