By tradition, the summer months are the busiest in the riding calendar. Trips to the coast, ferries to far-off places and nights with mates drinking the local produce and eating generally superb food. Well, for Committee members it’s the same, off, away, outta here, not a care in the world, where’s the airstream jacket and sunscreen? Except that means of course doing the monthly committee meeting on Skype from hotel bedrooms, your sister’s study, or just before a business dinner complete with collar and tie. So just what has happened since the AGM in April? Quite a lot really…..
The most eye-catching was probably the Slow Riding event organised by David Jacobi in May. That was a fun day and the first event held at St Crispin’s on a Sunday afternoon. Well done David and all who competed, only next year make sure we don’t let those imposters from Wey Valley leave with the trophies.
The Green Team has just announced the Ride-On scheme, now in trial phase, which will enable any Full Member to continue to develop their riding skills. It’s seen as a real alternative for those who don’t have the time or inclination to be an Observer at this point.
We’ve announced that the price of club membership will drop by £1 for those paying by Direct Debit from November – our new financial year. Alright, it’s only four cups of coffee at St Crispin’s but what else of importance is going down in price just now?
We’ve had our first pass on the young riders Ride-Up scheme, where the club is sponsoring young riders to go through the Advanced Riding Course and take their test. This was our first attempt at putting back some of the club’s assets into helping those who we feel are most vulnerable on the road. We’ve also got a candidate who’s passed cross check, so expect a second pass to be announced soon.
The club is increasingly being asked to speak on motorcycle issues by the media, and we’ve appeared on the BBC South Today programme talking about potholes and twice now on Radio Berkshire.
We’re strengthening our relations with the motorcycle dealers in the area to raise awareness of who we are and what we do. We convinced the IAM to fund the Advanced Riding Course for the head of BMW Maidenhead, and in return they are now including the club’s flyer in every bike sales pack. We’re repeating this approach with independent dealer Hatfields of Crowthorne, who will also be present at St Crispin’s soon.
Chris Brownlee has been developing our relationship with Bucks County Council and their Be a Better Biker events, in conjunction with Bucks Fire & Rescue. The last event led to a request from the Reading Harley Owners Group to run a session just for them. In addition, Chris is coordinating our relationships with Bucks Fire & Rescue, Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue, and with the Metropolitan, Thames Valley and Hampshire Police Forces on the Police BikeSafe schemes.
Our Chief Observer Pat Coneley, the Training Team and numerous Observers have been working hard to qualify as either National or Group Observers. The momentum is really high as we move to the cut-off date at the end of this year for all Observers to be IMI qualified (Institute of the Motor Industry).
And we’ve just doubled the capacity of the very popular Look Lean & Roll course thanks to a new team of trainers.
Finally, we’ve agreed to bring forward the club’s next AGM from April to January. This means it will be only 3 months after the year-end, which is much more timely. It does mean though we’ll need the Team Leaders to produce their annual reports at the end of October so they can be included in the club’s annual report.
So thanks to everyone who’s supporting the club in which ever way you do. Enjoy the sun, the rides, the company, and come back safe.