Just another day at the office

Jim Milton takes us through a typical day as a rider trainer

It seems like a lifetime ago I was gainfully employed by the local authority in enforcement and public health work, dealing with businesses and the general public in many ways. 

It wasn’t always easy given the wide range of tasks to be completed, background knowledge required and, as always, the dreaded time-consuming paperwork to be completed. 

Just imagine my delight at having the option to retire early and to be able to continue with my previously part time passion of motorcycle instruction! I felt it made sense to further qualify as an ADI, as I’ve always had a passion for road safety in all its forms. 

ADI or bike work? As an ADI I work for myself as many others do. As a bike instructor I work for an ATB. 

The main difference is, with the former, I have to find my own clients, but with the latter I’m presented with the clients by the ATB. As I’m sure you’re aware, biking customers tend to be with the instructor for much less time than the average learner driver is with an ADI. 

Today it’s customers for direct access. It’s two degrees outside! Raining! It’s 8.30am and we have six hours of training ahead of us. Even with good protective clothing it’s going to be a long day, more so for our customers. 

Now, it’s 9am and I’ve got the bikes out of overnight storage and done the daily checks as required. I’ve read their previous instructor’s notes on their training so far, while the customers get their gear on. 

Time to meet and greet the customers. After introductions, I’ll start by discussing and agreeing the lesson plan. 

As ADIs, we are spoiled, only having one customer in the seat at a time. Today’s clients are at different levels of ability; it’s not always possible, for various reasons, to match customers at the same level. 

Radios checked, it’s time to head off! 

The weather hasn’t improved so lots of breaks are required to keep ourselves comfortable and functioning well. 

The roads are in a poor state of repair and there’s lots of standing water to avoid. Still, things are going well all considered. 

We are now well into the second hour of the day and further breaks are required to fend off the cold. 

Lessons at the ATB are in two hour slots, so only another two hours now till lunch time! The time passes quickly when there’s lots to do. 

Lunchtime and back to the warmth of the training classroom. 

After lunch, only another two hours to go, the trainees are working hard at achieving their goals. I’m onto my third pair of gloves, the wet ones are stowed away to be dried later. 

Less than an hour left before the final debriefing. Just as well, I’ve found a leak in my trousers and it’s not in the most comfortable of places! 

Bikes washed and put away, coffee time, training records updated. Just the ride home now. 

“Retire early”, they said, “you’ve a passion for motorcycle training” they said. 

Never mind it’s car lessons tomorrow. Finishing at 9pm. 

ADIs – spare a thought for your motorcycle instructor colleagues!

Jim Milton is a car and motorcycle trainer, and Diamond examiner.

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