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SAM Weekly Newsletter – 12th August 2022

Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists - SAM Club's Green Lane Bimble


There was a good turnout of SAM Club members last Saturday. I missed it! I came home Friday tea time and the ‘newish’ electric door wouldn’t open! The manual turning pole didn’t work either. The result was that the car was outside the garage and the bike was inside. The repairer had to fit a new, bigger, motor on Saturday morning. Bet that’s the best excuse you’ve heard for a while.

On Wednesday evening, Steve Harper took a few brave members out on his ‘Green Lane Bimble’. A fantastic evening’s ride down some interesting tracks. If you fancy some Green Lane riding drop Steve an email via the Contact page on the SAM website. Rider numbers are limited to ensure that everyone has a good time.

With the warm weather coming back, we are taking lessons on riding in extreme heat from a couple of Australian bikers. Now they REALLY know about extreme weather. The warm weather sees far more pillion riders so there is a ‘Complete Guide to Riding with a Pillion’ for you to enjoy. Riding in hot weather with a pillion can rapidly lead to riding fatigue, so there is help on how to cope with it. 

The news feeds are also full of heartbreaking stories on the epidemic of bike thefts. One Crime Commissioner is suggesting drone technology as a way of tracking the thieves. Well it’s working well for the Ukrainian army, but I don’t think they will attach explosives to them, however much we might wish they would.

The bike news feeds have lots of stories about new electric bikes this week. After a break of 35 years Can-Am, a Canadian leisure craft company, are bringing two new bikes to market. 

In Italy, just north of Florence, there are two ‘Smart’ sections of road. The difference between these ‘Smart’ roads and the perilous UK versions is that traffic data is live streamed to the vehicles actually using the sections of road. So, early warning of hazards, accidents, holdups and weather warnings are given, providing they have the technology to receive it, to vehicles on the carriageway. Whilst this is not a ‘perfect’ solution, it does seem to be a much better implementation of so-called ‘Smart’ roads than those done in the UK. 

I didn’t know that there was a bike gender bias, i.e. specific bikes for men and women. Well, you can read about opinions on ‘first bikes for women’. A worthy read to inform all new bikers, irrespective of gender. Now, some sad news. The UK motorcycle market is shrinking. This is really worrying because, with only 1% of bikers taking up advanced rider training, surely it is time to show that biking is a help in hard times, not a hindrance to progress. With its capability to reduce pollution, provide more efficient and cost-effective journeys, and reduce congestion, bikes provide a great way to get around. For our history item this week you can read about Betty Springfield. Never heard of her? This lady rode a series of bikes, over a million miles, to support Civil Rights and women’s rights in the USA.

Finally, the arrogance of expertise. You can read about the self-described ROSPA Gold and IAM RoadSmart ‘Instructor’ who, having been the instrument of his own riding misfortune, had the pretentious arrogance to boast about having advanced observation and riding capabilities and get it published in the motorcycling press. Thankfully, the reply gave a short shrift to the complaint. This is definitely not how SAM Observers behave and such behaviour falls a long way short of what is expected by SAM Club and IAM RoadSmart members. Rant over. Happy reading.

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