SAM Weekly Newsletter – 14th October 2022

Editorial

I’m back! You have a newsletter packed full of interesting items this week. Let’s start with the Autumn Breakfast. You can book your place(s) on the SAM website. It’s been a really interesting time for the SAM Club. The last Club Night saw a new innovation, a Speaker presenting over Zoom. From all reports it went down very well and opened up a lot of possibilities for more entertaining SAM Club Nights in the future. There were two presentations for test passes. Congratulations to Aidan Latham and Lee Cheshire on being awarded their Green Badges. Also, a huge thank you to their volunteer SAM Observers for doing a great job in helping these two Associates become advanced motorcyclists.

Now for lessons on a train. When touring I ride with a pillion. A reliable soul who helps with navigation and over-the-helmet photos. The lessons on this occasion were learnt when we went to disembark from the Eurotunnel train at Folkstone. All the cars in front of us had disembarked. Our bike would not start! Eurotunnel staff sprang into action and radioed for the breakdown truck as we pushed the bike down the carriages. Then, a sudden lightbulb moment as we noticed the engine kill switch was on. Restoring the switch to off and the bike fired up without a problem. We rode off the train, passing the breakdown truck on the way up the ramp. The lessons? Never let the pillion near the switches on the handlebars. Never assume, when the bike won’t start, that there is an engine fault. Lessons learnt!

It’s Tyre Month throughout October so there is lots of good advice. One piece of advice that you might take issue with is to check your tyres at least once a month. Now every advanced rider knows that POWDERY checks are mandatory before any ride. The ‘R’ stands for ‘rubber’ which means checking pressures and any signs of damage. As advanced motorcyclists, being from Yorkshire and noting the current price of fuel, we don’t want to waste any money by having the bike tyres underinflated. 

There is a lot of disgruntlement around at the moment. Elderly drivers are up in arms to stop them from driving/riding. As the population ages there will inevitably be more elderly drivers, but this doesn’t mean they will all be incompetent road users. As public transport is in such a mess how do they expect the elderly to access essential services, continue to support family members and enjoy social events? Bikers, as we all know, are not immune from making their displeasure known. The recent protests about parking charges for motorcycles by Lewisham Council brought a large number of bikers onto the streets. Perhaps a worse problem is the proposal by the European Transport Safety Council to make speed limiters mandatory on all cars in 2022, with other vehicles to follow later. They cite ‘big’ numbers like the 26,000 deaths on European roads as justification. This is despite the fact that in the EU and UK there are 14,034,217 (2020) vehicles on the road, travelling 2.67 billion miles each year. FEMA are conducting a survey about biker’s travels in Europe, so there is hope yet.  

Bennetts Insurance have provided some very helpful information about travelling on a budget by motorcycle in Europe. To keep your precious ride safe there is some information on security. As I discovered whilst riding in France, tailgating is a serious hazard, so there is some great advice on how to deal with this aggressive behaviour by motorists.

When you get home, as I found out, you might have a very dirty bike. With a shortage of water, read about how you can keep it clean without a hosepipe. 

Finally, my favourite topic, electric scooters. Seeing the dangerous antics of some users recently the IAM is calling for a ban on using electric scooters on public roads. Let’s see how this one plays out. 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 sam-editor@iam-sheffield.bike. 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. Paul Conway
Editor & Webmaster, Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists.

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