Another month has whizzed by, and it is almost time for the clocks to go back and darkness to descend once more and for the ride home from work to be in the dark again. How does it come around so quickly?
I know winter is approaching because various packages turn up from Motolegends or other dealers of motorcycle apparel with new gloves or thicker jumpers and waterproof trousers; sometimes, I am convinced we are about to start up as the Cowfold Branch of Get Geared.
In all seriousness, do check your winter kit, especially if it has been in the garage or storage box since March. In order to remain waterproof or windproof, any clothing which has a membrane attached to it needs to be clean, so now is a good time to do a wash. Just remember to check the pockets and remove that ten-pound note you find (the change left over from buying that sponge cake at the Garden Centre back in February). DON’T use regular detergent, instead use Nikwax or Gore Refresh (other products are available) and remove the armour because no one wants to look like Richard III (Shakespeare’s version) as their left shoulder armour pulls the jacket down and the right elbow no longer allows you to bend.
Since last talking to you, we had the Wales training weekend, where I am pleased to say we did not need our waterproofs; the weather was glorious, and I suspect many ice creams gave their lives in the hands of LAM.
Our training weekends are excellent and take a lot of time to organise and execute, and I know that Pat and Paul often must deal with changes right up to the time we all ride off into the distance.
But a good time is always had by all and the banter and friendships made are often enduring and lead to many other trios and stories, and of course, they are a great way to prepare for your test.
Back to Wales, and from what I hear from participants, a good time was had by all. Everyone had the bed they paid for, and all were fed and breakfasted. The hotel we use for Wales is one used by many other clubs and the IAM, and unlike Norfolk we often find ourselves sharing the dining room with others which prevents a good deal of mixing and silliness. Knowing this, Paul decided to liven up our Saturday night by holding a LAM quiz. A LAM quiz? Well, that sounds easy. Not if it’s in Welsh, it isn’t! The quiz had 24 questions, and they were either LAM phrases or something out of the Highway Code, and of course, it was in Welsh. I did wonder why Amazon had delivered a Welsh Highway Code and thought Paul had accidentally ordered the wrong one and bought Welsh instead of English, but no, there was a method to his madness!
To be fair, it was no “who wants to be a millionaire”, but it broke some ice and next year, he promises to do a better job but cannot guarantee that you’ll get the caravan or speedboat home in your panniers.
The winner of the quiz scored a huge 7 points! Admittedly we did struggle to find winners to give the prizes away to. I think the person who came in 6th and 7th, both scored 1 point, and the rest scored NIL point (said in a French accent à la Eurovision). We obviously did not have any Welsh ringers with us.
For the first time in 2 years, we were able to have the Chair Run; this ride out is a chance for the Chair to say thank you to all Observers and Committee members for all the hard work they have put in throughout the year, it’s usually a great ride to a nice lunch stop where the Chair picks up the tab for everyone. Those that know me, know how directionally challenged I am, and if I led a ride, who knows where we would have ended up, so I delegated (perks of being Chair), and Andy Torrie agreed to lead it for me. This was probably just as well as I am still unable to ride my bike after being knocked off 3 months ago, so I took the shortcut and met everyone there on 4 wheels. I have received feedback that it was a great ride down, so thank you, Andy.
Last weekend, Trevor Ambrose, Norton Hawes and I had the pleasure of attending the IAM Autumn Forum, where they released details of where they see the IAM heading over the next 3 years. Going forward, there are some changes that will affect all LAM observers. We had an Observers meeting last week, and all was revealed then, so when the minutes come out, Observers, I would urge you to read them carefully as it will affect you! If you have any questions arising from those minutes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with either myself, Trevor, Norton or Steve Davies.
We also had the opportunity of meeting our new ASDM (Area Service Delivery Manager), i.e. the person from the IAM who is responsible for our area and to whom we go with any issues. She is also our NOB and Masters examiner, her name is Katrina Lowe, and it was very nice to meet her.
It’s coming up for that time of year for our AGM and this year it is on 1st November, so probably the day you receive this. Do come along, unfortunately, only Full Members can vote, but the meeting is open to all to come along and see what it is all about. Do you have a burning desire to sit on the committee (you don’t have to be an Observer to do this)? Do you have a hidden talent that you think LAM could make use of? Please do not hesitate to step forward and offer any services you think may be of use, whether this is in an advisory capacity, a temporary role or whether you would like to take on something permanent. We are always looking for volunteers to do stuff. LAM is run by volunteers, and without people like you, this group could not exist, so don’t be shy!
Enjoy yourselves and ride safe.
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