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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

December 2019

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, This issue is less lightweight than usual. We have a Training Team report from John Tullett, and an account of a talk from 2005 to mark EAMG’s 15th anniversary as an independent group. Those were interesting times which I remember well. People used to go on FMTs partly because there were so few social rides. Things have changed since then, mostly (but not wholly) for the better. FMTs are struggling. I confess it has been over a year since my last one, and I am a naughty boy. I have not been overwhelmed with copy for the next issue i.e. nothing. Please submit at least a member profile, or a damning review of some piece of kit. The copy deadline for the February issue is 24th January 2020.

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


Training Team News


15 Years Ago …


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Glass Museum Visit


Events Report


Observer 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 December 2019

As another year draws to a close my thoughts are on how to make 2020 even more successful for the group.

The last 2 years have seen a rise in the number of associates joining us which means we are definitely doing something right. However this means the training aspect of our budget has increased also. Most of you are aware that our observers are not paid but are given a contribution for petrol, wear and tear etc. This money is partly paid by the associate on the day of a 1:1 ride, and topped up by group funds. An associate pays £40 a year for membership (one off fee £15 for books) and this does not cover the cost of the top up in most cases. When I have taken associates out on AGT, on occasions, I have often been offered the £10 donated on a 1:1 ride. This has been declined as, in the past, the group funds covered the observer’s contribution. From 2020 we will be asking associates to contribute the £10 at AGT training rides as well. To maximise gift aid (25% ) this will be collected at the check in desk for AGT and observers will claim as they always have. This will apply to full members on FTFM as well. There are no increases on membership and full member’s fee of £25 is due in January each year. This money is used to keep the group up to


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date. In the last few years we have had expenditure on new website, forum, logo, membership stand and leaflets, all improving our presence. There are on-going costs with public liability insurance, bank charges, printing, website hosting and AGT room hire, what remains subsidises the training. I was disappointed to see some members I see on rides have not paid their 2019 membership. We now have the bank account set up online and can track standing order payments and paying by standing order means you will not have to fill out a form each year. You can still pay by any other means and the 2020 membership form is on the website. Account name: Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd Sort Code: 30-96-94 Account Number: 00791646 Reference: YOUR POSTCODE and YOUR SURNAME

Payable on 1st January each year I’d like to thank the committee and all the training team for their continued hard work and commitment to the group. The AGM is in February and I am delighted to say all the committee members holding positions are happy to be nominated again. However, if you want to join the committee contact Secretary@eamg.org.uk for a nomination form or have an informal chat with me or any other committee member. New ideas and new faces are most welcome. Lastly, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Greg Rogers

3rd October 2019 RoSPA Gold Observer: Phil Jones & Nigel Bullock Examiner: Mick Jones

Maz Merrigold

19th November 2019 RoSPA Silver Observer: John Tipper Examiner: Mick Jones

Richard Ladbrook 11th October 2019 RoSPA Gold

Observer: Richard Parker Examiner: Mick Jones

Karine Merritt 3rd October 2019 RoSPA Silver Observer: Mick Hewitt Examiner: Mick Jones

Geoff Preston 25th September 2019 EAMG Observer re-test Assessor: Richard Parjer

Terry Sullivan 12th October 2019 RoSPA Gold (re-test) Observer: John Tipper Examiner: Mick Jones

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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 2020 

New Associate Members


Associate Member Renewal


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: Jonathan Lucking Halil Emin Richard Woolgar Julian Jones Mark Scott Full Members: Peter Fairhead

Alberta Basso Steve Davis Robert Chapman Alan Huett

Richard Woolgar

And welcome back to Jan French & Clint Bardwell 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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TRAINING TEAM NEWS John Tullett Chris Johnson recently highlighted the lack of a regular training related column in TUG, following my last 'Observer Coordinator' update in August 2018. I hope that this seemingly random collection of topics will help to address this situation! Training Team Update There have been a number of changes within the Training Team since Autumn 2018, some of which may have escaped the attention of certain Group members. Observer Coordinator - Eddy Brazier has taken over from Jaques de Klerk and should be your first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your training or allocation to a 1-to-1 Observer.

Returning Observers - Phil Reader and Clint Bardwell have both returned to active observing within the Group after being retested and bring considerable experience to the Training Team. 'New' Observers - Andy Parnham and Colin Digby both passed their Observer tests earlier this year. 'New' Trainee Observers - Joe Johal and Paul Carden have recently passed their Trainee Observer assessment rides and are now making good progress with their observer training. Slow Riding Days We had two very successful Slow Riding Days during 2019. On 2nd June, 14 individuals signed up for the training and activities covered included:emergency braking; slow control; slalom; peripheral vision; figures of eight; an obstacle course; a swerve manoeuvre and manual handling.


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Karine Merritt posted the slowest times in both her heat (56 secs) and the final (52.31 secs) to win the Slowest Rider Race and the much coveted EAMG 'snail' t-shirt. Twelve riders attended on 15th September and the main activities included:emergency braking countersteering slalom & figures of eight. Apologies that we ran out of time to cover blip & click and picking up a bike - they will go on the list for 2020! Nigel Lewis won the Slowest Rider Race and EAMG 'snail' t-shirt, posting the slowest times in his heat (26.1 secs) and the final (24.79 secs). Group member Stephen Fletcher set up a 'user friendly' questionnaire using Google Forms that provided us with some very helpful and positive feedback from the day (Stephen has also created an online version of the Training Feedback form, which should be accessible via EAMG's website in the near future). A selection of comments received included: How could the activities that were offered be improved?  I think it was fine as it was.  Great as they are.  I cannot think of anything, I found all the activities were really useful and the event was really well run.  Difficult to see how given this is volunteer run. It's almost professional standard. What didn't we do that you would have found helpful?  Well organised, good experience.  Nothing I can think of.  I didn’t stay until end, I should have had advice on picking up bike, so my omission.  Blip and click.

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Thanks to all Observers who supported one or both of these events including: Chris Reed, Geoff Preston, Alan Burke, Andy Hems, John Tipper, Mick Hewitt, Michel Couque, Phil Jones, Jaques de Klerk & Simon Enticknap. Also particular thanks to Graham Simpkins for arranging EAMG's bookings of the excellent Ford test track facility. Dates to pencil in to your diaries for 2020 are 14th June and 20th September. Associate Group Training (AGT) We have enjoyed a very successful year during 2019 with significantly increased numbers of members signing up for observed rides at AGTs. Taking the eight months between April and November we have averaged 10 trainees each month which is a big improvement over 2018. With quite a few full members also attending the monthly social rides it has helped to create a good sized audience and positive environment for the members of the Training Team who always put a considerable amount of time and effort into preparing their roadcraft talks.

Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) FTFM has proven popular again with 13 Full members paying an additional ÂŁ20 (on top of the standard membership fee) for further training this year. Some individuals have done this to have their riding assessed by their 1-to-1 Observer in preparation for a RoSPA retest, while others have sought to develop specific aspects of their riding to, for example, prepare for a Trainee Observer assessment ride. Full Member Training (FMT) It would be fair to say that demand for the four scheduled FMT days has fluctuated. Five members sign up for the first FMT on 31st March, but at the other extreme the 20th October date ended up being cancelled due to a


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lack of bookings! This generated some supportive comments on the EAMG Forum so hopefully will end up being a one-off issue. Some years ago, prior to becoming an Observer, I recall attending a FMT where I was one of 16 Group members who signed up for a FMT ride to the Cotswolds. Somehow I suspect it may be unrealistic to aspire to return to these levels but, given that FMTs offer a unique training option (significantly different to anything offered by 'official' RoSPA and IAM groups), it would be good to see more members benefiting from the effort and expertise that John Tipper puts into planning the routes and pairings for these days. John is active-

ly investigating options for increasing attendance levels in 2020, which could include opening up these rides to Associate members, albeit over a slightly shorter route.

Copdock Show This year's Copdock Show clashed with the AGT on 6th October, so the Training Team ended up being split between the two activities. The day started off with some heavy and persistent early rain leading to the individuals riding to set up the stand (Alan Burke, Danny Rutter & Ian Brady) getting soaked, to the extent that Danny had to buy more gloves at the Show for the ride home! Mick Hewitt probably made a astute choice by travelling on 4 wheels with the Gazebo. Thanks also to John Herring who assisted on the stand. Due to the rain trainee numbers at the AGT were significantly reduced, which gave me a chance to attend both activities - sadly though, numbers visiting the show were also down so things were a little quieter than usual on EAMG's stand. The date for next year's show is 4th October. Herts Biker Down Course Many thanks to Tony Smith who ran two excellent Biker Down courses for EAMG members on 26th October and 23rd November. The Herts FireBike Team have now run courses for over 1000 bikers and it shows. The presen-

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tation was highly professional and totally relevant. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who rides a bike. You will be given a lot of helpful hints & tips (for example, have you downloaded the 'what3words' app to help you identify your location to emergency services?) and an opportunity to practice things like helmet removal. If you missed out it is not too late to register your interest for a future date. Simply e-mail your details to bikerdown@hertfordshire.gov.uk and you will be contacted as soon as a space becomes available. ---ooo0ooo--Should any members have any training related queries then please e-mail training@eamg.org.uk or speak to the most relevant member of the Training Team.

Editor: My apologies to John for messing about with his formatting, it was beyond my MS Publisher skills to emulate it.


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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January 2020, Celebrates EAM’s 15th Anniversary of Independence: 'Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’ A Synopsis of the March 2005 Group Night Presentation by Steve Shortis and John Tipper Edited by John Tullett

EAM Training – A Synopsis of the March Group Night Talk Presented by John Tipper & Steve Shortis Edited by John Tullett One of the main projected benefits arising from independence was that Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Limited (EAM) would be able to draw on the most appropriate advanced riding techniques to meet the training needs of members, without having to accommodate compromises and restrictions imposed by a third party. Members will, no doubt, be wondering how this objective will work in practice? Maybe, even questioning whether promised training improvements can actually be delivered? Well, at the March Group Night meeting John Tipper and Steve Shortis provided a comprehensive update on the steps taken thus far by senior members of the Training Team, in developing a program that truly delivers “Excellence in Motorcycling”. This article is based on the notes I took at the meeting, augmented by salient points from Steve & John’s detailed presentation documents. One message that was crystal clear to all Group Night attendees, but is not so easy to convey in words, is the passion that our Training Team have for motorcycling, promoting road safety and in developing the riding standards of our members. I guess if you did not attend the meeting, you will need to participate in some training activities to obtain first-hand evidence for yourselves. Alternatively, why not approach Steve or John (or another member of the Training Team) and ask them to tell you about the enhanced training program and how it will benefit you? EAM Training Program

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To set the scene, background events leading to the Extraordinary General Meeting and formation of EAM were outlined, including the severe problems experienced in attracting new Associate Members under the Skill for Life package and several of the more recent run-ins with the IAM. As an independent group EAM is now able to offer a wider range of training options, which will be further expanded in due course. The Senior Observer Assessors have also produced an extensive and comprehensive new Training Manual which is presently in the process of being finalised. The new EAM Organisation comprises of The Committee and the Training Team. The Training Team consists of a Training Administrator (TBA); an Observer Coordinator (Steve Bancroft); 4 Senior Observer Assessors (Chris Reed, George Brown, John Tipper and Steve Shortis); Senior Observers and Observers. Our training programs will be constructive and are intended to provide an optimal balance between Safety and Fun.

Independence, Some Advantages 

Improvement For All

We are now free to develop new training options and, on joining, we will share a


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commitment to improve your skills. Training options will be open to all members and personalised to meet your individual requirements. For Full Members we will also enable you to maintain and progress beyond recognised Advanced Test standards, should you wish to do so. On the other hand, if you have specific training needs we will also be able to help. For example, if there are particular aspects of your riding you wish to improve then you will be able to request an assessment ride with an Observer. 

Training is no Longer Test Focused

While we hope that Associate Members will wish to train to take a test, with a view to becoming Full Members of the Group, there is now no requirement to do so. Should an Associate opt to undertake training without the pressures of a test then we will be pleased to accommodate your requirements. 

Ability to Promote a Wider Range of Test Standards

IAM Test – This offers a good advanced riding benchmark and will be actively promoted by EAM. Examiners are Police Class 1, which offers a rare opportunity for your riding to be independently assessed by a Class 1 rider. Negative factors are that the test is not graded and qualification is for life. EAM’s training philosophy is to encourage continuous improvement for all Members. RoSPA Test – This test is generally considered to be of a higher standard, with ‘Bronze’ typically being equivalent to an IAM pass. Examiners are also Police Class 1. The test is graded, riders are periodically re-assessed and the candidate receives a comprehensive ride report. Some Group members appear to view a pass other than ‘Gold’ as being some sort of failure but ‘Silver’ also represents a very high standard of achievement. BMF Blue Riband – This test, which involves training by one BMF approved instructor and examination by another, has also been investigated. At this stage, however, we do not plan to endorse this option as it does not appear to offer additional benefits when compared to the IAM or RoSPA tests, which are both conducted by independent examiners. We will keep this situation under review. Training Opportunities There are a number of training programs available to supplement the wide range of social rides on offer. The list is not rigid – you should just identify what you need!

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For Associates

There are five training programs: New Member Training Presentation; One-to-One Training; Associate Group Training; Associate Member Training and Slow Riding Days.


For Full Members

Two training programs are available: Full Member Training and Slow Riding Days. EAM also continues to organise social rides throughout the year.


For Observers EAM invests considerable time and effort in Observer training. Those who aspire to become Trainee Observers first undergo an initial assessment, followed by a training programme that rarely takes less than 6 months. Following this, they take a comprehensive final assessment that has to be repeated by all Observers every 2 years. Training often broadens the riding horizons of those who join our programmes.

New Member Training Presentation This 2-hour evening session provides basic information about EAM, explains training options in greater detail and helps to develop member aspirations. The NMTP is interactive and usually includes a film demonstrating advanced riding techniques. One-to-One Training After an Associate Member has attended a NMTP, the Training Co-ordinator will be able to allocate this member to an Observer for One-to-One Training. The Observer (Continued on page 30)


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All Full Member Rides will leav e Sainsburys Springfield, Ch elmsford

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December 2019 Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th January 2020 Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 19th February Sunday, 2nd Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Sunday, 23rd March Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th April Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Saturday, 11th Sunday, 12th Tuesday, 21st Sunday, 26th May Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, ??? Sunday, 17th Tuesday, 19th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st June Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th Sunday, 28th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night - Natter Night Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2001) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2001) Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Super Sausage Run Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2002) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2002) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

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


Sunday, ?5?th Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 19th Tuesday, 21st Sunday, 26th Sunday, 26th

Maldon Motor Show Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2003) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2003)

August Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride (to be confirmed) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Slow Riding Day Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2004)

Copdock Show Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2004) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

Diary 20 20

Sunday, 2nd Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Sunday, 16th Tuesday, 18th Sunday, 23rd September Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 13th Tuesday, 15th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th October Sunday, 4th Sunday, 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Sunday, 18th Tuesday, 20th Sunday, 25th November Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Tuesday, 17th Sunday, 22nd December Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 20th

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


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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture


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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

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will make first contact to arrange an initial assessment ride. Training will be tailored to your meet your needs, with the Observer being on hand to maximise achievement in accordance with your expectations. It is important that training progresses in a deliberate manner. Remember, you cannot learn to ride from reading a book! You should consider advice given but also aim to develop your own riding style, rather than just copying in parrot fashion. Dialogue with your Observer is important; always debate any points that are not clear. The Present Ride Report Form is ‘third generation’ and found to work well. It provides a written record of aspects covered during the ride. Observers will primarily comment on safety issues that require attention, trends that require further work and positive trends that are worthy of praise. Aspects can be ‘scored’ on a scale 1 to 5 to help Associate Members clearly see their progress. The date of the next observed ride will be agreed and recorded on the Ride Report Form following each ride (except when on AGT). Observer resource is not finite and because any unenthusiastic Associate Members could cause delays, Observers will retain to right to return any individuals lacking commitment to the Training Co-ordinator for reallocation at a less busy time. Associate Group Training Each AGT comprises of a Roadcraft talk followed by either training for Associate Members or a social ride for Full Members. Traditionally, the Roadcraft talks have often been carried out by Senior Observers but the Group is presently expanding the pool of available speakers to include all Observers. The training is still tailored for Associate Members, but because your riding will be assessed by a different Observer, AGTs can provide a valuable opportunity

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to obtain a second opinion on your strengths and weaknesses. During each AGT an Observer will typically observe Two Associate Members, which will sometimes allow one Associate to “take a breather” while the second Associates riding is being observed. A ‘Feedback’ form is being introduced providing Associate Members with the opportunity to report on their One-toOne ride experience. Associate Member Training This new application of an existing idea is being launched in July to give Associate Members the opportunity to polish their skills in a supervised environment. The format will be similar to that used for FMT, but slightly shorter in distance (around 150 miles). The ride will cover a good cross-section of roads and EAM will make a modest charge to cover Observer expenses. AMT will be targeted at Associate Members approaching test standard and held around 3 to 4 times a year. The pre-ride briefing will cover the route, aims of the day and allocation to Observers. Ratios will be two Associates to one Observer, with each group of 3 riding separately. Each group will be carefully matched and Observers will focus specifically on any areas of concern that Associates have. We envisage that there will be collective discussion during refreshment breaks, with the potential for swapping Observers at stops. Each AMT event will conclude with a ride report. Slow Riding Days This title is something of a misnomer; we cover far more than just slow riding! In addition to practising Emergency Braking, Figures of 8, U-Turns and Negotiating Cones, future SRD events will be expanded to include topics such as Basic Machine Maintenance and Motorcycle Manoeuvring. The majority of SRD attendees have often been Associate Members but these events also offer a valuable refresher for Full Members and an opportunity for machine changers to practice Emergency Braking and Slow Control in a safe off -road environment.

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In future it is also intended to include specific advanced riding techniques, such as Countersteering. Full Member Training FMT was first introduced in 2000, because no training was available to further develop or reassess riding skills following the standard IAM test. To date, over 100 Full Members have participated, with a number of attendees going on to become Observers and/or to pass a RoSPA test. FMT days achieve a good balance between training value and fun, with many participants returning on future rides. FMT also gives aspiring Observers an insight into the roll of an Observer. Four FMT rides are held each year and, for 2005, all new routes have been introduced. To ensure the highest possible standards all Observers taking part will be EAM Senior Observers or Observers holding the RoSPA Gold standard.

Observer Training Observers fulfil a crucial training role within the Group, however, our standards are high and observer training is tough. Not only do Observers have to meet the requirements described in the EAM Training Manual but also to ride exceptionally well themselves. Observing requires a good deal of time and commitment. A qualified Observer will not only be expected undertake One-to-One Training with their own Associates, but also to attend AGT's, Observer meetings and other Group & Observer training days as may be required. Extensive and regular reassessments of riding and training skills will also be carried out to maintain standards. To get a better idea of what is involved you should read Mike O’Dwyer’s “Pride Takes a Fall” article (see December 2004 TUG). If you are interested in becoming an Observer then please have a word with a Senior Observer Assessor or Senior Observer. Editor: The pictures supplied with this article were from North Weald and an Observer Seminar. I hope that some of them are of the same vintage as the article.


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Glass Museum Visit Submitted by Jacques Deklerk Jacques contacted me about a visit he and a bunch of the guys had made to the Glass Museum in Birmingham. This was mentioned in their house magazine, an extract from which appears below. He also sent a bunch of photos from the trip, some of which I have appended..

From Glasscuts Magazine

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A few more pictures from the trip:


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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This should strike a chord with anyone who has been on Richard’s rides to the seaside!


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Events Report Chris Johnson The first outing was one of Richard's to Oundle on 13th October. I was in France at the time but Richard kindly posted a short account on the Forum. "Well in spite of the dreadful forecast it went really well and was enjoyed by all 7 riders. It wasn't raining when we left Chelmsford and stayed dry well not the roads - until after the Tea stop at Sandy. It then rained but not too heavy until lunch at Oundle where we found some lovely flooded roads! :) After lunch it was fine all the way home so that from St Neots on the roads were actually drying off. Unfortunately John had a puncture in the rear near Thrapston which was soon plugged by the able team around him. Many thanks to Spider for back marking on the way out and to John (the puncture) on the way back". Spider also sent me an account of a, for him, fairly restrained variety. He confirmed the meteorological outlines, but waxed more enthusiastic about mud, leaves, and generally sliding about. The cafe was described as having good food but being a bit clammy, and the repair of the puncture was elaborated on. Distance was 200 miles. I didn't get to the pictures he linked via WhatsApp quickly enough to be able to download them. On 20th October Chris Reed held a second Full Member ride to Jimmy's Cafe at Old Buckenham airfield in Norfolk. It was a bitterly cold day and Chris led 14 of us at a moderate pace because of suspect road conditions. I was back marker but the group did not spread out so the position was largely redundant. Unfortunately on the road between Wethersfield and Sible Hedingham one member went offroad after a bend and, when he regained the tarmac, his mud coated tyres meant that the bike skittered to the offside, where he went into a six-foot ditch, hit two trees and was catapulted off the bike. A van driver and a cyclist coming the opposite way were the first to reach him. He was conscious but in considerable pain with chest and back damage, and his Helite inflatable vest had almost certainly saved his spine and possibly his life. The air ambulance landed less than six minutes after the emergency call was made and could give

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him professional support. which was a great relief to everybody. The group members did an excellent job of securing the site until the police arrived and closed the road. The road-based services started arriving after 30 minutes, and when the helicopter finally took off about 90 minutes after the accident we had accumulated four ambulances, at least three police cars, and a fire engine! Eventually we could resume the ride, but we were two hours delayed, the mood was understandably subdued, and so we lunched at Sudbury and then returned to Chelmsford. Total distance 66 miles. Useful information to be gleaned from the accident is that Helite vests, though expensive, are worth having and that the What3words smartphone app, which was used to give the exact location of the accident, is also a potential life saver. Mick & Alans run on 27th October was to the La Hogue Farm Shop not far from Newmarket. A crisp and sunny day with 25 bikes. No incidents apart from Sandra toppling her bike when stationary (no real delay) and younger members used to fuel injection who were not aware that carburettors leak petrol when not vertical, and thus assumed the worst. This led to a more significant delay, particularly after one of the two holding screws for the air box cover made a successful break for freedom. Mental note add a few self-tapping screws to all the clobber I carry in my top box. The meal at La Hogue was good and quick. The ride back was uneventful. 108 miles. Richard's next ride was to Swaffham in Norfolk on 17th November. I could not attend since one of my grandsons (the dopey one), who were staying with us, had thoughtlessly got his foot run over by a car on the Friday evening, and I had to be

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around to ferry him about. Richard's account of the ride is suitably laconic. "Great ride on Sunday 11 bikes chilly but not cold and mostly dry roads. Back early after 170 miles. Thanks to Tony for tail ending. What else could one want to know? I got a message about the run, at least it was headed as such, from Spider but he seemed to be in one of his obscure moods and it appeared to be a homily about riding your own ride with no information about Richard's. I thus have no scurrilous gossip for you. Sorry. Colin Digby, bless him, did send me some pictures.

Today, 24th November, TUG was almost ready and so I had left a bit of space here to be able to attend, and report on, Mick & Alans run to the Ambience Cafe in St. Neots. Unfortunately it was not to be, This morning I had a 38.4C temperature and all the symptoms of flu. It couldn’t possibly be normal flu, because I have had the jab, but it is a very convincing imitation. Possibly some exotic variant previously unknown to medical science. Lucky me.

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Those Were the Days! Submitted by Mick Hewitt


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Observer Profile Colin Digby (Editor: Not the usual format, but we take what we are given. The mug shot was taken from a photo on Colin’s FB profile, since he didn’t send one!)

Current Bike(s): KTM Super Duke RSE Triumph Explorer Fantasy Bike: I alr eady own the best bike in the wor ld KTM Preferred road/area to ride in the UK and Overseas: Anywhere with twisty roads

Age when you first rode a bike and what bike was it: I was 15 and riding my mate’s CBR 1000 blade Haningfield res When and why did you develop an interest in riding a bike Due To work moving location i had to get coworker transport and we said let’s get him a bike license so I looked in to it And it worked out buy one get second half price and i had to take him to the training as he had no car license So we both got Trained and I then went on to advanced riding and gained ROSPA Gold in 2014 Aside family members, who would you like as a riding companion To be honest I have no preference in riding partner. As long as I’m on two wheels I’m happy in a group of like-minded people. Reasons behind joining EAMG and then becoming an EAMG Observer: I gained my Rospa Gold off my own back after passing my test and then wanted to be as safe and aware as I could be and you never stop learning

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For a number of years, I continued to hone my skills attending Group social rides and joining in with the social side of the Group. When a friend became an Observer I started to wonder if I had what it takes To join their exclusive ranks I am glad to say I passed the entrance test and, under the watchful eye of Mr.P & MR H Have fun, ride safe, ride within your limits


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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.

@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


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982