Safe riding, the British way.

It's the swinging sixties, baby, yeah! If Austin Powers rode a motorcycle he'd feel right at home in this safety training video from 1965.

While obviously dated, there's still some great information about being a safe rider in this old film. Leave early and allow enough time to reach your destination rather than rushing madly. Even today, if I'm late getting out the door to the office I'll take the car so I'm not tempted to take stupid chances on my bike. The film also makes the excellent point that familiarity with your surroundings encourages complacency, which may cause you to not pay as much attention around you as you should.

The premise, as well as the title, of this film is the strategy of "Look, Signal, Manoeuvre..." I mean, maneuver. First look where you intend to go to make sure it's clear. Then signal your intentions so others on the road around you know what you plan to do. Then, after all that's done, carefully make your move.

Two main characters, Tom and Tom's unnamed friend, demonstrate this strategy in a Goofus and Gallant manner. Tom is the careful rider, not going too fast, riding carefully, and always leaving an adequate safety margin in case of the unexpected. Tom's friend, on the other hand, is late to work, tearing through London like a madman and speeding carelessly through intersections. Admittedly, his riding style, as well as his mishaps, is much more fun to watch. In the end, though, it's Tom who actually makes it to work safely.

Of course, several anachronisms exist in the film as well. Modern motorcycles have amazing technological advances like brake lights and turn signals that eliminate the need to remove your hands from the handlebars to communicate your intentions. Also, notice the rear brake pedal on the left side of the bike instead of the right like we're used to. The old British bikes are fun to watch, as is the quirky style of 1960s Britain. I half expect to see the Beatles crossing Abbey Road as we cruise by.

Not everything is peachy keen, though. Tom's new friend, who happens to be a young lady, implies that safe riding is sexy and will get you the girls. The fact that she's riding a scooter also says that women can't, or at least shouldn't, ride "real" motorcycles like men. The film is a product of its time, though, and should be excused as such because attitudes about woman riders have changed.

Source: RideApart.com