Laura Smith DVSA certified CBT & DAS motorcycle instructor
Laura passed her test in July 2012. Since then she has done thousands of riding miles, including advanced riding qualifications; both IAM and RoSPA, helped lead tours on the continent with RMT Motorcycle Training and organised UK tours with WOMT.
As a learner, Laura found training relatively straight forward and got through her test fairly easily. However, a year after passing her test, she had an accident which changed her perception of riding completely. Laura says “I was far too confident prior to my spill, trying to keep up with more experienced riders, thinking it was about ‘having bottle’ than actually having the necessary skills and knowledge. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself too badly and came away with superficial injuries and dented pride. At the time, I blamed the conditions of the road (I had hit diesel on a roundabout) but it’s only later, when I started to understand advanced riding skills that I realise I could have done a lot more to prevent it from happening.”
To be good and even great at riding
If it hadn’t have been for RMTs owner, trainer and friend Simon Hayes, Laura would have most definitely given it all up. After picking up her resprayed bike up a few months after her accident and just a few weeks before her second tour to France, Laura was struggling to ride at road speed and struggled particularly on bends. What a turn around from her early days. She experienced negativity and frustration from other bikers about her riding whilst she was struggling and experienced first hand how cruel her fellow counterparts could be. This did nothing for her confidence, but it did stir an inner fire to prove to these people and herself that she could be good and even great at riding. She just needed time and commitment. Something that most of us need at some point or another in our riding career.
Since then she has gone to become a fully qualified instructor, in CBT, DAS, Advanced, ERS and Take Control and European Advanced Riding Coach on organised tours. She says “It’s not always been easy and there have been a lot of frustrations along the way, but I know how most riders feel when they are struggling, empathy is a great tool when teaching others to ride.”