April 2024
Dates For Your Diary
Group Meeting
Monday club nights will be organised on the second Monday of the months of - March; June and September. This gives us lighter nights.
10 June - AGM and Perry Payne from Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership
4 May 2024 meeting at the Dandy Highwayman Cafe Cherhill.  9.30 am for 10 am start

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 19 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:  
Peter Genet - Bike - Diploma retest - pass
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Marcus Corcoran - 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!

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Chair's Ramblings
Will it ever stop raining?  It is a challenge for us all driving and riding in these conditions and I trust you are all maintaining your standards and keeping safe.  It seems any sudden downpour creates flood on our roads as the fields cannot take any more water.  The road where I live is prone to flooding and it is interesting to see how many drivers will take a chance on driving through deep water (often with inevitable consequences) to avoid having to take a lengthy detour because their journey is so important!  All this despite local knowledge (my neighbours and I do offer advice) and even police road closed signs; well at least it gives the local recovery companies business.  It pays to keep calm and have perspective I think.

A reminder it is our AGM on 10 June at Liddington Village Hall.  This is an important meeting for the Group as it is part of our governance regime and, moreover, it is your chance to hold the committee to account, to volunteer to help and to provide ideas to improve what we do.   We also have Perry Payne, the Chair of the Swindon and Wiltshire Road Safety Partnership, coming to talk to us so it will be educational as well.  I look forward to seeing you there.  Calling notices will come from the Secretary in due course.

I have taken part in 2 long distance challenges recently.  The Land’s End Trial and the South West Peninsular Rally (articles on both of these events are in this Newsletter).  Both required detailed planning and also preparation of machines and myself.  Correct preparation is essential to minimise problems during the event and also to leave mental capacity for contingency planning when the unexpected happens (spoiler alert contingency planning was required for both events).  This is a reminder for us all to conduct our pre drive and ride checks – as I am sure we all do all of the time.  It is not good enough to just jump in our car or on our motorbike and drive off we must ensure we are safe and legal.  I am preaching to the converted here I know but our checks remove some of the unexpected and help us concentrate on our driving or riding.

Stay safe everyone.

Wiltshire Council Devizes Forum -Highways

Wiltshire Council holds forums all over the County – I am sure many of you knew this!  I attended the Highways forum ion Devizes at the end of February and it was an interesting experience.  The following was covered:
·      The Highways (2800 miles of them in Wiltshire and most are B and C roads) and the associated issues.
·      The budget for the Highways
·      Maintenance
·      Local highway and footpath improvement group
·      Parish Steward Scheme (including litter picking)
·      Swindon and Wiltshire Road Safety partnership – covering Partnership, intervention, enforcement and education.
One surprising statement was the Councillors did not seem to have a problem with their budget and felt the council was well run – No comment from me but I will leave you to draw your own conclusions,.
I will not put detail in this section but here is a link to the presentation and much more detail.
There was also a question and Answer session where individual were able to ask the Councillors questions.  There was some emotion in the room as many parish representatives had pressing issues which needed addressing.  The Councillors did well but there were some political answers as you can imagine.  The issues raised were, in the main, quite parochial but it is a good opportunity to have your voice heard should you wish to hold the Council to task.  You can find your local area board meetings here
Bob Fram

Members' Activities
April Rideout - and Wye not!

April saw Mark Sealey lead a group of 8 bikes through the Wye Valley, which was absolutely stunning in the fresh sunshine.

Departing Sally Pussey’s at 10am, we followed the route above, stopping at the Severn Bore pub to stretch our legs. The pub was closed. From here, we rode alongside the River Wye to Tintern Abbey for a cuppa tea or coffee and a slice of cake.
Severn Bore rest point
Once suitably refreshed, the ride took us down to the M4, to junction 19 at Bristol where we followed the M32 to look at the toys in Fowlers. I only bought a bacon bap and coffee.  Departing Fowlers, we headed back along the A420 towards Pennysylvania and Chippenham where we branched off and went our separate way’s home.
At Tintern

A cracking ride of around 140 miles or so. And, no ‘U’ turns?

Thanks, Mark, for leading a great ride.

Land's End Trial

It was the 100th running of the Motorcycling Club’s Land’s End Trial this year and I had unfinished business with the event (I retired last year with a mechanical problem). I  entered again this year with some peer pressure from friends who are veterans of this event.   It is a reliability trial covering some 350 miles in 22 hours so each individual is in competition with the route and not each other.  Bike, equipment and spares preparation took a good few days in the garage (much to my wife’s amusement) and particularly as I am not as quick as some when changing tyres!  With a due sense of excitement, anticipation and nerves I set off to Popham Airfield, my chosen start point, for scrutineering and to meet up with some friends.  The motorcycling club are a friendly bunch as there is an eclectic mix of bikes to look at and talk about; from modern lightweight bikes to pre 1965 British (heavy) bikes to the classic Honda stepthroughs.  The cars which come though later are also interesting a mix from Reliant Robins to BMW 3 series to purpose-built trials cars.  All cars have to be 2 wheel drive (there is a special class for front wheel drive cars) and run road tyres.  
Road Book Preparation
Book Preparation
The first leg is a road ride of 95 miles to Bridgewater which, given the nice weather, was a lovely ride across Wiltshire and Somerset.  Arriving in good time for another batch of scrutineering and something to eat I reduced my tyre pressures to about 11 psi (some were running even less but I wanted to avoid any chance of a puncture and was happy to sacrifice grip for less hassle).  I left Bridgewater at my allotted time of 8.02 pm just as it was getting properly dark. 

Ready to go!
All went well for the first few hours (less one navigational error) and I was running on time and had managed to “clean” the first 4 sections.  A deeply rutted and muddy start to a section saw me taking a dive into the mud (thankfully a soft landing for me and the bike) but with the marshals’ help I was up and running in no time.  I was dressed, however, for the long road sections in the night (many layers) and thus was a bit hot after the section.  I decided to clean the inside of my visor and stopped, pulled out a cloth from my pocket which just made the visor worse.  I decided to move to an area where there was light (it was about 2.00 a.m) to find I had tried to clean the visor with a latex glove not a cloth – it pays to see what you are doing!
It was just after my visor cleaning event I was caught by friends who were on a sidecar.  It seems advanced driving runs deep as they knew it was me as I was sticking to the 30 mph speed limit in the middle of darkest North Devon at 2.00 a.m.  We rode the rest of the trial together with another guy on a beautiful Moto Morini V twin.  This at least meant there was banter and laughter between us rather than me just laughing at myself and chatting to the marshals at the sections.  There was mixed success at sections and soon it was obvious I was looking just to finish rather then win a medal (gold for cleaning all the sections, silver for failing one and Bronze for  failing only 2).
Friend's sidecar - Norton engine Wasp Sidecar

I arrived at the end of the trial at about 11.00 a.m. tired, happy and looking forward a natter and then moving on to my hotel for the evening.  I was awarded my finishing certificate had a good natter with lots of friendly people and donned my kit to ride the 10 miles to Newquay where I was staying.  My bike would not start!  As my niece said to me – so your bike finished the reliability trial and then became unreliable!  Lots of people rallied to my aid – to no avail – and my recovery company would only recover my bike to a garage within 10 miles.  This was Easter Saturday so this was no use to me (check your small print peeps) but someone I had just met said he would collect my bike from the pub carpark the next day (he had just finished the trial), store it in his garage and I could collect when convenient.  Another friend then offered to drive me in their van to collect the bike on the following Tuesday.
I finished!!!

I got the train home the next day from Newquay.  The internet is great and I planned and paid for my train journey whilst having a beer in the Hotel.  I left a bit of time to find the correct platform at Newquay station but need not have worried it was a typical British branch line an only had one platform!  The bike is now back in my garage (still not running despite best efforts) and is now a work in progress!
The branch line, and the ride home!
The Project!

I loved the trial it was an adventure which excited, tested and frightened me.  I am already thinking about how to improve my results for next year.

Driven Ohm Racing - 2024
Even though we are no longer sponsoring Gary and his Driven Ohm team, we continue to receive and publish updates to their successes!
Race dates are:
06-May   May Madness               Dave Allen Trophy 27-May   Combe Carnival            No Hot Hatch Races 27-May   Combe Carnival           Mark Sutton Memorial Race 16-Jun    Summer Spectacular      Hot Hatch Rd 5&6 03-Aug   Combe Challenge         Hot Hatch Rd 7&8 26-Aug   Combe Countdown      Hot Hatch Rd 9&10 05-Oct    Grand Finals                  Hot Hatch Rd 11&12

Gary Franks
Promotional activities

SkillShare - 2023 - The Dandy Highwayman Cherhill

4 May 2024!

Successfully supported by Wiltshire RoADAR motorcycle tutors and WABAM Observers. Final confirmed date for the year is:

19 May
23 Jun
4 Aug
8 Sep
6 Oct 

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.

Booking a Retest
Please be aware you need to book your 3 yearly retest directly with  RoSPA via their website.  Sadly we cannot book it for you as it is all done electronically.  You may also need to check when your 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.
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!
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.
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

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.

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.