This is the second in a series about challenges and experiences to consider, alone or as part of a group. They cover things you can do in a day “on the spur of the moment” and those that may take some arranging or planning. Some can be done alone or with other riders. These experiences are getting a bit more challenging from the 10 challenges in the first article.
They are listed as standalone experiences but some can be combined in one ride.
11. Go to a Motorcycle Race Day
The big ones are MOTO GP, World and British Super Bike races. But there are a lot of lesser race meetings through the year. Probably the nearest race track for most of us is Brands Hatch but there are others around London including Thruxton, Donnington and Silverstone. There are other smaller races to consider including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Brighton Sprint races along Madeira Drive (which will hopefully occur again in September 2021).
12. Ride 200 miles in a day
Last month’s 100-mile ride is doubled for this month. For those who’ve got their Green Badge, this ride would be a long Full Member ride for a day and opens the route out to roads much further afield and onto many roads that you’re unlikely to have ridden before. The ride may well include a stint on motorways to get you away from our well-trodden A and B Roads south of London. Expect to be riding for around 5 to 6 hours. On top of this it will include a fuel stop, lunch and a toilet and coffee break. You could be riding into the Cotswolds, Norfolk or the furthest points into Kent or Hampshire. This is not a ride to be taken lightly and you must be ride fit, able to concentrate for long periods and comfortable on your bike for long periods.
13. Get a riding qualification
Following on from Challenge 1, this should be your aim from joining the IAM and LAM which was last month’s easiest of challenges. However, passing your Advanced Test may just be the start of your riding qualifications. There are many other boxes you can tick in your Advanced Riding journey and some are included in these 40 experiences. Look for ways to enhance your riding by completing further training. (Remember last month we had Machine Control. That could be your first qualification even before passing your Advanced Test. Another will follow next month.) The qualification could even include becoming an Observer.
14. Go for an extra special Ice Cream
This could be a one-off Italian Ice Cream specialist or maybe just a café with an amazing view while you lick your Choc-Ice, 99 or Knickerbocker Glory. Is this another 100-mile ride?
15. Ride the A272
The A272 runs from near Heathfield to Winchester. It is unlikely that as a member of LAM you won’t ride a section of the A272 at some stage. The A272 is around 80 miles long. This road is a great training road, it has everything from Towns, challenging and dangerous bends, fast sections, slower sections and nearly every kind of road sign. Double whites with short dashed sections to make that perfect overtake. It has every speed limit known to the Department for Transport and safety cameras for the unwary. Much of it is sufficiently challenging that reaching the speed limit is not possible. As an Associate wanting a ride to practice your skills; no Sat Nav is necessary just make your way to Heathfield on the A22 or A26 where you will meet the A272. Turning left on the A272 to the East you will soon reach the source of the A272. Turn around and follow the A272 signs. Passing through towns like Haywards Heath, Cowfold, Billingshurst, Wisborough Green, Petworth, Midhurst and on to Winchester. There are many places to stop for fuel, a coffee or lunch stop and you’ll see famous old towns and stunning sights. In places the road is interrupted for very short distances but always the signs will lead you on to re-join the A272. Of course, the road can be ridden in both directions and it will give a very different ride. If joining from the western end, take the A3/A31 or M3 down to Winchester. This ride will definitely give you a 100-mile ride and dependent upon your starting and ending point maybe the 200-mile challenge as well.
16. Visit Loomies or a “Biker” cafe
It’s not possible to mention the A272 without mentioning Loomies Moto Café at Meon. It’s just a 100 mets off the A272 at the cross roads of the A272 and A32. Invariably there will be selection of motorbikes there. So, by doing the A272 you can double up your experiences with a Coffee or snack at Loomies.
Find your own café and then tell us about it on the LAM Forum.
However, when leaving or approaching these cafés don’t get caught up in a burn up with another rider. Many will be keen to show off their assumed skills.
17. Do a Bike Safe day
Local Police forces have been running Bike Safe days for many years. They provide an opportunity to have your ride assessed by a rider qualified to the highest standards in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Your day will probably be spent with fully uniformed and marked-up Police Riders. You will be given some informal training and then ride with a police rider over a variety of roads similar to an LAM Observed Ride. You’ll get to see the police in a different light and enjoy the thrill of riding with a “Copper”. They’ll provide real-world feedback on your ride that will help you to improve your riding skills. If you’re an Associate it’ll provide you with confirmation on what your Observer has been telling you and if a Full Member already, affirmation that your riding remains at the standard of an Advanced Rider. The course with the Met Police is normally done from the Warren near Beckenham, but other county constabularies also run the courses. Occasionally you may hear of courses being discounted but the normal cost for the day is around £65. Money well spent.
18. Fish n’ Chips Run
When the summer months arrive and the evenings are longer, it’s possible you may see an invite for a Fish N’ Chips run. These rides head off to the coast to a well-known Chippy where you can enjoy your weekly portion of fish and carbohydrates whilst sitting on a beach talking about bikes. Keep your eyes open on the forum or organise your own run.
19 Ride to work “Feet up”
This is an exercise in forward planning and bike control. Can you make that daily ride all the way without putting your feet down? Or, if like me you’re no longer working or commuting then chose somewhere to go where this is a bit of a challenge. It must include some town roads. The only thing it can’t include is a “stop line”, where you MUST come to a stop and if not putting your feet down, it has to be done under full control.
20. Spend a night away from home on your bike
This may be the first real challenge for many riders which may push the distances and boundaries of their riding. It can of course be combined with many other challenges. This WILL take some planning and you and your bike will need to be able to take the additional essentials needed for an overnight stay, using a Top Box, Tail Pack or Rucksack. First of all, “what’s the reason for your trip?”. Is it just to extend your horizons, to visit someone or somewhere? Maybe it’s to do one of the other challenges e.g. a Race Day. Later challenges from these articles will provide lots of reasons to stay away either alone or with biking buddies. Finally, don’t forget that LAM also organises trips away like the Norfolk and Wales Training weekends. These experiences are now becoming more challenging but future suggestions will further extend your ability and what may have seemed too much to consider only a short time ago will become stepping stones to real adventures.