I’m sorry that I was not able to be at St Crispin’s in March. Hev and I were in the Caribbean celebrating a significant wedding anniversary. I have to say, it was a shock walking off the plane at 7am in Gatwick with the outside air temperature of -2°C, when we had left Antigua a few hours earlier at +28°C! That said, the weather since has been positively balmy and the number of bikes out enjoying the dry roads is really encouraging to see.

I am told that the number of motorcycles at St Crispin’s in March was 296, which is the second highest meeting number since we started keeping records of attendance and a record for March. Whether it was just the good weather or you just fancied a ride out on your bike, thank you to all that came along and I hope that you had a great day.

At this time of year we see large numbers of motorcyclists, many of whom have not been out for many months, and we have all seen those that clearly have not been coached in advanced riding. We tend to hear more conversations about (and please excuse the terminology) ‘boy racers’ hooning around and giving motorcycling and motorcyclists a bad name. It’s very easy for all motorcyclists to be labelled the same and it’s therefore even more important for us all to remember to ride to the TVAM/IAM RoadSmart standards, at all times, and show a good example to all other road users.

The calendar in Slipstream is filling up nicely with more and more social rides, many being put on regularly by the seven social groups, and many more being done by various members for the enjoyment of all. It’s great to see rides of 15-20 riders getting out, riding and socialising for whole days, as well as the smaller rides of between 5 and 10 riders who may be out for a shorter time.

If you are thinking of taking part in any of these organised rides, please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for the briefing and always remember to ride in a manner that is not going to give cause for complaint from your fellow riders or members of the public. We have various categories of ride and therefore the briefing will vary for the type of ride you’re attending. The run leader and back-marker will have worked hard to put the ride together, so please do listen to the briefing carefully.

If you do take part in a social ride and you’ve had fun, why not write about it, add a few photographs and send it to Salli at slipstream@tvam.org so it can be shared with the membership. You could also consider sharing the route for others to enjoy.

Talking of group rides, by the time you read this the 41st running of the 7Ws will have taken place. This is the pinnacle training weekend for Associates in the Club to head to Wales for some great coaching on outstanding roads. I’m sure that next month’s Slipstream will be full of photographs of happy-faced riders having enjoyed the trip away.

As usual 7Ws was over subscribed and, because priority is given to Associates, it meant that we could not take as many Full Members as we have done before. For this reason we launched 3Rs as a training weekend with priority given to Full Members, and this will take place in May. The team have put a fantastic long weekend together, with a balance of social runs and training runs for all to enjoy. We have limited this to a total of 30 people and it was again over subscribed. If you have missed out on this occasion for either of these trips, then details of future trips will be posted in Slipstream and on groups.io as soon as we can secure dates.

March saw the first of our evening seminars, held at the Masonic Hall in Wokingham. Hev Smith, our friendly Club Paramedic, hosted an informative evening about what to do if you’re first to arrive at the scene of an incident. Hev started the seminar by getting people into groups and setting the scene of a road traffic incident and told them that they were the first people to arrive. They had to think about what they would do and every few minutes she would add something to the scenario. This was clever because it got the room talking and getting to know each other a little. Hev then went through with the groups the sorts of things they had considered and there was some good open discussion about the importance of keeping themselves safe and managing the scene to assist anyone that was injured and preserve the scene should investigation be required. The second part of the session talked about some basics to look for and deal with in order to preserve life. DRScABC is something that will now hopefully stick in the minds of the 32 members at the event. A huge thanks to Hev for giving the presentation, Michael Hattey for being an excellent patient and to WOBMOB for hosting the event.

We are hoping that there will be 7 of these events throughout the year, each one hosted by a different social group. We want to host events that the members want, so if you have a suggestion then talk to your social team leader and they can bring it to the committee. Seminars can be hosted within your social group location and we just ask that they are motorcycle related and are open to all Club members. BAR are hosting an evening with Austin Vince, on the 15th June, and you can read more about that in this issue.

Finally, if you’re an Associate and would like to know what to expect on your test, or an Observer and to want to know a little more about the test process, the Committee will be hosting a ‘Meet the Examiner’ evening at the Masonic Hall in Wokingham in late April/early May. Details will be coming out to all members on groups.io shortly.

Have fun and stay safe everyone.

Barrie Smith