4 min read

Hello everyone and happy April.

I hope by the time you read this, you’ve now had the chance to get out for a ride or two and that you are slowly getting used to bending into that oh so familiar shape that was so easy to accommodate last summer but is now accompanied by a few sighs and ooofs, and that’s just as you zip up your boots!

I’ve discovered that my backside, which last September carried me for 250 miles without concern, can now manage about 30 miles before it reminds me that as a muscle, it sure as heck doesn’t like the demands made of it. Luckily for me, this now matches the newly acquired skill of needing a bathroom within 90 seconds of leaving anywhere, BUT it doesn’t matter, it’s just amazing to be out and about even when I am shocked at the price per litre petrol has risen too.

I suspect even our hardiest of Observers will be keeping their ORs to the typical 20 to 30 minutes per ride for a while.

I used the acronym, OR, remember those? The Observed Ride (run) well I am pleased to say that these are back and any Associate looking for one can book them via the LAM shop and you will (hopefully) be picked up by an Observer for a 1-to-1 ride. However, please remember that we are still dealing with a national pandemic and therefore we will try to accommodate you, but we cannot guarantee we will have the numbers to deal with you immediately.

Observers reading this, there's no pressure for you to lend your services to the group. If you want to pick up OR’s via the G-sheet, then that’s fabulous. LAM will still be here in two, four or six months’ time and as before, due consideration must be given to you, your family and work colleagues, so please no pressure.

The IAM has recently released training modules for Associates and Observers. You should have been given access to these which will allow you to undertake online training if you want to sharpen your skills, expand your learning or just can’t get out, but still want to make some progress. The modules work well and are a great way to take a small chunk of learning if you find yourself with twenty minutes or more.

Expand your learning from our excellent Sunday morning Zoom sessions (thank you to Claire van den Bosch for your March “sort yer head out”) which we hope to keep going even now we are carrying out on the road training and hopefully, when you do get out, you will be a little more prepared.

I was out over the Easter weekend and I was reminded that we are at that time of year where the mornings are quite chilly, so we dress accordingly in base layers, heated under layers and our best thermal liners zipped into our jackets. However, as we ride the ambient temperature often increases but we don’t notice it because as we move forward we are cooled by the associated wind chill. As soon as we stop, we get hot until we set off again when we cool. There is a danger we can dehydrate without really noticing when conditions are like this in that because we’ve not really felt warm or hot, so you need to be mindful of the signs.

Common signs of mild or moderate dehydration include:

  1. Thirst (no sh±t Sherlock)
  2. Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  3. Headaches, dizziness
  4. Lack of energy
  5. Feeling lightheaded
  6. Loss of strength and stamina
  7. Muscle cramps
  8. Passing urine less than three or four times a day (even though you’ve needed a wee 90 seconds after you left the last rest room)

Research has shown that if we are dehydrated then we are twice as likely to make an unforced error whilst riding than if we are at the normal hydration rate (twice as likely puts us in the same bracket as someone who is above the legal limit for alcohol in their blood stream), so it is important we are aware of our limitations and needs.

Not drinking because we are about to head off on a long journey is actually counter-productive!

Using a hydration pack whilst riding is an idea, but then we tend to just motor on through and ignore the other natural alarms our body gives us, such as numb bum, cramp and getting off the bike accompanied by sighs and ooofs! So a numb bum is actually a design feature found in all motorcycle seats to ensure you stop regularly and drink.

Enjoy eating those last halves of chocolate eggs you have hidden away and I hope to see you out and about for a socially distanced OR or a mini AOR

Oh, and one last thing before I shut the lap top, Associates, please can you make sure you sign the disclaimer within your ARC book. When you go for test, your examiner will expect you to have your ARC with you and for it to be signed, so do this now and bring it with you each and every OR.

Stay safe and remember we ride for the smiles that the miles bring us.

Paul

 


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