Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are normally held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church.
First Aid course
Being planned for post COVID-19 - more to follow
To be advised depending on COVID-19
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs usually take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Check the Forum for details.
Ride-outs are cancelled at the moment.
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:
Tests are on hold
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Nicholas Burnett Car
Toby Davidson Bike
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We're now on
Welcome to the May Newsletter.
I thought I would let you know the current situation with Wiltshire RoADAR activity due to the Lockdown and its gradual easing.
My primary motive is to protect our members and the general public; as a safety organisation we have to follow the Government guidelines accurately – this is hard given the uncertainty with which we are all dealing.
I have made the assumption that we are not “working” and therefore resuming our activities is not essential.
We are allowed to meet another person from a different household provided it is outside and there is appropriate social distancing.
The Government has stated we should stay at home as much as possible and still only go out when necessary, so for us:
No Car tutoring as we cannot social distance.
No Bike tutoring as the journey does not fit into the necessary or exercise category (Blood Bikes have sufficient riders).
No Bike rides out. (This does not apply to two friends riding).
No face to face meetings as we are
from separate households.
The Government is closely monitoring the impact of the changes to the “lockdown” and I will keep a close eye on what is happening and adjust our take on it in conjunction with the Committee.
We may be in a different position on 1 June if the Government allow some shops to open and certainly when some “hospitality” and open areas are opened (not before 4 July).
I hope all of this makes sense.
Keep an eye on your mail boxes for any updates that come in between newsletters; please read them as they could contain useful information about starting up tutoring again.
In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy and I look forward to seeing you on the other side of all this shenanigans in whatever the new normal looks like.
As a committee, we have been in contact with HQ about tutoring and taking their guidance for when we can restart. Insurance is a major topic and area for concern. HQ is stating, along with government guidance, we cannot start tutoring as we cannot be 2m apart!
Bike tutoring is slightly diffeerent as we naturally maintain a safe distance - but as stated above, we are holding off bike tutoring until further notice awaiting clarification on the insurance aspects and the go-ahead from HQ. Please keep an eye on your e-mails as this may change in-between newsletters.
HQ have issued a survey for Care on the Road - if you have received this survey please do respond. If you missed it here is the link to the survey; it closese on 30 June.
Group Meetings and look ahead
We realise there have been few meetings this year and were wondering if the group would like to have a virtual meeting? Drop a line if you would be interested to meet virtually to email@example.com and we will organise a session!
This Year’s Speakers
Thanks to Les for organising our guest speakers.
Meeting are on hold unitl we have detail on the easing of the Lockdown - please bear with us
Les is working hard to fill the rest of the year’s speakers if you have any ideas please let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Events on hold unitl further notice
We will be supporting Wiltshire Police with BikeSafe this year both with tutors to make up the instructor numbers and to help promote the Group. We do this in conjunction with WABAM so it is a great way to reinforce advanced riding and to gather new members.
RoDAR RACING - due to restart July 4th!
Looking likely this could restart in July when it could be possible that the the COVID-19 Motorsport suspension is lifted.
Follow the car's progress on Facebook @Driven Ohm Racing.
Calne Bike meet has been cancelled this year. We do have a pitch reserved for 2021.
Duran Duran Concert, Hyde Park 12 July – Peter Genet had front row tickets and its been called off!!
Shouldn’t have blamed it on Rio!
Promoting the group and looking at ways to attract new members; so look out for us in the local press and radio again - Swindon105.5 11am Wednesday 3rd June!
Look forward to hearing and discussing your ideas.
A generic set of slides has been created for use if you are asked about Wiltshire RoADAR and have the opportunity to present. This could be at a local club, workplace etc. Please send a mail to email@example.com and the slides will be sent over to you.
We also have flyers and business cards so ask for these via the same means
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!
Severn Freewheelers Blood Bike Group
Our group's very own Phill Colbourne has been volunteering as a Blood Biker for the Severn Freewheelers. He relates his story for us during the recent lockdown period.
We normally run a single coordinator who manages five bikes covering separate areas of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, two in North Wiltshire and a car providing blood to the Midlands air ambulance.
Our shifts are split into two ( Wed – Saturday, Saturday – Wed) from 7pm-7am weekdays and 24hrs at weekends and bank holidays.
Due to the current situation, our group has extended the offering to include a daytime service (using blood bike riders on their own bikes) and additionally a pharmacy service for our areas using an additional coordinator and the NHS volunteers using their cars during the day.
During this crisis BP have been helping emergency services providing
free fuel including Blood Bike groups which is fantastic as most
groups have their income stream stopped due to the lockdown.
I have completed three shifts (so far) since March totalling over 2,200 miles, with one Saturday covering 400 miles pretty much non-stop between 07:00 and 18:00.
Observations since the lockdown has been in place is that the roads are much quieter although the few road users seem to be using excessive speed, especially in built up areas, with some undertaking and weaving through dual carriageways in city areas.
The Hospital A&E departments which are usually standing room only have now become empty rooms except for one or two socially distanced people, and if it isn’t hard enough to hear NHS staff normally with your crash helmet on, it’s even more difficult with the screens in place and being stood a metre back from them!
I’m always surprised at fuel stations with the lack of hygiene being applied by the general public, I don’t think I have seen anyone using gloves or disinfectant wipes, most people seem preoccupied with getting their caffeine and snacks, but I’m getting used to disposable gloves and alcohol gel from visiting hospitals and it’s become habit. Once I get home the bike gear stays in the garage and a good soap and water wash of my hands done outside the front door (otherwise I don’t get let in the house).
I have carried everything from blood samples, patient notes, “do not resuscitate” forms, medication, Covid19 samples and human breast milk from donor mums for premature babies between Great Western / Savernake / Chippenham / Gloucester / John Radcliffe Hospitals
and pathology labs in Swindon and Bristol, along with relaying samples between Serv Oxford and Serv Wessex blood bike groups from / to further afield.
Being on the blood bike during this epidemic has made it seem a lot more real; distancing in hospitals / PPE usage / full body bags being moved to mortuaries and a very noticeable increase in samples being delivered to path labs from not just blood bikes but other courier services.
It’s also brought out the good in a lot of people, I was quite surprised being clapped and waved at by the public during a Thursday evening shift (when I had lost track of what day it was) and other road users giving me priority and the camaraderie from other emergency services.
Let’s hope when we come out the other side of this that people remember the humanity that’s been shown and maintain the social behaviour.
Thanks for this Phill, you are an inspiration to us all! Peter Genet
More about the group here: http://www.severnfreewheelers.org.uk/
Wilts RoADAR Racing
Gary Franks, our membership secretary, is about to start racing in his mini, hopefully the 4th July. Here we have some background info on Gary and his interest in racing.
My plan to go racing has been a long time in the making.
been a motorsport fan from a very young age, I was always keen to do
some racing myself. I started Kart racing on and off back in 1988, and
did 7 years Superbike racing at club level in Europe when I lived
My car racing plan started to ferment
early in 2019, when I took my race licence test at Castle Combe. I
thought I might race in 2019, but I had little free time with the work I
started doing and the training that I needed in order to pursue my
change of career to professional instructor.
later in the year, with most of my training done and qualifications
like Fleet Trainer and ADI in my pocket, I started to make firmer plans.
In December 2019 I found a suitable car that was 90% ready to race, and
decided to buy it and planned to start racing it in 2020.
picked up my 2005 Mini Cooper, a normally aspirated 1600cc car from a
car builder in Kent. He specialises in classic Minis but had built this
one for a friend, and it ended up back with him and surplus to
requirements. It was fully stripped, lowered and had a full roll cage
fitted. A few housekeeping items and some paint were all that I needed
to go racing. At least I hope so! I have had a scrutineer give it the
once over, so hopefully everything is ship shape and Bristol fashion.
February I did a day's testing with my team manager Tom, who stores and
transports the car for me and spanners for me at the track. He is an
experienced hand and I rely heavily on him for help and advice. We ran
round the Silverstone National circuit. The times started off in the
1:30's, but after a few sessions I got down to 1:14. The track was quite
busy with faster GT cars, so I compromised a lot of laps staying out of
their way, using my mirrors continuously.
times were surprisingly good. It was my first time out in the car, and
she was on old treaded rubber. A friend of mine was doing 1:12's in a
similar Mini Challenge championship car on slick tyres on the same
circuit back in 2017, so I am pleased with the results.
the Coronavirus lock-down has curtailed my racing. I should have been
reporting on my third race event by now, but as yet I have not turned a
wheel in anger.
So far we have a couple of
sponsors on board. Ohm Racepaint and Wiltshire RoADAR have booked space
on the car and on my race suit. I am hoping to snag a few more to help
with the season's costs.
Recently we have had
notice that we should start up in July, probably without spectators so
as to keep to social distancing. The plan is to compress the season by
doubling up on races on each day, and adding a few extra days. I might
get the planned number of races done by October after all. It will be a
bit frantic though.
Once I get a few races
under my belt, I will start looking at the options to rent the car out
for tutored track experiences, as the car has two seats. An intercom
system is on the shopping list. The idea is that I will coach customers
round as they drive my race car on a race track. It should be fun!
Any profits from this will go into the racing kitty too.
the mean time, it's just a matter of staying safe and healthy - and
getting on the exercise bike as often as I can, until July comes round.
It can't come soon enough!
Stay tuned for future updates.
We had a camping trip organised, to the Black Cock Inn on Exmoor in April. The invite is for all members, car and bikers alike. We will organise a similar trip later in the year once COVID-19 has passed.
Following a couple of enjoyable camping weekend trips last year, we plan to repeat the exercise using the tried and trusted formula.
Identify a camp site near a pub - it's the law ok!
We have identified a pub with a camp site. Or is that a camp site with a pub? Right on Exmoor’s Doorstep, The Black Cock Inn Offers Scenic camping.
Travel down on Friday. Gentlemen or ladies, of leisure can choose to take an extended route on Friday afternoon. It is close enough for the gainfully employed to travel after work.
We'll ride a full day Saturday route/ locations TBD.
Sunday we'll pack up and take a scenic route home.
Feel free to join for all or just part of the weekend. You can eat and drink in the pub or at your tent.
First Aid Training - Planning ongoing, COVID-19 dependant
It is intended to provide a first aid training day (subsidised by the Group). This is highly recommended for all tutors as part of our responsibilities for the safety of our associates but also an excellent skill for all of us; you never know when you will need it. It is compulsory training for me at work and one of my colleagues saved her husband’s life as she had first aid training.
This will probably be on a Saturday as soon as we can after the lockdown; we have 15 already interested s. Watch this space for more (we will communicate with those who have registered an interest directly). It is not too late to register interest (this does not commit you) so email the Chairman if you wish to be included
Media coordinator - Help us to broaden our reach
To help promote the group we have a variety of online media platforms, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. To help make the most out of the opportunities that these outlets provide, we could use some help from someone who has experience of using such tools. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in helping promote our group.
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 MOT quite 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 - First Saturday of Every Month, depending on Lockdown restrictions and running up to and including October 2020
No Skillshare planned for June - please keep an eye on your mail boxes though.
We will continue with our two location SkillShare this year utlising the first Saturday of every month from April to October. Please do spread the word and direct people to the website to register.
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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