The third article in a series about challenges and experiences alone or as part of a group or riders. In this set only two can be done on the “spur of the moment”, numbers 26 or 23. All the others will require some arranging, thought or planning. Most can be done alone or with other riders and one definitely needs someone else to be involved. These continue the trend of being a bit more challenging from the 20 challenges in the first two articles.
As before, you can complete some as standalone experiences or combined in one ride maybe even with a challenge from the earlier 20 experiences.
21. Biker Down or First Aid course
LAM has organised First Aid Courses for many years. The courses whilst covering emergency First Aid for all those incidents or accidents where lifesaving aid is necessary are focused towards those Road Traffic Accidents involving motorcycles and motorcyclists. We often hear how a passer-by has stepped in to provide CPR and possibly saved a life. First Aid has been an important part of my training for over 50 years and it has proven useful so many times. Indeed, my wife has likely saved lives just by using the most basic First Aid Techniques. Over those 50 years, techniques and knowledge have moved on significantly with the use of AEDs (Defibrillators) and simple practical skills so if you took your last course some time ago, sign up for a renewal. I can recall at least 3 incidents during a ride and many more in my daily life when I have used First Aid skills.
22. Ride 300 miles in a day
We’re now starting to get serious on the distances covered in one day. However, this distance is still occasionally covered on a very few one-day Full Member rides. Almost inevitably it will include some Motorways or longer periods on faster Dual Carriageways. For this ride you will be looking at round trip journeys approaching Wales, Norfolk or Devon. For this distance it may be just an outbound journey to visit a friend or relative with a stay at the end of the day. Of course, it may now be appropriate to do a B&B or a camping overnight as well. One way could be an extended run with a more direct route home (or vice versa).
For this ride you must be ride fit and able to concentrate for long periods of time and plan to have several stops during the day. Drink plenty and avoid heavy meals. If necessary, a 10 minute “power nap” may help on a bench somewhere with the bike parked up nearby. If any kind of tiredness or loss of concentration occurs stop asap to stretch your legs and rejuvenate.
23. Ride for a reason
Wales for a pint, East Coast for a Doughnut, Whitby Fish ‘n’ Chips, Devon Cream Tea
This ride can definitely be included with your 300 miles in one day. Needless to say, the Wales for a pint ride should only include the pint once the bike is parked and you’ve completed the trip. Whitby is famous for its Fish and Chips and the chippy to visit is the Magpie on the Quay in Whitby but there are others equally as good. The East Coast has a whole series of resorts well worth a visit and you can choose between Fish and Chips, Seafood, Doughnuts or Ice Cream. The ride through Norfolk and Suffolk offers some great roads to enjoy.
Devon and Cornwall have Cafés serving Cream Teas everywhere but of course this has now become such a common snack that you can enjoy this cholesterol fix anywhere in the country. Finally, you can invent your own reason to do this challenge but do let the membership know what you’ve found with a Post on the LAM forum.
24. Off Road Day
This is not one for me but I know many Lamkins have partaken of this adventure. If your body is able to absorb the probability of a tumble or you’ve done some off-roading in the past this challenge may well have some appeal.
LAM has organised these trips before using well know off road centres that cater for all levels of expertise (or none at all). It is felt that being able to handle a bike moving around under you is a great skill to have even for everyday riding or commuting. This experience may even lead to getting a bike that is suited to off-roading and even joining a Trail Riding Federation (TRF) group around London.
25. Test Ride a Bike
This experience may already have been done when you first got your own bike, especially if it was purchased from a dealer. If you are thinking of a change of style, an upgrade or just fancy trying something new; this challenge is for you. Expect to have to fill in some forms but generally dealers are more than happy for you to try something different.
26. Visit the Ace Café
The Ace Café is one of the original Rocker cafés in England. First opened in 1938 it attracted travelling lorries, cars and motorcycles. Badly damaged in the war it reopened in 1949 and was very popular with motorcyclists. With the change in social mobility and attitudes, it closed in 1969. A reunion occurred in 1994 and it reopened in 1997. There are now several Ace Cafés around the World. The Ace holds weekly themed events for classic, vintage, modern bikes, scooters and cars throughout the year and the famous Ace Café run from the Ace to Brighton is a regular and very well attended event.
The Cafe is located on the North Circular Road A406, Stonebridge and is worth a visit just to say you’ve been there. On themed days it gets very busy so chose your day by visiting their website.
Post Script: Our own Richard Bowden-Doyle rode overland from the Ace Café, London to the Ace Café, Beijing a couple of years back. That ride definitely won the Adventure ride for the year.
27. Go to a Custom or Vintage Bike Show
There are Bike Shows throughout the year in South East England. This challenge is to visit a custom or vintage show. It’s often interesting just wandering around the Car Park for one of these shows but once inside they often include competition show classes, auto jumbles and loads of other stands to wander around and browse. Of course, bacon sarnies, tea and coffee flows freely.Look out for the Kempton Park Auto jumble, South of England, Ardingly Classic show and many others.
28. Take a Pillion
As a 17-year-old I took my wife on my Scooter. I tipped her off (at a standstill) and she’s never been on a bike with me since. Riding a bike with a pillion is a very different experience. For advice on this go to our Forum and ask the question. Maybe this would be a great Progress Article from an experienced pillion rider for the future!! Don’t take this on lightly, the very basics:
Your first pillion rider should be an experienced rider
Ensure they have full protective clothing
Make them aware of what it will feel like and that bikes do and must lean over.
They will be last to get on and first to get off the bike
Drive very carefully and don’t accelerate or brake at all aggressively
This is NOT the time to be showing off, if you ever want your pillion to get back on the bike with you.
29. Ride to Europe
A challenge that in itself has been challenging over the last 18 months of Covid-19 restrictions. This ride can be done in a day. LAM has had ride leaders to do the popular Longest Day ride for many years, where a group will go from England across to France and back in the day. Again, it’s imperative you are ride fit for this but the logistics of the ride will be sorted by the ride leader. Expect to be away from home, even in the summer from early morning to late evening and it will be a good 300-mile ride so this will also tick off challenge 21.
Alternatively, you can arrange your own trip alone or with a few others using a ferry - more relaxed - or the Eurotunnel once restrictions are eased. The ride can be as short as 200 miles just to experience French roads but it’s imperative you know what to expect from your arrival at the departure port and when you get off the Ferry. There have been Progress articles on riding abroad or you can again post on the Forum for advice. Hopefully next year the Lam Ring Trip will occur but expect it to be very popular and book early.
30. Modify your bike
This is as easy or complex as you wish to make it. Maybe just tassels on the end of your handlebars. A cuddly toy on your rear rack. Or: new exhaust, crash bars, additional front lights, upgraded suspension (my personal favourite) or just adding a centre stand if your bike doesn’t have one. The list is endless BUT make sure you don’t invalidate your insurance and the modification is legal. My insurance lists what they don’t need to hear about.
Just one more set of experiences to go and maybe by now, you may know some of what to expect next time.
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