3Rs – a pared down version of 7Ws in name only. I can’t actually remember what any of the ‘R’s are but I’m calling all of them awesome. The format was conceived by the Training Team for Full Members to have observed rides in a two-to-one group, just so we don’t forget that we should never stop learning. Things that I learned: 1) Avoid tractors – even if you can’t see them: they lurk behind hedges, awaiting unsuspecting bikers. 2) Welsh squirrels are madder than English squirrels: they will run down the middle of the road for at least half a mile before casually diving for the hedge (thanks John). 3) Don’t drop your electronic airbag jacket on a crowded cafe floor or it will go off with a loud “BANG!”, startling the natives (thanks again, John).
I’ve been a full member for three years or so and whilst I will always jump at the chance to spend time on the awesomely swoopy, pothole-free roads of Wales surrounded by majestic scenery, the added benefit of spending time with like-minded bike-mad people, and learning from them, makes it into just about the most perfect way to spend a weekend I can think of (special thanks to Phil Jones, our Observer for the day – legend!)
As I sat in the Metropole Hotel dining room on Saturday night surrounded by 28 members, TObs, LObs, NObs (and possibly other acronyms that my tiny mind has difficulty retaining), I had cause to reflect on the wealth of knowledge and experience surrounding me – all at our disposal, freely and willingly given for the benefit and safety of our biking community. And those 28 people are just a fraction of the expertise contained within the club. And I feel humble and blessed to be part of it.
KEEP ON LEARNING
My previous attendance at weekends like the 7Ws and the 3Rs falls before the events of the last couple of years. More importantly though whilst attending them I was an Associate. It has not passed me by that when making that journey from Associate to Full Member my priority for such weekends would be lowered. As someone who loves to learn this was definitely a downside to passing my test last October. Therefore, when I learned that the 3Rs would be a training weekend for Full Members, I had to get my name down.
I have just arrived home after a weekend of lovely weather and fantastic riding. It has been invaluable in so many ways; the wealth of knowledge and experience on hand; the like-minded social interaction and humorous stories; the fantastic roads and, of course, the cake, coffee, and ice cream. It is however the combination of all of these things that makes it such a wonderful experience. The environment that all of these create is perfect for enjoyable learning and self-development. Being able to immerse yourself in advanced riding in a fun and supportive way makes things so much easier and with everyone else doing the same it is such an enjoyable shared experience.
I would highly recommend it to anyone in the club and I will be keeping a keen eye out for the date of the next one!
First published in Slipstream June 2022