TUG Web August 2019

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

August 2019

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, There is less variety in this issue. We continue Tony Seaman’s epic travel saga. Eddie Friggens has written about a mid-week ride, and I have generated some padding with a member profile (you should submit one of those—the skeleton form should be on the website). This thinly disguises the fact that the TUG coffers are empty. I can probably recycle old articles for a couple of issues but after that it will either be a ‘skinny’ TUG or no TUG at all! We need submissions from members to keep TUG alive and interesting. I know that all TUG editors reach this stage, and I have been lucky to survive three years until it arrived, but the normal response is to resign and I am loth to do this. Please send me some copy if you want everyone to continue to enjoy the magazine.

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


Tour 2005


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Events Report


Mid-Week Ride


Member Profile


Further Training



Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk) 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 2019 Well I don’t know if you’ve noticed but newbie table on group night seems to be busy all the time now. That’s mainly down to spreading the word and actively having a presence at local shows and dealers. I was reminded recently that we are a charity and our aim is to promote motorcycling excellence, we are definitely succeeding there. To improve the quality of our presence the committee agreed we should treat ourselves to a new tablecloth…

The observers are almost at capacity for training and it would be great if we could recruit a few more. If you are interested and hold ROSPA gold (or think with a bit of help you could) speak to any of the observers or me and we’ll book you an assessment. This would give you an idea of what’s involved and whether you think you would enjoy it. I became an observer in 2011 and find it very interesting and rewarding. We’ve continued to promote ourselves through Cannons and organised a social ride for them in June. I’m sure Mick won’t mind me saying that the


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ride didn’t quite go to plan. Starting with 40+ riders he arrived back with about half of them. Everyone nodded eagerly when asked if they understood the marker system…clearly they didn’t. The Lakeside Chapter of Harley Davidson has asked us to give a short presentation on the training we offer. September Group night I’m hoping to see more Harley’s than normal outside the hall. It is great the diversity of bike owners we attract all with one passion. If you’re out on your bike in this heat make sure you have water with you and maybe an umbrella. I’m not worried if you get wet but if you break down it’s good to have some shade to sit under while you wait for help. I hope you’ve all had a chance to get away somewhere. I’ve been very lucky having already been on an 11 night tour to Austria, a long weekend in Wales, and a trip to Luxemburg to look forward to. Photos are me at the Grossglockner pass…

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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All EAMG members are affiliated BMF members and as such can claim discounts. CLB19FJH


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John Tullett

4th June 2019 IAM Masters Examiner: Pete Doherty

Chris Lacey 13th July 2019 RoSPA Gold Observer: Mick Hewitt Examiner: Mick Jones

Colin Digby 9th June 2019 EAMG Observer Senior Observer: Mick Hewitt Assessor: Chris Reed

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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.

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. The membership appears to dip in the first quarter because renewals have not all been made promptly!

Membership Fees for 2019 

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) This is in addition to the Full Member Fee
















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Associate Members: Terry Hale John Carter Timothy Peters John Kerry Chris Rose

Trevor Greenway Stephanie Summana Jimmy Mills Magali Ellis Poorav Chheda

The editor has viewing access to the membership database and hopes he has not missed too many people this time., or got their names too badly wrong. Sometimes it was not clear (to my old eyes) if a new member joined as a full member. Please accept my apologies if any of the above have the wrong status,

We wish you all heartily welcome to the Group, and hope that you can take full advantage of the wide range of training and social events which we offer, We all aim to be, not just better riders, but happy better riders!


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Tour 2005 (continued from the June TUG) Tony Seaman ONE MAN AND HIS BIKE WENT FOR A RIDE Saturday 3 September, I was looking for war d to a relaxing day but as the weather was good the climb that was aborted last evening was on again. It was one of those climbs with a steel cable anchored to the rock face by pins, it took over an hour to walk and climb to the start of the cable and another hour to complete the cable leg which in parts had you acting like a spider on a wall but without any suckers on your hands or feet, the only concession was that we had changed into climbing shoes, harness and a safety strap for clipping to the cable. It was hard in places but very satisfying to complete, having rested we walked back down again. Another meal was awaiting us upon our arrival at home, with my clean cloths fully ironed ready for packing. The evening was a quiet affair during which I packed ready for the off in the morning. Sunday 4 September, I was up and at 9 am after saying far ewell to my fr iends I took my leave with mixed feelings after having had such a lovely time, I felt that I should really be heading west and home and not south as planned. I made good progress as a large part of my route to the Slovenian border is now A class roads to M/way standards and what a pleasure to ride on after the poor quality road surfaces back in England. Having passed through Klagenfurt I headed for the Loibl tunnel and the border just beyond arriving at 13-05 hrs, It was as I hit the A2 and turned west towards lake Bled that I came into contact with my first traffic jam but that was soon dispatched in true English fashion stopping for a bite to eat on the banks of the lake at 13-45hrs. Having heard so much about this lake from other people it proved to be a bit of a disappointment as it was just too touristy for this type of trip. For the remainder of the day I was to ride tight narrow twisty mountain back roads, along sides of valleys of beautiful wooded landscape, uphill and down dale passing by several small hydro electric dams before turning south at Most na Socl to ran along inside the border to the crossing into Italy at Novia Gori,


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stopping for the night at a hotel in Graisca ‘D’ Isonzo at 5.40pm. (279m)

Slovenian Border

Lake Bled


The countryside The hotel was in pleasant setting near the town center, with my room being on the first floor over looking the square and was typically Italian with slatted wooden window shutters and gained by climbing polished stone stairs with iron ornate balustrades and appropriate styled furniture on the landing with the room being well appointed. After cleaning up I took a short walk around the town before returning to have a very pleasant meal accompanied by what was to become my daily tipple of a half litre of wine whilst sitting outside in the warm evening air and watching the world go by. Even if that did include the local beggar conning money out of other diners and another couple of men who were out enjoying themselves only to be joined by someone who I took to be an acquaintance who was very drunk and refused to leave them alone, I retired to my room at 9.30pm. Monday 5 September. 8.40am and it was alr eady rather war m with my r iding gear not helping the situation, after filling with fuel and oil I headed out of town on a minor road that ran parallel with auto-route A4 (E55). At Monfalcone I turned off and headed for Grado which is an island joined to the mainland by two causeways, this was to prove to be the best part of the days ride, where I stopped and lingered a while. Having rejoined the main route again I continued on my way via Portogruaro, San Stino diLivenza, Mestre and ended up going to the end of a causeway to

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Venice, which comprised of a four lane road plus a railway line and not particularly scenic that ended with a bus terminal and docks so I did not stop as there was no obvious place to park, but I still managed to take a couple of photos. After getting back to the mainland I continued on my way. The ride today was not a very pleasant one as the road was full of lorry groups traveling at speed over some of the worst road surfacing that I was to experience during the whole of the holiday, there were little or no road markings with the last surface dressing being laid in and out of holes with no attempt to infill them first, so you crashed into a hole without realizing it. It was not until after Rimini that the heavies started to fall away. I stopped for the day in Marcotta at the Ambassador hotel that was on the sea front, by which time I was nearly melting in the heat.That evening I had a meal at the restaurant next door again sitting out in the evening air. I packed all my riding gear away as from now on I will be using my lightweight equipment that I had packed. From the number of German flags flying I would say that it was one of their favorite holiday spots. I retired for the night at 10.30pm (291m)

Tuesday 6 September. Depar ted 9.50am and r ode through almost continuous urban sprawl with the associated light traffic, it was slow going until 14.30hrs when I veered of the route into Ancona for a break and some sightseeing, this found me riding the old back streets up to the church overlooking the harbour and bay, with the harbour being a mix of commercial, military and cruise liners. The church I continued on my way along the coast road via Pescara stopping for the night at Termoli with the number of miles traveled today a bit of a surprise considering the slow going during the earlier part of the day. This part of the coastline is geared up for tourism and I am staying in the most expensive hotel to date, it was a typical big touristy hotel and unfinished. Later I walked to the original


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part of the town that was built on an outcrop of rock with the land ward side being walled and looked as if in a previous era it could have had a gated entrance and was in very fine condition with the thoroughfares only really suitable for walking. I found a fish restaurant and had a very nice meal with a bottle of wine while sitting in the evening air. Later I walked around more of the older part of town that by then had started to come alive in a non threatening sort of way, nothing seem to happen until after 8pm in this country, I retire at 11.15pm. (208m) Wednesday 7 September. It was 9.18am by the time I had taken photos of the old town and was on my way using the coast road turning of into the Promontories del Grano region and a scenic route along the coast line, at Lesbian I stopped briefly to purchase my day supply of fruit for nourishment during the day. It was 14.30hrs by the time I had taken a leisurely ride around the peninsular sightseeing and stopping for lunch near a lighthouse in Vista. At Man Fredonia as I left the peninsular I missed the coast road due to the area being heavily industrialized with a series of new roads and ended in Foggier before picking up the main road to Bartlett and the coast road The hills in the Man Fredonia area looked as if in earlier years had been cultivated but now lay barren. By how, I was putting some serious miles under the wheels by-passing Bare before stopping for the night in Poignant a Mare at 5.15pm. (258m) After having negotiated the streets in the old part of the town, I found the Hotel Risorante Grotto Palazzese that was situated right on the cliff edge over looking the sea. This was to prove to be a most interesting place with the hotel being first class and not over expensive. Having sorted myself out and the bike locked away for the night I took a stroll through the old streets that were narrow, resulting in the whole area being a single one-way traffic system. Finding myself up in the more modern part of the town with all the traffic bustling past there stood a group men passing the time of day in true Italian style.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Later I found a place to eat outside in the old town before returning to the hotel. As I climbed the stairs to my room I came upon a newly married couple doing the same, the bride was wearing a beautiful traditional dress and looked stunning, as they turned to enter the room that was opposite mine the scene would have made a beautiful photo, unfortunately I did not have my camera with me and the moment was gone. The coast line in this area is rocky and falls vertically into sea with a number of caverns within the rock face that have been formed over the centuries by the action of the sea with the original part of the town being built right up to the cliff edge. The hotel was built on top of one of these caverns (“grotto”) with the grotto being reached by a flight of stairs that lead to an open air restaurant within the cliff, with the sea to the front and the grotto at the rear, the sea entering via a second opening a short distance along the cliff face and it was there that the wedding reception had been held the previous evening. This grotto or cave is recorded as being used for ”Feudatory’s parties” as long ago as 700AD, with a painting in watercolour of a medieval scene of 1783 AD. Thursday 8 September, Pulling out at 9.30am I headed via the motor way for Br indisi and Lecce before turning north and rejoining the coast road at S. Cataldo for a leisurely ride, stopping to take photos of the coastline as I traveled with a welcome rest stop at Ortranto, then onto the Marina di Leuc (heel of Italy). Continuing along the coast road I arrived at Gallipoli in late afternoon only to find after some searching that all the hotels where full due to a regatta being held the following weekend.This was a bit of a blow after having spent up until then such a lovely relaxing day riding along the coast. There followed what can only be describe as a high speed chase across country to Tananto as during the day it had become apparent that the holiday season was now over in this part of the country with all the hotels and eating houses closed.

At Manduria I hit the town centre just as the local church was turning out after a funeral of what appeared to be a well known person as


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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the place was log jammed with people spilling out into the roadway, having managed to fight my way through the crowd and for a short distance followed the cortège that was in turn followed by a van carrying two large palm like fan arrangements on the side that waved in the wind, but I had no time to waste and passed on by.I arrived just as dusk was falling, there followed almost an hour before I found an apartment for the night in a gated complex that I had missed on the way in due to the poor light and a very dark blue illuminated sign. Having cleaned up I walked the outskirt of the town with light rain in the air, along the side of the main road that was not particularly safe, as it had no footway just a dirt verge. Finding the first suitable place I stopped for a hot meal with wine followed by an ice coffee, suitable refueled, I headed back to the apartment crashing out at 11.15pm. (242m) The air conditioning was very noisy so I turned it of during the night. I have to say that the ladies running the apartment block where very helpful with one of them speaking fairly good English. Friday 9 September, I woke up feeling tired, pulled out 9am into cloudy weather and an atmosphere that was not very pleasant due to the heavy industry and oil processing flare stack installations, after having crossed, joined and rejoined a number of M/ways I finally cleared Taranto and headed for Reggio. After last evening I was not in a sightseeing mood, not that there was much to see as the land was a mixture of light industry and arid looking landscape for large parts of the day with the road seldom being near the sea. There had been light rain for most of the morning. By 1300hrs the weather had turned warm and I stopped at Cariati for some fruit, having made purchase I entered the shop and was confronted with an amazing sight of such a large display of varied produce in such a small shop, it would put most supermarkets to shame. When I indicated that I would like to take a photo the owner was over the moon and insisted that I also took one of him standing outside the shop but not before he had tidied up the display, he then presented me with a signed picture card of himself and the shop. It is instances like this that really makes this type of holiday worthwhile.

I arrived at Reggio at 5pm booking into a hotel right on the promenade overlooking the sea.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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This hotel was to prove to be the only place of the entire holiday where I was unable to drink the tap water as it had a saline taste. That evening I took a stroll along the promenade from which one could look down on to the gardens and the sea below, it was while taking in the scenery that I spotted a couple of men practicing kick boxing. Later I had a very nice meal together with my usual carafe of wine while enjoying the evening air, a very pleasant way to end the day, retiring for the night at 10.30pm. (311m) Saturday 10 September, I took my leave and r ode to shor t distance up the coast to Villa S. Giovann To board the 10.30 ferry to Messina on the island of Sicilia, but that was only achieved after I had done a tour of the docks in Reggio looking for the ferry terminal. On arriving in Messina it was very hot so I headed down the East coast but got caught up in a one- way system full of traffic. I then attempted to get up onto the M/way that was higher up the hillside but kept coming up against the blank supporting walls of the M/way I did eventually find an access point and toll. I only rode to the first exit at Roccalumera before rejoining the coast road passing several towns, villages and bays on the way to just south of Taormina where I turned inland to climb up into the hills north of Mount Etna and headed for Linguaglossa and Ranndazzo The whole area, villages and land looked so grey and dirty with the soil where it had been ploughed a rich dark black colour. At Roccalumera I turned north to Capo d Orand rode up a real twisty mountain pass stopping near the top for some more photos as by now the air and atmosphere had become clearer. I rode the higher passes for some time and in places going through light cloud before starting the descent to coast on the north of the island at Capo d’ Orlando finding a hotel shortly after joining the coast road, It had been a pleasant day’s ride stopping for the night at 4.30pm (122m). The hotel was to prove to be the only one to have a swimming pool of the whole tour, after sorting myself out and cleaning up I went for a lovely swim. It has been years since I last swam in a pool and it brought back a few memories, growing at the side of the pool was a lemon tree full of fruit.


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The Hotel turned out to be a typical package holiday venue with a set no choice menu for dinner, I was in my room by 9pm and ready for bed when I heard the music start to liven up downstairs and at 1.45am I was woken up by a lot of loud talking somewhere nearby, I think that it was another wedding reception. Sunday 11 September, This mor ning, ser ved by a sleep-deprived girl, breakfast was of minimal content, but by asking for additional items I ended up getting what I wanted. Today I had a leisurely ride along the coast to Palermo and then a fast ride on bendy roads to Tranpani arriving there just before 5pm (188m). During the day I had stopped on a number of occasions to take photos and to purchase a present for my daughter “Suzanne� who was acting as my base control while I am on my travels. I then started to make some enquiries regarding getting a boat to Sardegna, the police where very helpful at this stage and escorted me to another part of the dock area where a ship was about to leave but I was too late with the booking office being by now closed for the day. I found a Hotel and settled down for the evening to think about my next move, as the next ferry to Sardegna was not until Tuesday in two days time. That evening I had a very average meal for the price and went to bed. During the night I was attached by a couple of mosquitoes one of which never lived long enough to profit from its ill gotten gains. Monday 12 September I made fur ther enquir ies and as it was now out of the tour ist season I was unable to satisfy myself that I would be able to get a ferry from Sardegna to Corsica and a second ferry over to the port of Nice as well as proving to be a lot more expensive than I had first thought with the information from the internet before leaving home being equally vague. Leaving Tranpani I headed south towards Messina via Marsala on coast road, with the sky starting to cloud over and there was rain in the air signaling that the weather was on the change. This side of the island is a lot flatter and seems to be the food producing side, the roads by now where wet but as they where of good quality it did not prove to be to much of a problem in making steady progress, fortunately the weather dried up by midday.

Crops Castelvetrano

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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It was while taking the photo of the archway from the bike that I dropped a glove, at which point one of the local stallholders came over and picked it up for me, this was just one of several acts of kindness that I received during this journey. I made steady progress but by mid afternoon I had reached Gela and decided to cut out the southeast corner of the island and cut across country towards Catania arriving at 5.30pm where I planned to stop for the night. I arrived there right in the middle of the evening rush hour and the place was pretty solid with traffic, with a system of one way traffic flows that seem to go from one end of the town to the other, again I managed to speak to a policeman asking him where a hotel was which after bit of a misunderstanding I found only to be told that it was full, from them I received a map of the local hotels but was directed to what was apparently a biker place at the other end of the town. For the second time while on this Island I felt that I was being turned away because of what I was perceived to be as opposed to whom I was. I was now back in the one way system going in the wrong direction being driven back to the roundabout where I had entered the town, following my nose and the map of the hotel positions I headed towards the area shown to be where the bikers place was situated. As I rode through the area I became very uneasy with what I saw, several back street bike places, bikers hanging around on street corners and one mad youth on a lime green sports bike riding madly through the heavy traffic without any personal protection on, it was at that point that I decided that this was not the place for me and headed back to the roundabout, it was by now almost dark. Having consulted the map I decided to hit the auto route for Messina, It took just on the hour to do the 100 kilometers, after arriving and not knowing quite where to go I just kept riding down hill through the town until I got as far as I could go and then turn left and carried on until I stopped at a cafĂŠ where I was directed to a hotel just around the corner and booked in there for the night at 9pm (340m). In the daylight the following morning the position of the hotel proved to be one street back from the waterfront and close to the ferry terminal. Having cleaned up I walked around for a bit ending up back at the original cafĂŠ where I had a meal of paste and wine that was very welcome. I retired for the night at 12.15am. (Continued on page 30)


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2019 Sunday, 6th Tuesday, 8th Sunday, 13th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - Natter Night Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, 17th

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Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1901) Full Member Training (FMT 1901)

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Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 12th Tuesday, 14th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 26th

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Diary 20 19




Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1903) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Full Member Training (FMT 1903)

August Sunday, 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Tuesday, 13th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 25th September Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th Tuesday, 17th Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th October Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Tuesday, 15th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th November Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Tuesday, 12th Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th December Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (S&D Motorcycles) Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride (to be confirmed) Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Slow Riding Day Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1904)

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Copdock Show Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Full Member Training (FMT 1904) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Group Nigh ts @ 19 : 30 , AGTs @ 9 : 15 am

Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th Sunday, 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Diary 20 19

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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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Tuesday 13 September Departed the hotel at 10am and headed for the ferry and back to the Italian mainland, with departure at 11.00hours and the crossing taking half an hour. Heading north on the west coast road I managed to keep close to the coast for most of the day, stopping at 14.30hrs for a rest and a bit to eat. The holiday season is now over and the traffic general light. I stopped for the night at 4.30pm (150m), just short of Scala as it was raining and I had some washing to do, it has been an easy day ride. When I arrived at the hotel it seemed fairly empty but when I went down for dinner at 8pm I nearly got knocked down in the rush for the restaurant door as it open for business, it then became apparent that there was a party of OAP staying as well. Franco the waiter was very helpful and selected a very nice bottle of wine for me, later when he saw that I had not liked the fish meal of squib he brought me a helping of meatball that was extremely tasty. It is interesting watching other people’s actions; there was one man who was on his own that I took to be the coach driver who had latched onto a couple. The driver talked nineteen to the dozen with or without a mouthful of food while the couple where trying to show a polite interest in what he was saying but in reality wished that he would go away, which he did eventually. They were then able to relax.

The weather is cooler this evening so it looks as if I will be carrying damp clothing with me tomorrow, fortunately all the cloths are packed separately in plastic bags, retired at 10pm. Wednesday 14 September, I have just received a text fr om Suzanne to say that England had won the Cricket and the ‘Ashes’ that is great news. I got underway at 9.30am with the pleasant ride along the coast and through the hills as I moved inland before joining the auto route for the remainder of the day, today has been the first day where I have encounter serious rain that required me to put on my motor cycling gear since packing it away in Marcotta on 5th September. Fortunately it did not last long as I was riding through road works at the time, if it had not been for the later I could of ridden through

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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it.I stopped for a bite to eat at 13.30hrs at a service station as it was very hot again and I was again wearing my lightweight gear. Late afternoon I stopped for the day at a hotel 30miles north of Roma on the coast road to Civitavecchia, because of the motorway riding I only took photos during the morning. (314m) This evening I had a very nice set meal and an entertaining evening observing one group of Italian men in discussion and the expressive use of the hands and arms in making a point, but it was interesting to note that a group of younger men also in discussion at another table did not seem to rely upon the physical expression so much in making a point. I have subsequently learnt that the first group could have originated from the southern end of the country.

Thursday 15 September, Got under way at 9am after a night in a very average but typical holiday hotel complex. I purchased my second litre of engine oil of the holiday, with the oil and petrol being a lot more expensive down at the bottom of Italy and on Sicily. Having seen to the bike I got underway for what turn out to be a very pleasant ride along the coast road past Civitavecchiaand. As it was only 11am and having stopped for a short break and consulted the map I decided to take a sightseeing tour of the Promontorio Dell’Argentario, this island is joined to the mainland by two manmade causeways. Having got as far as Porto S. Stefano I found myself on a back road that turned into a 12mile dead end excursion but it was a pleasant ride even if the road surface was a bit rough in places with the added bonus of getting some good photographic shots. Below are some shots of the island. By 2.30pm I was back on the mainland and putting the hammer down, nearly ran out of fuel at one stage as they close for two hours at lunchtime in this part of the country. I made a detour from the main road and was on my last eggcup full of fuel when an old lady directed me in the local garage. I stopped at 4pm for a bite to eat and a rest with this being the first time during a days riding that I had stopped to purchase food as opposed to carrying it with me.

I arrived in the suburbs of the town of Pisa but at first as I rode along through an industrial area I started to have my doubts as to if I was in the

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correct area, but then from an elevated section of carriageway I spotted over to my left some distance away the leaning tower. I was then able to relax and just kept heading in that general direction, as I ran into the older part of the town I spotted a hotel, but they were fully booked but directed me further into the old town where I parked the bike and started to walk down what appeared to the center.

It did not take me long to realize that I would have more riding to do, so returning to the bike I carrying on riding, after a detour along the banks of the river Arno and re-crossing it several times I just then decided to follow my nose until stopping just out of sight of the tower I asked directions as I now seemed to be in the old walled part of the town. Had I parked the bike another 10yards further on I would have been able to see the tower at the end of an adjacent side road. Following the traffic I rode through an archway along the wall and back through it again, I was now literally at the foot of the tower with a hotel on the corner where I was able to get a room for the night. It was a nice hotel with air conditioning 80 Euros + 10 for the breakfast and could not have been better situated. That evening I walked around the area and found a nice open-air restaurant on a street corner and had a very relaxing meal 10Euros before retiring for the night. (236m).

Editor: The final instalment of this epic saga will appear in the October TUG


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Events Report Chris Johnson Touch wood - still no puncture since the last report. Incidentally, I have been writing these reports for 15 years now, which must add up to an awful lot of woffle. The first run of the period was a Mick & Alan 'relaxed' ride on 26th May, but Mick was away in Scotland so it was all Alan instead. It started out as a fine, warm day and we had 17 bikes all hot to trot to Barton Mills. Alan doled out some gifts first. To Doug he gave a piece of 4"x4" on a string 'to help him getting on and off the bike', and for me he had a beautiful little pair of wooden training wheels for the KTM. Too small to be practical, but after all it is the thought that counts. We duly set out, and following Joe's Indian through the Boreham Bends was an interesting experience. At Newmarket Alan stopped for a regroup. Many of us assumed it was an intermediate stop. parked sensibly and had our helmets off in no time. We were chivvied back onto the bikes and rode on to Walkers 'Service with a Snarl' Burger Bar. On the route back I think Alan threw in a bit of Thetford Forest. I suspect that things went a bit wrong short of Clare, where I followed the bikes in front round a left turn which did not seem to have a marker. I should have stopped there and marked it. My Bad. Certainly approaching Finchingfield our proud group seemed to have lost ten bikes or so. At Finchingfield I pleaded a need for a short route home and scarpered without waiting for further developments. As a punishment the Scottish rain caught me and got me surprisingly wet. I guess the run was about 100 miles. Doug acted as back marker. I'd be interested to hear his account of the way back.

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Richard had a run to Snape on 2nd June. There were14 bikes and the day was sunny and very warm, and I volunteered as back marker. Standard route to near to Sudbury, where a road closure caused a diversion. Richard still took us to the Stour Valley Business Centre for our 'elevenses'. This was unusual but pleasant. One feature of the outbound journey was an oncoming stream of motorbikes of all sorts; there must have been very comfortably over 100 of them, and they made overtakes on some twisty roads very difficult. A potential roundabout starburst closer to Snape was averted not so much by my fast action as by the errant lambs very quickly doubling back themselves. Snape is not in the same class as Bourton on the Water for commercial exploitation of an attractive location, but is a bit that way inclined. I hadn't realised they had a concert hall which hosts the Aldeburgh Festival. Lunch outside in the sun was fine. The journey back was more creative since Richard did some avoidance of the closed off road. Planned attrition meant only six of us made it to the Regiment Way McD's at 16:15. Distance 176 miles. Snape was the sort of place one took visiting grandparents to in a desperate attempt to keep them amused. When my grandchildren are old enough to drive I shall drop some heavy hints about it.

There was a second Full Member Ride to Bawdsey in Suffolk on 16th June, but this time organised and led by Colin Digby. Richard acted as back marker so that he could experience how the other half live. We had 9 riders on a sunny day with just a couple of short showers. The route out was 109 miles; compare that with the 50 mile distance as the crow flies and you can see that it must have been complicated. I shall spare you the detail since I cannot remember any of it. The tea break was at the Homestead Cabin Cafe at Weeley, just in time to shelter from the worst of the first shower. We lost one on the way out, so when we arrived at Bawdsey he


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had taken a more direct route, had lunched, and was ready to depart. The Cafe was pleasant but had no real nourishment for hungry bikers. I had never been to Bawdsey before and there were some fine estuary views, if you like that sort of thing. The route back was a little more direct, and 6 of us returned to the Regiment Way MacD's at a little after 5pm having covered 199.9 miles (me), or 195 miles (Richard) or 192 miles (Colin). I can only presume they rode tighter lines than I did. On the same day Mick held a 'relaxed' run to the Brundon Lane Cafe, Sudbury, via back lanes. I wish I had been able to attend that as well, since I do love a back lane, but my multitasking abilities fall far short of those which would have been required. Chris Reed held an impromptu run on Sunday 30th June to the Muckleburgh Military Collection at Weybourne in Norfolk. It was scheduled to start at 08:30 from the Regiment Way McD's. That is horribly early for me since it meant getting up before 06:00. Like Beau Brummel, I prefer not to rise until the day is well aired. In the event Craig and I showed up for it and, unexpectedly, so did Geoff since his job that day had been cancelled. We rode using the buddy system and Chris reneged on his intention to let the SatNav guide us (terrible thought), and took sensible roads. I am a bit hazy about the route. I can remember that when we stopped for petrol Craig expressed surprise at how progressively Chris & Geoff rode. I was bringing up the rear and promised him that I would always stay as company for him, thus disguising lack of bottle as consideration. The day was hot and the Museum itself was very interesting, and larger and more varied than I had expected. The restaurant was OK, but my ham salad arrived as a cheese one. I was hungry and decided not to protest. I am even hazier about the

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route back, except that it seemed to involve a lot of congested A road and we had a lot of overtaking practice. Total distance was 225 miles. Richard's run on 16th July was an old favourite to Aldeburgh, little more than a stone's throw from the previous month's destination at Snape. There was a bit of rain on the ride to Sainsburys to join the group, but the day developed into quite a pleasant one. There were 13 of us. There was a tea stop at Sudbury (Stour Valley Business Centre again) where we chanced on half a dozen other EAMG members on some other jaunt. Aldeburgh itself was a little overcast, and there was the inevitable traipse from the car park to find sustenance, which I am sure is good for us but I pay my dues to a motorbike group, not a hiking club. There were no swimmers, and precious few predatory seagulls. Back via Snape and Sudbury again, and of course a lot of enjoyable roads on the way. We arrived back at the Regiment Way McD's shortly before 16:00 after 169 miles. No incidents. I swept on the outgoing journey and Chris Reed did the honours for the return trip. Today, 28th July, I could have had the choice of Mick's run to the Rushbrooke Arms, or Jaque's unusual run to the Amberley Industrial Museum in the South Downs National Park; unusual in that it would be on those mysterious roads which are rumoured to exist south of the Thames. However, since I have b***** TUG to prepare before tomorrow, it was not to be.


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Mid-Week Ride—May 2019 Eddie Friggens . I love the mid-week rides, most weekends I have family commitments and therefore it makes it difficult to get out. The midweek ride makes it much easier to get out. This was the second MWR I had been on and it’s a full days outing to Rye which sound great and I would like to thank Bob Cowl for organising them. Today’s outing was led by Joe Johal, with Neil Fuller baby sitting at the back. We all met up at the Esso garage next to the Circus Tavern and after a short briefing were off, over the bridge and into Kent. When the first turn off was right and in towards London I started to panic, but this was short lived as at the next roundabout we took a sharp left and headed under the M25 and away from all motorways. Our first stop was Goudhurst, but not everybody was let into the secret about the Bakery, so some of us headed for the café. There were some local bikers in the café, but they left when the rabble started pilling in. The two young ladies were obviously not expecting us, but coped admirably and I think everyone got what they ordered. I obviously must look a bit suspicious, as I had to pay for my coffee and cake upfront. Those of us that didn’t go for the all-day breakfast had the chance to sit round the village pond admiring the view. We all gathered back at the bikes and off we went. The route was great, but I don’t think anyone was expecting quit so many road works or newly laid topping, which slowed progress. However once in the clear and hitting the bendies it reminded me of those old WW2 films where the

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Spitfires peeled off to attack the Luftwaffe bombers, it was a thing of beauty. Some of the scenery was very quaint, like the single lane bridge we crossed. As we got closer to Rye the roads got bendier, but the road surface got worse, but it was still enjoyable. I would like to thanks the people of Rye for the purpose built bike park, which was easy to access providing you didn’t have panniers. The group split again with some taking the sun while the rest of us headed for the chippy; it was like a Tardis, with the small frontage and a great big restaurant at the back. We discussed the options of Cod or Haddock and the merits of mushy peas, but after everyone else had ordered I went for sausages! Back on the bikes and we head for home. After a few miles it became obvious that I had knocked my wing mirror while mounting the camera back on the bike, so had to stop and secure it. However it didn’t take long to catch the others, as a few miles down the road they had to stop for petrol, advantage number one of having a bike that does 80miles plus to the gallon. However some people spent more time photographing the cars on sale than filling their bike, fortunately for them there was an attendant how filled all the bikes.

I am now looking forward to the next outing to Southwold, I think know some of the roads on this route so can’t wait.

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Member Profile Chris Johnson When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? Perhaps it was the ancient combination in the garden of a friend, which I used to clamber over when I was five. Perhaps it was the British Iron of the 'bad boys' up the road when I was nine. Motorbikes were always objects of fascination and desire. How old were you when you first rode a bike? Riding a motorbike was strictly forbidden by my mother. My father acquiesced to this in principle, but you could tell his heart wasn't really in it. Obviously, at age fourteen, I then made the clandestine purchase, for ÂŁ2 10/-, of a non-running RE 125 - better known as the wartime Flying Flea, and proudly wheeled it four miles home. My protestations that I merely wanted it to repair it fooled nobody. I repainted it, learning the hard way useful life lessons such as the necessity to clean metalwork very thoroughly after stripping with Nitromors before repainting it if you ever wanted the paint to dry. I also decorated it with a lot of chrome and chequered tape. Even at the time I felt this might have been a mistake. Getting it running proved more difficult. I laboriously learned about cleaning carburetors and setting ignition timing. It wasn't until I took the piston down to a bike shop and found that it was actually for a scooter that some progress was made. Purchase of a piston with cutaways which matched the transfer ports meant the bike started, and eventually would run for several minutes. I could ride it up and down the drive. Did I also venture out onto the road? I couldn't possibly comment. I never got to tax and insure it, but it proved one of the best investments of my life, because as soon as I was sixteen my parents

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bought me a scooter to stop me riding the bike, and at seventeen bought me a car to get me off the scooter. Of the bikes you've ever owned which was your favourite if you had one? A difficult question. The only bike I have ever trusted completely was my 2003 Fireblade RR3. It did exactly what you told it to, although occasionally the things I told it to do were not very smart. On bad surfaces where other bikes would skitter all over the place it might give a slight twitch. You seldom had to worry about choosing the right gear because second gear was good from under 30mph to nearly 120. The handling, roadholding and braking were superb, as was the build quality. I am too old for it now, but I am strangely reluctant to sell it.

If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? Another difficult question. I would probably guess at a KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. I like my current 1190 Adventure, despite its puny starter, wimpy horn, bayonet sharp sidestand, weak headlamp with impossible bulb replacement, stupid wheel spoke sealing belts, and exhaust mountings which rust away. It is fun to ride and comfortable. It is also too high for me, and the seat on the Duke is an inch lower. But both bikes are large and heavy and, thanks to old age and past illness, if I drop them I do not stand a chance of lifting them unaided. I should really be looking at a lighter bike. Perhaps one of the KTM 790's? What is your favourite motorcycle gadget? Without a doubt my heated jacket. Over the last eleven years it has proved a game-changer in cold weather. I would include heated gloves, but my current KTM has heated grips which do enough of a good job to make heated gloves unnecessary. My cheap and nasty little electric tire pump has also proved ex-


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tremely useful unfortunately. Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? I am ashamed to say I am not much of a tourer and, particularly now that I live in the dull regions south of the Thames, am still enjoying the roads in East Anglia.

And Abroad? The Rockies in the USA. 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 would like to wind back time forty-odd years, and tour around Scandinavia again with my American friend John.. How would you describe to a non rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? On a bike you are much more involved in riding it than you are in a car. I still get a hit from feeling the acceleration. I used to be amused watching Top Gear when one of the lads would say, in awed tones, "and this accelerates to 60 in 4.8 seconds" and thinking, as a biker, "Wouldn't it be quicker to catch a bus?". A bike also has a significant practical advantage, which is what got me back into biking, in that it can cut through jammed traffic and turn a 90 minute delay into a 20 minute one. When do you intend to give up riding ? When they prise my cold, dead hand from the throttle. Seriously, I hope that I preserve the health and inclination to ride for a long time yet. Describe your scariest moment on your bike There are two candidates, but scary in very different ways. The first was about ten years ago, riding the FJR1300 back down the M11 after dark in very heavy rain. I had moved into the outer lane to overtake a coach but before the overtake was complete i suddenly lost the back wheel and the bike threw a tank slapper and started weaving uncontrollably. It probably only lasted five seconds but that gave me plenty of time to review my options, which involved death, disfigurement, and a lot of

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pain. The fast lane of a busy motorway is not a good place to come off. Fortunately I struck neither the bus nor the barrier, and I stayed upright until the wobble gradually died down. I was being careful with the throttle because of the conditions, so I think I just hit a slippery patch. The second was a long time ago, in early March 1967, when I was returning, late at night, to Manchester from a tryst in Sheffield on my BSA Bantam 175. The route took me along the Snake Pass over the peaks. If you are unfamiliar with the Snake Pass the name gives a hint as to what sort of road it is. It had been raining but as I climbed it turned to sleet and then heavy snow. The road and surroundings were soon a uniform white. There were occasional marker poles but in the falling snow, with a 30w headlamp, you couldn't see them until you were nearly on them. I rode at a crawl when the terrain gave some indication of where the road was. When it didn't I rode at walking pace in the centre of what I hoped was the road until dragged feet registered a cats eye. I then tried to stay, by feel, in the line of the cats eyes. There were very occasional relief moments when a car came, in either direction. If one overtook me I could follow it for a short while until it drew away, and then use its tire marks as guides until the snow obliterated them. In the opposite direction there were only the tire marks, but they helped. I think it took me over two hours until I approached Glossop, and the snow turned back to rain. They were two hours of sustained terror which seemed like eternity, and I have seldom felt so alone. Need I mention that in those days bike clothing consisted of an ex-army duffel coat and nylon fur mittens, and I was frozen, although whilst I was on the Snake that was the least of my worries.


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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

20th October, 2019

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: training@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 - 2019 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 Printed by Colchester Press. 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 2018 Illustrations Š EAMG 2018, 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 Motorcyclists Group Ltd, Registered Office, St Laurence House, 2 Gridiron Place, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2BE Registered in England & Wales, Registration No. 5258261


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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