3 min read

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and enjoying one of the best times of the year, a time where we see the brilliance of our countryside explode into vivid yellows, golds, greens and reds as the trees prepare for winter. The leaves say their farewells before falling to the ground, having done their job.

Like an autumn leaf, this is where I find myself, perched on a branch of the mighty LAM, looking down at the ground anxious that my attachment is coming to an end, whilst equally knowing that the tree is safe in the superb hands of the committee (and believe me, they are an amazing bunch of folk).

It’s hard to believe that three years have gone by since I took over the Chair role from Steve Pratt. Despite all the fun we have had to deal with during that time, it does feel like it has gone by in a blink of an eye, although there were times that time moved very slowly, and during the confusion of 2020, we wondered if we would ever be able to meet again.

Now, as I sit and write this, I wonder if we will ever be able to ride again, but this time it’s a lack of fuel rather than a virus preventing us from getting out there. For sure, crazy times, but it would be boring if we just had to cancel meetings because it was too cold!

In a bid for some normality, we headed to Wales for the first time since 2019 to hold the Training Weekend and enjoyed a fabulous weekend (we were fortunate with the weather), and we look forward to the many test passes of the back of this.

Rest assured, the 2022 trip is already secured with a better range of single accommodations; the pressure next year will be to see if you can light up the dining room with brighter smiles than those enjoyed this year! These events are nothing without the support of the Observers who kindly take us to the hotel and provide rides and ORs over the weekend and the staff of the Metropole Hotel. Thank you all.

It was nice to see so many of you in person, having enjoyed many an AOR and Zoom call with you, and I hope you got to meet new people and share the experience with them.

It was also smashing to meet up with a few old faces of LAM who remain active in the group but have moved away to the North and Wales (luck man Jim).

The only downside of the weekend was that we all ended up like the action stars in a Hollywood blockbuster, where the lead takes off in an aircraft only to discover they don’t have enough fuel to make it to their destination.

Let me tell you, tapping the fuel gauge on a GS whilst the distance to empty is solidly reducing and counting down to nothing makes zero difference! I know hard to believe, right? especially when it always seems to work for Tom Cruise.

Thank the universe for TESCO, Worcester, where, with no need for a punch up (we had left Wales by then) or a requirement to sell your children or kidneys (no, Mr Pierce, this is not an option for you!), we found ample supply to get home.

For a brief moment in time, IPSGA became  – I need a PETROL STATION to be able to GO ANYWHERE!

 For the sake of good order and the avoidance of doubt, IPSGA remains as specified in all approved training materials, including but not limited to ARC and Roadcraft Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration.

On the subject of petrol, I am convinced the MPG has decreased somewhat now that we more widely use E5 and E10 gasoline but has anyone else noticed the burbles and cracks you get now as you come off the throttle? Who needs a fancy exhaust system and all whilst saving the planet.

Well, the time has come to say goodbye as Chair, and as I sign off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped make the group what it is and for your support over the last thirty-six months.

It is oft said that it is rather lonely at the top,  but not in LAM; yes, there have been dreary days and others where you question the actions of others, but at the end of the day, nothing can beat being asked if you need EUROs for Wales!

Keep moving forward and never backwards and good luck to the new Chair.

Paul

 


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