Welcome to another digest of the week’s SAM Club motorcycling news. You would think that EVERYONE would know that powered-2-wheel transport, much like any other form of transport, comes with its own unique risks. The unpaid volunteer Observers, with the support of members, work hard every week to ensure motorcyclists ride safer. This work, led by our Chief Observer, helps to reduce the number and severity of accidents. Helmets are a VAT-free purchase and by law, you are required to wear one when riding. A clear recognition of the importance of safety equipment for motorcyclists. So, it was with complete disbelief that we read that Victoria Atkins (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury), in a written parliamentary answer, states that maintaining the forecasted £161 billion (2023/2024), raised from selling goods and services in the UK, was preferable to keeping bikers safer on the road. Further, it is stated that exemption from VAT is limited by ‘statute and financial considerations’.
Now in 2016 the conservatively estimated lifetime cost of NHS treatment of a patient with a severe spinal cord injury was £1.12 million. The estimated loss of VAT that protects a rider from severe spinal cord injury is £80/rider. There are 1.4 million motorcyclists riding regularly each year in the UK. If every rider bought an air vest the treasure would lose £112,000,000/year. That’s 0.0007% of the estimated VAT income. The cost of the pain and misery of a severe/catastrophic spinal cord injury is incalculable. Most regular riders commute daily for education and employment. At the time of writing most motorcycling representatives have yet to comment.
Onto other news. The persistent heavy rain on Saturday dissuaded most SAM Club members from riding out. There was, however, one brave biker at Meadowhall. The rest of those who met up arrived on four wheels. We still had coffee, a great chat in Mcdonalds and went for breakfast. Yes, there’s no SAM Club Night until February, but Saturday meetings are a must, even if it is only for coffee and a chat. Biker camaraderie is in the news this week. Mental Health Motorbike and SYSRP are reminding us all that it’s good to talk. On Tuesday, 30th January 2024, Mental Health Motorbike and IAM RoadSmart are running a webinar on how to introduce mental health into the local motorcycling community. Log in to your IAM RoadSmart membership page to register.
We can all remember Pete Lenthall’s (SAM Observer) brave early morning ride for the Relay Rider’s Charity. Well, you can vote for your favourite Relay Rider’s Charity. Have a read about all the charities and pick your favourite.
Our friends the Whiteknights have had an amazing November. Their unpaid volunteer riders have done 456 hours on call, completed 289 jobs, delivering blood, pharmacy, patient records, breast milk and laboratory samples. They saved the NHS an estimated £10,688. It always makes me smile to think of premature babies happily getting their tummies filled with the best nutrition available. They’ll definitely sleep happier! The Whiteknights still need volunteer advanced riders, sponsors and others to help raise funds for their very vital work.
Kevin Williams has three great articles. The first is about how to keep your visor in great condition. Sixteen years as a dispatch rider showed him that it pays to see where you’re going. There is also the issue of speed as you want to be just fast enough to ensure that you and the bike arrive safely. He also writes about one of our favourite topics, riding all year round. Lastly, he writes about ‘reflective learning’. The process of reviewing what goes right and what can be done better when you are riding. All advanced riders know the benefits of this invaluable self-learning process for improving and maintaining your riding performance. It’s always good, from time to time, to reassure yourself of what you think you might know; and, remember what you’ve forgotten!
IAM RoadSmart has a commentary on the latest proposal by the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate possible fuel price fixing at petrol stations. You can also read about how to win a BikeTrac subscription. Police found, on sale in Lithuania, bike parts from bikes stolen in the UK. There are stories from a Blue Lights volunteer and how do you deal with your bike on cold mornings?
In the adventure riding slot, Noraly Schoemaker (Itchy Boots) is having an interesting time crossing the Niger River. Adventure bikes are also keeping bike sales up, so there will be plenty of bikers, if they can afford one, needing an air vest. Finally, in the history slot you can read about a 1975 Honda CB 750 and the amazing Autocycle. There are lots of other articles for you to read. Until next week, happy reading.
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