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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

August 2021

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, Hopefully this will be the first printed copy of T.U.G. since February of last year. The good news is that it no longer has recycled content from previous issues, and the bad news is that I had very little else to put in it so it doesn’t have the breadth and variety which you all loved so much previously (in your dreams, Chris!). To get back into sync again there will be another issue in October, and I desperately need copy. Member profiles, bike and equipment reviews, outings, rude jokes about KTMs, anything is welcome. The final copy date will be Friday, 26th September. Don’t let me down, Don’t let yourselves down.

Chairman’s Piece

2

Test Passes

5

Membership Info

7

New Members

8

Training Team News

10

Trans America Trail

14

Membership Form

22

Dates for the Diary

24

Picture Gallery

26

TAT continued

28

Events Report

36

Further Training

42

Chris 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 2021 Editor: Unfortunately Jill was not available to submit her piece. People have a terrible habit of going on holiday in August! I am sure she would say that, with the resumption of Group Nights in September, that EAMG is getting back to normal again after a really difficult 18 months, and thank the members for keeping the faith during such a difficult time. I am sure she would also want me to publish some pictures from the BBQ on 31st July so here they are, courtesy of Paula Hockey.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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r

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CONGRATULATIONS ‘Recent’ Test Passes

Rob White

John Tullett

8th August 2021 RoSPA Gold (retest)

19th August 2021 RoSPA Gold

Observer: ? Examiner: Mark Anderson

Observer: Phil Jones Examiner: Mark Anderson

Pauk Reynolds

26th June 2021 EAMG Observer (retest)

Assessor: John Tullett

Graham Cooper

Danny Rutter 19th June 2021 EAMG Observer

Assessor: John Tipper Observer: Mick Hewitt

Mick Hewitt

12th August 2021 SOA test pass

12th August 2021 SOA test pass

Assessors: John Tullett & John Tipper

Assessors: John Tullett & John Tipper

Phil Ruddock 125h August 2021 RoSPA Gold

Observer: Phil Jones Examiner: Mick Jones

Cliff Hoy

21st July 2021 RoSPA Bronze

Observer: Mick Hewitt Examiner: Mark Anderson


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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 2021 

New Associate Members

...£55.00

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00

Full Member Renewal

...£25.00

Social Member

...£25.00

Full Member Training

...£20.00

(For more information on Full Member Training see page 42) This is in addition to the Full Member Fee

Membership

Number

Full

86

Associate

44

Social

0

Observer

22

Life

5

Total

155

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New Members

David Perschky Paul Howard Neil Grimshaw John Marsters Basil Buckley Nicola Sale Samir Katcherian Richard Comery Lee Mayes Clive Adams Duncan McGoldrick

Thomas Vickery Ibrahim Akaar Dave Crossley Soren Ley David Buckley Julian Burton Linda Haywood Steven Page Julie Strong Russell Blakely Luca Turbesi

Welcome to EAMG, and we hope your membership proves both productive and highly enjoyable!

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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TRAINING TEAM NEWS John Tullett .

Coronavirus With effect from 19th July we entered the final stage of the lockdown roadmap, step 4, which meant that most legal restrictions were lifted. The Government’s ‘Freedom Day’ saw a switch in emphasis with individuals now being expected to use personal judgment to manage risk. If you need to continue wearing a mask and/ or maintaining social distancing then these measures can easily be accommodated within EAMG’s training activities – just make your observer aware. While it is too early to predict how things are going this change has enabled EAMG to resume a wider range of social activities, with Group Nights due to restart at Channels on Tuesday, 7th September.

Observer Team Changes Unfortunately, over recent months some very experienced and valuable members of the Training Team have stepped down from observing including Senior Observer Assessor Richard Parker and Senior Ob-

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server Phil Jones. Our Observer Coordinator, Eddy Brazier, is also standing down as an Observer at the end of 2021. On a more positive note I am pleased to confirm that: Graham Cooper and Mick Hewitt recently passed their assessments to become Senior Observer Assessors; Paul Reynolds passed his Observer retest; and Danny Rutter qualified as an Observer in June. Congratulations to all four.

We are now in the process of arranging assessment rides for the Observers who expressed an interest in filling the vacant Senior Observer positions and observers due their standard two-yearly retests in 2021. Thanks to EAMG’s success in attracting good numbers of new Associate members this year and the popularity of Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) the Group is actively seeking to recruit some new Trainee Observers. Following a recent Group e-mail eight Full members expressed an interest in becoming observers and, to date, two of these have confirmed that they wish to complete a Trainee Observer Assessment ride.

RoSPA & IAM Testing Testing has now resumed but there do appear to be some delays in scheduling tests and retests. For example, I was due to take a 3yearly retest in April but heard nothing from RoSPA. After some chasing up my test eventually took place in August. Associate Group Training (AGT)

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AGTs held so far this year have, in general, proved to be popular and very well attended. Between April & August Mick Hewitt coordinated bookings and arranged socially distanced and Covid safe AGTs for a maximum of 25 attendees at the Beryl Platt Centre, 12-14 Redwood Drive, Writtle, Chelmsford, CM1 3LY. With effect from the 12th September AGT we will be switching back to the ‘old style’ format where you just turn up on the day with no need to pre-book. We will still be asking everyone to use face coverings inside. For anyone who prefers to stay outside please ensure that you advise the Observer at the allocations desk of your attendance. Please be aware that we request a £10 charge from each member participating in training at AGTs to cover our expenses, including hiring the hall, etc. Associate Member Training / Full Member Training In contrast to AGTs the numbers of members attending the 2021 AMT/ FMT days have been lower than would be expected. John Tipper puts a lot of time and effort into organising the routes for these training days and they offer really excellent value for money (particularly if you consider just how much you would pay for an equivalent full day’s commercial training….). AMT/ FMT days are run over a longer route than a standard observed ride using roads you are less likely to know and I would highly recommend them if you are seeking to gain the maximum improvement in your riding in the shortest possible time. The final AMT/ FMT date for this year is on Sunday, 24th October – further details outlining the format and how to book should appear elsewhere in this issue of TUG.

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Slow Riding Day (SRD) The Slow Riding Day on 13th June did not quite work out as planned. The Dunton track had been booked but the security staff on duty were not made aware of this. The compromise solution was to hold a social ride instead. Mick Hewitt is currently seeking to establish whether the SRD booked for 19th September will proceed. Please keep an eye on the EAMG Forum and Facebook page for further information. Copdock Show The 29th East Anglian Copdock Bike Show, to be held at Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8UH, is also being held on 19th September. EAMG are intending to have a promotional stand at the show and if you are interested in assisting on EAMG’s stand please send an e-mail to training@eamg.org.uk . If you wish to have your bike on the stand this will mean an early start, as all stands need to be set up well before the 09: 00 show opening time.

---ooo0ooo---

Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me via e-mail to training@eamg.org.uk , or on 07570 992801 or speak to the most relevant member of the Training Team.

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The Trans America Trail Tim Cooper Editor: This is very embarrassing. I know that at least one and probably two instalments of this enormous travelogue were published in T.U.G. For space considerations a third did not appear immediately, but we now have far too much space. I thought to continue with it, but when I searched back issues to find where the last episode left off I could find nothing. I can remember laboriously cutting and pasting from the HTML original, and Tim’s mug shot is parked in a workspace in MS Publisher for ease of access. I decided to jump past everything I vaguely remembered and take up the trail with Tim approaching the Rockies.

19th July Today was going to be a challenging day, as it was time to ascend through the Rockies, on trails i’d heard could be ‘challenging’. The terrain, from Salida, climbed steadily upwards and became more ‘Alpine like’ Bumped into a large group riding the ‘BDR’ (Backcountry Discovery

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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Route) and stopped to say ‘hi’ for a while. After getting over Cinnamon Pass (over 12,000 feet in altitude) I arrived in the ghost town of Animas Forks. One of the highest ghost towns (11,000 feet) in the US, and a popular staging area for adventurers exploring the various passes that run through the Rockies. Found a group of Jeepers in ‘FSJ’s’ (Full Size Jeeps) like mine, so I was distracted for an hour or so!

Apart from the Jeepers, there were a lot of buggies (UTV’s) running Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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around the trails, so rather than mix it up with them, on trails more challenging (with large cliffs!) I decided to take the tarmac down to Silverton, a former silver mining camp, (clue is in the name!) most or all of which is now included in a federally designated National Historic Landmark District) nearby and spent the night there. Camped right next to the river, along with another rider from the TAT, who has become 1/2 of a duo after his buddy had dropped his motorcycle off one of the aforementioned cliffs! Fortunately he was OK, but his bike was a write off. 20th July Set off slightly later than planned due to the owner of the camping store in town not showing up, so no food bought there! Got up and over Ophir Pass (also known as “OH, F…… EAR!) also over 11,500 feet up), a very rocky and steep trail with only a small amount of swearing. Going up, from the eastern side was fairly easy. BUT, the steep descend involves a 1/2 mile or so of ‘babyhead’ rocks, so named due to their size. Unlike babies though they are not cute, not cuddly. Riding over them is treacherous as they roll over each other, sending your bike sideways when you least expect it. It’s where my ‘guest’ at camp last night lost his riding buddy. I ‘only’ had to drop the bike twice. Mostly to stop it careening downhill (and over the cliff when momentum and gravity took over. Barkbuster guards on the handlebars made laying the bike down a safer process and nothing was damaged. BUT picking up 400+ lbs of bike, at oxygen thin altitudes is not easy, especially for someone who lives at sea level.

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After successfully navigating Ohfir Pass, without serious incident, I went through the towns of Rico and Dolores. Which are not, surprisingly, named after Colorado’s answer to Bonnie and Clyde, but rather old silver mining towns. Took the tarmac partly to explore, partly to recover from the passes, and partly to look for camping food. Rejoined the TAT at Dove Creek, crossing the Utah State line and continued on the “3 step hideaway”, another TAT landmark/stopoff/garage. A collection of buildings in the middle of nowhere, that have been built as a hotel by the owners. No-one was in at the time, so I played with the dogs until Scott and Julie rolled up. Was great to meet them, Scott looked around in the barn for a rear tyre, as the tkc80 I bought in Huntsville, Alabama was already done. TKC80’s, not TAT approved, imo. Great tyre, no longevity. So, on into Moab at Scott’s recommendation, to Mad Bro motorsports. Who had both TKC80’s and Shinko 805’s in my size. I went with the Shinko this time. Should last the rest of the trip. Stayed in downtown Moab at a hotel right in the middle of town. A chance to sleep in a proper bed, eat proper food, and do laundry. (and sleep in air conditioned comfort!) 21st July Up at sunrise this morning for a ride through Arches National Park. Avoided the crowds, heat, (and the $ 30 entrance fee, as the booths were still closed). Really worth doing. Rode the tarmac, and unpaved areas to the west of the park. Another ‘must see’ if you come here. Though the ‘back trails’ in the park are quite deep, sandy and tricky if you’re on two wheels. From Moab I had a long day ahead of me. A ride all the way down to Las Vegas, about 450 miles, of highway, in 100+ degree temperatures. But I’d already planned this diversion, as I wanted to ‘go home’, to L.A, and visit family and friends for a week. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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So, Highway 70 and I15, for a seemingly endless day of riding. Apart from fuel stops, a break to avoid a storm (at Beaver, UT), another break to watch fire fighting efforts on the hills nearby, AND a sudden stop to pick up my faux pro when it fell off my helmet (it survived, the SD card didn’t, so I lost almost all my videos so far!) Arriving in Vegas, on a Saturday evening, I found it was everything I remembered from my last visit, over 20 years before, but even more crowded, hotter, and less enjoyable. What I didn’t find, was the chapel where we were married, over 25 years ago. It WAS right next to Circus Circus, but now… wasn’t. I was exhausted, frustrated, hot, crowded, lost my videos, and a piece of my history. A low point of the trip. I escaped ‘Sin City’ and rode down to Jean, NV, for a hotel (the ONLY hotel in town) for the night. Fortunately the room was comfortable, air conditioned, the beer was cold, the food good, and I found out what had happened to ‘our’ chapel. It had been donated to the Clark County Museum! Dismantled, piece by piece, moved and reassembled in the Museum grounds. Not sure about my past being (Continued on page 30)

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All Full Member R ides will leav e Sainsburys Springfield, Ch elmsford

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2021 February

March

April

May

June

Diary 20 21

July

August

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 21st

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

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2101) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2101)

Saturday, 3rd Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 25th

Super Sausage Run Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald (to be confirmed) Tuesday, 4th Group Night Sunday, 9th Associate Group Training (AGT) Sunday, 16th Richard's Full Member Ride Sunday, 16th Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Sunday, 23rd Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2102) Sunday, 30th Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2102) Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th

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

Sunday, ? 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 25th

Maldon Motor Show (to be confirmed) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2103)

Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd

Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2103) Group Night

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Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th September Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 26th October Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st November Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 21st December Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 19th

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

Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Slow Riding Day Copdock Show Colin’s Full Member Ride? Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2104) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Colin’s Full Member Ride Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2104) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Colin’s Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

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

Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th

Colin’s Full Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Diary 2O21


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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture

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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

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(Continued from page 22)

in a museum, but slept better knowing it wasn’t just ‘gone’. 22nd July Found this during the ‘preflight’ this morning. Tread separated from the tyre. How it didn’t go pop during yesterday’s 450 mile ride I don’t know. My guardian angel is asking for a raise. My quest for a front tyre was a complete bust. No-one that was open in Vegas today (Sunday) had anything. Found a shop in San Bernardino, CA that has tkc80s, 225 miles away. However that’s 225 miles along the road to L.A, my route. So, I rented a uhaul, Strapped the bike in the back, and was back on the road, heading south. Bonus; air conditioning! Sunday evening traffic out of Vegas was… as expected. Nose to tail, for miles. Clue should have come when I filled the Uhaul tank, at a southbound gas station that had 95 pumps! But, turned a bad day into a good day. Found a solution to finding a tyre, and still continuing on the way to L.A. And got to meet Dan Cole, presenter and owner of the 4×4 podcast, along with Stephanie and the various smaller Coles. And I got to have an In n Out burger, for the first time in years! Passed the solar energy power stations on the way south, which always remind me of ‘Helios 1’ from the video game “Fallout New Vegas”! Got into San Bernadino very late, found a “America’s Best Value” (it isn’t!) hotel, parked the Uhaul right in front of the room and was asleep in seconds. 23rd July ‘Operation bubble tyre’ started early this morning. Dropped the Uhaul off at the depot, which was an adventure in itself. The first depot marked on Google maps was still closed, so I

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drove to the next one, only to find it was only a maintenance depot, and didn’t take customer returns. Which I found out AFTER offloading the bike! Fortunately they took pity on me after hearing my sob story and let me leave the truck with them. I rode, carefully, the couple of miles to Chaparral, the bike store, and waited for it to open. The place is HUGE, but had the front tyre I needed. I took it to the counter, agreed to take the wheel off the bike myself (saving $ 50!) and ended up making a bet with the fitter who refused to believe the spoked wheel was tubeless. I won! So my fitting and balancing was free. I used my Rok Straps, the parking lot railings, and the sidestand, to pull the bike over enough to lift the front wheel and remove it, got the tyre fitted, and headed south to L.A, for a few days break. 28th July The plan, while in L.A, was to meet a friend of mine and ride The Mojave Road. However, the forecast was for 118f temperatures during the 3 days we would have been in the desert. Also, Chuck didn’t want to ride his 650lb BMW bike across 140+ miles of desert trail. He did want to drive his Land Cruiser instead, but I felt a 30 something year old truck in heat like that, miles from help, would be a bad move. So we wisely decided to ride the Pacific Coast Highway, up to Monterey instead. Big Sur had just reopened following the landslide a couple of years ago, so the timing was right. Had a great ride, even turned cold in places, which was a change to what I’d been used to, for weeks! When we arrived in Monterey, we were fortunate enough to crash for the night at a friends house.

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29th July Leaving my friend behind, I set out alone again to head east and rejoin the TAT. Another long (400 miles) day of riding. Left Monterey early this morning and had to deal with multiple road closures getting onto the 120 through Yosemite, due to the fires. Once in, the view was… restricted. The smoke reducing visibility down to about 1/2 mile. So not so much scenic views. Only one of the lesser half domes was visible, and only as it was right next to the road. The upside was that the forest service had closed the gate booths, so no having to pay to look at smoke!

Exiting at Lee Vining/395, the haze was still thick enough to spoil the views across Mono Lake, so I headed south, to June Lake to find the hotel my Wife and I spent our first Xmas, 28 years ago. It was fully booked, as were all other hotels in the town centre, so I rode a little further and found a…. not so nice place down the road. Was going to wild camp, but need a shower and bed. Another long day tomorrow before I get to the TAT. 30th July Another long ‘slab’ today. Checked the bike out last night, and found that the ‘split link’ on the chain had done just that. Split! Only half of it was there. I found some wire and fixed the remaining half in place. But, There wasn’t a single bike shop along the whole, long, section of the route. So I had to big a big detour, north, to find a $ 2 item. The day ended up being a 480 mile slog from June Lake, CA to Ely, NV via Reno and US Route 50. Which is billed as “the loneliest road into America”. Probably because “400 miles of NOTHING to see” wouldn’t have had the same draw. Literally mile upon mile of nothing. I almost began to miss

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the ‘scenery of Oklahoma!

Almost….. There are about 3 small towns along the whole route. One at either end and one in the middle. All relying on the passing tourists to stay alive, so I stopped in Austin (the halfway point) and had lunch at the diner. BUT, this was probably the last long ‘slab’ (tarmac only) ride of the trip. As of tomorrow I’m back on the TAT! I was considering wild camping tonight, and had begun to check out potential sites by the side of the 50, until two decent sized coyotes strolled right through the most likely site. So, came into town instead! And stayed at the Hotel Nevada. One of the oldest hotels in the state, and also briefly the tallest building in Nevada (6 floors!). 31st July Back, on the TAT. From Baker to West Wendover, NV. Following the route of the Pony Express along its path on US Route 50

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yesterday and now north on 180 miles of gravel road with just nothing out there. Definitely a sense of just how isolated you are, and how far from help. Signed the visitor book at canyon camp, but disappointed to see another TAT’er thought it would be OK to sign the box the book is kept in… Stopped in Gold Hill, but don’t think there’s much gold there…And found, by chance, a WWii German Panzer by the roadside!

From Wendover to Tremonton, UT. Trail north of Wendover was rough. So much washboard! But eventually smoothed out leaving a very pleasant gravel, mud and occasionally sandy ride. Watched the forest forest in hills to the north east, but far enough away not to be concerned. Eventually reached Kelton. Originally a main line station for the Trans Pacific Railway, now almost nothing remains, except the ruins of the hotel and graveyard. Along the trail after leaving Kelton there are small placards showing where the smaller settlements along the rail-

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road used to be. Finally reached tarmac, after about 300 miles of gravel, and showed the appropriate amount of joy! Got off the bike, and kissed the ground! Prematurely as it turned out, as the tarmac turned back into gravel a little way down the road. But eventually gave me what I needed. Found a empty campsite just over the Idaho border. Empty except for the camp host anyway. Didn’t mind giving him the $ 10. I’d free camped at plenty of other places along the way, so I was ahead on camp fees really. 1st August Hello, Idaho! Very nice ride up from near Holbrook this morning. Stopping at American Falls for fuel and coffee (and one of the huge cinnamon rolls they make at The Ranch gas station!). I’m surprised how picturesque Idaho is. I stuck to the tarmac to begin with as it was clear that the TAT route was just criss-crossing the valley road just for the sake of being on gravel. After I crossed The Great Rift and made it to Arco, ID, I decided to go and see Craters of the Moon national park. Definitely a good choice. A must see if you come through here on the TAT.

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After Craters, I picked up the TAT again, with the intention of wild camping somewhere along the trail. My campsite was picked a little earlier than expected, just as I got to Challis national forest, the CB felt ‘off’. Pulled over and found I had a flat rear tyre. Found a huge fence staple right in the middle of the tread. So, out with the Safety Seal plugs and compressor. No drama So set up camp, right by the cattle grid entrance to Challis. There must be a fire somewhere nearby as there was ash falling all night, along with the ever pervasive smell of smoke.

2nd August Set off at 7am to climb over the mountain pass. Stunning views on the way up, and the trail wasn’t too challenging. But the views all the way down the back, to Ketchum! Amazing! Rode from Ketchum along the TAT, on route 227, passing the road closed signs, to Smokey Bar Cafe. Got an update from Rick, a local, to say it’s still fubar, so played it safe and dropped down to Fairfield. I know others have gotten through, in a group, to help carry their bikes. But I’m on my own and lugging 400lbs through washed out roads in 90f has ZERO appeal to me. So stopped at the convenience store in Fairfield, downing Gatorade and Cliff bars. Fortunately I decided to just chill here, as for the first time on the trip, I left my wallet at the checkout! OOPS! Rode the tarmac up to Featherville, ID and found a hotel for the night. Wasn’t too hard to find, as there’s only one hotel. And one bar, one diner, one shop, one gas station with one pump… Yes, it’s a small town! and basically for sale! 3rd August. Rode over the mountains from Featherville, Idaho, Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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to Idaho City this morning. Another great ride. Very tricky in places, with long drops if you weren’t paying attention. But once down the far side, the trail followed the Arrowrock river all the way to the Arrowrock dam with stunning views round every corner. Met up with two New Z ealand visitors, while riding this section of the trail. They’re also riding the TAT on their KTMs, before turning south and riding the Great Divide route south. And then I met two more TAT riders from MO at the gas station in Idaho City. Good to know I’m not the only one out here, though we are infrequent ‘bikes that pass in the night’ (or, day). And then, without any real fanfare or a stateline sign, there is was. Oregon. And it hit me, this was the last state. My TAT was nearly over. I found a spot to camp, next to the Snake River, looking back at Idaho on the far bank, and experienced both sadness and relief that the trip was nearly over. In a day or two I would be at the Pacific Ocean.

Editor: And this concludes another section of Tim’s epic saga.

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Events Report Chris Johnson

I pick up the event reporter's quill again after nearly 18 months of idleness with nothing much to show for it apart from a distressingly increased waistline. Total mileage for the first pandemic year was about 250 miles! Normal Social Rides started up again on 23rd May but I was otherwise engaged and it wasn't until Sunday 20th June that I had to make the big decision; would it be Colin Digby's Full Member ride or Mick and Alan's more relaxed one? Since I now had difficulty in clambering onto the KTM, much less remembering how to ride it, it was not a hard choice to make. I decided that Colin's run to the Hemel Hempstead Garden Centre might be nastily progressive for my current skill level and chose the relaxed ride to the La Hogue Farm Cafe instead. Details are a bit hard to recall now. I think there were about 15 bikes in overcast but dry conditions. The route? Forgotten! The lunch venue? Not actually forgotten but, since I cannot remember what I ate, as good as. There was a lot of social distancing kerfuffle. It was a pleasant run but, despite the preliminary outing I had made 'down South' before it, more miles were needed. A month later the situation was similar. On the 18th July Colin had a run to the Camargue Café, Woodbridge, and Mick and Alan were riding to WalkEssex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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ers, Thetford. I chose the easier ride, but felt a bit sorry for Colin. He only had about 5 bikes whereas Mick had around 20. It was a very hot day. There was a nice choice of roads and Walkers was hummimg. I threw dietary caution to the winds and had their largest, greasiest burger. Couldn't quite finish it. On the journey back I was starting to enjoy leaning the bike into corners and was quite pleased with myself by the time we arrived at the Regiment Way McDonalds. After downing a large Diet Coke to re-hydrate I set out at about 3pm for the 50 mile ride home. I arrived home at 8pm! It appeared that the M25 was closed just south of the river and, although there had been no advance warning, I had to filter a dozen miles through near stationary traffic to get to the Dartford bridge. On the bridge the traffic was even slower and, since drivers were trying to change lane for no good reason, normal filtering became impossible and I switched to proceeding, at a walking pace, just inside the white line at the right of the carriageway, This was progress, although lamentably slow, and was interrupted when a driver I was level with decided to move right. What possible advantage that could have given her I do not know. I moved over to the crash barrier, stopped and, to avoid contact as she continued to move out, had to lean over the barrier. This was thus technically not a RTC, and when she noticed me she reversed back a little and was most apologetic. No harm done to anyone, but I had no purchase to straighten up the bike, and the lady was not strong enough to help. Most embarrassing. Fortunately a lorry driver a couple of vehicles ahead saw what had happened, left his cab (stationary traffic has its advantages), pulled Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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me upright with no difficulty, nodded, and returned to his vehicle. I could then proceed, still at a walking pace. over the rest of the bridge. When we had to leave the motorway there was too much congestion for filtering, and I then made things even worse by a series of bad choices of turning which led to me travelling north again through the tunnel. The old spirits were at a pretty low ebb by this time. I turned to head west on the A13. This, too, was completely congested, very little filtering could be done, and you were lucky if one car could move ahead at the numerous traffic lights. The bike thermometer was registering 44.2C, two degrees more than the hottest I had experienced before in a jam across the Hoover Dam, and I was wearing a much lighter jacket then. I realised that I was becoming dangerously dehydrated and should ride no further. I cut off the road a mile or so short of the Blackwall Tunnel, found a patch of shade, parked the bike, sat down on the pavement, and considered my options. Eventually a young boy stopped to ask me if I was OK and directed me to a shop 'at the end of the street'. It was a bit further than that but I dragged my weary body to it and bought a 2 litre bottle of water, which I then drank over the next hour whilst sitting on a wall. Back at the bike, and coupling in my SatNav, a Chinese woman whose flat I was outside decided to come out and help. She was most solicitous and it took 20 minutes refusing offers to put the bike in her car space, stay in her spare room etc. etc. before I could get away. The traffic was still badly jammed, and it took the best part of an hour to get to the Blackwall Tunnel. Things were OK after that but I arrived home well over four hours late, and promptly consumed a further quart of water. Another month, another run. Colin's Full Member ride on Sunday, 15th August, to Old Buchenham Airfield. Richard never took us there, I thoroughly enjoyed it. 16 bikes, 2 with pillions, and quite a few roads previously unknown to me on the outward leg; the return was a little more conventional apart from the stretch of goat track south of Needham where we met the Tesco van. We had the predicted short band of light rain, but the weather otherwise was OK to good. The airfield lunches were quite acceptable despite Spider walking back to alarm everyone in the queue by declaring that they had no food when he was too late for a Large English;

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there was in fact a good selection with fairly prompt table service as we sat outside and watched someone getting a flying lesson No accidents or mishaps, although when we got to the Regiment Way MacD's a little after 5pm most people could swap near-death experiences about the patches of gravel just short of Wethersfield and Finchingfield. I didn't find the Finchingfield one too alarming and, in truth, at the earlier one I scarcely had time to vocalise "Oh, Shite!" to myself before the bike decide to settle itself rather than crashing. Total distance 194 miles. On 22nd August John and Audrey Tipper held their annual Cotswold run. This always used to be to Bourton-on-the-Water, but apparently a recce the week before showed Bourton to be 'heaving', and unsuitable for a genteel and fastidious group of bikers, so the destination was switched to the Cotswold Foodstore and Cafe at Stow on the Wold (the same as on the last run two years ago). There were 15 bikes (two with pillions) and two groups led by John and Audrey. Stephen Green swept for Audrey and John had the questionable backing of Yours Truly. John and Audrey always research their routes meticulously, so it was a cruel fate which dictated that very recent road closures turned the first half of the outward leg into a magical mystery tour which led to John's group arriving an hour late at the Buckingham Garden Centre coffee stop. One of them also led to our being misdirected along a short-cut which terminated in a set of bollards. Most of the bikes could squeeze between them but Joe Johal's fully kitted GS was too wide, and ended up having its rear lifted over a steel pipe by strong arms. The Cotswold scenery is, I am told, delightful but I have had the precepts of advanced riding drummed into me so thoroughly over the years that even the shortest glance at it whilst Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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riding feels like a heinous offence. The lunch stop was pleasant and leisurely. I am not quite sure why we all parked on the gravel when there was a good metalled area behind the restaurant. I dread gravel because, even using my 'puck on a string', the bike leans alarmingly and mounting and dismounting, which are always difficult for me nowadays (tall bike, short legs, the stiffness of advancing age) becomes a positive embarrassment. Everyone is most sympathetic and willing to help, but I wish it wasn't so. I had a half-way healthy lunch of vegetable samosas and salad. We eventually headed back on what had become a fine day, although there was the forecast 10 minute shower on the way. John stuck to more major roads for the most part and the road closures were avoided. The two groups. somewhat thinned by planned departures, joined up at a lay-by on the A507 and we made our way back to the Birchanger services a little after 7pm, having covered 235 miles. It was a most enjoyable day.

The account of Mick and Alan's run today I shall hold over for the next issue of T.U.G since that will be next month and we may be a bit short of rides for the Events Report in it.

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Further Training Opportunities for Full Members EAMG FMT & AMT - 2020 1st January 2020 celebrated EAMG’s fifteen years of independence enabling the Group to draw upon the most appropriate riding techniques to meet the training needs of our members, without having to accommodate restrictions imposed by a governing body. With independence, came the responsibility to ensure our training standards progressed and maintained at the highest level. EAMG Observers fulfill a crucial role within the Group. All are required to hold a current RoSPA Gold qualification before they can be considered for observer training. Once qualified, Observers are re-tested internally every two years by one of four Senior Observer Assessors (SOA’s) who, in turn, are re-tested externally every two years by Police Class: 1 riders. Full Members and Associates can therefore be assured that EAMG’s training is of the highest standard. EAMG; ‘Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’.

Full Member Training (FMT) FMT format allows greater focus on many aspects of advanced motorcycling over longer distances on less familiar roads. Make no mistake, passing an advanced motorcycle test is an excellent achievement but it’s only a measure of your riding standard on test day. Riding skills require continued practice to be retained or they will sadly be lost. Associate Member Training (AMT) Similar training courses are now available for Associate Members who may be approaching test standard, have been recommended to apply by their 1 to 1 Observers or those familiar with riding greater distances than covered on a typical Observed ride. Associates will be encouraged to make their most recent Ride Report Forms available to ensure the Observer on the day has the necessary information to identify needs and address any issues that may be apparent.. Ride Format Duration of rides will be circa 200 mls for Full Members and 100-120 mls for Associates. Regular stops, most including refreshments, will include debriefs so that issues identified can be addressed during subsequent legs. We will NOT be riding in one large group. Allocation will usually be on a 2 to 1 basis to avoid continuous Observation. Every effort will be

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made to match riding ability and/or aspirations. Routes will be pre-planned and forwarded to all participants beforehand. Initial briefing will be comprehensive and a full Ride Report Form will be provided.

2021 Events Joining Fees

FMT—(£45)

AMT— (£35)

Sunday, October 24th Register by completing and returning this form to: John Tipper Email: john@reveillerrides.co.uk Tel: 0208 360 8590 or Mbl: 07860 773711

Pay direct to Sort Code: 30-96-94 a/c no: 00791646 Ref: FMT or AMT + your name Cash or Cheques payable to Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd on the day Name:

Address:

Postcode:

Tel:

Email:

Riding Experience Aspirations: Annual Mileage:

Machine:

FTFM - 2021 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett

membership@eamg.org.uk

training@eamg.org.uk

Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

£20 pa

£10 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 © EAMG 2020 Illustrations © EAMG 2020, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.

@EssexAdvMCgroup @EAMG.ORG.UK Pictures: www.edmxtech.co.uk/eamg.htm TUG email: TUG@eamg.org.uk Twitter:

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

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