Friday, 13 March 2015

Becoming a Bike Instructor!

An opportunity was advertised a couple of months ago online for bike instructors in the area of Hounslow. Being curious I decided to contact the bike school and see what it was all about.

I went for an interview at the end of January and to meet the guys running the school. They have been around for almost two years and due to increasing business are looking for bike instructors that they can train up to take on the extra students. I explained my situation - currently working at a school in London and would be unable to leave my post until I was trained and able to earn - at which point I would be available to go full time and focus on instructing as my only job. They accepted this and decided there and then they would be happy for me to come onboard but that I must come and observe 4 CBTs in training to see if it was definitely for me.

So during the february half term I spent four days down there, watching how things were run, how they taught each element of the CBT and the content that was delivered. A few days in I was slightly concerned about how repetitive it may end up being - teaching the same content, but to different people. At the school, I support students with learning difficulties and it is more about teaching different content to the same people. These concerns were distinguished by the third visit, as I realised that the variety of different people taking their CBT and the friendliness of the people who worked there made it an exciting and interesting place to work. Although the bike school offered training free of charge, there is a commitment contract of e18 months whereby you agree to work for them for that length of time. During the training you are also not being paid, which made the decision I little harder to make due to fact that the bike school is around 40 miles from my house and would be an added financial commitment.

After discussing all the pros and cons with my partner I decided to email Maria (office manager) and accept the opportunity presented to me. I have since been down every weekend to watch, learn and take notes and will be put through some training during the Easter holidays. It is amazing how much you need to take in from an instructor perspective when compared to doing your CBT as a student. Not a trick is missed at this bike school. Everything is done by the book and they get some great results.

If you are interested in doing your CBT or perhaps would like some training to take your full test then get in touch and see how we can help you. The school is MCT London, based just off the A4 opposite Osterley tube station. Our website is:, so come have a look and check out some of the reviews given by our students!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Saying Goodbye to Panda

It has been just over a month since we said our goodbyes and paid our respects to our friend Jon “Panda” Aicken. Due to the delay in getting this posted I have decided not to advertise this post on Facebook or TSR but to use this as my way of reflecting on the day - but of course it is still published for anybody to read if they want to.

As you guys all know, I had a bit of trouble with my SV650 getting knocked over in our school car park. This issue has mostly been resolved now (just a side panel dispute to worry about…). I did however manage to pick this up on the morning of the funeral, allowing both myself and Emma to participate in the motorcycle convoy that accompanied Panda on his journey. The organiser of this convoy, John Brede, was a little worried when only 7 or so bikes turned up at the initial meet at Tesco car park, Edinburgh Way. However, he needn’t have worried as when we arrived to the funeral directors there were a large number of bikers who wanted to pay their respects and help Jon on his way. The sight of 50 or so bikes was incredible and showed just how many people this sad news had touched.

We decorated our helmets and bikes with black ribbons and stickers and slowly followed Panda in his side car and most suitably decorated box (a boat on the river to Valhalla). The Outlaws group of bikers made sure that the roads were clear for all bikes to get through and did a great job of this. After a brief stop at the Latton Bush Centre as we waited for Panda’s family we continued the journey to the service.

There were so many people that not everybody could get into the building. Emma, myself and Chris were a few of the many that listened to the service outside. The occasion was marked by musicians, bikers, friends and family and was shared amongst a large local community. We then gathered at the local sports centre for food, thoughts and images highlighting those special memories that we all shared with Panda.

A very worthy occasion for a worthy friend, who will be sadly missed. Farewell Panda x