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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

October 2017

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, I called plaintively for more articles in the last issue, since the TUG coffers were empty. Fortunately the call was answered, but it was all last-minute stuff (but very good) and this unfortunate Editor’s fingernails were chewed pretty much down to the wrist. I particularly enjoyed John Tullett’s account of some offroading he had tried; which re-affirmed my intention to stick strictly to tarmac. We desperately need more copy for the December edition. I know you are not supposed to put an email address in an online publication, but submissions to chrisj_tug@edimatrix.co.uk would be very gratefully received. The final copy date for the next issue is 25th November 2017. In that issue we should have some great photos of a younger John Tipper, which got squeezed out this month unfortunately. Chris

Editor

Chairman’s Piece

2

Test Passes

4

New Members

4

Membership Info

7

Observer Coordinator

8

Road Trip to Arnhem

17

EAMG BBQ

20

Membership Form

22

Dates for the Diary

24

Picture Gallery

28

BBQ (continued)

30

My First Bike

32

Long Road Out of Eden 32

Events Report

35

Biker Dave

38

Observer Profile

39

Further Training

42

What’s happening next?

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, then

Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE October 2017 As summer fades away, and the evenings are drawing in I hope you have all had a good one. I must thank Chris J for filling in for me when I neglected to prepare a piece for August’s Tug and add my belated thanks to all who help organise and run the BBQ making it another success.

Eddy’s quiz in August was a hit with much humour and heckling… Thank you Eddy. There seemed to be quite a lot of ‘Bringing’ happening in September but I’m not sure how much ‘buying’ happened. If anyone has any ideas how we can improve this event, let me know please. Remember we do have the ‘for sale and wanted’ section in the Forum. The new Logo is slowly creeping into use and received some favourable feedback on the membership stand in Harwich at the recent Air Ambulance Run. We had another successful day there obtaining 16 potential members, we take contact details and offer 2 months free Trial membership. While any of you are out and about and chat about the group to non-members you can give anyone this opportunity. Please remember they must be full licence holders with a bike capable of maintaining 70mph. (it’s not a requirement to achieve 70mph though). Personally I had a great weekend in Wales recently, our ex members Nigel and Tiv hosting 18 of us (with 18 bikes). The weekend includes a tour and excellent Dinner, Bed and Breakfast. The highlight this

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year was the weigh-in! And I must congratulate Phil on his impressive weight loss, leaving me in 3rd place. We’re not just a bike club but a diet club now as well! Take care out there‌ Jill

Interest at the Bring & Buy sale

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CONGRATULATIONS Recent Test Passes Geoff Preston

Steve Marler

16th August 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

9th September 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

Examiner: Mark Anderson

Observer: John Tullett Examiner: Mark Anderson

Andy Lee

9th September 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

John Tipper 12th August 2017

Examiner: Mick Jones

EAMG Senior Observer Assessor (reassessment) Assessors: Richard Parker & John Tullett

Adam Orchard

16th September 2017 RoSPA Silver

Observer: Michel Coque Examiner: Mick Jones

======================================== Welcome to New Members! I am afraid that at the eleventh hour the list of new members has gone walkabout; too late for me to sort out before the publication deadline. I am sincerely apologetic and will see you right in the December issue. Editor.

r

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T: 0844 888 0999 F: 0844 888 4190

www.ridemaster.co.uk “If you have a crash and it wasn’t your fault we can manage your claim free of charge. That means we will represent you and communicate with your insurance company, the at -fault insurance company, your repairer and, most importantly, YOU to resolve liability in your favour and manage your claim until your bike is back with you, fully repaired. In the unfortunate event that a bike is damaged, bikers may not be aware that once their insurer is notified, the insurer will arrange for their approved repairer to collect their bike. This may not be ideal for a number of reasons, that’s why Ridemaster will work with your chosen local repairer where they know you and know your bikes’ history. Call Ridemaster first and we’ll take the pain out of a bad day.”


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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 2017 

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)

...£20.00

Membership

Number

Full

102

Associate

36

Social

4

Observer

18

Life

12

Total

172

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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OBSERVER COORDINATOR John Tullett The Group is continuing to attract a high level of interest from potential new members, which is very encouraging. Fortunately, thanks to the commitment of our Observers and a good number of successful test & retest passes, it has been possible to promptly allocate the vast majority of Associates and Full members seeking 1-to-1 training. However, if you do have any issues or queries relating to your training with EAMG, please contact me and I will do my best to assist in their resolution. Observer News I am very pleased to confirm that John Tipper was recently reinstated as a Senior Observer Assessor within the Group following a successful reassessment ride. BMW Club Track Day The BMW Club run really well organised and enjoyable 'rider friendly' track days targeted specifically at road legal bikes and I was relieved to actually make it to Snetterton on 7th August, having had to pull out in 2016 with a broken foot! The sign-on process seemed to be much quicker this year and for the first time ever I even managed to get my Fireblade noise tested before the mandatory pre-ride briefing. Participants are supplied with a detailed booklet outlining recommended lines, entry points, apexes and exit points for each bend. I sought to make better use of the strategically placed entry/exit cones, rather than just working things out for myself and I found this helped with recalibrating the switch from road riding to making use of the full track width and adopting racing lines.

After an initial 'ducks & drakes' session - where you are split into smaller

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groups and each rider follows am instructor for a lap before dropping to the back of the group - it was great fun to have six more 20 minute sessions where you are free to explore your bike's levels of acceleration, braking & cornering without needing to think about things like speed limits or oncoming traffic. I was surprised to discover that the only other EAMG member riding, to the best of my knowledge, was John Tipper. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for next year's dates at http://www.thebmwclub.org.uk/sportingregister/ Mick Jones Off Road Facility This facility was launched in June to provide customers with an opportunity to develop their slow speed and off-road skills. At the moment the training is restricted to riders who have trained with or are known to Mick and the good news is that this includes EAMG members. I attended with Alan Burke on 26th August and we had the choice of 3 competition Gas Gas trial bikes. Mick outlined their features and, with no off road experience, I opted for the older/heavier/ slower machine that Mick described as having power characteristics more closely resembling a 4 stroke. Mick has colour coded the various sections of the course into easy, intermediate and more challenging categories and when we first walked around the course I thought I would be doing well if I could complete somewhere approaching half of the sections. We started off by getting a feel for the handling and manoeuvrability of the bikes on a section of field next to the course. Then we moved on to completing a fairly tight u-turn within some cones. Mick introduced us to some of the easier obstacles and then gradually added more challenges and started to link obstacles together as we progressed. One of the things that Mick pre-warned us about was getting hot but I had totally underestimated just how warm we would get as, with no seat, you have to get used to riding whilst standing up, which is surprisingly demanding if you are not

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used to it. By lunchtime we had completed the majority of the sections and everything seemed to be going very well. Unfortunately, almost immediately after Mick had said that our course was the most uneventful one he had yet run the commentator's curse struck! In my defence, a change of bikes was a contributory factor (as for the afternoon session Alan and I agreed to switch machines), with me moving to the newest one which had a 'vicious' power delivery according to Mick. This bike was undoubtedly lighter, quicker and more manoeuvrable. All was going well until I tried section 20 one of the higher ones - and ended up cresting a log marking the section perimeter and launching down a grassy slope. At least the bike had a nice soft landing on my leg. According to Mick I had approached the climb a little too slowly and when I blipped the throttle the front wheel had lifted, causing the bike to accelerate just at the point when it should have been slowing down. After some running repairs to the front brake I had another go at section 20 and got the approach speed right. Unfortunately my line was a little too far right and the bike's front fork brushed against a stump, causing an involuntary opening of the throttle. This time the bike and I went straight ahead and while I was able to grab a laurel bush on the way though the bike flew through the hedge and landed in the adjacent field. After retrieving and checking over the bike Alan offered to switch machines again and, without wishing to push Mick's good nature too far, this seemed like a sensible precaution. I suspect that Alan may also have had an ulterior motive as I had come surprisingly close to landing the bike on top of his truck cab parked near the course. The rest of the day passed relatively uneventfully but the length of riding sessions gradually reduced a little, through a combination of getting too hot and the cumulative effort of tackling longer sequences of obstacles while standing up.

These days new bikes have to meet increasingly stringent EU standards in terms of

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things like silencing & emissions with more and more 'safety' features including ABS, traction control, riding modes, day time lights, etc., etc., so it was a real visceral pleasure to ride a very loud competition two stroke with just a carburettor and kick start (Mick is on hand to start the bikes if you wish). Having now had a small taster of off road riding this is definitely something I plan to try again as it was really incredible fun. Come to think of it I might even be able to sneak a small trials bike into the garage - maybe Kay will not notice.... The standard charge is ÂŁ150 for a full day's training but if you book with a friend this reduces to a very reasonable ÂŁ130 each. To get the most from the training only two riders are booked on each day. Mick is able to provide some protective kit (helmets & gloves) if you do not wish to use your own. The course is designed for use by individuals with little or no off road experience. For more details see http://totaladvanced.co.uk/courses/ EAMG Biker Down Course Simon Enticknap organised an excellent Biker Down training session for Group members on 9th September. This highly informative and beneficial course was run by Tony Smith of the Herts Fire Bike Team. Tony was able to bring his presentation to life by including references to many real life scenarios. During the morning he outlined the

skills needed to take charge of the scene, assist in traffic control and provide initial casualty care. Many of the facts and figures quoted were thought provoking. For example: 6065% of motorcycle casualties die of blocked airways and 95% of riders wear a crash helmet at least one size too big or of inferior quality. Tony recommended checking the SHARP helmet safety scheme before selecting your next helmet (see https://sharp.dft.gov.uk/) when you next select a helmet.

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Tony also suggested downloading the 'Essex & Herts Air Ambulance' app which has two buttons: red will call 999 and green acts as an emergency locator beacon.

If you missed the course you should either have a word with Simon, who will be happy to organise a future course next year if there is sufficient demand, or if you cannot wait that long register your interest in attending one of the regular courses held in Hertfordshire - check out either https://www.facebook.com/Biker-DownHerts-664986513545176/ or e-mail: bikerdown@hertfordshire.gov.uk Slow Riding Day Eight members attended the Slow Riding Day on 17th September and with six observers and one guest tutor on hand we were able to offer a wide range of activities including figures-of-eight; slalom; offset slalom; emergency braking; and a 'DSA style' swerve manoeuvre.

The Special Surfaces Area at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre provided an ideal location, providing you kept an eye out for the HGV's (and DAS riders) heading in and out! The slowest rider race was contested by 11 riders over 2 heats and the final. Steve Devine employed a novel tactic by being too slow in getting ready to participate in either of the heats and had his own personal race against the stop watch after the final! The slowest rider 'snail' T-shirt was won by Richard Judd who posted the slowest times in the heats (27.15s) and final (25.71s). John Tipper upheld the honour of the Observer Team by taking the runner-up slot.

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Full Member Training (FMT) The final FMT day of 2017 is being held on 22nd October. If you are interested in attending you will need to book with John Tipper and additional details outlining how to do this can be found elsewhere in this issue of TUG. You will be riding with an Observer holding at least RoSPA Gold and, usually, one other Full member over a predefined route of around 200 miles. This will give you an opportunity to ride on some unfamiliar roads and periodically 'take a break' while the second rider is being observed. You will be debriefed during the ride and given a comprehensive ride report. Several refreshment stops are incorporated into each route. The cost to attend is ÂŁ45.

---ooo0ooo--Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me on 01277 623860 (before 21:30 please), text 07570 992801, e-mail jtullett@eamg.org.uk or send me a PM via the Message Board.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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St Lawrence House 2 Gridiron Place Upminster Essex RM14 2BE


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Road Trip to Arnhem David Brewster My trip to Arnhem was decided when my dad, now 92 years old, was interviewed and I realised that when he was 19 he was in the 4th Wiltshire regiment, who were the light infantry battalion who supported the retreat of the parachute regiment during the Battle of Arnhem which ran from the 22nd Sept to 6th Oct 1944. Therefore, on a cold foggy morning on the 15th Sept at 4.20am I sat eating my toast ready to set off on my adventure to trace my dad’s footsteps. My destination is Arnhem in the Netherlands to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem. I met my four mates in the local McDonalds and we headed off to Folkestone to catch the 7.50am train to Calais. One of my mates who is an experienced biker decided that he needed to get a move on and may have a speeding ticket coming his way in the near future! We parked on the train putting our bikes in first gear and waited for the 20minute journey to end. After leaving Calais and remembering to ride on the right side of the road, we went to Dunkirk where my uncle Charlie was waiting to be lifted off the beach in 1940. We passed the wall that most people have seen in the films and I walked out onto the deserted beach. What a strange feeling, silence, loneliness and just dead. An emotional stop.

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Then to lighten the mood, we had a continental lunch of a sandwich, pastry and coffee and headed to our hotel. Rush hour through Antwerp was interesting; filtering did not come naturally for one of my newly qualified biker mates and it took rather a long time. After a total of around 260 miles we had arrived. An eventful and alcohol-fuelled evening ensued where I met a 95-year-old Polish airborne veteran and was told about the memorial celebrations that weekend. After drinking some very strong Belgian beer and singing Tulips from Amsterdam quite loudly, (we were advised the next morning!) we went to bed. The next day we headed off to Ede. The friend who is newly qualified decided to revert to the left hand side of the road and we watched on in horror! After getting back onto the correct side of the road we carried onto Ede where in 1944 the parachute regiment sent 2000 paras to Ginkel Heath, they were meant to end up in Arnhem but it was windy and technology wasn’t what it is now. It was called Operation Market Garden. We waited in Ede for the four Hercules to come overhead and around 100 paras landed onto the Heath, there were vintage motorcycles, war memorabilia and other shows going on in the rain. Leaving Ede we went to Arnhem where it was sunny, parked up in the village square and had flat bread, apple cake and coffee and walked up to the bridge where I met a expara Charlie who is now a journalist and his ferret, the Bandit. He had interviewed my dad about his war experience and raises money for veterans with PTSD. Check out his Facebook page ‘Adventures with the Bandit’ to see his exploits and interviews. There were Willy’s jeeps, lorries, motorcycles and various other WW2

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vehicles from Germany, the USA and the UK. After the parade of Arnhem, they headed back to Oosterbeek and we followed on our bikes. This was the HQ for the UK operations and a makeshift hospital in Oosterbeek house that is now a museum. After a long day, we headed back to our hotel and went for an Italian meal before bed. Sunday morning and before heading home, I went to see my dad’s regimental memorial, another moving moment. The average age of the soldier who died was 19 years old, the age my dad was‌it must have been terrifying.

On leaving the memorial our group split up, 2 of my friends headed for the Black Forest, they were camping that night before carrying on to Chatel where he lives in the Alps. The rest of us headed back via Bruges and followed the coastline back to Calais where we got the train back to the UK.

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Rain Did Not Stop Play! Paula Hockey EAMG BBQ 2017 Many people agreed that they had second thoughts about setting out for this year’s BBQ as they looked out at the grey clouds and giant spots of rain but despite the weather they valiantly made their way to Longmeads House in the hope that it was still going ahead. They were not disappointed. Colin Snow even came on his pushbike in shorts! Being greeted by the smell of onions being cooked by Suzy in the kitchen and the site of Clive busy stoking the coals in his hand crafted BBQ drums got our tummies rumbling as soon as we arrived. The fact that we had the use of the premises meant that we all remained dry and more importantly the gazebo over the cooking area meant the coals stayed alight and food remained dry!

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The elements of a fine party were all in place: a bar, popular music being played over the speakers and lots of friendly faces. It was lovely to see a mixture of age groups: members brought wives, friends, sons, daughters, in laws and grandchildren. In fact the turnout was excellent and everybody mingled nibbling on the crisps and other munchies before the burgers and sausages were ready.

Clive had many offers of help and chaps took turns braving the heat to flip the food from time to time. The amount of food was generous with a vegetarian option available and even cake for pudding!

(Continued on Page 30)

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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February

7th 12th 19th 26th

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

5th 7th 12th 19th 26th

Mick's Associate Member Ride Group Night - Bikesafe Essex Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1701) Richard's Full Member Ride

2nd 4th 9th 15th ? 23rd 30th

Full Member Training (1701) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick's Associate Member Ride

2nd 7th 14th 21st 21st 21st 28th 28th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1702) Richard's Full Member Ride Wings & Wheels Show, Stow Maries Aerodrome Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Full Member Training (1702) Mick's Associate Member Ride

4th 6th 11th 18th 25th

Slow Riding Day Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

2nd 2nd 4th 9th

Maldon Motor Show (to be confirmed) Mick's Associate Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT)

March

April

May

June

Diary 2017

July

(Continued on page 29)

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Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

Extensions - Garages - Loft Conversions

Block paving Driveways - Patios

All Types of Roofing

Carpentry - Brickwork

Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

Fencing - Replacement Windows (uPVC, Hardwood, Aluminium)

uPVC Cladding, Fascias, Soffits

Underpinning - Landscaping

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

For free no-obligation quote, phone Clint on

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


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16th 23rd 30th

Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1703) Richard's Full Member Ride Full Member Training (1703)

1st 6th 20th 20th 27th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

5th 10th 10th 10th 17th 24th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Mick's Associate Member Ride Slow Riding Day Richard's Full Member Ride

1st 3rd 8th 15th 22nd 22nd 29th

Copdock Show Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1704) Full Member Training (1704) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

7th 12th 19th 26th

Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

3rd 5th 10th 17th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (Xmas Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride

August

September

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

(Continued from page 26)

October

November

December

Diary 2017

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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)

After we had gone back for seconds, raffle tickets were sold with high hopes of winning one of the many decent prizes available. Not all were lucky and there was some light hearted banter from those who were one number away from winning.

Ripples then went round the room that it was time for the games- yippee chance to show how good we were at sack racing and tug of war. Though Ian Taylor gave it his best shot he was to be outdone by a very fast young man who whipped over the line to take first place. The tug of war however was not to clean cut, in fact marshalling had to be very tight to stop the mixed teams getting carried away. Young and old joined to outdo each other and many reruns took place just because we could!

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Overall everyone enjoyed the event and thanks must go: Andy for booking the venue and organising the troops, Clive and Suzy for sorting out the food and cooking, Lynn and Graham for organising the games, Eddie who supplied the music, those who sold raffle tickets and supervised the draw, the bar staff and those who set up and cleared up the room.

All in all a great success and rain definitely did NOT stop play!

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My First Bike Andy Davy I reached my sixteenth birthday in the mid-70s. Like most teenagers I knew, I had no money, and nor did my parents. So there was little prospect of me whizzing around on the little motorised wasp that was the Yamaha FS1E (or ‘fizzy’ as everyone called them). I would have to be creative. More to the point I would have to swallow my pride. So it was that I acquired a Rayleigh Runabout moped. I have no idea where it came from, but that became my first mount. It was hardly something to impress friends or the opposite sex, but there it was. That’s not to say that I was ashamed of it, oh no. It got all the attention a real bike would have got – I stripped down the engine (there was plenty to learn there) and resprayed its pressed steel panels. Although when I say ‘respray’ what I mean is I used a tin of black enamel (it had to be black, to look mean) and a paintbrush. I finished it off with some stickers I found in the local cycle shop – that gave it its new name, ‘Firebird’ – a source of great amusement to everyone who saw it. It was ‘pure’ moped. Its pedals were not added largely for effect, as they were on the Yamaha – you really did have to pedal this thing to get the engine to start. There was no other way – you just got it up to maybe 5 miles an hour and some weights would spin out, acting as a clutch to grip the engine flywheel and get things humming. I see from contemporary adverts that the Runabout boasted a ‘30mph cruising speed’, achieved 175 mpg and only cost 44 ½ guineas when new (i.e. ten years earlier). Despite its limitations, I did use Firebird quite extensively. I had no choice if I was to get anywhere. I occasionally rode it from home (Burnham-on-Crouch) to school in Chelmsford, and once, when I missed the coach taking us there, then on to Colchester. Runabout indeed. The peculiar thing is that I have no recollection of selling the bike, but clearly I did as I bumped into the purchaser recently at an old boys’ event at the school. Apparently Firebird is still languishing in a shed at his mother’s, somewhere in Essex My first ‘real’ bike could hold its head up in company. It was a nearly-new Honda CB125. Again, I don’t remember buying it, just that my parents somehow decided I should have something decent that would allow me to visit my school friends, scattered around Essex. I think it might have cost something like £100, but that may be

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a wild guess. I loved that bike. It didn’t need anything doing to it, but I fitted a rack and top box to make it a bit more practical. I used it regularly to get to school, not least to be able to show it off in the school car park. It was a lovely metallic blue (oddly, similar to my current bike) with white decals. I saw an identical (and immaculate) one on eBay recently and the asking price was over £3,000.

Ah, the seventies. Flared jeans and a woolly hat. Sigh. This was the bike I took my test on. It was in the days when a motorbike licence could be obtained after collecting the required number of vouchers from chewing gum packets – or so it seemed. The reality was not far off: just ride round the block while a man in a brown overcoat with a clipboard watched as you appeared and disappeared in the traffic. As someone at the time pointed out, so long as you were out of his sight when you jumped the lights, ran someone over and then crashed into something, you could still pass. Despite that view I did get some training, from the venerable RAC/ACU scheme. Every Sunday for (I think) eight weeks I would toddle off to Chelmsford to sit in a classroom and then try out the practical exercises in a playground. I still have my Certificate of Proficiency, dated 28-3-1976. It is bittersweet looking at it now, as full of myself on the way home from graduating, I took a right hand corner too fast and flung the bike (and me) into the hedge. It was my first accident, and both the bike and my pride took a dent. I’d like to say I learnt from the experience, but that would be a lie. In fact I fell off that bike more than was healthy. I even went out one winter’s day just to see what it would be like riding on a frost-covered road (I soon found out). Those were the days when protective gear went as far as a helmet and gloves, and I am amazed that I did myself no more damage than grazes and torn jeans.

In top (5th) gear the Honda would do about 50mph at 7,000 rpm, so in theory if you red-lined it everywhere you could get 67mph out of it. I seem to recall that buzzing

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around at 50-55 was enough, in more ways than one. Actually, it was the 5 th gear that developed a chipped tooth and became the reason for me stripping down the engine entirely. Looking back on it, I am amazed I took it on, but maybe my limited personal finances were again the key factor. The Haynes manual proved vital of course, and I don’t recall needing any special tools to take the engine apart or reassemble it. And, being Japanese, it didn’t leak after the rebuild (unlike the bike I rebuilt a year or two later).

A fusion of Japanese engineering and British newspaper I did pass my test, first time (did anyone ever need a second go?) and not long afterwards I started looking for something bigger and better to get around on. My best friend’s dad was selling a 350cc Triumph Tiger 90. The romance of owning and riding a British bike overtook me and I looked no further. But that is altogether another story…

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Events Report Chris Johnson The first ride of the period was one of Big Bob's Midweek Rides on 15th August, and this time the weather permitted them to make an outing to Diss. I could not attend, but Bob reports that it went well with 6 bikes, a nice fluent ride, and no punctures this time.He enthused about the lunch with baguettes, sardines and lasagne. I detest sardines but I am happy that he was happy. Rob Spinks was able to make a comeback after having recovered from a snapped his Achilles tendon. Mick Hewitt led a 'Relaxed' Ride to the Wylevale Garden Centre near Bury St. Edmunds on 20th August. I did not attend it since it clashed with John and Audrey Tipper's Ride to Bourton-on-the-Water, and have no information about it. The Bourton Ride started well for me at the Birchanger Services on an initially dry day. I counted 22 bikes, but a couple more may have sneaked in afterwards whilst my back was turned. John gave an extremely comprehensive briefing and then we set off as two groups led by John and Audrey in the rather chilly sunshine, with Geoff and Stephen as sweepers.. Unfortunately well before the first stop I managed to acquire two slow punctures in my front wheel. These were difficult to find, and even more difficult to fix, since the tyre seemed to have been cut, rather than penetrated by objects. I suspect a stretch of chip and tar which we encountered. Geoff Preston stood by me for the rest of the problem-filled ride and proved a tower of strength, for which I am extremely grateful. I think at various times we tried mushroom plugs, sticky string, and finally a can of tyre gunk that Geoff finally remembered he had tucked away. Nothing worked, although the gunk did cause the tyre pressure to rise gradually to an alarming 56 psi before it gradually subsided. At least it gave me a bit longer before stopping to top the air up yet again. We encountered the ride proper briefly at the Buckingham Garden Centre, at Bourton itself, and at the Buckingham petrol station on the return journey, and made four separate attempts to fix the tyre, which seemed OK but still lost air. I ended up doing over 200 miles of a regimen of "Top up the air with the trusty little AA electric compressor to 40psi, ride about 15 miles until the pressure

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dropped below 25psi, and then repeat the process". It was a miserable ride, slightly relieved by meeting Doug and Maz at Buntingford where they had stopped for a snack, and I scarcely noticed that it had started raining at 4pm, so I was surprised when I got home at about 9pm to find that my clothing was absolutely sodden. Spraying the tyre with soapy water the next day showed no leaks, and it wasn't until I felt a breath of air against my face that I found a third cut on the side of one of the tyre treads. Obviously I had a new tyre fitted. I think the ride was enjoyable for everyone else, except poor Geoff. On 27th August, in Richard's absence, I led a ride to Swaffham. It was such a beautiful day that it would have been hard for the ride not to be enjoyable. We had 16 bikes (including Stuart Daniels, who I swear has not aged a day in ten years) and things went more or less to plan. Looping the loop at the roundabout just after the one outside Sainsbury's was, of course, just an early reminder to expect the unexpected. This was useful because it meant that nobody was too surprised, on the way back at Bardfield, when the leader suddenly appeared behind them and overtook the group (dropped marker turned out not to be from our group, and proceeded past me with a cheery wave, leaving the real group to ride past the turn). I thought the Heathside Cafe just beyond Swaffham was very pleasant. It was good to see that all the suffering poor Chris Reed has been through has not put him off his victuals at all. Alan and Ron did not eat. They heard the sounds of an off road track behind the cafe and, this being more alluring than food, went off to investigate. There were the statutory stops at Wally's on the way out, and Walker's on the way back, and we ended the ride at Dunmow. Total distance 176 miles; for once only on classified roads. Paula and Ian acted as sweepers Sunday 10th September was going to be complicated. There was the annual Essex Air Ambulance jamboree, an AGT, and one of Mick Hewitt's runs. I had to be elsewhere, so many of you must know better than I how it all panned out. John Tipper waxed lyrical about Mick's ride to a diamond cafe at the Aberton Reservoir, and the good roads around there. I am sorry I missed it. on the 19th September Bob Cowl held another of his Tuesday rides and, in his own words: "We stayed together using the marker system for about 4 miles then it all went to pot!! We splintered in a few groups with most miraculously getting together again in Finchingfield and then had 10 in the group. We lost 2 unfortunately and did not meet up with them again ( Sorry Paul and I think Gareth ), I hope they still had a ride rather than go home.Those who did make it to the revised venue of the La Hogue Farm shop and

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cafe near Newmarket had some excellent food and refreshing drinks. Dry all the way and it even warmed up a bit as the day went on. No punctures as well for a change!" . It sounds interesting. Finally, Richard led a ride to Alderburgh on the 24th September. It was very enjoyable day; warm and sunny, but not too warm. There were 17 bikes at the start at the time I last counted, almost all either KTM or BMW. The outward run was quite brisk at times, with a stop at the Lakeside Cafe near Stowmarket. I say this glibly, having asked Richard, but despite having been there several times I am still not entirely sure where it is. A lot of the roads from there to Aldeburgh were new to me. There were big queues at the Fish & Chippies but Mr Smartypants (me) dodged these by finding a little off-street pizza shack. The new generation of seagulls lack the audacity which their forefathers had, and I could eat it on the seafront unmolested. In the Good Old Days they would snatch the chips from your lips. The journey back was also novel and fun until the stop at Needham Lake, after which it was still fun but more familiar. I would like to say that the bikes got us through the incredible queues at Snape for the Food Festival, but in truth they were all in the opposite direction. Alan marked on the way back and on the way out ... sorry ... memory fails me after just a few hours. The run finished at McD's in Chelmsford pretty much dead on 17:00 after 189 miles. Only half the participants were left by then but this was through planned early departures. No known disasters...

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Motorcyclist Dave Iszard has achieved gold in the RoSPA Advanced Riding Test— for the seventh time in a row. The 67 year old member of the Essex Advanced Motorcycle Group is not resting on his laurels. “I’m hoping for number 8 when I’m 70”, said Dave, who joined EAMG in 1987 after 17 seasons of motorcycle racing. The 90-minute RoSPA Advanced Test is regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging available to the public, with Gold the highest civilian riding standard available. A re-test is required every 3 years to ensure that excellent riding standards are maintained. “I wish more road users would take up advanced training. It’s vital these days to counter the otherwise poor driving standards.” said Dave, “I think the guys and girls at the EAMG who do a wonderful job promoting advanced riding, and must be responsible for hundreds of RoSPA passes over the years.”

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Observer profile Name: Michel Couque When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? Being half-French I was riding mopeds age 12, then Off road 125cc on the farm(yeh right) and it was an immediate addiction How old were you when you first rode a bike? Bike with gear change started aged 12 What was the bike and what were the circumstances? It was an awsome bike called an Ossa Phantom, would loop the loop in first gear, I borrowed it from my dads friend, and I never wanted to give it back. Of the bikes you’ve owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? There is no clear favourite. I loved my CBX for its acceleration and noise. My GS750 was an awesome all-rounder, while a dispatch rider anything that started was good. But i do have a love affair with Ducati, seems to fit my way of thinking.

If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? Come on that's not fair, in a perfect world your needing 3 bikes, a bloody awesome road bike, Panigale?? a great all-rounder a la Multistrada. and a bike for FUN say KTM 690. What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget? Has to be heated handlebar grips

Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? Wales

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And, overseas? France If you were offered the opportunity to go on an extended bike tour who, family members aside, who would you choose as a riding companion? Very few qualify, and if they read this they already know who they are, we traditionally go away every year for the past 10 years. How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? That riding a bike makes you feel happy to be alive, even if commuting, when I ride along the Thames by bike it is far more interesting and involving than doing the same by car. On a bike you are closer to nature feeling the breeze and catching the odours both good and foul. When do you intend to give up riding? When my eyesight is worse than Stevie Wonder.

Describe your scariest moment on your bike! There have been a few, but I think when I crashed my GPZ900R at 3 figure speeds I quite rightly thought I was just about to meet my maker. I had just had the bike serviced, and it was now fully run in, so time to ring it's neck . I was flat out in 4th gear and thought I would leave the braking very late for the roundabout ahead. Then applied full on brakes, only for the front fork seals to blow and gush oil all over the front disks. The front brakes then heated up and came on fully, locking up and throwing me over the bars in the process. The speed was stuck on 110 when it hit the deck. I was knocked out for a few moments, and when i came around I was convinced I was dead, but confused because being dead seemed the same as being alive, then I sussed I had survived. Naturally this happened a very long time ago, and I can safely say that thanks to EAMG I enjoy my riding more than ever, without ever having to ride like that again!!!

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Further Training Opportunities for Full Members Have you ever wondered if your riding skill is still as good as it was when you passed your IAM or RoSPA Test? Is your RoSPA Retest fast approaching and you feel you’d like a refresher to check that bad habits have not crept into your riding? We are all only as good as the day we are actually riding our bikes. How good our riding was last year or even last month may not be as good as we think it is; complacency can be fatal. EAMG provide two Further Training Schemes for Full Members:

Full Member Training (FMT) – One-day training courses available four times a year Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) – Assignment to an Observer for 1 to 1 training These courses are provided to check riding skills haven’t deteriorated, for those wishing to take a higher grade of test such as RoSPA or for those preparing for qualification as an EAMG Observer. Full Member Training Four FMT Courses take place during ‘summer time’ between March and October. Participation is entirely voluntary and those taking part do not have to join each ride. Training is for your benefit and enjoyment; it is not a mandatory requirement that you go on to take a RoSPA test. To ensure the highest possible standard, Observers undertaking this training will hold a current RoSPA Gold certificate. You will not be riding in one large group. Where possible you will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your partner is being observed. Every effort will be made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your partner, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. The routes, approx. 200 miles, will cover a variety of roads and include several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details will be sent by email or post a few days before the event. Events this year:

Joining Fee £45.00

22nd October, 2017

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 - 2017 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 University of Essex Printing Services, contact Hannah 01206 872822 for more information. 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 2017 Illustrations Š EAMG 2017, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982


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Essex Advanced Motorcycle Group bi-monthly magazine for October 2017