I hope this Chairs Chatter finds you warm and toasty; this chatter gets written a couple of weeks before you read it, so currently, we are in the grips of a mini ice age (or that’s what it feels like). The temperatures have not risen above freezing for the past few days and I run the risk of slipping over just walking on my own driveway. Obviously, due to the low-freezing temperatures, we have been forced to cancel or postpone a couple of recent events. It’s not something we like to do, but realistically if we ran an event and someone came off on the ice, we would feel terrible, plus we would be cold and miserable on the bike!
For many of us, our primary means of transport is a motorcycle, and as advanced motorcyclists, we undertake a realistic self-evaluation before riding. We should extend this to the weather and how it might affect us – remember a cold rider exposed to low temperature for even 20 minutes will begin to suffer the effects of the cold. You start to think about fingers and toes and sadly, some of the capacity needed to ride safely is taken away. No-one wants to be cold and miserable whilst trying to pick the right line for a corner or stuck behind a car doing 30mph in a national!
As many of us have found out (the hard way), even if we fancy ourselves as Rossi, we cannot win over nature, hidden ice and microclimates.
We turned December’s Banstead group meeting into more of a 'Meet ‘n’ Mingle' with tea, coffee, mince pies and endless bike talk, so it was lovely to get together with some Associates and Observers and be able to have a catch up - not something that is always possible at a group meeting.
The Cider Run has also been postponed (not cancelled) as it’s a delightful social event. We plan to have the Cider Run part 2 on 7th January and if the weather isn’t better by then, we'll postpone it for another week. We'll keep waiting until the Spring thaw if we must, but it will take place eventually.
By the time you read this, Christmas will be over, so I hope you were all on Santa’s Good List and received everything you had asked for, that new bike jacket or some thermals. I highly recommend some heated clothing; for me, it was a game changer.
There are supply chain issues with some bike clothing manufacturers that are beyond the retailer’s control. For example, whilst Rukka is a Finnish brand, it is manufactured in China. The stock used to come via train through Eastern Europe before finally reaching the channel. That can’t happen at present, so stock is having to go via ship, and the availability of boats and the cost of shipping has delayed everything. Santa ordered me a new Rukka suit back in August, and it arrived last week, so you may want to revisit your options. Orders from Klim are even worse, and stock is not expected to arrive in the UK until April.
A couple of weeks ago, you would have received a MailChimp about the sad passing of Rod Leeming. He was a lovely man who always had a kind word to say about everyone and was willing to help anyone at any time and was a true motorcycle enthusiast. He will be greatly missed.
On a lighter note, it's probably New Years’ Day when you receive this, so have a great day and Happy New Year to you and your family, and I hope to see you all at an event soon.
Take care, and have a happy and prosperous 2023.
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