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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

December 2020 February 2021

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, This is a single issue which is having to double for two. My apologies, and a fuller explanation on Page 4. As I write this we are into our third day of snow and the house, being a listed building which is not allowed to have insulation or double glazing, is struggling to stay much above 15˚C. In consequence my tiny hands are freezing as I type. I suppose that there would be no riding at the moment even without a pandemic is a left-handed consolation of sorts. My wife Mary and I both had our Pfizer jabs a fortnight ago, and are thus less likely to be knocked off our perches. If some of you could send me some copy, even if it has nothing to do with motorbikes, I would be pathetically grateful. Jill and Graham saved this issue from having, standard pieces excepted, only recycled content. Chris Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk)

Chairman’s Piece

2

Apology from Editor

4

Test Passes

5

Membership Info

7

New Members

8

Training Team News

10

Old This & That …

13

AGT & Beryl Platt

18

Membership Form

22

Dates for the Diary?

24

Old Picture Gallery

26

I Did It My Way

20

Old Events Report

33

Further Training

42

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 2020

December 2020, the end to probably the most memorable year in my lifetime, a year ago who could have imagined what lay ahead. Sadly I look back at the year and know we have lost at least one member to this dreadful virus. My thoughts are with you if you have experienced loss of family or friends, or suffered hardship or ill health. We can only hope 2021 brings us more positive times and gives us back the freedom to live, work and play in the manner we remember…that all seems a distant memory. My bike insurance renewal has just arrived and I look longingly at the mileage I insured myself for last year, I crave meeting up with members for a social ride and some banter! We’ve managed to run a few activities for the associate members but are painfully aware there has been very little for our full members this year. The committee have had some virtual meetings and the topic of fees has been discussed. We are a charity and the full member £25 is a donation rather than a fee. We are asking you to pay your 2021 fee as normal but we will make some sizeable donations to motorcycle related charities that have been unable to collect money this year and are

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struggling. We have already donated £500 to Essex air ambulance. The 2020 motorcycle run was an individual effort this year, called ‘I did it my way’. This raised £16,000 but overall they are £60,000 down on fundraising for the year, and we hope to donate more. The National Motorcycle Museum is also down on funds and we will be discussing a donation at the next committee meeting. If we’re allowed, and we sincerely hope we will be, we will also host a heavily subsidised BBQ in the summer for members and their families .

We managed to hold AGT in October and at the moment are planning to in December, subject to guidelines. Writtle Community Association have completed their new building situated to the left and behind the old community centre. The building is named after Baroness Beryll Platt and will be perfect for our AGT’s going forward when regulations permit. That’s about it from me, other to wish you all the best Christmas possible and hope for more sociable times in 2021.

Editor: If you want to renew your membership by paying directly into the bank, or even better by setting up a direct debit, the relevant details are: . 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

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An Apology from the Editor This should have been the December 2020 issue of T.U.G. Unfortunately at the end of November my wife became ill and was admitted to hospital. When she was no longer at crisis level she was discharged, but without any real understanding of what was wrong. She remained poorly and there were many hospital visits for further investigations. She is still not completely well, although much improved, and I have not felt able to abandon her for long periods whilst I slaved over T.U.G. (it is surprisingly time-consuming) until now.. This means that Jill and John Tullett’s pieces are old, and circumstances have shown that the cautious optimism in them was misplaced. Things went from bad to worse, although the January lockdown and the successful rollout of vaccination do seem to be helping the dismal hospitalisation and mortality figures. We have to hope that EAMG will be able to resume at least training in the Spring..

T.U.G has been a bit weird since April 2020. No meetings, events, pictures, and precious little in the way of copy from members. It has had to become a rehash of stuff published earlier and of course, since there are no Group Nights for distribution of printed copies, it has also become online only. It may well have to continue like this for a couple more issues. There may be light at the end of the tunnel but it is still hard to guess how far away that end is.

r

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CONGRATULATIONS Recent Test Passes

Adam Orchard 18th December 2020 RoSPA Gold (retest) Observer: Michel Couque Examiner: Phil Jones

Michel Coque 11th October 2020 RoSPA Gold (retest)

Observer: ? Examiner: Paul Brown

Eddy Brazier

16th October 2020 EAMG Observer (re-test) Assessor: John Tipper


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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! The membership figures are not

currently being updated

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

95

Associate

35

Social

0

Observer

18

Life

13

Total

153

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New Members

There did not appear to be any new members recorded in the database for this period. This might be a sorting error on my part, but these are hardly propitious times.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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TRAINING TEAM NEWS John Tullett .

Coronavirus Our 1-to-1 training programme was ticking along quite nicely, albeit in a socially distanced manner, until Lockdown 2 was introduced on 5th November. Hopefully it will not be necessary for this lockdown to be extended beyond 2nd December and at that point it will be possible for training to resume - please check EAMG's Forum & Facebook page for up to date guidance. Training Team Update Congratulations to Danny Rutter who recently passed his Trainee Observer Assessment ride with John Tipper. Danny has been allocated to Senior Observer Mick Hewitt to complete his observer training. If any Full members, holding RoSPA Gold, are potentially interested in giving something back to the Group by becoming a Trainee Observer then please contact me and I will be happy to supply further details of what is involved. Associate Group Training (AGT) On 11th October the first full AGT since March was held at the Beryl Platt Centre (formerly Longmeads House) and proved to be a success. Tight controls over attendance and distancing were in place. Each Associate and

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Full member signed up for further training (FTFM) was required to confirm their attendance to Mick Hewitt who managed bookings and ensured sufficient numbers of Observers were available. The Group followed Government guidelines that allowed groups of more than 6 to gather for training purposes. Numbers were limited to a maximum of 25, with everyone wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing of 2m. Guidelines also stipulated that only Full members signed up for FTFM and Associates were able to attend. For anyone who was not comfortable to enter the building with others, but wished to participate in an observed ride, the option was available to meet an Observer outside or at an alternative location. Unfortunately, Lockdown 2 meant that the fully booked 8th November AGT had to be cancelled. The 6th December AGT will proceed providing lockdown is not extended - if you are interested in attending then please contact Mick Hewitt to reserve your place (Mick's details are on the Group's Forum - accessible via http: / / www.eamg.org.uk/ ). Please also note that for 2021 a January AGT is being reintroduced - remember to pencil the 10th in to your diaries. Associate Member Training / Full Member Training The final AMT/ FMT ride of 2020, on 18th October, took place successfully but with just two Full members in attendance.

Events Diary 2021 / Midweek Social Rides A comprehensive diary of events is planned for 2021 - details of which should appear elsewhere in this issue of TUG. Thank you to John Tipper, Richard Parker and Mick Hewitt for supplying their dates so promptly. Also a special mention to Graham Simpkins who has once again arranged access

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to Ford's Dunton Test Track for our Slow Riding Days. Hopefully, we will be able to proceed with as many planned activities as possible, including the much missed social events & rides. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed the absence of any midweek social rides at present, which were traditionally held once a month between April & November and open to Full & Associate members. This has arisen because Bob Cowl has decided to 'retire' from coordinating these events in 2021. If any Full members are willing to take on this role then please let me know. You do not need to organise all of the routes yourself, unless you really want to, as a number of individuals have led rides in the past. To date, I have had one positive response from Tony Seaman, who has kindly offered to lead one or two rides.

---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.

Editor: Due to the publication delay I regret that some aspects of John’s piece are now a little out of date.

www.eamg.org.uk


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Old This and That Dave Iszard This article first appeared in TUG in February 2007. Another of Dave’s highly individual pieces.

I think there is such a thing as a bike snob, you know the sort of person who reckons that their horse is far superior to yours. Personally speaking I couldn’t care less, I enjoy any make as long as it is fun to ride but not everyone thinks like this. I remember someone who used to commute on one of those stinky 2 stroke MZ’s, he said other bikers would rarely wave to him and one even gave him the finger. I’ve never been given an insult but being a habitual BM fan I’m used to being ignored by oncoming riders who know it’s a Beemer. I feel sure I would get more acknowledgement were I on a rice burner. Nicki and I took our BM’s on an MCI tour to the Pyrenees’ there were two other Beemers on the tour and a whole gaggle of sports bikes. One of the sports bike riders was heard to say that he wouldn’t even bother to speak to anyone who owns a BMW which I found rather amusing. It certainly spoke volumes about him though! I always nod to other riders but don’t always get acknowledged. My personal thought is, the rider who nods back is a motor cycle enthusiast and the one who doesn’t is a bloke riding a motor bike. Oh! Did I mention Harley riders, a complete sub species, a breed unto themselves even. Oh yes! Quiz night. I remember when quiz night consisted of motor bike and highway code questions with a little bit of general knowledge thrown in but now there is Chris Johnson (and family I believe). Chris has introduced ‘intelligence’ to the quiz making it somewhat difficult for the likes of me who spent my educational years day dreaming. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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The questions back then were along the lines of Q1. How many clutch springs has a 1956 Triumph T100. Q2. How many clutch springs has a 1957 Triumph T100. Q3 what was Mike Hailwood’s christian name. You get my drift don’t you? Now the questions are along the lines of, Q1. How many treble quavers are there in Bizet’s March of the Nut Crackers, or, Q2. How many red blood cells does Yang the Tibetan sheep farmer have and I’m afraid I don’t know the answers (but bloody Gary Crane did). Fortunately there were nine of us in our team and there is strength in numbers but we still didn’t win. I hanker for the old days when I almost knew the answers. Useless information, most of us get on and off the left side of the bike. Check the sole of your left boot it’ll be showing more wear than the right one because as you get on and off you swivel on your foot a little causing extra wear. Q3. What year did The Beatles release their album ‘Rubber Sole.’ I’m surprised that John Tipper of Tippers International Tours (T.I.T’S) has admitted to test riding BMW’s. (He also found that no one waved to him). He wasn’t especially struck by any of the ones he tried and even less so when they told him the prices. A new K1200 GT is approaching £12,000. He said “I could buy a new FireBlade for that and have enough left over to buy a cheap new ‘second’ bike for winter.” Yes John! but you would have to wave to oncoming bikers and you would have ‘street cred’ which is difficult now you’ve been caught wearing lycra. On the way to Thaxted the other weekend five deer ran across the road causing the cars in front to brake sharply and it made me think about animal encounters over the years. On a national rally Ian Adkin (a prominent member some years ago) hit a rook at speed, the bird just exploded covering Ian’s goretex jacket with blood and guts, which, by the end of the rally was well dried in and didn’t wash out. A badger once crossed the road in front of a group of us and we all zoomed different sides of it without hitting it. One lucky badger! A young rabbit that ran between the front and back wheel of a bike

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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completely unscathed and a mouse that got run over giving an audible ‘pop’. A leading rider who flicked up some hedgehog entrails which stuck to the helmet of the chap following. There’s one story that I just refuse to believe. Back in the days that front number plates were mounted on the front mudguard, a rider ran into a cow that had strayed onto the road. The number plate stuck into the side of the cow killing it and the rider was able to get off the bike leaving it upright with the plate still stuck in the cow. Presumably we were to believe the cow remained upright as well. An over imaginative mind I think. Q4, if your bike does 40 mpg at 63 mph how far would you go to avoid a Mcdonalds gristle burger. I haven’t the faintest idea, ask Gary.

Dave Iszard. P.S. never go faster than your bike can take you ? ? ?

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October 2020 AGT and Beryl Platt. Jill Wynn On 11th October 2020 we held our AGT (Associate Group Training) at the new Writtle Community Association building, named after the Baroness of Writtle, Beryl Platt. Born in 1923 Beryl was educated at Westcliff High School for girls, where she initially gained entrance to read Mathematics at Cambridge. In 1941, the government announced a state bursary – including £25 per week pocket money – for engineering undergraduates to help the war effort. Platt is quoted as describing this sum as "a fortune to me at the time", and chose to switch her studies to Aeronautical Engineering. One of 5 women amongst 250 men. Women did not receive the same honours as their male counterparts: she was not awarded a degree, only a 'Title of degree' It was not until five years later, in 1948, that women were admitted to degrees at Cambridge. In her aeronautical career she worked on the testing and production of three of the RAF's outstanding fighter planes of the time: the Hurricane, the Typhoon, and the Tempest V, before ending her professional career, marrying and becoming mother to 2 children. After her Children had grown up she became a councillor of Chelmsford Rural District in1956, the beginning of a successful political career. In 1981 she was made a life peer taking the title Baroness Platt of Writtle, and joined the House of Lords. Mick Hewitt was our Speaker at the new venue with an informative talk on gears. Richard Parker was our supervisor inside and Jill Winn the outside supervisor and Covid officer. The building is currently limited to 25 people and we had a good turnout. 7 associates and 3 FTFM then left for observed rides with 10 observers. Strict social distancing was observed, face coverings were worn and the one way system worked fairly well. When we can include the full members again and have use of the kitchen it will be a superb venue .

www.eamg.org.uk


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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I Did It My Way Graham Simpkins The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) have a great relationship with motorcyclists. We know we are high risk road users so motorcyclists all around the country are huge supporters of the air ambulance service in their respective regions. The motorcycle runs in May and September are two of EHAAT’s biggest fundraising events of the year, raising more than £60,000 for the charity. EAMG have enjoyed supporting these events over the years. Many members will have participated in the runs, whilst others, including myself, assist with the running of events and of course we take the EAMG stand to North Weald in May and Harwich in September. EHAAT have been organising motorcycling events for 21 years but due to the restrictions this year asked riders to create their own route with money being raised by entry fees, tee shirt sales and sponsorship. The challenge ‘I Did It My Way’ was no substitute for thousands of bikers taking part in the usual motorcycle runs but nevertheless was very successful with the 672 riders who took part raising more than £16,000. Participating motorcyclists were encouraged to submit photos from their ride for sharing on EHAAT’s website. I signed up as soon as I heard about this ‘event’ and thought it would be interesting to visit EHAAT locations and end in Harwich to experience the contrast with previous years. I’ve not visited Harwich before when the streets aren’t lined with thousands of motorcycles. (Continued on page 30)

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Diary 20 21

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

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2021 Please note that all events in the Diary are now suspended until further notice, February

March

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

April

May 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)

June 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

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

July

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Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th September Sunday, ?? Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 26th October Sunday, 3rd 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

Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2103) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2103) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show (to be confirmed) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Slow Riding Day Richard's Full Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2104) Copdock Show Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2104) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

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

Sunday, 25th August

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) 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 2O21


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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Ol

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ld Pictures ■ 20 10 ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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(Continued from page 22)

I didn’t have an exact route planned, just a few way points. The usual motorcycle runs follow a prescribed route on A roads as that is the only practical and safe way to manage the large number of riders involved. For my solo ride I was determined to avoid A roads a much as possible so just followed my nose in the general direction of the waypoints I had chosen. First stop of the day was North Weald airfield, home to the Herts air ambulance and destination of the Herts motorcycle run. It was great to see huge progress on construction of the new hangar since my last visit. The new building will not only house the aircraft and crew but also have facilities for training, patient liaison, a visitor centre and offices for the Hertfordshire based EHAAT fundraising team.

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My Blackbird outside the current visitor centre and hanger at North Weald.

And the new hangar, still under construction. It was a nice morning so once I’d taken a few photographs I enjoyed a socially distanced breakfast in the sunshine outside the Wings café to fuel me for the day. My next destination was the Earls Colne airfield where the Essex air ambulance is stationed. The adjacent industrial estate is also home to EHAAT’s main office. I knew the offices had been closed with everyone working from home so was surprised when EHAAT CEO, Jane Gurney waved to me from the conference room window, no doubt amused by my antics as I set my camera on a tripod for a selfie.

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In more normal times I would be here for meetings but on this occasion just for a photo.

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Before leaving Earls Colne I rode down to the air base to get another selfie with the helicopter.

I set the final destination of Harwich into my satnav just to be sure I kept heading in the right general direction then headed out through Wakes Colne and kept going easterly, staying north of the A12. Eventually I found myself near Manningtree then followed the estuary taking in the views and enjoying some nice winding roads as I passed through Mistley and Wrabness. I refuelled at Morrison’s in Dovercourt then rode into a very quiet Harwich. I usually arrive here an hour or more after most motorcycle run participants so ride through streets already lined by bikes and crowded with people. Today only six bikes are parked near the pier and I passed only a few solitary people walking in the town which is a real reminder of how different our lives are at the moment. After a wander round, a few more photos and an Ice cream on the Ha'penny Pier I made my way home using B roads again as much as practical. I finally arrived home

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about eight hours after I set out that morning. It had been an enjoyable days riding and in a good cause but when reflecting on it that evening it occurred to me that EHAAT had received from me less than I spent on petrol so I promptly made another donation. Although the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines is picking up rapidly it is clear that large events won’t be taking place in the next few months at least. With that in mind EHAAT are already looking at how the solo ride format could be enhanced as it is quite probable that is all we can do this year too. As soon as I have more details, I’ll make sure EAMG members know. It’s nice to have an excuse for a ride or better still, a worthy cause.

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Old Events Report Chris Johnson First published in TUG in October 2014. The mugshot is from 1964. The first ride of this period was to be a Richard Parker Full Member ride to Derham on 13th July. I was unable to attend, but apparently it was a very rainy day which developed into a very, very, VERY rainy day. Contrary to Richard's pessimistic expectations five did turn up for the run, but the destination was switched to the less ambitious Red Lodge. The heavens opened for the ride back, with Ian claiming to be reminded of crossing Lake Windermere and everyone else admitting to being completely soaked. They must be a masochistic bunch because they all professed to enjoy it, at least in retrospect! Richard also organised an Associate ride on 26th July. There were a number of Group stalwarts there in a support capacity but the number of actual Associates attending is rumoured not to have reached double figures, even when counting in binary, although I may be muddling that up with Chris Reed's pre-Group Night outing on 5th August. The turnout for both rides was officially classed as 'disappointing'. Richard's next ride was to Uppingham on 3rd August. It was a blazingly hot day and we had over 20 bikes participating. The run was a long one at over 230 miles. I have forgotten where we had our stop on the outward leg; it was somewhere that I knew but only a picture showing us outside a pub called The Jolly Sailor was any guide. In an effort to seem less geographically challenged I have consulted Google Images and can report that

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there are hundreds of pubs with that name, but none with apparently matching appearance, so the location remains a mystery. There must have been some marking irregularities on the way out, because at one point I was standing by the roadside in a village for over half-anhour. I got to be on waving terms with some of the local residents, declined two offers of help from passing cars, and bonded with a dog behind a nearby fence. He clearly felt very sorry for me because my owners had callously abandoned me in the heat without so much as a drink of water, and offered me a drink from his bowl. I thanked him but did not take up the offer. It was a rather high fence. Once the run started up again we had an all too brief stretch on a goat track which Richard claimed to have included for my benefit, although since he later admitted that he had made a minor wrong turning I am not sure how grateful I should be. Chris Reed complained vigorously about it as being totally unsuited to his Fireblade's suspension. My other bike is a 954 Blade, and it would have had no problems, so perhaps the handling has grown more track-oriented in later versions. The other explanation is, of course, unthinkable.

At Uppingham we had to fit into a car park which was manifestly too small. I didn't quite end up stacking the KTM vertically in a telephone box, but it was pretty darned close to that. The Beans Cafe seemed strangely familiar, the queue was long and the service a little chaotic, but the garden at the rear was very pleasant. Chris Reed had enthused about the Malteser ice-cream sundaes. I tried one. It was ... interesting ... but I shall not be having another in a hurry. When we left we had a fuel stop at a garage whose forecourt was manifestly too small. Could this be a characteristic of Uppingham? The journey back seemed uneventful until after the stop at St Neots, but then things went very pear-shaped for some of us. A marker who had abandoned post too early meant that by the time we were around Sandy we were getting a nasty feeling that we shouldn't be around Sandy. There was a lot of stopping and peering at maps; the A507 sounded promising but unless you know where you are it is awfully easy inadvertently to Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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head the wrong way on the A507, so I shall keep discretely silent about a subsequent catalogue of unwise decisions. In the end I finally made it, alone, to Buntingford and scurried back homewards down the A10. It was actually a first-class day out and I ended up doing 328 miles. Sunday 10th of August was blessed by the last hurrah of Hurricane Bertha and, despite John Tipper's very appropriate talk on 'Riding in the Wet', people stayed away from the AGT in droves. Perhaps the persistent heavy rain and a lot of standing water put them off a bit. I had planned a ride to the Silver Ball (which Chris Reed refers to, unjustly to my mind, as the only cafe where you wipe your feet when leaving) and had two takers who had not lost their love of splashing through puddles. One left at Newport but Alan braved it out to the cafe despite finding that his supposedly waterproof boots had violated the Trades Description Acts. It had stopped raining on the way back, but familiar roads were made more exciting by the necessity to avoid flooded sections on bends or, even more exciting, avoiding oncoming cars which were avoiding flooded sections on bends. By the time I had got back to Sydenham my clothing was merely damp and then, in the last 400 yards, the skies opened with a cloudburst which reduced visibility to ten yards and I was back to square one. A week later John & Audrey held their annual Boys & Girls Ride to the Cotswalds. This started at the Birchanger Services on a greyish sort of day with about 20 riders which included only two girls apart from Audrey. This was disappointing, although better than in some previous years, and one of them was riding aYamaha MT 05 which has just been voted 'Bike of the Year' by Bike Magazine. Now those of you with a keen memory for these events reports will remember my limited enthusiasm for the destination, Bourton, which may be related to an aesthetic sense developed in Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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youth in the industrial wastelands south of the Tyne and means I am not keen on neat little villages, and be expecting yet another hatchet job now. Rest assured, you will not be getting one. I got past Woburn but then missed a marker on the A5 roundabout and ended up going in the wrong direction. Attempts to recover the situation, since it was overcast and I rely on the sun to tell me what direction I am heading in, failed pretty miserably and by the second time I had been through Dunstable it was 13:00 and I gave up and went home. The sunless day method of orientation, by observing the lichen on the northwards facing trunks of trees, doesn't really work well on a motorbike; target fixation risks. This debacle, coming so soon after the one at the end of Richard's run, means that I have finally capitulated and bought a SatNav. OK, since the mounting broke the first time I used it I have had little joy from it yet but I live in hope. Anyway, back to the ride. From Facebook pictures it looks as if it was far north enough to be out of the clouds for most of the way after Buckingham. I have no information about it other than a bit of joshing on the Forum about the back marker leaving a petrol stop on the way back whilst some of the group were still paying for their fuel. Unusual and unlucky, since John normally runs a pretty tight ship on his rides, which we less gifted regard with awe and admiration. Only one day of social rides left to report now, which is good because it is getting late, I have to finish this report before going abroad, and my old bones are aching for my comfortable chair in front of some rubbish on TV. Unfortunately on Sunday, 14th September there were two social rides. Richard Parker had a Full Member ride to Alderburgh, and Geoff Preston had his annual Beachy Head run. I had decided to make up my mind on the morning depending on when I woke up. Beachy Head gave an Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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extra half hour in bed since Thurrock is closer to me than Chelmsford. In the event I got up at 05:15, and that meant Aldeburgh. I was second to arrive at Sainsbury's and a further fifteen riders drifted in to enjoy a run on a fine day. Richard played his usual trick of travelling through familiar places by what was, to me, novel routes and I was forever thinking "How the blazes did we get here?". There was a stop at that caravan site / fishing lake somewhere in the Stowmarket region, whose location I always manage to forget, and we arrived in good order at Aldeburgh after only 3 or 4 drops of rain on the way.

Editor: The juxtaposition of these two independent pictures was a happy accident by the then editor, or so he claimed! Since the result was amusing I have not separated them.

There was then the long walk from the car park to the chippie, the queue there, and than the walk back. A plus this year was that there seemed to be fewer seagulls to snatch the food from your lips. There was a bit of muddle when we left with independent trips to the petrol station to avoid crowding it. I distinguished myself on this short run by deciding I might be going the wrong way, and pulling in to a driveway to take stock. Driveways have slopes. With my short legs I can only just have the balls of my feet on the ground on the KTM, and when I put my foot down I found the bike was leant so far over that I could not hold it, and slowly and elegantly(?) toppled over. I always knew that this was inevitably going to happen (and will equally inevitably happen again) so I felt pretty resigned. By good fortune a bunch of Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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other guys from the group drove up at that point to witness my shame, and more significantly to haul the bike upright for me, for which service many thanks. Painless, and the bike was scarcely scratched. We had to wait for a while at the petrol station for everyone to find their way there, including one guy who was phoned to find out where he was and responded that he was following Chris Johnson. Unless I have been cloned, or it was a not-so-subtle way of saying that he was hopelessly lost, this could not be right, but fortunately he turned up before too long. The ride back was pleasant, with a stop at Needham Lake, and we ended the run near Chelmsford at 17:15. The account of Geoff's run obviously cannot be at first hand. I am not a fan of the roads south of the Thames (one of the reasons for preferring Aldeburgh) but in recent years he has got increasingly ingenious at avoiding the worst of them and I suspect this year he may have excelled himself. A comfort break at Biddenden was reported. This looked interesting. When Google Routes was queried about a journey from Thurrock to Beachy Head via Biddenden and Rye it showed an awful lot of M20, but for a bicycle (apart from having to take a ferry across the Thames) the route looked more interesting, and by foot even more so, although the journey time was 28 hours! Geoff grandly declares that he does not do numbers, but that there were around a dozen attending. The ladies at the Biddenden tea room were apparently a bit overwhelmed at the influx of bikers but it was otherwise a pleasant place to stop. Between Appledore and Camber a marker left position early and the rump of the group were lost, but sterling work by Stephen and Audrey recovered them and everyone met up at Rye. At this point Maz produced a cool bag and astonished and delighted everybody by distributing exquisite goodies. There was some grumbling about the cost of ice cream at Beachy Head itself. I have no details about the ride back but it stayed fine, whilst the guy who cut off

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back early after lunch (presumably at Rye) got a soaking. Doug, Maz and John acted as sweepers. Here endeth the report. Armchair. TV. Beer! Editor: And that should have been that. Unfortunately when preparing the report I had pasted a few passages about Geoff’s run, including one from Geoff himself and John Tipper, at the bottom of the document to aid my writing. In my hurry I completely forgot to delete them before submitting, and they duly appeared in TUG, where they must have thoroughly confused the readers. In the interests of historical authenticity (I love a bit of historical authenticity) I reproduce them here, so that you can be thoroughly confused as well. Had a lovely day out riding with EAMG to Beachy Head. It went a bit pear shaped on the route home as some of us parted company when markers were not found and I'm still wondering # BernieTaylor and Ian Taylor where you came from on the A21??? And passed us. Lovely to see you both especially as I have just read on FB that you have just celebrated your Wedding Anniversary..

Pleased you enjoyed the ride, thanks to all for your good company and in particular to Doug and Maz and John for sweeping. : D There aren't too many good bike roads on the route but the road from Lydd to Rye via Camber can be a hoot if you are lucky enough to get a clear road, it was my lucky day, I encountered one car and I was able to overtake without having to wait any time. : ) The weather was superb for the dozen or so bikes, sorry Chris I don't do counting. The comfort break at Biddenden proved to be rather time consuming, the village coffee shop obviously unaccustomed to large groups of hairy bikers, the ladies present are not included in that phraseology of course. : ) Somewhere between Appledore and Camber the Group managed to decrease it's numbers by around forty per cent, yep! the fatal flaw in the marker system, a marker moved before the sweeper appeared. : shock: Fortunately, Stephen and Audrey were within Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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coms range and the situation was retrieved and we all, eventually, met up in Rye. : ) It was at this point that Maz produced a miniscule cool bag from which she distributed unending amounts of food to the assembled group, myself included, for which we were all most grateful, and amazed. : shock: It was then on to Beachy Head where, with the lack of anything more exciting, everyone availed themselves of the obligatory ice cream. : D Duly rested and refreshed we embarked on the journey back to the beloved Essex!! : lol: Thanks for organising Geoff, Audrey enjoyed riding for herself rather than sweeping for me all the time and I enjoyed just being led! We enjoyed the alternative route south avoiding the normal main roads. Kent was really busy, plenty of potential hazards, with high verges full of invisible driveways but some of the scenery was spectacular; made a real change from the roads of Essex. ÂŁ2.50 for an ice cream at Beachy Head was a bit steep but the village cafe in Biddenden was charming, albeit unused to serving bikers. Sorry to hear Peter got a soaking, serves you right for leaving at the lunch stop. We were much luckier only seeing a wet road as we arrived home. Thanks to MAZ for the unexpected salmon roll and to Doug for sweeping in the morning. Shame about the double social ride booking though!

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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 Please note that this program is suspended for the duration of the pandemic! FMT—(£45)

AMT— (£35)

Sunday, March 28th ?

Sunday, May 30th ?

Sunday, August 1st ?

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 - 2020 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 Š EAMG 2020 Illustrations Š 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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TUG Web Dec 2020  

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