The SAM Year 2018/2019

It’s amazing how quickly 12 months passes. Another SAM year comes to a close and I’m again writing about what has happened in our great club. After a year with some turmoil, sadness and many joyful moments, you club members have pulled together to take us all forward into a new SAM year. The turmoil, for members of the SAM Committee, began with the introduction of new personal data protection regulations. Trustees had to work hard and quickly to make sense of the new legislation and implement new IAM RoadSmart rules and procedures on personal data. In the end, it all settled down to a normal routine again. The sadness was losing old friends due to illness and seeing other members struggling to maintain their health. We are very pleased to see that those members who have been ill are recovered/recovering and we continue to benefit from their support and friendship. The joys were many as we continued to gather each Saturday, meet at SAM Club nights each month and help more bikers to become knowledgeable and skilled advanced motorcycle riders.

Time can seem to slip away!

The SAM AGM on Monday 1st April 2019 was very well attended and a great time was had by all. The food provided was especially welcome and the atmosphere full of the usual excitement. Our Chairman, Tony Thompson, opened the meeting with a brief review of the past year and set the course for the next 12 months. The club has 137 full members, 23 associates and 23 observers. This year we have had 19 advanced rider course passes, of which 9 were FIRSTS. The 85% pass rate is down on previous years but, as Tony pointed out, we are not in the business of chasing targets, we help bikers to become advanced motorcyclists; and, it takes as long as is needed to help each biker become a success. A special mention was for John Barnes, whose persistence towards getting a FIRST pass, was rightly applauded by all the members present.

During the winter there has been the usual tail off of Associates attending for coaching on Saturday mornings. With the weather warming up now is the time for Associates to take advantage of the time that our Observers provide for you.  

The past year has been full of biker events. Saturday morning meets have continued to see self-organised small groups of members exploring all the riding routes to their favourite watering holes. Each week there has been a continuing, steady uptake of first ride assessments and Observers riding out with Associates. Observer annual assessments were also completed. In August, we re-organised the Observer teams and made the role of our Chief National Observer independent of the teams to give better support and direction when it is needed. From September to the end of December we ran an IAM Rider Course discount scheme that gave bikers the chance to get an initial 15% discount and a further 10% discount when they passed an advanced riding test.

Chris decided the new helmet camera wouldn't work

During the year we have tested some new equipment. On-bike cameras were used for providing feedback to Associates and Observers in training. Testing for image quality and stability and battery life helped to weed out unsuitable units. Radio communications have proved a challenge. Models promising clear and crisp output over distance and at varying speeds proved to be not up to the job. Also, our team leaders are finding out what is the most effective way to use bike-to-bike communication and with which Associates it works best. All this experience will be collated by the Training Committee and shared with our volunteer observers.

The Chairman’s ride out, Spring and Autumn Breakfasts were all very well attended and enjoyed by everyone who took part in them. We have had some great speakers at our monthly Clubnights.  Ears, Eyes and blood have been the main topics. An audiologist talked about hearing, an optician talked about eyesight and the local Blood Bikers told us they didn’t carry blood, but support the NHS by carrying blood samples, baby milk and other clinical material. In November, we had a very lively question and answer session with Mike Quinton, newly appointed CEO of IAM RoadSmart (see this report for more information).

Chairman's Ride out - Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists

Discounts for members have been arranged by both SAM and IAM RoadSmart. Discounted track days, heated clothing and bespoke ear plugs were made available. IAM RoadSmart re-vamped their online discounts for members through a partnership with Boundless and set up a dedicated website.  There is now a much wider range of discounts available to members.

Our ongoing support for our local communities continues. In aid of Myeloma UK, Gerry Brown and Linda (sister) did the Wolds Way Walk and were generously supported by SAM members who saw them off at the Humber Bridge. We rode in a charity ride in support of an Aston family who, after being burgled, were burned out of their home leaving them with no personal possessions. We continue to work closely with the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership coordinating our promotion of public education on motorcycling and safer riding on two wheels. The funding we received in previous years has been withdrawn to pay for front-line policing services, but we will continue to coordinate our efforts, encouraging powered two-wheel riders to continue developing their knowledge and skills throughout their riding lives.

Watching facebook at work may not always be appreciated

Online promotion has been the main advertising of our services. In February 2019, the SAM website was moved to a new hosting provider,, who offered our charity a free, secure, superfast hosting account. The SAM website gets 1,000+ visits/month, two-thirds of whom are new visitors looking at what we can offer them. A new website is being planned and you will be asked for your opinions on what you would like to see on it.  Facebook and Twitter continue to be our main outlets for online news. The Facebook page gets around 500 visits a month and bikers often use the Messenger app as the first point of enquiry. Our online promotion work will be supplemented by a poster. You have already chosen the picture that we will use and now we want you to think of an appropriate tag line. Details will be sent out shortly. Mark Mellon (Publicity Officer) will look to members to help distribute the poster in all the usual biker haunts and anywhere else that you think it might be effective.

Chris Wood (SAM Treasurer) reported that the SAM finances are healthy with expenditure matching income and all money raised being used for the benefit of members. Andy Stalker was re-elected as auditor of the club accounts. Your SAM Club fee (£12 for the  4th year) is due and you can pay by cash, cheque or BACS. Click here for further details.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Julie and her team at Treeton Miners Welfare Club for looking after the SAM Club members over the past year.

Your sam committee 2019/2020

If you would like to help your club by joining the SAM Committee, please speak to a committee member and they will be glad to provide you with the information that you need.


Your Editor needs help! If anyone with some computer technical skills would like to help the SAM Editor in managing/supporting/developing the SAM website, please email me with details of your experience at

SAM Club Awards

Each year SAM recognises those members who have made a significant contribution to the club. This year our awards go to:

Burgham Shield: given to the Observer with the most advanced rider course test passes in the year. This year it is awarded to Les Hadfield.

Burgham Shield

Peter White Plate: awarded to the member who has made the most outstanding contribution to the club. This year it is awarded to Chris Holland for his 11 years of service to the SAM Committee, during which for 5 years he was our Treasurer.


Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists Annual Photo Competition 2019
Winner: Six men & a dog - Steve Grundy
Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists Annual Photo Competition 2019
Poster: Balloons Galore - Steve Harper

Riding Forward

Wherever you are, life at the SAM Club goes on with the following forthcoming events:

Rolling Thunder Ride for Soldier F

12th April 2019

Biker protest at the prosecution of Soldier F

RoadRage Festival

20th-21st April 2019

20% discount for SAM members (email for code)

SAM Poster Captions Competition

Closes 29th April 2019

SAM’s latest competition. You could be a winner!

Intaride Communications

13th May 2019

SAM monthly club night

Spring Breakfast

11th May 2019

Details to follow

Inspire Ride

12th May 2019

Charity ride to commemorate Bomber Command losses in WWII

Throughout the next year the focus of the SAM Committee will be firmly on developing the club through raising our public profile, attracting new members, organising more events and getting any benefits that we can arrange for you, the members, who make this club such a great place for a biker to belong. Thank you.

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