Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Bio for the Chester Honda Ladies Night 23.8.2012

Nigel Bowers –
Nigel Bowers is an Advanced Motorcycle Instructor.
He lives in Staffordshire, but travels all over the UK to train riders.
He provides personalised professional advanced riding training based on the Police system of motorcycle control.
He is a Grade 1 Advanced Police Motorcycle Instructor and has trained over 400 riders. Some of those people have become instructors themselves. I know that Gail has trained with him – so if you want some insider gossip what he’s really like have a chat with her!
As well as being an instructor, he’s also an examiner and has been featured recently in Ride Magazine.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ladies Evening at Smiths Honda, Chester - 23rd August 2012 from 6:30 pm.

I will be attending the - Ladies Evening at Smiths Honda, Chester - 23rd August 2012 from 6:30 pm.

The heart of the evening will be a group of ladies who love motorcycles and there’s something for everyone - you don't need to be a Honda rider!

There'll be a biker gear fashion show with an exclusive preview of Spring/Summer 2013 range – something the press haven’t seen yet!

If you fancy new gloves, boots or a helmet there’ll be plenty for you to try and with great prices on the night it’d be a shame to miss out!

One of Chester's top hairdressers will give you tips for keeping your hair in tip top condition, even when it's been in a helmet all day!

Suffering from aching shoulders after riding? The relaxation ladies have the perfect solution on hand.

The beauty ladies from Chester’s Fashion Festival have practical and perfect solutions for relaxing, looking good and feeling fabulous. They’ll reveal secrets of total relaxation, luxurious beauty treatments and perfect makeup.

You’ll even have the chance to start your Christmas wish list with the North West’s finest independent designer jewellery specialist.

Chester's lovely lady trainer will be with us for the evening. Fancy riding and improving your stills? Advanced motorcycle trainer as featured in Ride magazine will also be with us! (That is Me)

We’ve all be told we should wear ear plugs, but if you’re fed up with ear plugs that don’t fit, take the opportunity to have a pair made to fit you perfectly – you could even use them with your mobile phone or IPod!

It'll be a light hearted and girlie evening and we'll be raising funds for Claire House Children’s Hospice – the prizes are fantastic!

Nearly forgot - there'll be drinks and nibbles for everyone and of course plenty of bikes to drool over.

It's invitation only, so let Gail know if you'd like to come ( and she will send you and your friends tickets.

Gail hopes many of you can support me with this event, as it's Cheshire's first Ladies Motorcycle evening.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Advancedbiker has a day off - Or does he ?

Advancedbiker has a day off – Or does he....
It is not very often I go out for a fun ride, as I usually have a client to look after or leading a group or on a tour.  So for a change I decided to try and combine my interest in motorcycling, world war two and photography.  I invited  friend, who shared my mutual interest and the date was set.  We decided to go for Friday 10th August 2012 and it was decided to head into Wales and our intention was to go for Elan Valley – to look for the remains of the dam used it the experiments prior to the Dambuster raid, then onto a Red Kite rescue centre, before ending the day further north at the Penmaenpool toll bridge.
We met up at Eccleshall, Staffordshire and as Mark my fellow rider had an Autocom headset, I brought along a spare Autocom system.  Powered it up from the socket under the seat on his BMW R1200GS and we had bike to bike comms.
I had a route in my head so we set off towards Shrewsbury for our first tea stop at Dinky’s Diner, which is on a lay by just outside of Shrewsbury on the Welshpool road.
I was determined for this to be a ‘Fun Run’ and settled down to a steady pace up to the posted speed limits.  It soon became obvious that Mark was starting to loose ground on me, when it came to the bends.  So do I say anything, as it is my day off, of do I have a chat over the Autocom system.   Well I couldn’t resist, but asked Mark if he didn’t mind, he didn’t so we had a chat.....
I had been out with Mark a few times, but he readily admitted on this occasion he was a little ‘rusty’.  All it was he was still riding his BMW in ‘Car Mode, not looking far enough ahead and concentrating too much on the bend he was going round, instead of the one he was going for next.. (Does this look familiar).
The ride after the tea break was completely different as we chatted about bend assessment, right speed, the gear and a constant throttle around the bends and looking all the time for the exit, before we had to go into another bend.  With the Autocom it meant Mark became more ‘switched’ on and responded better to any overtaking opportunities.

Well we got to our first destination just after midday, so decided to have something to eat at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre.  We arrived at our first photographic location, but had no idea where the Nant-y-Gro dam was.  I had done some research on the internet and it said it was about half a mile from the visitor centre.   However it’s exact location was not known to me so I asked the very helpful staff at the information desk, who then gave me a fact sheet and route to take to get to the dam.

Next problem, what do we do with our helmets, jackets etc... It was a very hot day so the information staff kindly offered to look after our kit, so we travelled light armed only with our Canon 600 EOS cameras, and a few lenses.   

Motorcycle boots not the best boots for walking.....Blisters now !

The route according to the staff was not that far......!  Follow the signs and keep the water on your right....Simple....

So on leaving the visitor centre and heading towards the dam up the valley, towards the Caban Couch Reservoir, cross over the bridge and then CLIMB...... to the top of the dam,  through the gate and turn right towards the reservoir.
At the top of the dam there are some spectacular views and a small track leading off to the left heading alongside the reservoir.  This eventually turns into a stone ‘goat track’ before climbing a bit over a few styles before getting to a small inlet.

The area is very over grown but as the grassed path leads off to the left, you spot a small information board.... You have arrived at the Nant-y-Gro dam.  (I am not convince it is only half a mile walk....)
The Nant-y-Gro dam (translated as The Pebbly Stream) was a small masonary dam built across the Nant-y-Gro stream during the construction of the dams and reservoirs in the Elan Valley, Wales.
The dam created a million gallon reservoir which was used to provide water to the navvies village below. It also supplied water to storage tanks used by locomotives, steam cranes and other steam driven machinery.

By 1905 the water works were complete, the Nant-y-Gro dam was no longer needed because the Elan village obtained water from the new water works scheme.  The dam became redundant and almost forgotten.
The dam was still standing during the war and Wallis used it as a secret testing venue for the development of Upkeep.

In 1939 as war clouds gathered Barnes Neville Wallis was considering an engineering solution and the possibility of using explosives on structures, such as dams.
After a lot of researched and testing on models, by the beginning of 1941 Birmingham City Council had given the Air Ministry permission to use the unwanted Nant-y-Gro dam for demolition experiments.  It was very fortunate as the dam turned out to be a fifth scale version of the Mohne dam in Germany. (One of the targets for the Dambusters).
In May 1942 the first live explosive test took place, but not much damaged was caused.  However on July 24th 1942, 280lbs of explosives were detonated against the wall of the dam at a depth of 10 feet. The blast blew a hole 60 feet wide and 25 feet deep in the dam wall. 
It caused a massive explosion, destroying the dam and by doing so lead to more development work which lead to the Dambuster raids.
What remains of the dam today:
Looking down into the valley from the information board

Looking towards the Reservoir

In the above three photgraphs, you can just about see the remains of the north part of the dam through the trees

South part of the remains of the dam, with cracks in the dam wall

The reamins of the dam, after the explosion in 1942, now covered in moss, nature taking over.

The walk to see the dam is well worth it, but was a fair way from the vistor centre.  Nature is taking over soI would think eventaully the structures will get covered, but it will take a few years yet.
These photographs taken by me and Mark were done roughly 70 years since the explosion.

The black and white pictures have been taken from other web sites. 
 Just on clsoing a video from the DAMBUSTER website

We never got to the other places.....Next Time

Friday, August 03, 2012

Advancedbiker writes on Facebook and gets a response

I have been putting some photographs onto Facebook and had a fantastic response, so I decided to let my friends know what a day with me was like.
This is the article: 

What does Advanced Motorcycle Training. Com offer ?
Well I have never put pen to paper on this, so I thought I would give it a go.
I generate most of my interest in advanced motorcycle training from my web site page, which is supplemented by Facebook and Twitter. So the initial contact is often via e-mail and then a telephone call.
Then the mentoring, training, assessment what even you want to ca
ll it commences with the initial contact followed up with a request I make for all clients to complete a self assessment form then a brief history of their riding and what they want to get out of the training etc. A mutual date is set and the day completed, usually one to one, or occasionally one to two. The client then goes home and I hide myself in the loft for a day producing DVD’s of the day’s experience. So a day’s course usually is two or three days of commitment for me.
With the internet it means I do not do my work in around my home town, often travelling out to meet clients from as far a field as London, The Cotswolds, East Midlands, the North West, virtually anywhere, even from abroad.
I have been doing this since the early 1980’s and still find it enjoyable, or I would not do it, meeting people, seeing their riding improve and also learning things myself.
As well as work within the United Kingdom, I try to get to France, Normandy at least once a year and do some advanced training.

Then I got this e-mail........... Thank you very much,it is appreciated....

What I thought I was getting:

·         Advanced Motorcycle Tuition from a highly experienced ex-Police Motorcyclist and YouTube Advanced motorcycling contributor

·         Feedback on the day including de-briefs and hints and tips on how to improve my riding

·         An assessment report and a DVD of the day

What I got:

·         A brilliant day out - riding on some unfamiliar but spectacular roads in Wales and the Peak District

·         Expert coaching and feedback – riding is observed in great detail, problems are expertly diagnosed and feedback is given in an easy to understand and practical way. Nigel teaches you why not just how. Good advanced riding practice is positively reinforced and encouraged

·         Safe Learning Environment - Nigel’s enthusiasm for motorcycles and road safety is infectious. Personal limits are recognised, respected and checked on a regular basis throughout the day. A thoughtful and kind instructor whose overriding priority was my safety, my comfort and my learning. I felt in very safe hands at all times

·         A helpful and fair assessment report and DVD delivered promptly; including a starring role in a YouTube clip so others can benefit from the feedback I received and see the difference it made in my riding

·         Breaks and stops – tuition can be intense for both instructor and rider. Nigel times breaks to give feedback and discuss the day just when you feel you need one

·         Nigel makes the day fun, with time for a light hearted remark or a “fun” exercise – “let’s see if you can ride without touching the brakes for the next few miles”

·         A longer term relationship – Nigel has helped me grow as a rider, both in our follow up correspondence (Nigel answers all my follow up questions with helpful exercises, hints and tips), through to joining more intense advanced training sessions in Wales and Normandy

·         His encouragement to continue my learning through RoSPA or IAM groups

·         Nigel has helped make my riding not only much safer but also, much more enjoyable