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SAM Weekly Newsletter – 3rd May 2024


I’m back and the weather has warmed up a bit. Despite the cool conditions, there was a great crowd of members out last Saturday. Being absent for a week means there is a lot to catch up on in the biking world. 

Devon and Cornwall police have bought a very expensive, state-of-the-art, motorcycling simulator. The intention is to ‘drive down deaths and serious injuries’. Now we are all in the business of helping to make motorcycling safer, but a TV screen and a tethered motorcycle isn’t likely to help. The keys to safer riding is on-bike, on-road, rider training. Hazard awareness, risk analysis, prediction of hazardous events, understanding machine performance, competency in machine control to avoid conflict and getting out of trouble before events become catastrophic. Hazard awareness and risk analysis continually drive the riding plan. The problem with using a ‘simulator’, no matter how ‘state of the art’, is that any competency learned has to undergo a ‘transfer of training’. It’s much better if such training is done in the real world and the money spent on providing affordable training for vulnerable younger riders. Just a thought.

There have been lots of arguments about how ‘dangerous’ it is to ride a motorcycle. The problem is that many people have a fixed belief, no matter how delusional, that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. Did you know that you are twice as likely to die of a sexually transmitted disease as you are from riding a motorcycle? Of course you can abstain from having sex and from riding a motorcycle, but that won’t make life any safer. There are plenty of other risks that threaten our existence. Anyway life wouldn’t be as much fun without sex and motorcycles. 

Riding a motorcycle can open up a world of adventure. Kiley Shields and Rory Gibson are riding Honda 125cc bikes from the UK to Kazakhstan. The bikes were built in West Africa, bought in Ghana. Replacement parts are easily available, or can be made locally. The only real problem the couple have faced so far is the limited range tank, but extra fuel bags seem to have solved that problem. Increased fuel prices in the UK are adding to inflation and the Chancellor’s freezing of the 5p rise in fuel duty has become irrelevant. Having a frugal bike is a very sensible choice at the moment. 

There are a lot more interesting stories in your SAM newsletter this week, so happy reading.

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