Smoother, faster, safer........

TELL YOUR MATE YOU HAVE HEARD HE IS CRAP IN BED...and he will seek psychiatric help. Tell him he can't ride a bike and he'll deck you.

This is the man who has an R1 or a Fireblade which, when he sells it, he will tell you it's 4,000 miles in 7 years all in the dry is why it's still in showroom condition.

If you can read the severity of a bend, if you understand when you should lead with the back brake, if you understand counter-steering, if you are always in the safest position travelling at the correct speed with the right gear engaged, if you never seem to need to brake hard, if you are one of those people who can genuinely blame everyone else for the near miss, then well done, you don't need any help. Then again if you think you have stopped learning, you probably believe in Father Christmas.

But ask yourself this question too. If your son or daughter, husband, wife or partner was seriously injured and had to be escorted to hospital, would you want the escort to be a police biker or by your mate who also has a bike like yours and goes out when you go out - on a sunny Sunday morning, where, amazingly, everyone else is riding like a dope.

Advanced training is not all about being slow and cautious, but it will identify when you perhaps should be. It is about making efficient, safe progress.

Fifty percent of all fatalities happen on roads we all call "biking roads" And fifty percent of those fatalities involve just one vehicle. Not when the rider ran out of road, but when he ran out of skill.

When you are asked what you want for Christmas, dont say "a new pair of boots" Treat yourself to an advanced riding course. Boots keep your feet warm. An advanced riding course might just keep you alive..

Courses are from one day to seven days. Add it to your Christmas or birthday list. Or just add it to your bucket list. And stop believing in fairies.