Hi everyone, this is the last bit from me this year (no Slipstream in December) so I’ll keep it brief.

Charon, Pat and I spent the day at Aston University in Birmingham on Sunday 2nd November representing TVAM at the IAM National Conference. This was a well organised and well attended event, and a good chance to catch up with Chairs, Chief Observers and the like from many other IAM groups across country. We each attended a number of workshops covering a range of topics from IAM Strategy to Riding Standards. Some confirmed what we already knew and some of it was new information. We’ll be issuing a write-up shortly with our own views on each of the topics.

It seems the long summer days are well and truly behind us. Colder mornings and dark evenings are the order of the day at the moment. The sun being low in the sky low brings its own problems with reduced visibility. If you’re commuting towards London in the morning and back again in the evening you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Of course, low sun brings long shadows that can leave patches of the road we ride on wetter or icier than the surrounding area. Roadcraft refers to these as Micro Climates. The section in How to be a better rider starting on page 100 also has some excellent advice on riding in tricky conditions. If you haven’t read those sections yet then I recommend you do.

If you have read them, a refresh never hurts.

An Advanced Rider is always one step ahead of the game, always anticipating and preparing to act if necessary. Remember the three questions you should ask yourself as you ride and that form the basis of your riding plan;

  • What can I see?
  • What can’t I see?
  • What can I reasonably expect to happen?

Always travel at a speed that is applicable for the prevailing conditions and stay safe.

This month we wave goodbye to our Membership Secretary, Steve Watson, as he moves to Devon to be surrounded by running ducks (I kid you not). On behalf of TVAM, I’d just like to say thanks to Steve for all of his hard work over the past few years, and for the home-made biscuits and cakes that kept us going in our Committee meetings. We wish you all the best and I’m sure you’ll be seeing some of us down your way soon.

Andy Wedge
Chief Observer