I was prepared for a day stood in the sunshine but just as I arrived so did the clouds… despite being rather chilly a cup of tea and a sausage sandwich from the burger van soon sorted me out!!

It was nice to see how many local people were aware of what we do and (just as Rhi noted at the Ally Pally show) how many people check the website every week to try and win the prize bike. I apologise to all those who asked me about the specifications of the motorbike and caught me completely off guard, therefore receiving a very girly answer!! Seriously, our prize bike is a road legal, limited edition CCM FT35S, with the engine of a Suzuki DR-Z 400S and yes it is scarily small and light (16kg (around 2.5 stone) lighter than the Suzuki) to have that inside it!! Good luck to all of those who picked up cards this weekend, I would love the bike to go to someone who showed genuine interest in winning it! You can check the results of the prize draw on our main website.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the day was Andrew getting involved in the paramedic and St Johns Ambulance helmet removal demonstration (see pictures) but on a very serious note.

I know, and I always hope that given general first aid advice everybody knows that as a rule you should never remove a motorcycle casualty’s helmet, but I personally did not know that if you do need to remove a biker’s helmet it is a two man job- maybe because I’d never thought beyond “never remove a helmet at the scene”. Helmets should only be removed in the most emergency cases (the examples given were if the biker is not breathing and you need to start resuscitation, or if they are vomiting and are at risk of choking) – but it was very instructive to see how it was done.

So much of my job centres on considering the physics of a motorcycle accident and how injuries are caused as a result. I also know that there can be very common motorcycling injuries that occur very rarely in other situations and so really it makes sense that there should be motorcycle-accident-specific first aid too. I’ve always been a what-if sort of person and I like to be prepared- having been brought up around motorbikes and ride outs with numerous other bikers in the expanse of the Yorkshire countryside, the worst hasn’t happened, but I wouldn’t really know what to do if it did- despite having held a basic first aid certificate!

Having had a look around I’ve discovered there are a number of courses around specifically aimed at motorcyclists- for example that local ambulance services offer ‘first bike on scene’ training, some police forces run first aid courses through the Bike Safe scheme and the St Johns Ambulance offer a course for which on completion you receive formal certification valid for 3 years. I don’t propose to give a first aid lesson here but watching the demonstration certainly made me think that if I had been in that situation I could have made a bad condition fatal. The idea of all of us going on a bike first aid course has been mooted around the office- and now it’s going to be something which I think about very carefully!!

Sobering stuff for my nice afternoon in the sunshine with greasy food and cups of tea… but then I suppose that’s why they organise these events!!