Welcome to your latest issue of
The BWAM Autumn Newsletter
Autumn 2012 www.bwam.org.uk
Events Calendar

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Club Nights

17th December
21st January
18th February
18th March

Sunday Rides

6th January
3rd February
3rd March
7th April

MRC Clinics

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Observed Associate Rides

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Unallocated Riders Ride Out

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Farts Rides

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Test Passes

Congratulations to the following Associates who have recently passed the IAM Advanced Motorcycle Test.

Colin Spender -
Observed by Vince Woolley
Nigel Williams -
Observed by
Tony Summers
Brian Hallett -
Observed by
Gary Watton
Tony Martin -
Observed by
Jon Dunn
David Miley -
Observed by
Martin Saunders
Rod Charman -
Observed by
Pearl & Alec James

And the following Members who have recently passed the F1RST Register assessment.

Jez Graves -
Observed by
Steve Palmer

AGM Minutes

April 2012
April 2011

BWAM Committee

View post-holders

As we draw to the end of another year, I hope that you have all had a good one and enjoyed plenty of motorcycling.

We are looking forward to a good turnout this Saturday at the traditional ‘Chris Green's Christmas Breakfast‘ as well as at our December Club Night this coming Monday.

This month's Club Night will take the form of a Quiz (Thank you John Pearson) and some subsidised food! Hopefully, we'll also have time for a discussion on what you want us to put into next year's Programme.

This year's achievements include 15 Advanced Test passes, one of which was at F1RST level. In addition, three members have re-taken their test to achieve a place on the coveted F1RST register. And one Trainee Observer struggled through his Observer Test!

There are, I think, 10 associates on the waiting list at the moment. If you are one of the sixteen, please bear with us we are going as fast as we can ‑ within what has always been the BWAM guideline of Quality over Quantity. We are not in this for the numbers game, associates are signed off for test when their Observer and Senior Observer are confident that “they will pass even on a bad day”. This stance has stood us well over the years, and we wish to retain our current standard among the best of the IAM Groups.

Whilst you are waiting, the OARs will continue on the first Saturday of each month to give you an opportunity to get out for an observed run with one of our Observers or Senior Observers on a one on one basis. Speak to Tony Summers to get your name down.

May I also take this opportunity to thank all of the Commitee, the Observers, the members and the associates for all of their support for the past year, and look forward to more of the same as we head into 2013.

Finally, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and an enjoyable and safe New Year.

Jon Dunn

Chief Observer
I have been the Chief Observer for 6 months now and all seems to be going well.

So what has been happening since I took over....

It has been a busy year so far, with Paul and Claire completing the summer season of Associate ride outs. Also, Tony and Steve have just finished their summer season of OAR's and MRC's and the winter season has now started.

Through out the summer all of the events were well attended by Associates and Members alike. Also the Observers showed a lot of enthusiasm towards helping out with these events which is much appreciated.

The Observer Training Days have continued and these seem to be well received by the Trainee Observers and Observers. It was great that both past and present Examiners helped out at these training days. Their knowledge and experience was of great help to all who attended.

A few Members are booked in to take the F1RST Register test with Chris Smith. Good luck to them on being able to successfully achieve this very high riding standard.

We are moving into the winter season so here's hoping there is not too much snow and ice around to stop our motorcycling!

Safe riding everyone.

Dave Orvin

Associates Coordinator
The New Members/Unallocated Associate Rides have proved once again to be successful to everyone involved. Paul Gardiner has taken us once again to various parts of Dorset and we have delighted in what Dorset has to offer in terms of great roads, coffee shops and thankfully good weather. I always enjoy meeting new members and allocating them to Observers who in turn get them to test standard. This year once again BWAM has been able to offer new members Observed Associate Rides all year round thanks to our team of keen Observers.

The rides are aimed to be social and that is what I hope and think we achieve. Any observing given by Paul or any other Observer on the day is given freely and hopefully to the benefit of the Associate.

Any feedback from Associates whether it be complimentary or by way of constructive criticism is welcomed. My aim is to look after Associates as best I can until they are allocated and then you are on your own! Having said that if any Associate has a problem please contact me and I will try and sort it out.

These rides wouldn't be the success they are without Paul and all the Observers, Members and Associates who turn up on a Saturday afternoon and go on a magical mystery tour. My continued thanks go to all Observers for giving up their time and the members who join us. I enjoy meeting you all and I hope you enjoy meeting us.

Look out for dates in 2013 when we will be starting them up again (once the weather gets warmer!).

Dates and more details can be found on the Forum and Events calendar

Claire Saunders

Group Assessment Rides
The title is the term given to the proposal for "active" members to be assessed every three years (subject to an AGM vote). In February Mark Bezzant and Dave Orvin attended The IAM Region 1 Forum in Exeter. In representing BWAM they had opportunity to understand what other groups in the region are doing and the IAM influence in their activities. Dave and Mark reported back and one of the key features was the requirement in some groups for a reassessment to be held on a two or three year basis for continued membership of their group. It was also noted by them that this was tacitly encouraged by the IAM although not an enforced requirement. This process would have no implications for IAM membership itself.

This is an interesting proposition and I am sure most of you reading this will be very aware of the implications. The obvious comparison is the system used by ROSPA ‑ Gold, Silver and bronze with the need to re-test based on the standard previously achieved. But, the IAM would struggle to follow such a method with the larger membership it has. So, if the groups have a policy for local group membership that does not affect IAM membership then at face value it seems a good idea. I would assume that is why IAM policy is to encourage this within the groups.

A number of questions have surfaced in discussion ‑ should we do this? How should we do it? What about long standing members who do not attend Group organised events? The answer discussed over time and finally put to the Group Committee in October was for two forms of membership ‑ active (for members who participate in group organised rides) and not active for those of you who support by keeping your membership and possibly turning up to club night.

What form would the assessment for active membership take? The option favoured unanimously by the committee was the ability to demonstrate a test standard ride which would be assessed every three years. This standard will emphasise the core principles of safety, system, smoothness and appropriate speed. A Senior Observer will provide the assessment and anything needing some guidance will be referred to a nominated Observer.

The Guidance environment will be the current Members Ride Clinic (MRC). The MRC will cover points raised during an assessment and the Observer involved will sign off the member when the points or topics are dealt with. The MRC will also provide input prior to the assessment for members wanting to prepare for their meeting with the Senior Observer. How much time will be needed? The best way to find the answer to this question is to book a slot in the MRC and get an understanding of where you are at this point in time.

The general view coming from the discussion so far is that this is a good idea. IAM membership and Group membership inherently means we subscribe to better and safer riding. Keeping the test standard is not something we can argue against. I can easily see how this might be problematic for some members unable to give the time they once had to do this. But, it does not prevent continuing membership of our Group or of the IAM itself. The effect will be felt by those of you wanting to participate in Group activities on your choice of two wheels. Those of us who are Observers are familiar with this process as we have to re-qualify every three years. Seniors are re-assessed within the group every three years and have to re-qualify every six years with an external IAM Staff Examiner. If this proposal is approved the introduction of assessments will phased over time and access to social rides will not be affected.

This proposal may become something everyone (time permitting) will want to do. When I joined as an associate the test completion was the goal but, I realised once the elation of passing was over, that getting to test was something that I liked doing. I am sure that I am not alone in this experience and this proposal will let members who are not Observers go back and enjoy the process of keeping their ride at a good level. At the time of writing, this policy is not written in stone and there is time to discuss this proposal between now and the next AGM in April. Please do not hesitate to make your views known. A forum section has been set up for the discussion ‑ let us talk this through. Please click here to go straight to the Forum, or go via the forum tab on the website, it's in the 'Committee' section under 'Club Matters' and you'll need to login to read and reply. Answers will be posted to any query or question.

Steve Palmer

Ride Calendar
Through the season the intention is to have an organized ride on the first Sunday of each month (see Events Calendar in side bar).

Fish and Chip runs on the second Wednesday of each month from April to September, commencing with the lighter evenings (see Events Calendar in side bar).

Additionally John Spinks will be running his 'Farts' rides for those lucky enough to have a weekday free (see 'Farts' Rides in side bar).

All current details on the website.

Training rides
Associates yet to be allocated to their observer, will get the opportunity to meet and ride with members and associates on the introductory rides organized by Claire and Paul.

Steve Palmer will continue with his 'Members Ride Clinics' for Members who have passed their test and want to brush-up their ride or thinking of becoming a F1RST Register Member.

Tony Summers will continue the 'Observed Associate Rides'. For the unallocated Associate an OAR is a ride with an observer to help get an 'in site' into the aspects of advanced riding. For the allocated Associate this is an opportunity to gain additional riding skills. To take part you will need to have purchased a 'Skill for Life' package from the IAM. If you have not already done so you can do this by logging onto the 'Motorcyclist' page of the IAM website, www.iam.org.uk.

Members, Associates and Trainee Observers should receive a short report of their progress after each training ride. If you don't receive this, please mention it to your Observer.

Winter OAR's
The first Observed Associate Ride took place on the 3rd November under sunny skies, the second on the 1st December with a little mist early on and the near 0°C temperatures. These rides are for Allocated and Unallocated Associates and meant as an insight into Observed rides or in addition to rides with their nominated Observer.

Of the 15 Unallocated Associates on the waiting list at the time only two, Paul Millett and Steve Jackson, took up the November offer. Paul Millett and Margaret Bullock were the only two taking part in December. Hopefully they all found it useful and now have something to think about while waiting for the next OAR or an Observer to become available.

As an Observer it is nice to see commitment from an Associate.....

Dates and more details can be found on the Forum and Events calendar

Tony Summers

Skill for Life Subsidy
BWAM has received funding for subsidising a number of associates living, working or studying in Dorset, Bournemouth or Poole. These reimburse 50% of the Skill for Life cost when the associate has completed the syllabus and applies for test. These subsidies have proved very popular this year and the remaining places are being taken up rapidly. Currently we have only 11 places left on the Dorset scheme, 4 for the Bournemouth scheme and 6 for the Poole scheme, so if you know of anyone who is interested best tell them to sign up with us soon.
Despite these difficult economic times I am pleased to say that we have managed this year to slightly increase our membership numbers. Overall membership now stands at 141. The Skill for Life Subsidies generously offered by Dorset County Council and both Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council's have proved instrumental in introducing a number of new faces to the club and we shall endeouvour to seek further funding to maintain these once the current allocation of places is taken up. It has also been good to see so many of you attending Club Nights recently. Hopefully BWAM can rely upon your continued support next year which let us hope is prosperous for us all. Have a Happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all out and about on your bikes soon.

Andrew Carr

Member Jez Graves recently passed his F1RST Register assessment. Here is a copy of his email dated 18-11-2012.

Dear Dave & Jon,

As you may have been informed I passed the first register assessment yesterday. I thought it appropriate to let you know how great Steve has been in the process of getting me ready and to the right level for this pass. As you probably remember I have come back to BWAM in the last 18 months or so and put myself up for the first register as a way to try and develop my riding to a decent level. The time spent with Steve (as well as the other support from Dave and Martin in the dress rehearsal) ensured that I was ready and his calm, precise debriefing and encouragement were superb.

In the debrief on Saturday the main points made by Chris were all the key elements that Steve had been working on to feature consistently in my riding, showing that he has a real grasp of what is needed for this level and how to bring it out of a rider through the observed runs we have done together. I have no doubt you know what a great rider and observer Steve is, but thought there would be no harm in me passing on my praise for his work to you in your roles within BWAM.

Thanks also to the club for the support and encouragement it has shown me since my return whether it be at club nights, observed runs or other socials. Hope to see you tomorrow evening.


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