From the Chair (Slipstream March 2014)


Welcome to March!

Hopefully we’ve finished with the flooding, and you and yours haven’t suffered too much. Now we can get on with a fun-packed year of events from Slipstream, and your local group’s activities.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) campaigns to protect and promote motorcycling and the interests and rights of all riders, illustrated last year by helping to stop the introduction of the ‘Super MOT’. However, like many organisations, MAG needs income, and to increase public awareness. One easy and quick way to help is to support one of their latest promotional initiatives.

In April, a song by Nikki Murray – who refers to it as ‘An anthem for MAG’ – should be released, and MAG gets half the proceeds. So log on to, and for the princely sum of 79p you will be able to download it. They are suggesting you also get 3 friends to do this, in the same week, in an attempt to get a chart hit and therefore huge publicity. Admittedly not as exciting as riding your bikes, but potentially supports our freedom to ride.

Andy Wedge has kindly collated the feedback received on the IAM presentation to Observers regarding the local and national Observers qualification, and sent it on to Jon Taylor (Staff Examiner) and Amanda Smith (IAM Quality Control Manager).

The AGM is today (Sunday 16th March). Are you here? Then join us to hear the plans and questions that our club members have put forward.

Keep your eyes open for latest amusing surveys from the IAM in your email/forum box. I like the one that 26% of drivers were distracted by back seat drivers – it was a missed opportunity for the IAM to promote motorcycling and Skills for Life, and start a ‘Get a motorcycle’ campaign – and the one that 4 out of 10 drivers are not concentrating. You know what I’m going to say, ‘Get a motorcycle’, then try not concentrating. Ho hum – preaching to the converted, I know.

Have fun


Castle Combe Track Day Now Booking

castle_coombe300Come and join us for a TVAM exclusive track and training day at the fabulous Castle Combe circuit on Tuesday 20th May 2014.

This is a road bike only event for those riders wishing to explore the full capabilities of their bike in a safe and controlled environment.

There will be 4 groups of 15 riders, with session of 15 min duration.

There are strict noise limits here, your bike will need to pass the limit of 105db static at half a meter and three quarters of your rev range. You will need leathers, either one or two piece that zip together.

We have 60 spaces available at the very reasonable price of £120.00.

For further information contact Dave Hepworth at

To book your place go to the TVAM Webshop.

New T-Shirts available for 7Ws #28


The finishing touches are being done for the T-Shirts. They are going to look like the attached so if you would like a T-Shirt then please let Ian know asap via the TVAM Forum here.

The price is being held at £10 per shirt.


Ian Dickinson

Posted in 7Ws

Rob Barber, TT rider, attending 7Ws #28

Rob Barber- ZERO TT 2012  004AJust to let you know that Rob Barber, TT Zero rider (as well as BSB etc.) is planning to come along to 7Ws again and be our guest at the awards dinner on Saturday evening.  Although he can’t bring any bikes this time (they’re being prepped for racing, which apparently takes priority…) he has asked Jenny Tinmouth, the only female BSB rider, if she’d like to come along too – we’re waiting to hear if Jenny can make it.

Oh, and Rob is planning to borrow a road bike so he can come out with us on one of the runs on Saturday…

From the Saddle (Slipstream February 2014)


Hi everyone. Where is the time going? Already we are into February and it only seems like yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and the New Year.

TVAM is a great club, with lots of members covering a large geographical area, so one of the challenges is communication, and ensuring that everyone is aware of what’s going on and how to get involved. We have the website, forum and Yahoo groups, which really help, but sometimes finding out which teams are where and what other opportunities there are within TVAM is not as simple as it could be – until now! This weekend we are releasing the TVAM Passport.
The TVAM Passport lists details of all riding-related activities that are available for TVAM members. From initial Associate rides, through to taking the Advanced Test; social rides and the 7Ws; courses such as Look Lean Roll and BikeCraft; other training opportunities like the Enhanced Advanced, through to becoming an Observer. It’s all in there with space for you to keep your own personal record. Printed on high quality card and supplied with a neat plastic wallet, it’s designed to be easily stored in your tank bag so you can keep it with you. The TVAM Passport will be issued to all new TVAM members from this weekend, and is freely available to all existing members too – just see Steve or Alison on the Membership Desk.
TVAM’s Annual Ball, held on the 26th of January, was a great success, and raised around £1,000 in support of the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. As I write this, we are still totting up the money but hope to have a total figure to announce at St Crispin’s.

We are planning for all Observers who are currently radio validated to be re-assessed under the new IAM guidelines. We have 60+ re-assessments to conduct, so this will not be an overnight task, but I would like to see significant progress on this before the end of year. In addition, we have a growing number of National Observers, so we will soon be in a position to start validating our own Observers under the new Local Observer framework. The Local Observer status and framework is still in pilot stage with the IAM, so we will see how it develops. Amanda Smith and Jon Taylor from the IAM attended an Observer evening in December to discuss the National and Local Observer programmes, and I will provide a summary of all the comments I received to the IAM shortly.

The IAM’s F1RST grade is gaining more recognition within TVAM, and we have a growing number of F1RST passes, which is fantastic news. In my last column I mentioned that I had emailed a list of all our members who had passed their test during the retrospective qualifying period to the IAM to see how many were eligible for F1RST membership. They confirmed one other, but sadly the IAM claim not to be able to find or read 25% (19 in total) of the test reports. I’ll be contacting those concerned to see if they have their own copy of their test report so we can check ourselves.

Thanks Amanda Coneley for all the time and effort she put into the Cross Check position over the previous year, and to Rick Watson for stepping forward and taking this on.

I have held the position of Chief Observer for 4 years now, and it continues to provide interesting, challenging and rewarding times. Subject to my re-election at the AGM in March, I look forward to continuing in this role and working with you all to ensure that TVAM continues to deliver the highest possible standards of coaching for our Associates.

Andy Wedge
Chief Observer


An Evening with Charley Boorman

Thursday 6th February at Bahnstormers Maidenhead showroom


Bahnstormer are holding an ‘Evening with Charley Boorman’ on Thursday 6th February at the Maidenhead showroom.

Of course, you’ll know who Charley Boorman is and what he has done, but here is a chance to hear Charley talk about his latest projects, past adventures and life in general.  For those who have heard him before, you will understand that he makes an engaging and humorous speaker.

The actual show will last approximately one and a half hours and Charley will be available to meet guests and sign autographs / pictures etc. afterwards

Event address:
Bahnstormer Maidenhead
71-73 Furze Platt Road

Thursday 6th February
Doors open 6pm
Event starts 7pm

Charley will be available to meet guests and sign autographs / pictures etc. after the show

On street or
Weight Watchers House
St Peter’s Road
First right past the dealership (coming from Maidenhead town centre)
200m on the left is the Weight Watchers car park

How to pay:
Secure payment can be made by card through PayPal (please click for payment link)
Email address for payment is
Send £20 for each ticket required
Confirmation will be sent a week before the event

Bahnstormer Motorrad
John Gilbride
Marketing Manager
Gosport Road
Lower Farringdon
GU34 3DJ

Tel:     + 44(0) 1420 587 007
Fax:    + 44(0) 1420 588 999

From the Chair (Slipstream January 2014)


Happy New Year to all our club members.

The majority of club members join TVAM with the aim of learning new skills, gaining confidence and finding some like-minded people to go riding with. Having attained their initial goal, many have stayed on to help others and to join in the fun.
I recently went around the club and asked a variety of people what they liked most about the club. The overwhelming response was that it was the camaraderie, banter and sharing time with their friends. One, in particular, gave special mention to Ken Jeddere-Fisher (who kindly organises runs and trips for all club members) for having brought him and his, now, wife together. Thanks Ken.

Have you made any plans for 2014?

You can rely on TVAM members to provide a few interesting activities and a couple of those ‘I really should do’ courses.
Last year I managed four trips to Wales, one to Spain, helped a few people through riding, coaching and cross-checking and attended a few meetings.

Already I have been blessed that one of my friends has rallied some people with similar riding styles together for a long weekend riding. Yay!

Currently I’m busy route planning my next social ride for the club. The hardest bit is to plot petrol stations and indoor eateries that are appropriate (fast, cheapish, provide tasty food with places to put jackets and helmets) and close-ish to some interesting roads that I have found. The result gives me huge satisfaction when others tell me how much they enjoyed their day out.

How about you? Have you offered to plan a ride or organise a trip yet? Perhaps others are waiting for you….

Perhaps you have got a new gadget to try. Please share your experience on the web forum and in Slipstream.

Some people plan a long way ahead. I know one member enjoyed the Toy Run so much, she has bought her outfit for the next Christmas Toy Run (I am not naming names) – Wow, how fantastic is that?
Paperwork: The annual accounts not only provide the factual report of our club’s state of affairs, we make it much more interesting. So it includes all the leaders’ fun pieces to let you know about some of the key events. By the time you get to read this, the annual report will hopefully be in the library, on the website for all signed up members to download.

Take care, have fun, and start doing those household chores now in order to earn Brownie points for use in nicer weather.

Safe riding


Thanks to all the Marshals


I wanted to officially thank all 130+ people who volunteered to undertake the various marshalling duties on the 28th annual Reading Toy Run event held on the 8th of December.

I know that some of you had medical issues, bike issues, some travelled great distances, some had wanted a year off and others had put aside very personal issues to come out and support this charity event.

It’s no mean feat that the Toy Run goes as smoothly as it does because of the dedication shown by those such as yourselves. And without that level of commitment the run simply wouldn’t happen.

A big thank you goes to Andy Gardiner, Steve Mason and Steve Harris, who all stepped up to their new challenges this year. Further thanks goes to Lyn, Yvonne, Steve M, Robina, the Heralds, the Servs and all the (orange) Traffic Trained Marshals.

Finally, to all volunteer Toy Run marshals, on behalf of myself, Ben and Jane Spiller, Sean Stillman, Barnardos High Close School and the several thousand grateful children who will have a better 2013 Christmas…

…thank you, have a great Christmas and a safe New Year.

Garry Andrews
Chief Marshal

Thanks to Richard Clauson for this set of images

Slipstream Xmas Xtra out now!


The Slipstream team have created a festive Slipstream Xmas Xtra edition for you this month and it’s available on the website now. Just click the cover image on the left to access it.

This extra edition is available as download only (we don’t normally create a printed version in December).  If you have never used the website before, just fill in the New Registration details section and click Submit.  Your membership details will be checked and then you will receive a confirmation email and initial password shortly afterwards.

Enjoy the magazine and Happy Christmas

Salli G
Slipstream Editor