I don't know if anyone has ever heard of Bikesafe but it is a subsidised program set up by the government to promote safe riding. It invites motorcyclists, moped and scooter riders to participate in Rider Skills Days that offer assessment on present skills, and advice to help make their riding safer and more enjoyable. There are a large number of centres dotted around the UK, normally 1 or 2 in each region. I did a Rider Skills Assessment day back in February 2006. Normally the cost is around £30 which includes lunch, but I got the day paid for by my local council as I was classed as a 'vulnerable road user'. I was a little apprehensive about riding with the rozzers for a day, but I thought what the hell it’s not costing me anything and it'll probably be alright. It was a crisp frosty winters morning and I met at the Police site where other riders started to dribble in for the 8am start. After a brief check to see that lights were working and to check licenses we went inside for a cuppa and a quick presentation and description as to what we were going to do. The format was 2 sessions; one in a rural environment and one in an urban environment, riding 2 persons to 1 police officer, (One in front, one behind, and then swap over at different intervals). By about 10am we were well into our first session and the frost was starting to melt and the apprehension of having a Police Officer following you started to subside. After a while riding and a couple of stops I started to realise that these were normal guys riding around on bikes that just have a police sticker stuck on them. Whereas they don't condone speeding, they like you to get on with things and not poodle along at 28mph. Some good tips and advice and its time for lunch, the morning session is over. Everyone meets up for a bite to eat and you get a chance to talk to everyone and share advice, and before you know it, the afternoon session is scratching at the door. By the afternoon it started to warm up slightly and was turning into a beautiful day and we had the rural riding to go. This was the best part of the day for me.; lots of twisty national speed limit roads and a copper getting bigger in your mirror encouraging you to make progress. After a few more stops and changeovers, before I realised it was about 3pm and we started to head back. Back at the centre, we had a debrief, some last tips, a presentation and some quick photos. This was a truly cracking day and thoroughly enjoyable. Whereas I was a little unsure in the beginning, afterwards I would have been prepared to pay at least double what they charge. It’s a great day on the bike with some top riders sharing their tips and advice to effectively make you as safe a rider as possible, whilst having great fun at the same time. I would strongly recommend this to anyone with a bike, and i'm sure those who have already done Bikesafe will back me up. And plus, quite a few insurance companies offer a discount to riders who have attended Bikesafe.