Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church
9 Dec - Highway Code Quiz provided by Les Brown
10 Jan 2020 - Christmas Meal at the Cross Keys in Rowde; food and skittles. More details in the Newsletter
The next Skillshare will be held in April 2020.
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Check the Forum for details
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker? Please contact Les Brown!
Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:
Richard Bayliffe Bike Silver Tutor Bob Fram
Keith Bartlam Bike Silver - Tutor Phil Colbourne
Jason Daniels Bike Gold - Tutor Phil Colbourne
Sam Frost Car Silver - Tutor Les Brown
Please welcome the following new members to the Group over the past month
Thomas Young - Car
Tim McQue -Bike
Neil Goodwin - Car and Bike
Michael Pfundner - Car
Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.
For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site at www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk.
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!
Please forward all contributions to email@example.com
We're now on
The nights are now dark and we are heading towards midwinter; a time to be much more aware of our surroundings and the conditions on the road. Please use your skills to stay safe and do you best to convince others to do the same.
We have had another good year with a constant throughput of new members and test passes and we should all be proud. We rely on volunteers to help us improve the Group so please if you have an idea and some time to spare help the committee to get things done.
I wish you and yours a very happy and safe Christmas and the very best for 2020.
November Speaker - Experiences of an Isle of Man TT
Marshal - Richard Bayliffe
Richard Bayliffe gave the Group a fascinating insight into the roles and responsibilities of a marshal at the IOM TT races. Richard first attended the TT in 1978 - the year Mike Hailwood made his famous return - wild camping was the order of the day to save money plus he was dismayed when the IOM Steam Packet company drained his fuel tank to half full as he waited to get on the ferry! He fell in love with it but had to wait until he had retired in 2018 to return and took up the role as a marshal.
The IOM is a British Crown Dependency (not in the EU and therefore no BREXIT). Its parliament, Tynmald, was formed in 979 and is the World’s longest continuously running parliament. It sits in the middle of the Irish Sea and can produce 4 seasons in one day which makes it an interesting place to run the World’s most famous motorcycle road race. Marshals on the mountain circuit are issued with survival suits as they may have to put up with poor weather for up to 8 hours. No racing happens, however, unless the aeromed helicopter is able to fly and land.
The IOM TT is a very popular event and if you want to go you should book early (Ferry/flights and accommodation). Dates from next year are:
TT – 30/May to 12 Jun
Festival of motorcycling (Classic TT and Manx GP) – 22 Aug to 2 Sep
There are a number of options for accommodation:
Hotel and B&B
Camping (Richard’s favourite place is near Peel which is a bit away from the masses but easy to get to the circuit)
To cover the event 530 Marshals are required with 70 medics and Doctors. The circuit is split into 12 sectors each with a sector chief marshal. A marshal can be asked to look after any part of the course but can state a preference. Richard was stationed ay Blackdub corner in Seotr 4. There are some videos for training and then a new Marshall will work under supervision as a novice marshal. On his first day the doctor took Richard through the content of the medical “orange box” – this was a sobering experience given the equipment available for use on the side of the road. The 2 aeromed helicopters have an average flight time of 6 minutes to any part of the circuit.
Once you have done 7 days and an incident management course (Richard did his at Thruxton) you are no longer a novice.
Riders rely on marshals’ flags as at any race circuit and the flags are as you would expect. There are some unique flags; one for fog and another for bright sunlight (which can catch out riders as they flash past trees and buildings and suddenly turn and head into the sun at 200mph). The red flag, however, is centrally controlled by race control and is waved only in certain places where the riders can stop safely. The procedure was changed after a serious incident when a rider was travelling the wrong way on the circuit (under direction during a red flag) was hit by a race car heading to the incident which had caused the red flag. Riders now have to congregate at the red flag points and then be escorted back to the pits by a travelling marshal.
7 travelling marshals operate on Bikes, they are experienced at the IOM TT, many have raced there, and they all have a higher level of first aid and manage the aeromed process. Injured riders will be stabilised at the incident point by a doctor and then evacuated to Nobles hospital. When the last travelling Marshal (wearing a red Bib) comes past at the end of the race there are no riders left on the circuit and the next vehicle will be the road open car.
A marshal’s day:
Up early to be at the circuit 1 hour before the roads close to set up. Sometimes it may seem fine at one location but it is not safe to race on other parts so there can be a long wait and cancellations (which changes the programme for the 2 weeks practice and racing).
You must be prepared with all the necessary clothing, drink and food required for the day
Marshals are organised as follows: 2 with the Doctor, 1 with fire extinguisher, 2 brushing , 2 bike retrieval, 1 flag and 1 radio.
Teamwork is forged by a common purpose and the need to look after each other. The team deal with all the incidents and necessary safety aspects of the racing – spectators are able to get really close to the racing and often have to be reminded bikes come past them at speeds up to 200 MPH. Marshals often get ot se the race from locations where spectators are not allowed.
Marshals continue until the roads open car has passed and the team can pack up ready for the next day.
Richard also spent some time showing us some of the scenery around the IOM – an amazing place and well worth a visit, particularly if you enjoy the sea and wildlife. Thanks Richard for an excellent talk.
In lieu of January's monthly meeting we will be holding our annual meal on 10 Jan 2020, from 8pm at the Cross Keys Pub in Rowde SN10 2PN
(http://www.crosskeysrowde.co.uk/index) in the Skittle Alley so be prepared for some gentle competition.This was a great success last year with some "friendly" skittle play going on!
Mary Southgate has offered to organise the event for which we are all very grateful.
To keep the administration easy and to aid mixing during the evening we are proposing a buffet and some skittles.
Details are being finalised so we can advise on the buffet in case there are some other preferences or dietary requirements which need addressing
A £10 per person deposit sent to the Treasurer using our Barclay's account will secure your place; please include your name and Xmas as a reference.
Sort Code 20-84-58, Account Number 80006998.
An email reminder will be shortly forthcoming as a reminder.
Have you been up to anything to do with Riding or Driving lately? If so, then please let us know as we would love to include it here; photos would be great too!
|Lone Ride to Malta - by John Mckellar - part 2
John, a long time member of our group and Senior Bike Tutor, has recently retired decided to move to Malta, lock, stock and Honda Blackbird too! Here is the second installment of his trip.
DAY 3 (158 miles)
I was back on the road by 10am. Italy was even warmer with the temperatures into the 30s. I arrived in Genoa mid-afternoon. I remembered from our car journey what a traffic nightmare Genoa was, but at least I knew what the entrance to the ferry terminal looked like this time. I ended up taking a different road going into Genoa and spent another hour or so just trying to find the right road for the ferry. After an accidental wrong turning, I found myself on a toll road taking me north out of the city. This was something I really didn't need, so when I spotted a break in the traffic cones just after the toll booths, I did a quick U-turn onto the other side. Of course, my ticket was now invalid for the direction of travel, and I must have spent five minutes at the toll exit trying to explain via the mic that I had taken a wrong turning. It seemed the woman I was talking to couldn't speak English. I think she must have got bored with me, and just let me through in the end.
Finally, I found the right road and entered the port. The ferry was due to sail at 11pm, so I had several hours to wait.
I had a cabin booked for the night and at last was able to have a couple of beers and chill out for a while.
Day 4 (Genoa – Palermo Ferry)
A relaxing ferry trip which docked around 5.30pm. Julie had booked a hotel about half a mile away from the port, but it still took me about 90 minutes to find it. If I thought the Genoa traffic was bad, then Palermo was much worse. As an advanced rider, I would hope to be able to assimilate information rapidly, but the traffic situation was so intense, I found myself being cut-up by motorcycles and scooters that I hadn't even seen.
The hotel turned out to be invisible from the road, so I stopped in a nearby square and phoned the proprietor who said he would meet me in the square. When he turned up, I asked him how to get back to the hotel as it was back up a one-way street. He told me I could go back out into the one-way traffic system and find my way back round again. Or, the other option, ride 50 metres the wrong way up the one-way street. “It's Palermo”, he said, “Everybody does it!”. Going back out into the bad traffic really didn't appeal to me at this point. Oh well, when in Sicily. At least the road was quiet and he only had to stop one car.
The bike was safely locked away for the night, so I went out to have a pizza and a well earned beer.
Day 5 (221 miles)
I was away by 10am again, and straight into a traffic jam going out of Palermo. I was only able to do so much filtering and the bike was overheating again causing me to pull over every few minutes to let the engine cool down. I was thankful there was some cloud cover today, but the temperatures were already in the high 20s.
Once out of the traffic, I was able to make good progress, riding amongst some spectacular scenery. Mount Etna came into view and I could see plumes of smoke rising from its crater. Once past Catania and heading south, the traffic really thinned out and I often found there were no other vehicles in sight. The roads also deteriorated with some big pot holes to avoid.
I arrived in Pozzallo and found the ticket office fairly quickly. I was booked on the catamaran, so the crossing to Valletta would take only about 90 minutes.
The ferry docked in Valletta late at night and at last I was on roads that were familiar. Fourteen miles later I was finally home. I was feeling slightly sad that the adventure was finally over, but also relieved that I'd made it alone without any major problems.
Throughout the journey, I posted regularly on Facebook so that friends and family could keep track of where I was. My final post is shown below.
Three go camping
Three riders from the group embarked on a late camping trip in October. Some would call them "intrepid", others may use alternative phrases which can be left to one's imagination for now. Departing a very wet and windy Air Balloon pub at Birdlip around 3pm, they whizzed down the hill following signs to Ross and eventually headed towards Hereford. Stopping at the Half Moon Inn at Mordiford at around 5pm, pitching tents for the next two nights, these three brave souls entered the pub to get wet on the inside too!
Supping a pint of the local ale, and eating a fair way through a cow and a field of chips, replenished, headed back to their tents for a good nights sleep.
Waking early the next morning to a dry day, and having eaten a hearty breakfast, off we trotted through to Hereford and onto the Elan Valley. Resting halfway at Rhyader for the obligatory coffee or tea, and perhaps a muffin (which forms part of the bikers 5-a-day), admiring some vintage cars, they headed onwards to Aberystwyth.
Lunchtime - fish and chips on the front! Brilliant. Two more for the five a day!
Suitably stuffed, we followed the route we had just come along, to Nanteos house - which happens to be Peter's ancestral home; never knew I was a Welsh bastard, but that is a long story which doesn't involve anything to do with the Group’s activities, just a randy great, great, great, great grandad on an away day to London!
Back along the Elan valley, taking a detour to go around some of the lakes we saw earlier. Scenery was fantastic with views that compete with much of what France gives you. Stopping by a reservoir for one last cuppa tea, thereby fulfilling the five a day quota and even more cheery banter, we waved goodbye to the valley on our way back to the campsite.
And more beer and pub grub! Note we only had a couple of beers so please don't think we over did it!
That night we went to sleep dry. By early next morning it was chucking it down! Packing away wet tents, we miserably wended our merry way back home via Tintern abbey and down to the M4. Splitting up and going our own ways arriving home early to surprise our respected better halves.
A great trip and a lot of fun. More camping is being planned for next year. If you have any ideas for weekends away, drop us a line via the website:
Any Spare Motorcycle clothing?
The Blue Knights England 18 Young rider safety initiative started as the result of comments made about seeing young riders on the roads dressed inappropriately. We've all seen the young L plated riders - shorts, T shirt, trainers and we've all commented on it; but the question remained-Why are they dressed like this?
So, with this in mind contact was made with a Devon based training college called PETROC that has campus sites at Barnstaple and Tiverton. Conversation with the young riders there revealed mopeds and 125's were transport to and from college for these riders as there were no other options available. In most cases, extended family members e.g grandparents, had purchased the bikes and a helmet, insurance and MOTquite often funded by parents or aunts and uncles. Disposable money being limited meant jackets, gloves, leggings etc just could not be afforded. We found that it wasn't unusual for these young riders to be covering 20 to 45 mile round trips daily to attend college in all weathers, totally ill protected against the elements.
A collection of unwanted but still serviceable motorcycling clothing was made in my chapter and in September 2018 we attended the freshers’ week at the Barnstaple campus, this resulted in us kitting out 26 young riders.
Since then we have received further donations from local MC clubs. The only thing that we do not take is previously used helmets as we cannot prove their provenance.
We continue to engage with these young riders who have shown us they know they should be wearing kit, they understand the importance of doing so and they genuinely are appreciative of receiving donated items. We receive positive feedback from the riders, the parents, other motorcycle riders and other clubs.
We would not be able to offer this service if it were not for the generosity of fellow bikers for which we are extremely grateful. Please could members contact Andrew Peaple if they have any kit spare they are willing to donate.
Skillshare - Back in April 2020
Geeks Corner - Membership
Membership stats for November
- Membership overall – 133 on database;
- Car Members - 56
- Bike Members - 70
- Dual membership - 7
- Tutors 21 in total;
- 5 Advanced Bike; 4 Advanced Car; 7 Approved Bike;5 Approved Car
These are available from the Group Secretary if any member wishes to see them. If you are interested in reading the minutes, then please send a mail to the Group Secretary whom will promptly forward them onto you.
Please could all Members use the Forum on the Website which can be used for any purpose but particularly coordinating events, hints, tips and general conversation. It is easy to register on the website so please do log on and chat away.
Reminder to let the Membership Secretary and your tutor know when you have taken your Advanced Driving/Riding Test and result. This is so our database is kept up to date; there is no need or pressure at all to have the result published on the website or in this newsletter if you wish to keep your result confidential.
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