Janis and I are back! After a fabulous 10-day trip your Editor is back to share more news. It was the SAM Committee monthly meeting this week. The 9 volunteers that manage the SAM charity for 171 SAM members are working hard to keep you up-to-date on developments and organise events/activities for you. We still do not have a Secretary, so Steve Brown (Chairman) is doing two jobs. If any member can help run the SAM charity we would be very grateful for the assistance. Debbie Fulton (Committee Member) gave a brief feedback on the recent survey of SAM Club members (more details later) . As with any survey, there was a wide range of views, but two themes were agreed by most members. These included a request for more SAM organised rideouts and more Club Night speakers. The Committee has responded by organising more rideouts and we are making requests to possible speakers for SAM Club Nights. Any SAM members have contacts with potential speakers just let a member of the SAM Committee know. You can check the SAM website calendar for our organised rides. (Note to SAM Committee members: Let the SAM Editor know dates/meeting times & place/possibly routes – for mid-ride joiners). The Committee recognises and values the ad-hoc members who self-organise their group rides. These help the socialisation between Club members and ensure that your advanced riding knowledge and skills are maintained. If your self-organised group ride is open to any member to join, let the SAM Editor know, so that Club members can be informed via the SAM website calendar.
This week’s newsletter is packed full of interesting and unusual items. We have to start with the weather. The Highways Agency is spreading sand on roads where the tar has been melted. The reduced tyre grip is something to recognise quickly and take the right actions. Better still, check out the UK Met Office website for road reports and weather warnings before you ride out.
Although fuel prices are expected to fall, some bikers are riding less miles and buying more frugal machines. There are some tips on how to get the best out of your bike.
FEMA has suggested that the adoption of electric motorcycles has to be done more slowly. The technology on P2Ws/P3Ws is developing more slowly than 4-wheeled transport and is unlikely to satisfy riders needing greater range and reliability from their bikes. After a very lucky escape from a fire, caused by charging an electric bicycle battery, in a multi-storey block of flats, would suggest the public need a LOT more education about using these batteries safely. Read the story, it’s an eye opener on how NOT to tackle an electrical fire!
Whilst ‘life-saving’, so-called Smart Motorways, are now seen as a failure. The technology appears to put road users at a lot more risk of death and serious injury, rather than reducing it. This information was gleaned from a ‘Freedom of Information’ request, rather than any official UK Government announcements. Yamaha are bringing ‘radar-assisted’ cruise control to some of their models and so personal transport technology marches on. Let’s hope that it’s smart enough to detect the dangers on Smart Motorways. We still haven’t invented anything better than the human brain, eyes and ears when it comes to riding a bike.
IAM RoadSmart has suggested that ‘raising the fear of being caught’ might be more effective in reducing dangerous driving. This seems a ‘really sad’ statement from a leading road safety charity. Surely the key to reducing dangerous driving is not more police in patrol cars but an acceptance of civic responsibility by road users. Motivating and educating road users to accept that operating a vehicle is a privilege that should not be abused; and, changing ways to travel, by powered vehicles, needs more knowledge and skills, not less. Increased law enforcement resources really need to be directed toward other criminal behaviour in society. Road safety charities would be better focussing their influence on helping road users to make the best use of their vehicles and increase their ability to travel safely along our roads. Just like the dedicated SAM volunteer Observers deliver every week. The reductions in smoking and using seat belts wasn’t achieved by law enforcement. It was publicity of the consequences and social disapproval of rule breakers that brought about better health and safer roads.
The above arguments are probably more relevant now. The United Nations have suggested the adoption of new regulations to allow automated cars to change lanes at higher speeds. Reliance on technology needs more advanced driving/riding skills, not less. Happy reading.
SAM Club members can find all the latest Club events on the website’s Calendar. Read, enjoy and share your Club’s newsletter with ALL your friends and family. Until next week stay healthy and ride safely.
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.
Editor & Webmaster, Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists