Although this article from me every other month is titled ‘From the Saddle,’ it appears that it may be some time before we can get out on our bikes again.

I was thinking back to February St Crispin’s when we took the unusual step of cancelling the observed rides and social rides that Sunday due to the bad weather. It’s always a difficult decision, especially when making it in advance of the day, to judge whether or not we should go ahead. Of course, we’re all ‘thinking riders’ (aren’t we?) so we might be able to leave the decision to individuals. We also have a duty of care, however, and we need to ensure that those coming to the meeting have a reasonable expectation of whether they’re going to get a ride or not. I think we made the right call that day and there are no badges for attempting to ride in inappropriate conditions.

That decision, however, has become somewhat insignificant given the scale of decisions we had to make in March to suspend all riding activities and all face-to-face meetings and events. Of course, with the country in lockdown mode and only essential travel permitted those decisions have now been overtaken by advice from the Government, and from IAM RoadSmart. We are continuing to review our activities in light of their advice, and we expect this situation to continue for some time.  We will continue to try and provide updates on a rolling basis.

So, what to do?

Some teams have transferred their regular meetings to an online meeting. Different technologies are being used and it’s good to see the Team Leaders swapping notes on what is working best. Some teams are using the sessions to discuss learning opportunities and I’m looking forward to a session on Saturday on off-siding and positioning.

The events team is rescheduling on a rolling basis to try and have a full calendar of events ready for the time we can get back on our bikes.

Why not start to plan those trips you’ve always promised to do? There’s help available from others in your local team or in TVAM, so if you’re stuck then just ask for help on  Like you, there are others stuck at home looking for something constructive to do.

Take a look at that Advanced Riding Course material you’ve always meant to catch up on or take a more measured approach to re-reading Roadcraft, or Full Control… Don’t forget we have an online knowledge quiz available – there’s a link to the quiz from ( and yes, the results are anonymous!

Lastly, please take a minute to check that those you know are safe and well, including those in the club. A couple of emails or phone calls are an easy to way to stay in touch, especially if you haven’t heard from someone or if they haven’t been active on or in your local team.

I do hope that we’ll be able to get out riding in the near future, particularly as the weather is looking so nice, and in the meantime please continue to follow the guidelines and stay safe.

Best wishes

Chris Brownlee
Chief Observer