The Future for TVAM and our Environment?

During the national lockdown and with the various regional tier restrictions that followed, it has given us all a bit more time to reflect on our family priorities and key leisure activities. Our normal European bike tours have not been possible, plus overseas holidays cancelled. One outcome for many of us, has been to place a greater emphasis on the UK for riding and ‘stay at home’ holidays. In particular, the local environment of the Thames Valley plus surrounding counties, where many of us walk, ride and cycle to enjoy the outdoors, gaining some much-needed recreation and exercise.

Looking at what we do within TVAM, we essentially ride for pleasure, with skills instruction to aid our enjoyment whilst honing our safe riding skills. Put bluntly, we ride around in big circular routes burning fossil fuel. At this point it’s worth stating, “and long may that personal freedom continue” as I, for one, enjoy this activity immensely. It did however make me consider what we could do to mitigate our own CO2 emissions, aka Carbon Footprint?

After doing some on-line research it seems that a large motorcycle’s CO2 emissions are around 160-200kg of CO2 per 1,000 miles, whilst a healthy mature tree absorbs around 22kg of CO2 per year.

Putting this into context against TVAM activities, I wanted a ‘ballpark’ figure to work with, so if TVAM have ~500 active members on social rides, weekends/trips away, training and track days which on average do 1,200 TVAM specific club miles p.a. that gives a club Carbon 

Footprint of around 100 tonnes of CO2 per annum. This represents a sizeable forest of trees, almost 5,000 in total, which need ~2 hectares of land (20,000 square meters, equivalent to 5 acres).

This stark fact made me realise the size of the challenge faced, in wanting to fully offset our club CO2 emissions, but nothing worth doing comes easy. I then mused on ‘eating the elephant one bite at a time’ if we could just plant a tree for every member – each year for the next 5 years. This would make TVAM the first motorcycle club in the UK (in the world?) moving toward becoming a Carbon Neutral Organisation. But  what would this cost and how to achieve it?

I was pleasantly surprised that funding the purchase of sufficient trees is not the financial issue I had anticipated. Buying in bulk (1,000) Oak saplings 2-3 ft in height (60-90cm) have a cost of less than £1 each. It turns out that the English Oak is one of the best species for fixing the maximum amount CO2 in the UK climate.

My thoughts are to align with an existing Thames Valley Woodland Charity with a similar catchment area to TVAM so that the ‘halo effect’ benefits the local community, helping with our club profile and recruitment; we plant the trees where we live or ride our motorcycles. 

So what do we do – what’s next you ask?

The TVAM Committee have looked at this initiative, making a number of constructive proposals as to how best TVAM can support and implement for 2021 onwards. Namely that this is not mandatory on the membership, it would be funded entirely by additional voluntary contributions collected and donated from the membership. In January we will create a five year carbon neutrality campaign on the website. This will allow members to donate a one-off amount or to set up a recurring annual donation. If you are an income tax payer, we should be able to collect gift aid on this amount.

Volunteers required!

I will be looking to raise a small team to actively drive this initiative forwards, anyone who feels passionately about improving our environment is welcome to get involved. You will be asked to contribute as little or as much as you can spare e.g. become a day volunteer to go out supporting our tree planting activities along with our (yet to be) chosen woodland charity partner, or man an information/donations desk at St Crispin’s. I would stress that this initiative is just at the embryonic start-up stage and it will be up to the volunteer team to create and shape our detailed activity plans. We will be working for and on behalf of all TVAM members, with responsibility to deliver results in a productive and transparent way. Once up and running, we will track our progress against annual targets and report regularly via Slipstream and/or groups.io.

If you have comments, questions, suggestions or feel you can help, please make contact with myself directly winstnig@outlook.com or via the contact box in the web shop area for CO2 Neutrality donations.

Many thanks for your support

Nigel Winstanley

First published in Slipstream January 2021

New Online Presence

How long does a website last? In the case of TVAM’s nearly 10 years! Though continuously developed and tweaked, even our Webmaster Steve Dennis agreed the underlying format had reached its sell-by date in 2020. In the fast changing world of online, especially during the past year, the Committee agreed in August it was time for a new one. A requirements document was written and five web developers invited to tender. In the end we selected a submission by a club member which included a lot of his free time as a volunteer, making the venture affordable, whilst an agency, City Click Media, undertook the design.

A small working group was formed to manage the development which included writing all the copy, sourcing images and also developing a new logo. All done over the Christmas break. The new site is very firmly targeted at non-members encouraging them to:  Request a free Taster Ride; Apply for the RideUP Scheme; Buy the Advanced Rider Course, or Meet us at St Crispin’s. All great calls to action which visitors can use to engage with us.

Many organisations donated time and resources to the project at no-cost including; IAM RoadSmart, Nutty-Tart-Grafix, Hounddog Films, Toggled, This is Nicely Done Productions󷐬 and Nippyfingers Publishing, making it a true team effort and to everybody involved we offer our thanks.

To help promote the new website a 15s video has been produced for use on social media. Please look it up and forward it on to your biker mates who may not have (yet) joined the Club.

This new site for tvam.org will go live towards the end of January.

Salli Griffith

First published in Slipstream January 2021

The Triumph Trident Makes a Return

New look for an established name. Triumph’s middleweight for Spring 2021.

This is the first look at the full features of a bike which has been under wraps for the last few months, with few teasers to reveal its size, spec and pricing. October 30th was marked as the reveal date and I was signed up to get the rundown of this new model to compete against my Yamaha MT07 and the Honda CBR and the like and steal some of the Japanese market in middleweight motorcycles.

The Triumph Trident 660 has now been unveiled as a new entry-level triple that by Triumph’s own admission is designed to knock Yamaha’s MT-07 off the middleweight top spot. Many were thinking it would be a re-worked Street Triple S but for a start the engine is completely different and while they might share the same capacity, the bore and stroke are different as are the rest of the integral parts, so new piston, new crank, new cylinder head, new cases, new clutch, new liners, new camshafts…

We have the great combination of low down torque, a reasonably fat mid-range and a decent bit of top end. The chassis is all new, with Triumph saying that it delivers the typical ‘roadster’ handling we’ve come to expect from them. What’s especially nice is that even for the price point, it’s got nice bits of kit as standard, including 41mm Showa Separate Function forks, Nissin calipers and Michelin Road 5 tyres.

Where it really begins to look special is in the tech department. The Trident comes with a ride by wire throttle, so it’s got two riding modes – Road and Rain, that change the characteristics of both the throttle map and the traction control. ABS is standard. There’s some optional extra tech too, including a quickshifter/autoblipper and even tyre pressure monitors.

All of the tech is controlled through Triumph’s colour TFT display. Unlike other colour dashes that just give funky colours to the tacho, the dash on the Trident can be paired with a smartphone (if you buy the connectivity module) unlocking phonecalls, music and a satnav if that’s your bag and you don’t already have it set up as I do with a TomTom and Sena Bluetooth.

To keep running costs down the service intervals are every 10,000 miles, which is a fair bit higher than most of the competition. Then when it does go in for a service, Triumph have made an effort to reduce the time it spends in the workshop, with a service time nearly half that of some competitors. Lastly the Trident comes with a two year, unlimited mileage warranty. And all this for a basic £7,199. I’m very impressed and have my test ride booked when Bulldog Triumph get their test bike in January, and perhaps before, as December was muted as an earlier date but with the new lockdown who knows!

Now for the important stuff – it comes in 4 colour variants, personally I favour the silver grey and diablo red with a large Triumph logo on either side of the tank. There are plenty of extras already listed for whichever model you choose, with heated grips, tank and tail packs, tracking devices, engine protectors, lasered valve caps etc which certainly mount up the price as I specced what I would like, reaching nearer £8,000.

If you want to see more, head over to the Triumph website – www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/motorcycles/roadsters/trident and have a look for yourself.

Salli G – Editor

First published in Slipstream November 2020

Information from Triumph Motorcycles, MCN and Jason at Bulldog Triumph.

All images © Triumph Motorcycles 2020

AGM With A Difference

We all know that 2020 has been a very different year and the AGM is no different. As TVAM’s financial year draws to a close we have to plan for the Club’s AGM in January. As many of you know, this is normally held at St Crispin’s School after the MotoJumble and usual ride outs. However, as it looks unlikely that we will all be able to meet up in person by then (groan), the Committee have decided to hold the AGM virtually but on the same day: Sunday 17th January 2021 at 10:30am, straight after the virtual St Crispin’s.

What hasn’t changed is the importance of the AGM. Please do join in. Not only will we have the usual business of presenting the Annual Report and Accounts and electing Officers and members of the Committee, this is your chance to have a say in the running of your club.

Andy Slater and Paul Taylor have both indicated that they are stepping down, so we will need to elect a new Chair Person and Treasurer.

To help us plan for the virtual AGM, it would really be useful if you would register an interest. You can use the form here: https://bit.ly/3odgbdz

Don’t worry, this doesn’t compel you to attend at this stage but it allows me to make sure you get an invite to the virtual event.

All the papers for the AGM including the Agenda, draft Annual Report and Accounts, the minutes of the previous meeting, Nomination forms and full details of all the Resolutions, will be published on Groups.io on or before 21st December. Any Special Resolutions proposed by the membership must be submitted in writing to the Secretary by 3rd January. All completed Nomination Forms will need to be sent, also to the Secretary, no later than 10th January. If you have any questions about the AGM please get in touch, otherwise looking forward to “seeing you” there (virtually)!

Adrian Ellison
Secretary
secretary@tvam.org

And here’s the necessary legal bit…

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by order of the Committee that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists (TVAM; Company Number: 3556042; Charity Number: 1069767) will be held at 10.30am on Sunday 17th January 2021 via Teams to enable the Officers to present their Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st October 2020, to conduct an election of Officers and Committee Members as per the Articles of the Company, and to vote on Ordinary and Special Resolutions. All Members, Associates and Friends are invited to attend.

Girl Torque

The official TVAM discussion group for women members.

In September we finally started to get some runs going that I had promised the group pre-Covid. After rides out to Aston Pottery and then down to Longstock on the first two Saturdays of the month, both in glorious sunshine and September warmth, our third run of the month saw rather chillier autumnal temperatures taking over, with a couple of the group breaking out their electrically heated gear! Okay, I did have my heated grips on and also changed from my summer to winter gloves and added a layer.

Despite the coolness of the weather, the sun was shining and our little group headed out from St Crispin’s, which I haven’t seen since 2019, to enjoy Bryan Symon’s route which you will find on our centre pages this month. Starting from the Sainsbury’s store at Calcot we headed straight out onto country roads, thoroughly enjoying this first section. Bryan’s first marked stop was at The Grocer Chef, about 40 minutes into the route in the small village of Ardington. The cafe, also the village shop, had plenty of outdoor seating and we ordered coffee, managing to resist the cakes and pastries on offer. Our host was a keen motorcyclist and had rushed out to the front of the premises to see what we were riding, but in line with the route instructions we had parked up round the back of the buildings a short distance away. Note that you have to walk round past the bakery to access the front of the shop/café. If you can find your way into the centre of the village you can park immediately outside.

The Grocer Chef, Ardlington.

The Old Post Office, Guiting Power.

Refreshed we headed on north towards Charlbury and beyond before turning westwards and further into the Cotswolds on empty roads with a mix of fields of harvested crops, sheep, small towns and villages to view, then filtering through Stow-on-the-Wold and across the always busy A429 Fosse Way before heading to Lower Sewell on a narrow country road leading us up and away to our second stop, and time for lunch at The Old Post Office in Guiting Power. Parking around the corner we walked back to hopefully find some availability. With only a few busy two-seater tables at the front we were seated at the only available table inside this quaint eatery and shop, our luck was in. Ram-packed with odd bric-a-brac, cards and gifts we felt we had landed in a time warp. The food was excellent with lots of choice, a great stop for lunch or at any time as the cakes looked delicious too. Make sure you have a browse upstairs where even the toilet is decked out in items for sale.

The Old Post Office, Guiting Power.

The Old Post Office, Guiting Power.

The Old Post Office, Guiting Power.

Court Hill Centre (inside)

Court Hill Centre (outside)

The first section of the afternoon led us through the Cotswolds, again through lovely countryside and villages, plus an extremely busy Bourton-on-the-Water, looking like it would at any normal time with little use of masks apparent and people in close proximity everywhere you looked – well we weren’t stopping, just passing through thankfully. A fast and flowing ride took us to Court Hill Centre, arriving at 4.05pm, to find it was closed at 4pm. But not to worry, they were really accommodating and served us coffee, tea and cakes with no pressure to drink up and leave quickly. From there we opted for the more rural journey back to the start through Chieveley, Hermitage and Yattendon before waving each other goodbye as we approached Reading.

This is a lovely ride I will certainly repeat, all the stops were must do’s, with friendly and welcoming staff.

 

Salli G

First published in Slipstream October 2020

Sir Stirling Moss

I’m not so sure how many of you read the small print at the back of Slipstream, but you may have noticed that Sir Stirling Moss was our President. Not that we had much contact with him over the years, but as a much admired figurehead in motor sports it was very sad to hear of his death at the age of 90 after a lengthy illness.

“It was one lap too many, he just closed his eyes,” said his wife Lady Moss.

He was widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, even though he did not win the World Championship. He retired from public life in January 2018 because of ongoing health problems.

Moss’ former team Mercedes said motorsport had “lost not only a true icon and a legend, but a gentleman”, while 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill said Moss “launched all the other careers of British racing drivers who went on to become world champions”.

Three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart, who came into the sport shortly after Moss’ retirement in 1961, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He walked like a racing driver should walk, he talked like a racing driver, he looked like a racing driver and he set a standard that I think has been unmatched since he retired.”

Moss won 16 of the 66 F1 races he competed in from 1951 to 1961 and became the first British driver to win a home grand prix in 1955 at Aintree. He famously lost out on the F1 title in 1958 to compatriot Mike Hawthorn after vouching for his rival and preventing him being disqualified when he was accused of reversing on track in the late-season Portuguese Grand Prix.

British GP 1957
By Terry Whalebone from Bolton, UK – VanwellCC BY 2.0Link

Four times a runner-up in the F1 drivers’ championship, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1961 and was knighted in 2000.

Together with his fine F1 career, Moss was regarded as a motor racing all-rounder and racked up a total of 212 victories in all categories.

Mercedes SLR 1977

By Lothar Spurzem – Originally from de.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0 deLink

Background image (top) from Sky Sports

He was an outstanding rally driver and in 1955 set a new course record in winning the famous Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile race around Italy. He managed 1,000 miles in 10hrs 7mins and 48secs, which made his average speed just 2mph off 100mph. Even by today’s standards, it was an astonishing achievement.

Alongside him throughout was Motor Sport’s continental correspondent, Denis Jenkinson, who translated written instructions on the route into hand signals.

Moss was effectively forced to retire from top-level motorsport in 1962 after a crash at Goodwood left him in a coma for a month and partially paralysed for six months.

However, he continued to race in historic cars and legends events until the age of 81.

Member Number 5000!

Quite a milestone in our history.

We are very glad to welcome Keith to our club and know that he will enjoy his journey once the present situation is over, when he and the others who joined during March will get a chance to experience all that our great club has to offer.

We’ll see you all hopefully before too long.

First published in Slipstream April 2020

TVAM President Sir Stirling Moss

It was with great sadness that we learnt over the Easter weekend that Sir Stirling Moss, President of our Club had died after a long illness at the age of 90 years. Sir Stirling had been president since the early days of TVAM in the late 1980’s and we were proud of the association we had with such a figurehead in motor sport. We thank him for his support over the years.

Our thoughts are naturally with his family at this sad time.

Reading Toy Run

TVAM will again be supporting the Reading Toy Run this coming weekend with many of the Marshals being Club members. With over 1,500 bikes, 2,000 riders and passengers taking part bringing many thousands of gifts for underprivileged children, the Toy Run needs 150 marshals to make it happen. TVAM have always provided the lions share of the marshals for this event, for which the organisers as well as the boys and girls at Dr Barnardo’s homes are eternally grateful. Let’s hope the weather stays dry and lots of people turn out to watch as usual.

Stepping Down

Due to some unforeseen circumstances in my working life, I’m afraid that I need to step down as leader of the Green Team. Alan Hudson has kindly agreed to take over and Nick Edgley will remain as deputy. I do feel that I am letting the club down by ending my role sooner than I would have liked, but equally I know I will no longer have the time to dedicate to it that is required, and I wouldn’t like to do a half-hearted job!

Since taking over the Green Team, we have managed to review and revise the Meet and Greet process, improve the runs going out of St Crispin’s, introduce social team liaisons, rotate the monthly socials around the social teams, create a chat and breakfast ride for new test passers and raise the importance of continued training for full members.  All of this of course was achieved by the many volunteers that get involved to make the club what it is.

Alan Hudson

I would like to thank Alan for being so understanding and picking up the reins, Steve for his continued support, all the volunteers for their time and effort and of course the whole of the Green Team and Committee for giving me this opportunity.

Kind regards

Sarah Chandler

Tea & Rain

Several Members of TVAM assisted in the running of the Slough Half Marathon on the 14th October. The race was a great success despite the torrential downpour, attracting over 750 runners and the organisers are planning for bigger numbers next year.

The organisers would like to pass on their gratitude and thanks to Garry Tallett, David Long, Andrew Gardener, Jim Bates, Steve Mason and Steve Harris for the tremendous work they put in ensuring the smooth running of the event.

TVAM Pay their Respects to David Jacobi (November 17)

It with great sadness that Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists have to report that David Jacobi, Chairman of TVAM until last March, died on Wednesday 29th November after a short illness.

David, also a former Chief Observer, was a pivotal member of TVAM for many years and will be remembered for his Nurburgring trips with exclusive TVAM track days for 150+ riders back in 2009 and 2010. He organised a Slow Riding Competition in May this year where IAM examiners, staff and other Groups participated. He then ran yet another five day trip to Germany for the club in September.

David passed his IAM Advanced Bike test 40 years ago in October 1977 and ever since focussed his efforts into making the IAM and TVAM a success. He helped Bristol Advanced Motorcyclists create their ‘Super Sundays’, was a member of the IAM Regional Training team, and before that was involved with the RAC/ACU Training scheme.

His passion for all things motorcycling and organising flair will be sorely missed. David said many times, ‘It’s all about having fun’. The loss of such a vital member and friend to all will be greatly felt.

David was well known by many across the IAM family and we have been asked to pass on a request from the family for privacy at this difficult time.

Steve Parrish Champions TVAM RideUP (November 2017)

Steve Parrish, ex motorcycle and truck racer, former team mate to Barry Sheene and now TV presenter has agreed to champion TVAM’s RideUP scheme. This sponsors young riders, under the age of 30, who passed their A2 test within the past 2 years to take their IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course. The candidates also get to go on both the TVAM Advanced Braking and Cornering courses held on private roads. Finally on passing their advanced test they also get a free Track Skills Day, all paid for by the club. More details of the scheme and how to apply are at rideup.tvam.org.

 

Steve said, “There are many skills to riding well on the road. Some can be copied from watching riders on the race track but I know from having done both, many aren’t – including your lines through bends and dealing efficiently with traffic. RideUP is a brilliant scheme which will let you into the secrets of Advanced Riding and make you safer on the road.” 

 

Andy Slater

Chairman

RideUP – First Test Pass

We are pleased to announce that the first of the 20 young riders selected for their RideUP scheme has passed his IAM RoadSmart Advanced motorcycle test. The ‘RideUP’ scheme was launched in October 2016.

Paul McPherson, aged 28, is the first to successfully pass his test and will now go on to enjoy a fully paid-for track skills day at Thruxton in August.

The RideUP Scheme offers riders under the age of 30 who have passed their test within the past 2 years free unlimited on-the-road coaching to the advanced riding standard and free attendance on both advanced braking and advanced cornering courses, both held on private roads. On passing their test they also get a free track skills day on a closed race circuit.

Paul said “The training I received during this course is invaluable in making me a safer rider. I’ve learnt skills that I wouldn’t even have discovered by just riding on the roads by myself. The coaching provided by TVAM is first class and I’d definitely recommend it for any bike rider who’s just got their license.”

Andy Slater, Chairman TVAM said, “The scheme aims to reduce accidents and injuries to one of the most vulnerable groups of riders, those who are young, inexperienced and have perhaps recently bought their first powerful machine. Whilst motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic, they unfortunately account for 21% of all road user deaths.”

The RideUP scheme will open for 2017 applications later this summer. Details can be found at www.rideup.tvam.org.

MCN Success in December with TVAM

 

Alison Silcox claims to be the centre of the MCN universe as she’s the office manager and also a regular contributor to the weekly publication. Back in March when she decided to was time to improving her riding skills she turned to TVAM and Alie Ball, one of our National Observers, took her under her wing. Despite the distance from home Alison made it to a number of St Crispin’s over the summer and was taken out by other Observers, who contributed to the process. Alison successfully developed new skills during the course including how to build a rolling riding plan, giving her more time to react to hazards and spot opportunities to make progress, and also covering filtering, overtaking and slow speed manoeuvring.

Alison passed her test last month and so received her test certificate and green badge at the December St Crispin’s meeting. You can read her MCN article about her TVAM experience here

Congratulations Ali and well done Alie!

To All Volunteer Toy Run Marshals

I just wanted to officially thank all 140 marshals who gave up their day to volunteer with the many various marshalling duties for the 31st Reading Toy Run event held on the 4th December.
Not sure who organised the sunshine, but thank you. The day went mostly well and all 1,700 riders in the Toy Run cavalcade were marshalled safely along the 7 mile route without a hitch.
About 70% of the marshals come from TVAM and it is this support that provides a reliable backbone for the marshal collective.

I also wish to send a massive thank you to Lyn Allen, Yvonne & Steve Myers, Andrew Gardiner, Steve Mason, Steve Harris, Dave Worker, the SERV bikers and all the TTMs (orange vests).

Lastly to all volunteer marshals on the Toy Run, on behalf of myself, Ben & Jane Spiller, Sean Stillman, Barnardo’s High Close School and the several thousand grateful children who will have a better Christmas this year…

…Thank you, have a great Christmas and a safe New Year.
 
Garry Andrews

toyrunmarshals2016

Rutland Rally 2017 Dates & Costs Announced

Saturday 29th April – Monday 1st May 2017

Depart 10.00am Pear Tree Services car park to arrive at The Brook Whipper-In Hotel, Market Place, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6DT approx. 5:00pm.

Returning Monday 1st May 10:00am depart to arrive Pear Tree Services approx. 1:00pm

Especially designed for those of you who have never been away on your bike for a weekend!

Three days of riding with Observers to help you tune your advanced riding skills in preparation for the summer season or your test!

Price is £119 for 2 nights stay (sharing only) in a pleasant hostelry in Oakham – this includes bed, breakfast and 3-course evening meal.

For further details, please contact Mimi Carter Jonas on events@tvam.org

Limited numbers – Deposit £50 paid in the webshop – balance to be paid through the by the 28th February 2017

Ten RideUP Awards Announced

A total of 10 RideUP awards out of the 25 places have been announced so far. The lucky recipients are:

Nick from Farnborough                   Lewis from Windsor
Oliver from Oxford                           Jack from Bracknell
Luke from Petersfield                      Daniel from Stoke Row
Tim from Reading                            Nathan from Farnborough
Tobias from Windsor                       Jack from Sonning Common

Applications remain open until the 16 December 2016 with five awards announced each fortnight until Christmas.

First RideUP Awards Announced

The first five RideUP awards have just been announced.

The lucky recipients are: Nick from Farnborough; Oliver from Oxford; Luke from Petersfield; Tim from Reading and Tobias from Windsor. Five awards will be announced each fortnight until Christmas.

25 selected riders will be offered bike training worth nearly £500. The offer includes:

  • Unlimited on-road personal coaching to the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Test level
  • An Advanced Braking course (held on private roads)
  • An Advanced Cornering course (held on private roads)
  • A Track Skills Day on a closed racetrack
  • Entry for your IAM RoadSmart Advanced bike test
  • Your first year’s membership of TVAM
  • Your first year’s membership of IAM RoadSmart