I’d like to start my piece this month by wishing you all a Happy New Year and I do hope that you had a merry and peaceful Christmas to round off 2022.

As mentioned in my last article in October, the Committee and other volunteer members had been working hard putting together the Annual Report which has since been published on groups.io to all members. I do hope that you have been able to find time to take a look and see how well the Club has done over the past year.

In January we hold our AGM after our monthly Club meeting. This year it will be held on Sunday 15th from 12.30pm – 2pm in the Sixth Form Block at St Crispin’s School. In order to be quorate, we require a minimum of 5% of the membership to either be in attendance or to have submitted their proxy vote to the Committee by the start of the AGM. This is your opportunity to hear about how the Club has performed in the previous year and for the Committee to present their proposals for the coming year. It is also an opportunity for members to vote for the officers of the Committee, for those Committee members being re-elected and on the various resolutions being proposed. Should you wish to submit your proxy vote or register your interest to be elected to one of the officer positions, please visit groups.io where you will find the AGM announcement pinned to the top of the ‘All Members’ area and links to both of the forms.

I very much look forward to seeing many of you at the AGM and a finger buffet will be provided, just in case you needed any more encouragement. This is your Club so please do attend and make your vote count.

Plans for the new riding season are well under way and the Training Team have been busy planning the spring 7Ws event. This event generally kicks off the riding season and is a training weekend in Wales where Associates get priority. We’re awaiting dates to be confirmed by the Metropole in Llandrindod Wells and an announcement will be made soon. Look out for notifications in groups.io coming soon, if not already announced.

Like myself, many of you ride your bikes all year round. Riding in less than perfect conditions is a skill that we should all work on to ensure that we can adequately deal with all conditions. I was lucky enough to be chatting with Alan Thomas at a recent weekend away in Devon. Alan is an IAM examiner, long standing member of TVAM and Rapid Training instructor. It was a particularly moist weekend and some words from our conversation that really struck a chord with me were “we should ride in the wet exactly as we should ride in the dry”. Paying particular attention to the word ‘should’, Alan’s point was that our bikes and tyres are designed to work as well in the wet as they do in the dry, it’s only our ability and fears that make us feel and do things differently. If we keep things smooth and remain able to stop in the distance we can see to be clear then the bike will cope with the conditions.

This brings me nicely onto the fact that Rapid Training offer coached rideouts and development days throughout the winter and TVAM have secured excellent discounts for TVAM members. By using the link on the groups.io ‘Wiki’ in the ‘All Members’ area, you can gain access to these excellent days and other discounts on Rapid Training courses throughout the year. I can happily say that your money will be well spent and you’ll have a fantastic day’s riding.

To finish my piece this month I’d like to talk briefly about a couple of Committee members who have stepped down or are stepping down at the AGM. Firstly, I’d like to mention Alan Hudson, our previous Green Team Leader. Alan stood down in May ’22 after four years in post and whilst leading the Green Team, Alan was an active member of the Committee and instrumental in the creation and running of the pillion rider course. Alan did a good job in the role and is now looking for his next challenge alongside continuing to run the pillion rider course.

Secondly, I’d like to mention Chris Brownlee, our Chief Observer. Chris will be standing down at the AGM as his 5-year tenure is up and constitutionally he must leave his post. Chris took over as Chief Observer in 2018 and has seen the Club through one of the most testing times in its history with the pandemic. As Chair of the Club, I have worked closely with Chris, as did the previous chair Andy Slater, to ensure that we have managed a route through an extremely difficult three years to help keep us all as safe as possible whilst continuing to train as and when we could.

It’s been a pleasure working with both Alan and Chris and I hope that both will remain with the Club for many years to come and share their skills further in other areas of TVAM.

Barrie Smith
TVAM Chair