Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Motorcyclists are urged to get more out of their bikes – and avoid crashes – by taking up great value motorcycle safety courses on offer in the Wellington region this year.
Susan Hutchinson-Daniel, Sustainable Transport Projects Coordinator at Greater Wellington Regional Council, says while it is great fun to ride a motorbike, without good skills, the preferred routes can be like minefields. “Many Wellington motorcyclists love to head over the Rimutakas, but the Hill road has the worst motorcycling crash statistics in the region. In the last five years, 29 out of the 38 crashes on the hill road happened on weekends, suggesting that recreational motorcyclists are most at risk.
“Thirty-two of those 38 crashes were caused by loss of control on a bend. Knowing how to handle your bike not only enables you to get the most out of your ride – you’ve got more chance of staying alive. Professional training unlocks your potential to be a more skilled and competent rider.
“Rimutaka Hill road has several tight corners that need careful handling. And when you’re over that hill and riding in the countryside, quick thinking is essential. What do you do if there’s muck on the road or the truck you’re following suddenly swerves right and turns across your path?”
Aaron Slight, Wairarapa-based motorcycle racing champion, says knowing how much braking pressure to apply in an emergency is a skill that needs to be learned and practised regularly. “It’s just one of the lifesaving skills you will learn on the motorcycle training courses now available throughout the Wellington region via the Ride Forever National Training Programme.
“Whether you are a novice, returning to riding after many years, or an experienced motorcyclist, these courses are for you.”
Nils Poulsen, a Hutt Valley motorcyclist who started riding 40 years ago, says the courses are a great way to test your skills. “If you are well practised and experienced, they provide a good benchmark against which to measure your current skill level. If you are not well practised, then they highlight areas for improvement and help reinforce good riding behaviour.
“Skills such as riding good cornering lines and emergency braking need regular practice and reinforcement. Doing a course every year enables you to get some periodic practice. I treat them as another form of insurance.”
The Ride Forever National Training course is a full day’s training, delivered by NZ Transport Agency-approved trainers, and is available to anyone with a licence. Returning and experienced riders can take their skills to the next level for a non-refundable booking fee of $50. For novice riders the fee is $20.
“This year, book yourself or someone you love on a training course,” says Aaron Slight. “The lessons you learn may go a long way to getting you out of a sticky situation.”
Places are limited, and subject to course availability. Please visit www.rideforever.co.nz/training for booking details.
To see some of the unexpected hazards motorcyclists face, check out http://www.gw.govt.nz/motorcycling and spot the local adaptation.