March 13 2013.

£12,000 prize for winner who says BikeSafe helped save his life

Forty-four-year-old Mark Bourner from Sussex has won first prize in a national BikeSafe competition, sponsored by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA). The prize was £12,000 towards the bike of his choice.

Mark is convinced that the riding tips learned on BikeSafe and through subsequent training saved his life, when he was knocked off his bike while working as a volunteer blood courier for SERV Sussex.

He took part in a BikeSafe London workshop with the Metropolitan Police a few months earlier. The BikeSafe team who selected Mark as the main winner did not know about his accident when they chose his prize-winning statement; 'the most important things I have taken from the workshop are safety position and to look at the information around me and not rush in.' Mark says it was through putting the sentiments in his statement into action, ie, riding defensively and taking pre-emptive action at the time of his accident, that he was able to prevent anything more serious from happening. The incident took place at a junction near his home in St Leonards on New Year's night, as he was delivering vital blood products to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

Mark commutes to work on a bike, having started riding a few years ago on a moped, moving up to a 125cc, before completing Direct Access some 18 months ago. He took delivery of his new Honda VFR800X Crossrunner from J S Gedge Motorcycles in Hastings.

Speaking for BikeSafe London, the unit responsible for Mark's workshop, Sergeant Mick Cheeseman said he was delighted to hear about the win; "This is exactly the reason the Metropolitan Police are involved in running BikeSafe workshops. Bikers can seriously avoid their exposure to risk by taking further training, which many bikers are inspired to do after attending a BikeSafe workshop. No one is ever too experienced to reappraise their riding through one of our workshops or by taking an advanced riding course. "I'm so pleased for Mark, he and many like him provide a valuable service as blood runners. This win goes to show that good things happen to nice people."

There were nine other winners for the BikeSafe competition; three won protective clothing up to the value of £1000 and five won helmets worth up to £500 each.