We have to start with the unhappy news that the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is being wound up at the end of this year. The future of road safety services for bikers in our area, at this point, remains uncertain. Road safety services are being devolved to the Metropolitan Boroughs in South Yorkshire. The South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service may take on the road safety functions of motorcycling in our region; but, this is uncertain and subject to available funding. The importance of road safety information and support for bikers can’t be overstated. As vulnerable road users we need ongoing, coordinated messages about helping to keep bikers and other road users safe when using our roads. Splitting the responsibility between five Metropolitan Boroughs seems a step backwards. After all, judging by the number of potholes we encounter on our rides, they can’t even properly maintain the road network we all use daily.
We’d like to extend our immense gratitude for all the hard work that Joanne Wehrle (Manager, SYSRP) and her team have done in helping biking groups, like SAM, deliver consistent and coordinated road safety messages to the public. The team have worked tirelessly to promote motorcycling as a cost-effective, planet-friendly, more efficient means of transport. Well done and we’ll miss you.
With the number of new motorcyclists at an all time high, it’s really pleasing to report that bikers are maintaining their 70%+ pass rates. Compared to car drivers , at 52%, we are way out in front. This means there are lots of potential new recruits for SAM Observers to turn into advanced riders. One issue that has reared its head in the past week is the confusion that can arise when we use the term ‘making progress’. Some riders in training believe that it can mean either ‘riding beyond a safe comfort zone’ or ‘it’s all about ‘chasing the speed limit’. Neither myth is true, so this week there is some guidance on what it really means. Of course, all SAM Observers will know and can explain clearly to anyone who is unsure what to do while out training.
On a lighter note there are reports about travelling across Canada with a dog. Well I’m a sucker for biker adventure stories. Whilst talking about travelling by bike, I discovered a disturbing development in getting travel insurance. It transpired that Cornmarket Insurance, IAM RoadSmart’s long term insurance provider for IAM members, are automatically directing travel insurance customers to an insurance agency based in Gibraltar. The problem? They no longer provide travel insurance for bikes over 125cc! This policy also applies to Flexicover, another provider of motorcycle travel insurance. For my upcoming trip I did manage to find travel insurance with Navigator Travel Insurance (0161 973 6435) based in Salford. As more insurance providers exit the market because of ‘difficult market conditions due to COVID’, bikers may have to hunt further in a shrinking pool of motorcycle travel insurance providers.
There’s a report on a ‘Supershirt’ to make your landing safer if you go down. Along with the role of oil in your engine, a new floating one-piece brake disc and the return of racing to Oliver’s Mount there is lots to suit all biking interests. MV Augusta have started making e-bikes. But there is already competition from a new lightweight, folding e-bike. I think the designer, like the Brampton folding cycle designer, has been studying origami.
Finally, the history slot. This week it’s about the Harley Davidson legend Fred Warr. Never heard of him? Now you can enjoy reading about his many achievements in the wonderful world of biking. 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.
Editor & Webmaster, Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists