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‘I’ll do my best for you’: Motorcyclist to spread horse riders’ road safety message

A motorcyclist whose heart was touched by a rider thanking bikers for passing her considerately now aims to spread the pass wide and slow message as far as he can.

Gary Baker, who belongs to groups including the Trail Riders Fellowship and teaches advanced motorcycling, saw a horse rider’s post shared on social media.

“A couple of the motorcycle groups I’m in shared this post from a lady who had thanked them for stopping, turning the bikes off and speaking to the horses,” he told H&H.

“It was either us, as we were out then, or some friends of ours, and it pulled my heartstrings. I thought it was lovely she took the time to thank us and I wanted to do something back.”

Gary posted in the Pass Wide and Slow Facebook group offering to help spread the word about passing horses safely, and to back any campaigns.

“I want to help,” he said. “I have to say I’ve never known any biker purposely upset a horse, it’s only ever been by accident; there are some idiots but they’re few and far between.”

Gary said he has ridden himself, and his wife owned a horse, who died last year, so he has “been on the other side of the fence”.

He was overwhelmed by the response of riders to his post.

“There wasn’t one negative remark,” he said. “I’d expected something as there are a couple of idiots [on bikes] who don’t give a damn – but they don’t give a damn about anyone.

“Sometimes it’s too late to do anything when you come across a horse, I think that happens more often than not. If you can’t see the horse [ahead], then you can’t do anything. On a bike, you can’t just swerve or change your manoeuvre because you’d destabilise your bike. I teach advanced motorcycling so I’m aware of what can go wrong.”

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Asked what riders could do to help, he answered: “Be as visible as you possibly can as it gives us more time to do something; to change course and slow down.”

Gary is to spread the word on motorcycling groups and forums, and plans not only to join a Pass Wide and Slow awareness ride next year, but also to tell others in different areas about the rides.

“The motorcycling community is like the horse community; I know people all over the country,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll work as we respect other vulnerable road users.”

In his post, Gary added: “Please let me know how I can help and I will do my best for you.”

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