Tonight Paul and Marian went as a combination to visit the Advanced Motorcycle Group that meets in Sutton Coldfield Fire Station.
Paul has been a member of IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists) for about fifteen years now, but this group is part of RoSPA who are allegedly better! For many years I’ve been told an IAM pass is the equivalent of a RoSPA silver, but not a RoSPA gold and I’ve always wondered why. Tonight I found out. Pole dancing! Yes, the truth is, if you want your RoSPA gold you need skills that no IAM club I know of can offer!
Although it was a freezing cold night and Marian was wearing my thermals under her trousers (not sure if I’m supposed to tell you that or not) and the most unsuitable heavy jumper for the job she had to get on that pole. Most people think minister’s wives must be boring but let me tell you… eh…, moving swiftly on; Marian sang Amazing Grace and this was very well received.
Humour aside, before it was my turn (to speak – not pole dance) we had the privilege of listening to an excellent talk on gearing. This may sound dull, but these fellows really know how to bring subjects you would hardly give much thought to normally to life and make you think. On motorcycles, particularly solo motorcycles, this is the sort of stuff that can save lives! From the first time my friend Craig Finnlayson took me to Essex IAM so many years ago to now it still amazes me how worth while these courses are.
One of the excellent things about RoSPA is that you must resit your test every three years. Personally I think that is inspiring, perhaps a little daunting, but definitely something that saves lives.
The bible says be not deceived for bad company corrupts good character and equally so is the logic for this case in reverse as good company enhances good character! I would encourage every driver and certainly every motorcyclist to hunt down both their IAM and RoSPA clubs. Be a little modest and prepared to have your imperfections brought to light. It is worth it for it will help you save lives, at the very least it may just help you save your own!
The RoSPA motorcyclists at Sutton Coldfield are as serious as they are friendly to visitors, so if you live nearby check out their site, but ignore the Anchorage Road address as that gate is kept locked! The only way in is through the front driveway at the fire station where it says emergency vehicles only. Well, I guess if you are a lousy rider it is a bit of an emergency you get there!