March 2014
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 14th April
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: We're still finalising a speaker for this meeting. Details will be sent out as soon as everything is confirmed!

Monday 12th May
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: Julie Garbutt from the British Horse Society will be speaking.

Monday 9th June
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: Stuart McMillan, RoADAR's Chief Examiner, will be attending. 

Monday 14th July
7:15pm for 7:45

Meeting: Judith Billingham from Wiltshire Council's Road Safety Department will be our speaker.

Monthly Ride-Outs
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Monthly meetings are all held at Liddington Village Hall opposite the church.
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact Monica!
Welcome to Sheila Gomez who has recently joined the bike section.
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
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
We're planning to attend the following events this year to promote the group and attract new members. We can only attend these events if we have enough support so please let Monica know if you can lend a hand to help man our stand at any point during these days.
  • Saturday 28th June 9:00am-5:00pm - Strawberries and Steam Festival, Lotmead Farm, Wanborough, Swindon
  • Saturday 26th July 8:00am-5:00pm - Calne Bike Meet
  • Sunday 7th September 8:00am-4:00pm - Emergency Services Show, Hullavington Airfield
March Meeting Report:
Steve Watts, Bridgestone Tyres 
Having attended the very excellent First Aid Course on the Saturday, a return to Liddington on the Monday evening seemed a bit premature  to hear Steve Watts, Business Development Manager of Bridgestone Tyres talk about tyre technology. However, any misgivings about not cooking the evening supper where soon dispelled by this myth busting talk.

A bit of background. Bridgestone, in spite of the Anglo Saxon sounding name, is a Japanese Company formed in 1931 and now claims to be the World’s largest tyre manufacturer. Their commitment to motorcycle racing provides the necessary research for domestic car tyre production, more so than an involvement in F1. Cornering on just a few millimetres of rubber is the ultimate development aid.

I got a bit lost in the discussion about heat transfer relying on silica rich rubber encased in RC polymers but my ears pricked up to Steve’s claim that the most important determinant of handling and tyre wear is correct inflation, pressures always being checked when the tyre is cold. Under-inflation, as well as leading to a rapid rise in temperatures, leads to aquaplaning in the wet whilst over-inflation simply leads to lack of contact with the road and is brutal on suspension.

Steve went on to correct a commonly held view that pressures should be changed according to the loading on the motorcycle, i.e. whether you are riding solo, with pillion or carrying a lot of luggage. Leave pressures as recommended by the tyre manufacturers and let the suspension sort out the handling. An interesting aside was that the same road tyres coming out of identical moulds can vary by up to +/-4% which might explain why some people get on better than others with a similar bit of rubber!

As a fan of tyre sealants, I was a bit disconcerted to learn that they should have no place on Z rated tyres (high speed) as the sealant might have done its work on several small holes only to have disguised an area of subsequent concentrated weakness; you’re probably ok though with smaller bikes.

In the Q & A session it was asked why a new tyre should be run in. The answer is the rubber molecules need time to settle down... which is exactly what I did on getting home and having a wee nip of Benromach, my favourite malt. It was a good evening.

Norman Parry
Wiltshire RoADAR Bridgestone Tyres Offer
Steve has made the following generous offer available to our members:

5 x £20 Off voucher codes available for Motorcycle Tyres (total)
For Radial product only

To be used at the following dealers:
  • Bike Treads (Swindon)
  • Carson Tyres (Melksham)
  • Hayball Tyres (Salisbury)
To claim the £20 Off:
  • Email Steve with intention to purchase (details available from Monica) specifying which dealer they wish to use
  • Steve will supply a code
On date of fitting:
  • Present dealer with RoSPA  membership card
  • Give code to dealer
Thanks to everyone who helped out at the March Meeting, particularly Nigel Cox and Greg Scawen.

First Aid Course
A group of twenty one car drivers and motorcyclists in about equal numbers attended a first aid course at Liddington Village Hall on Saturday 8th March.

It was explained that First Aid is ‘immediate temporary care for the ill and injured’ and that the purpose is to preserve life, prevent worsening and to promote recovery. The course was aimed at how to manage the first twenty minutes of an incident particularly when we are first on the scene.

The priority is to make the scene safe before dealing with the problems of the casualties. We were taught to act safely, systematically and sympathetically and only to move the casualty if the person is in imminent danger of further serious injury or death. The course also covered how to move the casualty, whether a biker or a car passenger. The First Aid System (just like Roadcraft!) was explained and practised in small groups of riders and drivers. Specifically, we were taught injury assessment and how to check airways. With head injuries we are to look for vital signs, colour, breathing and brain activity and to check for common injuries of the neck and spine and internal injuries of the bowel, liver, brain and bruised lungs. We addressed the walking wounded and when and how to remove a helmet. Indeed much of the afternoon session was spent on this very important matter.

By the end of the course we had a good understanding of incident management and emergency action procedure. It was a long day from 9.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m. but I believe that everyone that attended learned or renewed the necessary skills to deal with a first on scene incident. The consensus was that all tutors and ride-out leaders would benefit from this course. Well done to Monica for arranging the course. Many of us are looking forward to a refresher course soon so as to keep the skills acquired current.

Stephen Izatt
If there is sufficient interest, we may run another First Aid Course soon.  To prompt more interest, here are some quotes from members who attended the course this time:

"Enjoyed the course, not that much theory which is good because we had plenty of time to practice which I think is much better."

"I cannot really think of anything that would need to be altered."

"Thought Mark along with Cara ran the course well and delivered the topics discussed throughout the day in an upbeat manner that I thought, went down very well."

"I thought that it was an excellent course and very rewarding and taxing. The course was perfect for motorcyclists and car drivers alike covering first on scene and the helmet removal issue. I believe that a certain motorcyclist that has been taxed with this point would have benefitted from attendance!"

"I found it extremely interesting and the combination of instruction, demonstration, practice and feedback in such a dynamic manner was excellent.  With the subsidy, it was very good value for money."

"It was also a really nice friendly bunch of people. I really enjoyed the course. I managed to get myself into positions I thought I was no longer capable of!"

"Thoroughly enjoyed it, it was very good, well-structured and catered for both bikers and drivers.  I especially liked the interaction, so as getting to know other group members.  Well thought out lesson indeed."
Advice for Drivers when Dealing with Overtaking Motorcyclists
Recently, I have had cause to offer guidance to drivers about allowing room for a motorcyclist to overtake safely and of course, receiving a little ‘Thank You’ from the motorcyclist!!

Can I advise our group drivers that I personally, think that you SHOULD NOT give up your road space to allow a motorcyclist to pass, unless you need to and only if forced to because of the safety factor. You may have to deviate on your course due to potholes etc., or from a perceived threat from a nearside junction etc. This may happen when the motorcyclist is actually passing you. The state of the roads today means that you have to observe and scan extensively and well ahead, so DO NOT jeopardise YOURS and OTHERS safety in that way. Let the motorcyclist choose his/her opportunity!

Obviously the Highway Code Rule 168 gives advice if being overtaken by a ’driver’ but it doesn’t advise you to give up your road space, it advises just to ‘maintain a steady course and speed, slowing down if necessary’… plus other advice.

Some of my candidates think that I like to see courtesy and think that allowing a motorcyclist more room to pass and then receiving a ‘Thank-you’ sign or ‘Thumbs Up’ from the motorcyclist, gives them some credit, but it does not! The ‘Standard Position’ on the carriageway, in so far as there is one, is ‘The one that gives the best view but with careful regard to safety’. So remember the defensive driving rule about positioning to advantage, so position to YOUR advantage and that MAY give advantage to others as well.

In certain circumstances, you may decide to position out towards the white line for a better view (Early Vision=Early Decision), and that may encourage the Motorcyclist to gain a better view prior to making the decision within their ‘Riding Plan’.  If you see the early view that may maximise the ‘Progress’ potential, you then know that the motorcyclist will possibly take the opportunity to overtake and you will be aware of it!!

In lanes of slow moving or queuing traffic, the possibility of being overtaken on either side is something to be aware of!!

Be safe!

Chris Gleed
The e2w slowly Challenge
RoSPA Head Office have sent us the following information concerning the e2w slowly Challenge. For further details please visit their website at
When you hear the word ‘motorcycle’, you tend to think of a lean machine zipping through the traffic. It’s a vehicle associated with speed, yet Roger Bibbings is rallying bikers to join him on a slow motorcycle challenge.

Workplace safety supremo and lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, Roger is urging fellow fans to join him in the e2w slowly challenge, which takes place on the 21 and 22 June.

Roger will be riding his trusty 1979 TS150 MZ to raise money for RoSPA’s Driveway Safety campaign ( At least 26 children have been killed on, or near, the driveways of their homes since 2001.

He will be joined by Peter Henshaw, the former editor of Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, Phil Speakman, general secretary of the MZ Riders Club, and Phillip Thwaites.

But what does e2w slowly involve? The team will be set off from the most easterly part of Great Britain in Lowestoft on the longest day of the year and finish up in St David’s, the most westerly point, at sunset the next day.

They will ride vintage motorcycles, mostly over 25 years old and under 200cc, and travel mainly on minor roads. They will carry all camping gear, tools and supplies (except water and petrol) on their bikes and¬ there will be no backup vehicle.

This trip follows last year’s e2e slowly event, which covered Land’s End to John O’Groats.

“I was inoculated with the motorcycling virus very early on by my father,” says Roger. “It was on holidays on the continent as pillion on small machines that I learned about the feasibility and pleasure of travelling slowly on two wheels and using the minor roads.

“You see, smell and remember so much more and provided you keep on going, you cover the same ground as those burning up the highways on much bigger machines.”

Roger is inviting others to get out their MZs, BSA Bantams, Triumph Tiger Cubs, LE Velocettes, Honda 90s and the like and join the challenge. If you’d like to take part, or find out more, you can contact the team at!form/cxfw.
Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG. Tel: 01367 242377
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