Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Mind Riding - How Much???

I bought a copy of Stephen Haley's 'Mind Driving' very soon after it was published, and enjoyed reading it.

Having said that, it's not an 'easy' read, in a couple of ways.

First off, it's a fairly hefty book, not a little pamphlet, about the size - but not quite the thickness - of 'Roadcraft'. But that's where the similarities end, as it's far more about the 'mental' side of driving than the physical techniques.

But you might have guessed that from the title!

Second, is that some of the diagrams and content take a bit of ploughing through, and although the book is being heavily promoted by the Driving Instructors' Association, I'm not sure that every ADI will be bothered enough to read it, which is a shame because it does challenge some more 'traditional' thoughts on learning to drive.

Although the author has put a lot of work in to producing it, it's not the first book to cover the 'mental' aspects of driving.

Sir John Whitmore's RAC Superdriver took a similar approach - without so much detail - and much of the background to the MSF Experienced RiderCourse I taught for the USAF had 'mental' aspects as a basis, or covered in the course material.

But now Mind Driving has been taken a stage further by the launch of Mind Riding.

Alec Gore has produced a course format and manual, and has 'signed up' a network of instructors across the UK (well, a fair chunk of it!).

Mind Riding has captured the essence of what it means to be an Expert rider. It’s all about the way the Expert rider thinks. The Mind Riding course will allow you to think like an Expert rider, through.

This includes:
- the quality course folder and a copy of 'Mind Driving'
- responses to your coursework and e-mail support
- all three assessment/training sessions
- course report and certificate

A: A course of learning

In your own time, you will absorb the material, which will become a catalyst for your own development as a rider. Because, Mind Riding is not 'a pretty book on road-riding' by an ex-track racer, or a magazine article that you skim over and put aside. You will get your own copy of Stephen Haley's 'Mind Driving'.

There is a quality A4 folder with the course material. There is coursework for you to complete, showing you understand the ideas.

You will receive feedback and e-mail support throughout. This means that when you go out for your assessment and training rides, the gains you will see will be surprisingly great.

B: Discovering what the learning means to your riding
Of course, Mind Riding doesn’t take away your need to practise; but you will be practising the right things and enjoying your riding, as you ride to a new paradigm. You definitely won’t be learning lists of dos or don’ts either. Mind Riding provides a framework in which you will learn naturally to be your own Expert.

C: Three assessment and training sessions
With Mind Riding’s effectiveness at developing your skills as a rider, only three on-the-road assessment and training sessions are necessary in this programme:
(a) Initial A 25-30 mile 1.5 hours.
(b) Intermediate A 50-75 mile 3 hours.
(c) Final A 125-150 mile ride 5-6 hours.

Mind Riding is priced realistically and competitively, giving you great value for money! The course costs £495.

OK, got to be honest: however good the book is, however good the trainers are, £495 is a big chunk of money for a relatively unknown 'quantity'. Alec is an 'NLP' tutor, which may put a different 'edge' on to his course, but there's nothing on the site about how the tutors have been (re-)trained to cover the content and assess riders, or to what standards.

The nearest 'competitive' training I know of is Kevin Williams' Survival Skills E-Learning course (he's a qualified e-learning tutor, as well as a DAS and BTEC-accredited 'advanced' instructor), which is £150 for approx. 25 hourse work, plus if you want on-road riding it's £330 for two days (total 10 hours) riding - including his course notes CD which retails at £13.

I'll be interested to hear from people who take the course (no reviews on the web page as yet).



Ian said...

I've read the book and tried the test on their website and despite scoring a 'low score' apparently I'd 'still benefit from taking Mind Riding'

Not as much as they'll benefit from my £495 I suspect. (Would I get a discount as I've got the book already?)

It's not a bad book either - but I'd rate '[i]Ride Hard - Ride Smart[/i]' by Pat Hahn or the '[i]Proficient Motorcycling[/i]' books by David Hough above it - as long as you are capable to translate the ideas from their (American) riding on the wrong side of the road!

AlistairL said...

Like Ian I tried the quiz and got a good (low) score. I'm a bit disappointed but not surprised to see that the quiz is more a distillation of advanced riding and roadcraft than anything "new" on the attitude to riding.

I'd hoped to see more of a mix between the two.

Horses for courses I suppose :P but personally I'd consider it in context with the other approaches like that offered by yourself or Kevin, or California Superbike school or ideally a blend of on road / off road and attitude training.