A motorcyclist who rode his bike to work every day until he was involved in an accident almost two years ago has been preparing to get back on the road with the help of an innovative Back to Biking initiative. Dragos Niculae, who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after his accident in 2015, is keen to get back to regular motorcycling and has been working with Minster Law and other specialists to help overcome his confidence and anxiety issues so he can finally get back on to two wheels.
The free-to-take-part Back to Biking programme was created for those who are physically able to ride but find it difficult emotionally or mentally to return to riding after an accident, and is open to Minster Law clients. Throughout the three-phase programme, participants are invited to go on a journey addressing their emotional/confidence issues to, eventually, undertaking a supported road ride.
Dragos successfully completed phase one of the programme in June, and recently completed the second stage with the help of a specialist motorcycle training school. Instructors at Phoenix Motorcycle Training at the Foots Cray centre in Sidcup provide motorcycle licence training and specialist support for motorcyclists returning to biking after a long break, and were on hand to assist Dragos, and another participant, in the next phase of their journeys through a combination of classroom and practical training.
“I now know that you never stop learning about how to ride correctly”
The instructors base their specialist training on each customer’s needs, which is dependent on feedback from each individual participant. From the outset, verbal and drawing board road craft techniques were discussed and instructor knowledge and friendly talk are aligned to reduce nerves before taking the training school’s motorcycles out on to its on-site riding ground.
An hour of slow speed agility riding with further advice on riding technique showed that Dragos was ready to take to the challenges of riding on the road with the instructors – who remain in contact by way of radio communication. Two hours after riding through congestion and open roads saw a marked difference in the way Dragos was riding – from tense to relaxed – and by the end of the day-long course, he was clearly relishing the thought of getting back on his motorcycle.
Dragos said: “I have learnt so much today – the instructors have been fantastic! All the advice and instruction has made such a difference to my riding and view of other road users, but more importantly, it has given me so much confidence to ride. I now know that you never stop learning about how to ride correctly and safely and this is what helps to make motorcycling enjoyable. With the first two phases of the Back to Biking programme completed, in my mind I am more than ready to get back and feel the joy that motorcycling used to give me.”
“We understand that psychological issues can have a major influence on a rider’s willingness to return to motorcycling”
For the third and final phase of the Back to Biking initiative, Dragos will join a small group of bikers for a supported road ride-out, which Minster Law’s Managing Director and fellow biker, Michael Warren, also hopes to join.
Michael said: “We know how important being on the road is to our motorcycle clients but understand that psychological issues can have a major influence on a rider’s willingness to return to motorcycling. We’re really proud to be able to offer the Back to Biking programme to our motorcycle clients and are pleased that the initiative has, so far, had such a successful impact on Dragos. I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the road, and back to doing what he loves, very soon.”
To find out more about Minster Law’s biking support credentials, please visit www.minsterlaw.co.uk/specialist-biking-support.