GNATS (Greater Northern Area Team)

Who are we?

Welcome to GNATS, the Northern most local team of Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists (TVAM – the largest IAM Bike Group in the country with the highest number of passes year on year of all the groups within the IAM).

GNATS is the local team that covers South Oxfordshire, South Buckinghamshire, and parts of Berkshire.  We are the team of choice for members scattered from Amersham & High Wycombe in the east, to Abingdon & Didcot in the west, and from Banbury down to the edge of Reading.  Other local teams are centred on Camberley, Slough, Reading, Wokingham, Wantage and Basingstoke areas.

Our bikes vary from supersports, through tourers, adventure and trailies to… whatever you ride! 

Within GNATs we currently have 21 Observers across our area (including outliers near Droitwich and Wellingborough), of which 7 are National IAM Observers and 3 of the Observers are females so you are sure to get the best possible assistance in preparing for your Advanced Test and GNATS consistently produce a high pass rate within the club.

As part of TVAM, our local team can offer all the advantages of the main group, but in locations not traditionally considered TVAM’s core area, and best of all – ALL of our Observed rides are free of charge! And are arranged to suit your schedule; daytime, early morning, evening, weekend.

Leaders

Team Leader: Chris Brownlee

Where & when?

GNATs meet up for a coffee and a catch up after each St Crispin’s meeting at The Farm Cafe, Ashridge Manor Garden Centre, Forest Road, Wokingham RG40 5QY. We also have a slightly longer open meeting every quarter GNATS where all members, whether Full or Associate, are more than welcome. This is where we discuss the latest issues concerning our membership, pass on the latest information & news from the Committee of TVAM, as well as discussing the finer points of Advanced Riding, and who’s turn it is lead the next run out! Our quarterly meetings are usually the third Saturday of January, April, July and October. As well as non riding social activities we also have a social run on the first Sunday of every month to which all are welcome; the run leader will normally post details of the run and meeting point on the yahoo e-group and the TVAM forum.

What do we do?

We effectively mirror the activities of the entirety of TVAM. We have our own dedicated Observed rides for Associates, refresher rides for Full Members, social rides, and one-to-one observed rides throughout the year, as well as fully supporting the main TVAM events.

We are within easy reach of some of the finest open roads, technical little back lanes, and congested towns, so our Observed Runs can cover every aspect of your riding – wherever you need the help, we can provide it.

We also initiate and support supplementary activities such as First on Scene courses, 3 day weekends away, picking up the bike, slow riding, braking, introduction to observing, team training days, and we endlessly seek innovative ways to keep the learning fun.

As a new joiner looking to improve your riding skills and pass your IAM Advanced Assessment you will be paired up with an Observer to arrange mutually convenient riding sessions. The monthly club meetings additionally give you the opportunity for observed rides with an observer with a different pair of eyes and different way of explaining things.  As your riding standard improves so will the joy of riding.  You will learn of wonderful roads previously undiscovered, the safest and best tips for filtering through traffic, reading bends as if you knew them like the back of your hand, being in harmony with your bike, and many more essential ingredients to having great fun on your bike. You will continue to be coached to a point where your riding is at a standard where you can comfortably pass your assessment, regardless of how quickly or how long that takes.  And then there’s the social side too!

If you think you might like to join us then please email gnats@tvam.org We can meet up with you to ride together to the monthly St Crispin’s meetings, so you don’t have to find your way to Wokingham just to find out how much you’ll enjoy being part of TVAM.

For further details on the GNATS, please email gnats@tvam.org or see the rest of the TVAM site for the group contacts.