Firstly this month, my congratulations go to Clive Marsden and Chris Brownlee, Clive achieved a Masters Pass with Jon Taylor the IAM Staff Examiner and Chris was awarded National Observer status with Craig Gande the new IAM Quality Manager for this region. I look forward to handing these awards out at the next St. Crispin’s so a big cheer please. The IAM Masters award is designed to be the equivalent of a Police Class 1 Standard but at road legal speeds. If you are interested in finding out more have a chat with Clive or Andy Wedge, our two current Masters, or see the IAM website.

You may have noticed at St. Crispin’s recently an increase in the number of newcomers turning up to see what TVAM has to offer. Some of these will have been referred to us from the IAM’s BikeMoments promotion. They will have responded to the IAM’s marketing and their details forwarded to us. As you probably know, most of our membership comes direct to us so it is nice to see the IAM promoting TVAM.

On the subject of newcomers I would also like to highlight the great job done by our Meet and Greet Team. The first visit to St. Crispin’s can be a daunting experience. Newcomers are often surprised by the sheer number of bikes and people who all seem to know each other, let alone the thought of having their riding assessed by one of those scary Observers! Having someone in a red t-shirt or a ‘Friendly Face’ say hello and tell them what we are all about can make or break a newcomer’s first opinion of TVAM and we all know the importance of first impressions! So well done.

My thanks also to Simon Whatley for responding to an invitation from the VMCC (Vintage Motorcycle Club) to visit them at their local meeting and conduct some observed rides. As a result seven of us met at the Englefield Social Club on a damp Tuesday evening and after some brief introductions in the car park I found myself chasing a very sprightly octogenarian on a seventies Honda twin across the Oxfordshire countryside. I had expected to see a range of old British iron but the majority of the bikes present were early Japanese and how nice it was to see them being used as they were intended. It gave me reason to reflect on how much power we really need as I watched an experienced rider on an old 400cc Honda with maybe 30bhp and skinny tyres executing well-timed overtakes on full throttle. It just goes to show as we always say “It’s not what you ride, it’s how you ride it”. The VMCC guys seemed to enjoy the ride-outs and have asked us back next year so maybe an opportunity to drag that classic out from the back of the garage next year?

Finally this month, on behalf of the Committee, I would like to welcome Mimi Carter Jonas to the post of Events Co-ordinator. Mimi brings a wealth of ideas and
enthusiasm to the Committee so watch this space on the social side of TVAM.

Safe Riding

Pat Coneley
Chief Observer