Plains kept busy improving riders' skills

TASMANIAN motorcyclists have completed more than 500,000 laps of Symmons Plains at the Tasmanian Motorcycle Club ride days during the past decade, president Cary McMahon, of Legana, said.

Mr McMahon said that the club started its ride days in the mid-1970s as a way of improving the skills of motorcyclists on Tasmanian roads.

"There was little training before you got a road licence in those days - for most people it really was a case of get your learner's licence and get out on the road and learn to ride," he said.

"I used to do a bit of racing in those days and with the likes of Mick Damon and a couple of others. We'd do laps of Symmons Plains as groups of participants went from corner to corner under the tuition of superbike champion Malcolm Campbell to learn about how to pick a good line through a corner.

"I remember dropping in on one corner and Malcolm just told the group: `That's what you don't do.'

"We'd also get a car to drive at speed and stop as quickly as it could - riders were amazed how much quicker a car could stop and that made them more aware on the roads.

"The club can take credit for making countless Tasmanian motorcyclists safer on the road."

Campbell's son, Scott, has been part of the ride days since he was in grade 10 at high school.

"I wasn't old enough to get a racing licence, but I was allowed to do the ride days," he said.

"Dad, no doubt, gave me lots of tips, but not a lot of it made sense until I started racing and was going faster."

The next club ride day is at Symmons Plains on January 20, learners and P-platers are welcome.

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