It’s December already!! Time only goes in one direction, so we’d better make the most of what we’ve got. We hope that everyone had a great time at the SAM Club Autumn Curry Night yesterday. Even better, is the SAM Club Christmas Party (Monday, 4th December 2023 @ 7.30pm). Time to meet all your friends and enjoy the fabulous raffle prizes that Pillion is now guarding in the spare bedroom. I’m not allowed in!
From today, Mark Pashley (SAM Club Social Media Secretary) will take over management of the SAM Club email list. The current email list has been set up. In whatever email program you use, you will need to put the email@example.com email address onto your ‘Safe Sender List’. The SAM Club website has been updated, but if you find a dud link help us by sending an email to your Club’s Editor. Thank you.
In the world of biking, it’s been a packed week. Over 90,000 bikers went to the NEC. Many SAM members made the trip to Birmingham to look lovingly at all the new machines. There may even be a few turn up on Saturday mornings at Meadowhall Retail Park. So, not only is there great advanced training and comradeship, but you get to see all kinds of bikes too.
In Europe, FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations) have begun a campaign to keep motorcycling affordable. The majority of motorcycles are used for urban commuting, deliveries and leisure. In rural areas, it is often the only form of affordable transport people can use to access the social opportunities many urban citizens take for granted. Affordable motorcycling came up on the SAM Club radar this week. Avril McCarthy (SAM Observer) flagged up the massive increase in insurance renewal costs. Many SAM members will use, or have, used discounts from Cornmarket Insurance. This is a benefit, as an advanced rider, of your IAM RoadSmart membership. I have home/house, car and motorcycle insurance with them. Avril pointed out that insurance quotes this year have risen a staggering 150% and the ‘administration fee’ has gone up 25%. It seems that the whole transport supply chain is determined to make personal vehicle ownership as expensive as possible. As always, consumers can fight back by shopping around and forcing suppliers, of insurance or anything else, to compete on the price of goods and services. Many thanks to Avril for alerting us to this issue and we would like to hear the experiences of SAM members, so send your thoughts to the Editor. If the topic interests you we might run a survey of SAM Club members.
A warning from many road safety agencies this week was NOT to buy an electric scooter, scrambler or quad-bike for a child this Christmas. A young electric scooter rider was pulled from a motorway this week. It was just luck they didn’t decorate the carriageway.
Zero e-motorcycles are aiming to win the Maudes Trophy. A relay ride of 1,300 miles around the UK will be led by Craig Carey-Clinch, a long-time adventure motorcyclist and member of the NMC (National Motorcyclists Council). The NMC partnered with Tyresafe, a road safety charity supported by tyre manufacturers. The petition (10,542 signatures) to help motorcyclists ride safer, ‘Scrap VAT on life-saving Air Vests’ is still open. If you haven’t signed, please do so and help to save lives by making biking safety gear more affordable. Also, get anyone you know to sign up too. Thank you.
When it comes to building a custom bike, buying a kit seems cheating to me. I’ve always admired the vision, ingenuity and skill that is used. The final product may not be something I would want to ride, but the artistry and originality is often to be admired. You might think differently. Looking after the bike is even more important in the winter. To help there are articles on changing oil and upgrading brakes. There is a very good article with riding tips for scooter riders.
Onto travel and you can enjoy reading about riding the Scottish Borders. It’s a great favourite with SAM Club members. I’ve done it many times and have many happy memories of riding with friends. If you fancy something a bit further away then take a look at Kazakhstan. Clubs in the country have just joined FEMA and many bike manufacturers have dealerships in the country.
Our very good friends the Whiteknights Blood Bikes have recognised Arshad Mahmood (Aagrah restaurant in Bradford) as a Whiteknights Angel. This honour is awarded to outstanding fund raisers. Perhaps something the SAM Club could aspire to become? It was Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikes founding member, Vic Siswick’s, funeral this week. Both Whiteknights and Blue Knights provided the cortege escort.
This week, SYSRP (South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership) have been focussed on the weather, speeding and passing horses. Kevin Williams has produced some very interesting thoughts on the RAC’s research. It shows that ‘shock’, ‘fear’ and ‘threat’ road safety messages DON’T work in changing road user behaviour. Amongst the young it is a definite irritant and can have totally negative reactions. Spending money and using scarce resources to pump out pictures of crashed bikes seems a complete waste. This is especially true when trying to convince young people to change. They often over-value their performance, overstate their competence and don’t appreciate the limitations of their lack of experience; and, aggressively resist any suggestions to change. Isn’t it time we did something different? Perhaps showing respectful, cautious and appreciative road user behaviour might work better. Just a thought.
IAM RoadSmart is running a campaign to recognise the contribution of its volunteers. There is even a ‘Hall of Fame’. In the SAM Club we value every member. Even the smallest contribution helps our great Club to thrive. In the history slot you can read about ‘Board Racing’. Often associated with the circus but it became a mainstream sport in the 1930s. Until next week, happy reading.
Ways to stay in touch with your Club!
It’s really easy to stay in touch with your Club! We provide emails, a website and use social media accounts for you to contact us. All of which is free of any cost to the Club. If you are not getting the Club information circulated, or simply want to tell us something, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to ensure that we stay in touch with you. You can also now sign up for Club emails on the SAM website.