David Pengelly – Chairman
Returning to motorcycling in 2011, with the full encouragement of my wife, I undertook a direct access course and much to my delight I passed. Following a year of riding around I realised how vulnerable I was and tried out Police BikeSafe Course being run locally which I thoroughly enjoyed. After considering all the advanced training options I decided to go the RoSPA route as I really liked the idea of the grading’s and being regularly tested. I joined DSAR in 2014 – roll forward 6 years and I am now a Tutor with 2 tests successfully passed.
I also now have a wife (having never ridden a motorcycle until 2016) who always wants to come out on the back!
Every ride is a new training opportunity and I find something to add to the knowledge bank each and every time and for me this just adds to my enjoyment of riding – there is just nothing like it.
Hayden Price – Secretary
Bizarrely, the impetus for starting learning to ride motorcycles came from a bike accident two of my colleagues had! I have been riding ever since 1993, albeit with a couple of small pauses due to work & family commitments. I have ridden and owned a wide range of bikes, but mostly sports bikes in my youth and now touring bikes. My current bike is a BMW R1200RT which performs well for me commuting, touring, tutoring or just about for a Sunday afternoon bimble. To me, biking is both a means of daily commute and leisure. Irrespective, it is fun and enjoyable; every ride is an opportunity to learn, even in the depths of a cold, wet UK winter. I therefore jumped at the chance of becoming a Tutor so that I can give something back to others, as others before have given so generously to me.
Dave Eaton – Treasurer
I started riding bikes aged sixteen. Moving from a moped to a 250 at seventeen, I passed my bike test in 1981, continuing to own and ride bikes regularly for about 10 years. After selling everything (including my cherished GPz1100) and leaving for Australia for a year (returning in 1992), education, career and children took precedence until two wheels returned in about 2002.
After regularly riding for about a further five years (during which I did the ‘Biker Down’ course), the reality of children and the onset of maturity, my wife (also back on two wheels) and I started discussing advanced bike training as a life promoting strategy! She subsequently bought us a Rapid Training day (with a retired police motorcycle instructor). We only did one day a year for about three consecutive years but each outing was an invaluable and enlightening experience and, unconsciously introduced me to what I would later understand to be ‘the system’. Most importantly, it sowed the seed. I then knew a little bit about what I didn’t know but, at the time, couldn’t appreciate the scale of my lack of knowledge. After another group rideout, I failed to return home on time whereupon I was supposed to go out for a ride with my wife on her bike. She got the ‘ump’ and joined CVAM because they were more reliable than me and ultimately did the IAM course and passed their test. That prompted me to do the same, passing in 2013. Wishing to continue my training, I did their Leader / Sweeper course and then intended to progress as an Observer but, was advised by my then Observer that my application would look better if I had a second qualification.
And so to 2014 and RoSPA! I subsequently joined DSAR and took my test in 2017 achieving a Gold level pass. To further the challenge I have trained and qualified as a RoSPA Tutor (& IAM Observer!) Experience tells me skills have to be practised to be maintained and riding a bike is no exception, especially at the level required to ride well and safely. The requirement to periodically re-test to keep your qualification is, I believe, the single most significant contributory factor for the motivation to (regain) maintain or improve skills and competence, with the ultimate goal for each and every one of us to always be the very best we can which, will inevitably raise the road safety bar for everyone.
Steve Williams – Training Coordinator
Tutor – Gold standard
Having taken a motorcycle test at the age of 17 before progressing to 4 wheels, Steve returned to motorcycling in 2006 before moving to Somerset in 2010. Having introduced his wife to the pleasures of pillion riding through a succession of ever larger and more comfortable rear seats he enjoyed touring both in the UK and abroad. Steve’s talent for speed on four wheels resulted in him being invited to explore the subject in more depth and led to him joining DSAR in 2014, achieving a Gold pass in 2015. He was very impressed with the high standard of tuition which fuelled a desire to become a tutor himself and he duly qualified as a Tutor in 2017. The 3 yearly retest in 2018 resulted in another Gold pass.
Despite working away from home during the week, Steve is passionate about safe riding and commits as much of his free time as possible to passing his knowledge and skills on and has made many friends along the way as a result. Committed to lifelong learning, every journey – on two wheels or four – is treated as an opportunity to hone advanced riding skills and his wife will tell you that Steve has recently been seen riding his pushbike along the canal towpath with meticulous attention to positioning!
Neill Sedgwick – President
I have recently worked within a corporate training environment responsible for the design and delivery of training courses to suit the needs of various departments. My particular area of expertise is within transport and scene management. I am also a qualified Motorcycle trainer/examiner to advanced level. I am responsible for the management of accredited courses/awards and either assessment or quality assurance of those programmes.
I have now taken up the position of Road Safety Coordinator for Somerset Road Safety responsible for all aspects of powered use of the roads but particularly for the 2 wheeled users within Somerset.