Trainers

Mark Edwards

 

Age: Old enough to be worried by it

Occupation: Retired from patrolling by car and motorbike

Current Bike: BMW F800

Started Riding: FS1Es were trendy and mopeds had pedals

Fantasy Bike: Anything from Mad Max.

Favourite Road: Burford to Charlbury, like the TT but without the spectators!

Favourite Circuit: Brands Indy

 

 

History:-  Started riding on a Puch 3 gear moped. Went into buy a spark plug for it and came out with a Kawasaki KH250 triple. Then came to many bikes to mention. Became and instructor for the RAC/ACU rider training scheme in 1979. Took up production racing in 1882 on a RD350LC. Then various big Kawasaki's, bad crash in 1987 ended an average racing career! Took police advanced riding course in 1985. Sent home from his last refresher training as he was riding miles above the required standard.
 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   First race on his new sparkly RD350LC at Brands Hatch. Got a good start and reached the first corner (Paddock Hill) and fell off in the middle of the pack. Slid past loads of riders on his arse and missed them all! Showing off by pulling a wheelie on the way to a track day. With the front wheel in the air he doesn’t spot the turning we need to take. He carries straight on; five following bikes all turn right. Hey where's everybody gone?

 

Mark Robins

 


Age: I was conceived on the night England won the WorldCup. You work it out.

Occupation: Retired Old Bill

Current Bike: Street Triple

Started Riding: Soon

Fantasy Bike: Got it

Favourite Road: Any one without speed cameras

Favourite Circuit: Rockingham (national not the oval!!).

 

 

History:-   Having saved all my pennies from the paper round, at the age of 14 I bought (much to my parents disgust) my first motor bike. A stripped down Honda C70 Field bike. Yes I was one of those annoying yobs that disturbed the peace on Sunday afternoons riding flat out around the fields that surrounded our housing estate. First road bike was a Suzuki AP 50 at 16, from this point I was self taught as all my friends were still riding Raleigh choppers. I joined the Police shortly afterwards with the dream of becoming a police motorcyclist. In the mean time I owned a variety of bikes used as daily transport. I became a full time police motorcyclist at 23. As well as a class 1 rider/driver, I have been a transport of Dept. authorised motorcycle instructor as well as a Rospa Examiner. I have owned various bikes over the years but the more recent ones include a few Honda VFR's, Fireblades, a BMW R1100S and I have just bought a Honda 900 hornet. I presently work as a police dog handler

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   It was whilst riding my Police Honda ST1100. It was very early on a January morning. I had left home at 0400 am on my Police bike to travel to Newbury to Police the Newbury By pass Protest. I had allowed plenty of time as breakfast wasn't due to be served until 0530 at Newbury horse racing course. I arrived at the course in good time, I was freezing cold, it was dark (these are my excuses you understand). I entered the race course and was riding around the perimeter road or so I thought. I was looking for the food hall (anyone who knows me wouldn't be surprised. I have quite a reputation to maintain when it comes to food). Anyway I was riding along when I thought 'strange, the bike feels funny perhaps I've got a flat'. I looked down and to my horror I had some how found my way onto the race course, I was riding on wet grass at about 40mph. You've guessed it, I lasted about 5 seconds until I crashed I received a standing ovation from the cleaners in the grandstands.

 

Gary Baldwin

 


Age: Old enough to know better

Occupation: Accident Investigator

Current Bike: S1000R BMW

Started Riding: When flares were trendy (still wears them!)

Fantasy Bike: Think I've finally got it.

Favourite Road: Locally B4011 Thame to Bicester Further afield A44 through Wales

Favourite Circuit:  Cadwell Park or Almeria

 

 

History:-   First bike was a SS50 Honda. Usual progression through RD200 to Honda 400 Four. Became RAC/ACU instructor in 1979. Started production racing in 1983 on a Honda CB900F. Won the Brands Hatch Racing School Star Rider in 1983. First Police course in 1983. Became IAM and RoSPA examiner. One of the originators of Rapid Training. The one you speak to on the phone in the Rapid Office.

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   As a young gun on his first big bike, pulls up outside the main dealership. There is the usual crowd of bikers standing around chatting and the like. Trying to look as cool as a cool thing, he parks, flicks the side stand down, and dismounts in one smooth fluid action. Hand has reached the door of the shop, when the unmistakable sound of the bike smashing onto its side reaches his ears. The dreaded "Sammy the Side Stand" notches up another victim. Still only 30 bikers there to watch him struggle to pick it up.

 

 

 

Stuart Mitchell

 


Age: 39 and 48/12ths

Occupation:  Crash Detective

Current Bike: Hornet - Fireblade

Started Riding: Tudor Period

Fantasy Bike: How many can I have?? Forced to choose just one,
and going to buy it today, Aprilia RSV Mille with race can.

Favourite Road: The old B4525 from Banbury to Northampton.
Now declassified and reserved for Rapid courses.
(have to check accuracy of that, but seems to work so far)

Favourite Circuit: No contest, the old Nurburgring.

 

 

History:-   The usual 125, 250 & then British twins. Saw the light with a Suzuki GSX 750, choosing reliability over mineral oil rash and total rejection by female half of human race. Worked as a courier in London, CX500 of course, joined the police because it was the only job that paid decent money for riding a bike. Went through BMW phase, all round Europe, 1000 mile days and all that. Commuted on various multi coloured MZs, raced MZ briefly and not very illustriously. Full time Police motorcyclist for 2 years before specialising in a job which required more equipment than can be stashed in a BMW pannier. (a HUGE amount!)

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   Either dropping a marked K100 in front of 1,000 football supporters (turned out to be the only cheer of the day, as the home team lost! Bastards, that'll teach them to laugh at me) or releasing the strap holding the front forks of my 'crosser onto the trailer, forks extend, bike and me go over backwards into the mud. Steel foot peg embeds itself in groin. Crashing before the bike is even off the trailer, takes some doing. So called mate too busy laughing to help.

 

Dave Burton

 


Age: Not sure but will be drawing Police pension in July

Occupation: Riding Instructor

Current Bike: BMW R1200 GS

Started Riding: Long time ago after short boring time on a scooter bought
Yamaha YDS 7 then quickly realised to broaden my knowledge of girls changed
bike for Austin 1100.Moved onto Police bikes and have been riding them
for last 25 years.

Fantasy Bike: Own it

Favourite Road: A87 Invergarry to Kyle of Lochalsh

Favourite Circuit: Cadwell Park

 

 

History:-   TBA

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   A few years ago lead bike when Princess Diane visited Humberside.On arriving at Airport I was parked directly in front of royal car with engine ticking over. Plan was that she would get straight in car and away but the Princess saw a group of school children and to get to them walked behind my bike burning her legs on the exhaust fumes much to the obvious annoyance of my Chief Constable.

 

Giles Lamb

 


Age: Duran Duran were in the charts and I was a New Romantic!

Occupation: Classified

Current Bike: G Adventure

Started Riding: As a teenage kid in rural Suffolk. (Thanks for the moped Dad).

Fantasy Bike: Mr Lamb, we'd like you to long term test our fleet if Ducatis, what tyres would you like and here's a petrol card.

Favourite Road: Quiet, rural B rads. Give your eyes and brain a work out

Favourite Circuit: Brands

 

 

History:-   Trained as a classical singer at Music school!! Dispatched in London on a Kwak GT550 before becoming an instructor for seven years with a national school. Chief instructor with them, training new instructors whilst playing with IAM, Rospa, and track days. These were the days of Schwantz and Doohan. Trips to Assen .. Donnington were regular summer outings. Sigh, ... happy days!! Left instructing and joined the Police in '96 and have been on traffic since 2004. I ride a bike full time; off road, marked patrol and unmarked. Haven't driven a traffic car in anger for over four years. If yer a petrol head, it's a dream job.
Summer Hols are usually spent touring abroad. (Did I mention I was a bike nut ...?)
.
Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:- Tensions are high. A feud between two international biker gangs, and both are partying on my patch. Roads are contained, Police are every where, PSU serials at specific junctions, and me too, sun on my back, bike on it's side stand, both feet on the pegs and kipping like a meerkat. I wake from my forty winks, blurry eyed, dazed and confused, I stand the bike upright and promptly hurl myself and the bike too far over to the right and go sprawling, launching myself like a rock star in to the mosh pit, in front of Hells Angels and riot police. ''What the hell was that crash...'' ''It's Giles sir, he was having a kip on his bike and he's fallen off ...'' Ooops ...  

Alan Thomas

 


Age: Old enough to ache, but not young enough.

Occupation: counting nuts and bolts on the Highway.

Current Bike: An old dry day only BMW Boxer, any weather Blackbird.

Started Riding: Petrol went up to £1 a gallon.

Fantasy Bike: Somebody else paying the running costs, A Gordon Brown special!

Favourite Road: Out of Cherbourg - all France/Europe to aim at.
 

 

 

 

History:- Survived teenage years due to parental disqualification, but took up 2 wheels eventually. Passed test on the Isle of Wight during the last week of round the block, on a Super Dream. Made normal progress with several downers, mainly my fault 'cos of stupidity. Standard and Advanced courses- Normal patrol work, VIP Escorts (minor royals PM Thatcher) Air Shows. Got involved in Better Driving with the public for 10years,local bike groups, IAM examiner and Observer.

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   Biking Event - dropped the patrol bike alongside the A303, had to crawl under it to lift it. Spent the next 2 weeks off with a bad back.

 

Graham Allen

 


Age: Old enough to be considering a

Occupation: Classified

Current Bike: Beemer K1200s

Started Riding: 1977

Fantasy Bike: No fantasy --- MV1000 --- Got to get one!!

Favourite Road: The A170 Scarborough to Thirsk and then round the
"Helmsley TT" isn't bad. Really get my kicks on any windy road,
especially round French Alps on Hols !!

Favourite Circuit: UK - Donington Park. Abroad - Nurburgring

 

 

History:-   First started riding "Up North" when I was 16 with a Honda SS50, terrorising the local chippy with mates on FS1Es and AP50s. Got my first "real bike" at 17 with a RD250 which I loved and cherished (but obviously crashed it) Progressed to the cutting edge (for the time) CX500 and then a VFR500 which handled like a dream but chucked up all it's coolant on rides over 100 miles Joined the Police in the Met in 1984 in order to ride and drive fast and started to commute on a Suzuki GSX750 --Yes the "flying teapot"---actually quite a good bike --but you never look at yourself in a shop window when riding it !! Started to get into World Superbikes (as a spectator !) and when ZXR750 released I had a go on one and that sealed the deal---absolutely fantastic handling. Had managed to join Met Traffic in 1991 and spent most days off "hooning around Herts and Bucks with like minded work mates in Gatso free UK. Managed to get another ZXR750 - with proper ram air this time !! and got intoxicated with it ! An RF600 then kept me in commuting and I started to get the foreign holiday trip bug. A short interlude from Traffic and then rejoined working NE London, dealing with Police collisions and serious and Fatal Collisions.

Got the opportunity to help out at "Bikesafe" which I really love and have done some Bike work with ROSPA. Bike wise I tried out a Triumph Daytona which was so good I bought my second 4 years ago. My last dabble bike wise has been the Aprilia Futura (Italian VFR - which has been great for touring and only broken down twice !!!) The Aprilia finally gave up the ghost and I have gone over to the "darkish side" as I got a Beemer K1200s - which is a superb tool but it is a bit boring. No worries -- The bike finance fairies let me have my dream -- an MV1000 is sat in the garage. "Sat" being the operative word as the alarm electrics fried a week after getting it -- "Italien shite" -- Won't I ever learn !!! Still looks nice though !! For anyone interested I now run a RoSPA bike meet in Kent - check out via Rospasmart.com. I would be pleased to see anyone at the meet on the 1st Sunday of every month at Mickeys Diner."

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   To return to my RD250 in 1978. riding round Scunthorpe looking cool and seize an opportunity to overtake a bus up a hill in a haze of "Barry Sheene" 2 stroke smoke, giving it the smooth look to the chicks as I flew past !! At the top of the hill I pass a parked car-- except he is setting off and bowls me and said RD250 into a lamp post, Bike very bent, me writhing in agony with a broken foot !! 2 minutes later same bus chugs past with same chicks laughing and pointing at me whilst I pretend that I had just wanted to park my bike around said lamp post - Not cool at all !!!

 

Vince Conn

 


Age: Club 18 30 just laugh now...Saga more like!

Occupation: ?

Current Bike: Honda Varadero, Gixxer 600, SV650 Super twin, SP1

Started Riding: Dugouts when Punk was big

Fantasy Bike: SP1 with endurance tank, up right bars and top box

Favourite Road: Market Harborough to Uppingham.....biking heaven!

Favourite Circuit: Cadwell, Mallory..possibly Snetterton!

 

 

History:-   Started riding Dugouts, (Honda C90’s to anyone not from Corby) round the local woods terrorizing doggers and wild life. Progressed to motocross and then a DT50 on the road when I was 16. Passed my test when I was 17 bought a VF400 and promptly traded it in for a GPZ900R complete with flying jacket and raybans (Goose it’s time to buzz the tower!). Since then I have owned a succession of bikes from supersports, trackbikes , Tourers and everything in-between. I’m Class One on cars and bikes, Hold a RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Bike Training, and I examine for the IAM. Still love my biking as much as when I started, regular track day goer but happy not to think I’m a works rider.
 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-  After leaving the Army I worked as a bike courier for a short period of time. The offices were next door to MCN and occasionally I would deliver and collect MCN test bikes. I had the joy of collecting the new ZZR1100 fresh out of the crate and not yet run in. Travelling back up the M1 I managed to go past an unmarked Police car at a speed which would get you jailed now....not happy with just doing this, later that day I hoisted a huge wheelie whilst leaving my parents and managed to chuck the ZZR up the road after landing and going into a tank slapper. I will never forget the look on the women’s face as I crashed through her garden wall. MCN were very understanding and never let me help again, having thought I got away with this disaster MCN wrote about it in the road test and my best man had a copy mounted in a frame and presented it to me at my wedding, My Dad a motorbike Instructor was so proud!
 


Tony Gabb
 

 

Age: 21 - Had a difficult paper round

Occupation: Bike instructor

Current Bike: Yamaha Thunderace

Started Riding:-  When I got fed up with cycling everywhere

Fantasy Bike: Ducati Hypermotard

Favourite Road: Loads, B660 from Ramsey to Kimbolton, Cambs

 

 

 

History:-   Originally from Derby. Moved down to join the Met after Derbyshire wouldn’t have me. First bike was of course a Fizzy, then moved up !! to Superdream, Lc 250,X7 etc etc when you could ride them on L plates. Had a selection of bikes over the years, went through a bit of a Trial faze, still compete in a few Enduros, its not the winning! Current job at the moment is bike instructor for the Met. Dream job, it doesn’t get much better. I am also an examiner for RoSPA.

 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   There are a few, worst one and always will be when pulling up alongside a group of girls from school on the trusty Fizzy. Looking cool up the point I needed to put my foot down and found that my shoelace had wrapped around the footpeg. Still it was only talked about at School for about a month. Still mentioned at reunions.
 

Alan Stevens



 

 

Age: 40 Something

Occupation: Motorcyclist

Current Bike: Aprilla Mille (What else!)

Started Riding:-  16

Fantasy Bike: Aprillia Mille SP

Favourite Road: Traben Trarbach to Cochem along the Moselle valley then up to the Nurburgring.

Favorite Circuit: TT Course or Thruxton short circuit.

 

 

History:-   Alan found his first bike, a Raleigh Runabout, in a field at age 13. By 16 he had graduated to his first road bike, a Honda C50, and since then he has owned over forty road bikes ranging from a BSA Bantam to an Aprilia Mille.
 
Alan started racing on Minimotos in 1997, great fun but very uncomfortable when you're six feet tall! He bought his first proper race bike in 97, a 250 LC, and raced it with Bemsee and Darley Moor. He won his fifth ever race, at Darley in the LC class, and went on to score numerous other top three placings at Darley.
After two years on LCs, he spent the next two racing a Honda 250GP, which was great fun to ride, but a nightmare to fettle and setup.
 
He then spent three years racing Aprilia Milles, two years in the MRO Aprilia Mille Cup and Bemsee Supertwins. Alan's best MRO finish was fourth place in the Mille Cup, and tenth in the Powerbikes (on the Mille). 
He raced with North Gloucester for several seasons on a Mille in the Sound of Thunder class, with numerous podium finishes and held the lap record at Darley Moor for four years. 
 
He has also raced in the Manx GP on the TT course, finishing fortieth in the Senior race on a standard road going Mille R, with a best lap of 109.39mph.

He spent five years endurance racing with KRC and Hottrax in Class D, using a variety of bikes including TLR, SP1 and GSXR750 and was one of the riders that were 2006 British 750cc Motorcycle Endurance Champions.
 
Alan is a current ACU National licence holder and is a qualified instructor with Focused Events.
 

Most Embarrassing Biking Moment:-   I was racing a Mille at Pembrey in the Sound of Thunder class, I qualified in second place from the back of the grid for the main point scoring race. I was determined to get a good start to try and head off into the distance for the race win. The guy on pole never started very well and I wanted to break clear. The lights were just about to change to green to start the race, my engine was screaming and I had taken the clutch to the biting point, the lights went green and I just let go of the clutch, I went 2 feet forward and six feet up into the air and the bike pirouetted around me as I hit the deck! Luckily everyone missed me and roared off into the first corner just as I heard the commentator say that in 25 years of commentating on bike racing he'd never seen anyone do that before.