Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church
May 13th - Pete Russ - "Safe and Considerate Driving” Course designed for drivers as an
alternative to prosecution. (A Police Diversionary Course similar to
speed but for other moving traffic offences). See https://pete-russ.co.uk/
June 10th - Lee Rowly - Airvests
July 8th - Eddie Ruskin - from stroke survivor to ADI
Next date is 4 May 2019 at The Haven Cafe, near Salisbury
3 July 2019
Supporting Police with tutors at MOD Lyneham
Calne Bike Meet
27 July 2019
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:
Bob Fram - Advanced Group Tutor - 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
Speaker - Peter Noble - Talk on the British Antartic Survey
A very interesting talk on Peter’s time in the Antarctic.
He was there for two years between 1967 and 1968. The talk brought alive a different age. One that really excited me. He had these amazing times when I was a boy reading of real adventure. The adventures they all had was not far removed from Captain Scott’s time. Imperial measurements, kit that would now be considered primitive, they used huskies with sleds made to the same wooden design of Fridjof Nansen and very old fashioned clothing,
They did have tractors though. One customisation they made to them was to add an A frame at the back of the tractor. The reason why can just be seen in the picture. A crevasse can be hundreds of feet deep and there would no return.
Oops! A Nansen Sled
Peter mentioned his love of the huskies who were very endearing beasts. They had a very simple set of commands. In the Antarctic you cannot afford to have left misconstrued as right where it could mean a long drop into a crevasse. They had four commands which were loosely based on Nordic words which I have tried to put phonetically
- Huit Get UP!
- Auk Right
- Yerrr Left
- Akkin Drop down
With a dog team you had to get it right. A moving sledge made a lot of noise over the ice and you had to tell the lead dog what to do and he was quite a way off. The sledge was 14’ long then a 6’ gap to the first pair of dogs, then another 6’ gap to another pair, then the next pair of dogs to finally your lead dog who guided the rest.
The lead dog would obey commands but you might find he veered a bit left or right as he went. This could be to avoid a hidden crevasse or snow bridge. These can sometimes be seen as a slight dip in the snow as the bridge sags. Another advantage of a dog team is if the lead dog gets it wrong you can pull him out of the crevasse. A tractor might have a long drop!
Peter is on the right standing by one of the cairns.
The dip of a snow bridge
A reminder of how things have changed is that no SatNavs! In a blizzard you could miss a signpost at 3 feet. So, to help find their way around. They would build cairns out of the ice every two miles, and as a lot of them did not like the cocoa rations, they would make them cocoa coloured to make them easier to see. However in a blizzard you just stop you cannot take risks in such an extreme environment.
The first task was to build a new complex to live in. The area they used was on the floating shelf. Amazingly the ice moves off the land and slides down into the ocean. The shelf actually moves up and down with the tides and has a hinge. The ice then slowly returns to water. So although the top of the ice remains at the same level more or less anything placed on it slowly sinks. The huts had no doors and no windows only a hatch that had to be moved up and up as the huts sank down. The new huts were needed as the old ones were so deep they were getting close to being crushed by the weight of the ice.
A ship can be seen at the edge of the shelf ice and the hinge is in the middle of the diagram
Skeleton of the lounge hut.
The most poignant part of Peter’s talk was his final farewell to his beloved teams of huskies. He made his attempt at a husky call. After a few seconds one took it up then another and then another until the they were all howling their plaintive response as he took his leave.
The photos are taken from Peter Noble’s excellent book Dog Days on Ice.
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!
NC500 - Derek recently rode the NC500, North Coast 500, a popular riding route in the north of Scotland. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north
coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. The route is
also known as the NC500 and was launched in 2015, linking many features
in the north Highlands of Scotland in one iconic touring route.
Some of Derek's photos are below:
Thanks for the photo's Derek, looks like a very nice and enjoyable time.
Camping in North Devon
Three members, Peter Genet, Mark Sealey and Bob Fram went on a camping trip to Lynton in North Devon just as storm Hannah approached.
Photos are below and link to YouTube clip also:
Just as storm Hannah was approaching, we were packing our panniers, checking our kit and thinking, what the hell, lets go anyway! What’s the worst that could happen?
In the end, not a lot. It was a bit breezy on the way down, and it did rain too. But, we ended up wetter on the inside more so than on the outside.
We missed Cheddar on the way down and went via Glastonbury – how we missed Cheddar I don’t know, but miss it we did!
Staying at the Channel View campsite, Lynton, (I stayed there a few years ago and there was ice on the ground), we pitched up around 5.30pm or so and once we had sorted out our camping kit, we headed straight to the Beggars Roost pub next door. The choice then became rather more difficult – Stag, Ram or Otter beer being the order of the day – a few more were quaffed than planned but never mind.
The next day’s ride was meant to follow the coast down to Crackington Haven, but due to aforementioned storm we headed inland to the south coast all the way to Shaldon opposite Teignmouth via some very minor roads indeed. Returning back to camp around 6.30pm on some more minor roads. 180 miles or so that day; 6 hours of fantastic riding! Plus a couple of hours for stops.
Sunday, packed up dry tents and headed off home around 10am on very minor back roads avoiding main motorways and big A roads. Sat-Nav was very accommodating. Following Sat-Nav we stopped at a cafe in Cheddar Gorge before heading back to our next stop in Devizes.
From there, I pootled on home to Cricklade notching up around 480 miles or so!
Please do your best to help us promote the Group. We have flyers and business cards available which can be obtained at the monthly meetings; business cards should be available from any comittee member and tutor.
We will also place the flyers on the website in the downloads section; if you spot an opportunity these can be printed and displayed.
Fed up with how the Group is run? want to change something and make a difference for us all? - come and join the committee. We have lost a few members this year and all the work is being done by a gallant few who need fresh ideas and support. The Chairman is grateful to all who give up their time to help us run the Group (there are other officers who are not on the Committee).
We particuarly need a Secretary. The commitment is not huge - a few hours per month is all that is needed; mostly supporting meetings, taking minutes and acting as one of the points of contact for the Group.
Any questions please ask the Secretary or Chairman.
Potential Skid Pan event - Castle Combe
1st or 29th June. Open to all members, partners welcome to make up numbers. Contact membership secretary to express interest.
Summer Action Festival - Castle Combe 22 June
We are planning a stand at this event to attract new members,
particularly cars, but bikers too. Volunteers (particularly tutors)
required to person the stand, and wander about the paddock watching the
racing, etc. Contact Membership secretary to express interest.
Skillshare - Please promote
Skillshare will take place in 2 locations again this year. 1 June, 3 August and 5 October at the 3 trees Farm Shop in Chiseldon and 4 May, 6 July and 7 September at the Haven Cafe near Salisbury.
All Members please do your best to advertise this; we did not get the message out well last year and turn out was poor. A concerted effort from us all to promote the group and this FREE skills session will help to boost our profile, so ask your family, friends and work colleagues to come and have a go. Details and the ability to book are on the website.
Grateful if all tutors look to see if they can come and help - without you it simply will not work.
Geeks Corner - How Many Are we?
Cars 9 Bike 14
Cars 4 Bike 4
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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