Good afternoon Pete, thanks for coming forward to be interviewed. Could you tell me a little about yourself?
I’ve recently retired from the travel business. I live in Brighton but decided to join LAM, partly because the journey to the meetings seems to be easier than to the South Coast group but probably more because of encouragement from by previous boss Richard Boden-Doyle.
Are you able to give us any inside information on him? I can see that you’re remaining tight-lipped, so let’s move on
As well as motorcycling I’m keen on mountain and road cycling and also and member of a local yacht club. Boating is my first passion, let’s see if motorbiking takes over? I can’t put in print the boats I own, as my wife isn’t really clear! My twin brother and I race a SunFast 3600 out of Brighton, competing along the south coast, and further It’s a modern French built race boat, maybe the motorbike equivalent of an RS. I have a classic 28 (100 years old this year) that I keep on Strangford Lough – Belfast. I hope to do some more motorbiking over there soon too. I am delivering a yacht from Barcelona to Scotland in March – that could be chilly!
So what’s your biking background?
I rode a scooter and a Suzuki 125 as a young man on my car licence; and during the 80’s had toured the Greek islands on a hired bike with completely inadequate protective gear. I didn’t take my CBT till 2018 when I bought a Yamaha YBR 125 to learn on. I then took Direct Access training the following year, using an MT07 and then bought a Tracer 700 as I felt comfortable with this size and style of bike.
What brought you to IAM?
After taking the test I still felt that I didn’t really know how to ride properly, I’d only learned to pass the test and wanted to feel more confident handling the bike in various situations. I’d chatted to Richard and he’d recommended IAM. Also, I don’t really have any other biking friends and would like to join some social rides when circumstances allow. I only joined the group in January and though I’ve found the Zoom meetings helpful and have made use of the Forum I’ve not been able to have any OR's yet.
Do you have any particular ambitions following Advanced Training? What type of riding do you enjoy?
I’ve only done one big trip on the bike, which was solo to Belfast, my wife flew over! She’s originally from that area. I’d like to ride the Antrim coast with her and as my mother lives in Glasgow to do the Scottish 500. I did such a lot of travelling abroad for work that I don’t really yearn for any major international trips. Maybe some short Cheese n Wine visits to Normandy
I really enjoyed discovering routes and destinations close to home during my DAT and I’d like to do more of this with LAM. Unfortunately due to travel restrictions I’ve not been able to ride very much.
How do you keep the bike in good condition?
My bike is still fairly new, bought with only 2k on the clock. I quite enjoy routine tinkering and adjustments and have bought a Haynes manual. There’s a good mechanic nearby for anything more complicated. I’m not so confident on the electrical side and have appreciated advice received from the Forum regarding fitting a camera.
Any particular likes or dislikes regarding bikes and bikers?
I’m not very keen on laddish groups of bikers who use bad language in public. Hopefully there are none of them in LAM.
We may have a few reformed hooligans, but most are well-behaved. You mentioned that you’re also a cyclist and there can be conflict between the two groups.
I do most of my road cycling in Northern Ireland, where the roads are empty. I do more mountain biking locally. I certainly don’t condone those who block other road users by cycling two abreast.
What do your friends and family think about you taking up motorcycling?
Some think I’m mad, but I feel that I’m safer now than as a young man and my wife is quite happy to be a pillion passenger – she’s used to two wheels as a mountain biker herself.
Do you have any favourite snack when you’re out riding?
I like to keep my options open; it might be a pasty or a toastie. There are some nice beach cafes down towards Littlehampton. I am a coffee snob so do seek out a decent brew. I also find that I can get very thirsty while riding but drinking is a problem with my helmet on. Any ideas?
You can buy ‘hydration systems’ aimed at the enduro/adventure bike riders, but perhaps get a flip front helmet, or just take it off.
Finally, any suggestions to improve the LAM experience for new joiners?
It was quite difficult to join a group outside of my own area due to the way the IAM system was set up. However, I got there in the end.
Thanks Pete. I may get back to you for an update if we are able to resume training before the May deadline for Progress and hopefully we can say hello in person when meetings resume.
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