TVAM members have been in the news of late with an article in the magazine ‘My Weekly’ about women bikers and featuring our very own Lyn Allen. As a member of TVAM since 1991 and an ex-Observer with 10 IAM test passes as well as being a Look, Lean & Roll instructor, Lyn has made a significant contribution to the success of our club, so it is great to see her recognised in the media.

Also in the news this week are TVAM Observers Andy Smith and Iain James, with a mention in ‘IAM Inform’ the weekly update from the IAM, celebrating their National Observer awards following their successful assessments with Shaun Cronin, the Regional Quality Manager (RQM). Both Andy and Iain
described the assessment as being enjoyable and challenging so our congratulations go to them both. Andy’s account of his experience will be in Slipstream next month. This brings TVAM’s total of Observers qualified to the IMI National standard to 24. As with all IAM Groups we have until January 2018 to achieve IMI accreditation at Local or National level of all our Observers.

If you were at the last St. Crispin’s Sunday, you would have seen some new red banners in the main hall. These denote the Red Zone, a place for Associates to meet and chat in the hope that St. Crispin’s might be a less bewildering environment for newer members. The Red Zone has been set up in response to the Membership Survey which highlighted the need for a dedicated space for Associates. Since the introduction last month the response to this has been very positive, so please let us know what you think.

You may also see some of us wearing new orange badges, these identify TVAM’s Social Run Leaders. Social Rides have long been the mainstay of TVAM activities and a key contributor to TVAM’s high level of membership retention. The committee recognises the time, effort and fuel that run leading demands and wanted that to be honoured. The orange badge will be awarded to those successfully completing the Run Leader element of the Group Riding Skills Course. We will also award the badge to experienced, current run leaders. Leading a social run can be hugely rewarding when it all goes well and like many things the secret is in the planning, and to help with this the Green Team have developed a comprehensive training day which covers Group Riding Skills, Run Leading, Back Marking and includes a practical exercise. The next course is on the 17th September at Thatcham Football Ground, I’ll be attending and I hope to see some of you there.

On a more sobering note, the 2015 DfT Road Casualty Statistics have recently been released. These are an annual report of the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads for all road users, and have been produced yearly since 1926. As you might expect numbers rose in the early years of motoring in line with the growth in motor vehicles, then started to fall in 1983 with introduction of the seat belt law. The lowest figure to date was in 2013 with a figure of 1,713 fatalities. The 2015 report shows an overall reduction in fatalities for all road user groups except motorcycles, where the figure has risen 8% to a shocking 365 fatalities. This places motorcyclists in the highest risk category at 21% of the fatalities but only 1% of the road population. If you wish to find out more about the report it is available to view or download on the DfT website. Although few of us would wish to dwell on these figures it does highlight the relevance of all the training that we offer at TVAM.

On a cheerier note I made a reference earlier to TVAM’s membership rates which are improving. We are attracting new members at a slightly lower rate but more of us are staying, so the total membership has risen to 950 which makes us the largest of all the IAM groups.

Ride Safe

Safe Riding!


Pat Coneley

Chief Observer