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11th March Club Night Dave Rees Wirral Road Safety Eastham Ferry Hotel Ferry Road Eastham CH62 0AU

Issue No 193

March 2014

W I R R A L A D VA N C E D M OTOR C Y C L I S T S Group Council 2014 Web Site

IAM Group 5115


Tim Brown

Vice Chairman

Ken Smith

Honorary Treasurer

Lindsay Boston


Nina Jeffries

Associate Coordinator

Derek Jeffries 07957341692

Honorary Secretary

Rob Cooper 0151 648 4503

Events Organiser

Dave Spotswood

Newsletter Editor & Minute Secretary & Web Meister

Peter Lovatt

Group Shop

Martin Titley 0151 632 3570

Gift Aid Coordinator

Rob D’Cruze

Ride Out Coordinator

Rob Tutchings

Other Council members Ian Roberts Nicole Rigby Carl Mason Cliff Evans



Rob Cooper Coopers Upholstery The Old Bank Everton Valley Liverpool L5 0RH

Distribution: Magazine Dispatchers and the Post Office!

Editor: Peter Lovatt Duplication: Martin Titley


WAM have had their AGM in February (and well attended it was too!) The reshuffle of names is on the opposite page, with Tim now being the new WAM Chairman. This year we welcome Nicole, Carl, and Cliff onto the Group Council too. There are a couple of new positions, in addition to the usual ones. Rob D’Cruze is handling the Gift Aid side, and Rob Tutchings after 4 years of being an excellent WAM Chairman is now concentrating on the Official Group ride outs. OK, so what have we got for the March Club night? Well, it’s going to be Dave Rees from Wirral Road Safety. Not sure of the actual content to be shown, but I think it should be a good night, so please make a note in your diary and attend. Also it’s membership renewal time. Nina is now in charge, and all renewals should wing in her direction - there is a form in this magazine if you haven’t renewed already. March also means that the first FLC of the year gets underway, and by the time you read this it should just be about kicking off. March will also be the first Official run this year (remember there are other social ride outs most Sundays). Rob is going to be doing a route to Lake Vyrnwy, hopefully there will be no snow, unlike last year!! I’ve also put in (below) some Bikesafe dates for those doing the observing. So what do we have in this issue? There are pix from the December club night presentations, and more articles to read and get those motorcycle juices flowing. Additionally we have Rob Tutchings Chairman's report he made at the AGM, his final one!! Even the WAM website has had a revamp, with input from Ken and me! So take care out there and I’ll see you all on the 11th!! Pete

Bikesafe Dates Dates for 2014:19/20th April @ Cheshire Lines 10/11th May 14/15th June 2nd/3rd August 20/21st September @ Cheshire Lines 4/5th October 3

Congratulations to the following‌...

Anthony Barber receives his IAM Pass Certificate from Chris

And here is Mark Wright receiving his Certificate for becoming a Qualified Observer from Chris


And here is Cliff Evans also with his Certificate for becoming a Qualified Observer from Chris

Club night Venue Eastham Ferry Hotel Ferry Road Eastham CH62 0AU 5

Some Pix from December Club night Christmas Meal



IMPORTANT WAM DATES *******************

Fixed Length Course 1 dates 2014 15th March Week 1

Introduction to the course, Objectives, Explain about Roadcraft, Demonstration ride.

22nd March Week 2

The 4S' Safety, System, Smoothness, Speed

29th March Week 3

Positioning, Observation, Corners and Bends, Over takes, Limit points

5th April

Week 4

Town work, Motorways


Week 5

Corners, Bends, Revision period

Easter Weekend 26th April

Week 6

Assessment rides for test and de-brief *******************

Future Events:please contact for more info or to confirm interest WAM Ride out to Lake Vyrnwy - see details inside this issue Another ride out to RAF Cosford is planned for the Official Sunday Run day in April. That date is 27th April - more details in next months newsletter. Derek is organising a 4 day ride to Scotland (Fort William) in July Please contact him if you are interested - contact details are in inside front cover


WAM AGM—the pictures! Rob Tutchings received the Gary Clarke Memorial Trophy for his contribution to the club as WAM Chairman for the last four years Below Nicole receives the Associate of the Year award


pix Derek

Here Paul Edney gets the WAM ‘Rear Observation’ Trophy for the daftest thing done by a member of WAM in 2013. I believe it was based on riding into someone's garden when touring in Scotland, complete with pillion……. Skill with Responsibility!! ***********************

WAM OFFICIAL RIDE OUTS If any other Full members are interested in leading another Group Organised Ride Out or have good ideas for future ride outs please contact: Ride Out Team Organisers: Rob Tutchings: 07950 626622. Lead Bike. Tim Brown: 0797 339 5180 Chief Observer: Mike Boston 07834-652-243





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Bike: __________________

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Address: ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Surname: ___________________________

PERSONAL DETAILS: First Name: _________________________

*FULL MEMBERS - MUST be a current full member of Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists AND a current member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, if not, they are a Group Friend


I wish to apply to renew my membership of Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists for the year 2014 and enclose a cheque - number:_____________ made payable to Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists for £_______. My details are shown below and I agree to these being held, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, on computer file. I understand that my membership fee is renewable annually.


Please return this form together with your remittance to:

DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVE A PAPER COPY OF THE WAM MAGAZINE? please indicate your preference YES / NO go to for online version

Signature: ____________________________________ Date:__________________

I agree / do not agree to my details being held on a computer file.

Date of Expiry of IAM Membership: __________________

IAM Membership Number: __________________ Date of Test Pass:_________________________

REMINDER: Subscriptions are due at the AGM in February and MUST be paid by 30th April at the latest.

Nina Jeffries 2 Ikin Close Bidston Wirral Merseyside CH43 7XU




Diary of Events *************************

March 11th Club Night - Dave Rees (Wirral Road Safety) 15th start of the FLC

March 23rd First Official Ride out of 2014 with Rob T Vyrnwy - keep your eye on the forums for latest details *************************

This is the link for the WAM Official Forum, set up for Members of Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists ONLY. It is a forum for Associates, Observers, and members of WAM to discuss Official Group Rides out, riding techniques, FLC matters, and similar topics. To join you MUST give your name and Postcode when you Subscribe. Group name: WAMOfficialForum Group home page: http:// Subscribe: to subscribe to the group send a BLANK email to Unsubscribe: to UNsubscribe to the group send a BLANK email to Once your submission has been approved, you can then post emails.


On the Sunday 23rd March 2014, 9.30a.m. The 1st 2014 Official IAM Wirral Group (5115) Organised Club Ride Out in accordance with IAM Policy, (Medium Pace) starting at the Tudor Rose Car Park, Two Mills, Parkgate Rd, Wirral CH66 9PD. The Briefing will be at 9.30am

Please be prompt with a full tank of fuel.

To Lake Vyrnwy via North Shropshire: Ride leader will be Robin Tutchings using the drop off system, and will be medium paced. Route: Wirral – Lake Vyrnwy: TR, A540, TL A5117, TR A41, TR A51 towards Chester, TL B5130 via Farndon to A528, thro Ellesmere to B4397 & TR, cont through Baschurch to the A5, TL and then right onto the B4396. Follow across A483 along A495, part and cont on B4396 to Abertridwr. TR onto B4393, and follow clockwise around Lake Vyrnwy Lake Vyrnwy – Wirral: at the far nor ther n tip of the lake, TL onto the unclassified road to Rhos-y-gwaliau. TR B4391 and then B4401 to the A5 at Corwen. TL to the Rhug café by the river on the left. Continue on A5 to Cerrigydrudion, TR onto B5105 to Ruthin and onto the A494 to Wirral. Please note: This a Medium distance ride. Each section taking about 90 minutes. For I.A.M. Insurance reasons this Ride Out is for full members and Associates. This is also a great opportunity for non members wishing to join WAM. They are permitted one Official Group Organised ride out per year following an initial assessment, provided they are considering joining the IAM group to complete the Skills For Life Course! Anyone requiring to be Observed please bring it to the attention of one of the ride out team on the day. If numbers are large we may have to have more than one group in which case there will be one further group with a leader and sweeper. If it snows heavily like it did last year then I may have to cancel the ride, other than that the weather will not stop this thoroughly good day out.

Ride pace: Relaxing, gentle and progressive covering a reasonable mileage. The tail rider, probably Dave. He is the person riding at the rear who will have an enormous amount of patience, knows where we are going, and will look after the rear of the group! . © RT. 16

RECLAIM OUR TRACKS Jackie and I have done a few skills days on tracks, with Ride magazine, IAM and i2i, but you always seem to have to trek across the country to the Midlands or beyond. I enjoy being able to ride fast, but racing always looks a bit too exciting, so I’ve never fancied a normal track-day. So I have been intrigued by the Bike magazine “Reclaim our Tracks” days for road bikes only, that they have run for the last couple of years. When they announced one at Oulton Park, just 20mins down the road from us, I couldn’t resist! The day was £149, plus £25 for some optional instruction, which I think is very good value. Arrival So I pitched up early on 30 July, which was lucky as there was soon a long queue for registration. I was able to proceed to the excellent café for the essential bacon bap. I soon ran into Rob and Derek, who had bagged a pit-lane garage, handy for leaving your top box and butties in. The day began with a safety briefing, and we were assigned to one of two novice groups or a combined intermediate/advanced group. There was then noise testing


(not a problem for my Tiger with OE can!), but no other mechanical scrutineering. You could get fuel on site at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The Bikes If you’ve not seen the ads, these days are aimed at road bikes, which you have to have legally ridden there. No tyre warmers or racing slicks etc. Nevertheless, there did seem to be a few bikes on trailers and in vans. I guess there were about 140 bikes, about 45 in each group. Most of those were supersports or superbikes, but there were about 20 of us motley folk on proper bikes – some GS’s, some muscle bikes like XJRs, even an old K100. Denis Nicholson was there on his Multistrada. Whilst I don’t fancy racing, being overtaken by a GS does tend to get the adrenalin pumping! It was great to stand on the pit wall and hear the various bikes coming down the straight at full chat, with the Ducatis and an RC8 sounding particularly good (and obviously Rob’s Speed triple!). The Riding We started with a sighting lap. For those who’ve not been, they use cones to mark the braking and turning points, so it’s like following a knitting pattern (lads). If you lose concentration and stop following the cones, you soon find the green bits approaching at high speed! Then we went out in our groups, each for twenty minutes in each hour, another 6 sessions in all. I had an instructor for my first session after the sighting, but it didn’t really add anything to what I learnt on the skills days. In theory, you look ahead of you (some tape their mirrors or fold them in) and concentrate on your line and leave the folk behind to sort themselves out. Being one of the slower folk out there, I felt I had to mind my back, and did look in the mirrors to ensure others could get past without taking me out. Watching from the pit wall, you could see that there was a huge difference in the speeds of the fastest and slowest in all the groups. It’s a gorgeous track, with a banked hairpin and a long banked curve, as well as an array of chicanes etc. Quite a few managed to run off the track or put their bikes down, but then I’ve seen the same on an IAM day.

Conclusions I thought it was a great day, and good value. Hopefully, I’ll be there again in 2014 (if the missus will lend me her Gixxer this time!). If you’ve been on track before, and take care, I would recommend it. Otherwise unless you are very confident, I would suggest doing a skills day first - and the IAM ones are very good. Steve Gibbs 18

Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists AGM, 2013/2014 Chairman’s Report: Welcome to all those in attendance. I would firstly like to thank all those that have served on the Group Council over the last twelve months: Tim as Vice Chair, Rob the Secretary, Linz the treasurer, Luke in membership, Derek who has co-ordinated the associates assisted by Nina, Dave for arranging the social events, Martin and the group shop and club night raffles, Pete the Webmaster and magazine editor, Mike for keeping all the Observers in check as Chief Observer, Ken for help with current website updates and Rob D’Cruze’s tireless efforts dealing with HMRC to get the gift aid saga started, and Ian, Steve and Colin for their efforts also. This is of course, not in any particular order of importance. Each of the above is hugely important. Without this team of volunteers, there would be no Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists motorcycle group. We work as a team and everyone does their bit towards the success of this local motorcycle section of The Institute of Advanced Motorists. My 4th term as Chairman started off at last years AGM on the 12th February, and this led straight into the core activities of the club: Saturday 2nd March was Observers day, which saw a gathering of about 25 us to arrange the observing for the year ahead and check-test our skills that had lay dormant throughout the winter period. This was timed so that we were fresh for Fixed Length Course 1 that started one week later on Saturday 9th March, with about 8 associates plus a couple from the previous course in Autumn 2012. Club night on Tuesday the 12th had Pete ably assisted by Nina, doing some practical stuff with props - A hammer, a shopping trolley caster, tyres, a pushbike wheel, a min-moto and a unicycle. All good stuff and hopefully it was an interesting night!!! And if you don’t believe it, see the April newsletter with a photo of Pete on a uni-cycle !!!! Week 2 of the FLC went well and then something strange happened. It snowed, and lots of it too: from late pm on Thursday the 21st March until the afternoon of Saturday the 23rd. West Wirral was particularly bad. I couldn’t even get the bike out the garage, let alone ride it ! Week 3 and 4 was cancelled as was the 1st Official Club Ride on Sunday 24th March which should have taken us around Lake Vynwy and back via various lovely roads. April club night on Tuesday the 9th saw a good turn out for a well prepared and interesting presentation from Geraint and Jan of Dragon Moto Tours who talked about touring, both at home, and abroad. They had some good tours lined up at the 19

time for 2013 and there are more for 2014. If you are interested in touring, have a look at their website: With the re-organisation of Bikesafe, and The Group Council deciding to commit WAM to help organise the 2nd day of Bikesafe in conjunction with Sefton Advanced Motorcyclists the Merseyside ROSPA / ROADA groups as ‘post test trainers‘, the 1st of those days known as a ‘Rider Assessment day’ was Sunday 21st April and I attended, representing WAM. Sunday 28th April saw the 1st Official Club Ride, out to Criccieth, North Wales and this really set the scene for the rest of the year. Yes we got to Criccieth but the view from the mountain road above Bala whilst stopping to open the gates was non existent and then the afternoon stop at ‘Snowden View car park’ for an ice cream was even more disappointing: heavy rain, low cloud, no view of Snowden and even worse, no ice cream van ! May 14th was club night with Rob Cooper, our able Secretary giving his talk about peripheral vision and detecting movement of the objects and hazards out on the road. The motto of the night was to ‘keep your peepers open‘!! The following weekend saw Mike and I learning the IAM way forward regarding the National Observers Qualification. On the way home from Llandrindod Wells we detoured slightly to go and meet with the jolly WAM crowd out on the well attended May official Club run at RAF Cosford. We then joined in for a gentle amble back up the A41 ! The following weekend, Saturday 25th May saw a few of us wave the WAM flag with the WAM gazebo at the Shippons Bike Show in Irby, and then the weekend after was the WAM trip to Scotland with 18 members going as far north as Glencoe. I understand a jolly and dry (ish) time was had by all.

Saturday 8th June was the start of Summer Fixed Length Course, FLC 2, with another 7 or 8 associates; followed the next day by the WAM picnic run to the mountains south of Dolgellau, primarily organised by Pete. A couple of days later Pete did his talk on Bike servicing and fuel injection at the June club night. The June official club run on Sunday the 16th was the postponed trip from March to Lake Vymwy via North Shropshire, with afternoon tea at the Rhug café by the A5. The summer evening ride outs were by now well under way and continued through on an ad hoc basis until September. This is where the website is handy to keep updated with such last minute plans for members and friends to go out when the weather and the mood takes them. The July Saturdays continued with fixed length course 2 officially up to the 13th July, but with long summer days and evenings, Derek arranged quite a few extra sessions for the associates to top up their skills. The Summer BBQ was the next club night on the 9th July and a special thanks to


Ian and Dave for arranging the event, setting up the barby and buying and cooking such a huge quantity of food for about 50 members and guests, and it didn’t rain!! The next official club run on Sunday 21st July to the Yorkshire Dales was led by Rob D’Cruze, and due to the great weather and a slightly more northern route than normal we just happened to finish up (at my suggestion) drifting ‘up and over’ the Scottish border on the A7 almost to Langholm before heading west onto the M74 near Lockerbie before cutting and running back down to the more familiar territory of the M6, and getting home just about 10pm. 14 hours motorcycling ! Now that’s what I call a day out. We had a quiet August club night on the 13th followed by the August club ride on Sunday the 18th to The Elan Valley in central Wales. I had to head home after a late morning coffee halt at due to domestic double booking, but I am assured the 20 or so who went enjoyed the day with lunch at the visitor centre near Rhayader and a route up the West Coast of Wales through Machynlleth and via Bala. Saturday 7th September saw the start of fixed Length Course 3, with another 9 or 10 associates. This course continued through to the 12th October. September Club Night on Tuesday the 10th was presentation night with Chris Givvons one of our IAM examiners doing the honours, with a dozen or so certificates presented and the usual well auditioned politically correct stories we have come to love from Chris. The club run for the month on Sunday the 15th was up the M6 to the Lake District where we got another good soaking. The staff in the upmarket café by the river in Skelwith Bridge were not best impressed in having to keep dashing out and mopping the floor from our dripping wet clothing, but they did provide us with a nice lunch none the less. After re-fuelling in Keswick we came back over the Kirkstone Pass, where we were momentarily treated to the sun popping out for a fantastic view over Lake Windermere. So despite the damp conditions it was still a great day out. October is the month where we are less happy at the prospect of less motorcycling in the approaching winter months. Sunday the 6th was the National IAM Motorcycle Conference, so thanks to Tim and Derek for going to Warwick and waving the WAM flag. Two days later at club night Rob Cooper cheered everyone up with a night of hilarity with a WAM quiz. In the middle of the month as the 3rd fixed length course of the year was winding up with another posse of associates passing the big test, I did the last of several Bikesafe Sundays and Tim, Ken and Rob D’C were check tested by the Police for Bikesafe Saturdays. The following Sunday I led the last 2013 club run to Snowdonia; and guess what the weather did ? Yes it rained, only once though, but it was for most of the day ! There is a full write up in the November newsletter and a photo of when the sun came out about 4pm!


Talking of November: club night on the 12th saw a twice for the price of one double billing with Geraint / John Hughes and some archive Cheshire Police footage of what not to do, but also another chat from Billy Baxter from Blind Veterans UK, who now our affiliated charity. Another inspiring chat from Billy. Tuesday the 26th saw several of us go to the NEC for the bike show, a packed coach and a good day out was enjoyed by all who went. Thanks to Derek for arranging a great trip. Tuesday 10th December Club night: The Christmas Meal once again a great turn out with about 60 of us to sit down here at the Eastham Ferry Hotel for an excellent value 3 course meal. I won the 1st prize in the raffle, no fix at all, honest ! Thanks to Dave for arranging it all and liaising with the staff plus some help from Nina, particularly for the little lists to remind us of what we had ordered. Christmas came and went and into 2014: The first club night of the year on January 7th saw us enjoy a fascinating re run of the 1955 road safety film done by Victor Horseman, the old Liverpool Motorcycle dealer that some members still remember! And so much of that film is still applicable. So there we are, a quick wiz through the activities of a year in WAM. Remember there is more. This is just the highlights, but it does show that we are not just a sociable motorcycle club that does training, or should it be a motorcycle training group with a great social side. I’ll let you decide. Last year we mentioned Gift Aid. I would like to offer a very special thanks, on behalf of WAM, and the Group Council to Rob D’Cruze for his tenacity and perseverance in organising this. The fruits of labour are only just beginning to show, but in due course the financial gain to WAM should be considerable. Well done Rob. What do we have coming up in 2014 ? : The first meeting of the new Group Council is Monday 24th February and Observers Training Day is Saturday 8th March: Mike, for a quick word on what that will entail. The start of the 1st Fixed Length Course of 2014 is the Saturday after that, the 15th March, which runs for 6 Saturday mornings concluding 6 weeks later on the 26th April, leaving out Easter Saturday on the 19th April. Our next club night on Tuesday 11th March and the every 2nd Tuesday of the month with a variety of guest speakers or in house entertainment. The first Official Club run is Sunday 23rd March to Lake Vynwy, followed by Sunday 27th April to RAF Cosford and then every 3rd or 4th Sunday until October. I hope to continue with similar destinations as last year to the five National Parks within reach of Wirral: Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia, and other locations as well.


Our involvement with Bikesafe starts with their Observers day on Saturday 22nd March, and then Easter weekend, 19th/ 20th April is the 1st ‘Biksafe weekend‘. We now have five Bikesafe check tested Observers for the Saturdays and any of our WAM observers can do the Sunday. Further activities continue including an ad hoc weather permitting WAM picnic on one of the summer Sundays and a 4 day trip to Scotland in July. This Chairman’s report finishes with conveying a further thanks to, not only the members of WAM and all those that have joined us in recent years and taken part in the fixed length courses and The Group Council as mentioned earlier, but a special mention must go to all the observers who give up their time and motorcycle riding miles as volunteers, to help others. It is the advanced rider training that we do well. All the associate riders learn a huge amount to make them safer riders, they become full members, quite often going on to become observers and then in turn passing on those vital hints and tips on how to become, and very importantly remain, a safe and progressive motorcyclist, and then go on representing and being part of a national road safety organisation, The Institute of Advanced Motorists. May we all have a safe and enjoyable 2014 motorcycling year with WAM and all that it has on offer. It is now time to officially stand down after four years in post. During this time with The Group Council I have overseen some major issues such as the new Club Constitution, a new Risk Assessment policy, the creation of the official club forum linked with organising the official club runs to name but a few. I have no doubt whatsoever that in handing over to Tim, that WAM under his guidance, will continue to thrive and flourish. I now have to take a back seat for a while due to greater demand on my time at home. I will however continue to do the classroom sessions for the fixed length courses plus some observing and in a new post on the Group Council as ’ride out co-ordinator‘ I will be leading or arranging the official club rides each month. I will remain as the Bikesafe co-ordinator and the WAM go-between with Wirral Council and Merseyside Police. I will also be available to help and advise any member who wishes to consider doing The IAM Masters qualification, the least I can do whilst my regional training team membership is on hold until I can find more time to offer to this needy commitment. In-between time I would just like to offer a last thanks to everyone who has helped make this last 4 years as the WAM Chairman a very enjoyable, worthwhile and fulfilling role. Thank you. Robin Tutchings, retiring WAM Chairman, 11th February 2014.



The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Institute of Advanced Motorists Ltd, or the Wirral Group of Advanced Motorcyclists. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with the view that free expression promotes discussion and interests. So you have been warned. Interested in doing the Advanced Car Test? Wirral Advanced Motorists are the people to see. Go to