Tug web aug 2017

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

August 2017

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, There should be a law forbidding Group Night on the 1st of the month. It meant that the print deadline for TUG sneaked up unexpectedly on me and I had to miss the BBQ and Richard’s ride in consequence to get the confounded thing done. I am not a happy bunny. I was not the only one caught out, as you will see when you read the Chairman’s Piece! I should also have replaced the old EAMG logo in the page headers by the new one, but Microsoft Publisher and I are going to have to take our relationship to a whole new level before I can manage that. The article reserves for TUG are pretty much empty now, so more copy would be very gratefully received. The final copy date for the next TUG is 22nd September 2017, but if you leave it until then you will kill the weekend for me. Chris


Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


New Members


Membership Info


Observer Coordinator


Stem Tug Brent 6


Yellow Welly Ride


A Step Off-Road


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Off-Road (continued)


Long Road Out of Eden 32

Events Report


BBQ Pictures


Observer Profile


Further Training


What’s happening next?

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, 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 August 2017 At the time of going to press Jill was on holiday ‘somewhere on the Med’ with very poor communication possibilities. Unfortunately she too had been caught out by the earlier-than-usual copy date and failed to file a piece before leaving. What follows is the Editor’s idea of what it might have looked like The last two months have been full ones. We have had the Slow Riding Day, courtesy of Ford, at Dunton. Nearly 30 attended, performed useful manoeuvring and braking exercises, and the coveted snail trophy for the slowest rider was won by Alec Coleman. EAMG had a promotional stand at the Maldon Motor Show on 2nd July. There has been the usual complement of social rides, including a ‘dual standard’ ride out to the Adventure Bike Training School at Syderstone, with Richard Parker leading the Full members, and Phil Jones leading an open ride. Apart from that Richard had a Full Member ride out to Beccles, Mick Hewitt led open rides to Maldon, for the show, and Royston, and Bob Cowl ran a mid-week outing which was re-routed from Diss to a loop to the Blue Egg because of the weather. At Group Nights we had a talk by Kevin Davis on long trips. He was reassuring and practical about what was involved, although some of his trips seemed to have been alarmingly ambitious. We also had the ever-popular Rapid Training Team, with Gary Baldwin presenting a mixture of clips of entertaining mishaps and horrifying accidents. It was a very real reminder of why we try to ride safely, and what can happen if we do not.. There has been much discussion over the last few months about updating the


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EAMG logo so that it indicated more immediately that we were a motorcycling group. Everyone had a different idea about what a new one should look like and many dozen different designs were proposed. Eventually the choice was reduced to the current logo and two derivations of it. Members were balloted at Group night on 6th June and a very clear winner emerged. Our new EAMG logo appears below. I sincerely hope that during the summer we can all enjoy our bikes whilst holding to a good advanced riding standard.

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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CONGRATULATIONS Recent Test Passes Simon Enticknap 27h June2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

Examiner: Mick Jones

Brian Rickerby 29th May 2017 RoSPA Silver

Observer: Geoff Preston Examiner: Mark Anderson

John Herring 8th July 2017 RoSPA Silver

Observer: Geoff Preston Examiner: Mark Anderson

======================================== Welcome to New Members! Associates: Rebecca Copeland, Paul Kuderovitch Keith Thompson Full: Narcis Micu

Stephen Devine Steven Marks Jason Wright Kevin Byford

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 The Group has continued to attract a good number of new members over recent months and I am aware that some individuals may not be fully aware of the range of training options that we offer, which are as follows: 1-to-1 Observed Rides One to one observed rides form the foundation 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. Associate Group Training (AGT) AGTs provide Associates with the opportunity to attend a short Roadcraft presentation followed by an observed ride with a different Observer 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. Longmeads House is proving to be a very good new venue for us and attendances have improved over last year - but there is still scope for a greater number of Associate members to attend. If you would like to attend but are only available for a couple of hours or so then just mention this when you arrive and your Observer will tailor a shorter route to suit you. The option of obtaining a hot drink is also usually available. Flexible Observed Rides Flexible Observed Rides provide Associates wishing to progress their training more quickly with the opportunity to arrange additional observed rides with


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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 please let me know when you will be available (e.g. weekends, weekdays or anytime) and I will 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 and has proven very popular with 19 Full members signed up so far this year. 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 use 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). Full Member Training (FMT) 'FMT' does sound remarkably similar to 'FTFM' but is actually quite different. John Tipper has been successfully organising full day FMT events for many years and I am not aware of any other 'advanced' groups that offer a comparable training opportunity. The next step on from a FMT would be something like a day out with a commercial organisation such as Rapid Training. 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

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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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. There is now just one date remaining this year - on 22nd October. If you are interested you will find additional details elsewhere in this issue of TUG. Slow Riding Day (SRD) We run SRDs for the benefit of all members twice a year and charge a modest entry fee of ÂŁ5. June's SRD was very successful with 14 members signed up for the day and a really good turnout of 12 Observers providing the training. This allowed a wide range of activities to be offered with, for example, John Tipper providing a counter steering masterclass and Phil Jones setting a challenging 'Hendon-type' course to manoeuvre. The slowest rider race was hotly contested by 11 riders over 3 heats and the final. The much coveted 'snail' Tshirt was deservedly won by Alec Coleman who posted the slowest times in the heats (48.47s) and final (47.92s). Stuart Gray was on hand to record the event and a good selection of his pictures can be found on EAMG's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EAMG.ORG.UK/ Our next Slow Riding Day will be held @ 10:00 on Sunday, 17th September - so please remember to pencil this date in to your diaries and let me know if you wish to attend. We anticipate using the Special Surfaces Area at the Ford Dunton site, due to a local IAM car group also being booked for that day (if you should find yourself in amongst the 4 wheelers you are in the wrong place!).


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Expect The Unexpected Last year I was preparing a lapsed RoSPA Gold driver for a retest with a local car group and was shocked to find that she did not know how many phases there were in 'The System'. I guess the moral of this story is that all Observers should never make assumptions about the level of knowledge that trainees have and also that anyone preparing for a test - or who thinks that their knowledge could do with a refresher - should ensure they take a look at Roadcraft and the Highway Code. It would be very unfortunate for a situation to arise where an individual has put a lot of effort into improving their skills only to find they are awarded a lower grade on test because their 'theory' knowledge is below par. Copdock Show - Sunday, 1st October EAMG's promotional stand will be at the Copdock Show, Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8UH, so please drop in for a chat if you are visiting the show. The show features a wide range of attractions including many dealers, classic bikes, an auto jumble, stunt riding etc., and is well worth visiting. If you are available to assist on our stand please let a member of the Committee know.

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

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Steam Tug Brent 6 TID No 159 one of 182 tugs constructed of the same design between1942-46

Tony Seaman During May I took a trip to Mistley to try and find the slipway the Brent had slipped her mooring and sailed into Ron and Janet’s life all those years ago. The following day I was down on the tug helping Paul with the removal of more equipment from the engine room and storing it ashore. Later I was tasked with paint removal duties to get her ready to receive visitors on board over the following days as Maldon was host to a steam fair that normally attracts a lot of people and so it proved to be, with all (6) of us being keep busy all day Sunday and even busier on Monday during which we had 330 people on board, with the majority wanting to climb down into the engine and boiler rooms where Mark spent most of the day explaining how things worked. We ended up raising £300 towards the restoration as well as many wishes on good luck to the success of the project. I knew my cricket umpiring run counter had other uses. June has arrived and we were down on the tug again Most if not all of the nonstandard equipment has by now been removed. Mark is painting the inside of the fore cabin with Janet busy about the tug as well. In the meanwhile I worked on removing the rubber gasket from under the heavy metal access cover of the boiler water storage tank at the stern that Tony K had managed to release the previous Wednesday. By now we had obtained a stud extractor but despite our best efforts the remaining sheared bolts refused to budge so they are now soaking in releasing oil and we will make another attempt at a later date. It was interesting to note that the washers under the bolt heads appear to be of a fibre construction, possibly to stop salt water from entering the tank that normally contains potable water (Tap water). With the cover now of, the tank venting can


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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start. The access cover to the chain locker in the bow has also removed for the same purpose. A while ago James made an imitation funnel that is used as an on shore donation collection box while work is in progress, this is proving to be very useful with the only problem to date is at times it is forgotten to be put ashore while work is in progress. 6th June we had a team brief on the tug at which I was asked to make a sample air vent and later I removed the Portside navigation light box that is now at home ready for me to work on over the winter months. James has opened up the sealed access hatch to the fore cabin this has allowed Tony K to close of the existing access in the galley and lay a wooden floor, this area will now being used as the tool store. The existing stairs are away being modified to fit the new access arrangement. There is a portable electrical generator on board but this requires a service to get it running properly and is therefore a job for another time. In the meanwhile Tony K has made temporary repairs to the wooden slats at the stern that covers the steering gear. We have a resident cat on board that vacates as we start work only to return at the end of the day. Her living quarter is under the slats in a cosy but not waterproof cathouse and it has been decided to have a more permanent one constructed before the winter arrives. Paul has been inside the boiler to clean out as much of the loose rust as possible in readiness for an inspection. Rather him than me as there is very little room in there between the tubes and the heater units. He has also been cleaning out the bilges in the same area. While all this is going along Janet is working like a beaver in the background


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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attending to all the admin, promotions and organisation etc. as well as working on board doing various fitting out / painting work. It has now been decided that the only way to remove the broken studs to the tank cover is to drill out the old bolts and re-tap the holes. The hinges on several of the access hatches to the engine room require replacing as they are rusted through. These will have to be cut out and replaced with new ones and welded in place. As each item or component is renewed it has been agreed that a sketch or drawing produced for the records if possible. Janet already has a great deal of technical information and the above together with the photos that are being taken during the restoration will help to fill in some of the gaps and added to the file / history of the tug. 15th June I only got half a day on the tug today due to the wet weather but even then the power kept tripping out so very little work was achieved as well as proving a bit frustrating. The power to the tug has a 16amp MCB at the on shore supply end. Paul has gradually worked through the system checking and cleaning various contacts and sockets etc. this has greatly improved the reliability of the on board circuits. The following day I met up with some of the biking lads in Epping and then rode with them to Canvey Island for a cuppa and home again. 20th June it was a general work day on the tug and I managed to do some welding

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and the power supply holding up so Paul’s efforts on the electrics has proved to be a good move. The following day I headed for Halsted on the bike to watch the Australian over 60 play England at cricket as a member of my cricket club was playing. England won. 23rd June I was due for another assessment ride with Graham but his wife was taken ill so he was not able to come, as I was already out I headed up country to spend the day with my daughter who has recently moved to live near Harleston. The following day I was down at the tug again and by the day’s end felt as if I had made some progress. Ray who has recently joined the work party has supplied a set of 23 UNC bolts/washers and a tap with me just happening to have the correct size tapping drill. But it is going to be hard work as the combined deck and flange plate is 19mm thick. A drilling guide has been made that hopefully will help get the pilot hole in the centre of the bolt once the old one have been ground flush with the flange plate. Time will only tell? For those who may be interested a BSW (British Standard Whitworth 1841) and UNC (USA-Unified National Course 1864) bolts are identical in diameter and thread pitch with the only difference being in the angle of the thread form with former at 55degrees and the latter being 60degrees, the heads of a UNC bolt/nut being slightly smaller. It make me wonder if the Americans used the British Standard as a starting point but then changed it to become an American standard. More next time.


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The Yellow Welly RNLI ride Spring Bank Holiday Monday

Andy Hems The RNLI had asked the EAMG if we could help out on their Yellow Welly fundraising event in which a pair of Yellow Wellys visit as many RNLI stations as possible, their journey started from Portishead and finished their journey at Harwich after visiting 65 lifeboat stations, and our job as the EAMG was to collect the pair of Life boat Wellys on Bank Holiday Monday from Southend Pier and transport them to Burnham Lifeboat station, 15 bikes turned up to carry out the task. This picture is of the Southend Life boat Crew handing over the pair of Yellow Wellys to a group of extremely skilled (with the exception of Clive Taylor) EAMG riders who were promoting motorcycle excellence in Essex (myself of course being leader of the pack). As it was bank holiday Monday I thought that we would be having the traditional fights with the Mods and Rockers and therefore went prepared with 16 knuckle dusters and 5 base ball bats neatly packed into Jim Moore's panniers only to find that the armed police on the sea front had already scared them off and therefore, saving us the trouble. Upon arrival to Southend we were welcomed by Linda Cook, members of the EAMG will remember that Linda came along to one of our group nights last year to talk about what the RNLI did around our coast line. The Southend Lifeboat crew welcomed us by supplying unexpected Tea and cakes, I think that Phil Jones words

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were, "oh well, the diet can start tomorrow and have you got a doggie bag so that I can eat any cakes that are left over when I get home". After securing the Wellys onto Jims top box we all made our way to Burnham on crouch to deliver the cargo. We were welcomed by Walter Jenkins and a big cheer by lifeboat crew, volunteers and a Labrador named Gino.

Following an official handover of the Wellys to the lifeboat team we rode not rowed round to the Star pub in Burnham where we were kindly offered chicken wings and chips for helping the RNLI. Thanks to all those who turned up for the ride and thanks to the RNLI for being Welcoming hosts, both at Southend and Burnham.


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A Step Off-Road Steve Enright Never having ridden off road (well not since owning a Honda MTX 125 and hooning around the derelict lead mine at Conlig in County Down) I decided that I needed to tick the box and find out what was involved. After all we had a UK Paris Dakar winner this year and the ‘big traillie’ market in the UK is massive so people must be onto something, right? A bit of research lead me to Adventure Bike Training and Kevin Hammond in Norfolk. Kevin is a legend in as he was part of the UK team that won the BMW Global Challenge in South Africa in 2010 and as well as running his own training he works with Globe Busters on their regular worldwide trips. The training packages are varied and personalised and he limits number to 4 students so that everyone gets the right attention. I was there for some 1 to 1, to save any public humiliation. Arriving at Kevin’s training centre I found myself in large yard with plenty of room for practice and the driveway from the road leads past his ‘playground’ of purpose built challenges which tends to catch the attention. The welcome was warm and friendly and Kevin soon extracts your riding experience and puts you at ease, fitting you up to one of his range of off road machines. I got the BMW RG800, the air cooled, cable throttle version that he had recently brought back from an epic trip across Australia. Kevin was going to have to start with the basics and work from there. First exercise, learn how to hold it up to wheel it around with confidence. No paddling from the saddle allowed. Then how to lift it onto the centre stand, which apparently some people never do as their bikes are ‘too heavy’, its all in the technique. Next challenge, pick it up off the floor. Now I have missing and ruptured discs in my back, a previously broken left elbow and right ankle and a doctor’s note forbidding any physical effort. Its easy to lift a bike when you are shown how and I got plenty of practice later…..so if I can anyone can. Ok, some riding. Looping around the yard on a mixed surface of gravel, loose stone covered concrete and dusty hard packed earth whilst standing on the pegs wasn’t too bad, passing between nicely spaced cone ‘gates’. Two fingers on the clutch and two on the front brake. Then taking one leg off the pegs at a

(Continued on Page 30)

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 28th 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1702) 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 9th

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





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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16th 23rd 30th

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

1st 6th 20th 20th 27th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) 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

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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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(Continued from page 23)

time to feel the counter weight on the bars to see how weight transfer could be controlled. Then one hand off the ‘bars at a time. This wasn’t too hard. Next the cone slaloms were repeated and repeated to get the weight transfer and the de clutch timing sorted to help the bike turn, then the U turn similar to our slow riding exercise at Dunton. All ok so far so we headed out for a short ride to some local green lanes. Back for a lovely lasagne and salad lunch and coffee, the catering is done my Mrs Hammond to a very high standard and the snacks and drinks bottomless. They tell some great biking tales over the grub too. Next challenge, ride over railway sleepers set at 90 degrees to your direction of travel with just a bikes length between them. My mechanical sympathy was tested here. Its not my bike but I don’t like to hurt it! De clutch as you arrive at the sleeper and get the front wheel over it then engage the gear to drive the rear over, all in the timing. I only dropped it once… Then the car tyres pathway. Car tyres laid flat and part filled with gravel, it makes the ‘bars flap around a bit but by using your weight on the pegs to keep the bike straight ‘ish’ and keeping momentum its fun! Then back out for some more green lanes, this time faster with deeper ruts and hollows. I had booked B&B at a local pub which saw the evening pass quietly. The second day started with 20 minutes of warming up in the yard with the opportunity to play on the exercises we’d done on day one. Then a ride out again this time to learn about crossing flowing water hazards. Kevin recounted how someone on a very recent ride in Patagonia had broken all the rules, and lost their bike and narrowly avoided drowning. Norfolk’s streams are not so bad but the lessons are the same. I stayed dry. Then some ‘momentum’ training. Now imagine riding up a short steep slope and riding over the top in blind ignorance of what lies beyond, not something you’d want to do. The trick is to arrive with both wheels over the crest as your momentum brings you to a halt, you can then stop or carry on depending on what you find in front of you. Of course if you don’t carry enough momentum you’re not going to enjoy the fall back down the slope. Keeping the clutch control is one thing and your body perpendicular to the level ground so you don’t pull the bike back over on top of you are key. Great fun, enjoyed that and the descending and the tight u turns at the top of the ‘mound’. Back to the yard. Deep gravel and sand……its all about clutch, pressure on the bars and weight transfer apparently. I made it through each section eventually but the falling off was into double figures and picking the bike up is knackering. Imagine doing this with luggage in the middle of nowhere!


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You do get additional points for keeping the clutch pulled in whilst lying face down in the sand though. Lunch! Excellent. Bit more green lanes and now they are narrow and slippery by my ‘Road’ standards. Still upright and having fun though. Then the ‘playground’. This area is laid out with a range of challenges to test you. Kevin will know which ones you may be good enough to try. Now I was knackered by this point so after falling off going through the ‘greenhouse’ three times it was the wise thing to stop and reflect. First of all Kevin is a god on a motorcycle and a great teacher, layering the learning approach step by step as you demonstrate your incompetence. I never once felt under pressure and he is patience and good humour personified. If you listen he will help. Next, the welcome and hospitality and thoughtfulness of the ‘Hammonds’ is lovely, they are truly nice folks. Thirdly, its not your bike so its ok and its meant to make that noise, honestly. Fourth, it’s the best fun and worth the effort and cost. Fifth it really does wake you up to some stuff you may not have known, forgotten or need to practice about your riding and it may convert you to this ‘Off Road’ malarkey but that not the point really. Sixth, aren’t those saddles high and what were BMW thinking with that switch gear layout? Lastly, the VFR has never felt so comfortable!

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Long Road out of Eden (The second part of a USA trip 16-24th May 2016)

David Tymm [Editor: In the previous instalment David had made his way to San Francisco from Los Angeles]

The romantic desolation of Baker Beach, just south of San Francisco, is for many The Start of The Pacific Coast Highway road trip to Los Angeles. However, as it’s really only south of Carmel that it starts to meet expectations, my advice would be to cut through the hills south of San Francisco on Routes 35 and 9 to Santa Cruz before taking the fastest route towards Carmel. The Famous ‘Seventeen Mile Drive’ around the Monterrey peninsula is a toll road with spectacular views. Or so I’m told… If you want to know what it’s like, you’ll need to ask someone else as motorcycles are banned unless you happen to be Clint Eastwood, a local resident to whom this exclusion does not apply. Failing this test, we spend an hour our two in the Great Man’s pub, the Hogsbreath Inn, in Carmel itself. Undeniably pretty, the town is a good stopover and conveniently sited for the next leg to Santa Barbara.

Back on Route 1, this 120 miles of Route 1 is what I imagined it would be like when I read an account of it in Superbike nearly forty years ago. Built as a work-creation project in the 1930’s, it was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal to rebuild the economy following the banking crisis and the Great Depression. For a long time, it was considered a bit of a white elephant as the freeway or cheap flights make more sense to travel from LA to San Francisco. Clinging to the coastline where big chunks of California have fallen into the sea, it’s one beautiful ar t-deco bridge or vertiginous drop after another and a timely reminder of what only governments can and should do. Grand projects need state sponsorship for the simple reasons that usually, it’s only governments can afford them, they make the world a better place and get people back to work when times are hard. By contrast, mealy-mouthed ‘Quantitive Easing’ in response to the last financial


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meltdown has yielded no such lasting monuments. Nor is it likely to as the funds seem to have found their way into the balance sheets of the banks but not lent out again. Strange as I thought that was the intention and the justification for taxpayers propping up these Masters of the Universe. Again. Santa Barbara divides visitors with many finding it irritatingly, smug, squeaky-clean and vacuous. There being no limits to the depths of our superficiality, we absolutely loved it. The long shadows cast by palms over the beach followed by a stroll to the end of the pier for fresh seafood and chilled Chardonnay as the sun sets might be cliched but cliches, like stereotypes, exist for a reason. Yet more craft beers and chat with some locals in ‘Sandbar’ in the town followed by an illadvised attempt by me at Ryan Adams’ ‘Lucky Now’ in the local karaoke bar rounds off memorable last night before returning to Los Angeles. So what of the Harley, electrical malfunctions not withstanding? I first rode one in 2001 when I was a year back to riding motorcycles and still wobbling about unsteadily on a either Ducati 748 or K1200RS. By contrast, I loved the Harley with it’s low centre of gravity, the tolerance of the engine to fluffed or missed gear changes and the relaxed riding position. In 2007, I did I very similar trip to this with my son on the back and the lack of power, minimal ground clearance and lack of creature comforts compared to the K1200S I had at the time were marked and beginning to grate but still tolerable. In 2016, my point of reference is a K1600GT and while I know these are all totally unfair comparisons, they are ones that do need to be made. In fifteen years, BMW’s are unrecognisable from what they were in 2001 but the Harley remains exactly the same. Some of you will be frothing: “That’s the whole bloody point!” and I do get this. But I think the gap in capability is now a void and the deficiencies so manifest that the appeal of the Hog is now reduced to being purely ornamental. Characteristics that were once a contrast and point of affection are now just an irritation, particularly on a holiday where the destinations are as important as the roads. Principally,

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they are just too slow to cover any serious distance. The running boards touch down on even the most modest bends causing the thing to try and go straight on, usually into either rock on one side or incoming traffic on the other. The much vaunted torque is definitely all there but delivered in unhelpful great lumps and it’s all out of puff at 3000 RPM. There is no accessory socket so your GPS is out of juice by lunchtime and the load carrying capacity is so limited it needs supplementing with soft, insecure luggage meaning you can’t let the thing out of sight. In places like Yosemite, this is a real problem as to come this far and not be able to leave the bike and go for a good wander is a wasted opportunity. So it’s an RT for me next time. And there will be a next time, and probably a next time after that.

The southern sections of Route 1 are mostly freeway or otherwise unremarkable so we head for the hills on Routes 150 and 126, dropping back down onto Mulholland Drive as we approach LA. The various canyons of Benedict, Coldwater and Laurel - familiar names but I don’t know why - slip past. Last stop is the Griffith Park observatory, high in the Hollywood Hills. It’s where you get ‘that’ view of the Hollywood sign and the best aspect of Los Angeles. High above what is otherwise an architecturally unremarkable city, the boulevards and freeways stretch out in all directions as far as the eye can see. Later, ‘Driving west on Sunset to the sea’ past the moneyed, gated communities of Bel Air and Holmby Hills, brings into sharp relief the remainder of that Steely Dan ode to the West Coast lifestyle and a realisation that after twelve years of riding holidays in Europe, I’ve really, really missed this place:


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Events Report Chris Johnson This is going to be a rather short report, since I managed to miss just about everything during the last two months; the Slow Riding day, the Maldon Motor Show, both AGT's, Bob's midweek ride. the BBQ, and Richard's ride to Beccles.

The first ride I actually turned up for was Mick and Alan's Relaxed Ride to the Royston Garden Centre on 18th June. It was a most successful ride. There were fourteen bikes and temperatures around 30 degrees. I had anticipated the weather by wearing my lightweight jacket for the first time since the USA trip in 2010, and very welcome it was, even though it is horribly short of pockets. The route out to Royston was good, but please do not press me for details since I have comprehensively forgotten them. We arrived at the Garden Centre at 11:20, which meant we could get in breakfast orders before the 11;30 guillotine (after that you have to wait until midday before you can order lunch. I confess to a certain satisfaction when some visitors who arrived shortly after we did were Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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grumbling about being caught out that way, as we were on Mick's previous visit). Joe had a massive presence, since he was riding his Indian (a bike which makes a Goldwing look like a moped). Mick kept a tight control over the ride and nobody got lost. The only problem was his own bike, which seemed to get periodic heat-induced fuel vapour locks. The only machine I ever had which suffered from these was a 1955 Morris Minor! We ended the ride at the 'Channels' McDonalds shortly after 14:00 for cooling drinks. Alan acted as sweeper. On 25th June it looked as if we would be spoiled for choice for rides. Phil Jones was organising a ride to visit Adventure Bike Training in Syderstone (Steve Enright has written about his visit there earlier in this issue of TUG) and Richard had announced a Full Member Ride. The troops became petulant because they wanted to attend both, so Richard switched his destination to Syderstone, and everyone was happy. Phil led an open ride from the Miami Tesco, and Richard led a Full Member equivalent from the usual Springfield Sainsbury store. It was a beautiful day, and I think the combined ride total was 28 bikes. The day was complicated for me by the fact that I had to be back home in Sydenham, showered and changed, to leave for An Important Engagement at 18:00, which meant that I would not have time to post the mini-report on the BBS. This means I remember even less detail about the ride than usual. I do recall stuffing my face with Chicken McNuggets at a McD's near, I think, Bury St Edmunds, on the grounds that there would be no lunch at Syderstone and I was unlikely to get anything substantial to eat until late evening. Apart from that it is all a bit of a blur, but it was an enjoyable, incident-free, route out. Once we reached the training centre we were welcomed regally with a bounteous supply of home-made cakes, Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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biscuits and squash, and had their work explained to us. We then had games like lifting a fallen GS (John Tullett and Jill acquitted themselves nobly here) and plugging a punctured tyre. Nobody tried the puncture repair, presumably because we felt we had far too much practice doing that already. It was good fun, and I regretted having to slope off early to make my lonely way back home. Richard said that he planned a quick route back through Fakenham, Brandon and Barton Mills, and so that was what I did, and then used the A11 as a boring, but quick, way back to London. I would guess that Richard returned to Cheltenham via Clare, but I have no information about that and no news is good news.

And that, I am afraid, is it for this report. Richard has posted intriguing hints that the venue at Beccles on his most recent ride would have exercised even my vitriolic pen, so I am doubly sad to have missed it.


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BBQ Pictures (mostly taken by Paula)

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Observer profile Name: John Tipper When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? From my first ride, I loved the feeling of accelerating out of corners on two wheels and enjoyed my first motorised two wheeler (see below) so much I wanted to progress; more power and better handling. How old were you when you first rode a bike? Fifteen, off the road at first. What was the bike and what were the circumstances? A Kieft scooter handed down from my father. It had a 200cc two-stroke engine fitted with a ‘dynastart’, a dynamo/starter device; the same engine that was fitted to the Messerschmitt bubble cars. It was light green and cream; not my colours at all so I re-sprayed it black. Of the bikes you’ve owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? I loved my 1954 Velocette 350 Mac. It was down on power when compared with my mates’ bikes; a Velocette Venom 500, Vincent Norton (featherbed), BSA Road Rocket, BSA 500 Goldie and Meriden Triumph Bonneville. I could keep up most of the time but was in awe of these bikes, as I could never afford one. We frequented the Ally Pally and Busy Bee, Watford. My first of four ZZRs was awesome but I’ve loved every Kawasaki ZX9 I owned. My current KTM Super Duke GT tops the lot. It’s certainly the most expensive but you only live once. If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? I’ve got it right now. What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget? Our comms; bike to bike radio, Autocom and Sat Nav. Audrey can keep telling me I’ve left my trafficator running! Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? Any scenic area free of traffic; locally, the Cotswolds; further afield, Wales and Highlands of Scotland. And, overseas? There are so many great places to ride overseas: Cote d’Or, Route of Grand Alps, Route Napoleon, Pyrenees in France, Schwarzwald and Bavaria in Germany and Dolomites in


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Italy. Audrey and I hope to go to Norway next year. If you were offered the opportunity to go on an extended bike tour, who, family members aside, would you choose as a riding companion? Audrey and I have ridden thousands of miles with Dave White but family and work commitments prevent him from getting to the Group so often these days. I rode 11 countries in 7 days with Kevin Davis and Kubus, a South African friend, last year. Nasher, Audrey and I rode 3,000 miles riding a three-week circumnavigation of Germany, also last year. We had some great times. I enjoy riding with most who know what they are doing. You can soon tell if they don’t. How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? When you learn how to ride well, keep off the motorways and trunk roads, the freedom is exhilarating and you’ll enjoy the ambiance of the countryside but watch out for cyclists! When do you intend to give up riding? No plans to give up at the moment but I’ll know when is the right time. Describe your scariest moment on your bike! Confession time! Going to a trackday at Cadwell Park on my ZX9 B1. I’d had a great ride to Sleaford where I stopped overnight in a Travel Lodge. Up early the next morning, just refuelled, when I noticed a couple of bikes going up the A17 so I thought they were also going to Cadwell Park. They were well ahead of me but I noticed them turning off. Can’t be, I thought, my turning is not for a couple of miles. At that time in the morning, the A17 dual carriageway was pretty much deserted so I was making some progress with not a care in the world. I was on the junction when I realised this was my turning so I took the slip road, never thinking it might not be within a reasonable stopping distance of a roundabout. I was facing a 90 degree left-hander, oh s**t, and hit the brakes. If anyone tells you an emergency stop is a calm, gradual increase in brake pressure, it isn’t. My back wheel was in the air; I lost the front when hitting the offside kerb and found myself sliding across a small triangle of grass coming to rest on the slip road back towards the A17. I distinctly remember thinking how can this grass be so wet, it’s summer, must be morning dew! I came to rest within 2 meters of the Armco barrier. Walking back to pick up the bits of ZX9 scattered everywhere, the gouge in the grass had missed the road sign by about a meter. This was truly my lucky day. Needless to say, I never reached Cadwell Park.

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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 £45.00

22nd October, 2017

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: jtipper@eamg.org.uk 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!

http://www.eamg.org.uk 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.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982