Hi, just as a way of a small introduction…
I’m 55, have been married to my wife, Bev, for just over 31 years, live in between Stockton & Darlington, and am presently riding a Fireblade.
Where did it all start…
I spent the vast majority of my Police Service on the Road Policing Unit and we used to get tasked with initiatives by our Casualty Reduction Group… Ridewell, the event, was born out of that, with the 1st show being held at Preston Park, Stockton in 2000.
I retired from Cleveland Police in 2011. At the time of retirement I was heading up the force’s dedicated motorcycle team. It was probably the best 7 years of my overall career. I was very fortunate to have a fantastic team around me, all of who shared the same passion as me for reducing the amount of riders who were killed or seriously injured on our roads each year. During my time on the bike section I was invited to become a car and motorcycle examiner for RoSPA. I would say that I predominantly conduct bike tests and just help the car examiners out when they’re busy. This lead me to getting involved with the Cleveland RoADAR group.
So, as I retired from the Police Service, I was fortunate enough to be offered a role with Stockton Borough Council, managing their motorcycle training programmes. At that time, there were two separate programmes; Cleveland Motorcycle Training Scheme & Handle it or Lose it, the post test element, which won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. The two programmes were brought under the same umbrella and Ridewell Tees Valley was born in 2011.
We were always a bit ‘out of the box’ so to speak. People expected us to turn up on bikes that were normally associated to training environments, but, over the time we were operating, we used a ZX10, an R1, a Fireblade, and a ZZR1400. Some circles described us as ‘The Dark Side…’
During my time with the local authority, I did my studying and then headed off to Cardington, near Bedford, the DVSA’s main assessment centre where I qualified as a CBT and Direct Access Instructor. I truly enjoyed delivering at this level, but my heart remained with the post test element of our service delivery. I met some great people and had some fantastic days out riding, along with some pretty wet ones as well !! Some folk thought I towed a rain cloud round behind me !!
Sadly, due to austerity, the original Ridewell Tees Valley folded in March 2015, but I am delighted that Dick gave me the push I needed for us to resurrect it under private ownership.
I look forward to meeting returning and new customers.