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Andy Smith is a former Police Motorcyclist with years of experience in motorcycle training at all levels. He offers training through 1stClassRider.co.uk, and ride outs through his newsletter blog right here. To contact Andy click here.

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Next Ride Out and Some Other Stuff


This is our Bavarian Bed & Breakfast. A pretty Ski Lodge from the front.. but a working Cow Shed at the rear! What a smell.

Here is some news about the next few ride outs and some other stuff.

Firstly I want to thank Peter and all the staff from Ocean BMW at Plymouth for making us so welcome on the weekend. Supplying us with Hot Drinks, Hot Pasties and a Very Hot Chilli Sauce.

Also a special thank you to the dealership accountant, Mervyn and his good lady wife for inviting us back to his charming home on the edge of Dartmoor for home made scones and jam for a fab Devonshire Cream Tea.

Following on from the Cream Tea, some members of the ride out gang have complained to me that they seem to have put on weight since coming on the ride outs. Surely not! Why might that be?

So this blog is now Sponsored by Slimfast(c). I will be handing out Slimfast Chocolate snack Bars at only 90 calories a piece to the first ten riders at the start of the next ride out. Slimfast Really do make Chocolate Snack Bars, and as they have less than a third of the calories than, say, a Mars bar you can eat three of them and still feel slim! So the first ten come and have a slimfast before your Double egg and Bacon McMuffin, fries and a breakfast strawberry shake!

Bloody Lovely!

So what comes next.
Here is a clue about what is included in this Blog.

1. Next Ride Out. September
2 Bus trip to the bike show.
3 Photo Card Licences expiry.
4 The new bike test.

1 Next Ride Out. SATURDAY (Yes Saturday) 13th of September.

Why a Saturday. The weekend of the 12th to the 14th of September sees the 70th anniversary of the opening of The Ace Cafe in North London.

Serving the needs, and the teas and coffees of bikers for 70years the Ace Cafe is known throughout the Biking World.

Situated on the North Circular Road many bikers grew up with visits to The Ace as part of their culture. First opening in 1938 but closing in the 60’s it still retains a place in the heart of the British bikers, whether you be a Mod or a Rocker!

The Ace re-opened after a former Met Copper decided the time was right. (An ex copper into food and bikes – how unusual!!)

The anniversary will see a series of events, but on Saturday at 12 noon there will be a ride out from the Cafe to the London Motorcycle Museum followed by an afternoon at The Cafe of competitions, live music and joviality. What a jolly jape!

Meeting and leaving times will be published nearer the date but it is anticipated that it will be a 8.30am departure from MacDonald’s at junction 32 M4, Coryton Interchange.

So come along and enjoy the atmosphere and become part of the history of this iconic biker venue.

There is a double page feature on the anniversary in the September issue of Motorcycle Monthly. If you haven’t got a copy….well you should have come on the ride out on the weekend and I would have given you one.

NEC Bike Show – Coach Trip. Saturday 6th December.

We are organising a coach trip to the NEC for the Annual Motorcycle & Scooter Show. We have chosen Saturday the 6th of December for the trip.

The cost of the Coach will be £15 for adults with concessions for children.

In order to book your seat you can either contact me or ring Anthony at Greenwoods of Pengam direct on 01443 822669.

This will give us the opportunity to travel in comfort without getting freezing cold or soaking wet (mind you it depends on which coach Anthony lets us have!!) and if you want to buy any bulky items you won’t have to bungee them to the back of your bike only to find they fell off on the M50.

Book your seat now. The £15 does not include an entry ticket and these can be purchased in advance at the Bike Show web site at a small discount.

Photo Card Licences.

It is 10 years since Photo Card Licences were introduced. What! 10years. I know, I didn’t believe it either. Anyway… The photo that you submitted to the DVLA only has a shelf life of 10 years. So any licence issued 10years ago must be renewed with a new photo.

To check your licence ‘expiry’ date take a look at item 4b on the front of your photo card. DVLA say that this expiry date will not affect you licence category entitlement as your driving category is still valid well into your old age, but the photo ‘expires’.

What this means is that the DVLA will issue a reminder letter as your 10th year approaches but if you don’t renew it they will issue a fixed penalty similar to the 80 quid you automatically get charged for not taxing your car. This penalty could be up to £1000.

For any rider wishing to take a motorcycle test the DSA have decided that they will only allow the test to go ahead if the test candidate also produces a VALID passport so the photo can be verified.

So take a look in the mirror and take a look at your licence. A bit balder, a bit greyer and bit fatter perhaps….. and that’s just me!

So don’t get caught out. Get your new photo’s done and renew your licence.

The New Bike Test.

The new test is nearly upon us and from the end of September all bike tests will have to take place at the new Multi Purpose Test Centres. In South Wales we only have 2. Swansea and Newport, so this is going to create quite a demand for test slots, with several regional training schools having to make the trip to Newport from as far away as Merthyr, Monmouth and beyond.

The new test should not pose any particular problems to any candidates and we have formulated a training plan to cope with the changes and the new manoeuvres.

Cones, cones and more cones.. it looks like the new test to me!

Now if I just yank on this front brake……….

There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. Any Takers for the Bus Trip to the NEC?

    Cold, wet, windy, and that’s just the Coach so imagine what it will be like on a bike!

    Give Anthony a Call and book your seat.

  2. Andy
    Do you know where the pick up point for the NEC trip is likely to be.

    Steve

  3. Hi Andy. A couple of us would like to join the ride to the Ace cafe on sat 13th arriving from the Bristol area. Will you be making a stop else where along the M4 for us to meet up as J32 is the wring way for us.

    Cheers

    Stewart

  4. Hi Stew.

    I’ve posted a new blog and we will be stopping to meet at Aust Services at the Old Severn Bridge. About 9.15 ish.

    See you there.

    Cheers

  5. The pick up point for the NEC Coach trip is yet to ascertained but I think it will be decided on the demand for seats for maximum convenience of the passengers.

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