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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

October 2018

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, This is the first issue of TUG with our new printers, Colchester Press, and I have my fingers crossed that the logistics work out OK. If you are reading this on the October Group Night then they presumably did. The balance of this issue is a little different since it includes the first of a number of long ride reports which I have been sent. All are good but this one, from a tour in 1967 made by Phil Reader’s ‘Uncle Terry’, is definitely vintage stuff. I am becoming painfully aware that, being of a frivolous nature, I have not been including enough serious rider development material. I shall try to remedy this (providing I get the material). The next final copy date is 23rd November 2018. Please send me in stuff to publish, particularly shorter pieces. No copy, no TUG!

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


Europe Trip 1967


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


EAMG Merchandise


Events Report


Observer Profile


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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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE October 2018 .As I write this I am aware the evenings are drawing in and the end of our glorious summer will soon be upon us. Memories of the sun, almost too hot at times, will hopefully keep us warm into the winter. The new club stand saw its debut at the Harwich Air Ambulance run where the team had a very busy time chatting to, and taking details of, 25 new prospective members. Thanks go to Graham Simpkins for researching and organising the stand purchase, we certainly stood out in our proud gleaming white.

This is my second year as Chair and the time has been quite eventful with new logo, new website and a new marquee. The next item on the ‘update’ list is Facebook. This week I attending the scheduled committee meeting and I shared my concerns with the other members regarding next year. Simon has already stated he will be standing down as Secretary. Mark Birchall has successfully grown his own business to a point where he struggles to make time to keep the accounts up to date and rarely attends any meetings. After lengthy conversation with Mark he admitted it might be better for someone else to take on the role. There are a few members that put a lot of effort into running your club, no one is paid for their time. The Secretary and the Treasurer roles are vital, as yet I have not heard of anyone volunteering to stand


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as Secretary and now we need a treasurer as well. Please think long and hard if you are able to spare a few hours a week to help keep us the most successful Advanced Riding Club in Essex. If you want to have a chat about any of the roles email me on info@eamg.org.uk and I can explain further, or pop along to a committee meeting and see the action.


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Eddy Brazier

Mick Hewitt

29th August 2018 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

18th September 2018 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

Examiner: Mick Jones

Examiner: Mick Jones

Graham Cooper

Neville Murton

12th August 2018 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

Examiner: Mark Anderson

Vince Eade

19th August 2018 RoSPA Gold

Observer: Phil Jones Examiner: Mick Jones

Ian Morton

20th September 2018 RoSPA Gold (re-test)

11th August 2018 RoSPA Silver (re-test)

Examiner: Mick Jones

Observer: Graham Cooper Examiner: Mark Anderson

Thomas Mahoney 11th August 2018 IAM

Observer Jaques Deklerk Examiner: Mark Anderson




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Membership Information Dear Members & Prospective Members, The membership form is on the website or page 22 if you wish to join or if you are renewing.

Also please remember to spread the word about EAMG, recommendation is such a valuable tool and current members are always the best advocates for what a good group this is.

Membership Fees for 2019 

New Associate Members

...£55.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Full Member Renewal


Social Member


Full Member Training

(For more information on Full Member Training see page 42)
















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Full Members: Ben Reeves

Dave Messenger

Associate Members: Philip Ruddock Chris Lacey

Declan Graham Greg Rogers

The editor has viewing access to the membership database and hopes he has not missed too many people this time., or got their names too badly wrong

We wish you all heartily welcome to the Group, and hope that you can take full advantage of the wide range of training and social events which we offer, We all aim to be, not just better riders, but happy better riders!


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Europe Trip 1967 Terence Stringer (aka Phil Reader’s ‘Uncle Terry’) From finding freedom and adventure on a bicycle cycling away from East London as a 12 to 15 year old staying in youth hostels and meeting not only people from other parts of our own country but like minded people from Europe it opened my mind to the fact that there was so much more outside my own upbringing. I got my first motor bike aged 16, second hand of course, it was a Frances Barnet 250 cc two stroke single, there were many more to follow. The only brand new bike I ever bought was my Ariel Arrow Sport 250 cc twin. Mick, my friend (of 50 years, sadly no longer with us) with whom I went on the trip I first met when our family moved to the new block of flats a stones throw from where I spent the first part of my childhood down the road from Upton Park station. There were 24 garages available at the rear for the block of 56 flats, back in the mid 60’s all were not taken up by the residents so the remainder were let to others in the area, Mick being one of them. By this time I had progressed from motor bike to car but was still keen on bikes, back then it was a rarity for anyone to own both. After getting to know Mick he knew someone who wanted to get rid of a few older motor bikes in poor condition, that was where / when the restoration of the older BSA started. 3 Month camping trip intended to be from London to Iran starting May 1967 using a new style blow up igloo tent with integral ground sheet. On my limited budget I had worked out that I could scrape through the 3 month trip all expenses including petrol costs on £250. Mick had a bit more money than me so that was reassuring. I was on the 650 cc BSA Road Rocket Solo and Mick on the 650 cc Matchless G12 with Steib Sidecar for the camping gear. I was more fortunate than Mick in that the company I worked for allowed me to take the 3 months break to broaden my outlook and knowledge, Mick was not allowed that luxury so he left his employment before we set off.


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The BSA was given its proper road test with me taking Heather my girlfriend on a run to see her flat mate who was a teacher that had gone home to see her parents in a small mining village in South Wales at half term. The only problem that arose was the small bore copper oil feed to the rocker box cracked out on the A4, while I was scratching my head thinking of a way round it in a lay-by a car pulled in and the driver asked if he could help. When I explained the problem he said he had a bit of rubber tube in the boot that may make good the connection, it did the job perfectly, another one of those unbelievable good Samaritan stories, being honest not quite so unbelievable back then. We replaced the copper tube before we left but made sure we had extra rubber tubing just in case and yes Ready for Off! when it went again in France most of the trip was done on the rubber. First disaster, on the way to Dover I picked up a bit of speed on the first bit of duel carriageway on the A2 and found myself in a wobble, consensus at the time said if in a speed wobble open it up and a bit more speed would bring you back to normal, sad to say that did not work and eventually I dropped the bike but hung on in the hopes of least damage, luckily it was only the head light and foot rest that came to grief along with my jacket and trousers. After a couple of hours we managed to sort out the footrest but the remainder of the trip was done without the headlight. We missed our ferry but had no trouble getting on the next one. Thinking about it after it happened I came to the conclusion it was not a speed wobble but the large amount of weight with all my gear on the rack attached to the rear mudguard. At that time the countries finances were in a bad way and there was a government restriction that said the amount of currency you could take out of the country was limited to ÂŁ50 (exchange control). As my job involved going on and off ships I was able to arrange with a skipper friend to take our cash for us (no restriction on him), so the first part of our trip was to go to meet his ship in Rouen to collect our cash. Second disaster, a large portion of the road to Rouen was cobbled and before we got there the tubular chassis on the Steib sidecar cracked which made it extremely difficult for Mick to finish that leg and of course meant we had to drastically reduce speed for safety. My skip-

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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per friend sorted out a piece of timber and some rope from the ship and he made a brilliant job of lashing the timber to the chassis as a splint, believe it or not we could not get the chassis tube re welded until we were well into Yugoslavia so that splint did a fantastic job, no one wanted to touch it in France, Switzerland or Austria. However it meant we were properly on our way after Rouen.

Rough Paris camp , the red head is H’s flat mate . Notice the missing headlamp on my bike

Next stop Paris, I had arranged with my girlfriend Heather that we would meet her and her flatmate there, we eventually found the Bois de Boulogne camp site and was told that it was full ( we had not known you had to book ). We were lucky that a bunch of French bikers were hanging around outside the entrance and they took us to another site , no recollection of the name or exactly where in Paris but as poor as it was compared to the Bois de Boulogne camp that was considered quite luxurious we were more that grateful to them.

From Paris to Nancy, on the camp site there we pitched near a French school trip, most memorable because that evening about a dozen of the children sat around the lady teacher in front of her tent singing in the most beautifully melodic way. It may sound silly but it just sounded so French. The other memorable thing about driving through France was the way they painted white the lower 3 / 4 foot of lots of the trees that lined the road. On to Switzerland and Austria, blown away by the mountain scenery, in truth wasted film taking in the main many poor quality photos with the cheap camera I had, not thinking that a couple of months later there would be little or no hope of identifying exactly where they were taken. My impression was that we were more accepted in Austria than Switzerland. Another experience never to be repeated was stopping at a restaurant when we both were in need of a decent meal , only having a little schoolboy Switzerland or Austria? No idea!


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french and no German I thought I ordered the steak only to find out when it arrived it was beef steak tartar with onion and tomato, Mick hated onion and I hated raw tomato (youth hostelling back home had got me to enjoy fried tomato as part of their breakfast) , so I just had all the onion and Mick had all the tomato but we found as we traveled further south onion and tomato was the norm, so I got used to eating both, Mick could not bring himself to do Switzerland or Austria again the same so I ended up with double onion. We were so hungry we managed part of the raw mince and egg but boy what a disappointment and another lesson learned. The Austrian camp sites were beautiful with log cabin showers and good cafes / bars. I believe it was on the Grossglockner pass we camped in fine rain meaning to move on the following day but the weather being the same the following morning we didn’t want to pack up a wet tent so decided to spend another day, didn’t do any harm to get ourselves sorted out a bit and get some letters / cards written. After the third day being exactly the same we decided if it was the same on the fourth day we would have to pack up wet and get moving which we did. Half an hour down the other side the sun was out and it was glorious so we pulled up to enjoy the sun and view, that night when we camped we were telling the people on that site about it and they said it wasn’t fine rain, we had been in a cloud and it was likely to be that way for another week or more, it had been fine further down all the time, you live and learn!!

On to Yugoslavia, it was a communist country but not under the USSR, it wasn’t as bad as the rest of Eastern Europe that was under their control. The first check on the boarder was by a man in his 30’s wearing a full length black leather coat sitting on a chair with his little black book hanging on a chain that he referred to while looking at my passport. I did realise that the eastern block was very very different, my job involving going on and off eastern block ships including Russian ones.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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The people we found friendly once they realised we were not German. I can’t honestly remember if our first few nights camping were outside Ljubljana or Zagreb but it was a lovely lakeside site , the old fellow who for want of better words was like a caretaker saw me sat by the lake with a cup of tea and a cigarette on the go in the evening and via signing back and forth he was saying "if you have any western cigarettes I would like to do a swap”, when I said yes he came back with our Start of the Cakor Pass, other side of Skopje first experience of slivovitz , boy was it strong but I didn’t have the heart to refuse the swap, again knowing from my day job that in poorer countries our cigarettes could be good currency. It was about half way between Zagreb and Belgrade that we finally found someone to re weld the Steib chassis which pleased Mick no end,the bloke who did the job also inserted a bar inside as a belt and braces job, the cost was minimal. The Belgrade campsite was alongside the famous Red Star Belgrade football club possibly belonging to them. End of the Cakor Pass The further down we went the use of horse drawn carts being used in place of motor vehicles was somewhat noticeable but most carts had old lorry wheels. On to Bulgaria, at the boarder there was a tower with guard holding a machine gun, we cued up at the small office for the paper work, behind us were a couple of Americans who had flown over to London and picked up a Bedford Dormobile for their European trip. We got chatting to them and they said they were heading for Istanbul. When it was our turn the officials said we needed a visa at the equivalent cost of about 15 shillings, before we left London we checked out the need for visas and the Bulgarian embassy said they wanted to get their tourist trade started so that year you didn’t need a visa, (Iran was the only visa we had to get before leaving the UK). I turned to Mick and said if they say pay for a visa we pay and don’t argue, that’s what we did, I told the Americans they would be best off doing the same, they didn’t, I heard them saying what we had been told and they were arguing about paying, we got on our way. (See later BP Mocamp Istanbul).


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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We only camped one night the other side of Sofia. This was our first real example of true eastern block living, we had found out that the petrol was so poor that you most probably needed to retard the engine timing which we did. Sofia was the main town with very little traffic, in the centre there were a few large shops with full length windows a bit like our large department stores but only showing clothes dummies spaced about 10 foot apart with very basic clothing on display, the impression was that the maRoadside morning cuppa before Petrovac jority of the inhabitants would not have been able to purchase them anyway. The camp site shop (small hut) made it clear that anything purchased had to be with foreign currency, I bought some sugar and soon found that for any chance of sweetness in my tea you needed three times normal. It was the first place we resorted to using our emergency rations for a meal, believe it or not we took a dozen small tins of Goblin steak and kidney pud purchased in Woolworths for 6d each, of course there was no trouble getting salad locally. A couple of Australians going the opposite way to us on route to London on the site said they were running short of money so they had decided to start just eating salad / veg and said you should try it, it’s amazing what you can fry, those were the days. We saw road works being done by women with pick axes, a uniformed armed guard standing over them, we also saw men doing road repairs with what they needed on the horse and cart down the road from the camp site, it just seemed so incongruous. We had not realised until our return when I took Heather to see Doctor Zhivago (our lack of education) it was the 50th. anniversary of the glorious revolution, many towns / villages were decked out everywhere with the red flags and banners, looking as though they could have been part of the film set, I went on about it for ages after seeing the film. On to Turkey, just over the boarder we went into a cafe filled with older men for our first experience of Turkish coffee made in their small open Turkish coffee pots with tiny cups. I quite enjoyed it but poor old Mick was not a fan. It took a while to realise that you never saw women in such places. Not much further down the road I got my first sighting of a minaret, the cafe and now the minaret was a total culture change. The next thing was seeing a seller of water melons on the roadside, either whole or by the slice, we assumed that it was a very cheap way to quench your thirst if you were a driver, a slice only costing pennies. Neither of us had ever had such exotic food before and indeed very thirst quenching, something both of us would never forget. Later the sight and smell of the sea was a joy to behold, I think it made me realise just how much we took for granted living on our island always so comparatively near to the sea

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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having not seen it for about four weeks. We found the BP Mocamp on the outskirts of Istanbul and soon got talking to our fellow travelers who in the main were going the opposite way to us, more Australians included. Most of the Australians had gone by ship to India and travelled from there wanting to get to London as their final destination. All giving us good advice on what to see and where to go along with the way the Dolmus taxies operated. The Australians took us to the village butcher where you could buy good steak to fry for very little money even when you added the cost of the Dolmus Taxi. After staying there for the best part of a week two things happened. The first was the Americans with the Bedford Dormobile that we had seen on the Bulgarian boarder turned up and told us they wished they had taken my advice and not argued about paying for the visa, the officials literally took the Dormobile to pieces on the pretence of suspecting them of smuggling and left them to rebuild it before allowing them to proceed WITH a visa they had to pay for. The second was some of our soldiers arrived on the site not in uniform and asked which way we were travelling and if we were up to date with the latest news which of course we weren’t. They told us there was an Arab–Israeli war and nobody knew how long or how far it might spread, they had been in the area to see exactly what was going on and advised it would be safer not to continue from Istanbul to Syria and Iran. Mick wanted to carry on but I was prepared to accept the advice given so said if he wanted to continue I would not mind returning on my own without the tent, he was not happy but finally agreed not to go any further but still wanted to step on the other side of the Bosphorus it being Asia. We took the ferry and had a day in Uskudar on the other side, you could see and feel that it was very different to Istanbul on the European side. We stayed on in Istanbul for another week using the extra time to see a bit more of real life there, we visited the enormous main post office to send letters and cards home, young boys offered to cue for you inside for a tiny consideration, we found the spice market, the smells and colours were amazing, we also found the back streets where we saw men sitting outside the front of their houses making their copper wares that were in many places in the bazar. In a back street cafe we had more Turkish coffee and a pitter bread that contained within cooked minced lamb / goat and the equivalent of a fried egg, very tasty, we assumed it must be an OK place as it was full of local men. Two other sights never to be forgotten was a coffin minus lid on trestles outside a house, occupant within, in another place there was a dancing bear. We visited the grand bazar most days when we ware in the city, a truly wonderful experience, we could not believe what the porters were capable of carrying on their backs.(we had been told by fellow travelers on the camp site when we first arrived not to change our money on site or in the banks because we would get so much more from the money changers that would approach us in and around the bazar) We only took the bikes into the city once, it just made no sense when we could use the Dolmus taxies for so little money even if you never knew if you would be sharing. The time came for us to say good-by to Istanbul and head for Greece, as with most of the countries we went through we tried to find a cafe just before leaving it not just to refresh ourselves but to use up the last of that countries currency, while we were doing so in Turkey we had our last amazing site, it was a young man leading half a dozen camels in a line on the other side of the road.


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On to Greece, There was a right wing military coup in Greece a few weeks before we left London, one edict issued by them said that any foreigner with a beard would not be allowed in to their country. Much to Mick’s annoyance I said I would not shave off my beard and if they didn’t like it I would give Greece a miss, I have had my beard since 1965. When we arrived at the Turkish / Greek boarder they didn’t take any notice of it. There were Americans in front of us but when the official saw our British passports he told the Americans to wait on one side and attended to us first, you can imagine how that went down with the Americans. I did get a bit concerned when we came across a large military exercise taking place a few hundred yards off the road we were on not long after crossing the boarder, wondering if we would be stopped and if so how would they react about my beard. They just carried on and ignored us. The military were in control until 1974, by all accounts a very nasty regime. On the roadside we saw many religious shrines, we found out later that they were not just representing where there had been an accident, there were many reasons for them. The other fascinating thing was seeing wild tortoises along the roadside as well as on the road. The Greek people were very friendly, one restaurant we went into realised the Greek language was all GREEK to us so they took us into the kitchen to show us what food they were cooking, another first, cabbage leaves stuffed with minced lamb and peppers, most enjoyable. The camp Site at Thessaloniki where we spent a few days was quite large, just off the beach, one of the few with marked out plots. It was a great site and the beach had cold water showers for you to shower off the sea water when you finished your swim. On from Greece back into Yugoslavia, to Skopje, again culturally very different, it made me realise that I had done the right thing 4 years earlier when I was on the brink of volunteering for the VSO but didn’t after Skopje had a bad earthquake with over 1000 killed and many thousand injured. Back in 1967 Albania was a place you could not visit so you had to skirt around it, hence using the route we did. We certainly hadn’t expected the Cakor pass the other side of Skopje to be a totally unmade road with no barriers to stop you going over the edge, some small lorries used it chained together to help them get over

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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the pass, it was most probably the one time Mick was pleased to have 3 wheels instead of 2, great care was required driving at about 20 MPH so it took a long time. It was with great relief when we pitched the tent that night on the other side just on the roadside, the scenery was stunning though. We had one more overnight stop before arriving at Petrovac at the bottom of the Yugoslav coast, there had not been much site of everyday life for a couple of days so when we saw a single storey house we stopped to ask if we could fill our water can and pitch outside for the night. The man in the house basically treated us as his guests and built a fire by the tent for us , made us coffee and spent the evening outside with us, by this time in our journey we had to got used to communicating with others without a clue as to their language. The following morning he bought us coffee and gave us a signed autograph on one of his flyers / handbills and wished us bon voyage, I thought the evening before he had said he was a composer. The small camp site at Petrovac was next to the beach with only a couple of other people there so we stayed a few days relaxing and catching up with cards and letters. There was a single storey hotel that welcomed us in for meals, it was there that I first experienced pancakes spread with jam and folded into a fan shape, I put away a few of those in the days we were there. From Petrovac we went up to Dubrovnik spending time in the old town then going back up the top to pitch for the night. Then to Zadar where we thought we had entered a film set seeing on the harbour a diver being winched out of the water wearing an old fashioned diving suit with copper helmet, it was so surreal. That evening we had a large bowl of stew in a cafe, no idea what was in it but it was quite spicy and tasted pretty good, not a bad end to the day. On up the coast road to Rijeka and our last stop in Yugoslavia, we could not believe just how fantastic the whole coastline was, not to mention the fantastic road, where needed cut through tunnels or going up and down, most of it right on the edge of the sea. On to Trieste and Treviso in Italy, now back to more or less normal camp sites with full facilities, we were advised on the site at Treviso by other travelers that unless we desperately wanted to see Venice at the height of summer it was not a good place to be, expensive, crowded and very smelly. Call us Philistines, we gave it a miss. Then to Bern in Switzerland. I seem to remember there was some sort of toll road around Milan but could be wrong about that, we went on the train through the Simplon Tunnel, we drove the bikes onto an open railway truck and we had to leave them and sit inside a carriage, I took my helmet with me but Mick didn’t want to take his and insisted on leaving it on his bike, when we got through the tunnel and rode the bikes off of the railway truck there was no sign of his Helmet, he finished the trip without one. He loved that old fashioned helmet, I had tried to get him to have a more up to date one for ages, he had no choice now. Overnight at Bern then on to Reims, it was Sunday afternoon when we arrived on the camp site, there was nothing open and we had no French currency, we were both hungry, assuming that once we went into Italy we wouldn’t any longer need emergency rations we had used the last of our mini steak and kidney puds. There was a young couple from England in a car on site we asked if they knew anywhere we might get some Francs as we would need some food, they were going to Bern the following day so had used the last of their Francs. They offered us a de-


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cent size fruit cake they had bought with them from England which I had no hesitation in accepting, Mick didn’t eat currents so I watched him sit there picking them out of his half while getting stuck into mine. I was most grateful to that couple. Next stop the following day Calais and the ferry to Dover, seeing Dover harbour there was a wonderful feeling that we were home, we got back to London early evening and I always remember getting indoors being welcomed home by my dad, mum was out. The first thing dad said was are you hungry and when I said yes he said he would do me a good fry up, don’t think I have ever enjoyed egg, sausage, bacon, tomatoes and fried bread so much. Don’t ever remember dad cooking before that and took it that he was really pleased I was back home safe. Two years later I took Heather on more or less a repeat of that trip, this time in a Morris 1000 Traveller , there and back in 3 weeks including calling in on a couple of girls from Munich that had befriended us on a holiday to Spain the previous year. That same year 1969 Mick went off with the Matchless and Steib camping on his own to North Africa, with his general lack of direction we were amazed to find that he did get there and back.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Diary 2018

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

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February 4th 6th 11th 18th March 4th 6th 11th 18th 25th 25th 31st April 3rd 8th 15th 29th May 1st 6th 13th 20th 20th 20th 27th June 3rd 5th 10th 16th 17th 24th July 1st 3rd 8th 15th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1801) Group Night - Jim Aim (KTM Dealer) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Full Member Training (1801) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed) Group Night (Jeremy Hill from the BMRC) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night (Mick Croome, SpeedSkills) Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1802) Richard's Full Member Ride Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Mick’s Associate/Member Ride to Essex Motorcycle Show Full Member Training (1802)

Slow Riding Day Group Night (Andy Ibbott , ex-California Superbike School) Associate Group Training (AGT) SOA Peer to Peer Ride (1801) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Maldon Motor Show Group Night (Steven Green on accidents and the Law) Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1803) (Continued on page 29)


Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

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All Types of Roofing

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Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

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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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22nd 22nd 28th 29th

Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride EAMG BBQ at Longmeads House Full Member Training (1803)

August 5th 7th 12th 19th 26th September 4th 9th 9th 16th 16th 23rd 23rd 30th ?30th?

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (Eddie Friggins Summer Quiz Night) Associate Group Training (AGT) Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Slow Riding Day Richard's Full Member Ride SOA Peer to Peer Ride (1802) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1804) Copdock Show (date to be confirmed)

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

(Continued from page 26)

October Group Night (Innovv Bike Cameras) Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Full Member Training (1804) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night (Hideout Leather?) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night (Xmas Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard’s Full Member Ride

Diary 2018

2nd 7th 14th 21st 28th November 4th 6th 11th 18th December 2nd 4th 9th 16th

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture


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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

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EAMG Merchandise


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For further information and to place orders please contact Suzy Taylor at Group Nights. Please note: Payment will be required at time of placing order. She also has EAMG Logo bike stickers available for ÂŁ1.


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Events Report Chris Johnson The first ride of this period was Richard's run to Orford in Suffolk on 5th August. I could not attend owing to a prolongation of 'my old trouble'; InMoto had kept me waiting two weeks for the replacement for the rear wheel spoke sealing band, but had not allowed for the possibility that the secret red rubber band would also have been damaged, thus leading to a further weeks delay. Left to myself I would have imagined that the Red Rubber Band was a terrorist group, or at least some seriously kinky musicians, but apparently this is not the case. Anyway, it was a brilliant day, there were 14 bikes, 150 miles, and everyone had a great time. Richard reports that the roads were great, and Colin Digby and Mick Hewitt shared tailing duties. Vince Eade even sent me some photos from his mobile. The filenames were bigger than the pictures but I am still very grateful. Chris Reed enthused about the Mocha Frappe, presumably at the Riverside Tearoom. Just what is a mocha frappe? Personally I just source the finest green coffee beans, roast them myself, grind them just before consumption, subject them to a precisely timed infusion and filter regimen and then mix the resulting liquid with hot milk to make what I believe is called a flat white, and I call a cup of coffee. I fear I am just a simple man. The next run, and I am deeply ashamed to admit the only one I attended during this period, was John and Audrey's run to the Cotswolds on 19th August. It was temperate and cloudy, but dry and rather windy, when we assembled at Birchanger. There were 39 bikes divided into two groups. John led one with Stephen sweeping, and Audrey the other with Doug and Maz as double-whammy tailenders. The most notable event on the outward leg was that it was not raining at the Buckingham Garden Centre. The next most significant event was that we were going the wrong way for Bourton. I had obviously not paid enough attention to the initial forum post and to John's briefing (there was a lot of aircraft noise) and when we arrived at Stow on the Wold it turned out that this was the actual intended destination. No objection to

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that; Stow is a nice place and I have some reservations, annually recorded in these reports. about Bourton. The two groups never actually met up there. A failed kickstand sensor switch on Laura's KTM meant that her bike officiously refused to run, eventually needing RAC recovery, and Audrey's group were delayed by over an hour. The Cotswold Food Store and Cafe was an excellent choice of lunch venue, and the sun started to appear to give an excellent ride back. John's rides are meticulously planned and executed, but some of us found that 169 miles before the petrol stop was a cause for nervousness and riding for fuel economy rather than maximum enjoyment in the later stages. There was some attrition from the boys group after Buckingham as many sought an easier way home, but about a dozen made the full 250 mile return trip to Birchanger, arriving at about 19:00. John has pointed out that we were forced to make some detours from the planned route, but I was blissfully ignorant of these and the ride seemed seamless and very enjoyable.

The Essex Air Ambulance bash was on 9th September. That coincided with my sister's birthday garden party. It invariably does. Normally I just return from Harwich to South Woodford to catch the end of it, but on this occasion her birthday present was a rather delicate bit of glassware and I did not feel confident about chucking it in the topbox and hoping for the best. At least I could attend the entire party, which was a novelty for me and everyone else, some of whom were astonished to find that I had clothing other than bike gear. The next run I missed was Richard's outing to Adleburgh on 16th September. The family were setting out early for a few days in France. Actually, thanks to SouthEastern pretending that a train was merely delayed, and delayed again, before finally cancelling it, and the Ryanair flight being uncharacteristically on time, we had to abort the trip. It was still too late to make it out to Chelmsford. Fortunately Vince Eade has done his knight in shining armour thing and provided both an excellent account of the run and pictures: <<Didn’t we have a lovely ride the day we went to Aldeburgh? Chris, the normal chronicler of these rides, was, unfortunately, unable to join this one so going against all I was taught in the Air Force, to avoid volunteering, I duly volunteered. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear over Braintree and a quick check of the weather forecast promised wall-to-wall sunshine the further east we went and as Aldeburgh is about as far east as you can go without getting your feet wet the auguries were good. I think I counted ten bikes in the Sainsbury’s car park, I guess several others were attending the slow riding day but I guess this is unavoidable when dates clash. With Richard leading and a splendid CB 1300 S (sorry can’t remember the rider’s name) sweeping we left at the usual 9:30. Our first stop was at the Lakeside cafe in Onehouse just outside Stowmarket. Before we could realise the promise of a cup of tea we first had to negotiate the large gravel car park. I personally think gravel car parks are the spawn

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of the devil but fortunately, our group negotiated that particular hazard without mishap. As befitting probably one of the last nice riding Sundays, before the Optimate gets plugged in permanently for the winter, the place was leaping with bikes. Richard then led us through Stowmarket and Needham market to the A140 where we turned off onto the A1120 towards Yoxford. Why does Suffolk insist on having, in my view some unnecessary, 30 mile an hour speed limits in force? The village of Barking is a case in point. We weren’t the only two-wheelers out enjoying the sunshine. That particular part of the route was shared with Lycra-clad gentlemen, and a few ladies riding bikes with no engines. Far too energetic for me, I didn’t get where I am today… After an enjoyable, and surprisingly windy, if uneventful ride we rode through a very busy Aldeburgh. Clocking the queue outside the fish and chip shop we carried on a little further to the car park, where bikes can park free in designated bike spaces. We took over a length of the car park seawall and from there we gazed out to sea and, a little closer, to dogs having some sport chasing the local seagulls. Several of us wandered off to the chippy to brave the queue, which in the event seemed to reduce quite quickly probably due to the good-humoured banter. I can report that the fish and chips were well worth the wait but Spider was unimpressed as his extra large cod [piece] seemed no bigger than my conservatively sized medium. Leaving Aldeburgh at about 2 o’clock we retraced our steps missing out the Stowmarket section. I mentioned Suffolk’s 30 mile an hour speed limits earlier which are obviously enforced. Riding through the village of, I think, Nedging tye one of Suffolk’s finest was pointing a hand-held radar gun from behind the cover of his R 1200 RT. He gave us a cheery wave as we rode past sticking religiously to the 30 mile an hour limit. The Sudbury triangle nearly claimed another few victims as yours truly got confused with the absence of markers. Fortunately, Richard had told me earlier that we were going to Wethersfield, and so after a brief stop at the industrial estate at the bottom of Ballingdon Hill to confirm with the other stragglers caught at Sudbury’s red lights that this probably was the right way, we sped off in pursuit. I said my goodbyes as we joined the old A 120 at the Chinese restaurant that was once the Barking Fox. The total mileage for me for the day was 165 miles and the weather remained as promised between 19 and 24°C.>> The final ride I missed was Mick's Relaxed Ride today, 23rd September. I had to finalise TUG, and sent apologies the evening before. Actually I didn't miss it, because nobody turned up for it apart from Mick and Alan. Surprising how a little thing like a steady downpour can put people off.


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Observer Profile Name: Mick Hewitt. Current Bike(s): KTM Adventure 1190 and BMW F800GS. Fantasy Bike: Too many fantasies to list! Preferred road/track/area to ride in the UK and Overseas: A660 A1(M) to Kimbolton, Isle of Man TT circuit, Scotland - but not in Micro-surfacing season! Age when you first rode a bike and what bike was it: As a youngster, aged about 8, in my local woods, riding Honda 50’s/scooters. When and why did you develop an interest in riding a bike: My first taste of a big bike was on an AJS 650 in my local woods – I jumped on this massive bike, put it in first and let the clutch out like a scooter! The bike took off and with little control, I jumped a mound (seemed like I took off but in reality maybe an inch off the ground) and I stayed on! I’ll never forget that feeling of power on that day.

Aside family members, who would you like as a riding companion: In my dreams with Steve McQueen – coolest guy on a bike – roll on Christmas for the ‘Great Escape’! In reality with the like minded guys and girls in the club. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Reasons behind becoming an EAMG Observer: I bought a VFR800 in 1998 and scared myself too many times. Went on the Honda MAC scheme and met some new friends who invited me to an EAMG Group night and joined in 2001. I passed the IAM test in 2001 and continued further training but was always looking to improve. It wasn’t until 2012 that I trained as an Observer and passed the assessment in that year. Helping someone developing their skills base gives me a buzz every time I ride. Scariest or most embarrassing moment on your bike: I recall riding the Nurburgring Nordschleife in the rain and losing the front on my Blackbird – as I come into a bend I lost the front at about 30mph. In slow motion I recall sliding on my side with the bike in front of me watching it hit the angled kerb and flip onto the top and other side! The funny thing was that my mates decided not to ride in the rain and followed me in a guy’s Subaru and filmed the whole incident with running commentary; “he’s thrown it down the road”! I lost the front due to my own poor planning of the bend - approach speed to fast which resulted in panicking and closing the throttle and dropping into the bend throwing all the weight to the front tyre which washed out – on a wet track! Another trip in an ambulance avoided!


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Having said that, I think the scariest moments are when you’re experiencing close calls. Those were the times before my training when on a ride with my friends. When you get to the end of a ride and think to yourself; ‘that overtake or bend were close calls to having a lift back in an ambulance! Years later having taken ‘first on scene’ first aid course, the paramedic said he’s colleagues called bikers ‘two wheeled donors’! From that time on I took all the training I could to avoid repeating that experience. So ‘California Superbike School’ was my first delve into understanding cornering and the physics behind it.

Scotland – best place on the planet

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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

21st October, 2018

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:



Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:


FTFM - 2018 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett



Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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

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

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

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982