The improvement in weather over the last month or two has seen a welcome increase in our riding activities – and also more bike traffic on the roads. We encourage everyone to ride appropriately at all times and bear in mind that other road users can see how we ride and may comment if our riding is not appropriate.

In April we held the latest incarnation of our flagship training weekend, the 7Ws. In response to feedback from previous weekends we made some changes to this 7Ws:

  • We changed the start point to the Wandering Kitchen at Berinsfield. The café opened early especially for us and provided everyone with bacon, sausage, egg and hash brown baps, pastries, teas and coffees – all very efficiently. The change in start point meant a wider choice of routes to leave Oxfordshire.
  • We changed venue to the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells. After several years at the Commodore Hotel (also in Llandrindod Wells), we couldn’t get the dates we wanted, so we thought we’d try the Metropole which we’ve used for the Observer Weekend for many years. We hoped the higher prices would be justified by more comfort, better facilities and better food.
  • We opted to use smaller groups of two Associates and one Observer to get to Wales on the Friday, rather than the larger social runs, as well as retaining this format for the Saturday sessions too. This provides Associates with more opportunities to read the road and ride for themselves, as well as being more flexible. Full Members were catered for with runs in smaller groups of up to six, with optional observation.

We’re very pleased with the feedback that we have received on the weekend which has, with one or two small exceptions, been universally supportive of the changes. We will, therefore, be retaining these changes for forthcoming 7Ws weekends.

I’d like to thank the Training Team for taking on the organisation of 7Ws, moving the weekend to a new format and making it such a success. Do read the article (page 8 Slipstream May 2022) to find out more about 7Ws from the perspective of an Observer, an Associate and a Full Member.

I’m very pleased to announce that Sam Grant has joined the TVAM Training Team. Sam brings a wealth of business process experience to the team and, as an Associate, will be able to contribute directly to the development of our revised Associate Training Programme.

Some Full Members have been getting out early on the Advanced Plus rides that we offer – and you can sign up for these at the Green Team desk at
St. Crispin’s, as well as online. We’re pleased to be able to offer an extension of this with Advanced Plus rides now available in Yorkshire, courtesy of our very own Nigel Taylor. There’s a short article on page 7 (Slipstream May 2022) about how this works and how to book up. I’m sure this will be a popular extension to our Advanced Plus

Here’s to a great summer of riding!

Chris Brownlee
Chief Observer