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Registered Charity Number 1107703

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

December 2016

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, Again we are in the happy situation of having more than enough copy to fill TUG, so apologies to those whose articles have been held over. Please do not relax about submitting to TUG, the current ‘surplus’ would not make up even one issue. With publication of the new Group Riding Guidelines we have ticked the ‘serious & responsible’ box, so we can indulge in things like pictures of a younger Madam Chairman looking really happy to be on her bike—I guess nothing much has changed there. We also have our first ‘promotional feature’; for accommodation in the region of France where my wife has a house. They have good wine down there. Final copy date for the next TUG is 26th May 2017. Chris


Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


New Members


Membership Info


Observer Coordinator


Group Riding Guidelines 17 Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Long & Winding Road


This and That


Events Report


Observer Profile


Further Training


What’s happening next?

Log into, then

Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE April 2017 I’m still not sure it’s sunk in….me as Chair of EAMG! Thank you to all who gave me the support to stand and all of you who have congratulated me and made me feel so welcome. Chris has ongoing treatment and has good and bad days, I know you will all join me in thanking him for all he has done for the club over the years, and wish him well finding a remedy that gives him back the energy and comfort to return to his former glory. It’s great to have some new faces on the committee bringing bundles of enthusiasm and new ideas. Welcome Clive, Suzy and Audrey. The last few years have seen some unplanned disruption in our Committee through unforeseen circumstances, but this year will see us working together to make the group the best we can.

March group night was well attended and we had an interesting talk from Tracey from the Bikesafe Team. Please look at their courses and those of the Firebike team as they are either free or £10 so fantastic value for money. March AGT was held at our new venue, Longmeads House, which was popular and worked well. The added bonus is we are lucky enough to have use of the kitchen to serve tea & coffee. Some of you may have heard of disruption in one of the other local advanced groups. We have already welcomed some new members

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and are hoping we may tempt back some others who have let their membership lapse. We are in the process of organising another group BBQ, those of you who came last year will remember what a fantastic day we had. Eddie has agreed to provide music for us again and we are close to confirming the date. Time to get out in the warmer weather – and remember… All men are created equal, then a few become bikers….. Jill

AGT’s are now held at the new location: Writtle Community Association Longmeads House, 12-14 Redwood Drive Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 JLY. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Geoff Preston

Jaques de Klerk

18th February 2017 EAMG Observer (retest)

25th February 2017 EAMG Observer (retest)

Examiner: Richard Parker

Examiner: Richard Parker

Jil Winn

Richard Parker

Examiner: Mick Jones

Examiner: Mick Jones

24th March 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

8th March 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

======================================== Welcome to New Members! Associates: Jeremy Caddy Roger Hathersich Full: Neil Charnock Harry Squibb

Neville Murton Jake Hickford Bob Hunter

Our apologies if you joined recently and your name has not yet filtered down to the TUG editor. r


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Membership Information Dear Members & Prospective Members, The membership form is on the website or page 22 if you wish to join or if you are renewing. If you have paid up and haven’t received your membership card please let a committee member know. Also please remember to spread the word about EAMG, recommendation is such a valuable tool and current members are always the best advocates for what a good group this is.

Membership Fees for 2017 

New Associate Members

...£55.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Full Member Renewal


Social Member


Full Member Training


(For more information on Full Member Training see page 42)















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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OBSERVER COORDINATOR John Tullett This year has got off to a very encouraging start for the Group with good numbers of new Associate and Full members joining so far. To help new members who may not be fully aware of the extensive range of training options we offer, and at the risk of repeating something that existing members as fully aware of, I thought I would outline the training options that we offer. 1-to-1 Observed Rides One to one observed rides form the core of Associate training within EAMG, with a dedicated Observer focussing on addressing your personal training needs and aspirations. The Observer will train you to a level where you would be able to pass an advanced test (either RoSPA or IAM) but there is no obligation to take a test if you do not wish to. Associates are requested to make a ÂŁ10 contribution towards Observer expenses on 1-to-1 training rides. Before you can participate in rides with a 1-to-1 Observer EAMG requires you to complete a New Associate Training Process (NATP), which covers the prerequisites for safe participation in training. This will either be carried out by your 1-to-1 Observer or at a Group Night meeting or an AGT.

Associate Group Training (AGT) AGTs provide Associates with the opportunity to attend a short Roadcraft presentation followed by an observed ride with different Observers and are held at 09:15 on the Sunday after the Group Night meeting, which is always held on the first Tuesday of the month. Our venue is Longmeads House, Writtle, post code CM1 3LY. Associates may attend AGTs at no charge as the related costs are covered by your standard membership fee. All Associates are eligible to attend as many AGTs as they wish, regardless of whether or not they are also allocated to a 1 -to-1 Observer.

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Following inclement weather in February our first AGT of 2017 was held on 12th March and we enjoyed very good attendance levels with 7 Associates, 1 Guest and 1 Full Member signed up for further training participating in observed rides. Thanks to Mick Hewitt for his talk on Filtering and Phil Reader for leading the Full Member social ride. Our new AGT venue proved to be very well suited to our needs, offering exclusive use of the premises, ample parking facilities and the option of obtaining a tea or coffee.

Flexible Observed Rides Flexible Observed Rides provide Associates wishing to progress their 1-to-1 training more quickly with the opportunity to arrange additional observed Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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rides with an Observer who has spare capacity. Flexible Observed rides are intended to complement and not replace rides with your allocated 1-to-1 Observer. If you are interested in Flexible Observed Rides please let me know when you will be available (e.g. weekends, weekdays or anytime) and I will endeavour to match you with a suitable Observer. Associates participating in Flexible Observed Rides will be requested to make the standard £10 contribution towards Observer expenses for each ride. Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) FTFM provides Full members with an opportunity to attend training with a personal 1-to-1 Observer, in a similar fashion to the training provided to Associates. We request Full members to make a £10 contribution for each ride to help offset observer expenses. Your Observer will be at least RoSPA Gold level. The majority of Full members sign up for FTFM to help prepare to take a RoSPA retest or an additional advanced test but FTFM can also be used to address specific issues or to develop your riding skills. Your Observer will be seeking to train you to a standard where you can achieve a good level RoSPA pass. FTFM is designed to be flexible and you can sign up when completing your membership form or pay your additional £20 at any time during the year, whenever it is most convenient for you. If there is sufficient Observer capacity at AGTs Full members signed up for FTFM will be able to attend an observed ride, but priority will be given to Associate members (as Full members also have the option of attending a social ride at the AGT). FTFM is becoming increasingly popular with 12 members having already signed up this year. Full Member Training (FMT) John Tipper has been successfully running FMT days for many years and these offer a great opportunity to allow Full members to identify and address any bad habits whilst developing their riding skills. By the time you are

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reading this you may well be too late for the first FMT in 2017 (to be held on 2nd April) but details of the three remaining dates can be found elsewhere in this issue of TUG. You will be riding with an Observer holding at least RoSPA Gold and, usually, one other Full member over a predefined route of around 200 miles. This will give you an opportunity to ride on some unfamiliar roads and periodically 'take a break' while the second rider is being observed. You will be debriefed during the ride and given a comprehensive ride report. Several refreshment stops are incorporated into each route. The cost to attend a FMT day is ÂŁ45. Great care is taken to ensure that each 'pair' of riders is matched in terms of their experience levels, ability and aspirations. Many Full members have attended FMTs prior to taking a RoSPA test or re-test; to check their riding skills; or to prepare for Observer training. Slow Riding Days We run slow riding days for the benefit of all members twice a year and charge a modest entry fee of ÂŁ5 to cover the provision of biscuits & water and help offset our expenses. We always endeavour to offer as wide a range of activities as possible, including emergency braking; manoeuvring exercises; the correct way to pick up your bike; a 'swerve' test and the slowest rider race - to win the much coveted 'snail' t-shirt. We will also provide 1-to-1 assistance to address specific issues as required. Our next Slow Riding Day will be held at the Ford Dunton Test Track on Sunday, 4th June. If you wish to attend please let me know beforehand, to help ensure we have sufficient numbers of Observers (and biscuits) available. Associate Group Training (AGT) Questionnaire In February's TUG I mentioned the AGT Questionnaire that I sent to the 43 individuals who were Associates during 2016, following varied attendance levels at some AGTs last year. To date, I have received only 6 completed responses. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Most comments received have been favourable but one individual did report he had been promised a Ride Report Form (RRF) which never materialised. I have reminded all Observers of the importance of completing RRFs and such a situation should not recur - if it does please let me know! One rider said he would prefer shorter 'test length' observed rides. This could easily be achieved by simply requesting a shorter ride either at sign-on or during the initial ride briefing. A suggestion was also made that we should provide attendees with refreshments on arrival and following our move to Longmeads House hot drinks are now available. I would be very grateful if any of the remaining 37 Associates who have yet to reply could please spare a few minutes to complete and return the questionnaire to me, to allow the Training Team to try and make AGTs more relevant and appealing to more Associate members.

Moderately Paced Full Member Social Rides In the last issue of TUG I mentioned the possibility that Moderately Paced Full Member Rides, to be run on the same day as Associate Social Rides, could be introduced to avoid the possibility of too many Group members attending the very popular Associate Social Rides. This subject was further discussed at our most recent Observer meeting and Mick Hewitt & Alan Burke confirmed that they had been approached by a number of Full members who are very keen to be able to continue to attend Associate Social Rides. Mick and Alan have confirmed that they are very happy for a number of Full Members to continue to attend their rides. Accordingly, it has been agreed to continue with a single format with all members being able to attend Associate Social Rides. Attendance levels will be closely monitored to assess whether there would be sufficient interest in running a second group, run by two additional Observers, if too many riders start to turn up for the Associate rides. IAM Retest Option! The IAM has recently announced that they will be launching a 'Fellow' membership tier, which will be open to all current Full IAM members. Fellow

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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membership is intended to offer enhanced recognition and insurance benefits in return for a commitment to keep your advanced riding/ driving skills up to date by retesting every three years. The costs will be ÂŁ49 per year, to include your IAM membership fee and three yearly re-qualification test. If your advanced test pass was less than three years ago you just need to inform the IAM to become a Fellow, with your next renewal date reset to three years after the date of your advanced test pass. If your advanced test was over three years ago you will need to book a Fellow car or motorcycle entry test at a cost of ÂŁ39 (once launched). Upon passing you will be made a Fellow for three years from the date of your entry test pass. You can complete a 'registration of interest' form, available via the IAM's web site - see end-customer-campaigns/fellow-membership - if this sounds of interest! Essex Motorcycle Show - Date Confirmed The date for the Essex Motorcycle Show at North Weald Airfield has recently been confirmed as Sunday, 21st May and will be held in conjunction with a charity ride-out from Hertford for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. If visiting please drop in to EAMG's promotional stand.

---ooo0ooo--Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me on 01277 623860 (before 21:30 please), text 07570 992801, email or send me a PM via the Message Board.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Group Riding Guidelines EAMG Training Team We all enjoy riding our bikes but we must never forget that EAMG is a respected further training Group working to improve the standard of motorcycling in Essex. When we ride individually, we have the freedom to control our own planning, positioning, progress and safety. Group riding is different, each rider having to think for themselves as well as for each member of the group. We should remember that some group rides may include inexperienced Associates, it is therefore important to be aware of the differing riding abilities that may be around us. It is possible to ride in a group in such a way that each and every rider can enjoy the group ride safely. The following guidelines are designed to ensure EAMG group rides are conducted in such a way to achieve this aim. Announcement: Group rides are announced in: • TUG’s Diary, both on-line and printed version • EAMG’s online Forum at • EAMG’s Update emailed periodically by the Group Secretary Announcement should include: • Type of ride: Full Member only, Full Member & Associate, Associate only, Peer-to-Peer etc. • Indication of distance and terrain • Location of refreshment and fuel stops, including Post Code or Sat. Nav. co-ordinates to help riders with sat nav should they become separated from the group • Notification of any road closures or other known potential problems Note: Proficient use of the Marker System should eliminate the need to issue everyone with a copy of the route but a few printed copies or .gpx file (for sat nav use) is always welcome. Remember: ‘fail to prepare is to prepare to fail’ Ride Leader and Sweeper It goes without saying that both the Ride Leader and Sweeper’s role is key for a successful group ride. Neither are riding for themselves, they are riding for each and every other member of the group. It is therefore recommended that they wear some form of distinctive hi-viz or lighting so they can be easily recognised.

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Ride Leader and Sweeper should: • be experienced group riders, preferably but not mandatorily, Observers • be familiar with the route • exchange their mobile numbers • make their mobile numbers known to each member of the group. Note: This could be published in group ride announcements. • be prepared to consider what action should be taken in the event of: o punctures or mechanical failure o an incident occurring within the group Ride Leader The ride Leader should give a pre ride briefing: • welcoming and identifying, Guests, Associates and Full Members • ensuring everyone starts with a full tank of fuel • outlining details of the route including refreshment and fuel stops • introducing the Sweeper • checking everyone’s familiarity with group riding guidelines and • familiarity with the marker system including: o group riders should avoid overtaking the leader or riding behind the sweeper o how the sweeper signals for markers to continue Note: Approaching roundabouts, the sweeper may drop back allowing the marker at the roundabout time to leave their position safely. If traffic or safety does not allow this, the sweeper may pass the marker. In such circumstances, when safe to do so, the sweeper slows allowing the marker to pass and rejoin the group. o overtaking procedure within the group o the need to ride for ones self and show courtesy to others • introducing other leaders and or sweepers (if applicable) • deliver the Group’s disclaimer Sweeper The sweeper’s roll is just as important as the leader’s roll and requires as much, if not more, experience and capacity for vigilance in the event of a rider: • missing a marker and taking a wrong route • experiencing a puncture or mechanical fault • being involved in a more serious incident The sweeper rides at the tail end of the group. Note: If group riders ride behind the sweeper, they risk being abandoned, as markers en route may leave their post when the sweeper signals for them to continue.

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The Marker System When riding in a large group the leader may introduce a ‘marker system’. A sweeper, who rides at the tail end of the group, should be appointed. Whenever the route deviates from the current road, the leader should point to a safe place suggesting where the rider behind, the marker, should stop giving clear directions to the route the leader has taken. The group follows through. The marker waits until the sweeper is in sight and signals for them to continue. In exceptional circumstances, traffic lights or a problem within the group, gaps of several minutes can develop so it’s critically important that markers wait patiently until they see the sweeper signalling for them to continue. Without a following rider, the leader knows the group has become too spread out then waits so everyone can regroup. The leader and sweeper may be in radio contact and each should have the other’s mobile phone number so, in the event of a problem, they are able to contact each other and take any necessary action. Markers The marker’s roll is critical to the success of a group ride. A poorly marked junction is the prime cause of riders becoming lost, as they are unable to keep to the intended route. In certain circumstances, a lost rider, or riders, can severely fragment the ride causing considerable delays that can result in hazardous circumstances for markers kept waiting in an exposed position or extreme temperatures without shade. Approaching a junction, the leader indicates a suitable location where the marker can mark the junction. The marker: • should wait as close to the position indicated by the leader that: • they deem to be a safe position to stop that is: • easily visible to following riders The marker: • looks for following riders then • points, giving clear directions towards the intended route The marker should endeavour not to: • stop in a position they deem to be unsafe • stop in an obscure position unseen by following riders • leave their bike for a comfort break or cigarette • run a direction indicator signal that could be misleading to other traffic • leave their position until the sweeper signals for them to continue Note: This fifth point is important, as there could an incident, such as a puncture, within the group. Without markers, those attending the incident may be unable to rejoin the group. If the incident is more serious, the leader or sweeper should make arrangements to inform the markers

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If you are unfamiliar with the marker system and feel uncomfortable being left as a marker; each time you find yourself riding behind the leader, indicate to the rider behind that you would like to be overtaken. A drop of the right foot (left foot in Europe) is a well-known invitation to overtake. Special Care - Roundabouts The general rule, ‘continue straight ahead if a junction is not marked’, means special care is required when making a right turn (left turn in Europe) at roundabouts. A marker positioned at the exit could easily be missed. In such circumstances, a marker positioned some distance before the roundabout should also be considered. Special Care – Motorways It is illegal to stop on a motorway but a rider missing a junction or seeing a junction late and cutting across high-speed traffic, is hazardous to say the least. Leaders should therefore reduce speed to regroup the riders a couple of miles before the junction then signal when approaching the exit to be taken. Each rider within the group should also signal so the sweeper can see that all riders, and other motorway traffic, are aware the group is leaving the motorway. Group Riding Riding in a group is not about competition; it’s about riding together safely as a unit. It should be an enjoyable experience, fun and seen as a valuable skill for riders in their quest to improve their riding. Showing off to your mates is sure to end in disaster. If you want to compete, don’t join a group ride - join a track-day! Be honest with yourself asking: • do I try to keep up, even when I’m riding out of my comfort zone? • am I relieved when the riding stops or anxious when it is about to start? Always ride within your own capabilities, if run well, the marker system ensures you won’t get lost so there should be no pressure to keep up. Ride for the group not just yourself. It is important to be aware of the differing rider abilities around you. Use your observation skills and judgment to plan manoeuvres for yourself but with other group members in mind. Ride in a staggered formation on straight roads and when waiting at traffic lights. Ride leaders should make it clear that the rider directly behind them is ‘controlling’ their speed. If you feel uncomfortable behind the leader, simply slow down and the leader should slow down accordingly. In this way, the leader can ensure that each member of the group should have a safe and enjoyable fun day. Ride leaders may stop a ride to regroup should the group get too spread out.

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Buddy System Riders within the group are free to pass and re-pass each other when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Efficient use of the marker system depends on good marking at junctions; the group ride can fall apart if a junction where the route deviates: is not marked, the marker cannot easily be seen or leaves their position prematurely. If you encounter such circumstances, think for the benefit of the group, your ‘buddies’. Mark the junction yourself and wait until the sweeper signals you can continue. It’s also a good idea for the marker being relieved by the sweeper to ride with the sweeper, their ‘buddy’, until the next marker is reached. This ensures the sweeper always has support in the event of a problem occurring at the back of the group. Overtaking Invite quicker riders to pass if they want to.

Check if the rider behind follows you through when overtaking. If it’s tight, they shouldn’t do this but there’s no point leaving them stranded, possibly facing oncoming traffic. Move closer to the n/s kerb, allowing them space, until they’re through. Leaving the group If you intend to leave the group earlier than expected, inform the sweeper accordingly then make your way to the back of the group as you approach your point of departure to ensure other group riders don’t follow you and lose their way. Inappropriate group riding It is the responsibility of EAMG Group Observers, who witness inappropriate riding within an EAMG group ride, to raise such issues discreetly with the rider concerned. The approach should not be confrontational but made in the best interest of rider safety and EAMG.

EAMG Training Team January 2017

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

All Full Member Rides will leave Sainsburys Springfield, Chelmsford, at 9.30am

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7th 12th 19th 26th

Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

5th 7th 12th 19th 26th

Mick's Associate Member Ride Group Night - Bikesafe Essex Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1701) Richard's Full Member Ride

2nd 4th 9th 15th ? 23rd 30th

Full Member Training (1701) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick's Associate Member Ride

2nd 7th 14th 21st 21st 21st 21st 28th 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1702) France Day Ride (Geoff Preston) Richard's Full Member Ride Wings & Wheels Show, Stow Maries Aerodrome Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Full Member Training (1702) Mick's Associate Member Ride

4th 6th 11th 18th 25th

Slow Riding Day Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

2nd 2nd 4th

Maldon Motor Show (to be confirmed) Mick's Associate Member Ride Group Night




Diary 2017



(Continued on page 29)

Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

Extensions - Garages - Loft Conversions

Block paving Driveways - Patios

All Types of Roofing

Carpentry - Brickwork

Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

Fencing - Replacement Windows (uPVC, Hardwood, Aluminium)

uPVC Cladding, Fascias, Soffits

Underpinning - Landscaping

Painting and Decorating Fully Insured (But not yet Needed!)

For free no-obligation quote, phone Clint on

01621 828276 (Office) 07836 277223 (Mobile) Domestic and Commercial Work Undertaken Insurance Work also Welcome Member of The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors Flagstaff Farm, Green Lane, Althorne, Essex, CM3 6BQ

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9th 16th 23rd 30th

Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1703) Richard's Full Member Ride Full Member Training (1703)

1st 6th 13th 20th 20th 27th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Beachy Head Ride (Geoff Preston) Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

5th 10th 10th 10th 17th 24th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Mick's Associate Member Ride Slow Riding Day Richard's Full Member Ride

1st 3rd 8th 15th 22nd 22nd 29th

Copdock Show Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1704) Full Member Training (1704) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

7th 12th 19th 26th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

3rd 5th 10th 17th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (Xmas Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride



Group Nights @ 19:30, AGTs @ 9:15 am

(Continued from page 26)




Diary 2017

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture

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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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The Long And Winding Road

(Promotional Feature)

Amanda Hallett and (Essex born) Kevin Broadbent had been working for many years in the corporate drudge, had been through the normal events in life, and decided they needed a change before they were too old to have any energy left to be able to do anything about it. For many reasons, they decided to move to the south of France, buy a property capable of running a small chambres d’hôte business, and get on with the rest of their lives as their own bosses with some decent weather. From starting in February 2016, despite Brexit looming, they focused on their dream. They decided to ignore the politics and just got on with it. It has taken a year but they made it and now live near Limoux. They chose this region for the wine, the food and the rugby - but the region continues to surprise them with new discoveries and although not bikers themselves they are petrol heads and driving the roads in their Alfa Giulietta has been a revelation.

Nestling between the hills on the Pays de Cathare, every route to and from their new home has surprised them with a combination of stunning views of landscapes and castles, and quaint villages clinging to rocks or straddling the rivers that wend their way around the foothills of the Pyrenees. Of course, the roads themselves, with twists and turns, long straights, climbs and descents, as they weave their way through the stunning countryside, are a delight to the car enthusiast as well as bikers and cyclists, and they always see bikers out in small groups and pairs as they stream past them, once they pull the Giulietta to one side on the straights to let the nimbler machines past.

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The tiny village of Serres where they have made their home is on the D613 - which will take you all the way from Narbonne to Ax-les-Thermes with many village cafĂŠs and destination options in between. Carcassonne is thirty minutes away and Andorra about two hours, or if you are looking for a longer trip Barcelona is only about three and a half hours. Coming down from the Channel, routes via Bordeaux and Tours are far superior to the Paris trail and offer great stops along the way.

So, when their little B&B opens in June, they are hoping to see many of you from the

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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motorcycling community. They have safe overnight storage for motorcycles, spacious rooms for all that kit and lovely hot showers to ease the aches after a long day on the road. The locals are friendly and if you go over a weekend there is a lovely live music venue that always has something different going on in the village. They think they are are too long in the tooth to start biking now but would they love to live the excitement vicariously through their guests and see these amazing roads used to the full potential they offer. Those long and winding roads definitely went straight to their hearts and they are sure they will capture yours too.

Their website is which shows room details and availability amongst other local information, and if you mention this article they will give you a great deal on your stay.

This and That Dave Iszard GETTING AWAY WITH IT Part 1. I' m afr aid to admit to some of them but as time passes the embarrassment decreases. It all started when I was 13, my uncle and his family emigrated to NZ and left behind a BSA 250 C10 for my brother. He didn't want it (understandably) so I inherited it. Moving on now, I'm 15 now and several motor bikes have come and gone. One of my dads work mates had passed his car test and said I could have his AJS 350 for the exchange of '100 senior service' (cigarettes about ÂŁ3 or ÂŁ4). As it was fully road worthy the temptation was too much, so I used to sneak off with it and go for a ride. Now my dad thought I was off to the local farm to ride around the fields but I was on the road, no helmet, tax, insurance or licence. One day I said to my mate Chris, "coming for a ride", and off we set. Some miles from home I threw the AJS into a corner and the pair of us went spiralling up the road. No broken bones but a great deal of friction burns, specially to my mates arm. We limped the bent bike home and it was a real chore to convince our parents that we had sustained such injuries on a field but got away with it.

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One year later, I now have an AJS 250cc 14 CSR. I might add this was a cutting edge 250 of it's time, the Japanese were just arriving. Learners were restricted to 250cc and I was now legally on the road. Then, as now, a learner can't take an unqualified passenger but I thought if I took my 'L' plates off I could get away with it. So one autumn night I said to my mate Phil, "coming for a ride" and we went to a pub for a pint. On the way home on a country lane we passed a police car going in the opposite direction. In my panic to get away I left the road and went up a steep bank 'wall of death style'. Me and the bike came back down on the road in a heap, I gathered myself and looked around for Phil but couldn't see him. I call out in the darkness and he replied from some distance away. He realised we were going to crash and bailed out early sustaining a cut leg. What of the police car ? he couldn't have seen what happened and disappeared into the night. More damage to repair and more lies to the parents but got away with it. A few days later I'm returning from Chelmsford to home along some back lanes I came across a police check, he was stopping every vehicle. I was quizzed by the sergeant about my details. I had to think quick (unlike me) for it was still without the 'L' plates. I said to the officer, " before you start I have something to tell you. Whilst parked in Chelmsford someone stole my 'L's". I don't think he believed me and I received a written warning through the post. This incident was only a mile from the previous crash and I strongly suspect it was the same policeman . More explaining to my parents but I got away with it. The next lucky escape leaves me cold even today. The parents of a girl friend was not keen on her getting on back of my bike. One day with her on the back I overtook a coach and coming the other way was another coach. The gap between the coaches become so narrow I closed my eyes not expecting to exit unscathed but we did and the margin was nothing. Even now I shudder at the thought of a policeman knocking at her home to tell her parents the news. I was learning but there were some more lessons to come. I was passing a line of parked cars when one pulled out into the road and hit me, sending me across the road but I 'stayed on'. Luck prevailed but it was about to change. The AJS broke a crank pin and was dismantled for repair. I needed to get to college at

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Braintree and mate Chris said I could use his BSA C15. On the way home from college I was stopped by a young constable who wanted to see my licence and insurance. There was a licence but regrettably no insurance and I got nicked and my licence endorsed, three endorsements in those days and you were off the road. More explaining to my dad who said, "I TOLD YOU". Didn't get away with it that time. After a year of abuse the AJS was worn out, nearly every bearing had been replaced but it was now very tied.

Test now passed I was looking for more cc's. I told my dad that I had found a Velocette Venom at Jack Hubbards Motorcycles in Braintree. The Venom was a sports bike of it's day and dad, even though he was a fan of Velo's, didn't want me to have it, saying, "its too big". The Velo and I set off for another 18 months of misadventure and was to have some lucky escapes. With a bigger bike came bigger crashes and one evening whilst travelling out of Witham to Braintree an Austin A40 U turned in front of me and sent me and the bike spinning up the road in a shower of sparks. I got away with road rash (again) but the bike was badly damaged. a clip on handle bar had gone through the fibre glass fuel tank and petrol

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was all over the road, how it had not caught fire was a miracle. A witness to the accident said I was speeding in a 30 limit (correctly) and it was deemed my fault so it was down to me to repair the damage. I was lucky my personal injury was light and I felt once more I had gotten away with it. The next event was my first encounter with diesel on the road. Outside Braintree bus station as it was then, I found my self spinning up the road for no apparent reason. It was a Sunday afternoon and people were strolling along the pavement but they took no notice of me and my acrobatics. Got away with a broken head light that time and no injury. It wasn't over yet. One evening leaving the Continental coffee bar in Braintree, home bound, two drunk girls walked out into the road in front of me. I collided with one and unable to keep control I was again sliding along the road. On this occasion I had a passenger, Barbara whom I would give a lift home. She had no helmet on but luckily we both escaped personal injury. Barbara jumped to her feet and gave the drunk a good slapping. For the second time a handle bar had gone through the petrol tank and another broken head lamp The tank was repaired again but was porous from then on. On all of these occasions the bike was retrieved by my brother Joe or my dad in the van. Enter girl friend, later to be my wife and a whole new chapter. I was now 17 and having a ball. My apprentice money wasn't great but it was paying enough to run the bike and a little over for a burger. An acquaintance from the coffee bar had a decent Venom and a more decent girl friend, she was soon to jump camps and Nicki was a permanent pillion. I would collect and deliver her home to Halstead on a regular bases but never really thought much about her not having a helmet which was eventually rectified. One scary incident happened on a corner when the back wheel stepped way out of line and then gripped. Nicki was shot partially over the side but I was quick enough to reach back and grab her. Just a head scarf on at that time. The bike tried that again at Brandywell on the Isle of Man with just me on. It was the biggest slide I've ever encountered outside of grass tracking racing. With modern grippy tyres it would have been a highside, the old tyres just slid. Now 'we' were getting away with it. [Editor: A further thrilling instalment will be published Real Soon Now!]

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Events Report Chris Johnson The first ride of this period was Richard's ad hoc outing to the Silver Ball Cafe on 12th February. It was cold. It was dank. It was drizzling lightly. There were just five of us for the run, which shows that the majority of EAMG members have some common sense. In view of the weather Richard avoided any challenging twisties on a 43 mile route to the Silver Ball Cafe. By the time we got there the temperature had dropped below freezing, the fields were white with snow, and the day was even greyer. After breakfast and a good chat in the warmth I elected to drive back down the A10 to get home before the frostbite got too bad, and the others returned via Saffron Walden to a claimed 3.5 degrees (on Richard’s optimistic thermometer) back at Chelmsford. The bike got completely filthy and had to be hosed down on return. Incomprehensible though it seems, the outing was enjoyable. What a difference a week can make! By contrast with the sub-zero snowscapes of Richard's run Mick Hewitt's 'relaxed' ride to the Robin Hood pub outside Cambridge on 19th February had a fine day with temperatures which nudged into double figures. I counted seventeen bikes, with associates and ladies being well represented. Mick led at an easy pace and most seemed content with this since there was virtually no overtaking within the group. The lunch venue ran out of eggs, and also forgot my relatively early order until everyone else had finished so black marks there. Paula was sweeper on the outward leg and Alex of the kevlar jeans took over for the return. I left at Dunmow after 77 miles to get a shorter route home. Everyone enjoyed the run, and the only notable incident was that the building work at Sainsbury's meant we had to meet up in the overspill car park. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Richard's next ride was to St Ives on 26th February. The roads were a bit damp on the way out, but otherwise it was ideal weather for a winter run; mild, with occasional sun but generally lightly overcast. We had 22 bikes following the late addition of Madam Chairman and the very late addition of Phil. The route out was pretty standard with a tea break at Red Lodge. Upon arrival at St Ives we discovered a little blue car had had the temerity to park in our space round the monument. A personal tragedy was that the 'bowel prep' rules for an intervention due in a couple of days meant I could not have the Local CafĂŠ's excellent liver & onions, a great favourite of mine. Drier roads on the way back meant that the pace could be enjoyably brisk at times. Nobody got lost. Mick and Neil acted as sweepers, with a brand new KTM jacket and a very silver Pan making them easy to spot. Identifying the sweeper is always a matter of anxiety for me when waiting as a marker. I have a very distinctive orange HiVis vest, and before almost every run I debate with myself whether to bring it for the sweeper, invariably deciding that since the sweeper would almost certainly rather be seen dead than wearing it there is not much point. As usual I left the run at Dunmow after exactly 160 miles. Mick's next 'relaxed' ride on 5th March was supposed to be to the Hillcrest Nurseries outside Cambridge, but this time it was he who drew the short weather straw. If you enjoy riding in pouring rain with the bike flashing an ice warning at you periodically then this was a great day. If your enthusiasm is less extreme then it was still an enjoyable ride. There were only four of us, but one was, if not an Associate, at least a new member. The destination was switched to the Street Cafe in Newmarket, and we rode using the buddy system. The cafe was pleasant and good value. Mick and

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I rapidly acquired bikes which were absolutely filthy, Alan's looked distinctly grubby, but Bob's Harley remained entirely presentable; all of which shows you that there is no justice in the world, but you knew that anyway, didn't you? I left the ride, yet again, at Dunmow on the return leg after 85 miles. A week later, on 12th March, it was time for the AGT. Despite the doom and gloom promised by every weather forecast it was a mild, overcast day with dry roads. I found the new AGT location more by luck than judgement, since I swear Google Maps had it subtly wrong. Mick managed to give most of his talk on filtering despite the capricious behaviour of Windows 10 (which as a computer professional I can assure you is the spawn of Satan). Afterwards Phil Reader, who had been inclined towards a run to Red Lodge, revised it to the Stradishall Cafe (called, that day at least, Cafe 33 - although it changes its name more often than our Cheryl from Newcastle). There were ten of us. Although 98% of the roads were familiar they were not necessarily those one would have expected to be riding, but they were all very satisfactorily twisty. I was sweeper and largely superfluous other than by providing moral support during a brief pannier malfunction. The 'large breakfast' was far from the best I have had and appeared to give me indigestion. Sixty miles out and forty back to the McDonalds near Channels made for a good little outing. Richard’s ride to Rushden on the 26th March was just too late to make it into this report, which has been uncharacteristically factual because the limited space left in TUG meant that a lot of the usual woffle had to go. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Observer profile Name: Jill Winn When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? I first became interested in bikes when a group of lads hung around at the bottom of the school field when I was 15yrs old. I was more attracted to the bikes than the boys! How old were you when you first rode a bike? I was 15, it was an Yamaha RD350 and belonged to my boyfriend. He taught me to ride and I often took him pillion. None of this on public roads of course! Of the bikes you’ve owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? I would have to go back to my youth. Each bike I owned was my favourite at the time. The FS1-E, then Suzuki TS250 I passed my test on the day before my 18th birthday. Maybe not the Honda CB550K3 though. The favourite by far was ‘humphrey’ my beloved Yamaha XS850 which I had to sell when I needed to get to work in the snow; that was back in the early 80’s. Move on 20+ years and my back to biking choice was a CBF1000, have to love that bike ‘Roxy’ she looked after me in many uncomfortable moments! Then ‘Bob’ the Tiger 1000, and ‘Wilf’ the Versys 1000, and recently ‘Roxy 2’ my BMW X1000SR If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? Very happy with my current choice What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget? My heated jacket and gloves, as I get older I seem to feel the cold more. Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? I’ve not ridden as far as I would like in the UK but Wales never disappoints And, overseas? Again not been far but hoping to over the next few years

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If you were offered the opportunity to go on an extended bike tour who, family members aside, who would you choose as a riding companion? I don’t have anyone in particular, but I have made some great friends through EAMG. I guess the most important thing is that they know where they are going because my navigational skills are rubbish! How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? When you’re on a bike you feel the road, the bends, the weather….isolated but in a group. Part of an elite club where every other biker whatever you ride respects that you are a biker When do you intend to give up riding? When health stops me. Describe your scariest moment on your bike! I’ve told this story before…….Full member ride, I found myself separated from the rest of the group. I was riding a spirited ride on a long straight when the car coming towards me turned right across my path. Time slowed almost to a stop, I remember thinking ‘If I avoid the car and head for the ditch no one will know why and there will be no one to blame’. I had an argument with myself as to where to aim, because if I was going to have an accident that car was not driving away from the scene…….over the bonnet? But the wheel and engine is hard - or the softer option of the passenger door but having the roof to contend with? Luckily the car stopped suddenly leaving me just enough room to swerve round the front of it and ride on…. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Further Training Opportunities for Full Members Have you ever wondered if your riding skill is still as good as it was when you passed your IAM or RoSPA Test? Is your RoSPA Retest fast approaching and you feel you’d like a refresher to check that bad habits have not crept into your riding? We are all only as good as the day we are actually riding our bikes. How good our riding was last year or even last month may not be as good as we think it is; complacency can be fatal. EAMG provide two Further Training Schemes for Full Members:

Full Member Training (FMT) – One-day training courses available four times a year Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) – Assignment to an Observer for 1 to 1 training These courses are provided to check riding skills haven’t deteriorated, for those wishing to take a higher grade of test such as RoSPA or for those preparing for qualification as an EAMG Observer. Full Member Training Four FMT Courses take place during ‘summer time’ between March and October. Participation is entirely voluntary and those taking part do not have to join each ride. Training is for your benefit and enjoyment; it is not a mandatory requirement that you go on to take a RoSPA test. To ensure the highest possible standard, Observers undertaking this training will hold a current RoSPA Gold certificate. You will not be riding in one large group. Where possible you will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your partner is being observed. Every effort will be made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your partner, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. The routes, approx. 200 miles, will cover a variety of roads and include several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details will be sent by email or post a few days before the event. Events this year:

Joining Fee

2nd April, 2017

28th May, 2017


30th July, 2017

22nd October, 2017

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: Tel : 0208 360 8590

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Further Training for Full Members You will be assigned to an Observer and rides will be arranged on a one to one basis when mutually convenient. Although not mandatory, unlike FMT, the training will be structured as preparation for a further test such as RoSPA. To apply to join this scheme: Apply to the Membership Secretary either at membership renewal or during the season. You will be asked to pay an additional Membership Fee (details below). Your Application will be passed to the Observer Co-ordinator who will assign you to the first available Observer. Where feasible, geographical location will be considered. You will be expected to pay the Observer a contribution (details below) towards fuel costs. Participation must be renewed annually.

Name: Address:

Post Code:



Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:


FTFM - 2017 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett

Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Chris Johnson, Editor University of Essex Printing Services, contact Hannah 01206 872822 for more information. Please mention EAMG when replying to advertisers - it identifies you! Affiliated to the British Motorcyclists Federation Registered Charity Number 1107703

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice: The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with a view that free expression promotes discussion and interest. Any spelling or grammatical errors are the responsibility of the editor .. Inclusion of adverts is not to be construed as EAMG endorsement, although most advertisers are excellent, but seek personal recommendations.Text Š EAMG 2017 Illustrations Š EAMG 2017, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.


Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd, Registered Office, St Laurence House, 2 Gridiron Place, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2BE Registered in England & Wales, Registration No. 5258261

@EssexAdvMCgroup @EAMG.ORG.UK


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Tug web apr 2017  

EAMG bi-monthly magazine for April 2017