Hello and welcome to another Chair’s Chatter and another edition of Progress, jammed full of interesting articles (this isn’t one of them) and a special summer pull out - remember those? A little treat from your mum and dad to keep you busy in the back of the car and make the journey to France seamless; I say "keep you busy", they had the opposite effect, because if you weren’t stopped with your head in your knees due to motion sickness, you were rolling it up to whack your sister.
For our observer of the month, some might wish to pin it up on their wall next to pictures of Simon Le Bon, Tony Hadley and Morten Harket, whilst others will no doubt line the budgie cage with it! It’s LAM’s very own international man of mystery, Mr Peter Hase. He's only National Observer that leaves boxes of Milk Tray on the seats of his associates before skiing off to Australia or France.
The world is slowly reverting to one closer to the one that was shuttered and locked down in March and only time will tell whether this is a good thing or a missed opportunity.
The Group has had a great response to our offers for one-to-one observed rides and we would like to thank all who have offered their time and IT excellence to create a system that is working and we are getting out on the bikes and coaching.
We have had some excellent Sunday Zoom sessions and again, we thank all who have contributed to these and to all of you who have signed up and interacted. We hope they are filling in the knowledge gaps but of course, they are no substitute to our Group Meetings and we hope to have some guidance from the IAM on when we can restart these. However, this might be some time down the road so please hang in there.
We are planning the Kent Weekend and have been speaking to the hotel for the Wales residential training weekend. They will be able to host us but with social distancing rules, the weekend will be very different from previous ones. Wales is set for the weekend of 25th September 2020 and there will be adverts and mail outs coming in the very near future.
The Wales full members weekend is also confirmed and is available to book on our shop. It's bound to sell out fast, so get in there quick.
We can't run group rides at the moment, but we are looking at meeting up for a ride of six “people”. The problem with this, is trying to discover if there are cafes and bathrooms available at the destination. Hopefully, this will get easier for us as the world begins to open up.
Some good news, I have managed to get a haircut ... nope, we had our first test pass since IAM examining resumed and congratulations to Charles Hilton for having the honour of the group’s first pass since February. Long may they continue! Congratulations to Steve Pratt, who re-qualified as a National Observer Local Observer Assessor.
We have some more retests in the pipeline for current National Observers and a few going for the test for the first time – so good luck and we look forward to the champagne flyers dropping into our mailboxes soon.
As life slowly comes back online, please remember that we are not over this just yet (and I suspect it will take a while) so please understand that we want to do as much as we can. However, there are many people out there who are still vulnerable or still do not wish to put their families, self or livelihood at risk or may have unfortunately had their circumstances change. The call to return is still very fluid and there is no pressure on the group or individuals. All we want to do is make sure that we are all safe and in the best place to be when the wheel turns again.
As I write this, I am three weeks from when I should have been going away on a summer sunshine holiday. Instead, I am looking at a few long weekends in August and September. If you believe everything happens for a reason, then COVID-19 has given us all a chance to rediscover some of the great places the UK offers to travel to and some of the amazing routes and roads we have.
If anyone is thinking of a stay (UK) cation, can I recommend two books by Simon Weir Bikers Britain and Bikers Britain – the Tours where he details some fabulous roads and pieces them all together. Our group has a lot of wisdom and people are happy to help and make suggestions and if you are considering this, reach out and use the forum or the zoom sessions.
Riding in the UK in summer is not without its challenges - caravans, cars, rain and sunshine - so go prepared and enjoy the greater UK.
Enjoy the sunshine and stay well.
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