July 2023
Dates For Your Diary
Group Meeting

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


5 Aug 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 Saturday 19 August.  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:  
Paul Prictor - Bike - Gold - tutor Phill Coulbourne
Andy Manning - Bike - Silver - Tutor Peter Genet
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Gregory Hallam - Swindon - Car
Sylvie Reeve - Swindon - Car
Noel Watson - Warminster - 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
I hope you are all keeping well.  A reminder the next Group meeting is the AGM on Monday 9 October plus you get to hear about Paul Prictor’s trip to Mongolia.  Please do try and come along as it an essential part of our Governance plus it is your chance to pass on ideas, suggestion and of course offers of support to the Committee.  You may even want to join the committee as we need some fresh members and some are looking to move on as they have been committed for many years.  No qualifications needed just an interest in advanced driving and riding and the ability to help run the Group.  I say this every year and the silence is deafening so stop thinking someone else will do it and come and join us – you can make a difference.
As I sit and write this I notice most of the content I am putting in the newsletter (less the Driven Ohm Racing regular article) is mainly about motorcycling.  This may be because most of the content comes from the committee who are all but one, bikers (including myself!)  Whilst this is of interest and relevance to the car drivers, I suspect it is more appealing to the 50% of the Group who are bikers.  We are a joint Group and we need some more input from those of you who are car drivers – if you have an idea and the energy to pull something together then please do so.  Anything from a useful article you have seen or an experience which has enrichened you please do share it in the newsletter.  We will all benefit from the experience.  I suspect the vast majority of the bikers also drive cars! We even have one member who drives a combine harvester.
Interesting weather the world is having at the moment and though we seem to be spared the heatwave (some will be upset by this) we have had some interesting driving conditions.  I, for one, have tested my new waterproofs properly (pleased to report they work!).  We all drive and ride to the conditions but I find I have to take account for other road users who do not and to remain calm at all times to ensure I do not go mad.  The aim of RoADAR is to improve road safety and if we adapt to the conditions and give others the space and time to make bad judgements then I think we are really doing our bit.
Stay safe everyone and enjoy the summer!


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 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.
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!
Mark Sealey  - The Ice Man Cometh

For many years I have been keeping up with the information associated with the discovery of a bronze age man in the ice on an Alpine pass. This summer I resolved to visit a museum dedicated to Otsi the iceman in the Tyrol area of Northern Italy.
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology - Museum Street, 43 - 39100 Bolzano (Bolzano)
I spent a number of half days organizing and reorganizing my luggage and finally arrived at a set-up in the bike that could accommodate my camping and cooking gear.
When I travel on my motorbike I don’t stop much; and when I do stop I want to be somewhere picturesque and isolated. If necessary, I want to be equipped for wild camping, as I don’t book ahead for camp sites. The day before I left, I visited Aldi and stocked up on my staple diet; tortilla wraps, (which don't squash like bread would) sliced ham and sliced cheese. That means I can eat any time anywhere.
Day 1 Wednesday  28th June.

Whenever I go to the continent I write off the first day, and travel as far as possible on the motorways.
I left Wootton Bassett at 0900 to travel to the tunnel for a 12:30 train. Approaching the slip road into Folkestone terminal; the traffic officer vehicle brought the traffic to a standstill with the off-slip in view.  I sat and watched a couple of guys jump out of a truck with buckets and proceed to repair potholes around the cats-eyes of the exit slip. The clock is ticking down to my departure time. I checked in with 5 minutes to spare, and got straight into the queue for passport checks. This took 20 minutes, despite there not being a lot of travellers. The summer will be a problem I think. I ate a ham and cheese tortilla whilst standing next to my bike on the tunnel. Then off Onto the E40 heading for the Eifel region of Germany. The E40 is a dreadful dirty busy motorway. Grubby services and awful driving. Then there is the nightmare of the brussels ring road. Manic.

Leaving the motorway at Eupen and the pretty roads start. Pretty yes - but there is the road to hell to look forward to. Those May Trippers may remember the road which joins Belgium to Germany and could probably best described as corrugated. There is even a cafe called “The Road To Hell Cafe”. Well - it has been resurfaced, the cafe is still there. I was kind of disappointed that the road was smooth. Although back in 2013 it did for my alternator on my TDM900.
I arrived at a lovely camp site. Unfortunately It was just past 8pm so I missed the bar restaurant. Trusted and tried wraps for dinner.

Day 2 Thursday 29th June

Breakfast on the Ruhr on a pebble beach next to the tent. Earl Grey tea, cheese and ham wrap. Whilst packing away my tent, I noticed  a couple of racoons picking over my crumbs. I watched them swim across the river and disappear into the woods. I think it was a mother and baby, as one assisted the crying other getting out on the other side of the river bank. Very cute.

I took a circuitous route out of the Eifel region and headed for Adenau (on the Nurburgring) for lunch. Satisfied with an excellent curryworst, I headed towards Koblenz and followed the Rhine South, a picturesque road keeping the river on the right.

Stumbled across a camp site right on the bank of the river.
Pitched my tent then off to a local shop. Peaches in season. Tin of vegetable soup to go with my cheese and ham wrap. Warmed the soup on the beach.
I am a member of “The Wessex” a male voice choir based in Swindon. We had a concert coming up on Friday 14th July so I needed to get my words and notes polished up. Had a beer in the bar and did choir practice.

Day 3 Friday 30th June

A peach for breakfast; very healthy. It rained quite heavily in the night. I took the opportunity to pack between showers and followed the Rhine south. Took continental breakfast in a cafe on the Rhine.

Crossed the Rhine at Karlsrue and headed for Baden Baden. So bad they named it twice. Then East into the Black forest. Great twisties. Stumbled on a camp site in the middle of nowhere.

 (camping Erbersbronn. Drove back to Forbach and bought food.
Day 4 Saturday 1st July

Bacon bits for breakfast then more black forest roads with a stop at a cafe for cake. Genuine Black Forest blackforest gateaux; heavy on the Kirsch.

 Passed alongside the Bodensee

Then crossed into Austria at Bregenz and bought my vignette, a pass for the Austrian motorways.

Stumbled on a camp site in Bludenz. Auhof camping. Pretty basic.  But a shopping mall 500 metres up the road. Bought a  tin of chili con carne and did some rice accompanied by a cold beer from reception. This seemed to be a feature of a couple of the sites I found; no shop but they do sell cold beers at reception.
Day 5 Sunday 2nd July

Rained in the night. Brewed up with the Kelly kettle whilst packing. Got away by 8.
Breakfast on the road. I ran out of wraps, but found some strong German bread to accompany my ham and cheese.

A bit of the S16 motorway with a diversion thru the Albert pass. Then turned South on the 186 down to the Timmelsjoch pass. This is an amazing pass with a 21 Euro return fee. There is a museum at the top. Still snow lying in places. Had to put my jumper on for the passes.
Unfortunately it was Sunday when I traversed this pass, so there were a lot of motorcycles and sporty cars. I managed to avoid coming into contact with one biker who overtook me and promptly fell in front of me, unable to negotiate the hairpin we were approaching.
Stumbled on a nice campsite in St Leonhard. Camping Zogghof.

Got on the interweb and  reserved a ticket for the museum the following day. Two nights here with a day for a trip to the museum.
Day 6 Monday 3rd July

Drove to Bolzano and visited the Iceman museum. It was a very hot day, but I managed to lock my gear to the bike by passing the locks through the sleeves and legs. Hot day in a busy town, just bearable in shorts and T shirt. Pleased with the museum and amazing how much research has been done of the man and his belongings.

The bloke in front is 66 years old, the bloke behind is 45 years old.
Back at the campsite at 3pm. Thunder and heavy showers. Dinner of beer and pizza at the campsite bar. I seem to have eaten a lot of cheese.

Day 7 Tuesday 4th July

Continental breakfast in the camp site bar then back over the Timelsjoch pass. Lovely. Very quiet. Did a lot of lovely roads. Ended up at a campsite on a lake at Titisee in the Black Forest.

Had a meal (first knife and fork use on the trip) in the campsite bar and a beer with an English biker from Bristol.
Day 8 Wednesday 5th July

Rained a lot overnight and still heavy rain in the morning. Had a tea in the little wooden picnic hut. Bought bread, ham and cheese from the campsite shop for breakfast. Major panic, could not find my passport. Packed and unpacked twice.  Eventually resigned to turning up at the tunnel and having a load of hassle I dressed to set off only to find I inadvertently poked it down the sleeve of my jacket instead of the inside pocket. Doh! Didn't leave the campsite till 11.
Heading West into the Vosges region of France. I had lunch in a pavement cafe in Munster and enjoyed watching the storks in their nests on the roof tops.
Stumbled across a campsite at Lac de Longemere, near Gerardmer. I was erecting my tent when a second pole split. I taped it up, but the tent was not going to do me for many more nights.
Day 9 Thursday 6th July
Decided to head towards Calais. I had my fill of beautiful scenery and twisty roads and was tired of putting my tent up every evening and packing away every morning. Set the phone to avoid tolls and off we go. After an hour I hit the motorway and settled down to a steady pace. I had a campsite noted in the Ardennes that another biker had recommended about 4 hours away. But figured I might as well ride on. Then the tunnel is only 2 hours away so I book a flexible ticket using the Le Shuttle phone app for 7pm. Arrive at 6pm and straight onto a train and in Folkestone for 6pm U.K. Time.

After a 500 mile day, I arrived home. 2,000 miles covered. I put the tent in the bin, showered and had a quick pint in the local pub with Barbara.

A super trip, with great roads and great scenery. I did find that the evenings dragged a bit on my own. I found the same when I rode in Portugal last September. I need to find like-minded individual/s to share these journeys. Bought a new tent the next day; a tepee style with just one pole. Should be nice and easy to use on my next trip. After 20 years of motorcycle camping, I have finally achieved a luggage solution and kit combination that I am happy with.
Ride safe - Mark

Driven Ohm Racing

We raced again at Castle Combe on July 15th at the Combe Carnival event.
It was another busy calendar, with the addition of the Mark Sutton Remembrance race. Mark was a fellow competitor at Combe, and sadly he passed away during the off season.

Castle Combe in cooperation with his family planned a Memorial Race in his name and invited Hot Hatch, Saloon and GT  cars to enter. It was a 30 minute pit stop race, and lots of fun.

Arriving at the circuit for 08:00 the team had things all set up. There were two of my team cars out, with Steve Waight returning to drive 887 alongside me in 905.

The calendar was busy for us, we'd have 5 track sessions throughout the day, we each got through over 60 litres of fuel and spent around 1hr 45 mins on track!

We started with a 15 minute free practice for the Mark Sutton Race. Sadly 887 popped a driveshaft near the end of the session. The team rushed to fix it before qualifying for Hot Hatch. Sadly in the rush, the bonnet didn't get secured, so on Steve's second qually lap the bonnet flew up and took out the windscreen.

A bit of wheeling and dealing was done, and I managed to score a spare car for Steve from a fellow competitor who was under the weather! Steve tested the car in the qualifying session for the Mark Sutton race, but at one point I thought he'd broken that Mini as well as mine, as he stopped at the Esses. The throttle pedal had slipped off its mount! He refitted it and continued on his way! Whew!

For the Hot Hatch I qualified 12th and P2 in class and Steve was right at the back as he'd not namaged to set a time. The two cars (from another class) in front of me got slow starts and I was jumped off the line by 2 of the other minis, leaving me in 4th, which was vexing!

An early safety car bunched us all up, and after we were released I got ahead of Paul in Mini #95 and set about after the second placed car. Another safety car slowed us down for a lap or two, and when we got underway I managed to get by Olly in Mini #8 with the help of another car which distracted him!  In chasing the leader who was only a second or two up the road, I managed my best ever Combe lap of 1:19.906! Finishing 11th and P2 in class means I extend my lead in the class and move into 3rd overall in the series. Steve finished 5th of the 7 Minis that started, but also set a very competitive fastest lap of 1:22.326, around 3 seconds faster than he's gone before. He clearly likes the car we borrowed for him!

Our last track outing was the Mark Sutton race. There were 22 cars, and were grouped into classes based on qually times. 1 car in class 1, 3 in class 2, 4 in class 3 and 14 in class 4. We suspect some fast cars were sandbagging to get into class 4 then run away! I managed 4th in class and Steve finished 13th with both of us about a second off our bests from earlier in the day when it was warmer and drier. I was holding 3rd after the pitstop, but an exhaust issue started to sap my power and I lost the podium place in the last few laps.

So looking ahead, I need a new exhaust for 905, and a bonnet and screen for 887!

We have 6 weeks until the next double header on the 28th of August, and the final round in October. Fingers crossed that I can hold my places in the standings!

Here's a link to the circuit's you tube montage.

Gary Franks

Castle Combe Bike Night 26 July
Two Committee members attended the Castle Combe Bike night on Wed 26 July.  There had been a track day at the circuit and the management wanted to try a bike night.  The events manager  had invited us to attend with a stand to promote advanced riding.
We attended with some handouts and banners with the aim of trying to chat with some bikers to promote the Group.  There were 2 other stands there: DYMAG wheels, based in Chippenham which was news to us, and a great bunch as they let us shelter from the rain under their gazebo.  Second was a charity called Docbike which aims to reduce collisions and provide emergency care at the scene of an accident.  They fit in between DVSA and advanced riding and also run biker down courses but they are not yet operating in Wiltshire.
Considering the rain there were a lot of bikes at the event of almost every type; from lovely vintage bikes to L plates on 125s to some really impressive (and loud) choppers.  Most of the riders ran straight to the café and left early as it was very wet, so we were unable to cast our spell on some prospective new members.  Such was the success of the event for Castle Combe (given the weather) it will be repeated on 30 Aug.  Well worth a ride out and we will promote the group again – hopefully with some better weather!

Calne Bike Meet - we took a race car to a bike meet!

A team of nine from Wiltshire RoADAR spent the day at Calne bike meet, https://www.calnebikemeet.com/ , where an estimated 30,000 people and 8,000 bikers, experienced a sunny and warm July day wandering around admiring bikes and all things to do with motor biking.
Since 2000 when this meet first started, it has grown and grown into what it is today taking over pretty much the whole town of Calne. Wiltshire RoADAR has had a stand here for several years generating new members and promoting Advanced Riding.
This year, we successfully signed up three new biking members and a car memebr on the day with loads of interest being generated due to both Gary Franks’ Driven Ohm racing car and a set of Metal Mule Panniers!
We plan to attend this event again next year, so if you fancy being part of the winning team, please let us know. A reminder will go out nearer the time of course for what is an enjoyable day.

Teaching future drivers to see motorcyclists

An interesting approach from Cheshire Fire and rescue.  It has been reporduced on a number of facebook pages.   Good idea to help future drivers see other road users - no more words required?

New road markings in Scotland transform behaviour of motorcyclist on bends
This article appeared on a road safety page.  It offers and interesting approach to road safety and the evidence behind it will be interesting.  More on this can be found here

New road markings trialled across the west of Scotland have demonstrated their success in improving the riding behaviour of motorcyclists taking left hand bends.
The markings, called Perceptual Rider Information for Maximising Expertise and Enjoyment (PRIMEs), are designed to help riders make better decisions when approaching bends.
Grounded in the latest academic theory on human factors and applied psychology, also known as 'nudge psychology',  PRIMEs consist of new and innovative “gateway” road markings and an associated information signage. They are intended to provide a tool for motorcyclists, ‘priming’ them to adapt their riding on approach to a bend.

Twenty-two trial sites were created on roads covering 750 square miles across the West of Scotland. Research was undertaken over three years in what is believed to be the most in-depth investigation of motorcycle rider behaviour anywhere in the world to date. Video footage of over 32,000 motorcycles using the markings was manually assessed and the results are clear. After PRIME road markings are installed, project partners have seen:
  • A significant reduction in speed.
  • A significant improvement in road position both on the approach and apex of the bend.
  • A significant improvement in braking behaviour.
Additionally, since the start of the trials there have been no motorcycle injury collisions at any of the previously identified accident cluster sites where PRIME markings have been deployed.
The transformative approach was enabled by the Road Safety Trust, who provided research funding of over £215,000 to Transport Scotland as the project managers to test the experimental approach. Professor Alex Stedmon, a globally recognised expert in rider behaviour and psychology, led the research and ensured academic rigour throughout – also producing peer-reviewed journal papers reporting the findings. BEAR Scotland provided their expertise by offering engineering solutions to deliver the test sites, markings and signage across Scotland.
This work not only added to the evidence base of the academic theory underpinning the road markings – but offers a blueprint, which has been tested and proven in Scotland, that has potentially global implications. It’s a low cost intervention which significantly improves road safety for riders when used in the right road conditions.
The next step will be the production of a guidance pack for roads authorities in Scotland on how they can implement PRIMEs locally. This low cost intervention will be of interest to roads authorities worldwide, particularly where their road environments share a similarity to those commonly found across the west of Scotland.
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.
Promotional activities

SkillShare - 2023 - The Dandy Highwayman Cherhill

5 August
2 September
7 October
Wiltshire Police BikeSafe will be supported by Wiltshire RoADAR motorcycle tutors and WABAM Observers.  Proposed dates are :

17 September
8 October

Castle Combe Bike Night 30 Aug.  We will attend the seconf bike night to promote the Group - come along and help ot just for a chat!
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.

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.

Forum - RIP
The Forum is not working at the moment  - given it was no used vey much we are lookng for another way of communicating wirh the group other than emails and newsletters - more to follow.  If you have ay ideas please let us know.
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.