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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

June 2014

Welcome to TUG Dear Members,

Chairman’s Ramblings


I hope you like this edition of TUG as it’s been hard work to get this finished with so much going on! End of quarter means VAT to sort, generally work seems to be on the up and up so it has proved to be a challenge to finish TUG as well, therefore i have had less time than I would have liked to further improve it!

Test Passes


Membership Renewal


Observer Coordinator


Devils in the Diavel


Dates for the Diary


Being a Biker


Picture Gallery


Colin Snow


Remember please email any articles , pictures to

Events Report


Stay safe all...

New Members



Further Training


Destination Rated


Just as I was about to wrap this up I had some really sad news that a friend I met in Germany last year was sadly killed in the Black Forest along with a fellow rider. Knowing what I do about him, it just goes to show, no matter how well we ride, sometimes we can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and I’ll miss him in my up and coming trip to Germany.


What’s happening next?

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Runs and Rides Forum

And follow us on Twitter.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Chairman’s Ramblings June 2014 This year’s Essex Bikesafe Launch took place at the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance sponsored ‘Essex Bike Show’ at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 4th May. Despite poor publicity and poor signage of the event on the day, it was blessed with a far bigger turnout than previous launches, due in large part to fantastic weather! EAMG was in attendance and had a good presence on it’s stand throughout the day and spoke to a good number of the 1000 or so riders and pillions that passed through the event whilst Jill Winn and I put leaflets and cards on the motorcycles in the parking area. It’ll be interesting to see if we get any new members as a result of the event. The next major publicity outing for us will be on Father’s Day at the Boyz Toyz event at Hylands Park in Chelmsford. Traditionally this has been a good recruiting ground for us and I hope that trend continues! Come along and see us – it’s a great day out and on your doorstep! May’s Group Night was, I’m sure everyone who was there would agree, a compelling and thought provoking evening. John Hutchinson’s talk on the Concorde crash in Paris was captivating and I have rarely been stunned by the absolute silence of the audience held in the moment by a talented speaker. I found myself after the talk, angered that the French aviation industry had conspired, firstly to cover up a series of serious and ultimately catastrophic errors by the Air France Concorde crew and secondly, ended the flying life of such an iconic and beautiful aircraft. Damn those Frenchies……..(sorry Michel) On a recent Observer Peer to Peer ride, EAMG Observers were joined by former Observers and a guest from a neighbouring counties IAM Group. After somewhere around 190 miles it was very pleasing to receive feedback from our guest who said that the standard of riding of our Observers was far higher than that in his Group. I was very proud to be told this alongside the Observers and Trainee Observers on the ride and it speaks volumes of the high riding standards demanded by the Training Team and the rigorous testing and retesting schedule in place at EAMG. A big Thank You goes out to the whole Observer team from me. You are the unsung hero’s and heroines of EAMG. I have been asked recently by some of our lady members about the possibility of some

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‘training’ on motorcycle maintenance and basic servicing skills. I’m happy to arrange something of this nature if there is enough interest. Please contact me if you would like me to get something organised.. Lastly, I have had very little interest in the idea of a Christmas Meal on Saturday 20 th December 2014. There are only 60 places available and cost is likely to be around £35 £40 each. If accommodation or transport is required it’s likely we can arrange discounted rates locally but I need to know numbers by 30 June or I will relunctantly return the date back to Channels and cancel the event. Ride safe, ride well Chris Remember it’s not how fast you go, it’s how you go fast!

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Congratulations! Sam Easy

5th April 2014 RoSPA Test (Bronze) Examiner Mark Anderson Observer Geoff Preston

Andy Hems

5th May 2014 EAMG Observer re Test Senior Observer Assessor - Chris Reed

Simon Enticknap 24th April 2014 RoSPA re Test (Gold)

Examiner Mark Anderson

Graham Seeley 17th May 2014 RoSPA Test (Silver)

Examiner Paul Roberts Observer Andy Hems

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Clare Dawson

17th May 2014 RoSPA Test (Gold) Examiner Paul Roberts Observer Eddy Brazier & John Tullet

Lots of test passes this issue! Well done all.

What is RoSPA? RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders aim is to reduce road accidents by encouraging an interest in road safety, by improving driving standards, knowledge and skill. In order to do this RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders have over 60 local groups that will provide free training to help you improve your driving skills and prepare you to take the ultimate Advanced Test. It is a deliberate, skilful and responsible riding technique admired by others. As an advanced rider, you are able to anticipate and control situations to reduce your accident risk. An Advanced rider is equipped with the knowledge and skill to ride safely and effectively in all conditions.

The Test The RoSPA advanced test is regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging available to the public. It is monitored and approved by the Driving Standards Agency. The test lasts around 90 minutes, and is taken with a RoSPA Examiner, all of whom are serving or retired Police Officers. The RoSPA Advanced Riding Test is unique as it is graded Bronze, Silver or Gold. A RoSPA gold is the highest civilian riding standard available and the holder will be a master of his or her art. To see more about what is expected, download our Motorcycle Test Guidelines. Unlike other Advanced Driving and Riding organisations, we also demand 3 yearly retests, to ensure that excellent riding standards are maintained. The re-test fee is included in your yearly subscription costs.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Membership Information Dear Members & Propective Members, The form is on the website if you wish to join or if you are a late renewal! If you have paid up and haven’t received your membership card please let a committee member know. Please also note the feedback form on page 18 it will be most helpful if as many members as possible can fill one in and get them to John Tullett. 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 2014 

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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Observer Coordinator Traditionally EAMG has offered two main training options to Associate members. 1-to-1 rides with your own personal observer are designed to take your riding from wherever you start, through to a level where you have the ability to pass an advanced test. We also offer monthly Associate Group Training (AGT) sessions that provide an opportunity to attend a brief 'roadcraft' presentation followed by an observed ride with an alternative Observer, usually over different routes. In accordance with our aim to "promote motorcycling excellence" we are always looking for ways in which we can improve the training that we offer. I am, therefore, very pleased to confirm that we are about to introduce 'Flexible Observed Rides' to complement 1-to-1 training and AGTs. Flexible Observed Rides The idea behind Flexible Observed Rides is that they will provide any Associates who wish to progress their training more quickly with an opportunity to arrange additional observed rides with an Observer who has spare capacity. The Observers who are presently in a position to take on more trainees will also benefit from being able to participate in extra observed rides. This should, therefore, provide a win / win training solution. There is absolutely no obligation for Associates to participate in Flexible Observed Rides but if this sounds like something you would like to try then please let me know you are interested and when you will be available (e.g. weekends, weekdays or anytime). I will then attempt to match Associates with Observers and arrange for an Observer to contact you. We will request Associates participating in Flexible Observed Rides to make a ÂŁ10 contribution towards Observer expenses for each ride, as with standard 1-to-1 rides. At the risk of stating the obvious, it remains vital for Associates to ensure that they

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retain sufficient gaps between observed rides to practise and seek to address any previously identified riding issues. Clearly if we get a sudden influx of new members it is possible that the number of Observers who can provide additional riding opportunities will reduce, in which case it might not be possible to meet all requests for additional training. AGTs After commenting in April's TUG about the good turnout at the March AGT things have taken a turn for the worse in April and May with only 5 Associates & 1 Guest in April and 4 Associates in May. Admittedly there was a small amount of rain on these dates but I find it hard to believe that anyone seeking to develop their riding skills would allow a few damp roads to put them off? Riding in the wet will help to develop your confidence in being able to apply the system in a range of weather conditions. While I fully understand that Associates will not be able to attend every AGT it is very disappointing to experience a situation where Observers are on hand to assist but end up being unallocated. If any Associates consider that AGTs can be modified to better meet your training requirements then please let me know. Our next AGT will be held on Sunday, 8th June @ 09:15 at Moulsham School, Chelmsford, post code CM2 9ES. Boys Toys 14 - Sunday, 15th June Our next EAMG promotional event is Boys Toys to be held at Hylands Park, Chelmsford, on Father's Day. Graham Simpkins is overseeing this event for the Group so if you are interested in assisting on the EAMG stand please make Graham or another Committee member aware of your interest and availability.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Slow Riding Day - Sunday, 22nd June Our first Slow Riding Day of the year is now fast approaching and will be held on the test track at the Ford Dunton Research Centre. The chances are that you will be requested to complete a slow manoeuvre, such as figures of eight or a u-turn, on your test so the Slow Riding Day will give you a great opportunity to practise these essential skills. It is also fascinating to witness how significantly individuals are able to reduce their 'emergency braking' stopping distances after a little tuition and practise - sometimes braking distances can be halved! The Slow Riding Day is not just targeted at Associates. Full members are also very welcome and the day will give you a great chance to check out your machine's capabilities in a relatively safe environment (particularly useful if you have not attended a recent Slow Riding Day or have recently changed your bike). We will endeavour to offer as wide a range of activities as possible, including emergency braking; manoeuvring exercises; and the slowest rider race - to win the much coveted 'snail' t-shirt. All for a bargain ÂŁ5 to cover the provision of biscuits & water and help offset our expenses. If you wish to attend please let me know beforehand to help ensure we have sufficient numbers of Observers available. Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me on 01277 623860 (before 21:30 please), text 07570 992801, e-mail or send me a PM via the Message Board. John Tullett

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The Devil’s in the Diavel She often tells me I turn into sergeant major when we’re doing a trip, be it by plane, train or automobile! Well this trip is on our bikes and as usual I can’t help but pack double of everything, spare boxers, t shirts, jeans and especially socks, I even add in spare spanners, sockets & pliers in case I need to do a service! No room for the foot pump though! Anyway, enough said about my packing habits, we set off to our usual haunt, a fantastic hotel in Hethersett, Norfolk, called Park Farm Hotel, its a family run business with superb food, great rooms and a really relaxed atmosphere – add in a pool, sauna, steam room & jacuzzi and it provides the perfect end to a hard day’s riding! We’re off for an extended ride, avoiding the usual dual carriageways and main roads that blight the journey into East Anglia, instead opting for the trusty feature on my TOM TOM called ‘Winding Roads’. I’ve had hit and miss results with this, sometimes it provides fantastic routes and sometimes not so great with too many small farm tracks or even goat tracks jumbled in for good measure. For those with a TOM TOM the ‘Avoid Motorways’ option provides a really good alternative if you are in more rural areas as it seems to pick up the faster A & B roads. This time the route started well with a great mixture of twisty and fast sweeping roads. Our route took us through Nayland, Hadleigh, Bilderstone, continuing north keeping east of Diss until arrgghhh the dreaded farm track – eek, I looked in my mirrors, knowing that Jane riding behind me is thinking oh no, not again! We head further along and I think yikes, this really isn’t even a farm track, just 2 small ruts for us to ride along. Concentration is the order of the day and I don’t know whether I ‘m more surprised to see a car, (Volvo) especially at the speed he’s travelling at, or he (definitely didn’t expect us to be there) was to see two bikes travelling more off road than on. Not long after the road improves, just a tad, but wow what a view we come across, some beautiful houses just nestled in the valley, real postcard picturesque, I grin knowing Jane behind me is looking more at the view than she is of the road, probably dreaming of great big country houses! We start to edge away from the farm track and back onto faster roads, very much B roads but the flowing kind. By this time we’re both thinking of something to eat and drink as lunchtime is well and truly here. We fly down a long straight road and I spot a cross roads with a great looking pub called the four horses in a place called Thornham Magna. Easy parking, great! See the picture for yourself, I really fancy going back for a roast dinner. After our impromptu break we head off, not far to go now, we turn into the main flow of traffic along the A140 until we pass my favourite Ducati dealer, Seastar Superbikes – not that I’ve ever been in before as it’s always been closed when we pass as it’s usually on a Sunday or bank holiday Monday, but today it’s open (a Friday) and yippee I can have a look around. What a great place, it has Kawasaki, Ducati and an upstairs full of goodies, I could seriously spend some cash here.

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Knowing we have a few days in the area, I hatch my cunning plan - a weekend of relaxing, eating, drinking each day preceded by lots of riding including test rides! Jane will love it. A chat with Tony in Ducati sales I explain we visit the area now and then and that I fancy a test ride on a Monster. Test ride booked for the following day – I’m really looking forward to it. We continue on to our hotel just 20 minutes away. We arrive, unpack and grab our stuff for the pool but first a few beers for me and wine for Jane. It’s been a great ride up. Next morning I’m awake bright and early. Jane has the knowledge that very few things wake me up early in the morning, riding is one, fishing another (though you have to get up early for this to be fair) or a trip away – that’s about it, so she knows I’m going to be fidgeting until we get going. Down to the dining room – full English, great and it’s up to the usual excellent standard. I really do recommend this place. I’m so stuffed I might fall of my bike. We arrive at Seastar and have a browse around outside where I drool over the Ducati’s, one day I will have a Ducati. Jane points out the Diavel and tells me in her not so flattering way that I should try one, it would suit a big bloke like you – those of you who know her will grin at this she has a way of seeing all blokes who ride motorcycles in the same way. Tony greets us and after a quick sort of the paperwork he leads me out to a Monster 1200S. She IS a thing of beauty, just don’t tell Jane I might prefer the Monster, I’m already selling all I own, in my mind that is. He starts her up and oh yes this she sounds incredible. I’m off, Jane follows and we head away from the main road into the countryside. Tony has warned me that the front goes light under hard acceleration but no chance to see for myself just yet as we’re heading along in the 30’s. The nerves have me just a little, I don’t want to do something silly as I’m liable for the full cost (Ducati dealers all seem to be the same you are liable for the full cost in the ones I’ve been to, even if it’s not your fault). Looking ahead I can see the national, here we go, roll on the throttle and oh boy it’s glorious, the noise, the engine sings to you. It’s a little like my SV650 but only in terms of how smooth the V twin is, as for everything else I can only describe it as fire breathing monster! Easy to ride though, but respect is needed. We ride along some great twisty turns, she drops in beautifully – light and nimble but that exhaust and cover is really starting to erk me know. Back into the thirties and we bimble along – the world seems right today! Ducati’s really do have a way of turning heads and no one can avoid looking up. National ahead again and this time I’m off leaving Jane behind as I really give it a good, full road test. The front does indeed try to lift but the electronics keep it all in check. I can honestly say this is one hell of a motorcycle... We head back to Ducati and Tony asks what I think. I tell him it is fantastic, much, much better than the old 1100. I love it, BUT I cannot live with the exhaust being in the way, my foot feels wrongly placed and it is a BIG distraction. It’s far too close to the foot pegs and it stops you moving your foot up & down, especially as I ride on the balls of my feet, the more you ride it the more it distracts you. If it wasn’t for that I would have signed my life away there and then! Tony tells me he had the same problem on a track day – hopefully a different set of rear-sets will be

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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available soon to help eliminate this problem. I’m only a size 9 foot so unless you’re size 7 or under it will definitely annoy you. I mention to him about the Diavel and he’s more than happy for me to have a go, she isn’t the prettiest I must admit, though I suspect that Diavel owners grow to love the looks. He starts her up using a combination of switch up, switch down, press this etc (I need to do some homework to remember all that, as it’s not a key start). Wow the noise! She sounds fabutastic. Tony warns me to take it easy she’s only got 50 miles on her. I’ll be careful I say and assure him that I appreciate she’s not run in yet. He tells me not to worry about the engine she can take anything, just she’s on new tyre’s and they’re not worn in properly yet! I’m off and she rumbles along. I’m really surprised, this feels perfect, relaxed, ultra cool & just listen to that engine. Jane stays behind this time sunning herself on the bench outside. I head back the same way as I did on the Monster and I really, really start to grin. I open her up, I’m in touring mode and whoosh away I go. I can’t quite explain it, the power is immense and unlike a sports bike where you simply cut through the air this seems like the air is jparting in front of me - a bit like Moses and the red sea. This is a big bruiser of a bike. Tony warned me that you need to turn the bike with your butt, it’s unlike most other bikes. Roll on the throttle, here come the twisties, turn in butt style, oh yes it really works. Left, right, left – this bike has no right to turn like this. The grin is bigger than ever. I take a slightly different route following the signs to the Lotus factory. Fast flowing roads, YESsss, I crank her up and suddenly I can only describe this as take off. Like when you head down a runway on a big Jumbo, after the initial rumbling and engine noise, everything suddenly becomes light and smooth as you lose contact with the ground. It is sublime, truly – I want one, and I want one now. A switch to sport mode and the engine becomes more urgent. This is a sports bike in disguise now, a ballistic missile or maybe the devil in disguise. What a head rush. Ten minutes later I head back, kind of in a daze, how can I have liked this bike so, so much? Jane knows the minute I arrive back, the grin says it’s all. I get some figures off Tony and thank him. The guys at Seastar are great the best Ducati dealers I’ve visited, even knowing I live a considerable distance away. I would definitely buy from them, a good excuse to run a bike in. We had a fantastic 3 days enjoying the roads of Norfolk, test riding bikes, and Jane gave a Street Triple a run down from a local Triumph dealer again receiving great service. This is what life’s all about. Go test ride your dream bike and beware the Devil in the Diavel... Colin

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Diary 2014

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

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2014 June


Full Member Ride


Isle of Man TT Week (Information Only)


Group Night - ICE Patch (Demonstration of the ICE patch product)


Associate Group Training (AGT) - DON’T MISS IT


Boys Toys (Hylands Park)


Slow Riding Day (Ford Dunton) (Contact just £5 for the day)

26 29th

Goodwood Festival of Speed (Information Only)


Allied Memorial Rememberance Ride (Information Only)

(Over a thousand bikes ride through Cambridge in the only UK event to the American memorial on Armed Forces Day to help commemorate those who gave their lives. On the same day in the USA, France, Canada, New Zealand, riders from those coun tries go the British memorials to show their respects.)



Group Night


Lee Rigby Memorial Ride (Information Only) (Memorial ride on what would have been Lee Rigbys birth day. Meeting in Rochdale town centre at 12 noon leaving at 12:30, riding into Middleton Lee's home town then onto the Boarshaw wmc where there will be a few singers and speeches made.)


Associate Group Training (AGT) - DON’T MISS IT


Tour De France Stage 3 Essex (Information Only) (If not a fan avoid North Essex!)

12 22nd

Reveiller Ride Swiss Alps & Lakes


Triumph Live 2014 (Information Only)


Full Member Ride


South of England Classic Superbike & Bikejumble (Information Only)

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Being a biker! I passed my test. Have the paper to prove it. Now was the time to join the biking club that you can never leave ever, the fraternity of bikers. What sort of biker did I want to be? I didn’t know. What about a sports bike?. Tight, brightly coloured leather race suit and looking like a tube of tooth paste, pre-programed to go off like a heat seeking missile, target acquired. Nah, not for me, but it suits some people. I know, what about a cruise bike. I could look cool with tattered jeans and sunglasses and the obligatory bandana with the leather jacket with the big patch “Biker gang” emblazed on the back. I could go to a meet and blend in with the rest of the beards, looking like an audition for a video for the Village people. Hey YMCA, Nah not for me, but it does look fun. Ah! Adventure biking, I could go around the world, or just pop to Tesco for 2 pints of milk. I would need some aluminium panniers with loads of stickers with places I haven’t really been. Must remember to rough up those stickers and put a few dents and scratches on the aly boxes to make it look authentic. Great to dream maybe someday, but not today. Such a wide variety of bikes and biking culture, how do you decide which group to fit in with? I don’t suppose it matters as long as you enjoy it and have a permanent grin like a Cheshire cat. Nod, it’s polite you know. Photorider

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Full Member Ride


Museum of Power Bikemeet


Group Night




Peer 2 Peer Ride


John & Audrey Tipper’s Boys and Girls Ride to the Cotswolds


Full Member Training (FMT) Charlbury Loop & Chipping Norton


Group Night




Air Ambulance Run (Dunton - Harwich)


Full Member Ride


Geoff Preston’s Beachy Head run

20 28th

Reveiller Ride, Dam Busters, Harz & Colditz


Slow Riding Day at Ford Dunton


Peer 2 Peer Ride


Group Night




Full Member Training (FMT) Suffolk (Wortham & Diss)


Full Member Ride


Group Night




Full Member Ride


Group Night




Full Member Ride

Diary 2014



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


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Super Sausage Run...

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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Geoff Prestons Pas de Calais Run

John Hutchinson, Concorde Captain, Group Night

Mick Hewitt’s Run to North Weald

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Colin Snow talks about his accident in July last year By way of introduction I have to say I have absolutely no idea why folk would have the remotest interest in this article. I’m also a member of ERAM & Steve the editor asked me if I’d write an article on my bike accident in July & the aftermath. John Tullett got to read it and asked me if I’d do a similar one for TUG. I just shake my head in disbelief. Why???? So what follows is the same article with a few alterations & additions so for those EAMG members who also belong to ERAM perhaps you may want to give this a miss??? I’m certainly not after the sympathy vote!!!! On the 12 July last year I got all packed up and set off for the annual EAMG trip to the Bikers Retreat. You may well ask why I didn’t go with the rest of them but I’ve been there many times and always try to find a variation of route to get there. I tend to look at a map in advance & just go. I don’t have & certainly have no need for satnav. The group were meeting up at Brook Street but if there is a choice between the M25……… or the A507 then in my eyes there is no choice – A507 everytime. I have actually led a couple of groups there in the past and both experiences were not good. I have to lay my cards on the table & admit that I’m not a huge fan of the marker system and have had it go wrong on me both as a ride leader and a participant. My preferred route is through the back country of the Cotswolds and the fields of lavender at my namesake Snowshill which is on the high ground above Broadway is stunning at that time of year. Sadly I didn’t get as far as that. At Chipping Norton instead of using the A44 which has miles of double white line with a 50 limit I go straight on to the B4450 which takes you through the villages of Churchill & Bledington coming out just short of Stow on the Wold. I’m familiar with this road & have used it many times. After Bledington I found myself following a car and although there are stretches of the road where you could fit in an overtake there was insufficient forward view as it disappears into trees – what you can’t see & what might happen an all that. I thought well I’ve got all day so I carried on. The road goes relatively steeply uphill into a sharp lefthander still climbing until it levels out into a long straight with loads of forward view. I remember pulling out for the view and then there is a blank in my memory until I woke up lying in the road. The medical term as I’ve since discovered is post traumatic amnesia. There are positives & negatives about this. The good thing is that I won’t get nightmares reliving the experience but if I decide to get back on a bike I won’t have learnt anything from the experience to avoid the possibility of it happening again or do I spend my time worrying about every oncoming vehicle and they have in mind to do?? I’ve only got the police independent witness statements to go on as to what actually happened. Apparently I successfully overtook the car – according to the two occupants “at a reasonable speed and continued on my side of the road for approximately another mile also at a reasonable speed”. I find it scary that I have absolutely no memory of this. At the

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group meeting at Channels in Oct I was telling Gary Baldwin & Mark Edwards about this, since I know them both personally, about this, & Gary said it definitely doesn’t pay to hack off other road users when you overtake them since you never know when you will want them as your friends!!! Gary asked me how long I’d been riding bikes & remarked that since it had taken me 45 years to have my first serious bike accident there was no reason why it wouldn’t take another 45 to have the next one!!!!!!! The two occupants of the car I’d overtaken turned out to be my independent witnesses to what happened next. An oncoming car with an elderly couple were looking for somewhere for a picnic & they spotted a field entrance on my side of the road and according to the occupants of the car I’d overtaken it simply pulled across the road into my path giving me zero time to react. I imagine judging by the state of my one piece leathers that I fell off the bike on my left side and the bike carried on because the recovery firm told me that they had to dig it out of the hedge. I have absolutely no memory of the impact or how I parted company from my bike. At some point I obviously passed out but how long I was unconscious for I have no idea. My non - professional explanation is that the human body is a very clever piece of kit & my brain decided that it was a good idea to “close me down”. When I came to, on reflection I’d been put in the recovery position on my left side, my helmet, glasses & gloves had been removed & the traffic police were on scene. It was pretty obvious from the position of my right foot that I had a broken leg and nothing happened when I tried to move my foot. Amazingly I was in no pain. It later transpired that a passing doctor had stopped at the scene & straightened out my leg to improve the blood flow otherwise that could have had life changing consequences. My 1 piece leathers made for me by the late Mike Willis in 1990 undoubtedly did their job because the ONLY injury I sustained was a compound open fracture to my tibia & fibia – the lower bones of the leg and nothing else – no scratches or bruises and I didn’t have armour or a back protector. An open fracture is where the ends of the bones exit through the skin but thankfully due to my leathers I was unaware of that at the time. The traffic cop said I’d been so lucky – they just could not believe I’d got away with so little injury. I told him my house keys were in a pocket in the fairing but he said they couldn’t get the ignition key out but he recovered the rest of them along with my rucksack that was strapped to the bike. I also told him where my wallet was in my rucksack & said there was a card with the Bikers Retreat phone number & could he call them to say I wasn’t going to make it. I live alone so there was none there to call. The paramedics apologised but told me they’d have to cut my leathers to release my legs. They also cut the laces and the goretex tongue of my boots. I was taken initially to Gloucester hospital where I vaguely remember going through one of those scanners like

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you see in “ 24 hours in A&E” The doctors told me that they would apply external fixation to the leg to hold the bones in place because they didn’t know how long it would be before I was operated on but I wouldn’t be stopping there. I had another ride in an ambulance – I didn’t realize how bad the springing is in an ambulance cos I felt every bump in the road!!! and found myself at Frenchay hospital in Bristol which apparently is the major trauma centre for the South West. They explained that 2 operations were necessary and although they would prefer to do them together, unfortunately life- saving operations took priority over limb saving ones. So they fixed the bones first by putting what is termed a nail which is a titanium bar which is put in the centre of the tibia pinned & screwed both ends to stop it rotating. Next day I had a second operation to fix the hole in my leg by taking a chunk of flesh out of my left thigh and fixing it in place with staples & stitches. There’s more to it than that because a lot of microsurgery is involved reconnecting all the blood vessels. A shaving of skin was also taken from my thigh & placed in the base of where the graft was taken so that the skin would regrow from underneath. My legs are tattooed with a freehand tribal design & I think the plastic surgeon Mr Khan has done a brilliant job matching up the tattoos !!!! I was told that the major enemy of bone repair is smoking so that wasn’t a problem. The next one is alcohol & surprisingly tea , coffee & chocolate. Apparently the caffeine causes the blood vessels to constrict thus slowing down the rate of recovery. I’ve never been in hospital before so all this was a new experience. The worst aspect of it is the bed pan – that is gross and I told the nurses they deserved a medal for dealing with that!! I really envied the patients that could walk to the toilet!!! It was really hot weather and the noisy fans were next to useless so they opened all the outside doors & windows at night to get some breeze although I didn’t sleep a wink. Most of the other patients had all had the same operation as I’d had and they were mostly motorcyclists but had more horrendous injuries than I had – mostly through not wearing the right kit so you see why the authorities might be anti- motorcycling. Despite what you might read the food was amazing and they came round with a menu for lunch & dinner with several choices for a couple of days ahead. The one thing they insisted on was that you drank loads of water. I was really taken aback when Mick Hewitt & Geoff Preston appeared on the ward midweek. The weather was really hot so it must have been a really uncomfortable journey. Then George Brown appeared on the Saturday. Also Ron Luke came with his family on their way to a holiday in Wales. I REALLY appreciated this, so thanks guys. Also thanks to you all for the card. I was told that I would be released much sooner than I imagined & sure enough 2 weeks after I was admitted they arranged for a private ambulance to bring me home with all my bike kit etc and enough dressings to keep me going for ages. They simply jumped into lane 3 of the M4 & stayed there!! They said if the traffic got really bad they’d switch on the blues & twos but it didn’t come to that. I just lay in the back watching all these cars disappearing in our wake!!! They took just 3 hours door to door at no cost to me. Again subse-

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quently I had free hospital transport for my subsequent appointments at Broomfield hospital for fracture & physio until I was declared 100% weight bearing at the end of Oct. At that point I managed to get back on my bicycle to give me some independence and exercise my legs. The neighbours have been fantastic and formed a rota to provide me with an evening meal for the first 2 months until I was able to fend for myself. With regards to the bike I didn’t actually see it at the scene of the crash but I had a phone call in the hospital from the insurers asking for my authority to release the bike for salvage which I declined. My feeling then was that if I managed to ride again I didn’t want to lose the various modifications I’d made over the years to make it comfortable for me. Also no mention was made of what I might get for it. I know Peter Allenby of Allenby Motorcycles in Chelmsford personally through the family & he arranged for the bike to be brought back from the premises of the recovery firm to the yard of my former employers in Stock then later back to my home. The insurer’s engineer inspected it & declared it a Cat B total loss due to major structural damage to the frame. They offered me £1600 minus £128 because I wanted to keep the bike which I thought was very fair. It was 15 years old with just a tad under 85k on the clock. I have a homemade hydraulic workbench which is concreted into my garage floor which I made many years ago from scrap metal so sitting on my stool I was slowly able to dismantle the bike completely in total safety. Despite asking several folk who one would have thought would know the answers I needed to find out how I could “officially” scrap the bike but retain all the parts. It took several phone calls to DVLA but I discovered if I took the frame, which was the offending item & had the VIN stamped into it, to an “Authorised Treatment Facility” that was linked to DVLA then that would be the answer. Phoning a few local ones they all seemed to be a car spare parts operation. Finally I settled on the scrap yard at Boreham because they confirmed they didn’t bother with spare parts & everything went for scrap. In addition to the V5C I would need photo ID & a recent utility bill. Clive Fry had kindly offered to help me take the stuff there on his trailer so I also took the damaged radiator, oil cooler & the bent exhaust headers. They paid me the princely sum of £5 for “contaminated scrap” but more importantly gave me a screen printout showing the link to DVLA showing that it was scrapped. I got the receipts photocopied & sent them with the appropriate bit of the V5 to DVLA & got the confirmation back that I was no longer the registered keeper. Problem solved. Initially I did question whether I wanted to get back on a motorcycle again since I don’t have & don’t want a car. On the odd occasion when I need a car for a couple of weeks it’s much simpler & cheaper to hire one. So although I’m now booked in to go to Bikers Retreat in July I will hire a car & take my bicycle with me & do some of the cycle trails there. Then when I leave there I have a hospital appointment booked in Bristol for the following day because I agreed to take part in a research study looking into my specific type of injury and this will be the 12 month clinical examination etc which can’t be done here. I will

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then look up friends & relations in Devon and bring a load of scrumpy cider home which is a bit difficult if I go on a bike!!! I went to the ExCel bike show in February. I sat on a couple of Harleys of the feet forward variety but didn’t really feel I wanted to spend £15k+ on a bike at my age. Also spending hours & hours polishing the things doesn’t appeal at all!! I tried sitting on a few twist & go scooters but because I have a very long “bum to knee” measurement they were just not comfortable. So I looked at s/h ZZR 1100’s on ebay. I eventually settled on a P reg that was with a dealer in Kent with 32k on the clock which was priced at slightly less than I was paid out for my last one. He delivered it with the proviso that if I didn’t like it then he would take it back & all I would lose was the £99 delivery charge. It ran OK & I went through the gears to make sure that particular ZZR problem wasn’t an issue even though I have a perfectly good complete spare engine but I am physically unable to ride it until I have fitted all my modifications which I am currently doing. I also wanted heated grips & I settled for a Cameleon electric chain oiler which I ordered via ebay direct from Canada. Because of my injury I have found that my right foot is ever so slightly biased to the right so sitting on the bike I’m unable to operate the rear brake. I looked into the possibility of a thumb brake but that didn’t seem an option so since I’ve got a spare footrest from the old one it’s a case of a bit more welding. I also realized I need to make the bike more visible from the front so I have put some white LED’s on the bottom of the forks. So the end result is going to be an even more stranger looking bike than the last one but who cares – I don’t!! When I finally get all this finished it’s then a case of buying another helmet & getting my one piece leathers repaired although I do have some spare kit that fits. Hopefully not too long to wait now. Colin Snow

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EAMG Events Report! I hope this report makes it in time for the June TUG deadline. Since I do not know what that deadline is this is a pious hope. The first ride of this period was Richard Parker's Full Member run to Graffham Water on Sunday 23rd March.. In the old days I used to make cryptic notes after a run which I could then struggle to decipher when report time came around. This discipline needs to be taken up again. In the absence of it one has to resort to the vaults of memory, which in this case contains nothing more substantial than cobwebs and a crumpled IOU faded to illegibility. Let us give it a try. There were about ten of us. The rain set in almost immediately after we set out and gave us a slippery time until the coffee stop, where some riders broke off. After that the weather cleared up and we only had the occasional short shower (sometimes of hail!). Geoff Preston acted as back marker. I am sure I would have remembered if there had been any colourful incidents, so I guess the ride was uneventful. End of very brief report. The next event was that jewel in EAMG's social crown; the Super Sausage Run on Easter Saturday, 19th April. It was a sunny day but not overly warm. Perhaps this was why Spider chose to wear a rockstar wig of strikingly synthetic appearance. He also distributed largesse in the form of small Easter eggs on a very arbitrary basis. Chris Reed claimed there were 52 bikes attending. On my last count there were only 49 but it is quite possible the additional three sneaked in behind my back. There were four groups out to the cafe. I elected to go with Dave Iszard's, with Ian as back marker. Dave has a no-nonsense approach to the route which took us from third place on setting out to a comfortable first arriving at Potterspury, and a much shorter wait in the queue before ordering in consequence. My memories of the ride are coloured by the fact that I had ridden a very similar route on an FMT the week before. I strongly recommend FMT's to all full members; not only are they a health check for your riding, but they are fun!

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After the statutory all-day breakfast the situation seemed confused for a while. It eventually resolved itself into one or two groups who were riding straight back (I am sure they had their reasons, but I shall still refer to them as the quitters), an outing to the Cotswalds with John Tipper (too much like the FMT for me), and Chris Reed's traditional Silverstone loop, I chose the Silverstone loop, as always. The roads were good, for once the Deer Park actually had deer in it, including a clash of antlers at one point - very thrilling, and a petrol stop at which we colonised the car park outside Grafton Motorcycles and seemed to make life difficult for one of the salesmen there. The ride ended amidst universal acclaim at Buntingford. I missed Richard's Full Member ride to Diss on Sunday, 27th April. My wife and I were in France for a flying visit to admire the new paint job on her house there. Now the only thing lowering the tone of the cathedral square at Elne is the cathedral itself. There were seven on the ride with Gary, Mike and Colin as back markers, and it was a fine day with a nice tight ride. However I could attend Richard's next ride a week later on Sunday, 4th May. The same could not be said for Richard himself, who seems to share my wife's taste for gallivanting abroad. Mick Hewitt took over in his absence and eight of us enjoyed a fine day riding to the Stradishall Cafe. I am not sure what that is called now, but it doesn't matter because it will surely have changed name yet again the next time we go there. As to where else we rode; I think the answer has to be everywhere else in Essex you have ever been, but we ended the ride at the North Weald Airfield Essex Motorcycle Show, where EAMG had a stand. It looked well and the show itself was small, but perfectly formed, and well attended. I was delighted to see a couple of Hawk trainers, which I worked with during their developme0nt in the 70's. I always refer to them by their designation then; the 1182. There is no excuse for this; it is a piece of crass aviation snobbery. The following Saturday Geoff Preston held his annual Day Trip to France. This always seems like a good idea, and you book the Shuttle crossing in a surge of enthusiasm, before you do the maths and realise that it means getting up at 04:30. Since I live in South London I skipped the start at Thurrock and met up with the group as they

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checked in at the terminal. There were eight of us on seven bikes. I had prepared by buying the required reflective helmet stickers and a pair of H11 headlamp bulbs which, combined with a reflective vest, made me legal for riding in France. I think the headlamp bulbs were purely to obey the letter of the law. To change the bulb on the KTM requires the removal of eight pieces of bodywork held on by 34 screws needing three different sorts of screwdriver, and is not something one would readily undertake at night on a lonely country roadside. The weather forecast was depressingly accurate, and it was wet, We rode to Cassel for coffee and a compromise breakfast. Compromise because matching ones limited French with what might be available at the cafe was not easy, and we finally struck gold with 'Croque Monsieur' (a sort of French Welsh Rarebit, if you know what I mean). The rain diminished during the second leg to Le Touquet.. There were no problems, but at various points I could remember from previous runs incidents like "This is where I was stuck in the outer lane going round a bend when we saw the marker, and I had to come off at the next turning and try to find the group again" and "This is where the leader's SatNav saved us all of five yards by substituting a blind diagonal turn onto a busy main road for the straightforward right-angle turn at a junction". Once we reached le Touquet the sun was breaking through, and the rest of the day saw delightful weather. Instead of allowing us to forage in the town independently for restaurants as in previous years. Geoff led us to a beachside bistro which specialised in mussels. Half the group were delighted by this. My general feeling about them is that they taste like a piece of chewing gum one has prised off ones shoe, so I joined the other half who stuck to omelettes and steaks. I had for the first time mounted the panniers on the bike, since my wife had charged me with buying as many bottles of Muscat as I could carry. Just how wide this made the bike was impressed on me when I got stuck between two bollards where we parked. My foraging in the town yielded only two bottles, which was just as well since attempts to open one of the panniers failed miserably however hard I belted it

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whilst turning the key (an approach which works well for the topbox). The ride back up the coast to Calais was delightful and was only marred by the fact that on the twistiest bit we were stuck behind a car from the local Gendarmerie. Just short of the terminal I was marking a left turn at a roundabout when the tail of the group ignored me completely and forged ahead, with the back marker making an enigmatic gesture. I think that during my wine hunt after lunch I had missed their plan to break off and do some shopping. The three of us who were left had just enough time for a quick visit to the terminal shop, where I got a further three bottles of overpriced Muscat. On both journeys the Shuttle seemed remarkably empty. I waved goodbye to the lads when they turned off for the M25, and I continued along the M20 homewards. My wife was delighted with the Muscat, and declared that it was five bottles more than anyone else ever brought her. I was unable to attend any of the AGT's during this period, so I do not know any details of informal rides afterwards. I have started researching a ride for the next one. Progress to date; roads to destination deemed too boring, target cafe at destination not found, backup breakfast at Tesco restaurant foiled by its having been transformed into a Costa. Conclusion - more, much more, research needed. It is a tough old life.


Car and Van Tyres

All Makes — All Sizes Vintage Classic Modern Road OffRoad Race


Tel: 01621 856 888 Email:

Autosafe Group—MOT Classes 1-2-3-4- 5-7

rst I would like to wish Colin Snow a speedy recovery, following a ‘SMIDSY’ incident where someone ulled out in front of him on his way to the Biker’s Retreat, leading to a broken leg and skin grafts. Hope see you back on two wheels soon! r the benefit of new Associes I would like to clarify at we offer two main train- Open 9am-6pm Mon to Sat

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Welcome New Members John Robinson Mike Morgan

Both of whom who joined us in May!

So Very True! Only a biker knows why a dog sticks it's head out of a car window!

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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

13th April 2014 Cotswolds

25th May 2014 Suffolk


24th Aug 2014 Cotswolds

19th Oct 2014 Suffolk

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


Email: Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:


FTFM - 2014 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Teri Olley

John Tullett


Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Destination Rated

D’s diner is located off the A12 at the exit of junction 20b but can also be accessed by following the road through Hatfield Peverel from the roundabout at Boreham Interchange. It has limited seating outside. Unfortunately it is north facing so doesn’t really get the sun. Inside is a large dining area which is always clean and tidy. Open Monday to Sunday 6.45 to 3.30 every day. Food Service Price Capacity Parking

4/5 4/5 3/5 4/5 2/5

Good selection of food cooked to order. Good service never had to wait very long. Average to most cafes. Would fit a reasonable sized ride in if not already busy. Plenty of parking but uneven and with gravel in places.

1 The Street, Hatfield Peverel CM3 2EG


Registered in England & Wales, Registration No. 5258261

Colin Childs, Editor University of Essex Printing Services, contact Hannah 01206 872822 for more information. Please mention EAMG when replying to advertisers - it identifies you!

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 and a society that pays footballers more than teachers. Inclusion of adverts is not to be construed as EAMG endorsement, although most advertisers are excellent, but seek personal recommendations.Text © EAMG 2011. Illustrations © EAMG 2010, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author. Affiliated to the British Motorcyclists Federation Registered Charity Number 1107703 Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd, Registered Office, St Laurence House, 2 Gridiron Place, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2BE

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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The Extreme Stunt Show - 3 action packed shows throughout the day LIVE landing from a Supermarine Spitfire MK XI Aerial display from a Spitfire and Hurricane Monster Truck rides - £10 per rider. Restrictions: Minimum age: 8yrs old- Riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult who is willing to except the responsibility of ensuring there child/ children remain seated with their seat belt on. Helicopter Pleasure Flights - £30 per rider Hovercraft rides - £5-10 per rider or £29-39 for training and driving laps. Price will vary depending on the weather; a high wind will effect driving limits Funfair rides - Adrenaline and family rides. £variable Lazer Clay Shooting 'Essex Outdoors' bringing a range of activities, including a climbing wall Titan the Robot Archery

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Car displays Supercar - Is it a bus? Is it a train? No- it's 'Supercar'! Gokarts Bubble football Rodeo bull Scrub slide Bouncy castle Gladiator dual Live local music 'Shlomo' beatboxer Free Runners Live graffiti Skate ramps Bushcraft Attraction stalls Great food and drink

Fire performers and dancers More to be confirmed....

Hylands Park, Sunday 15th June 2014—11am to 8pm

EAMG TUG June 2014  

EAMG Tug Magazine for June 2014 Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Bi Monthly Newsletter Magazine

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