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  • April 01, 2023 3 min read

    Hello Fellow LAMkins,

    I hope you are all well and that you are looking forward to Spring which is just around the corner.

    February and March have not been great for riding, which has impacted our ability to hold group meetings, and every time we seem to be clear of the Beast from the East, its brother or sister turns up from the North, South or West. We don’t like to cancel group meetings, but we are a road safety organisation, and when you are riding along at three to four degrees C, you aren’t thinking of the car or bend ahead; you are likely occupied with cold feet and hands. When you factor in the roads we like to use, and that ice makes two wheels the not-so-fun mode of transport, it just makes sense to cancel and stay safe.

    The snowdrops, daffodils and buds on the trees lead me to conclude that winter is waning and the warmer days are here and with that come regular meetings and a real chance to get a foothold on your training for a late spring / early summer pass. Come on; we know you want to get that green badge!

    This brings me to what it is you all want from LAM. It’s a perennial question we never really get a solid answer to.

    Our Norfolk trip for example, is under-subscribed as was last year as well and we struggle to work out why, although this year, we fully understand that keeping families fed, warm and in clothes is probably more of a priority than burning dead dinosaurs on the east coast of England.

    Likewise, Wales will come later in the year when hopefully things may have settled, but perhaps we have the wrong view of how you want your training or if you’re a full member how you want to approach your trips.

    We run a Kent weekend (we call it the Kent weekend, but it rarely happens in Kent) where we run a non-residential training weekend, you attend Saturday and/ or Sunday and get to go home at the end of each day and sleep in your own bed without being woken up in the middle of the night by your roommate returning from the pub or the large male boar your roommate has returned from the pub with grunting in frustration that the Batty Bach had run out (oh wait there is no boar, it's just your roommate snoring).

    Running a trip to Germany isn’t cheap when you factor in fuel, tyres, servicing food and accommodation, but perhaps this is more bang for the buck.

    So, what would you like to see, day trips, no trips, longer trips, different trips, or subsidised training trips? More single rooms, more double rooms, where would you like a trip to go, what is a reasonable price, have we got it wrong and is it time for a change?

    We run excellent first aid courses, machine control days, group meeting workshops on overtaking etc. Would you prefer more of these, less of these, or day courses on any of these?

    I am not suggesting we have any of these in the pipeline; I am just trying to understand the landscape and whether we have it right. Just because three training weekends worked five years ago doesn’t mean it is suitable for today.

    We are all getting older; look around the next group meeting, and sadly you will see a heavily male-weighted demographic in its 40-plus bracket. New ideas and a new direction are all welcome. The IAM is in a state of change, with all the Observers now required to become National Observers.

    A tank of fuel is closer to £30 than £15 and tyres (if you can get the ones you want) are £300. How would you like to use that ex-T-rex in your tank and the Road Pilot 6’s?

    The above is not a rhetorical question, I really do want to hear from you, how do you want the group to spend your membership fees? If you have any ideas or suggestion, please let me know.

    I look forward to my full inbox brimming with your ideas.

    Ride safe

    Jane x

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