What does flying helicopters have anything to do with riding motorcycles!
I’m sometimes asked how the name ‘HELI BIKES’ came about. Well in its simplest form it was because of my work on helicopter air ambulances and the consistently high number of motorcycle accidents that we attend, but also because I’ve had an almost lifelong passion for riding bikes.
But it actually goes beyond that in lots of ways, both in terms or discussing accidents and injuries but also discussing environmental, physiological and psychological factors.
A lot of the information that is produced by HB is applied to motorcycle accidents & causation factors and the same principles and similar types of information streams are also found in other industries, aviation being just one!
In aviation, for example, there is great emphasis on initial and recurrent training with a close relationship between theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
There is an application of knowledge in terms of physical and mental states, human factors, environmental conditions such as weather…and technical in terms of aerodynamics and engineering!
But there is also a system and structure that constantly reviews itself and periodically asks itself if anything can be improved.
Much of aviation is based upon regulations, protocols & procedures and applying knowledge to given situations, but most improvements in aviation performance are based upon something that went wrong, something that was found to be defective, the results of intensive crash investigation but mostly because of the dissemination of that information thereafter into the aviation community and industry.
Whenever there is an accident, there is an investigation which in time produces conclusions which are then made available to the public. The industry and/or regulators then act upon those and changes things so that it doesn’t or very unlikely to occur again. Of course there are still air crashes, but not anywhere near as there might be if this system wasn’t in place.
We can all draw inspiration from other areas of our lives, other industries etc and apply some of that to motorcycling, of course mine comes a lot from the helicopter world.
Many of the aspects of riding are also to be found in working with helicopters. E.g. Having an appreciation of the weather forecasts can assist in making better riding decisions, but also the how we work with our senses, how we interpret them and mostly how we act upon them!
There are similarities in terms of riding and flying, especially when turning as there is a rolling or lateral movement or motion along the longitudinal axis, and we will tend to turn our heads in the direction of travel.
But the greatest similarity is how we take available information and combine that with what we already know, what our past experiences are and what our expectation will be for the future.
We can review our own recent experience, how much weather and route information have we gained, have we checked out our vehicles to ensure they are air worthy or roadworthy as the case may be!
In the end, we are all using what we know, what skills we have and making the best informed decisions and we are trying to ensure that our journeys are pleasurable but wholly uneventful in terms of problems.
ENJOY THE RIDE & AVOID A SLIDE!