3 min read

Hi All,

I hope this round of Chairs' chatter finds you all safe and well and adjusting to a life which finds us unable to enjoy the freedoms that until recently we took for granted.

It’s almost four weeks since I physically went to work and I believe since then, I have single-handedly kept Amazon afloat, now have the tidiest tool sets in Christendom and I have even put slate tiles on my shed floor (but that’s another story). I am also losing (badly) the work beard growing competition.

If I can ask one thing of you all, it is that you follow the government guidelines so that we can all get through this as soon as is practicable and return to a more normal life, ride our bikes and I can stop looking like Henry the VIII.

It’s been a tough time for the Committee and the Training Team and I really hope you understand why we took the actions to turn off the LAM tap when we did and we can only ask you to have faith and know that we will try to get you all back on your bikes and either training if you are an associate, or eating cakes in a garden centre café if you are a full member as soon as we can. When that moment comes, trust me the committee will Chimp you until the Chimp falls off the tree.

Until then, whatever you read or see on the forum, no matter who it is from, LAM is closed and no activities will take place.

I would like to thank Pat McNulty for his guidance with regards to the Norfolk training weekend, which we sadly had to cancel and place on hold; it will happen, just not when we thought it would.

We did have some successes before the doors closed and I want to congratulate Nigh Milupi and Simon Mason who passed their tests both achieving a F1rst and to Kathy Balmain who was signed off as a Local Observer by Norton Hawes. Congratulations all and hopefully there will be a few more to keep them company before the year is out.

So, what do a bunch of bikers do on a Sunday morning when they cannot ride their bikes? Well thanks to Claire van den Bosch we put our bike gear on (including helmets) and head to our garages, sofas and gardens to take part in a Zoom session where we went on fast paced trip up Pikes Peak. I am glad to report that the only casualty (that I know of) was a broken tea mug.

IT WAS VERY SILLY, but it allowed us to see friends who we haven’t seen for a while and more importantly it showed that despite all that is going on, we still know how to fun. Thank You.

Now we know how the technology works, we will try to do some online training with a Zoom session or two.

There are many people in LAM for who COVID-19 is a daily part of their lives and we applaud all of you, whatever role you have in this be that as a shop worker, carer, delivery person, nursery worker, police, fire, ambulance and anyone in the NHS.

If you feel you want to play a bigger role, seek out your care homes, surgeries etc and see if you can help deliver food or prescription medicines - which I know a lot of you have already done. I would say contact SERV but I know they have been overwhelmed with volunteers, but if after reading Colin Dawson’s excellent account of what Blood Biking involves (published in this issue of Progress), you think this is another way to put your advanced skills to use, and, ahem, serve your community then I am sure they would love to hear from you.

One of the blessings of lockdown is what appears to be a resurgence in nature. As I work around the house and garden I can hear birdsong, and it’s just lovely.

This got me thinking that without as many cars on the roads, when we do get back to riding, the number of rabbits, badgers and of course Pheasants that previously would have had an early meeting with their maker, will now be out there in force having avoided an early trip to their maker. This reminded me of Pandy Lane, Llanbrynmair on a Wales weekend with Aidan Grehan and a few others, where we were involved in the Avian version of the end of the 1812 overture where the cannons were replaced by Pheasants launching from both the left and the right, which leads me nicely into the rest of Progress…

Stay well and if you get really bored, WD40 your socket sets

Paul


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