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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

June 2020

Welcome to T.U.G. Dear Members, In the absence of any activity in the last two months this is definitely an odd issue of T.U.G. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. It is a bit like that but with a lot of old and, obviously, in a genteel magazine nothing blue. It includes an article by my wife Mary. She offered—no domestic violence was involved. Her account seems so subtly different to what I remember that I just smiled forcedly and published it ‘as was’. The first instalment of Tim Cooper’s account of his tour across the USA has finally appeared. John Tullett’s Training Team News is a short masterwork on the art of making bricks without any straw, and Jill has been busy building golf courses. I hope by August that we will be able to publish hard copy versions of T.U.G.

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


Training Team News


Married to a Biker …


Trans-America Trail


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary?


Old Picture Gallery


Old Events Report


Old This & That


One for the Road


Further Training



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

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, then

Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. Not a great deal has occurred since the last issue of TUG. Some restrictions have been lifted and there is some confusion on what the new slightly relaxed Government guidelines allow. There are many articles out there written by Journalists, Solicitors etc. It’s a bit like looking at weather forecasts till you find one you like and sticking with that one because it suits you. The Committee met over various virtual platforms a few weeks ago after the restrictions were lifted slightly and decided to continue with the suspension of all EAMG activities. This was shared by me on the Forum and Facebook. As a Registered Charity we must be seen to be following the guidelines as best we can. I know RoSPA are not restarting testing till at least 1st September, and both they and the IAM give no information on their website other than all training is on hold. We must take our lead from them. If you who have spent much more time at home than normal I hope you have found a way to slow down. The weather has mainly been glorious and I have enjoyed many hours in the garden, found new ways to interact with friends and family over the internet and enjoyed


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cooking meals from fresh ingredients. One of our major triumphs was laying 40 sq meters of artificial grass with a golf hole. It’s provided many hours of chipping practice and also become an outside fitness studio for my daughter. Since lockdown there have been many facebook groups sprung up over the country offering to deliver PPE free of charge. Bikers have been offering their time and fuel for free, and yes that means they get to ride their bikes. Many, many members of the public have had the chance to meet with bikers in this setting and the public opinion of motorcyclists has been raised as a result. I’ve been involved in one group as a transport coordinator and the positive feedback from the ‘Love of Scrubs’ groups, individuals and healthcare workers who have benefitted has touched me. Many comments saying they have changed their view of bikers and how polite and courteous they have been. I am also painfully aware that some of our members are still Shielding, or a member of their family is, they are still very frightened and rightly so. Taking everything into consideration I ask if you are going out on your bikes, please do it respectfully and quietly and not in groups that attract negative attention. All I can think to end with is… Stay Safe, we will be out their riding it the not too distant future. .

Editor: Please note that all normal EAMG activities, Group Nights, AGTs, Rides etc. , are suspended until the current restrictions are relaxed.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Obviously, with all Group activity suspended, there were no passes

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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 2020 

New Associate Members


Associate Member Renewal


Full Member Renewal


Social Member


Full Member Training


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















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Associate Members: Andrew Smith (against the odds, by email!)

Andy sent a picture of his bike


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Coronavirus This could well be the shortest ever Training Team News column, following the introduction of lockdown on 23rd March. Despite the Government's tentative relaxation of some restrictions in England from 13th May and the transition in their message from 'stay home' to 'stay alert', EAMG's position remains to follow Government guidelines which, unfortunately, means that it will not be possible to resume our training or social activities in the near future. The latest guidelines do, however, permit the use of motorcycles for leisure activities providing common sense is applied to ensure that you fully comply with all relevant social restrictions. The White Dalton web site ( https: / / www.whitedalton.co.uk/ motorbike-blog/ ) provides some useful legal guidance on 'The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020'. Whether you will consider it appropriate to ride for fun whilst the pandemic is still active is likely to come down to individual circumstances and judgement.

Please keep an eye on EAMG's Forum and Facebook page via http:// www.eamg.org.uk/ for further Group updates. Stay safe.


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Online Training Feedback Form The only training related activity that I can report on is to confirm that Trevor Greenway was the first Group member to complete the new Online Training Feedback form, after achieving his recent RoSPA Gold pass. Trevor provided some highly complimentary comments relating to the training he received from Andy Parnham (including " I couldn't imagine a better observer! " and " Andy is a great advocate of safer riding and a fine ambassador for EAMG!" ). I would like to thank Trevor and pass on congratulations to Andy. We hope that the Online Training Feedback facility will become more widely used when we are able to resume training. Alternatively if you have a little spare time and would like to provide comments relating to your training the form can be accessed via EAMG's website (http:// www.eamg.org.uk/).

---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.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Married to a Biker Mary Crowley (Chris Johnson’s wife) When I tell new acquaintances that my husband is a biker, nine times out of ten they say “Oh, does he have a Harley?” I have learned to sigh internally but smile sweetly and respond “No actually, he has a KTM 1190 and a Honda Fireblade.” “Ah” they say, clearly mystified and disappointed. The next question is “Does he wear leathers?” “Oh yes!” I say, enthusiastically, “Would you like to see a photograph?” This is invariably a great success. And then the sixty-four thousand dollar question...”Do you go on the back of the bike?” Here I have to disappoint them since wild dogs could not drag me onto the back of the bike. (I did try it once, honestly...never again! I’m just a wimp.) When Chris and I had only known each other for a short time and I found out that he was a biker I was surprised because it seemed at odds with the geeky personality I expect in a computer expert. When he decided to come back from Sweden where he was working and resettle in Essex, it took a very short time indeed for him to find the Essex Motorcycle Club. It suited him perfectly and he met friendly likeminded fellow bikers and got acquainted with the winding roads of Essex and enterprisingly Sunday-opening cafes. At the time we lived in Chigwell, a relatively short journey from Chelmsford. When we decided to move to South London in 2007 it was a tricky decision for Chris because there were no bike clubs nearby, and worst of all, the local roads were all straight and BORING! He had, of course a plan for dealing with the situation….he would simply take in his stride the extra hour each way’s travel needed to go from home, through the Blackwell Tunnel and then from there to Chelmsford or wherever The Essex Motorcycle Club’s meeting point was for that day. No problem!


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It hasn’t been without incident of course….. I vividly remember the evening I was dozing in front of the TV waiting for Chris to come back from his Bike Club committee meeting, when the phone rang. In my half-asleep state I was shocked to hear Chris say “Can you come and collect me from Chelmsford Hospital?” The broken ribs were not life-threatening but they were painful and the slightest movement could cause considerable discomfort. The biggest problem for Chris was getting out of bed to go to the toilet. His fellow Bike Club member, Chris Reid, very kindly came to the house to deliver his bike which of course had had to be abandoned after the accident. I mentioned the problem with movement causing excruciating pain and the difficulty of getting out of bed to go to the toilet – or anywhere else. “Don’t worry” said Chris (Reid) I’ll get him of bed for you. You may want to wear ear-plugs...this might be noisy!” He was as good as his word and though there were a few suppressed groans, the getting up was accomplished without too much pain. ( Editor: actually a window cracking scream and extreme agony! )The real challenge came when it was time to go to bed. Chris stood up – very carefully! - and headed towards our bedroom. “No!” I screeched like a banshee…..you can’t go to bed…..we will not be able to get you up again! So he slept for the next six weeks in his reclining rocking chair covered with a few rugs until the broken ribs had healed. The next drama was more exotic. Chris had decided to go on a long trip to the USA accompanied by fellow bike club member, Geoff Preston. They flew into Baltimore with the bikes and mostly made their way across to and up the west coast of the United States. Chris phoned me pretty regularly because he knew I would be imagining all sorts of dramas. One phone call was the evening before they planned to cross Death Valley… I wished them happy biking, advised drinking lots of water and went to bed looking forward to an update the following day. There were no phone calls for four days! Obviously I assumed Chris was dead, lying undiscovered in the appropriately Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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named Death Valley. (I don’t do trivial panicking!) It was difficult to think how I could check out this assumption… I had tried phoning to no avail; Chris of course had my contact details on him and I had faith that LAPD could manage a call to London. But no call came. Till Chris himself made email contact on the fourth day. Turns out his phone company had made a mistake about bill payment and he was – happily – far from dead! It’s not all about the actual biking of course. As well as the interesting biker-focused talks, the Essex Motorcycle Club also organises a Christmas party. One of the highlights of the evening is The Quiz, which is prepared and run by Chris. There are general knowledge questions and some specific to biking. Chris prepares the quiz and acts as quiz-master. Chris’s sister Claire, her appropriately named partner Mark and I are the markers, working at speed to check and mark the submissions for one round while Chris reads out the questions for the next one. Though we work hard, we also enjoy the evening which takes place in an Essex Golf Club, a lovely venue where they serve sustaining meals with excellent chips (It’s hungry work, marking quizzes!) And it gives us a chance to meet some of Chris’s biking companions which is a great pleasure since they are invariably friendly and welcoming. I was relieved when the Club wisely suspended activities in the light of Covid19, but it will certainly be a joyful occasion when the time comes for Chris to don the leathers again, mount the KTM 1190 and head for the winding roads of Essex.


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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UKJeeper Rides The Trans America Trail. Tim Cooper Documenting my 2018 East to West (then East, then West again!) trip across the USA. Prequel: I used to ride, a long time ago (22 year s), both for fun and for work (courier in Los Angeles).Until I began to run out of luck, and into cars. Several times in the space of 6 months! None of which were my fault, but on my last trip to the ER I decided to hang up my helmet for the sake of myself and my young family.

The Trip: Near ly a quar ter centur y later , I took ‘voluntar y r edundancy’ fr om my job in the UK, and found myself in a position financially, and timewise, to have an ‘adventure’. I’d always wanted to complete a trip from one US coast to the other. I’ve travelled the US, in part, several times before. I’ve piloted helicopters and light planes up and down various States, driven an RV from Connecticut to California (in 5 days), but always for someone else and on a strict schedule. This time it was going to be for me, on my schedule, my term’s. But how? I considered options such as Route 66, but the idea of endless hours of freeway pounding didn’t thrill me or fill me with enthusiasm. Then I read about the Trans America Trail And that did ‘float my boat’. It clicked. Initially I considered doing it in my Jeep Wrangler. I had plenty of 4×4 experience both in the US and UK, having gotten into Jeeps when I got off bikes. But it didn’t quite seem ‘right’. Then my Wife suggested I do it on a motorcycle. That maybe it was time to ride again. So, I signed up to take my UK bike tests and started to look around for which motorcycle I should use, eventually reading about the Honda CB500X, and how it could be turned

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from a mediocre commuter bike into an affordable ADV vehicle. Which brought me to Rally Raid and their various upgrade options. My initial plan involved buying a used CB500X in the US, picking it up at the beginning of the journey. Fortunately this became problematic due to the requirements to register the bike in my name in the US. I say fortunately as I realise now that jumping on a motorcycle, after 22 years with only 5 hours of practice for the UK licence, to ride 5000 miles, would have been a bad idea. (and, as it turned out, I rode WAY more than 5,000 miles!) So I looked around for a UK CB500X, which is when Jenny Morgan told me about Rally Raid selling an ex demo bike. This one: If anyone knew how good a Rally Raid equipped CB was, it would be her. As she’d already ridden the trail on a similar CB. After a bit of back and forth over which parts to leave on the demo bike, and which parts I didn’t need, and the price, I picked it up the day after passing my test! The original plan was to leave later in the year, around late August, and work an IT contract to keep money coming in until then. However, that particular plan changed rapidly when the contract came to a sudden, screeching halt, three months early! So, change of plans. I literally came home from that last day at work, and called Air Canada to book the flights. I chose to take the Air Canada method of shipping the bike, as their ‘Fly Your Bike‘ Program, financially is at least as good, or better, than sea freighting with the advantage that it flies with you and is instantly available on arrival (in theory anyway, I’ll get to that) rather that the 6 weeks of no bike while it cruises the Atlantic. And no “oh, we haven’t shipped it yet”, as has happened to others. So, I booked the flight, for me and the bike and began the paperwork. Only to find that the only company who insured visitors and their vehicles to the US had pulled out of the market recently. It took some doing, but I found a US broker who had another option and the trip was back on! After a couple of last minute panics over the EPA import certificate and the Canadian ETA visa (as I didn’t know I needed them!), I rode the bike down to Heathrow and Air Canada cargo, the day before the flight, to be booked in, x-rayed, and strapped to a pallet.

We’re on our way! Arriving at Montreal I dashed off the plane and watched to make sure the bike was a) actually on the plane and b) still in one piece. Fortunately both were true. Air


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Canada did a great job. Once I’d successfully passed through Canadian customs, I took a taxi to Air Canada cargo on the other side of the airport. Only to be told that I’d have to go back to the terminal and convince customs to release the bike. Turns out the day after Canada Day is also a public holiday, so there were no officers at the cargo building and they are only supposed to sign off on perishables and live animals. So, back to the terminal, and out with my best begging voice. Success! BACK to AC again with the all-important stamped paperwork, and I was reunited with the bike! Unstrapped it and rolled it off the pallet for a check over. All was good, so climbed into my motorcycle gear (in oppressively hot and humid weather), and set off on the first leg of my North American adventure. Grinning like an idiot, barely believing I’d actually made it! However, my phone provider had decided not to play nice with the Canadian cell service’s, I had no Google maps to navigate my way down to the US border, fortunately I have a good sense of direction and I was able to find my way south. Where I dealt with my second set of customs officers in 3 hours. Who, fortunately, were as helpful as their Canadian counterparts and I was on my way in 20 minutes! By this time it was late o’clock, so I rode until my initial excitement (omg I’m here!) wore off, and tiredness hit me. And stayed in the “America’s Best Value” hotel (it isn’t the ‘best value, BTW) in Plattsburg, NY. Where I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. July 3rd. Ear ly star t, and with my phone happier on the US cell services, I made my way to my friends house in Massachusetts, on my first full day of riding in the USA (after 22 years…). I avoided the main highway, instead picking route 9n. A very good choice as it turned out. It runs down the side of Lake Champlain and Lake George, providing spectacular views over the water along empty twisting well maintained roads .Eventually finding my way to my friend’s house, in West Stockbridge, right on the NY/Mass border. Hadn’t seen Loretta in about 2 decades, so it was great to

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meet her, and her family again. July 4th. Spent the day being shown ar ound the area, going up to Mount Greylock, having a bbq at their cabin by ‘Stockbridge Bowl’ (the nearby lake) and making the colonials do a double take at seeing the British flag on Independence Day! July 5th. Back on the r oad the next day, with my sights set on my next stop; my Sister in Laws place way down in North Carolina. I chose route 7 over the main highway, again a good choice as it passed through several iterations of ‘small town America’ on the way to White Plains, NY where I took time out to visit my Father in Laws grave and say “hi” Then on into NYC, via FDR Drive into the heart of Manhattan, dodging the yellow cabs and hordes of I-zombies, still unable to quite believe I was actually doing this, to arrive at Times Square for a quick picture, while parked somewhere I probably shouldn’t have been.. before continuing on Liberty Park where I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the park rangers to put my bike on the waterfront for a pic with Lady Liberty. So I had to settle for an ‘over the hedge’ shot at a spot down the road.

Leaving NYC I headed south, through New Jersey on fairly nondescript highways, in very hot temperatures (this became a theme, roasting every day!) to Cape May and the ferry to Delaware, where I spent a pleasant 1.5 hours (and a beer) with the other biker using the boat. He proclaimed he was taking “a long road trip”, to Gettysburg… And was slightly amazed to hear my plans. Off the ferry and yet more highway miles, heading south along US Route 113. Boring for the most part unfortunately, as it was just monotonous highway pounding, but with not terrible views down through Delaware and Virginia. Eventually finding somewhere to crash for the night in Pocomoke, VA, getting a solid 9 hours of sleep. July 6th. Opening the r oom door at early o’clock I was hit in the face by yet another hot, humid day, and resolved to find a solution to my being slowly cooked in the Alpinestar Andes v2 jacket and thick gloves I’d been wearing. (And also realising my Vango Banshee (Continued on page 30)


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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 Rides will leav e Sainsburys Springfield, Ch elmsford

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Please note that all events in the Diary are now suspended until further notice February Sunday, 2nd Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Sunday, 23rd

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

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

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night— Triumph Lings? Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2001) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2001)

Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Saturday, 11th Sunday, 12th Tuesday, 21st Sunday, 26th

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

Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, ??? Sunday, 17th Tuesday, 19th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night — KTM Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2002) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2002) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th Sunday, 28th

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

Sunday, ?5?th Sunday, 5th

Maldon Motor Show Richard's Full Member Ride





Diary 20 20





Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride (to be confirmed)

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Slow Riding Day Observer Peer to Peer Ride (2004) Copdock Show Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Associate/Full Member Training (AMT/FMT 2004) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan’s Associate/Member Ride

Diary 20 20

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

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

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

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

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Old P


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Pictures ■ 2004-2006 ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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tent had fallen off somewhere between Lewes, DE and the hotel!) So I rode down to Norfolk VA, and found a bike shop (Cycle Gear, the first of many visits to that particular chain of shops!), picking up a Bilt Charger MX (mesh and armour) jacket and MX gloves, along with some chain lube. SUCH a difference. No more overheating and not having to ride in just a base layer t-shirt (not safe). Breakfast at the Bel Aire pancake house next door, then more highway pounding to Arapahoe, NC, to find my In-laws and my base for the next couple of days. July 8th .Long day. Left Arapahoe and headed to Cabelas outdoor outfitters, in Garner, NC, just south of Rayleigh, to buy a replacement tent, freeze dried hiking food, etc. Massive store! Then on the road to Boone, NC as I wanted to run the Blue Ridge Parkway down to Asheville. Had a great time on the 118 mile route. Loads of twisties opening up to views across the valleys. Plenty of other bikers up there too. Also explored some of the small towns along the way. After a long and frustrating evening looking for a campsite, around Asheville, NC, to plant the new tent and get some much needed sleep, I gave up on ‘under canvas’ option and found a hotel instead. 9th July Finally joined the ‘TAT’, at Mars Hill, NC. Every kind of road in the TAT so far, from smooth tarmac to deep soft cinder, often different around every corner! But stunning views to be found, and not enough traffic to be unable to look away from the road. Strangely, one of the obstacles to look out for, after deer, rabbits and chipmunks (and the occasional snake) were box turtles. Who had decided the tarmac was a great place to bask in the sun. Grapefruit sized ‘organic’ rocks, often just in the wrong place. Speaking of rocks, the Rally Raid engine guard earned its keep. Bouncing off a large rock that I couldn’t lean round in time. An impressive ding in the metal, but not in the sump. So money well spent. Bike has done fine, even with an inexperienced rider and a lot of weight up high. Got my left foot scraped a couple of times on the twisties. Not bad for knobbly TKC 80’s! Left the TAT at Maggies Valley, NC. Had a beer to cool down in town, then headed up towards “Tail of the Dragon”, with the intention of running it after all the ‘yahoos’ had gone home. But sense (and fatigue) won out and found a place to pitch up for night in-

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stead. Wasn’t up for finding a place in the woods, but stumbled across the Iron Horse Resort Biker campsite and a good price (with WiFi, though it was very flaky). Ended up next to a group of Australians who are travelling the US on their trikes that’s they shipped from ‘down under’. New Cabelas tent went up. Quite impressed with it. Good quality and spacious. Plenty of room for my gear overnight if needed. 10th July Packed up early, and rode up to Deals Gap, to find and run the Tail of the Dragon. Heard a lot about it, how it was a great road to ride. 318 bends in 11 miles (or thereabouts). Found it, ran it, and TBH, didn’t find it that interesting. Perhaps because I’d already ridden so many similar roads over the last few days, including over 100 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Still, crossed it off the ‘list’ and continued on the TAT. Through more forests, and through Tellico Plains, the original start of the TAT. Ran into 3 other people riding the TAT, and rode along with them until Ducktown, TN. Was good to have some company, at least for a while. They were on ‘little’ 250’s, so left me behind on the trails. BUT, on the tarmac between the trails, I would quickly reel them back in on the bigger 500cc bike! At Ducktown, we had different plans, so I decided to jump ahead a little, and took the ‘slab’ around the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest, to Calhoun, GA, where I found a USFS campsite for the night. No-one else there, just me and the fire flies. And the ever present humid heat!… As I was alone I was able to leave the fly sheet off the tent and sleep in the mesh inner, which made a big difference to being able to cool off 11th July. Fr om Calhoun, I stayed on the TAT, continuing through the Chattahoochee National Forest along winding forest roads, some of them very steep switchbacks, past LaFayette, TN, Mount Carmel and over Pigeon Mountain, with long vista’s over the valleys below. At one train crossing, I had an enforced rest break, while a seemingly endless freight train crawled past at about 5mph. Made

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me wonder about the people who used to ‘ride the rails’, during the great depression, and whether people still do it now Then onwards. Past Trenton, eventually arriving in Jasper, TN. Took a break, then tried for Lynchburg and the Jack Daniels distillery. Got there too late for a tour, and the hotel in town was full. Found a bed for the night in nearby Fayetteville. And just in time too, as the heavens opened. Fortunately I was able to pull the bike under the porch, outside my hotel door. Keeping it dry and allowing me to replace the horn, which had self ejected somewhere on the trail. 12th July. Took a day ‘off’, to visit the J ack Daniels Distillery, and the town of Lynchburg, TN. Definitely a ‘must see’ if you’re passing through the area, of even taking a detour if you’re further away. The tour takes you through the whole distillery. From the huge storage buildings that contain around a million gallons of JD, each (there’s around 25 buildings), while the whisky matures (the smell is amazing!), past the area where they make the charcoal that is used to filter the whisky, which gives JD its unique colour, the spring where all the water that is used to make JD is drawn from, Jack’s office, the bottling plant, and finally on to the tasting room. Didn’t go too crazy in the tasting room, as I had to ride down to Huntsville, AL to find a new rear tyre. Mine was totally done, but I’d had no luck finding a TKC80 at any store along the way. Fortunately Cycle Gear in Huntsville had one. But… they don’t remove the wheel. So, I strapped the bike to a tree in the parking lot, shoved an old car wheel under the engine guard and pulled the bike wheel off! As I had started late, I rode on till sundown, and then kept riding. Even if some of the TAT required a detour. Fortunately detours were very few ( I only had to ‘go around’ about 3-4 times on the entire trail). Came across a herd of cows that has decided not to stay home, found the farmer and between us we corralled them up and moved them to safety, on our modern day steeds! Rode 20 miles of the TAT, including 4 stream crossings, in the dark. Fortunately the £20 LED lights proved to be a lot better than the price tag would suggest. Finally found a place to pitch up, beside the Natchez Trace parkway, in a car park for the Sweetwater Trail. 13th July. Woke up befor e the sun and r ode down to Collinwood, TN at 04:30 loading up on carbs n coffee ready for the day ahead. Back on the trail, which crossed over into Alabama briefly, through Waterloo, before going north again into Tennessee. More stream crossings, including one particularly nasty, very slippery one, that required me to pull off all


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the extra weight (bags etc) and carefully move the bike over to a safer crossing spot! Made it to Counce, TN where I’d hoped to meet Sam Correro, the person behind making the TAT. Unfortunately, due to missed communications, this didn’t happen. But I did manage to reach out to another friend of mine, Brent, up in Jackson, TN where we had lunch and finally met each other after years of knowing each other on FB! Headed back down through Counce, still unable to contact Sam, so headed south into Mississippi. Very rough trails, to the point where my windshield mounts finally gave out. So a side trip to New Albany and a hardware store where I found the parts to fix the flapping windshield. Found a campsite in Pontotoc, MS. A quick negotiation with the camp owner resulted in a bargain rate and a night beside a very scenic lake, with my own restroom, and shower (mainly as everyone else was in air conditioned trailers/ RV’s!). Unbelievably humid. Taking a cold shower did nothing as I was unable to successfully dry off! At this point I was slightly ‘done’ with the Eastern US, and it’s constant dampness, and was looking forward to reaching the much more arid western side. –to be continued.

Editor: This article was submitted over a year ago.. Because of its length, profuse illustration, and the fact that it had to be clipped fragment by fragment from a website I put off including it whilst there were easier options. I am a profoundly lazy person.. If you want to read the full account now, with better format and LOTS more pictures, visit https://ukjeeper.home.blog/

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Old Events Report Chris Johnson This appeared in TUG in February 2008. At the time the then editor (Guy Jones) decided that the italics on the fantasy section were a mistake and ‘corrected’ them, thus causing some puzzlement for members who read it as part of the actual report. Firstly, a big Thank You (not) to whoever cleaned up all the old entries from the ‘Runs and Rides’ section of the EAMG BBS and thus removed my primary reference source for these reports. I was forced to consult my notes, and transforming “squiggle st.i.150+10 smudge 18th pnct. Cuppa. 1hr. Cold. M sys, illegible …” into a plausible ride account means a lot of fiction and not much fact. No change there, then! The first ride of the period was Richard Parker’s run to St Ives on Sunday 18th November and we had 23 bikes (according to Richard … I can only find 19 in the photos). The weather forecast had been absolutely terrible, but in the event the day was fairly dry. Richard celebrated the fact by adding an extra ten miles to the outward leg. The route had me completely confused then, and the passage of time has not helped. Six of us arrived at The Local Café in St. Ives, and for the better part of an hour it stayed that way. It turned out that Derek had suffered a puncture in Sible Hedingham, Guy had stopped to help him fix it, and we had left a trail of increasingly lonely and cold markers behind us. One was even offered a cup of tea by a sympathetic shopkeeper. This provoked some discussion later about the Marker System, although in truth the system did not actually fail on this occasion. I


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suppose we must have ridden back afterwards but I have no notes, or memory, about it. Gary held a ride on Sunday 2 nd December. Everyone knows that Gary’s rides go to Walker’s Burger Bar, but on this occasion he broke with tradition and we had the novelty of a ride to … St. Ives! It was a grey, greasy sort of day and I think there were about a dozen of us. We lost a couple on the way out. Elke was riding her new Versys at a very moderate speed on a straight stretch of road when it suddenly slewed its rear wheel from side to side and threw her off. That section of road had been cheaply repaired with a lick of tar and, in the damp conditions, had no grip at all. Elke was unhurt and the bike, apart from a footpeg which had snapped off, seemed remarkably undamaged (naked bikes have their advantages). It was not really rideable, however, so Phil and she had to drop out. When we reached St Ives the centre of the town was closed to traffic because of a Christmas Fair. In the grand old social ride tradition Gary ignored the closure signs and led the head of the group to the café. There was then a wait since, in an equally grand old social ride tradition, the remaining riders searched out alternative routes for the last few hundred yards. There was another wait after we had eaten when some of us went back to our bikes and others, including Gary, slipped off to investigate the delights of the Fair. Back at Leaden Roding Gary declared the run officially over. This apparently satisfied the terms of the pact he had made with Dark Forces, because the skies promptly opened and we all got soaked going home. I had planned a ride to the White Lion in Baldock after the AGT on December 9th, but an attack of the lurgy kept me away. Guy Jones took over as leader and five bikes made the run along the usual Thaxted, Newport, Buntingford route. The White Lion was only serving Sunday lunches (note to self – remember to update your destination list) so the group went on to Bikestop Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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in Stevenage for a frugal lunch and some serious shopping. For the journey back Guy turned on his Sat Nav (when will they ever learn that this is not a good idea) and in the resulting struggle over what constituted a suitable route for a social run had an interesting ride through towns nobody had ever visited before, and had not the slightest intention of ever visiting again. Eventually at Harlow the battle, and run, were declared over with a points victory to the Sat Nav. Guy sent me an amusing account of this ride which I would normally have included verbatim but, bearing in mind the duplication of ride reports for the Mosquito Run in the last TUG, I thought it safer not to.

I decided not to attend Richard Parker’s Full Member run to Ixworth on 16 th December. The weather forecast said ‘cold’, and if the temperature is below four degrees then I lose concentration after about 50 miles. Richard’s routes


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normally require a fair amount of concentration. Stephen reported that when he eventually made his way home from it the air temperature was minus three. The run was about 150 miles, 12 turned up for it at the Springfield Sainsbury’s, and one turned up at the Miami Tesco’s, and was consequently a non-starter. The run was without major incident other than for Alan, who got a nasty puncture and had to resign himself to the slow mercies of the RAC. Richard published the route on the EAMG BBS so if you are interested look there … soon … whilst you still have a chance. At Ixworth they not only went to that posh Village Café again, but even had a reserved table. By August I expect Richard to be organising jaunts to the Savoy Grill. I did attend part of Richard’s next run; the Xmas Recovery Ride to Purleigh on Sunday 30th December. The forecast said nine degrees and it was not far short of that when I set out (which for Sydenham in the early morning is positively tropical). It seemed like a day for leathers; with three layers underneath and a padded reflective vest just in case. The estimated run length was 120 miles, which meant that the route was going to be very indirect. I arrived just before the run started and did not have time to take photos or do a bike count, but I am pretty sure it would have been in the mid-teens. Alas, Essex was a lot colder than predicted and by Finchingfield (yes, it was an indirect route, wasn’t it) I bottled out and, giving my apologies to back marker Geoff Preston, scurried back home with my tail between my legs. No details about how the run was for others, apart from the inevitable puncture. The weather forecast was beginning to rule my life. For Gary’s run on 6 th January it predicted that the air temperature over most of East Anglia would still be zero at midday. After the ignominy of the last run I didn’t even have to think about it. Guy Jones kindly sent me a report of the ride, part of which I will risk quoting, “I would guess 40 people turned up, a lot of new faces. Richard Parker lead a group with Geoff Preston Tailing, Gary had Terry Sullivan in support. We went to (where else) Walkers Cafe ! via Braintree, Gosfield Etc then through top Red Lodge and up to Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Walkers, the return leg was similar but took in the Steeple Bumpstead Road, just as we were coming into Finchingfield Gary had to take pretty severe action to stop in time to miss a deer, it was followed across the road by at least 30 of its close relatives, it was genuinely a scary/thrilling sight. A second later we would have been right in the middle of them.” One minor incident he failed to mention was that Sue Saunders had an ‘off’. Despite the recently established grand old social ride tradition of falling off your bike when travelling in a straight line, this was on a right-hander when turning into the low afternoon sun so blinded her that she hit the verge. Happily neither Sue nor the bike sustained any irreparable damage. This is a very unsatisfactory thing for a writer of event reports, and I feel this is how the incident should have been:… By the final stages of the run as they approached the infamous chicane the pack was led, as usual, by the lovely Zoe Zaunders; instantly recognisable in the tight scarlet leathers which left few details of her lithe body to the imagination. Alas, danger lurked round one of the bends. Hidden from view an overturned petrol tanker was leaking its deadly load onto the road. Zoe’s lightning reactions enabled her to flick the bike through the tiny gap between tanker and bank (no mean feat at triple-digit speeds) but the fuel covered road then offered no grip, and only a superbly executed eighty degree lateral drift enabled her to bring the bike to a standstill. Unfortunately a spark from her titanium elbow sliders triggered a massive fuel-air explosion. As the initial fireball rose up towards the heavens Zoe could be seen through the flames raising her beloved race replica Honda above her head to cast it into the waterlogged ditch, and then leaping over to ensure

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it would be safe. Only then did she think to extinguish the fires which consumed her by thrusting her burning body against the moist earth. … Back to reality. The final run before the TUG deadline was on Sunday 13 th January. Richard Parker had a ride to Capel St Mary. Seventy miles out and fifty back to finish at the Boreham McDonalds. There was no rain, but the roads out were very slippery and dirty. They were beginning to dry out for the return journey. There were twenty bikes participating, with a sizeable proportion of them CB500’s determined to make progress. The important thing to do when you see one behind you is to pull over to the nearside and let it past as soon as possible. They get desperate if thwarted. Richard had judged the route well for the conditions, and I managed to get back home when it was still light enough to hose down the bike, which had turned an interesting grey colour. It must have been much worse for Paul ‘Spotless’ Steggles, who has started complaining that his life resembles Groundhog Day.

Paul Steggles and Gary Crane Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Old This and That Dave Iszard This article was first published in TUG in July 2011. Dave’s periodic ‘This and That’ articles were a much appreciated feature of the magazine. We miss them! My thoughts turned to Chris Johnson who on a group ride about two years discovered that his tail pack was unzipped and the contents had blown away. The contents being the documentation of the whole of his life strewn over a distance of about thirty miles. He back tracked but found nothing. Things like driving licence, insurance, Mot, all gone. When he returned home he found that Rumanian gypsies had stolen his identity and moved into his house. Undeterred he entertained them with a game of Bingo Quiz. Not being able to answer any of the questions, demoralised, they moved out that evening. The moral of the story zip up your tail pack. At a recent committee meeting it was discussed whether we should carry first aid kits with us. A serious debate followed about what the kit would contain. More debate followed about what outlet, Halfords or Boots, would be best to buy such a kit from. More debate about how big it would be and where would you stow it on the bike. It was then concluded that a first aid kit would be totally inadequate in the event of a motor cycle accident, you would have trouble mending a broken collar bone with a sticky plaster. So the idea was dropped but Lyn and Madeleine had their own discussion about the matter and decided that as long as they had lip stick and lip seal everything was covered in the event of an accident. I thought no more about it until a few nights ago when I had a dream. We were out on a group ride when a dog ran into the road and straight under the wheels of my bike. I braked as hard as I could but hit the dog and down I went. Knocked unconscious, I ‘came to’ to find Lyn and Madeleine applying lip stick to me. I gazed over to my right to see the dog already had lip stick on


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and was about to have its eyelashes curled. Chris Johnson arrived and someone said to him give us your first aid kit. He went to his tail pack to find it unzipped and everything gone. Chris said I’ll go back and find it and rode away. I’m really going to be careful on group rides from now on. My Nephew Phil Reader bought a new Triumph Tiger a few weeks back and I invited myself along to share the excitement of receiving it. The excitement was all mine as Phil didn’t seem that bothered. A bit of a briefing by the salesman on running in and other things to know and we were off. The running in was adhered to for about ten miles and then apparently it was ‘run in’. Phil must have a low boredom threshold or a short memory for the next twenty miles were covered in a good ‘spirited’ ride. I’ve never seen so many hairy bit’s on new tyres before but by the time we got to Finchingfield they were all gone all the way round to the writing on the tyre walls. I gave him space as I couldn’t believe unscrubbed tyres would grip that well, that soon. My excitement soon waned when I realised that Phil’s Tiger has metallic white paint and mine has ‘just’ white paint. He also has the updated computer, you can go off people!

Thoroughly enjoyed the Super Sausage run in the most amazing weather but on the return journey Stuart Daniels said to Nicki and I, drop in at my house for a cuppa on your way home. We thought that would be nice but Stu left the filling station in a hurry and I didn’t catch up with him for many a mile. As I don’t know where he lives it was important to follow him. Having caught him up he did a sudden and unexpected exit at a round-about and all was lost!

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One for the Road


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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.

2020 Events Joining Fees Please note that this program is suspended for the duration of the pandemic! FMT—(£45)

AMT— (£35)


Sunday, May 24th ?

Sunday, July 26th ?

Sunday, October 18th ?

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:


Email: Riding Experience Aspirations: Annual Mileage:


FTFM - 2020 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 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


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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