Welcome to another TUG.
I would like to be telling you about my visit to the Krazy Horse bike shop in Bury St. Edmunds and about my delicious breakfast in their café but it didn’t work out like that. I had an enjoyable ride there and being late on a Wednesday morning, traffic was fairly light. I like mid-week rides when most drivers are on commutes or regular errands and know where they are going as they seem more likely accept my presence will not significantly alter their day. Quite different from the number of weekend motorist who think my passing them or heaven forbid, filtering past the queue they stuck in will lengthen their journey and probably ruin their weekend!
It was a cold day but I was dressed appropriately so arrived still warm but looking forward to a cooked breakfast and coffee. I knew something was amiss on approach as there was not a bike to be seen in the vicinity and the place looked rather dark. I soon learnt from the staff outside smoking that they were doing a stock take. The real disappointment was that I had checked their website before leaving home and there had been no mention of this. I soon found somewhere else to eat but that wasn’t the point.
I was out riding on one of the biblically wet days we had last week as I had booked an MOT for my bike which I’m pleased to say it passed without any issues. The following day was just as wet so I decided to stay in and do some “housekeeping”. I have always backed up my computer to an array of hard drives and of course as computer drives get bigger, I have to get ever larger backup drives. I thought this wet day a good time to review and consolidate the data from my older drives and whilst doing so stumbled upon the first issue of the EAMG magazine I edited. That was June 2001 when we were still affiliated with the IAM and it had the original title of The Newsletter. Here’s the photo I used then. That was 22 years ago and I didn’t have much more hair even then!
Graham Simpkins, Editor email@example.com
The cover photo was taken by Keith Durrant taken on his tour of Luxemburg last spring. Keith sent me this photograph in the winter when he was very much looking forward to a return of such nice weather.
So, it seems the sun has decided to make an appearance, apparently it will be a lovely April and another hot summer. I know my bike and riding gear are all in good working order, and have all been tested in biblical rain. New tyres on yesterday and now nicely scrubbed in. It is truly amazing just how good tyres are nowadays, way above my riding abilities!! Remember the days of Avon Roadrunners or Pirelli Phantoms needing a good 15 minutes warm up, to become acceptable.
The return of the big yellow thing in the sky means more members will want to go out with our training team, which is operating pretty much near full capacity I am delighted to report that EAMG membership is healthy, and around now we do get quite a few more renewals coming in, but although growth is good, it can come with growing pains, WE VERY MUCH NEED more OBSERVERS. Observing is great fun, very rewarding and worthwhile, however with the standards we set and maintain, it does take quite some time to train. It is more like 12 months than 12 weeks, so we need new bodies. I know many of you have had observed rides with our team, and everyone always says how beneficial it is as well as enjoyable, so please if anyone wants to know more about what’s involved, please do speak to anyone on the training team! One basic requirement is to hold a current Rospa Gold.
And next you will now see me mention (again)more committee members required. We very much seek someone to volunteer in the secretary role, Steve has informed us some time ago that he will stand down, but will stay short term. It would be great to have someone aboard soon who can spend time with Steve to hand over the role.
Right, enough bleating from me. I really look forward to seeing a good turnout April group night for our Quiz, and Saturday 8th April sees our Chairmans ride to the Super Sausage. FYI the main reason I am doing it is because I get first place in the queue for breakfast!
Let’s have a great 2023, ride safe and have fun. As always a huge thanks to all our volunteers who make this happen, for you our lovely membership, a big thanks to you all too from all of us.
Best Michel Michel Couque EAMG Chairman
PRESENTATIONS AT MARCH GROUP NIGHT.
We had some special presentations of certificates confirming Life Membership of EAMG to two Observers who have each given more than twenty years of service as part of our training team. The presentations were made by Senior Observer Assessor, Mick Hewitt.
Mick also had the pleasure of presenting Ian Mot with his EAMG Full Member certificate:
Clint Barwell Phil Reader
ADDITIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL MEMBERS.
EAMG AMT & FMT – 2023
EAMG’s independence enables the Group to draw upon the most appropriate riding techniques to meet the training needs of our Members, without having to accommodate restrictions imposed by an external governing body. With independence, came the responsibility to ensure our training standards progressed and maintained at the highest level.
EAMG Observers fulfil a crucial role within the Group. All are required to hold a cur-rent RoSPA Gold qualification before they can be considered for observer training. Once qualified, Observers are reassessed every two years by one of four Senior Observer Assessors (SOA’s). In turn, SOA’s are re-assessed externally every two years by serving or retired Police Class: 1 riders. Full Members and Associates can therefore be assured that EAMG’s training is of the highest standard.
EAMG; ‘Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’.
Associate Member Training (AMT)
AMT training courses are available for Associate Members who may be approach-ing test standard, have been recommended to apply by their 1 to 1 Observer or those familiar with riding greater distances than covered on a typical Observed ride. Associates will be encouraged to make their most recent Ride Report Forms availa-ble to ensure the Observer on the day has the necessary information to identify needs and address any issues that may be apparent.
Full Member Training (FMT)
FMT format allows greater focus on many aspects of advanced motorcycling over longer distances on less familiar roads. Make no mistake, passing an advanced mo-torcycle test is an excellent achievement but it’s only a measure of your riding standard on test day. Riding skills require continued practice to be retained or they will sadly be lost.
Duration of rides will be circa 100-120 mls for Associates and circa 200 mls for Full Members. Regular stops, most including refreshments, will include debriefs so that issues identified can be addressed during subsequent legs. We will NOT be riding in one large group. Allocation will usually be on a 2 to 1 basis to avoid continuous Observation. Every effort will be made to match riding ability and/or aspirations. Preplanned routes will be forwarded to all participants beforehand. Initial briefing will be comprehensive and a full Ride Report will be provided.
2023 Events Joining Fees
AMT £30 & FMT – £45
Sunday April 16th Sunday May 28th
Sunday July 30th Sunday October 22nd
Register by completing and returning this form to: John Tipper
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0208 360 8590 or Mbl: 07860 773711
Pay direct to Sort Code: 30-96-94 a/c no: 00791646 Ref: AMT or FMT + your name
Post Code: Tel:
Annual mileage: Machine:
Name: Nigel White (Naughty Nige)
When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle?
Early doors and my older brothers always had bikes – we were “bikers”
How old were you when you first rode a bike?
I had my own Moby from about 10 so rode about at local waste ground fondly known as the “wreck”. My Gran bought me my first brand new bike when I was sixteen (Yamaha FS1E = Fizzy) Yellow/Black – with Disc Brakes!!
Covered miles & miles on that with two best mates who had one each. At 17 I bought my first bike with my own pay - a Suzuki GT250 – all my mates took their test on it – sadly I never bothered.
Later, in 2002 I bought a new bike on a whim - a Yamaha 650 Drag star (Drag Queen) – I realised I still had no Licence when I tried to collect from Fowlers in Bristol! Had to do a quick DAS course then did Bike Safe with Glos Police & joined IAM (SAM) Severn Advanced
I took my IAM test on a snowy freezing December day in 2002 on the Dragstar – my examiner -a local bike cop- had heated everything on his New BMW - so I suffered but passed. He didn’t go easy on me either!
Later that year I went to buy a battery charger from Suzuki Cheltenham but came out with a brand new Suzuki 1400GSX – great bike – cool plate N14GSX.
I kept the 14GSX as it was well loved and with Gazelle pipes sounded fab too! Think TVR Chimera but LOUDER!
I bought my first Honda Pan European (1300STX ABS) for work contracts in 2003 and ended up having a few of these until earlier this year. I got my first Honda Goldwing 1800GL with LOTS of spec for my 50th Birthday (very loving wife) and rode a lot all over UK & Europe with a few IAM clubs and joined Elite Wings. I had three Wings all told and a cool plate, HG10WNG.
Of the bikes you’ve owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? Without doubt the Honda Goldwing – a tourers dream machine and fairly agile for a monster.
If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be?
If I was still touring, without doubt another Wing but I am very happy with my new BMW GS
Or maybe one of these again?
My last Training Contract before retiring and the Essex move was using this Park n Ride/Training Pink bus – a little one at 38ft – the bendy buses were 59ft! Quite scary teaching new drivers fresh from Training School particularly in one of the brand new Electric/Gas Deckers costing upwards of £700k! Great fun though
What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget?
Music & Sat Nav as gadgets but my real favourite was my Corbin seat – custom designed & made & imported from California – most comfortable “chair” in the world – we ran out road or fuel before running out of stamina.
Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK?
Everywhere – I love the Cotswolds (ex home) any seaside trip – and the New Forest is a favourite – We often used to Wing it on a weekend and travel from Stroud to Hastings or Jersey for an ice cream then realise at 11pm on a summer evening that we needed to head home but were often 300 miles away – 2am finishes not unusual
Stelvio & Bellagio without question – the mountain pass is around 8% gradient with a 1400m drop on one side –once at the top the ride down the other side is “character building” and mainly deep gravel & hairpins with switchbacks – a fair challenge for a fully loaded Wing two up! Bellagio and the roads/tunnels around Como are a joy – think James Bond & Aston Martin!
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?
Any safe experienced Group made up of mainly advanced riders.
How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car?
Cars are a means of getting from A to B – Bikes however are a real delight and equal freedom
What made you join EAMG?
It was a key part of the deal with my wife – Yes - by all means have a new bike and do more riding/mileage but the caveat is redo the training and either IAM or ROSPA – so I searched Essex+Advanced and the rest as they say is now history - so here I am!
When do you intend to give up riding?
Never – when they put me in a pine box maybe? May try to get the bike in with me
Describe your scariest moment on your bike?
Surprisingly very few considering the years, the bikes, the mileage and the places I have been
Had a scary one on the Wing in Devon once down a leafy lane, grass down the middle, cow dung & rain – slow riding but the back wheel did try to overtake the front at a more than 45 degree angle – that got the adrenal pumping.
Had one in the Forest of Dean passing a group of chopper riders on a blind bend when an ambulance came the other way flat out on Blues n Two’s – got a real pasting for that poor judgement call – Yes I confess – I was showing off!
I had a near miss in Bruges in pouring rain when 35 of us went to bump a wet kerb outside a coffee shop – a number came a cropper with more than a few Wings left on the floor – I held mine (and both of us up) under control on one wrist and nearly broke it – no way was my baby going down though!
Como can be very scary but mostly as very pretty young Italians do warp factor 9 on little scooters and dive bomb other traffic whilst wearing flip flops, nail varnish and not much else – Italian Vespa’s have no throttle - just an ON or OFF switch!
The B500 in the Black Forest is REALLY scary on a Sunday! Every biker in Germany & beyond descends and each café has up to 5000 bikes outside (no exaggeration either!) The German bikers are totally nuts and will pass you side by side in two & threes – not too fussy about which side of you they pass by on either!
More recently a quite scary challenge was turning up for my very first EAMG Group Training session on a Sunday, on a brand new bike with less than 100 miles on the clock – the bike of course being totally different to anything pre
owned. Going out with Paul & Danny made me quickly realise my skills were mostly a legend in my own mind – my riding was comparatively fairly appalling!
Getting better though – every day is a school day - if my riding ever gets as good as my skills as a Membership Secretary and on Excel/Spreadsheets etc. my ROSPA GOLD pass is already in the bag!
Mick Hewitt set up an EAMG stand at Lings Triumph in Great Dunmow on Saturday 25th March.
Mick didn’t remember to take any photos but fortunately Narinder Johal dropped in and did think to take photos and made sure someone took one of himself trying a Rocket for size. I wonder what he thought of it? Big and heavy like the Indian Roadmaster but probably somewhat quicker!
A LOOKBACK AT MARCH
MARCH GROUP NIGHT IN THE LITTLE CHANNELS BISTRO
2023 EAMGEVENTDIARY(ASAT11.01.2023) V8
Month Date Event
January Sunday,8th AssociateGroupTraining(AGT)
February Tuesday,7th GroupNight-AGM
March Sunday,5th Mick&Alan’sAssociate/MemberRide
April Tuesday,4th GroupNight
May Sunday, EssexMotorcycleShow,NorthWeald (tobeconfirmed)
June Sunday,4th SlowRidingDay,NorthWealdAirfield
July Tuesday,4th GroupNight
August Tuesday,1st GroupNight
2023 EAMGEVENTDIARY(ASAT11.01.2023) V8
Month Date Event
September Sunday,3rd SlowRidingDay,NorthWealdAirfield
October Sunday,1st ObserverPeertoPeerRide(2304)
November Sunday,5th Mick&Alan’sAssociate/MemberRide
December Sunday,3rd Mick&Alan’sAssociate/MemberRide