It’s been another busy week for your editor. In spite of increased family duties, I did manage to get down to Meadowhall and ride the Strines. I love that road and it’s my goto route when I’ve either got a new bike or been off for a while. It gives me reassurance that my skills are still sharp and I get to have coffee and cake at the Derwent Valley at the end of the ride. Of course, I then get to ride home over the Strines again. Many SAM members will also have their own routes to keep their advanced riding skills nicely honed.
The SAM Club Annual Photo Competition is now closed. By the time you read your newsletter I should have all the entries up on the SAM website for you to look at and decide which one you would pick as the winner. We’ll see what our independent judge has decided at the AGM. The SAM Club Annual General Meeting will take place on the 3rd April 2023. Nomination forms have been sent out and further details are given later in the newsletter. There will be food on the night, so we would encourage ALL SAM Club members to come and give their support. You will hear about how your Club has progressed this year and get a chance to quiz the new SAM Club Committee about what might be happening in the next 12 months.
In other news, the Mallory Park Bike Bonanza is expecting about 1,000 bikers this year. There’s lots of entertainment, so it should be a good day out for members who wish to go. There is a new mobile phone app that is being touted as being able to turn your phone into a mobile speed camera. Well, hyperbole aside, the app’s function is to allow you to easily film and upload videos of other road users riding or driving badly. According to the article those reporting road safety violations will not be committing an offence. Use of the app is currently being discussed with UK police chiefs. Given the amount of road safety violations that we all see every day, it could become a full time job!
Six European member states are back pedalling on a new EU law to ban fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2050. The problem seems to be the lack of affordable and functional, alternative transport technology. Although vehicle manufacturers and researchers are working hard to find alternative ways to power commercial and consumer vehicles, progress is painfully slow and existing timescales look as if the laws could be introduced before technology catches up.
Improving rider safety is always of interest to SAM members. This week there is news that MotoGP rider Aleix Espagaro is testing a new helmet design that shows promise that might later be trickled down to ordinary road riders. After a long hiatus, Ferrucio Lamborghini has re-launched an iconic Italian scooter that is full of ARAS (Advanced Rider Assistive System) technology.
On a more sour note, Jeremy Hunt (UK Chancellor of the Exchequer) delivered his budget this week. Whilst the freezing of fuel duty at its current rate is welcome, there were some other painful disclosures. To the £1.7bn for road repairs, Chancellor Hunt added another £200mn. It sounds like a help, until you realise that it will take an estimated £12bn to fix the current road network; and, that is just to repair it! For the foreseeable future we will have to put up with bigger holes in the roads and broken vehicles. Mindful of future environmental taxes, motorcycle tyre manufacturers are moving apace to introduce ‘organic compound’ tyres and offset their carbon emissions. How this will affect tyre performance on the bike is still unknown.
Bike thefts are still a major problem in the UK. This week MAG has been meeting with UK Police Chiefs to see what can be done to reduce the problem. Keeping your bike in a vault might be a solution, or at least a bigger chain.
For the history slot this week you can read about motorcycle pioneers from 1900 to 1945. Motorcycling was mostly the preserve of the rich. It wasn’t until after WWII that manufacturers discovered that all those armed forces dispatch riders wanted to keep on riding and were buying up war surplus motorcycles to use in daily life. To celebrate International Women’s Day I included an article about the pioneer women in motorcycling history. Happy reading.
He’s at it again! A real sucker for punishment, SAM member Steve Bennett is taking on another 1,000-mile challenge. This time it’s in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. I’m sure that SAM members will be very generous in supporting Steve on his latest charity ride. Please donate here. Thank you.
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 email@example.com. 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. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in any SAM Club email.Paul Conway
Editor & Webmaster, Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists