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Motorcycle workshop gets thumbs up

By Rory Daley
Observer writer

Friday, September 20, 2019

TARIK Kiddoe, conceptualiser of Back To Basics (BTB) motorcycle safety workshop, is pleased with the turnout of participants to last Sunday's free session held at the Youth Innovation Centre in Lucea, Hanover.

“The major highlight was that we had our first female participant in the western parishes, Petal Gayle. She earned a few fans at the event, as she was smooth in the handling of her motorcycle during practical assessments. As all eyes and cheers went up for her, she showed a few signs of nervousness, but did well under pressure. In the classroom she excelled, scoring highly on written exams as well,” Kiddoe told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

“We got nearly a full classroom in our first attempt. Our sponsors and partners, Insurance Association of Jamaica, Sandals, and Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA), were definitely pleased with the turnout as well. Not just with the final numbers, but also with the fact that most persons actually did come on time.”

The workshop had a maximum 30 designated spots.

“Our target was 20. Our maximum capacity is 30. A total of 29 actually registered for the event through our online portal and a total of 21 actually came,” he said.

Those numbers were generated within four hours of opening registrations.

“The BTB team was definitely pleased. In the past when we went to new areas, Westmoreland and St Elizabeth in particular, the very first event was relatively weak, with sometimes fewer than five participants,” he said.

He gave a breakdown of the participants.

“51 per cent of the riders who signed up were in the 18 to 25 age group. Another 25 per cent were in the 30-40 range. Then 15 per cent were in the 40-50 age group. The remainder were between 26-30 years of age,” he said.

According to Kiddoe, the lessons were well-recieved and covered the six pillars of safely operating a motorcycle. These are: proper safety gear; turning correctly; how to brake; be visible to other road users; avoid bad habits of fellow riders; and, understanding the rider's own personal limits.

“Near the end of the event, we could see riders being much more conscious of the risks involved and employing strategies to better manage those risks. Our programme is very down to earth. It's about staying alive. We accept the various social and educational backgrounds of our audience and are keen on ensuring that, no matter what, everyone who attends can understand and absorb the knowledge,” he said.

BTB is slated to return to the same location on October 6 for its second session.

Kiddoe is already looking beyond that.

“Workshops are only one part of the formula. Between now and January 2020, we are hoping to get more involved in the national motorcycle safety education efforts to help to treat the current epidemic. We have submitted proposals and are actively seeking a major increase in outreach funding support going into the new year. We are eager to help to bring the current crisis under control.”

Started in 2015 by Kiddoe, an architecture graduate and a private pilot with Jamaican and US certificates, Back To Basics offers high-quality motorcycle safety training services.