Dates For Your Diary
10 July 2023 - Steven Hyde tells us about his recent road trip across America by motorcycle - reorganised due to another technical error
9 October 2023 - AGM plus Paul Prictor will tell us about his motorcycle tour of Mongolia
1 July 2023 meeting at the Dandy Highwayman Cafe Cherhill.
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 16 July. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Philip Phelps - Swindon - Car
Joshua Saunders - Calne - Bike
Ryan Jones - Melksham - Bike
Richard Clark - Chippenham - 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 email@example.com
Hope you are enjoying this glorious weather! It is rather warm whilst writing so apologies if I slur my words – it’s the Pimms!
With this weather we must make sure we stay hydrated, and on our bikes keep wearing the protective gear. On long journeys, plan in stops for refreshments more so than you would normally; also carry water with you too if you can. The sun is blinding first thing in the mornings so try and keep a look-out for other road users who may not be so obvious. I often put my sidelights on especially when the sun is behind me, eventhough I’m wearing a hi-viz jacket.
We’re coming into holiday season now, and to get those ideas flowing, come and join us on the 10th July where Steven Hyde tells us all about his recent ride across the US of A! Loads of inspiration there.
We have the Calne bike show coming up towards the end of July. To add something different on the stand we have Gary’s mini from Driven Ohm. If you are around, come on down and say hello. Better still, spend some time manning the stand and help us attract new members.
Talking of new members, we are in need of new committee members as the current ones are getting a bit crusty and we need some fresh blood to inject new ideas. If you fancy coming along to a committee meeting, please feel free to. We meet the third Wednesday of the month, typically in a pub.
Safe riding and driving!
Peter Genet – on behalf of the chair!
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.
The app costs £3.99 and is available to download on both Android and iOS platforms.
- 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.
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!
The Ireland trip - the whole way round, almost!
Way back in May, 12 of us embarked on a trip to Ireland. For me, and my wife Sally, this was the start of two firsts – our first trip to Ireland, and first ‘long’ trip with her riding as pillion!
After lots of planning and looking at guidebooks, we settled on a route and booked each night’s accommodation of the B&B variety and if we got lucky, they were attached to a pub!
Using Google maps, we planned to keep our riding down to 4 hours per day. This, as it turned out, was my first blunder of the trip. I think it was the only one in the end? The roads in Ireland are not fast roads and I personally found it hard to achieve anywhere near the speed limit – some bends upon entry had the word “Slow” written in white paint, followed by “Slower” the nearer you got to the bend!
Undulating, bendy, twisty with great scenery – I had a blast to be honest! Sally seemed to enjoy it too, though she did drink more than usual in the evenings. Hmmmm…..
Following the coast, we went from Rosslare in a clockwise direction. Five nights on our own, apart from the first where we met with Julian and Jo, and Mark Sealey. Other than a brief chance lunch meeting with Julian and Jo en route after Westport the following Wednesday, we wouldn’t see each other until we got to Portrush.
After passing Cork, we discovered the Wild Atlantic Way which was well signposted all along it’s route eventually meeting the Causeway coastal route in Northern Ireland. This now became a simple navigation exercise which meant even I couldn’t get too lost – and not one ‘U’ turn was made!
We rode the Castletown-bear peninsula and rode the Healey Pass twice before heading over to Dingle via the ferry at Tarbert.
We did ride the Ring of Kerry but mainly because of the weather; low cloud meant very low visibility going up and over passes as we found out which is a shame as we hoped to ride the Gap of Dunloe.
Onto our next stop in Kilkee where the bike was unnecessarily securely parked in the night-club entrance, before we headed off to Westport for our final stop before heading to Portrush. It was a long ride and Sally did struggle to stay awake which I think shows how smooth my riding is, and not how boring a rider I am – well, I like to think that anyway!
The scenery and the roads reminded me a lot of being on mainland Europe with wide expanses of vista and distant mountains. Bloody spectacular in my opinion.
Up at Portrush we spent six days exploring, mostly on our own, but one day with Mark leading the way to Larne via the A2 coast road – we lead the way back and took a turn inland to head over another pass which turned out to be quite exhilarating! We did pass the Bothy café that was a favourite with others, but it was closed!
Its all too much for Sally!
Sally and I popped to Belfast one afternoon and visited the Titanic museum – in fact, I think we all did but on different days. It was only just over an hour to ride there. We also spent a lot of our days exploring the area including Derry where we learnt more about the ‘Troubles’.
On the day of departing Portrush, we popped down to Slane to look at Newgrange which is where some of the oldest and largest long-tombs are located. Then our final day, en-route back to Rosslare, we went to the Wicklow mountains to see Sallygap not realising it was just a cross-roads which we went through three times!
The Wicklow mountains turned out to be another new favourite area and we will come back in our van to do some more exploring.
Overall, I liked the southwest of Ireland, the West coast and the Wicklow Mountain areas the most. Just for the scenery and roads.
2,088 miles ridden all told; and they were great miles to ride!
Driven Ohm Racing
We were back at Castle Combe on Sunday June 11th as part of the two-day Summer Spectacular. Two busy days of racing with numerous guest series joining us.
We were out on Sunday to qualify at 08:30 with a damp and slightly slippery track. The session seemed very busy, and it was hard to find a clear bit of track to get in some quick laps. A mid-session red flag shortened our running, but I managed P2 in the first race and P1 for the second race. My times were quite a way off my PB, and with the updates to the car I was initially disappointed with them, but once we saw where I qualified it was fine, everyone was slower.
Race 1 started before lunch and the weather was still mizzly, but not wet enough for wet tyres. I initially got boxed in off the line by two cars ahead of me, and two of the Minis that were behind me shot past, but we all got past the car in Pole. So, after lap one I found myself in 3rd place, but on the tail of second. I managed to get alongside Tim and out braked him in a lunge down the inside into Tower, and set about after the class leader, Paul.
I caught Paul a lap or so later, but we were quickly slowed by the safety car for a nasty crash at Quarry. We spent a few laps snaking round behind the safety car while they scooped up the broken car from the circuit.
Once the safety car pulled in and we were back to green, I think I had 8 minutes left on the clock, so 4 or 5 laps to get in the lead. I made a plan.
Following Paul in his Mini I noticed he was pushing the front in the mid speed corners (Quarry and Tower) where I wasn't. I scooted up behind him on the run to Quarry and sure enough he understeered wide through the mid corner and exit, pushing him well out to the left. I held a tighter, neater line and moved to accelerate past him on his right. He chopped across to my side of the track and gave me the option of "lift - or grass". I opted to stay on the track and dropped in behind him.
On the next lap I changed tactics. I set him up exactly the same, right on his tail on the way in to Quarry, he overshot the corner with understeer like the previous lap and then jinked quickly back to the right to block me. Happily, I anticipated this and powered past him on his left!
By the time we got to the next corner, The Esses, I had a nose ahead. He relented and dropped in behind me for the right hander into the chicane. I started to pull away over the next few corners.
Then the rain came again, and like round 1, my screen misted up rather badly. I couldn't see out! I knew the other Minis were a few seconds back and scrapping amongst themselves, so I latched on to the back of a Clio with his rain light on and used him to guide me round for a happy win!
Later in the afternoon we had our second race, in warm dry conditions with me on pole. Paul showed me a nose on lap 1 on the way up to Quarry, but I held him at bay. After we got to the Esses the pack had settled down, and I started to build another healthy lead, which I held comfortably to the flag.
The two wins on the day give me back the class lead with 4 wins from 5 races. I think I am also sitting 3rd overall in the Hot Hatch standings.
We are looking forward to the next round on July 15th, where we will have 2 cars out (905 & 887) for a single Hot Hatch race, plus an open race that we will probably enter. Why not come along and say hello?
I visited Gary and his race team at Castle Combe on Sunday to see how it all works. This was the second day of a 2 day summer spectacular but as Gary was not racing on the Saturday I missed out on watching the formula fords.
Gary’s car makes the programme for his race page!
Castle Combe is a great spectators circuit as there are lots of interesting comers and the raised banking means you can see a lot of the track form most vantage points. There were 14 races on the day so there was lots of action to see. I did note it takes quite a long time to sort out a crashed or broken-down car so there were quite a few delays in the day. This is no criticism of the marshals or circuit staff, cars are hard to get to safely and to move without mechanical assistance; much harder than my experience marshalling with bikes.
It is also clear to me many people spend a great deal of money to race their cars – some of which are worth a bob or two. There were at least 8 Jaguar XJS in the Jag race – and quite a collection of historic touring cars all being thrashed around the track.
Jags leaving the pits for their race – a lot of money there
Gary’s first race was held in the rain just not enough to put wet tyres on. I had a good vantage point and it was great to see home move through the field to be first in class (more bragging rights from his update in this newsletter I am sure). It was great to pop into the pits after the race to chat to him and find out how he felt the race had been. Smoothness and a cool head can make a difference even against horsepower – although a very light and powerful Citroen Saxo was well in the lead (but I would not want to hit the barriers in it).
Where else would I watch from?
If you need an added incentive to have your wheel nuts at the right torque, then the tale of one of Gary’s competitors will help. Infront of me at Bobbie’s corner (where else would I stand!) I hear a bang and saw a mini plough a furrow in the crops on the inside of the track. His wheel nuts had failed and he had no steering so the corn was a best option for him. Great to see everyone helping him fix his car and he managed to complete the second hot hatch race.
Creating a crop circle!
Good to see some very fast and some very close racing. The fast ones seem to be much smoother than those who are not as fast and you can hear the throttle control (and the hard braking - but they do have brake lights so you can assess braking points!!).
He was actually going very fast!
It makes it all the more interesting to know one of the drivers; plus to have the chance to talk about the race you have just watched with the driver is a real treat. I was also able to talk to a few people about Wiltshire RoADAR – I have a branded shirt and cap!
If you fancy a day out, please get in touch with Gary as he can probably get you a sponsor’s ticket so you do not have to pay the entrance fee – it is well worth the effort.
Mark Sealey - on his trip!
Mark is currently fighting off racoons on his trip in part to Germany!
He is off to the Alps. Rhine Valley; Black forest; Austrian Alps; Otzi the iceman museum in Northern Italy; Back the same way. Plan is to try to keep a diary and get something written up for the next newsletter.
Packing for the trip!
Read more about it in next month's newsletter.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the slides will be sent over to you.
We also have flyers and business cards so ask for these via the same means.
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
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
If this is of interest, please feel free to get in touch.
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 email@example.com if you would be interested in helping promote our group.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org If you can't leave constructive feedback though, then we don't want to hear from you!