Well, it’s a road safety training organisation that provides individuals with coaching to give them the skills to take a test with an external examiner in the hope of passing this test. In doing this we hope to influence their behaviours and turn them into safer road users. That’s LAM.
Or is it a bunch of beardy blokes and women riding BMW's, smoking pipes and wearing flip top helmets and whose voices have been honed over the years to sound a lot like Winston Churchill?
That’s what I thought it was when I first turned up at Banstead in early 2000, only to be greeted with the sight of multiple GS's, RT's and K100's (I’d turned up on a sports bike) and then meeting some of the then observers when I signed in, I thought what the heck had Jane got me into.
Minus some of the beards and voice, it remains a road safety training charity, but it’s so much more!
It’s the associates
Its volunteers willing to give up their time so that you finally understand what Limit Point of Vision is, or making that perfect three stage overtake
It’s the observers
It’s the phone call to your observer saying you’ve passed, the subsequent celebratory posting to the forum so everyone can see what you’ve achieved and the congratulations
The laughter and sometimes the rib taking
It’s meeting new people, making new friends, riding with those people and journeying forward together
For some it’s been about finding love and making a life together
Passing the test and then getting your partner to come along to repeat the process
It’s the Trainee Observer full of self-doubt who was encouraged to stick with it receiving their sign off from the IMI
It’s the full members
It’s about the mid-week phone calls, text or emails saying “are you working Wednesday? There’s a ride to ...”
It’s about fixing punctures at the side of the road or searching the rubbish bins for a plastic bottle top to make an impromptu oil cap
It’s the AORs and full member rides
It’s the Norfolk and Wales weekends away
It’s the Kent Weekend, the Glam Rides, Doctor Dave’s workshop, first aid courses, machine control days, finishing schools, new observer training, local observer assessments, national observer training
It the effort that goes into producing Progress
It’s having to make the call to cancel an event because its -5C outside when all you want to do is ride
It’s about fish and chips runs to Brighton or a pub lunch in deepest darkest Sussex
Radios working, radios not working, GPS errors and missed turns
Its tea and cake after riding down the autumnal B roads
Its banter on the forum, banter at Pot Lucks
It’s about being too hot, too cold or often too wet
It’s about Michelin or Metzler, Garmin or TOMTOM
It’s about European trips, the ferry or taking Eurostar
It’s about the smiles of completing a lap of the RING or from learning what your bike can do at Thruxton
It’s about watching someone like Nicola Martindale go from wobbling down the horseshoe to returning from Corsica with 120GB worth of photos – BEST THING EVAH!
Its new websites, new booking systems, engaging on social media
Its committee meetings and a hard working committee trying to keep abreast of an ever changing demographic
It’s the Training Team and a warm tea in Starbucks at Horley in mid-January
It’s too many associates, not enough associates
Tracker or not tracker
Closing allocations or keeping them open
It’s about whether to bacon or not to bacon
To Petrol or to Diesel
It’s about trust to do the best we can with what we have
It’s recognising it clunks in a few places and proactively trying to fix it
It’s recognising when something is really broken and when it is not
It’s having the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other
It’s NOT about hedges and KTMs
It’s about holding someone’s hand in the rain as you wait for the emergency services
It’s about one man 18 years later standing before you tonight and asking for your support to develop it further. LAM is us! You wouldn’t be here tonight if it didn’t mean something to you. For me, I’m so glad I never turned on my heels that day back in 2000. Thank you for electing me Chair of LAM for 2018/19 - Paul Harle
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