April 2011

‘Not Up In Here!’

March has been quite a busy month for the boys and girls at Taplow traffic Roads Policing base…the warmer weather has bought out the various ‘car cruises’ and the obvious increase in bikes.

The car cruises are predominantly not a problem, unfortunately there is a small minority that like to ruin it for the real enthusiasts. This was evident last Sunday at the ‘Windsor cruise’, a small unit of drivers decided to use the roads round Windsor town centre as a time trial. Needless to say I can easily carry a speed laser device in my panniers and I’m pleased to say the two winners of the time trials both have a day in Court and both face driving bans as a result. Nice to see the majority of the cruisers were pleased with this as they are getting a bit fed up of the negative press they are getting from local residents.

If you recall from last month I wrote about the young lady that had a rather stretched chain and was in dire need of tightening which I duly helped with, well it transpires she is a member of a ladies-only motorcycle club called ‘CurvyRiders’. The club is quite unique covering the entire UK with many members in Berks/Bucks/Oxon….

From www.curvyriders.co.uk :

“The site and forum is open to all lady bikers, offering a unique, helpful and informative site. It is a place where lady bikers can have their say without the lads butting in all the time! The main aim of the site is to boost your social life … Meet new people and get in touch with riders in your area. Forum members are already meeting up and organising rideouts. Keep checking out the site and forum for rideout and event details”

I was with 10 other TVP SEG riders (Special Escort Group) all of last week on a very intense national course which concluded in all of us at different phases having to navigate a three vehicle convoy through Central London up to the Emirates Stadium ( I won’t mention the team that play there as I’m a Southampton football club fan and it simply wouldn’t be right) and then back to TVP training centre at Sulhamstead. For those unfamiliar with what SEG is it’s basically the outriders you see for VIP’s etc, there is a tried and tested way of doing this and it involves a lot of skill and a requirement to work under a lot of pressure with a cool head, as well as having to negotiate the dreaded ‘Slow Manouevres Course’ part of the training!

A big thank you to the TVP instructors (and one Northamptonshire Police instructor) for the hard work they put in to getting all 10 riders successfully through the course……now bring on the Olympics!

It was also nice to visit the Metropolitan police SEG unit in London and a big ‘Thank you’ to those guys who were fantastic hosts, thank you.

I was on the way back to the traffic base a couple of days ago and latched onto the back of a R6 and an original ‘fox eye’ Fireblade, they were riding ok and were moving along nicely when I noticed that the R6 had a kind of white banding running down the centre of the tyre, I thought no more of it until we reached a set of traffic lights and I could see that the white band was in fact the lack of tread in the centre of the tyre -so much so that there was NO rubber just little wires. I stopped the pair of them and it was all pleasant enough until it came to the subject of the tyre….”oh, I didn’t notice that before” replied the R6 rider…..except the amount of tell tale lumpy rubber all up his hugger and underside told a very clear story of a ‘burn out’. After a bit of soul searching he came clean and I gave him a VDRS ( a form that gives you 14 days to replace they tyre then no prosecution) for the tyre, a couple of Safer Rider goodies and I bid him farewell!

As the good weather is looming a lot of you are wheeling your bikes out of winter hibernation…PLEASE give the bikes the once over and make sure they are in good nick – have a look at Steptoe’s maintenance pages in ‘The Garage’ and if you can’t find what you are looking for then contact us -we normally reply within 24hrs.


Ride safe!