The MCI have announced the winner of a BikeSafe competition. 44 year old Mark Bourner, from Sussex, has won first prize in a national BikeSafe competition, sponsored by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI). The prize was £12,000 towards the bike of his choice.
Mark is convinced what he learned on BikeSafe and through subsequent training saved his life, when he was knocked off his bike while working as a volunteer blood courier for SERV Sussex. He took part in a BikeSafe London workshop with the Metropolitan Police a few months earlier.
The BikeSafe team who selected Mark as the main winner did not know about his accident when they chose his winning statement: ‘The most important things I have taken from the workshop are safety position and to look at the information around me and not rush in.’ Mark says it was through putting the sentiments in his statement into action, i.e. riding defensively and taking pre-emptive action at the time of his accident, that he was able to prevent anything more serious from happening.
The incident took place at a junction near his home in St Leonard’s on New Year’s night, as he was delivering vital blood products to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, which volunteers do entirely at their own expense. “I strongly believe that if I hadn’t done the workshop and as a result been inspired to take additional training – the consequences don’t bear thinking about. I am really delighted about the win – I’ve never had a new bike or car before.”
Mark is married with three children and works for a local building firm in Hastings. He commutes to work on a bike, having started a few years ago on a moped, moving up to a 125cc, before doing Direct Access 18 months ago.* He took delivery of his new Honda VFR800X “Crossrunner” from J S Gedge Motorcycles Honda Dealer in Hastings at the weekend. Colleagues from SERV Sussex also came along to see the handover.
Speaking for BikeSafe London, which ran Mark’s workshop, Sergeant Mick Cheeseman said he was delighted to hear about the win: “This is exactly the reason the Metropolitan Police are involved in running BikeSafe workshops. Bikers can seriously avoid their exposure to risk by taking further training, which many bikers are inspired to do after attending a BikeSafe workshop. No one is ever too experienced to reappraise their riding through one of our workshops or by taking an advanced riding course. “I’m so pleased for Mark, he and many like him provide a valuable service as blood runners. This win goes to show that good things happen to nice people.”
Steve Kenward, Acting CEO of the MCI, who sponsored the prize, says advanced training gives motorcyclists much more control over their road environment: “We know that motorcyclists are vulnerable road users, but this is a powerful example of how good road craft learned through workshops and further training can mitigate the damage done during accidents. There are plenty of opportunities for motorcyclists to update their skills regularly – BikeSafe being a great starting place.”
Mark added that BikeSafe had an immediate impact on his riding: “The workshop was one of the best things I have ever done. My ride home was different from the minute I took to the road after completing the workshop.”
Glen Dennis, the national coordinator for BikeSafe was pleased to hear Mark’s praise for BikeSafe: “It is enormously satisfying to know that Mark feels that he has gained so much from his BikeSafe experience. I would like to congratulate him on the good fortune of winning a new motorcycle and hope he has years of safe and enjoyable riding. I would like to urge other riders to recognise the benefits that Mark has spoken of and encourage them to experience BikeSafe for themselves.”
There were nine other winners for the BikeSafe competition, three won protective clothing up to the value of £1000 and five won helmets worth up to £500 each.