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

Click here

Fish 'n' Chip Runs

11th July
8th August
12th September

Club Nights

16th July at Honda of Bournemouth
20th August
17th September
15th October

Sunday Rides

5th August
2nd September
14th October

MRC Clinics

Click here

Observed Associate Rides

Click here

Unallocated Riders Ride Out

Click here

Farts Rides

Click here

Test Passes

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

Tim Cheetham -
Observed by Pearl & Alec James
Ed Sheppard -
Observed by Steve Palmer
Kerry Pope -
Observed by Vince Woolley
Geylan Abbas -
Observed by Martin Saunders
John King -
Observed by Bob Gould
Rod Wilcox -
Observed by Gary Watton
Dave Neal -
Observed by Jon Dunn

AGM Minutes

April 2012
April 2011

BWAM Committee

View post-holders

With the weather we have been ‘enjoying’ lately, I have been extremely tempted to sell my bikes, and buy a Hovercraft, as a safer and more convenient means of transport. Although, despite the weather our club has continued to provide a full and varied programme, thank you to all who have supported them. In no particular order, thank you to Tony Summers for the, new this year, OAR's, Steve Palmer for the MRC's and to Paul and Claire for their Unallocated Associates rides.

Thank you also to the Observing team for all of their work, not least of which is guiding new associates through their preparation for the IAM Test. Since the last newsletter, we have had five test passes, so Congratulations to Rodney Wilcox, John King, Geylan Abbas, Kerry Pope, Ed Sheppard and Tim Cheetham as well as their observers Gary Watton, Bob Gould, Martin Saunders, Vince Woolley, Steve Palmer and Alec James.

Welcome to the following new members Colin Spender, Brian Hallett, Chris Dello, Phillip Nicol, Kevin Williams, Jason Franks and Jason Townsend. I apologise to anybody who I may have missed out, the usual rule applies I will buy you a drink at the next Club Night by way of apology. The only change to the rule this time around is that I shall be away on holiday whilst the rest of you are enjoying our Club Night at Honda of Bournemouth - any of the committee will be equally happy to buy you a drink instead!

Those of you who were at the AGM will no doubt remember voting for the new club logo. Things have moved on since then and I now have in my possession a ‘proof’ of the chosen logo embroidered on to a small piece of black Polo Shirt. I will make sure that this proof makes it along to the Club Night on 16 July, along with an “Order Form”. All of the first batch of Polo Shirts will be Black, and will cost no more that £15.00. At a later date, T shirts may also be available subject to demand, these will cost no more than a tenner.

As I mentioned earlier, the much anticipated Honda of Bournemouth Club Night clashes with our family holiday, so I'll see you all (or at least some of you!) on Sunday 5 August for our next Social run - this time heading to Box Hill, via one or two other popular biker gathering places on the way. Unusually, we shall be heading East rather than West, so hopefully we'll discover some new roads, see you there.

Jon Dunn

The BWAM AGM was held on the 16th April 2012 at the Cobham Social Club Merley.
2012 Committee are:-

ChairmanJon Dunn
Vice ChairmanMike Raymond
TreasurerRichard Murray
SecretaryMartin Saunders
Membership SecAndrew Carr
Events Coordinator  Darren Elbrow
Rides Coordinator  John Pearson
Associat LiasonClaire Saunders
WebmastersTony Summers, Matt Timmins
Chief ObserverDave Orvin

The 2012 AGM Minutes can be viewed here.

Steve Strong Trophy
The Steve Strong Trophy for ‘Member of the Year’ was awarded to Mark Bezzant.
Associates Coordinator
If you find yourself free on a Saturday afternoon, in particular the third Saturday of the month, please feel free to join us for a ride or a magical mystery tour round Dorset!

Originally these rides were aimed specifically at Unallocated Associates until I was able to allocate them but over time they have been opened up to Associates as well. It is always great to see enthusiasm within the club from its newer members and even more so when they are able to meet and chat to others in the same position.

The rides are very informal with some advanced training offered, very social and always well supported by Observers and members so thank you.

Paul Gardiner and I have found a format that we think works and so far the success of these rides confirms that. First impressions count and I would like to think that we are giving a good impression of what BWAM has to offer.

Rides depart at 12.30 p.m. from Cobham Social Club Merley - please feel free to bring pillions for a social afternoon of discovering the delights of Dorset.

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

Claire Saunders

This e-Newsletter should offer easy to use Hyper-links to web site pages, posts in the Forum and .pdf files for download.

All BWAM members can have access to the Forum. If you do not have access, please email Matt or Tony at forum@bwam.org.uk with your name, email address and BWAM Group membership number.


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 Wednesdays free (see 'Farts' Rides in side bar).

Track days are always popular and if a group can book then there are often discounts or sole use of track available.

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 ride clinics for members who have passed their test.

The Observed Associate Rides organised by Tony Summers will continue throughout the summer. These are proving very popular with an average attendance of around eight allocated/unallocated Associates. For the unallocated Associate an OAR is a ride out 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.

These sessions are by invitation, 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.

Safety Award
PC Chris Smith of Dorset Police's BikeSafe Team and BWAM member Kerry Pope receive an award.

For more info click here.

Associate training reports
If you didn't know, each of your training rides should be registered by your BWAM Observer with a short report of your progress.

Just recently this Rides Register software has been updated to make it more stable and hopefully easier to use by BWAM Observers. The main benefit to the Associate is you now get a copy of the report emailed to you after each ride. It is hoped you find this beneficial to your training and progress.

If you don't receive a ride report after an Observed ride please mention this to your Observer.

Members (subject to join date) taking part in an MRC should also receive a ride report as should a Trainee Observer in training.

A few words about 1st Register
I suspect that when Tony Summers asked me to write an article for the newsletter my face gave away my thoughts about doing it. I have recently taken a member's assessment with the purpose of passing at 1st Register standard. The reason for doing this was solely because I have been asked to give guidance to members who would like to achieve this standard within the MRC observed rides; and I felt it would be difficult to do this without possessing 1st register myself. I was hoping not to advertise that I had made the grade. But, Tony was right to ask - a good editor needs copy.

What is 1st Register? It is a very good standard test pass. The examiner's test form has 27 categories of which 26 apply to the motorcycle test. The categories are marked 1 to 5 the best being 1. To get a test pass at minimum standard you have to achieve at least 3 in the 26 boxes. To get 1st Register you have to get 1's in all but 3 of the boxes. The examiner has the discretion to place 2's in up to 3 boxes that are for lesser categories. (A full description is on the IAM website).

What is the standard for 1st Register? There are no surprises about this - it is the test standard that has been applied for some considerable time by the successive examiners for our area. But, whilst the examiner has a fairly wide remit in his marking (1 to 5) to give 1's he will want to see something that is significantly above the average. This much we observers know from talks given by Chris Smith and Jim McCarter (Bristol region examiner) and one to one ride training during our annual observer training weekend. From my experience “above average” means spot on application of the system, total safety, good progress when possible - safety, system, smoothness, speed.

On this basis it might seem straightforward to get to this standard but, it is a little more tricky than that. Many candidates display these characteristics during test but, not from beginning to end of test. The test length is roughly 40 to 50minutes and covers approximately 30 miles of varied roads. Not making any significant errors during this time is hard to do. If you ride the same route more than once it is usually the case that the ride will be different from the previous ride undertaken - a car pulls out from a junction, a horse and rider, coach parked to the side of the road and so on. A 1st register standard will require the right choice of action undertaken in a systematic way all the time with a few detail exceptions. These detail exceptions will be the 2's you might be allowed.

I do have a few tips to offer:

Rear observation - it needs to be done for the right reasons. Mirror checking because you feel you ought to because it is a test or observed ride, is not the right reason. Frequency is important but, every time you see a hazard you need to do it because you need to know what is behind to decide what you need to do next. When you change position in your lane precede it with a mirror check in the direction you intend to move. Blind spot checks need to be done for the right reasons - if you are taking a 3 o'clock exit off of a roundabout and you have space on your nearside - have a look over your left shoulder on the approach. Let the examiner know you are doing mirror checks by accentuating your head movement towards the mirror but, not so much that you need the help of a physio afterwards.

Speed - I am not a quick rider in the way that some are. 1st Register is not about speed - the test is about application of the system to all hazards, it should always be safe. Speed is the last of the 4 S-s and should be appropriate. This is not to say that being overly conservative in application of speed will get you a 1 in the box. Balance is everything.

Overtaking - on test this is an activity that can cause a few palpitations for the candidate (perhaps for the examiner as he observes the candidate). Remember, apply what is in “How to be a better rider” and “Roadcraft”. Ask an Observer about the 3 things to avoid and 5 things to consider. In a nutshell show the correct preparation and ambition tempered with knowing when to apply restraint and you will get the mark needed.

Speed and gear - they need to be in the right order and should not overlap. The gears should not be used as a brake. The maxim “gears are for going brakes are for slowing” applies here.

Wheels moving forward? You should be in gear - do not coast to a stop in neutral on the approach to a red light or junction.

Signals - there are more than the indicators that you can use. For 1st register you are expected to know about and use them when appropriate. There is always a time when it will be appropriate.

These are a few salient points the rest you will find in the recommended books and guidance from an observer.

I hope that I have not put anyone off of attempting 1st Register. It is a challenge - it requires a candid understanding of what you can do at the time you are thinking of it and the level of determination you are prepared to give to make up any gap. It is achievable - there are 2 1st Register passes in our group. I have been lucky to receive advice, support and so much encouragement over the years and this has been instrumental in my progress. But, I am very aware that no matter the certificates I possess; every time I sit on my bike I have to focus and apply what I have been shown. It is a continuing work in progress and I have more to do! This article is my interpretation of 1st register based on participation in group discussions, the debrief of my assessment and my experiences as an observer. Only the examiner can be the definitive arbiter of what the standard is.

Steve Palmer

Skill for Life Subsidy
BWAM has received funding for subsidising up to 35 new associates living, working or studying in Dorset. The intention is to reimburse 50% of the Skill for Life cost when the associate has completed the syllabus and applies for test.
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