This year has seen a rise in post-pandemic motorcyclists dusting off their leathers and heading out on the roads, including increasing numbers of women.
But rustiness, inexperience and apprehension can inhibit many from joining a group or even booking that first lesson.
As well as offering a welcoming, supportive and friendly group to ride out and train with, local motorcycle group Morecambe Bay Estuaries Advanced Motorcyclists (MBEAM) are pioneering an accredited training scheme with cashback, to encourage Cumbrian riders to improve their road skills and safety.
MBEAM chairman Rudy Rengers says: “Everyone can become a safer, more skilful and confident rider though a course like this, and most insurers reward the national qualification gained with lower premiums. More efficient riding even reduces wear and tear, meaning fewer repairs and bills.”
“Recent high-profile articles where women motorcyclists have shared their experiences and benefits of taking up biking, some after relegating it to a distant dream for many years, are very moving and inspiring,” says Rudy.
“It’s wonderfully welcoming and sociable, and gets you out in our incredible countryside. One woman, who learned to ride with Parkinson’s, described it as ‘physical and mental therapy on two wheels.’”
In association with Cumbria Road Safety Partnership, motorcyclists who live in Cumbria, complete the IAM accredited Advanced Motorcycle Rider Training course and take their test through MBEAM, can register for the cash back scheme which knocks £100 of the price of the course.
Costing £175 each course is individually tailored to the rider, comprising a minimum of six coaching sessions, conducted locally at times to suit.
With female membership of the British Motorcyclist’s Federation up by 50 percent over the last two years, MBEAM are also keen to kick some of the preconceptions about motorcycling firmly to the kerb and encourage any interested women to take that first step.
MBEAM, who also organise their own regular club rides, road and track skill sessions, trips, tours and socials, pride themselves on being an all age, all inclusive and all welcoming club, with a core of enthusiastic female riders.
Women have also reported the benefits of platforms such as Facebook making it easier to ‘meet’ groups online before turning up in person.
Rudy adds; “It’s fantastic to see a wider diversity of people taking up riding, and with the cashback scheme, becoming safer and more confident riders. But the funding we get is time-limited, and it would be such a shame not to use its full potential, so if anyone’s at all interested, please get in touch, or let your biking friends know!”