Hi everyone, and welcome to another Covid-19-government-guideline-friendly Slipstream!

Whilst there have been some adjustments to the government guidelines for Covid-19, the changes have had little impact on what we can do as a club. In England, we can still conduct social (and socially distanced) runs for up to six people, and we can carry out observed runs for up to three people, so Trainee Observers can participate too.

The smaller groups for social runs have continued to be very popular and teams are organising multiple runs to cater for demand. This has only been possible because so many have stepped up to  volunteer as Run Leaders. If you would like to have a go at run-leading then have a word with your team leader – this is a great time to start. Smaller groups mean less pressure, and shorter runs are very popular. There is plenty of help available within your team and any Full Member can lead a run. And you make loads of friends being a Run Leader too!

The smaller groups are proving so popular that we are intending to continue to allow Run Leaders to restrict the size of their runs even when we exit the Covid-19 world of guidelines (whenever that may be!).

There is an article on page 7 on Membership by Portfolio. You will read that Membership by Portfolio provides an alternative route to full membership of IAM RoadSmart and TVAM for those that are put off by the prospect of a formal test. Nationally, around 50% of Associates that embark on an Advanced Driver or Advanced Rider Course never actually take their test, so the portfolio route has been introduced to improve this. If you know someone that hesitates to join TVAM because of the test, then please let them know about this new route. It’s worth noting that we expect to keep the standard as high as it is via the test route!

Other activities, particularly face-to-face social meetings and most of our trips and courses, including Look, Lean, Roll continue to have to take a back seat for the time being. Local teams are conducting video meetings and the virtual St Crispin’s meeting at 9am on the third Sunday is gaining in popularity – we even have test pass announcements now too as IAM RoadSmart has re-commenced the advanced tests. The virtual St Crispin’s also has ‘breakout sessions’ for the Trainee Observers and for those interested in becoming an Observer. See details on page 4 for the link to join the virtual meeting which is also on the Groups.io calendar.

Traffic levels are building, and not everyone on the road appears to have fully adjusted to the them, so do take time to apply the advanced riding principles – and have fun!

Best wishes

Chris Brownlee
Chief Observer