I’m 65 with nearly 50 years bike ownership. I bought my first bike aged 15, a Honda CB160 for £20. It was a non runner, so I pushed it 10 miles home and spent the winter stripping it down, replacing the big end bearings and getting it running ready for the road on my 16th birthday in June 1971. Passed my “round the block without falling off” test in ’71 and then traded down to a Triumph Bonneville 650 in 1972. WHY? A Honda 250 followed (quicker than the bonneville!) then a laverda 750SF, a kawasaki 900 Z1B that handled like a barn door, although I did manage Italy and back without serious incident in 1976, and a very yellow Honda 750F1 in ’76 and a new Suzuki GS1000 in ’78.
Then family interfered a bit so I was restricted to a Suzuki 380 single for quite a while. Since the kids, I’ve owned a BMW 1150RT, a couple of BMW 1200RT’s, Honda VFR750f and probably some others. Currently I have a very original 21 year old RC46 which is as new with only 2000 miles on the clock, a very well used BMW F800GT which is my everyday ride and a new Triumph Street Triple RS which I’m currently running in. I’m officially an OAP in June this year and looking forward to many more miles on two wheels. Very much looking forward to new friendships and rides out with HAB.
To enable the Trustees of the Group to present their Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended (31/12/20) for approval by the Group Full Members and to conduct an election.
Chairman – John Blanchfield (Will Not Stand) Secretary – Paul Dresser (Will Stand) Vice Chair – Peter Smith (TBA) Treasurer – Richard Stembrowicz (Wil Stand)
Nominations are invited for the positions above and will be voted at the meeting. Please send all nominations to the Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chief Observer Bob Hill is willing to continue in post. Rideout Coordinator – Barry Ring is willing to continue in post. John Watts Peter McNulty
The group invite members of the group to joint the committee and contribute to the running of the group. All help and input welcome.
As the meeting will be run via zoom the reports will be run in sequence, An Agenda will be published in advance. If any members wish to bring up any specific items or any other business then we would ask that these are forwarded before the meeting to be incorporated in the agenda and floor time will be given to address the topics.
Members can freely contribute at any point by pressing the hand button however we would ask that this is after the main presentation and voting.
The second Saturday in June, saw seven of us on the 0900 Channel Tunnel crossing, having stayed in the Canterbury Travelodge the night before. The plan was simple, ride our bikes, see some scenery, and have a great holiday over the next 9 days. Starting on the coast road Calais to Boulougne, a great road near the crossing terminals, then the Autoroute & main roads to our first night stop (the only hotel pre booked), south of Reims. Do you remember that Bonnie Tyler 70’s hit “Lost in France” – Dick, John, Keith & Kathy do! We go split up in Soissons, and Ian, Pete and I hung around for 20 minutes, before deciding the four lost, were ahead of us & we’d see them at the Hotel. So we cracked on & arrived at 1800 – no fellow bikers here. We were a little worried, until they turned up around 1930 – they’d taken the scenic route thru the Champagne villages, and had the best roads/scenery of the day.
Next day we were heading for Meiringen, Switzerland, 300 miles away, on twisty interesting back roads, having done the Northern France slog yesterday. Well, we got to the border & stopped for a mid afternoon coffee, then decided to stay the night in Gourmois on the River Doubs. So much for Meiringen!. Being the international travellers that we are, we went for a pre dinner drink in France, then crossed the bridge, for an evening meal of river fish in Switz.
Meiringen cannot be far, so we planned to get there for lunchtime, then do the tourist bit up the mountain railway to Reichenbach falls. No such luck, too many photo-opportunities, views of the Alps, meant we didn’t get to Sherlock-town, till mid afternoon. Then we had to find a hotel, Meiringen is around 50 miles from Bern, one of the centres for some Euro football kick-about going on at the time, and the place was packed with fans, mainly from Italy. I think it was the fourth hotel that had rooms, although we had to share, the only time on this trip that we struggled to find a bed. Why Sherlock? – its Sherlock Holmes Hotel, Sherlock Café, bar, rail station etc. Amazing how a tourist industry can be built around the death of a fictional character. And, in the story, he didn’t die there anyway!
Day of the Seven Passes. Today we are heading east, via Davos (ski resort of future kings) to Bormio in Northern Italy. First we’ll go up the Susten Pass, and back down again as the other side was blocked !. 40 miles in vain? – No – great roads for our first “proper” pass, and Dick took one of the best photo’s of our trip – Ian’s red Yamaha against a snowbank. Now the Grimsel, Furka, & Oberalp out of Andermatt. After Davos is the Fluella Pass, 1st time I can recall progress being restricted not by visibility/road condition/traffic, but by Pain ! Yep, a heady mix of summer gloves, and hail the size of large peas, meant more than 20mph was too painful on the hands! Onward now via Ofenpass, & finally the Umbrail, a hard packed gravel road into Italy – the hairpins were interesting!. Dropped into Bormio, & found rooms at the “Albergo San Lorenzo” Hotel, with luxuries such as marble floors, ornate ceilings, & hot & cold in the rooms, it was the best in the area when built in 1924, so OK for us bikers on tour.
Stelvio today, re-trace our route from yesterday – The Umbrail joins the Stevio 2 or 3 miles from the top, & on to the 9080 feet summit, the 2nd or 3rd highest pass in Europe depending who’se claim you believe. This was the most technically difficult road of our holiday, with very sharp, narrow hairpins, the ability to swivel your head like an ostrich to see the road ahead (which was actually behind you after the hairpin) was a distinct advantage. Another hazard was the downhill cyclists with no brakes – or none they wanted to use!
Our plan was to stop tonight in Austria, & on to the Black Forest hotel I’ve stayed at several times, & every tour now seems to include a visit. Somewhere near Landeck, the sat-nav told us the Black Forest was “do-able” tonight if we pushed on. Everyone was up for getting there tonight, with a day off the bikes tomorrow, so “Linguist Pete”, phoned the hotel & booked us in. – Most of us get by with “Merci” & “Danke”, but Pete chats away in France/German & a bit of Italian, very useful. A couple of delays, including another “Lost” moment, meant we didn’t arrive until 2000, Pete had phoned earlier no problem, we’d get a meal whatever time we arrived. Most of us had the Swartzwilde-Fleisch special, of wild boar, & two types of deer – not sure what but it tasted great. Try www.altersbach.de for a relaxed stay in the south Black Forest.
Did the tourist bit, with a ride into Frieburg (10 miles) then lunch at the top of the Kandel mountain, & back to the hotel, for a walk in the forest.
Heading for home now, we went North on the back roads, & stayed at Bernkastel on the Mosel, a lovely old town, with timbered buildings, and as John & Ian know, a bar that stays open until dawn!
Our last night we’ll spend in Brugge, so, a mix of back roads and Motorway saw us finding a hotel in the tourist city in the late afternoon. Tomorrow we go home.
The bikes – two Cruisers (John & Dick), Triumph Tiger (Pete), Yamaha ThiunderAce (Ian), and the correct touring tools, a pair of BM’s (Keith/Kath, & me). Seriously, you can tour on anything, all bikes ran without drama, apart from Dick picking up a couple of scrapes on his exhaust on the passes day – pity, but then again, those Cruisers are too shiny anyway!
Cost, was higher than previously, due to the strength of the Euro, still paying 40/50 Euro’s for a room and 15/20€ for a good meal. Germany seems better value than France/Switzerland.
For a very long time now I have been saying that I would join the IAM and do the advance test, finally got it done. I understand that during these difficult times and restrictions things are not running as they should and I understand that there is a delay in getting through the test. I look forward to hearing from Bob and finally get some valued feed back and pointers on where I can improve.
Brief bit about my biking background for the website feel free to edit ….pic attached.
Got the bug for motorbikes from a young age whilst living in Zimbabwe, and rode for many years starting on a Honda C70 and just before moving to the UK I had a Honda CBX1000. I passed my test here in the UK in 2007 and bought my first BMW R1150GS which has been replaced by a couple more BMW’s, my current bike is a 2013 R1200GS ADV. Riding for me is a pleasure and enjoy annual holidays across Europe on the bike which is normally a two week trip covering between 2500 – 3000 miles. Apart from doing a BikeSafe day the year after I passed my test, I have not had any additional motorbike training so now is a good time for me to join the IAM. Looking forward to the challenge and meeting other members when we get back to normal.
Well, we have waited a long time for this, but provided our government doesn’t move the goal posts further away at the last minute, our HAB rides can re-commence after the 12th April.
Chris Armstrong will lead the ride on Sunday 18th April with Barry Ring as TEC. Six riders only as per the revived ‘rule of six’ socially distanced HAB members. We are meeting at the Ripley car park from 9.00am for a 9.30am start or sooner if everyone is ready.
Setting off we are heading to Sutton Bank and Helmsley with a stop possibly there for a take-away coffee, but firm plans for stops to be decided nearer the day. After coffee we head up to Stokesley on the B1257 and then the A173 past Rosebery Topping to Saltburn, maybe for a fish & chips lunch down by the seafront. This can only be a take-away at this moment in time, so let’s hope for decent weather. Of course bring your own refreshments if you prefer.
Suitably replete we head for home via Hutton le Hole and Thirsk to finish our first ride out of the year at Ripley for a well deserved ice cream. There is going to be a re-run on the following Sunday 25th with Barry leading the ride, so don’t worry about getting left out.
COVID-19: Please respect the current and well known by now distancing and protocol guidelines whilst socialising together.
Looking forward to seeing you on one of rides. To book a space please contact Chris on 07960116166 specifying which date you prefer.
Following the necessary cancellation of the trip to the Scottish Borders in 2020 we have made an early rebooking of the event for May 2021 in the anticipation of the easing of the lockdown restrictions in Scotland.
10 single rooms are booked for 2 nights at the Auld Cross Keys, Denholm, Scottish Borders, TD9 8NU on Monday and Tuesday 24th and 25th May 2021. B&B costs are £60 per night. Journey north on Monday, trip round Borders on Tuesday, return home on Wednesday 26th May. It is important to note that the trip is still provisional and subject to the anticipated lifting of the Scottish lockdown restrictions. Travelling and socialising at the hotel may also be limited to small groups dependant on local restrictions.
Places are limited to 10 in total so if you would like to reserve a place please contact John Blanchfield to book or for further information. No deposit is required at present.
We are asking our members and friends to support the MCIA initiative (as detailed below). At the end are links to two example letters along with details of how to find your local MP.
As usual we would be interested to hear of any responses.
9th February 2021
Subject: Early Day Motion in support of the extension of CBT certificates
As you will be aware, lockdown restrictions mean that Approved Training Bodies (ATBs) are prohibited from offering motorcycle training, resulting in riders being unable to renew their expiring CBT certificates. Consequently, those affected, including key workers, cannot use their PTW, which affects their ability to commute, or carry out their jobs.
Therefore, MCIA is pleased that Independent MP, Jonathan Edwards, has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament, which asks:
That this House notes that Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificates for motorbikes and mopeds are issued on a two year basis for learner drivers; further notes that these vehicles provide a low carbon mode of transport for passenger and cargo; notes that many key workers use this mode of transport as part of their commute, especially in rural areas where public transport links can be poor; notes that as a result of lockdown measures, motorcycle and moped tests are suspended; expresses concern that road users whose CBT certificates lapse whilst lockdown measures are in place are prohibited from using their vehicles on public roads through no fault of their own; notes that whilst road safety concerns are paramount, motorists in this position have been using their chosen mode of transport for two years; calls for a temporary extension of CBT certificates whilst lockdown measures are in place; and further calls on the Government to annul test fees for people with CBT certificates which have lapsed during the current lockdown if they will not extend their validity.
Early Day Motions are used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns, but by attracting the signatures of other MPs they can be used to demonstrate the level of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.
To generate parliamentary support for this initiative MCIA is asking all to write to their Member of Parliament, asking them to support EDM 1462.
So unfortunately we are still in lockdown, but you know what, I’m starting to feel better. On my daily exercise walks I see snowdrops on the roadside and there are spring lambs springing in the fields. The days are getting longer, the R number is just below one, all of the old folks have had their Covid jab and I am going for mine this afternoon. It certainly feels like we’re going in the right direction. My bike has had it’s now customary lockdown fettle and I can’t wait to get back out on it with all my fellow HAB riders. Boris will soon be making his announcement as to how we can come out of lockdown and your committee members will be closely watching this, together with the guidance of IAM Road smart, to get us back on the road as soon as possible. Bob Hill, our Chief Observer, tells me he and the Observers are poised to restart the training with their Associates who have been waiting patiently. A few new Associate members have joined since lockdown and they will be quickly introduced to their Observer. Barry Ring, our ride-out coordinator, is also just waiting for the word to commence our usual ride-out schedule, though possibly modified if necessary, so that we can meet up together and enjoy our bikes and company. Some ideas are already being mooted for longer trips of, say, 2/3 days should there be a demand.
In anticipation of possible 2021 winter evening meetings we are putting out feelers for speakers and would ask any members with ideas for this to let us know.
The club AGM has been put back this year to May initially thinking we might have been able to meet in person indoors, but this looks highly unlikely now. Accordingly the meeting will have to be a virtual ZOOM affair and it is hopeful that as many of you as possible will take part. As always we are looking for new members to join the committee and I would ask everyone to consider this. It is beneficial for the Club to have fresh thinking and ideas on how it is run. Could I ask at this point that any member who has not yet paid their subs to do so as soon as possible. We need to do our best to keep numbers up and to keep the club viable.
Fingers crossed then that we can all be back out riding soon in the spring/summer sunshine.
I look forward to seeing you all then.
John Blanchfield Chairman Harrogate advanced bikes