April 2023
Dates For Your Diary
Group Meeting
17 April 2023  - Steven Hyde tells us about his recent road trip across America by motorcycle - to be reorganised due to technical error

10 July 2023 - Speaker tbc

9 October 2023 - AGM plus Paul Prictor will tell us about his motorcycle tour of Mongolia


6 May 2023 meeting at the Dandy Highwayman Cafe Cherhill.

Monthly Ride-Outs

Bike Ride-Outs on the 3rd Saturday of every even numbered month and the 3rd Sunday of every odd numbered Month. Email will be sent out to Bikers and added to the Forum.

Next ride out Sunday 21 May  Details will be forthcoming via email to all bike members.

Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact speaker at speakers@wiltshireroadar.co.uk 

Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:  
Sean Caine  Bike,  Gold – tutor: Angus McAfee
Julie Clark  Car,  Silver – tutor Ed Deacon
Nick Edwards, Car, Gold, retest

Please welcome the following to the Group:
Cyril Lockett, Bike

Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.

For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site 
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!

Please forward all contributions to
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Chair's Ramblings
I trust you are well and have not been affected by Storm Noah.  I sadly had the need to use my recovery insurance over Easter (spoiler alert for my second attempt at the Land’s End trial see my report in this newsletter). 

Those of you who have recovery cover please do read the terms and conditions, a slight slip in my (admittedly tired) conversation with the company added £200 to my bill.  I understood the cover would recover me to home or to my destination; this was true, but it also said whichever is the nearer.  Sat in a car park in South Petherwin (near Launceston) with a bike with no brakes and my destination a hotel in Redruth, I wanted to be taken home.  Because I, when asked, admitted my destination was Redruth I had to pay the additional mileage to home.  Please read your Ts & Cs and be careful what you say!

I am sure many others of you have been up to some interesting activities in your cars or on your bikes in the past month and I expect even more are planned in the better weather of our summer.  Please do write a short article for the newsletter, preferably with a few pictures, so we can keep other members informed and inspired.

I must ask a favour.  Please will you look in your diary and see if you can come and help us run a promotional stand at the Calne Bike show.  This is a massive event on 29 July, and it gives us a fantastic opportunity to talk to a lot of people who are interested in bikes and cars about advanced driving and riding.  We are planning to take one of Gary’s racing cars with us and will have some bikes on the stand to attract the masses; but we are about people, and we need members to chat to prospective members about the group and its benefits.  There is no need to be there all day but if you can spare a few hours to come to Calne and help please do so.  Drop me an email on chairman@wiltshireroadar.co.uk if you will help and we can sort out the necessary arrangements.  Please be active to support your Group and help us recruit new members.

I must ask you to please help us keep our database up to date.  We only hold information pertinent to the Group (if there are any GDPR ninjas out there) and we need your help to keep our test passes accurate.  Whilst there is no compulsion to maintain your RoADAR HQ membership (as opposed to the Group membership) it does mean the onus for remembering to do your 3-yearly retest rests with you.  When you take your retest, please do remember the tutors are happy to do a refresher session with you but also when you have passed, please let the membership secretary know so our records are up to date.  We will not remind you to do so but it’s good to know when you have.
Thank you for the 13 of you who have filled in the Group meeting survey.  From this low sample it looks as though we are heading for a quarterly meeting near the north of the County primarily wanting road safety talks.  Please do fill in the survey as it will inform the committee on the desires of the Group - or we will just get on with it and you can just accept our decisions! Fill in the anonymous survey here -


The first SkillShare event of the year!

Our very first SkillShare event took place on a wet day down at the Dandy Highwayman café! Many tutors turned out for the event and enjoyed a very good coffee and breakfast. The day resulted in one new associate joining our group! Nice one Cyril!
Booking a Retest
Please be aware you need to book your 3 yearly retest directly with  RoSPA via the website website.  Sadly we cannot book it for you as it is all done electronically.  You may also need to check when you re-test is due if you have not been paying your subscriptions to RoADAR as they will not remind you. 
Tutors will be happy to conduct a refresh should you wish one prior to a re test.
Highway Code App

The Stationery Office  has launched a new Highway Code app.  
The app is for all road users and makes it even easier - and more fun - to keep up to date with the rules of the road. 

What's new?

  • Instant access to the very latest version of the Official Highway Code while on the move, on tablets and mobile devices
  • Quizzes and timed challenge features, that help users check their knowledge of the Highway Code and track their progress.
  • A voice over option enabling users to listen as well as read.
The app costs £3.99 and is available to download on both Android and iOS platforms.
Update from HQ
Riding a motorcycle is one of the best ways to get around. You’ve got freedom, adrenaline, and it’s cheaper than four wheels.

So you’ve got your CBT certificate? Now you need to skill up. This might sound obvious but the chances of you having an accident, wrecking your bike, and harming yourself will be a lot lower if you build up your skills and experience. It might be worth doing some more training with a motorcycle instructor or going on some accompanied rides with experienced riders.

Whether you’re commuting to work or have found a new passion for motorcycling, there’s loads of information here that answers the most asked questions about riding and plenty of support to help you move up from your CBT to a full motorcycle licence.
Encourage riders in your team 'skill up' with the help of our brand new novice riders web hub and videos!

Our Novice Rider Hub features a wealth of information to help young people skill up and become a safer motorcycle rider, including:
  • The latest safety and style advice on motorcycle clothing and protective gear like helmets
  • A breakdown of all the different types of motorcycles, including engine sizes and the appropriate licenses
  • Essential riding tips and tricks on how to be safe on the road
  • Advice on how to keep your bike in good condition and roadworthy 
  • Engaging driver-safety videos and infographics
The motorcycle safety advice everyone needs to know.

Whether your team uses motorcycles to commute to work, or for daily work activities, there's loads of information to be found our our web hub that will help answer their most asked questions about riding.

We're encouraging anyone who knows or works with a rider to share this information to help build skills and keep friends, family and colleagues safe while they ride.
Members' Survey
We are asking you to fill in a survey about our Group meetings and your preferences.  If you missed it in the Chair's Ramblings above here it is.  It is anonymous but please complete it only once each!
Members' Activities
Have you been up to anything to do with Riding or Driving lately? If so, then please let us know as we would love to include it here; photos would be great too!
A few of the bike tutors have a WhatsApp group (WRMCG) and a couple of times each year they arrange a camp and ride trip, it’s usually the same few of us and we have covered much of the U.K. The typical format is meet up on a Friday and ride for lunch and on to a campsite, preferably close to a pub. On the Saturday we ride most of the day before a few refreshing ales and dinner. Sunday head home. There have been a few exceptions where the trip has required us to stay at several sites, such as the three highest pubs which we did last year.
Please drop us a line if you would be interested in joining up with us by replying to this newsletter, newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk and we'll you to our WhatsApp group.
Trail riding across Salisbury Plain!
Peter G decided to have a try at trail riding and ended up spending easter Sunday with Phoenix Trail riding suitably tutored by the Salisbury Plain Stig down at Codford.

Arriving at 8.30 and getting geared up, we started promptly at 9am heading out to the training field where we spent the next hour getting used to our Fantic 250cc trail bikes. Sliding and leaning in, I experienced some sensations that I hadn’t felt for a few years! Ahem!!

After that, we went out to Salisbury plain heading up and down hill, narrow trails, through ruts and water, across to Imber, which is usually closed to the public.

Only one of the group fell off and the great news is, it wasn’t me!

There was some road riding to get between lanes and of course the obligatory lunch stop.
This was the Level 1 course for beginners; I loved it to be honest and it gave me a lot more confidence out on the road.

If you want to try it for yourself, take a look at their website and mention you are a member of Wiltshire RoADAR and you may get a discount!

Peter Genet
Driven Ohm Racing
We had the first round of racing on April 10th at Castle Combe.
I had entered two cars on the day, both of our Mini Cooper S cars. I was in my normal car 905 and my friend Steve Waight ran in car 887.
Steve Qualified 18th and 15th for the two races, but as I had a drive shaft failure in qualifying (only getting half a lap in) I was 24th and 23rd and last on the grid for both races. My support crew got to work in the pouring rain to replace my broken drive shaft and rearrange the suspension geometry in the hope that the fix would take.
Race 1 started dry, but as we expected rain to come, we took a gamble on a wet set up. Initially I thought we had made a mistake, but around halfway the rain came, and both our Minis were in their element. I had pushed quickly up to 11th and second in class, and when the class leader's Mini faltered I took the lead. Just after the rain began, I started to get serious fogging of my windscreen, and I had to "use the force" to bring the car home in 10th overall and claim my first class win. Steve managed a solid 3rd place in class.
The second race was a bit more straightforward weather wise. Again, setting off from the back row, I passed half the field on the first lap and took the class lead shortly after, bringing the car home in 8th overall and another class win. Steve was again 3rd in class, so the team scored 4 of the 6 trophies available for the class, which is an amazing start to the season. Our new partnership with 119 Edition seems to be reaping good results!
The next race is on May Day Bank Holiday, on May 1st, where there is a single Hot Hatch race planned, and also the annual Dave Allan Trophy race, which is a 40 minute pit stop race. I have had no bookings for either of the spare cars, so it will most likely just be me in 905 on the day.

Gary Franks

Land's End Trial Take 2
As the memory of last year’s event ditched all of the bad bits I settled for a run in the main trail this year (details of the event are here).  I entered the easier O route last year and did reasonably well.  My riding buddy from last year decided she had enough of the trial and so with the encouragement of others I entered the main trial.  This meant there were some harder off-road sections and many of them involved a re-start. – stopping between 2 lines and then moving off up the section without rolling back – often strategically placed at the slipperiest part of the section or just on a “step”.

I had not done as much practice this year as I had for last year’s event but riding with new tyres had made a difference and thus I had some confidence.  I did, however set off on the road section with butterflies in my stomach and a mix of excitement and dread.  These feelings were brought about by 2 factors:  1. I had prepared the bike myself (1995 DR 350) so for the first 100 miles I expect it to fall apart! And 2. There were 20 observed sections (off road) some of which were featuring in the nightmares of seasoned veterans and 4 observed speed tests of varying difficulty.
Road Book printed Road book installed
Road Book Printed.                       Road book installed
The bike was ready, I had edited my road book and managed to get all 15 A4 pages into my home-made road book holder (which still worked despite a year in the garage) and I found myself at Popham Airfield for scrutineering and sign on.
The statt
How it started!                Ready for the off!
The first 94 miles are a road run from a start location. I chose Popham Vice Exeter, Cirencester or Plusha (Cornwall) to Bridgewater Rugby Club.  We set off in sunshine which was a bit hot. (I was dressed for riding through the night) and had a lovely ride through Salisbury (via A30) Warminster, Glastonbury for a compulsory 1 hour stop before setting off at my allotted time (21:46).  I was riding with a friend who is a veteran of 21 of these things so at least I had a mentor.

The first instance of bad planning hit me as soon as we were on the A39 outside Bridgwater where I noticed my headlight alignment meant my dip beam was more use then my main due to it aiming high.  Bike had just passed its MOT so the alignment was good but I did have a reasonably heavy bag on the back which may be the culprit – note to self for next year (if I go again – more on this later). 

First observed test was interesting as I managed to ride it without putting my feet down but I failed the restart due to poor positioning – my back wheel at the bottom of a step!.  Further sections followed with varying success but at our first compulsory stop we noticed we were behind time.  This was not an issue for me but my riding buddy normally achieves a gold award (all sections completed without stopping or putting foot down) and being behind time put this in jeopardy.  I was holding him up as I could not ride on the roads as fast as him due to my headlight.

He was patient with me until about 0200 when I ended up on my own.  A few navigation errors also added some time for me plus I fell off on some of the sections, one of which meant turning round and taking an escape road – on which I duly fell off again into a muddy puddle.  Flicking through my big book of excuses my glasses were steamed up and some of the tracks to and from the sections were harder than the sections themselves! 

It is amazing how so many motorcyclists can be following the same route and yet you see so few until you get to a section.  As the sun came up, I found myself riding through some lovely scenery in Cornwall.  I approached one of the most difficult sections and did well until 10m from the end where I had to put a foot down and then stopped as I lost the back end – I am sure the crowd heard me shout out bu**er. 

I had done the hard work as the run to the top was easy.  I had made it to the breakfast stop – another 1-hour compulsory rest.  I also managed to clean some of the mud off the bike and give it a check over – a top up of oil and everything else was spot on. 

So, I set off in more sunshine for the remaining 80 miles or so feeling happy and looking forward to finishing even though I would not get a medal. 

At the next section. – a very steep uphill speed test – I noticed my front brake was a bit spongy and at the top of the section the lever pulled back to the handlebars.  This was not good and looking down I could see a squirt of brake fluid whenever the lever was pulled.  I hoped it was just a loose banjo bolt but no, my brake line was leaking (HEL performance 1 year old brake lines to be precise).  My Land’s End Trial was over 70 miles and 9 sections short.
Waiting for Recovery – the pub was closed!

On closer inspection my brake line was insufficiently secure at the foot of the front fork and so the line was able to move and came into contact with the disk which caused the failure – no criticism of HEL performance brake line here!   I arrived home a day earlier than expected and on the back of a recovery truck.

I have unfinished business with the Trial – and by the time the entries are open for the 100th running I am sure my memory will erase all the bad bits.  It is a real challenge and one I highly recommend.

Bob “Kick-Start” Fram
Committee Members 
Hon Secretary

Your group needs a new Hon Secretary; the time required for this is quite minimal and the role fulfils our constitution. If you feel you would like to join the Committee, please drop a line to the address at the bottom of the page.

Likewise, if you are interested in the running and organisation of your group, please do get in touch and come along to the next committee meeting.

The request has been asked before, many times, as the current committee members have been in post for several years now, we really do need a change.
Road Safety GB Survey

Road Safety GB have conducted a survey about speeding on rural roads.  To the editor the results are not surprising but would be if all the rural roads were as the one pictured in th article which can be found here
Those of you with an interest will see there are some comments on this article which was published in Feb 2023.  I included this for interest only and am not entering into the discussions!!
Membership and GDPR

Due to GDPR we are required to remove an individual's details from our Group database when they are no longer required by us.  We remove a lapsed member's details if they have not paid a subscription by the 31 Dec following the AGM (3 months after the subscriptions are due).  If a member has forgotten to pay their subs and pays after 31 Dec we will require a joining form to be completed so we can replace them on the database.

It all seems a bit strange, but we do not want to get on the wrong side of the Government's Information Commissioner.  We understand if members forget or are late with their subscriptions, but please help us to keep our database accurate and compliant.

This is, of course, separate to those of you who maintain a membership with RoADAR HQ.
Call for Bikers from Severn Freewheelers

Many of you will be aware of Severn Freewheelers, the blood bike charity that provides its free service to the NHS and specifically the Great Western Trust (GWH)  at Swindon. Partly as a result of the Trust’s response to COVID and the service being better understood by the Trust, the workload now means we have two bikes serving the area. Last year we undertook over 2000 jobs for the Swindon Trust. Overall Severn Freewheelers did over 7000 tasks.

This is a request primarily seeking riders to help support our operation going forward. Naturally over time people fall away as their circumstances change, they move away or indeed decide this is no longer for them.

The service runs 1900hrs to 0700hrs weekdays and 24 hrs at weekends and public holidays. A typical duty is Wednesday evening till Saturday evening or Saturday until the Wednesday. You would keep the bike at home until you handover to the next rider. The bikes are the latest BMW RTs.

A new rider needs to have undertaken his or her advanced test in the last three years and is required to be retested every three years. In addition, there would be a check ride undertaken on joining and further periodic check rides with a nominated assessor. Managing the risks within the operation is a core value of the charity. There are of course other roles as coordinators and fund raisers and riders are expected to contribute beyond simply riding which is vital to maintain the service. From a response basis, riders need to live within 25 miles of the Great Western Hospital. Training is provided for all new members.

If this is of interest, please feel free to get in touch.


Geoff Brown

Severn Freewheelers

Mob 07399 457703

Promotional activities

SkillShare - 2023 - The Dandy Highwayman Cherhill
6 May
3 June
1 July
5 August
2 September
7 October
Wiltshire Police BikeSafe will be supported by Wiltshire RoADAR motorcycle tutors and WABAM Observers.  Proposed dates are :

18 June
9 July
17 September
8 October

Calne Bike Meet - 29 July.  We have booked a stand or this huge event which provides an opportunity to recruit both drivers and riders.  Please put it in your diary and come and help us populate the stand to improve recruiting for the Group
If you have any ideas for events, then please get in touch with the committee using the committee email address :
Look forward to hearing and discussing your ideas.
Presentation material

A generic set of slides has been created for use if you are asked about Wiltshire RoADAR and have the opportunity to present. This could be at a local club, workplace etc. Please send a mail to committee@wiltshireroadar.co.uk   and the slides will be sent over to you.

We also have flyers and business cards so ask for these via the same means.

Media coordinator - Help us to broaden our reach

To help promote the group we have a variety of online media platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. To help make the most out of the opportunities that these outlets provide, we could use some help from someone who has experience of using such tools. Drop me a line at secretary@wiltshireroadar.co.uk  if you would be interested in helping promote our group.
Committee minutes   

These are available from the Group Secretary if any member wishes to see them. If you are interested in reading the minutes, then please send a mail to the Group Secretary whom will promptly forward them onto you.

Please could all Members use the Forum on the Website which can be used for any purpose but particularly coordinating events, hints, tips and general conversation.  It is easy to register on the website so please do log on and chat away.
Test results 

Reminder to let the Membership Secretary and your tutor know when you have taken your Advanced Driving/Riding Test and result. This is so our database is kept up to date; there is no need or pressure at all to have the result published on the website or in this newsletter if you wish to keep your result confidential.  
If you have read this far, thanks! If you have any feedback or suggestions about content for your newsletter, then drop us a line at newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk   If you can't leave constructive feedback though, then we don't want to hear from you!
Membership Secretary: Mr Paul Prictor
Hon Secretary: Mr Mark Sealey
To make sure that you receive our messages we recommend that you add newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk, membership@wiltshireroadar.co.uk and secretary@wiltshireroadar.co.uk to your address list.