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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

December 2021

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, Since there was no December Group Night, the pressure to finish off T.U.G was missing, and I let it slide. I let it slide so badly that only the approach of January Group Night raised me from my torpor and so here is the belated December edition. Keith Durrant submitted a Member Profile so extensive that it was a full article, not just a 2 page filler. Many thanks, Keith. Sandra Smith provided us with an account of a Scottish tour—in verse! Robbie Burns, look to your laurels! Nice to have a bit of culture in the magazine. Membership and test passes have only been recorded to the start of December. Can I surprise you by asking for some submissions for the February issue? Copy date for the February issue is 21st January. A Happy New Year to you all! Chris Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk)

Chairman’s Piece


Health & Safety?


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


Training Team News


Xmas Q uiz


Got The Tee Shirts


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Events Report


Member Profile




Further Training


What’s happening next?

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, then

Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE December 2021

I hope you are all well and enjoying the mild weather we have been having. I thoroughly enjoyed going on the associate ride recently, it was the first time in months I had queued for food, been able to circulate and sit where I wanted! Simple pleasures! AGT’s are now back to normal with no need to book and full members are welcome. A reminder we now hold AGT in January, subject to weather. Channels are unable to accommodate us in December or January. We have booked the AGT venue, The Beryl Platt centre for a meeting on 11th January. There will be a bar but no food will be served. The hall is smaller than Channels’ Barn but has tables and chairs so will be perfect for an informal natter night to discuss Christmas presents etc. More details will follow soon. February will be our normal AGM meeting and many of you will have heard I will be standing down as Chair and taking a break from observing. Whoever takes on the Chair position will inherit an excellent hard working committee who I thank for all their support and com-


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mitment during my tenure. I’ve been on the committee for 12 years, the last 4 as Chair, and it’s time for someone else to take it on. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year, hopefully spending time with family and loved ones.

Editor: Membership renewal is due at the end of this year. 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!

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Paul Carden

Clint Bardwell

18th November 2021 Observer (re-test)

20th November 2021 Observer (re-test)

Assessor: John Tipper

Assessor: John Tullett

Graham Cooper

Mick Hewitt

8th November 2021 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

15th October 2021 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

Examiner: Mick Jones

Examiner: Mick Jones

Steve Godfrey

Barry Barnes

4th November 2021 RoSPA Gold Observer: Andy Parnham Examiner: Mick Jones

Linda Haywood 18th Octoper 2021 RoSPA Silver Observer: Paul Carden Examiner: Mick Jones

21st October 2021 RoSPA Gold Observer: Graham Cooper Examiner: Mick Jones

Steve Mariner

3rd Octoper 2021 RoSPA Silver Observer: John Tullett Examiner: Mark Anderson

John Tullett

9th October 2021 IAM Fellow—F1RST retest Examiner: Douglas Prasser

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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 2022 

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: Darren Potts Full:

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 Test Passes

Congratulations to:  

Andy Parnham and Phil Reader who passed the Senior Observer Induction Day held on 23rd October; Michel Couque, Colin Digby, Paul Carden, & Clint Bardwell who recently passed their 2-yearly Observer retests; and

Observer Coordinator

Colin Digby will be taking over from Eddy Brazier as Observer Coordinator from the start of 2022. Thank you to Eddy for all of your hard work, both in this role and as a long-term member of the Training Team. Trainee Observers For a variety of reasons, during 2021, a number of our experienced Observers have either stepped down or been forced to take a break from observing. Consequently, we would like to take on some additional Trainee Observers. If you are a Full member, holding a RoSPA Gold, who enjoys a challenge and wants to give something back to the Group then please consider applying to become a Trainee Observer. If you are potentially inter-


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ested then please contact me via the e-mail address below and I will provide further details of what is involved. Alternatively, please feel free to speak to any members of the Training Team. Associate Group Training (AGT) Attendances of trainees wishing to participate in an observed ride remained high for the October (8 Associates) and November (6 Associates & 3 Full Members signed up for FTFM) AGTs. Thank you to Mick Hewitt and Colin Digby for their efforts in organising these days and handling allocations. The next AGT will be held on Sunday, 12th December. Please ensure that you arrive at the Beryl Platt Centre, 12-14 Redwood Drive, Writtle, Chelmsford, CM1 3LY, with a full tank of fuel by 09: 15 for a 09: 30 start. There is no need to pre-book – you can just turn up on the day. Attendees are requested to use face coverings inside. You may also stay outside if you wish but please ensure that the Observer at the allocations desk is aware of your attendance. Please be aware that we request a £10 charge from each member participating in training at AGTs to cover the Group’s expenses. Associate Member Training / Full Member Training We only had 1 Full member and 1 Associate booked for the final 2021 AMT/ FMT day, held on Sunday, 24th October. John Tipper puts a lot of effort into organising the AMT/ FMT days, which provide an excellent opportunity to help you develop your riding skills over longer routes that you are unlikely to be familiar with. We really hope to see higher numbers of attendees in 2022 – please check out the available dates in the new Events Diary elsewhere in this issue of TUG and get your bookings in early!

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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BMW Club Track Days 2022 If you wish to explore your bike’s capabilities a little further that would be wise on the road then the BMW ‘rider friendly’ track days offer a very enjoyable and popular option. These days are restricted to road legal bikes only. You also do not have to ride a BMW! Provisional (and as yet unconfirmed) dates for 2022 are:    

Monday Monday Monday Monday

9th May, Cadwell Park; 23rd May, Snetterton; 18th July, Cadwell Park; and 15th August, Snetterton.

These events are very popular and spaces fill up quickly. You do not need any previous track experience. Free coaching is available, should you require any assistance. For the latest information check out: www.thebmwclub.org.uk/ sportingregister/ Robert Bensley is the organiser and may be contacted via: robertbensley@btinternet.com

---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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EAMG XMAS Quiz 2021 Chris Johnson (mug shot courtesy of DVLA) The EAMG Christmas quizzes tend to follow the same format every year: same personnel, same rounds, same jokes, with only the questions being, mostly, different. This year things were actually a little different. For a start, because of booking problems at Channels, it was held in November. No problem—the retail Xmas period seems to start in late summer nowadays. Then it was combined with a freebee for the members; a heavily subsidised buffet which would provide better brain food than the normal crisps, nuts and chocolates with which the participants indulge themselves. This was very posh; linen tablecloths and real plates set six to a table. The idea was that people would sit six to a table and have finger food served to them in the interval.. Forlorn hope. In the event the usual suspects congregated a dozen to a table near the bar, and when the interval came complained vociferously about short commons. Jill, who likes a tight ship, was not too happy about this. Normally the quiz is run in a polished, witty and urbane manner by your experienced quizmaster. Well, that’s what he likes to think anyway. However Channels had installed a new PA system which turned out to be more of a PW (public whisper) system. For the first two rounds I was using unassisted voice, and the usual suspects were complaining, vociferously of course, that they could not hear. I advanced gradually up towards the rear, whereupon those at the front really couldn’t hear. It was a shambles, and getting some rapport with the audience was impossible. Fortunately Colin Digby headed up behind the bar to negotiate with the Channels staff, and normal service was resumed., but the magic had taken a dent. It should all have been smooth sailing after that, but when it was time for the ‘Sounds’ round it turned out that Channels had also installed a new CD player which none of the staff Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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knew how to operate. The start of the round was much delayed and, when it finally got going, was a series of miscues, awkward silences, and wrong tracks. Fortunately the members chose to treat the debacle with considerable good humour. The quizmaster was a little more shaken and forgot to give the answers to the Picture Quiz (which were subsequently published on the Forum). We got through it all somehow. The rounds seemed to be within acceptable limits for difficulty. The Sports and Sounds rounds seemed the easiest for most, with Science predictably being the hardest. The best Joker play was by Table 5, and the worst by Table 9. Table 3 was best for the picture quiz, which seems to have been a bit harder than usual. The results were, out of a possible 110: 1) Table 6 with 73 points 2) Table 3 with 70 points 3) Table 5 with 68 points The coveted wooden spoon was awarded to Table 9 with 51 points

Somewhat predictably, the tables stuffed with people tended to do better than those with only a few. Since we cannot really enforce table counts I have decided that next year I am going to complement the Wooden Spoon with a Moral Victory award for the table which does best in terms of the number of people on it. Incidentally, I only bring ten prizes for the winners so if a winning table has more than that number on it then some will go short!


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Got the Tee Shirts Sandra Smith

‘T’was a fine summer’s day in fair Scotland and the sun in the sky it was high, I took a photo of my old bike and packhorse, beyond the sea rose the Mountains of Skye, I’d spent the previous day walking, over the mountains and hills, And now I was off to far Thurso, to ride the 500 for thrills.

I’d rode from Inverness to Applecross, over the ‘ Bealach na Ba’ , ‘The way of the cows’ is it’s meaning, a high mountain pass that goes far, Over a wondrous landscape, rising and falling through bends, Down to a beautiful coastline, where all scenery sublimely blends. Six years before a good biker, I’d met while riding the Isle of Skye, Told me of the way to Applecross, a pass so thrilling and high, I hadn’t had time on my tour, my way to the high pass to find, But the prospect of riding those mountains, was now firmly stuck in my mind,

That was back in 2015, when based on the rides in a book: ‘Great Motorcycle Tours of Europe’ , all the five British rides I undertook, I first did the ‘Ride of the Roses’ , from Yorkshire’s moors and dales, Then through the Trough of Bowland, where Lancashire’s beauty prevails. I’d rode the ‘Rosedale Chimney’ a road so high and steep, It’s so much better suited, to the legs of goats and sheep I rode on to Hardknott Pass, towering over lakes and sea, Which shares with the ‘Rosedale Chimney’ a gradient of one in three.

After riding the passes of Cumbria, to take views of the sea and the sands,


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I then rode from Kirkcudbright to Northumbria and then on to the Scottish Highlands, I went to the top of Ben Nevis, by foot and not by bike, For along with my passion for biking, I love to take a hike. To earn the ‘Three Peaks’ tee shirt, I’d scaled Scafell Pike twice before, I rode on to the mountain of Snowden, the top of it’s peak so to soar, By walking the path of the Pyg Track and not by taking the train, I reached the shop by the summit, my tee shirt to purchase and gain. I rode the Welsh mountains and valleys, to finish this tour of mine, By walking the lovely Black Mountains and the Pembrokeshire coast so Devine, I’ve since rode back to Wales to savour, all the things I love the most, And view from the top of Cadair Idris, the beauties of mountains and coast. That faithful old bike and pack horse, has passed every test, By taking me to all far points of Britain, North, South, East and West, From Dunnet Head to the Lizard and so many wonders between, From Lands End to John O’Groats, so many great sights I’ve seen. To return to the ‘North Coast 500’ (I’ve got the tee shirt) my most recent tour to date, I was well on my way to Thurso and the day was growing late, The only way to buy petrol, was by automation, but the bank had stopped my payment card, A dire situation. I rode on to the hamlet of Reay and stopped by a solitary disused pump, I had no fuel to go further than this, I really had the hump, Then a man appeared from a van, he said his mate, a biker, could save me, Then the biker came out of his house with a can and gave me some petrol for free. This only goes to show, how good people, especially bikers, can be, I’ve only got an old Virago, can’t afford the expensive machines that I see, But the riders of these they show friendship, they do not look down on me, And all I’ve experienced from bikers and hikers, is kindness and solidarity. ‘’

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Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

Extensions - Garages - Loft Conversions

Block paving Driveways - Patios

All Types of Roofing

Carpentry - Brickwork

Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

Fencing - Replacement Windows (uPVC, Hardwood, Aluminium)

uPVC Cladding, Fascias, Soffits

Underpinning - Landscaping

Painting and Decorating Fully Insured (But not yet Needed!)

For free no-obligation quote, phone Clint on

01621 828276 (Office) 07836 277223 (Mobile) Domestic and Commercial Work Undertaken Insurance Work also Welcome Member of The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors Flagstaff Farm, Green Lane, Althorne, Essex, CM3 6BQ

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

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2022 January Associate Group Training (AGT) Group Night - Natter Night Colin's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th

Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Colin's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2201)

Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2201) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Colin's Full Member Ride

Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Saturday, 16th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 24th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Super Sausage Run – To be confirmed Colin's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th

Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2202) Colin's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2202)

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

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

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

Maldon Motor Show Group Night (to be confirmed) Associate Group Training (AGT)






Diary 20 22

Sunday, 9th Tuesday, 11th Sunday, 16th Sunday 23rd



Colin's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2203)

August Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 21st Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th September Sunday, 4th Sunday, 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 25th October Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Sunday, 16th Sunday, 23rd Sunday, 30th November Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Sunday, 20th December Sunday, 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Sunday, 18th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2203) Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Colin's Full Member Ride Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Copdock Show Slow Riding Day Colin's Full Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2204)

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2204) Colin's Full Member Ride

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

Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st

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

Diary 2O22

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture


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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Events Report Chris Johnson

The first ride of this period was Colin's Full Member Ride on 17th October to the Boathouse Café near Earls Barton. It was initially a rather overcast, with a few spots of rain on the outward leg. We had ten bikes, one with pillion. There was an excellent mix of roads, some of which were damp. Comedy highlights of the outward run were a marker mixup at Finchingfield, which fortunately sorted itself out without needing any constructive intervention, and Spider's decision near Bedford to ignore a very mild left hander and go offroading in a freshly ploughed field. The bike, and Spider, were undamaged and I don't think the field minded some extra ploughing, but getting it back on the road was a bit of an Iron Man exercise. Spider blamed a slippery road surface. It wasn't apparent to the rest of us, but perhaps Bedford is liable to the sort of flash condensation which appears and then vanishes again within minutes. The lunch venue was good in a most attractive Marina location. The roads were drying up nicely on the way back. Drama on the return leg was provided by the back marker (me) who, having been stuck behind a car, overtook it eventually and was then making up the distance at a pretty brisk pace on the B1046 short of


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Longstowe, when he experienced a rear tyre blow out; not a puncture but an explosive disintegration which wrecked the tyre. Fortunately it was on a straight stretch and the bike remained pretty stable until the speed was reduced, when it showed a nasty tendency to wobble, Colin was informed, two members came back to see if they could help (obviously they couldn’t), Green Flag was informed, and I was then pampered by the local residents, a genuinely nice bunch, until the recovery van arrived 50 minutes later. Pretty painless except for being switched to a new local recovery van twice. I cannot comment on the ride after that, but I gather someone ran out of petrol. On the 31st October Mick and Alan had one of their more relaxed runs, ostensibly to the Waresley Park Garden Centre at Gamlingay. I got up to go on it but it was a very wet day and as I started to get kitted up the heavy rain turned to a torrential downpour. Did I really want to go out in this? I am afraid that the answer was No and I returned to my study with my tail between my legs to post my apologies. At least it was a dry tail. Mick subsequently posted a brief account of the run. "Eight of us turned out on a very wet and windy day. Changed destination to Newmarket. Progressing ok but Neil Grimshaw unfortunately pick up a puncture - found a slit in the tyre and Neil had already called for his breakdown which was too long a wait. With Neil waiting we carried on and arrived at La Hogue no rain. Return journey drying out and finished with coffee at MacD Regiment Way". On 14th November, Remembrance Sunday, Colin was due to lead a ride to St Ives but, because of the parade scheduled there switched the destination to the Angel Café, Diss. It was well attended but I do not remember much of this ride except that I was tired and listless, like a dog who needs a Bob Martins tablet (anybody remember those ads from the 50's), and by Finchingfield decided that the game was not worth the candle and made my way gently home. That is the second time this has happened recently. I am beEssex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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ginning to wonder about myself. No further details about the run, so I guess it went well. Mick and Alan's ride to the Rushbrooke Arms was the following week on 21st November. It very enjoyable run. When I did my initial count we had 17 bikes, but I was not sure whether there were one or two subsequent arrivals. It was bitterly cold, so the turnout was gratifying. Mick once again proved that there are an infinite number of different ways of getting from A to B. There was one marking problem at Sudbury when it was uncertain if a marker was pointing right or ahead (Alan sorted that out very quickly and efficiently), and one poor soul put his foot down on ground which wasn't there and toppled his bike. I have been there and got that particular T-shirt more than once! Food at the Rushbrooke was quite acceptable, and we had a few tiny spots of rain when leaving. We arrived back at Regiment Way at 2pm after just over 100 miles. Thus endeth the report for this period.

Mid-Week rides have started up again but grandchild responsibilities prevent my attendance.


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EAMG Member Profile – Keith Durrant

When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? As a young child growing up in Suffolk during the 1950’s, my father occasionally rode a BSA Bantam motorcycle. Both he and my mother were keen speedway supporters and regular attendees at Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich, where they would watch the Ipswich Witches racing on the shale oval. During the school holidays, I couldn’t wait for Thursday evenings to come around so I could accompany them to watch the racing and experience the roar of 500cc JAP engines racing around the track, and the wonderous floodlit spectacle of roaring motorcycle engines, flying shale dust, the smell of methanol laced with nitro and Castrol R lingering in the air. The highlight of my early love affair with motorcycles and speedway was cemented at Wembley Stadium on the 17th September 1960, when as a nine-year-old I stood on the open terraces in the rain with 70,000 other speedway supporters, and watched our Ipswich Witches Australian hero Peter Moore claim 4th place in the FIM World Speedway Final. A magical night at the old Empire Stadium and as we made our way back to our coach in the pouring rain for the long journey home, I realised that I’d caught the ‘excitement bug’ of motorcycling. Little did I realise it at the time that ‘bug’ would remain with me in various forms for the next 60 years, let alone bring so much pleasure and end up costing me a small fortune!

How old were you when you first rode a bike? Strange as it may seem, but my first ride on a motorcycle happened in the middle of the last century! I was about 10 years old and my older sister’s boyfriend rode a 350cc Matchless and I begged him to take me for a ride on the pillion seat. What an adventure that turned out to be as I hung on for grim death, with no helmet and protective clothing


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to save me if I fell off, just the air rushing through my hair and the wonderful sound emanating from the exhaust beneath my feet! Teenage years brought with them the desire to ride a motorcycle and along with three mates, we jointly saved our paper round wages and purchased an old 500cc BSA which we kept hidden in the undergrowth at Raydon Sand Pit, near Hadleigh, in Suffolk. We would take every opportunity during school holidays and on summer evenings to visit the gravel pits and take turns to roar around the gravel tracks pretending that one day we would grow up and develop into moto-cross champions, or scrambling champions, as the sport was known in those far off days. Just some of the schoolboy dreams we shared which I’m sure many of you will relate to!

My first legal ride on a motorcycle was on my 16 th. birthday. Although I’d been riding my pride and joy ‘illegally’ for several weeks beforehand, the 17th of May 1967 was a major milestone in my life as I could legally wheel my 50cc Suzuki Suzy down my drive and set off on two wheels, commencing what was to become one of the greatest and longest lasting adventures of my life. Of the bikes you’ve owned, which was your favourite if you had one? I have been fortunate to have enjoyed owning and riding so many wonderful bikes over the years, so that’s a very difficult question to answer! Most motorcyclists that I know usually say ideally you should own at least three bikes at the same time, all with different uses, but the ‘influencers’ in my life, like the Wife and Bank Manager, have strongly suggested that two at any one time is enough! Therefore, I usually have a tourer and a runabout sitting in my garage. I suppose on reflection, of the 28 bikes that I’ve owned during the past 55 years, I probably have four ‘special’ bikes, one of which is my ultimate favourite. Everyone remembers their first bike with some fondness, therefore my 50cc Suzuki Suzy must be a favourite. After a couple of ‘upgrades’ to a 90cc Suzuki and a short dalliance with a 125cc Honda, there followed several years away from motorcycling, until I became a ‘born again biker’ in 1996. Having passed my mo-

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torcycle test aboard a Honda C90 and purchased my first ‘big’ bike, and second favourite, a Honda NTV 650. Not an exciting bike to ride, but one that was very different and considerably faster to ride than the two-stroke Villiers engined Ariel Arrow’s, Francis-Barnett and Greeves bikes that belonged to my friends that I’d ‘cut my teeth’ on in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, roaring round the country lanes with no crash helmet on, as they weren’t law in those days, and safety and common sense didn’t apply to teenagers! My third favourite would have to be the first of a series of Harley Davidson’s that made their way into my garage, which was a 2007 HD Road King in denim blue, with black coach-lining in the paint scheme. An absolute ‘pig’ of a bike to corner and ride fast, but by golly, what ‘a looker’! She turned out to be quite a ‘magnet’ for potential lady friends with aspirations to become my regular pillion rider! We all have our preferences as to the type of motorcycling we enjoy most, and my passion is long distance touring. Consequently, my ultimate favourite bike is the BMW K1600, of which I’ve owned four in total. Fast, comfortable, economical, huge load carrying capacity, and a true continental mile muncher. On the last three versions that I’ve owned, there was even a reverse gear installed, which was jolly useful when manoeuvring such a large bike around a parking spot, or out of the garage!

If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market, which one would it be? Another difficult question to answer as there are so many terrific bikes out there, both new and old, and as there’s a belief that when you replace your bike with a new one, as I did earlier this year, it’s because you believe it’s better than the previous one! Consequently, the most logical answer must be my current bike, which

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is a BMW R1250R Sport. Not as common as the BMW GS range in terms of numbers sold, but in my humble opinion, possibly the most underrated bike in the whole BMW Motorrad range. Although I’m satisfied with my current bike, ever since I can remember, I’ve hankered after owning a mint condition 1951 998cc Vincent Black Shadow.

A classic motorcycle to own and cherish which I guess will have to remain forever in my dreams and on my ‘bucket list’! More accessible I suppose is to purchase a Custom Vehicle Operation (CVO) Harley Davidson Ultra Glide, so that you’ve always got a good-looking motorcycle sitting in the garage with a special edition paint scheme, and plenty of chrome to keep highly polished and occupied during the long winter months, and during my dotage! What is your favourite motorcycle gadget? It’s probably the same answer that’s been given several times before, but my favourite gadget on modern day motorcycles has got to be the one thing that has singularly transformed the level of enjoyment and comfort whilst riding on a cold day…..HEATED GRIPS!

Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK?

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Although a very long way from Essex, one of the most memorable rides within the UK I believe is the A87 from Invergarry, to Kyle of Lochalsh, in Northwest Scotland. This road now forms part of the NW500 route and I’m sure a good number of EAMG members will have ridden that road many times. The road just seems to get better and better, with rolling hills, sweeping fast bends, loch-side vistas and very little traffic during spring and autumn. My first experience of riding that piece of Scottish tarmac was in 2007 when I flew to Glasgow, hired a Moto Guzzi 750cc Breva from a dealership in Glasgow, and joined some friends in Fort William, to ride what eventually became known as the NW500. Great days, riding great roads, with great mates. That’s surely what motorcycling is all about! And abroad? I’ve been privileged to ride on several continents and in several countries around the world, but without a moment’s hesitation, whenever I’m asked that question, one place stands out above all others, and that’s South Island, New Z ealand. It’s an awful long way from home, takes what seems like an eternity to get there, and

the air fares and a motorcycling holiday in that country are not cheap, but if you ever get the chance to go, and those who have already been there will hopefully endorse my opinion, New Z ealand has EVERYTHING!

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Brilliant uncongested roads, good motorcycling weather if you go between October and April, warm friendly and welcoming people (which can’t be too often said in these post Brexit days in Europe!) fine food, fantastic dramatic scenery, and as I’ve already said……New Z ealand has EVERYTHING! If I could go back to any of the countries and places that I’ve visited on motorcycling holidays, and that includes many of the ‘classics’ like Route 66, Florida Keys, Death Valley, Route Napoleon, NW500, the Isle of Man TT, amongst many others, for me, there is only one choice, and that’s got to be New Z ealand. If I were to ever go back, with the benefit of hindsight, I would extend my holiday and spend some time on the North Island too, as I’m told there’s some interesting contrasts with the South Island. If you were offered the opportunity to go an extended bike tour, family members aside, who would you choose as a riding companion? I’ve met and ridden with so many interesting and accomplished motorcyclists over the years and therefore I could create a very long list of people that I’d choose to go on an extended bike tour with. However, much of my touring in the past 25 years has been in the company of my long-term friend James, and we’ve often been accompanied by his lovely wife Alison riding pillion. Therefore, I guess I’d have to give them first refusal to join me on my extended bike tour. Should they not be able to make it though, being the singleton alpha male that I am, I guess if Jennifer Aniston just happened to make herself available, I’d find it extremely difficult to refuse taking her along as my companion!........but having finally woken up from my dreams, being realistic for once, I’d choose someone motorcycle and travel ‘savvy’, who was good company, self-sufficient, with vast touring experience. Therefore, two individuals that I’ve met that spring to mind as potentially great motorcycling companions would be Alistair McFarlane, who until his retirement, ran MCI Tours. Alistair is someone whom I’ve toured several countries with, including Greece, Corsica, France, Italy and Sardinia. He always seemed to possess an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best motorcycling routes, places of interest along the way and the finest refreshment stops that readily welcome motorcyclists. Another interesting travel companion would be Ted Simon, the motorcycling adventurer who has inspired so many by chronicling his adventures in his brilliant book, Jupiter’s Travels. Within its pages, Ted lists his experiences aboard his 500cc Triumph Tiger 100, over a period of four years, travelling through 45 countries around the world, and I for one found it difficult to put his book down once I’d read the first chapter!

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Notwithstanding, if Alistair or Ted were to get better offers and decide not to accompany me on my extended motorcycle tour, I’d be delighted to share my tour with the two IAM/EAMG Observers that I’ve been fortunate to be assigned to whilst progressing to my IAM and RoSPA qualifications, neither of whom will be embarrassed if I were to name them as David Izzard and Graham Cooper. Both are extremely competent and very accomplished motorcyclists who have taught me so much and are an absolute pleasure to ride with, and have enabled me to stay as safe as possible aboard a motorcycle, whilst deriving more enjoyment from my bike than I thought possible. How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike, as opposed to driving a car?

Motorcycling creates an opportunity to escape from the stresses of everyday life, focus the mind on self-preservation and to display your individualism, and be yourself. To stay safe, you need to apply total concentration, and in doing so, you engage the challenges presented by speed, freedom, and danger, all in pursuit of the indulgences of sheer pleasure. However, motorcycling does come with several health warnings, the obvious one being the inherent safety risks and dangers presented by other road users, and another is that the love of owning and riding a motorcycle can very quickly become ADDICTIVE! If in doubt, ask any Wife, Girlfriend or Bank Manager! When do you intend giving up riding? That’s got to be the ‘Million Dollar Question’! If you had asked me that question twenty years ago, would I still be riding a motorcycle when I’m seventy, the answer would probably have been NO! If you had asked my family and friends the same question, the answer would have most certainly have been NO! If you had asked that question of my doctor, he would have probably answered that I’d be mad if I was still riding at that age. Then to cap it all, when I found myself queuing up behind my former IAM Observer (who I’ll not name, but who did get a mention earlier, at the Port of Dover prior to a tour of Greece seven years ago, having not seen him for about a dozen years or so, his very first comment to me when he realised it was me, was to announce as ‘he was surprised that I’m still alive’! So, I guess it’s an almost impossible question to answer! Suffice to say, one day I guess it won’t be safe for me to continue riding, or I might simply fall out of love with motorcycling, as I almost did during the COVID lockdowns, when I kept looking at my gleaming bike, locked in my garage, with nowhere to go and no-one to ride with. We’ve all ex-


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perienced some difficult times over the past two years, which we pray, and hope, are now behind us! Describe your scariest moment on your bike? Scariest moments? I suppose when things go wrong whilst motorcycling, in varying degrees, they’re all scary moments! I’ve had several scary moments over the years and far too many to list here. But to name a few, I can remember riding over the brow of a hill on a German Autobahn at high speed on a fully laden Harley Davidson Ultra Glide, being distracted by the guy riding beside me, then suddenly being confronted with a wall of standing traffic. For anyone who has ever experienced attempting to bring almost half a tonne of Harley Davidson to an emergency stop, you’ll know that’s scary! On a slightly different note, falling off whilst leading a Moto-Cross race at Lyng in Norfolk, and attempting to curl up in a ball whilst lying on the ground to protect myself from the other thirty odd bikes roaring past, and some over the top of me. That was REALLY Scary! Finally, having decided to watch the Boat Race on the Thames in London in 2006, to avoid most of capital’s heavy traffic, I jumped aboard my ‘twist and go’ 250cc Vespa scooter that I owned at the time. After watching the race, I set off for home, only to end my day in the Homerton Hospital in Hackney, seriously injured with a suspected fractured hip and femur, after being knocked off whilst riding along the Seven Sisters Road by a Mercedes Benz driver who claimed to the Police that ‘HE DIDN’T SEE ME’!..........As motorcyclists, how many time do we hear that comment? Far too often when things have gone wrong, which in itself, is also VERY Scary!

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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.

2022 Events Joining Fees


AMT— (£35)

Sunday, March 13th

Sunday, May 29th

Sunday, August 14th

Sunday, October 23rd

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:





Riding Experience Aspirations: Annual Mileage:


FTFM - 2022 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett



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


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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