A Little History of Little History
Time ago, long time ago, way before many of you even considered a two wheels I took a group of newly found friends to a European ride covering several border crossings.
One evening, well into the ride, we were discussing about the experience and two elements came out from most of them.
First: we has small accidents or, if you prefers, few misses of big accidents and many scaring moments. We had our unfair share of missing corners, shaving incoming vehicles, locked wheels and unwanted slides. Fortunately till the only bruises and plastic repairs. But still, too many.
Second: most of the European riders we met (especially on the mountain’s passes) were far superior in skills, style and speed. We were left for dead by bikes half the capacity of ours. I still remember a Yamaha 550XT with Swiss registration overtaking us and disappearing into the next hairpin without giving time to realise he (or she) was there.
It was risky and humiliating and that night I had the idea to bring home a teacher of the RoadCraft Manual and IPSGA System I already tested in wen living in London. Designed to help policemen to ride fast anticipating and reacting to road hazards, the System was in my mind the only method capable of building and augmenting competence in road riding.
OMM was born, an English ex bike policemen turned into trainer (Mick Wheeler) was invited for a week and we learned in theory and in practice how to apply to our benefit IPSGA.
Studying, learning, applying, repeating and being evaluated is not everybody taste and in particular was not very popular among bikers: my friends, after the excitement of the novelty, became quite bored in riding following competence rules and suggested quite decisively to focus OMM activities solely on social events (involving specifically food and drink).
A book has always been form me more interesting than a restaurant’s menu and for that reason I objected to the proposal and left the group (and the OMM brand) to my splitting friends. I created an Academy (name not so used at that time and very much inflated now) calling it “Advanced Riding Academy” (subtitle “Riders with Brain”). It was quite presumptuous to take the name of Plato school for a trivial pursuit such biking but more presumptuous was the subtitle, soon dropped for “Riding is a way of thinking”.
I dropped the “Riders with Brain” but I was careful in not dropping the brain at the same time and I spent good amount of time (with few friends) to try and examine educational opportunities available in Europe for riders wanting high levels of motorcycling.
During a training session at the Nurburgring I met one of the best circuit trainers, Jon Taylor, and we discussed the possibility for him to come and help in setting up a program for the Academy. Meanwhile my old friends could not agree in which tavern or bar to meet and some of them returned with the OMM name to be used: now we had OMM as association and ARA as training academy. From exile to abundance and to Jon partnership.
Jon Taylor was (and still is) a pivotal protagonist of the creation, organization and execution of the training program that at today OMM use and, at the same time, he was an inspirational source of contacts and competences. Jon brought us in contact with the Institute of Advanced Motoring (I.A.M.) and facilitate OMM affiliation with this prestigious entity. I.A.M. is totally committed in its teaching to the RoadCraft manual and its official are the major “propagators” of the IPSGA system.
The structure was in place and we enthusiastically trained many hundreds of riders to the advanced system: we spent days on the road observing, suggesting, re-evaluating and providing knowledge. We spent hours in meeting and conference rooms spreading around the content of RoadCraft Manual (that we translated in Turkish and published with the support of Honda).
From the training team of OMM many “schools for competent riding” were born: we set the trend, we brought the tools and our riders were protagonist in developing BMW Academy, Honda School and in bringing in this Country Harley Davidson Edge and California Superbike School, just to mention few.
We brought tools and among them we brought the Certified Advanced Training (CAT) to qualify Turkish riders as I.A.M. Observers. The reason for this move can be summarized in three points:
1. We wanted to reduce the contribution to expenses that the riders-students were invited to sustain for our on road observation. OMM made clear from the beginning that the training was done on professional basis but pro-bono, meaning without any commercial profit for the Dernek or far the people involved. The cost of bringing and hosting foreign Observers, the cost of support them on the road with bikes, hotel and food, the cost for the expenses of the safety team, embedded in each observed group, were shared equally among the participants. Donations to the Dernek were collected at the OMM events, fees from legal members (never more than hundred, often much less) came in every years and in this way we sustained our independence. We also offer free participation to people with financial issues but strong desire. Still, we wanted to reduce the expenses to share and having local Observers was a logical solution.
2. We wanted to train in Turkish language. Having translated the manual in Turkish, we did not want to have the language as a barrier to learn and enjoy advance riding. Translators have always been used but the process was time consuming and not always effective.
3. We wanted to respond to the demand for more OMM training events by having more qualified Observers available on the field. We thought that introducing the competence of Observer would have reinforced the team and provide a superior service to the biking community.
Unfortunately it did not work 100% according to plan: while we managed to obtain the first two objectives (reduction of expenses and more events), the training of Observers introduced a dangerous “virus” in the whole system. The eternal virus of greed.
Some riders thought after the course that money could be made out of training bikers. Marketing wise a bad idea, professional wise an acceptable plan, OMM wise a disaster.
Nothing wrong with a qualified I.A.M. Observer deciding to make a living by training: we can discuss the marketing implication and sustain that the market in Turkey is too small for real profit but… nothing wrong. I.A.M. qualified Observers invested time and resources in obtaining the title and they can use it to start a professional career of trainers as long as they respect the RoadCraft system and the IPSGA method.
Something dramatically wrong or disastrous when the same riders who train you, for a fee, evaluates you (using OMM grading) as well: then the clarity, fairness and transparency of the OMM grading turns cloudy and the whole system collapses.
And that what happened in the last few years, despite OMM Board hard work in keeping the rudder straight. Animosity and fights among trainers, disregard of the System and Method, heavy fee charged for training and OMM grading giving access to the I.A.M. test, disruption of the education spirit that animated from the beginning the OMM initiatives.
Training and preparing for the I.A.M. test was not anymore an intelligent game but a business proposition often carried out without adequate tools. The observations and discussions on where and how to improve toward the application of the system became often a demonstration of the riding abilities of the trainer, “implement the system” turned into “do what I do”.
Let us be clear: it was not the case for all I.A.M. Observers but a good number drifted away not only from OMM but also from the System: all this while taking advantage of a clientele attracted by OMM reputation and System efficiency.
The remaining good Observers (some OMM members and some non OMM members, some not working as trainers, some with their own schools) kept the reputation and the efficiency high and the OMM presidency of O.Ciger not only protected but further strengthen the affiliation with I.A.M.
This has always been the beauty of the group: throughout all difficulties and all defections OMM always find people that sustain the permanent change, carry the original spirit and maintain the fundamental values.
For this reason a new push is in action, during this second part of year 2014, to drastically improve the quality of OMM Academy training: the grading evaluation is now only obtainable during OMM events conducted without objectives of profit, a quality plan has been agreed with Jon Taylor and submitted to I.A.M., the responsible for the quality control team have been identified (Rahmi Barutcu, I.A.M. Observer and Zafer Akcay I.A.M. Senior Observer and OMM legal member), the translation of I.A.M. “Full Control” manual has been completed and a revised curriculum is now available for all riders.
Like all the reforms’ this one is a return to the origin in a different time and under different circumstances.
- We would love to have all bikers of Turkey involved by contacting with idea and suggestion Rahmi and Zafer, by participating to the event that are presented in OMM website, by getting involved on the training debates that OMM social media carry.
- We would like as well to have all the I.A.M. Observer qualified over the year, the ones who remained with us and the one who left us, to work with us for a new meaning of Qualified I.A.M. Observer and for a return to the team and partnership spirit that was at the origins of the Academy.
- Finally we would like all the riders of Turkey to take a RoadCraft training, to discover the IPSGA method for fluent and competent riding, for them to say, as a rider wrote in I.A.M. website after taking the course ‘I’m now a rider who thinks’
Ride strong, Ride smooth, Ride One More Mile
Founder of One More Mile
Legal Member of OMM Ass. (Updated October 2016)
|Nr||Name / Adı||Surname / Soyadı||City / Şehir|
OMM Bank Account Number
Account Name: Onat Motosiklet Meraklıları Derneği İktisadi İşletmesi
Bank: Yapı Kredi Bankası
Branch Office: Yeniköy
Account Number: 47128847 TL
IBAN: TR41 0006 7010 0000 0047 1288 47