I’m writing this after arriving home from leading Barrie’s Bimble to the Haven Café, Salisbury. I found out on Monday 24th that they were closing down on 31st January and just couldn’t resist putting together one last bimble to this excellent independent café. I limited the ride to 20 bikes and it filled up within 48hrs. Hopefully one of my fellow bimblers will be kind enough to share the experience here in a future issue.

After St Crispin’s in January we held the AGM. I am grateful to the 52 Members that physically attended the meeting in the sixth form block at St Crispin’s and helped us to eat the food provided. Thank you also to the 48 Members that felt confidence in the Committee and gave us their proxy votes for the meeting.

I’m pleased to report that the minutes of last year’s AGM and the Annual Report for 2020-21 were approved unanimously and the members of the Committee, that were remaining in post, were all duly elected unanimously.

After five years as Club Secretary, Adrian Ellison has stood down and Ian Gaitley has been elected into the role. Whilst Ian has some huge shoes to fill, the Committee is extremely happy that Ian has stepped up to the position and we know that he will have Adrian’s assistance getting up to speed. Adrian has done a huge amount to ensure that the Club has both developed and not fallen foul of the numerous rules and regulations that can so easily trip up a charity such as TVAM.

After four years as our Events Coordinator, Phil Donovan has stepped down. Phil has enthusiastically put on events for our members and a change in his career means that he does not have as much time to devote to the role as he has had in the past.

As at the AGM, I’d like to publicly thank both Adrian and Phil for the efforts that they have put into TVAM for the benefit of all of our members. Both Adrian and Phil received the traditional glass tankards that are given to Committee Members when they stand down.

At the AGM the Committee outlined our objectives for 2022. Some things have continued, as we’ve been a little restricted over the past two years by the pandemic, such as promoting the RideUP scheme, strengthening our links with other road safety charities and continuing to recognise our most active members.

We really want our members to share their experiences, good and bad. Salli is always happy to receive articles about your activities, in order that they may be shared with our membership in Slipstream (slipstream@tvam.org). We also really want to know when things don’t go quite to plan. We appreciate that some
incidents can be a little embarrassing for individuals, however reporting of these enables us to identify where we may wish to strengthen our training for the benefit of all members. An example of this is the Machine Handling course, which was developed to help people with moving their bikes around manually without dropping them. We’re not looking to name and shame, we just want the opportunity to learn. Don’t be too proud to share and ask for help.

The vast majority of you will have heard of, and have likely experienced, our excellent 7W’s training weekends that take place twice a year and focus on training for Associates with a combination of observed and social rides over three days. Well, we now want to run a similar training weekend with the focus being on Full Members that wish to hone their skills. I am pleased to announce that we’re re-launching our 3R’s weekends, which we want to run primarily as a training weekend for our green badge Members. Full details of the weekend will be issued shortly and we hope that this will become another regular event
in the annual calendar, a couple of times a year.

Membership events are also changing. The Committee wish to reach out to the seven Social Groups, that make up TVAM, and ask them for ideas of the types of seminars they wish to have throughout spring and autumn. It’s fair to say that the local teams know their members the best and we’re wanting each team to take ownership of one of our seminars per year. That doesn’t mean being left to deal with the event yourselves, merely coming up with an idea or a contact that could put on a talk to a larger group of enthusiastic motorcyclists. These could be in your social area or at a central location. Please speak to your Team Leader if you have an idea and they can bring it to the Committee for the support needed to get it running. We’re hoping for a seminar each month in March to June and September to November.

We’re starting in March with a seminar hosted by WOBMOB and open to all members within the Club. This will be a talk by Hev Smith, our resident paramedic, about what you should do if you arrive first on scene at a road traffic collision. This will be held at the Masonic Hall in Wokingham and is planned to be an interactive evening – depending on your participation – whereby you will leave far more informed than you may be now. Look out on Groups.io for details coming soon.

I’m excited about the coming year and the things that we have planned already for the benefit of all members. I hope that you enjoy reading this month’s edition of Slipstream and very much look forward to seeing many of you at the various evening seminars, training weekends and out on the road generally over the coming year.

Have fun and stay safe everyone.

Barrie Smith