It’s only been a month since the Annual General Meeting in January. It was great to see so many of you there to support this and, for the first time, there was food left over!

Although most of the time at the AGM was spent reviewing the last TVAM year, we also spent some time looking at the objectives for the current year. We will be spending time as a committee to develop the activities to deliver these objectives and we will, of course, keep you informed as to progress.

A couple of the training-related activities that have already started are some further intensive Associate Training Weekends and a trial of Membership by Portfolio. Following the success of last year’s pilot Associate Training Weekend, the first of these weekends for 2020 will be held on the 4th and 5th April.  There’s more information on this in a short article from Barrie Smith of the Training Team on page 16.  If you’re an Associate and you think this approach might help then please contact the Training Team.

We are also running a trial of Membership by Portfolio. This will allow Associates to gain Full Membership of IAM RoadSmart without taking the formal, external riding assessment. We hope that this approach will enable us to attract more members that are put off by the prospect of a test, and also retain those Associates that feel they’re not able to successfully attempt the test. If you’re such an Associate, or if you know someone that might be more likely to join TVAM if there’s no test, then please let the Training Team know (

The very popular Biker Down course has been revised to bring the first-aid element of the course up to date and in line with current practice. This course, which is free, is a potential life-saver and will be of use to anyone that is first on the scene of an incident. The dates for courses in Thames Valley will be published (if they haven’t already) on the Biker Down Facebook page  I would strongly recommend attendance at this course.

Although we’re pretty much still in the depths of winter, it’s great to see so many runs and meetings happening, with people taking advantage, often at short notice, of the better weather days to get out and ride bikes. The calendar is being populated with social rides, weekends away and overseas trips – and lots of them are filling up quickly. There are trips to France, Germany, Spain as well as lots of UK trips – including Wales and Scotland. There are more details of all the runs, weekends and trips in Slipstream and on the calendar –

I hope to see you on a ride soon.

Best wishes

Chris Brownlee
Chief Observer