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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

A Look Back at October 2019

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Well, I thought that things would slow down on the riding front as Summer finished and Autumn started, but I couldn't have been more wrong, what a great October!

The month kicked off with me attending a BMW Club lunch. These are on the first Thursday of the month throughout the summer and I usually manage to get to 2 or 3 a year but October was the first one I've managed this year. As usual, it was very well attended with a wide range of makes and models in the car park and not all BMWs. Thanks to Peter Brindle for continuing to organise these great Yorkshire Section get togethers.

As some of you know, I quite often manage to pop up in various bike related magazines, but in October I was out done by Kim, who managed to get herself in RiDE Magazine for the second month in a row! The article was related to the Ride5000 initiative and was a homage to pillions. Kim is a great pillion, we have travelled thousands of miles together and she rarely complains and loves our bike trips and tours.

Training wise, Mark J was up first on his GS Adventure. Mark has applied to take his IAM Masters test and as such the IAM allocated me to conduct his pre-test training. During the course of the month Mark had 4 sessions and is now awaiting his test date. No pressure Mark!

As well as Marks four Masters sessions, I also had training with Michael on his CBR 600, Laeticia on her Triumph and John on his 1200GS.

Away from training, I conducted five RoSPA bike tests, two of those were with RoSPA Group Tutors (Simon and Adam) who were taking their triannual re-tests and who both put in great rides to acheive Gold passes. The other 3 tests were with local group members, so across the 5 tests there was a great mix of abillity, experience and bikes. First up was Simon on his GSA, followed by Adam (KTM), Craig (VFR800 - sorry no photo), Mark (Fazer 1000) and Geoff (Triumph Street Triple).

As well as IAM training, my training and RoSPA tests, I also assisted at two training sessions with my local RoSPA Group (Advanced Riders North Yorkshire). One of the days (26th) was a particularly horrible day, with high winds and heavy rain but there was still a great turn out of both Tutors and Associates. I know none of us really enjoy riding in such conditions but it certainly concentrates the mind! Well done to everyone who trained that day, great effort. Here's Mick and Tony braving the elements.

On the 24th I joined bike journalist John Urry and photographer Simon Lee from RiDE magazine to help out with a future reader feature for the magazine. It was a really interesting day, lots of photos taken, lots of bike chat and some great riding around the Rutland Water area. Unfortunately, although all the photos were successfully taken in fine and dry weather, the heavens truly opened later which curtailed the intended amount of riding but we still managed a good few hours. Not sure if the article is in next months mag or not but once it's published I'll post the photos.

After leaving the RiDE Mag guys, I made my way down to the London area where I met up with two fellow RoSPA Tutors and we had a full day of training and preparation towards another qualification. More on this to come....unless I fail, in which case it'll never get mentioned again!! haha.

On the 27th I visited The Bike Specialist in Sheffield, who were having a customer open day. Although I've been aware of them for some time, it was my first visit to their premises. The Bike Specialist have a large stock of bikes (and cars) which they describe as unique, rare, modern and classic. Bikes and prices ranged from a 1976 Yamaha FS1Es at £5K up to the latest Ducati Desmosedecis at £70K and everything in between that fits their customers desires. World Trials rider Dougie Lampkin and multiple TT winner John McGuinness were in attendance, signing autographs and chatting to visitors and there were several other companies displaying and selling their products. According to TBS they had around a 1000 visitors and judging by the numbers that were there during my visit, I have no reason to doubt that figure. I really enjoyed the experience and saw bikes I've only ever seen in magazines, or had on a poster as a kid. Staff were friendly and chatty and there was a great relaxed atmosphere.

If you've never been, it's definitely worth a visit, you can't fail to be impressed with the bikes they have for sale.

With permission from The Bike Specialist, here's a few photos from the day. These are just some of of my favourites from the many bikes in stock.

A little update on the bike front. I bought my BMW R1200GS Adventure in February this year, it was a pre-reg bike with zero miles on the clock. On the 4th November I will have had it 9 months and other than having a new back wheel at the 600 mile service (loose spokes) it has performed brilliantly. I ride the bike most days so it's out in all weathers but it doesn't get cleaned anywhere near as often as it should, although I am a bit of stickler when it comes to servicing and maintenance. In the 9 months of ownership it has taken me to Scotland, Wales, all over England, a European trip to France and Spain and a second trip to Switzerland and Austria, not to mention all the miles of bike training. In fact, by the 4th November I will have covered 18000 miles, that's an average of 2000 miles a month. I'm on course to cover the most miles I've ever done in 12 months. It really is a fantastic, do it all bike and I can't praise it enough.

Here's one from the summer at the top of the Stelvio Pass.

And finally, I finished the month off with the purchase of a new over jacket. After reading various reviews I visited Infinity in York and ordered an Oxford Rain Seal at the very reasonable price of £25 (reduced from £34). The jacket comes in 2 colours, I thought about the plain black, but given that as motorcyclists we live in a world of SMIDSY drivers, I thought I'd go for the loud and lairy bright yellow! And here it is......surely they'll see me coming in that?!

And that my friends, sums up my October review. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I'll be back again next month.

Thanks for reading.

Ian S

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