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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

February 2019

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, Neil B’s report on his Dolomites trip finally makes it into TUG (Thanks, Neil). It was a long article, and we cannot really have more than a single long article in any issue, for reasons of space and to allow a varied content. We also have some details about a young Richard P which I am hoping will be legible in the final magazine. I baulked at re-typing everything. Steve E’s piece was technically the easiest to handle. After Jill’s report you will see an impassioned plea for more copy. Please respond to it. I get out so little now that I shouldn’t really be writing an Events Report, but I have been doing it for a dozen years now so I guess we are stuck with it. The final copy date for the April TUG is Friday 22nd March 2019. Submitting earlier would be no hardship for me.

Chairman’s Piece

2

Test Passes

4

Membership Info

7

New Members

8

Road Trip—Dolomites

10

Motocross

20

Membership Form

22

Dates for the Diary

24

Picture Gallery

28

A Blast from the Past

30

Events Report

35

Observer Profile

39

Further Training

42

Chris

Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk) What’s happening next?

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, then

Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE February 2019 .The New Year is well underway and the AGM is upon us. As TUG goes to print before the AGM I may or may not still be your Chairman! I haven’t heard of any other nominations though. We have a nomination for a new Treasurer as Mark Birchall is standing down. I’m grateful to Mark for the hours he dedicated as treasurer and I know he was reluctant to resign but pressures of work make it impossible for him to find the time. I think the most difficult committee position is held by Chris Johnson as editor of TUG, getting articles must be like getting blood from a stone, I admire Chris for his perseverance. Please make 2019 the year you write an article. Talking of TUG … some of the advertisers are no longer in business. I have invited some new dealers, Hideout and Cannons are starting to advertise this issue. Advertising is open to anyone, if you or anyone you know have a business you would like to promote to other members the cost for the year is £100 for a full page or £60 for a half. The website attracts many subscribers to the newsletter and our face book page is growing in strength so TUG is also seen by many who are not members. Membership for 2019 is now due. Forms can be downloaded from the website. If you pay by BACS please ensure you send or email a copy of the form to the address shown on the form.

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Although we have nominations for all the major roles on the commit. tee there is always room for new members. Meetings are bi-monthly and now held at a new venue. The Observer meetings are held the alternate month. Asda Chelmer Village have given us free use of their Community Meeting Room saving over £1.000 a year. Meetings are on the second Wednesday each month and all members are welcome.

Editor: Jill is too kind. Editing TUG means nearly two months of relative idleness, followed by three days of febrile activity and panic. I think many of the other Committee members have a much harder time. However she is spot-on about contributions. The TUG copy coffers are now nearly empty! If nothing is forthcoming I have to start recycling old articles (the collected wit and wisdom of Yours Truly will become tedious very quickly) and finally follow the path of previous editors and resign in despair. In the past 3 years I have pleaded, cajoled, issued veiled threats, and resorted to close on blackmail in order to get copy.. If you can send me something … anything … to publish I shall be pathetically grateful and, providing it is not too libellous, happily put it into TUG. If there are photos with it so much the better.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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CONGRATULATIONS Recent Test Passes

Jon Freeman

4h December 2018 RoSPA Gold Examiner: Mick Jones Observers: Graham Cooper, Andy Parnham

Andy Parnham

4th December 2018 EAMG Observer Senior Observer: Graham Cooper Assessor: Richard Parker

r

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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.

Membership Fees for 2019 

New Associate Members

...£55.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Full Member Renewal

...£25.00

Social Member

...£25.00

Full Member Training

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

...£20.00

Membership

Number

Full

98

Associate

48

Social

2

Observer

16

Life

13

Total

177

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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New Members

Associate Members: Mohammed Nawaz

Alan Morgan

Full Members: Denis Stretton 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!

www.eamg.org.uk


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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Road Trip to The Dolomites Neil Bullock This was the first long trip for my Ducati 950 Multistrada and was a test of whether it had the “long distance legs” of the Pan European 1300 I have ridden extensively around Europe these past five years. Did it make the grade?........wait and see! I wrote this in the form of a daily travelogue, posted to my Owners Club forum. 11 June 2018 Good morning, friends. I’ve ridden down to Italy and staying tonight and tomorrow in Bolzano in the Dolomites. It’s been a three day ride and, apart from day 1 through France and Belgium which was a bit of a slog on not very nice roads, it’s been superb. Saturday took me through the central German countryside and yesterday. through Bavaria, was all on great country roads avoiding the main highways. Lots of charming German villages to take in on the way. Yesterday afternoon saw the mountains through to Italy and I rode one pass which was very technical, lots of switchbacks and no view of what was around the bends. Great fun when there were hundreds of bikers all over the road plus Porsches and Ferraris not wanting to be outdone! Anyway, made it to my hotel in the mountains safely and now feel really relaxed after a few cold beers, a shower and a lovely dinner. Meeting up with Tozes who has ridden down from Prague in a couple of hours and we’re doing a 180 mile circuit taking in the Stelvio pass. Should be good! The only downer is the temperature, which has been up to 32C, but it is a bit cooler the higher up you go Since Friday, I’ve covered about 900 miles and the bike has been superb. I’ve not had one single ache or pain after three long days in the saddle and it is just so much fun to ride over long distances. Mechanically, it’s been faultless. I’m sure there will be lots of pics posted over the coming days. To start the ball rolling, this is the view from my hotel. Not bad!

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12 June Today started off perfectly. Met up with Mr & Mrs Tozes at a little cafe in Bolzano for a 9.00 am double espresso and, in their case, some breakfast.....I had already filled myself at my hotel. We set off for the infamous Stelvio in perfect riding weather with temp. about 23C and enjoyed that all the way to Stelvio and the top at around midday. My impressions of going up were that it’s a very overrated pass with endless very tight switchbacks. When you’re sharing the road with riders who can be all over the place, plus cars, I didn’t think it much fun....in my mind was the fact that I’ve ridden much better passes in Europe. By the time we left the massive gathering of riders at the top to start our descent, the weather started closing in as only it can in the mountains, and it was not long before the threatened storm hit us; rain by the bucket-load and thunder rumbling all around. In spite of it all we really started enjoying the riding. The descent proved much better and my route took in three more passes in the 100 miles back to Bolzano. These proved to be wonderful for bikers, with better radius bends and greater visibility around them. We had a blast despite the torrential rain and 9C temp. I even resorted to the heated grips! Anyway, the rain did eventually stop for us and the heat returned, helping us dry out. We eventually arrived back in Bolzano at about 7.00 at the end of an exhilarating day’s riding.

13 June Well, so much for lovely Italian weather! Rain, rain and more rain all the way. Even got down to 6C at times and never above 12C until I reached tonight’s hotel when the sun decided to come out and give me that lovely, warming feeling. Anyway, I rode some four or five passes in the 135 miles from Bolzano to Cortina

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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d’Ampezza and it was totally awesome riding; I had a grin “a mile wide” all day long! The sheer joy of riding the MTS in the mountains is, in my experience, without equal. The noise of the motor through the myriad of tunnels is absolutely beautiful. Man, I love this bike. Sadly, once again, no piccies I can post at the moment. 14 June Well, another wet day in the main. Started off wet and ended very wet....thunder storms and menacing black skies. In the likelihood of slower going, I chopped down the day’s route from 200 to 130 miles, and glad I did too. However, yet again the weather failed to dampen the spirits and I enjoyed another excellent day of riding the mountains. I really cannot recommend the Dolomites highly enough, it is a stunning area both for the roads and the scenery. Also the further you get to the east of the region, the less the tourist traffic. Two highlights of the day: Firstly, meeting Johannes and Sabina, two Germans riding Ducatis and who have a loathing of GS’s. I came across them almost to the top of Monte Zoncolan, the 14th stage of this years Giro d’Italia and reckoned to be one of the most demanding climbs in professional road racing. Incidentally, won by Chris “asthma” Froome a couple of weeks back. These guys must be superhuman to get up there! Secondly, I arrived at my B&B and found it to be a little piece of paradise. Set in the

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countryside, just outside a small town called Frisanco, the house is old and massive, and the owners and their friends have adopted an almost hippy-style existence. They keep a herd of goats for the milk and produce cheese on quite some scale. For the traveller there is a huge double bedroom, a large kitchen and a large bathroom. I was welcomed with beer and coffee after putting the bike in a garage for the night and then found that I had been left a lot of food in the kitchen. Was going to ride a couple of km to a pizzeria but now don’t need to. Great because it’s still pouring down. All this for just €25...I wish I could stay longer and take in the surrounding countryside. Off down to Lake Garda tomorrow, some 200 miles. Just hope the sun comes out! 15 June Good morning, friends. It’s 6.30am, the sun is shining and it’s going to be hot, hot, hot. Yesterday’s run was some 200 miles and only a few spots of rain all day....hallelujah! I travelled from Frisanco to Riva del Garda, pretty much all the way through the mountains. What a ride it turned out to be, one of the very best. The mountains of the Eastern Dolomites are covered in forest and the scenery is just so beautiful. The roads, on the whole, are excellent......certainly not potholed as in the UK. I can highly recommend the region to anyone wanting a great riding experience, with very little tourist traffic to worry about.

Highlights of the day:

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Firstly, the wake-up call I got when the first road of the day turned out to be not more than single track with about a gazillion switchbacks in a handful of miles. Up and up through the mountain woods it went, eventually breaking through in to glorious sunlight. Wonderful. Second has to be the the joy of seeing-off several GS riders through the twisties. Whether it was a lack of rider skill, I don’t know, but out of the bends the MTS was accelerating away, leaving them for dead. A better bike?....I have no doubt! The long journey home starts today, the first leg being to Ulm, Germany, 300 miles or so. Now, I’m a bit sad that I didn’t plan to be away longer. This was really meant as a test run to see whether the MTS was capable of hauling long distances in the way my Pan European has for the past five years. It has passed with flying colours being more comfortable, more nimble and having one of the best sounding motors in Christendom. It stirs the soul and is a delight to drive. To those who question my sanity when I talk of the pleasure of riding days of endless rain and cold, if you have the right gear to keep you warm and dry then there is no problem. Only once have I had to stop to put a second layer on under my jacket and that was when the temperature hit 6C. Sure, gloves get wet though, but I wear thin leather, summer gloves which dry out reasonably quickly, especially when the heated grips are on. Enough rambling for now. So, I’ll just leave you with the view from the balcony as I head down to get some brekkie. 16 June Hi friends. I’m going to try and play catch-up after two very long days in the sad-

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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dle, yesterday 340 miles and today 310 miles. Both days have been very hot, pushing up to 30C, with today very humid indeed. Yesterday took me north through the Dolomites from Lake Garda and up into Austria. I love riding in Austria; the road surfaces are immaculate and they take you up and down the mountains in long, sweeping bends punctuated by some very welcome straights. Into the valleys and you have the stunning sight of the mountains on either side with endless green pasture in between. Awesome.... it all makes you feel rather small and insignificant. I arrived at a lovely, little hotel in the countryside outside of Ulm, promptly downed two cold ones and almost keeled over. Must remember to eat before drinking! Had some dinner, watched the second half of Spain-Portugal and fell asleep. This morning, I awoke at just after 6.00 am to watch the sun coming up in the clear, blue sky. Had an early breakfast and was on the road at 8.30. It was already steaming hot by then. Things were going well until I hit Stuttgart and the Garmin decided to throw a wobbly. It couldn’t cope with all the roads at one point and froze. Great, with all the local population out doing what they do on a Saturday morning. Found somewhere in the shade to stop and tried to turn the Garmin off, which took several attempts....this sent my heart rate up quite a few notches. And then some 15 minutes to calculate a route to my destination. I will do a factory reset and clear the memory when I get home and hope that will make a difference. So, having wasted the best part of an hour getting back on route, the rest of the day was quite uneventful. Some 240 miles through the German countryside was a treat. The villages at just so ‘prim and proper’, typically German! The roads nice and bendy with even one or two switchbacks making an appearance from time to time....just like being back in the Alps. Eventually made it to my hotel in Aachen at 7.30, show-

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ered and greedily ate my way through a rather expensive meal in the restaurant.......well, it is the last night! In hindsight, 300+ miles days, avoiding motorways, is probably just a bit too much. 250 miles max. would be much more manageable. Tomorrow is just some 210 miles to Calais and then 75 miles up the motorway to home. Off to bed now.....goodnight. 17 June Arrived back at 7.30 this evening. It’s not been a day to “write home about”. The last leg of a European road trip is, for several reasons, not something I enjoy.

Returning after a great time is always a bit of a downer.....but hey, I can now look forward to planning the next one! The riding through Belgium and northern France is not the most inspiring, with Belgium today offering a couple of road closures and no diversion signs to follow. This threw out my timing for the Eurotunnel, so I skipped lunch and arrived at Calais starving. With time to spare, I had sausage and mash with veg and a coke. All quite nice, but for £15, what a rip-off! And finally, whenever I ride up from Folkestone, there is always miles of traffic, almost at a standstill, on the M25 approaching the Dartford crossing. The last thing I need after a 350 mile day is the joy of filtering for several miles trying to spot which car driver is likely to close the lane gap. Great fun! I’ll stop before I start having a rant

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about British drivers and the lack of respect many show for motorcyclists. Anyway, it’s been a totally awesome ten days. The MTS has been faultless and an absolute joy to ride. It’s covered 2534 miles door-to-door, coped with every weather condition possible from 6C and hail, through all day rain and then temperatures above 30C. It handles all roads with an uncanny ease and, joy of joys, sees off GSs. This bike is definitely a keeper! I must say thanks to all who have read my ramblings and shown their appreciation of them. If it inspires anyone to get out on the road and explore foreign parts, then job done! Footnote: The Pan was sold just five days after returning. The Ducati had exceeded all expectations and marked the end of my five years of Pan ownership.

Editor: I had some difficulty relating Neil’s pictures to his text, along with the usual problem of getting a picture/text balance, so some of them may be misplaced.

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Motocross Steve Enright During the long hot summer I held my partner and her 14 year old daughter to their promise to have a go at Motocross with me. Fair play I have agreed to try skiing in return but so far my hamstring issues are preventing me…. So we contacted:

Contact: Dan Parker E-mail: danparker934@hotmail.com Phone: 07425 168341 http://www.mxtryout.co.uk/

And arranged to drive up near to RAF Mildenhall for a day’s ‘fun. And what did we find….a neatly laid out track with a range of challenges, some superbly prepared bikes for all sizes and abilities and a great range of (green) motocross kit to use for the day, from helmets, to gloves, boots, armour and goggles.

Dan started by asking about our experience on bikes. Sarah told him all about her previous boy friends who had owned bikes until he told her that wasn’t what he meant. First off, ride round an oval section of the track, keep your weight as far forward as you can and on the turns stick your inside leg out straight aligned with the front fork but off the ground. Once we had all mastered that we got instruction on navigating a longer section of track which included some narrow ruts and a bit of a lumpy mound. At our own very modest pace we rode laps under Dan’s advice and guidance, gaining confidence in the machine control and the nature of the surface and terrain. Next up, changing body position and standing on the pegs at appropriate times to keep rider and machine working together in harmony. We were taking plenty of beaks and lots of water on board as it was sweltering hot on the day and the track, sandy in nature and heavily watered at the start was beginning to dry out. Unlike my bike gear which was getting sodden with sweat.

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Each at our own pace began to demonstrate more and more confidence in our new skills, I was secretly y proud to get a rollicking for going a bit beyond what I was allowed to do (NO jumps was the rule for this novice session). We had the track all to ourselves for the day, the bikes were ideal in power and size for me and the ladies and Dan was patient and gave great instruction, encouragement and advice. If you have never tried it, give it a go, its seriously good fun this off road malarkey and the skills you can gain on the bike are a real benefit.

Editor: And now for something completely different sent recently by Steve The bike I ride the most is my 1987 Honda CBR 600 'Jelly'. (see photo). I'm not sure why I like this bike so much but I own 4 of them. One I commute pretty much daily on and do track days on, one I keep for sunny days (both red white and blue livery) and two spares mules. One was in the original blue and silver and the rare plastics are still in my shed, and one I got for a few quid after someone crashed it. The crashed one had been made into something resembling a Blackbird, the plastics had been 'treated' to a rough respray and there were various other 'improvements' but it was the mechanicals that i was after. I recently renewed my advanced riding under the sharp eye of Mr M. Jones. He saw me turn up on my daily relic, took a brief glance and declared himself satisfied. The tyres showing the chewed edges from the last track day didn't cause any comment. Its dirty with daily use but not filthy and the plastics are way from perfect cosmetically but are sound. (Continued on page 32)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


All Full Member Rides will leave Sainsburys Springfield, Chelmsford, at 9.30am

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January

February

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th Saturday, 20th Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - Krazy Horse Cafe (Bob Cowl) Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1902)

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

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Bob's Midweek Ride - Rye (Joe Johal) Full Member Training (FMT 1902) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 2nd Sunday, 2nd Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Tuesday, 11th Sunday, 16th

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

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th

Group Night Maldon Motor Show Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC

March

April

May

June

Diary 2019

July

(Continued on page 29)

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

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

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

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

Group Nights @ 19:30, AGTs @ 9:15 am

(Continued from page 26)

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

Diary 2019

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture

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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

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(Continued from page 23)

Its got a viper aftermarket exhaust that my mate Wazza says sounds great and still gets through track day scrutineering without any additional wads of wire wool. Track days my toe sliders tend to ground before anything else, the tyres are a bit narrow for heroics at my level of riding. The rear shock really has seen its day....When I get the time and energy Its being swapped out for one from the spares bin to see if that helps the handling and comfort and its getting a bit urgent to do this. Brakes are braided on the commuter, doesn't help much but it still stops with the back wheel off the ground if you try hard enough. On the slow riding days at Dunton I have had the front tyre pattering when practicing the emergency stops so it can't be too bad. I do love the damn things to bits, and have toured on them (not too much luggage and stay off the motorways) and I may be tempted this year to take a run to the moto GP at Assen now that a certain ex Channels barmaid has got her own bike and doesn't need a pillion....... I hope I can keep them on the road for another ten years at least, with 50,000 on the clock for each they are barely run in I reckon........now if anyone has a side panel for a Jelly I'm interested.

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A Blast from the Past Richard Parker Editor: Richard sent me some material from his Trials and Rallying days, when he was even younger than he is now. The text was as PDF’s of images, and I hope it will be legible. However the accompanying pictures of a youthful Richard were a delight, and I loved his sweater! You will remember from an autobiographical article in TUG a few years ago that he had a long career as a police officer.

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Events Report Chris Johnson I managed three outings with the Group during the last two months, which is bad, but at least better than my average for a while before. The first outing of this period was Mick & Alan's 'relaxed' ride on 2nd December. These rides were initially only for Associates, and then Mick relented and opened them to Full Members who preferred a gentler pace. A few of those attend, but there is now a larger number of old reprobates with far too much time on their hands who will take any opportunity for a ride. In fairness to them the moderate pace is generally respected. On this occasion it was a grey and damp day to start with, although the sun came out for the ride back and dried the roads a bit, There were a very creditable 18 bikes, of which only a minority were KTMs! Nice pace and choice of route, including a nostalgia-inducing U-turn and a diversion onto a surprisingly acceptable bit of unclassified to Finchingfield, so I was a happy bunny. We were struck by the dreaded Royston Garden Centre dead zone between 11:30 and 12:00 when no cooked food is obtainable. There were no incidents that I am aware of. I cut off at Dunmow to get a shorter ride home after a bit over 100 miles. I attended the AGT on 9th December, After Mick's talk on 'Rider Input and the Problems You Create' Phil Reader led a ride to Red Lodge. My memory of this is poor. I think there were 8 of us and I was back marker on the outward leg, It was definitely a sunny day. I guess nothing exceptional happened, since otherwise I would have remembered it. I hope.

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The next ride was Richard's outing to Bramford in Suffolk on 16th December. The day before the temperature had hovered close to freezing, and I suspect this was why I didn't get up for the ride, but my weather station records indicate that the temperature was up to a tropical 4.2C by 07:30 on that morning, so I was really just being a lazy boy. It eventually rose to nearly 9C and Richard could report that the conditions were a breeze with nothing much worse than dirty roads. They had a creditable 13 bikes. Not much detail was reported from the ride. Apparently someone missed a marker but still contrived to arrive at the destination before everybody else and Spider, who was acting as back marker on the return journey, decided to make off to Chelmsford rather than following the group to Cannons in Witham. It is unusual to lose a back marker, but I can remember doing the same myself on one of Geoff's Beachy Head runs a few years ago so I shall not be casting any aspersions. Chris Reed held an impromptu ride on 30th December. A trip to Red Lodge, and then to look at bikes at Krazy Horse near Bury St. Edmunds. Six bikes joined him, and they had a good paced run in 'interesting' conditions. I understand that the bikes got rather dirty. The first ride of 2019 was Richard's trip to the Rushbrooke Arms on 6th January. I had been awake half the night with a particularly nasty cough and so I passed on attending; a wise decision since I felt decidedly seedy throughout the day. They had a very good turnout with 26 bikes. The choice of roads was praised, as was the service at the pub. No information about weather conditions but I remember that the day was not too cold for January. The roads were said to be a little greasy in places. There was an attempt by some riders to escape on the return journey, but they were apparently rounded up by Graham and returned to join the hers. Neil was acting as back marker. Total distance about 120 miles and they finished the run at Cannons Cafe in Witham. Mick Hewitt kindly sent me some snaps from the run.

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My first ride of 2019 was Mick and Alan's run to the Robin Hood in Cambridge on 13th January. It was not my finest hour. It was mild for January, with drizzle at Chelmsford but just grey elsewhere. There were 19 to 23 bikes, depending on when you made the count. It went fine for 35 miles and then someone at the rear stalled when pulling out to take a right turn and dropped his bike. No injuries except to pride, and some bits snapped off the bike (he apparently wasn't the sort who throws himself under the bike to protect it). All was recovered quickly and efficiently, and Alan tasked me with catching up to Mick to let him know what had happened. I threw myself into this with gusto and tore off, warning markers that there would be a delay. In built up areas I put on my hazard flashers, used my London-honed traffic skills and, since with the Hi-Vis vest and white helmet I looked a bit like a police bike, got great respect and consideration from other road users. I haven't enjoyed myself so much on a bike in years. I was all a bit pointless because I sailed past Mick without noticing him, having become fixated on an unrelated bike ahead. When I finally drew level with him and gave him a searching look he obviously thought I was a police bike as well and seemed most unhappy. I forged on, but with Mick behind me you can guess that it wasn't going to end well. By the time I reached a T-junction in central Cambridge which would have to have been marked, but wasn't, the increasingly uneasy feeling that I had gone wrong crystallised into absolute certainty. I asked a real policeman how to get to the Robin Hood, and started retracing my steps. I was relieved when I soon saw a chunk of the group heading past me in the opposite direction and, as soon as traffic allowed, made a U-turn to follow them.

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Complications were not over because I caught up, not with them, but Alan and another guy stopped at the roadside. Since Alan was the back marker I was now officially with the group again. Alan consulted the SatNav on his phone and led both of us to the Robin Hood, at the entrance to which poor Mick was waiting forlornly in the central markings indicating the turn. I think a number of different groups then converged on the pub within a few minutes and we had lost no-one. I am not sure what had happened. I cannot have been responsible for all the confusion but I proudly maintain that I made a significant contribution. Poor Mick; he doesn't deserve this sort of thing. The breakfasts at the pub were 'two for a tenner' and we all guzzled and chatted happily, and then set off homewards. I can tell you nothing about the return journey because after less than a mile the tyre pressure warning indicator came on. I had one of my constant companions, a puncture, to keep me company. I told Alan I would fix it and return directly home. It wasn't much of a puncture, and I decided that rather than trying to fix it immediately I would pump the tyre up and see how far I got before it needed more air. This turned out to be a good call because I returned using A-roads and motorway, and so long as I was travelling at speed there was no pressure loss. I arrived home only about 4psi down. Overnight it did lose pressure, but I then plugged the small hole and took it to my local tyre shop for a permanent fix. They informed me that the new puncture was directly next to an old one, and they couldn't 'double plug'. A new rear tyre was ordered and fitted two days later. Miracles will never cease because this time the rim sealing belt remained intact.

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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

31st March, 2019

19th May, 2019

£45.00

28th July, 2019

20th October, 2019

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: jtipper@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:

Tel:

Email:

Riding Experience:

Aspirations:

Typical annual mileage:

Machine:

FTFM - 2019 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett

membership@eamg.org.uk

jtullett@eamg.org.uk

Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


Chris Johnson, Editor Printed by Colchester Press. Please mention EAMG when replying to advertisers - it identifies you!

http://www.eamg.org.uk Affiliated to the British Motorcyclists Federation Registered Charity Number 1107703

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice: The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with a view that free expression promotes discussion and interest. Any spelling or grammatical errors are the responsibility of the editor .. Inclusion of adverts is not to be construed as EAMG endorsement, although most advertisers are excellent, but seek personal recommendations.Text Š EAMG 2018 Illustrations Š EAMG 2018, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.

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