Motorcycle related Blog

17th August 2021 I’ve been on the Radio A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Steve Berry on his radio show, Steve’s speedshop about my life on motorcycles. You can listen here, I had a great time.

15th August 2021 Very excited! I’m thrilled to be asked to join the judging panel for the “Best Ridden Cafe Racer” category at the @acecafelondon Reunion event on 4 September! Look forward to seeing many of you there!

11th August 2021 Don’t get a E-scooter the’re dangerous

I must admit I’m surprised that the government is taking a massive step back in road safety; I believe that the introduction of E-scooters goes against the very ethos of vision zero (VZ)

Surely putting a 16 year old on a scooter would be a much safer option? To ride an E-scooter you don’t legally need any training, helmet or knowledge of the road, you are limited to 8mph and can’t ride on the pavement. Will this inexperience and lack of training lead to more accidents? In the past week alone there have been two fatalities reported in the news because of E-scooters, and you can get prosecuted for road traffic offenses including drink driving on an E-scooter. The requirements of hired E-scooter1

What are the benefits of having a moped? A minimum age of 16, like E-scooters, for a moped you need Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). This covers you for 2 years and at 17 covers you for a motor cycle up to 125cc, which  should make you safer on the road from the beginning,  if you take and pass your car test you can ride a moped without any further CBT’s for life, you have to wear a crash helmet and you are more inclined to wear protective clothing as this is perceived as the accepted practice, the bike is subject to regular safety checks (MOT), you are easier to see on the road, and at night due to the better lights and built in reflective panels on the  clothing, you can travel up to 30mph, you build roadcraft skills which will help with learning to drive other vehicles,  it’s easier and safer to carry some shopping, and if you go for a non electric version you have unlimited range, you can use them in some bus lanes, not cycle lanes though, the E-moped is also perceived as being cleaner and better for the environment at point of use.

What are the health benefits? More than you would think. A Police motorcycle riding acquaintance wears a Fit Bit while doing a 2 hour training session for new riders and burns about 1,000 calories, there is this news report2 that says some motorcyclists can burn up to 600 calories an hour. It is also very good for your mental health3; of course I have left some benefits until last; independence and freedom for your child, and of course the most important of all, not as much need for the use of the taxi of mum or dad!

So what’s the drawback? The most obvious one that also applies to E-scooters as well is being hurt in an accident, although the training you receive and the clothing you wear while on a moped will reduce the chance of this happening, so you’re better protected riding a moped than on an E-scooter.

Start up costs; insurance, vehicle, road tax, protective clothing, and training, although if you think about the start up costs they’re not a drawback but a advantage the rider. Going back to the start of this blog post, why would a sensible parent let their 16 year old son or daughter loose on an E-scooter, they’re death traps! So do the sensible thing and give your child a moped, and help the government with their vision zero targets, you know it makes sense.

Links; 1, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users 2, https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/news/2020/may/motorcycling-classed-as-exercise-in-new-south-wales 3, https://smartmotorcyclingguide.com/2020/04/26/the-mental-health-benefits-of-riding-a-motorcycle/

19th July 2021 I see Ealing council have 8 LTN consultations that have to be completed by the 23rd July 2021. Going to be a challenge to get this information out a bit concerned it will be in time, perhaps this might be the plan? Check them out on the MAG facebook page. I know it’s a bit short notice, but there are so many consultations that spotting them is a real challenge, that’s why I think that London MAG’s eyes and ears campaign is a great. If you’re interested in helping out by being a borough contact get in touch with Spen, the London regional rep.

30th June 2021                                                                                                                     I see MAG central has launched welcoming roads, an evolution of vision zero. For those of you that aren’t aware of vision zero; Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. It was first implemented in Sweden in the 1990s. It including cyclists, it proposed a ban on all methods of transport on which people get hurt. Transport for London had a variation they called vision zero for London which exempted cyclists. Due to motorcycles being invisible to council and authority transport planning bodies motorcycles requirements on the road aren’t included in any roadwork’s, new  and any modifications, so MAG’s balanced approach to vision zero is a reasonable request. I’m not posting this because I want people to say if you are worried about your safeties then don’t ride. I have always known that there is a risk to riding a motorcycle and I have had accidents, this doesn’t put me off riding. What I am saying is that if you are changing the road layout to benefit one mode of transport and it affects others then it’s wrong. In London the introduction of £1billion worth of cycle infrastructure to make cycling safer is OK if it works and doesn’t affect any other road users. Cycle accidents have fallen to single figures over the last few years, unfortunately motorcycles fatalities have stayed between31-36, is this because road space has disappeared due this change to road infrastructure in favour of cyclists?

24th June 2021 When I moved back to Yorkshire last year I had to stand down as London rep, I thought that my life would get a bit quieter and I would be able to do more stuff, exploring the Yorkshire countryside was high on my list of to do’s along with seeing more of my family and friends. This week I sent my manifesto into to the Motorcycle Action Group’s (MAG) central office to stand for MAG chair at this year’s annual general conference. It’s not something I would have contemplated doing, even when I volunteered to be the Greater London regional rep. I was attending GL MAG’s weekly Zoom meetings to help Spen the new rep settle in when it was suggested that I stand for chair. My first reaction was run! Long and far, after all I didn’t have any of that stuff in my background, after talking to a few people I started to give it serious thought and more support from my family and friends, so I fought my imposter syndrome and applied. So here I am now putting up a website so that people can see my manifesto, ask me some questions and generally waffle on about things. Please get in touch.

About Me

Hi, I started riding motorcycles in Yorkshire when I turned 16, my first purchase was a bright yellow Puch VZ50, my current bike is a Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. I worked as a courier in London in the 90’s and drove buses and coaches since 2004. I have attending many rallies and demos in my time. I now use my motorcycle for commuting, rallies and touring. Now standing for the chair of MAG!

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