Dates For Your Diary
17 April 2023 - Steven Hyde tells us about his recent road trip across America by motorcycle
10 July 2023 - Speaker tbc
9 Otober 2023 - AGM plus Paul Prictor will tell us about his motorcycle tour of Mongolia
6 May 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 Saturday 15 April Details will be forthcoming via email to all bike members. It looks like a good day out too!
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker? Please contact speaker at email@example.com
Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:
Damien Burke - Car GOLD
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Sean Caine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
So nice to have the longer evenings back; it seems as though there is more time to achieve stuff. The most pleasant thing for me was arriving at a friend’s house in the evening when it was still light; driving and riding in the dark is not my favourite pass time but it is a necessary evil and presents different challenges – particularly with the state of the roads at the moment. I had to admit though a 0530 start to get to Silverstone meant I started by journey in the dark; thankfully it did not start raining until it was light which on a bike is a billy bonus.
I hope you come and join us at Liddington Hall on Monday 17th April for our talk by Steven Hyde. Steven is a long term member of the Group who loves to travel with Clare his wife on a motorcycle. We will hear about his trip across America, what was good and what was not so good - there will be some pearls of wisdom to ignite your wanderlust. I have seen some of the photographs he will be using and they look amazing.
Spring also brings the start of the Skilshare events and these start on 1 April. We do not always have potential associates but it is a good time for the tutors to get together. You can also use it to come along and have a chat with a tutor – or even a refresher session. There are always a handful of Bike tutors there and if you give Dave Venman sufficient notice he can provide a car tutor (we target the car tutors attendance for when someone has booked). Best way for car members to let us know is via the Skillshare part of the website – you can come along on spec as we are all a friendly bunch and will talk all things advanced driving and riding anyway (plus there is cake in the Dandy Highwayman café!).
A recent Highway Code quiz arranged for the bike tutor training day (more details below) showed how important it is to keep up to date with the rules of the road. I trust you are maintaining your knowledge and not just cramming for the next time you have a retest. There is now a great app to help with the latest version which comes complete with a few tests.
Bored with the content of the newsletter? Most of the content is written by the same few people so please do let us know what you are up to or just pass on some useful tips. The newsletters are opened by all the members (cannot tell you how many are read though!) and you will be surprised how interested folks are in your activities and information.
The numbers have been falling from our monthly meetings and I wondered what was preventing you from coming. I would be grateful if you would fill in the anonymous survey here; this might also serve as a useful test of how many actually get this far through the newsletter! I have cheated though and put the link in a shorter section elsewhere!
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.
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 est is due if you have not been paying your subscsriptions 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.
Eddie Ruskin hits the news
Many of you will be aware of Eddie and how he has fought really hard to be the best driver he can be post his stroke. He is now a driving instructor focussing on those with diabilites. He is a former member of our Group. There was a nice piece about him on the BBC which can he found here
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.
Top Tips for Notifying DVLA about changes in your health.
You can be fined up to £1000 if you fail to notify DVLA about certain health conditions. Interestigly you do no have to inform them if you need to wear glasses for short or long sight but you must wear the galsses for driving. One examiner will check your license if you wear glasses to see if it is recorded on your license - remember though do not argue with the examiner!.
There is a useful short guide to this on the Compare tha Market website here which also includes a link to the DVLA which is a bit more dry and clunky! but is the authority should you need further advice.
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!
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!
Driven Ohm Racing
March proved a busy month for Driven Ohm Racing with lots of preparation for the season ahead.
265 has been resprayed black to match the two Cooper S cars, and a new
set of stickers applied. She's also been moved onto the same 17 inch
wheels as the other two cars, which will have positively affected the
Car 887 has has race spec coilover suspension fitted
and has been serviced. A boost leak was traced and fixed, which has
restored the power in the car.
Car 905, my main race car has
had a full new braking system fitted, with larger 4 pot brakes replacing
the old single pot ones. The ABS system was removed and new gear
linkages installed. The damaged bodywork from last year's crash was
finally repaired too.
On March 18th Castle
Combe held a media and track day where we got to shake down all three
cars. It was the first time we've had them all out at the same time. I
think they looked magnificent! We have updated the RoADAR
sponsorship graphics for this year, which look nice.
We have a couple of tweaks to do on car 905, but both 265 and 887 were faster than they have been before.
have bookings for car 887 for more than half the season and some
enquiries which might see 265 out racing alongside her two bigger
siblings as well.
We are also getting some
interest in the cars to run at open track days for members of the public
or small corporate groups to enjoy a racing car experience.
Combe Race Dates:
- 10 April (Howards Day)
- 01 May (May Day Madness)
- 11 June (Summer Spectacular)
- 15 Jul (Combe Carnival)
- 28 Aug (Combe Countdown)
- 07 Oct (Grand Finals)
We might also run at Thruxton, Donington and Silverstone if there is demand from our drivers.
We would welcome any group members who have the time to pop by and say hello.
Nine Bike tutors attended some refresher training on 25 March. Ably coordinated by the Bike training officer David Blackledge. He had challenged us by sending out a cheeky Highway Code quiz. These are always interesting and often show we must maintain our knowledge of the rules of the road. Sad to say none of us got them all right but it did identify a few who have a bit more revision to do than others (no names obviously). We spent the morning discussing various subjects - led by the advanced tutors- including riding at night, adults learning and how to provide the best constructive feedback to associates and a thorough revision of the pre ride checks so we are setting a high standard for associates.
Mark getting excited about pre-ride checks
We then took to the road and did a couple of hours stooging – putting our feedback discussion into practice. It was really good to be riding together again – some of our associates have been hibernating) and it was the first time many of us had ridden on dry roads this year – made the potholes easier to see to be fair! A great day with lots of great discussion about tutoring a and riding. Thank you, Harlequin Dave, for organising such a good development event.
Riding Bikes fast in the Rain
I spent 2 days marshalling at Silvertsone at the British Superbikes test. Not perfect for the riders as the only dry session was the first one on the second morning. So wet and windy it was which was not pleasant for the Marshalls and I am convinced the riders would have preferred sunny and dry conditions (did not get to ask any as the 2 who fell off on my corner did so when I was in the flag box!)
A wet Luffield Corner at Silverstone
(sadly I can not take pictures with bikes on the circuit)
What was interesting to see was the way in which the riders responded. They became quicker and quicker over the 2 days - in all classes – as their confidence grew and they became accustomed to the conditions. What stood out for me was the lean angles and speed these racers are prepared to apply even in the wettest conditions. Admittedly they were using full wet racing tyres which have the constituency of chewing gum and I gather very good grip, but their throttle control and accuracy was extremely impressive. Riding a 250 bhp sports bike with no traction control on a slippery track takes skill and a really good feel for the levels of grip. I could tell from the engine noise though the principles were the same as the dry – hard braking done in a straight line, off the throttle to tip in (weight on the front tyre), positive throttle round the corner and apply the power as the corner opens out – sound familiar?
The view to Woodcote from Luffield and the lethal wet white lines at the edge of the circuit
The accuracy was also evident as I could see a rider (when out on his own) would follow the same track he had left in the surface water each lap (give or take a few inches) and many were flirting with the white lines on the edge of the track. Nearly all mistakes were dealt with by changing throttle application or position on the track – the system of motorcycle control at the extreme.
So what? I do not race but it did give me confidence in my tyres on the wet ride home. I was not trying to find the limit – I was born careful and the road is not the place for it- but the grip I had from my (admittedly nearly new) tyres never caused me to worry – the tyres are much better than I am prepared to stress them.
Road Safety GB Survey
Road Sadety 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 commnets on this article which was published in Feb 2023. I includeude 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
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.
Mob 07399 457703
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Gloucester RoADAR Newsletter
If you are interested in the Gloucester Group newsletter here it is.
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 email@example.com If you can't leave constructive feedback though, then we don't want to hear from you!