Welcome to the bikers' section of the website!
In these pages, I hope you will find that at least something of what we have to say is interesting, even if it's only saving money on your insurance.
If you want more information about what we do and why we do it then have a browse around the site and see if it suits you. We're a friendly bunch of down-to-earth bikers who meet regularly on a social basis and for group rides.
Motorcycle Racer Charlie Williams, winner of several classes over the years at the IoM TT races, comes to Warrington for an "Evening with ..." on the Thursday 20th April. Click HERE for more details.
We would like to hear from you if you're interested in training with us. We don't just cover Warrington; we also have members from further afield in the North-West who have passed their test with us.
We are proud to say we have a very good social calendar, with organised rides every month and intermediate evening rides, not to mention the impromptu rides that get organised at short notice. See the Events tab above for details.
Craig Richie, aka 'Flagger', presenting Gordon Blackshaw with a cheque for £500 after completing his Lands End to John O'Groats sponsored bike ride on his twenty-odd year old Yamaha. Craig raised £1000 and split it between the Shannon Bradshaw Trust and Jacko. Jack's half will go towards helping under-30-year-old motorcyclists pass their advanced motorcycle test. Well done Flag and thanks to everyone who supported him.
We are pleased to announce that the Jack Bellis Under-25s Scheme has been extended to any biker aged 30 or under at the time of enrolment in the scheme. If you are 30 or under and want to improve your bike skills, contact Gordon Blackshaw via our 'Contact Us' page, pay just £69.50 (50% of the £139 IAM Skill for Life course) up front plus a contribution of £40 towards your Observer's fuel costs. What's the catch? There isn't one!
We are pleased to announce that Dave Given has been appointed Local Observer (LO) for our motorcycle section by IMI. Well done Dave!
Gordon Blackshaw, one of our National Bike Observers, passed the demanding IAM Masters course with a score of over 80% recently. Here's how the IAM describes the qualification:
The IAM Masters programme is the ultimate recognition for a civilian driver or rider to attain. The names of successful Masters members are entered into the Register. Masters is open to all accomplished advanced drivers and riders, it offers true 'one to one' mentoring support and guidance that will help you attain the highest level of civilian driving standard in the country.
What does the programme consist of?
Building on your skills as an advanced road user already the Masters programme will help enhance and develop your ability in the following areas:
- Applying cornering principles
- Assessing, planning and executing safe overtaking manoeuvres
- Recognising opportunities to make safe progress (within the speed limits)
- Improving observation, anticipation and awareness consistent with vehicle speed
- Applying sound judgement of speed and distance
- Delivering a fluent, relevant and continuous commentary
Once you and your mentor feel that you are ready we will offer you a ninety minute test comprising of theory session and extended drive or ride. You will be scored on a series of criteria and able to achieve a pass for 70%+ and a distinction for 80%+.
At the IAM National Conference held at Warwick University in October 2013, Gordon Blackshaw from this group was presented with the Lord Strathcarron Award by Simon Best, IAM Chief Executive.
The Lord Strathcarron Award is in memory of the late Lord Strathcarron, former IAM Council member and the first motorcyclist to take the IAM Motorcycle Test in September 1976. This prestigious award is presented annually to the full motorcycle member of both the IAM and a motorcycle group/section who has, and is currently contributing most to promoting the aims and objects of the IAM.
Well done, Gordon - we're very proud of you!
Following his award of the Lord Strathcarron Trophy, Gordon Blackshaw was invited to a lunch at the Royal Automobile Club in London where he met the Patron of the IAM, HRH The Duke of Kent.
We are pleased to announce that this group won the Group Achievement Award at the 2013 IAM National Conference held at Warwick University in October 2013. This is awarded to the IAM group which has achieved the highest score in the previous year on a set of criteria set by IAM Head Office and includes a £1000 prize which the group can put towards a road safety initiative.
We've recently learned of a local company based in Sandbach that organises bike tours in the UK and abroad. It's run by an IAM motorcycle examiner and former police motorcyclist, Geraint Hughes, and his wife Jan. Check out their website at http://www.dragonmototours.co.uk.
Congratulations to Gordon Blackshaw who has passed the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) National Observer Qualification recently adopted by the IAM to replace the Senior Observer qualification. Well done, Gordon!
Jack Bellis was a young motorcyclist with this group who was killed in a collision with a car in October 2012, aged just 19. He had passed his advanced motorcycle test and had won our award for Motorcycle Associate of the Year in 2011. The award, presented at our AGM each year, has now been renamed The Jack Bellis Trophy.
AA patrolman Tony Rich, who is a friend of the Bellis family, has designed a small sticker for car door mirrors, an image of a motorbike, to remind drivers to take a second look for bikers.
Tony also ran in the 2013 Greater Manchester Marathon to raise funds for the training of young motorcyclists and to raise awareness of their vulnerability, completing the run in a very respectable 4 hrs 8 min, and raising £2521.00, including £600 from Warrington Advanced Motorists. Well done, Tony!
The funds raised will subsidise the costs of putting 36 young bikers through the IAM Skill for Life course.
Pictured above: Tony presents the cheque to Geoff Kelly, watched by Andrew Bellis and Gordon Blackshaw. (Click picture for larger image)
Pictured above: Geoff Kelly and Andrew Bellis hold the cheque, flanked by Nathan Rowles and Gordon Blackshaw. (Click picture for larger image)
Both photos above are copyright © Mike Lyne. More pictures of the presentation here.
Our £25 discount offer to members of the Blue Knights who wish to take the Advanced Motorcycle course with our group still stands. The refund is made when you pass the advanced bike test. Please call our motorcycle coordinator, Gordon Blackshaw, on 01925 860967 for full details.
Pictured on the right, Gordon Blackshaw receives his Blue Knights membership certificate from John Radcliffe, the Vice-President of the Blue Knights England V chapter. Gordon has been working closely with the Blue Knights England V and England 1 chapters over the last few months resulting in a number of Blue Knights members joining the Warrington group and several others interested once the weather improves. We have had one member from the Warrington Group, Alan Meadows, join the Blue Knights as a result of the partnership we are forming. We have also introduced joint ride-outs which have had great interest and the first one was a great success with positive feedback from both sides, thanks to Geoff Kelly for leading the run.
I would like to thank both Warrington IAM & the Blue Knights committee for the help, support and enthusiasm they have shown and we look forward to more ride-outs and events over the coming months.
If there are any IAM members (who are in or were in law enforcement - Police / H M Prisons / Customs / Immigration / Military) who would like to enquire about joining the Blue Knights, please contact Bob Ferguson at email@example.com or visit their website www.blueknightsengland5.co.uk.
A number of the bike section have over recent years taken the "Advanced Car Test"; if you are fully paid up members the cost for the test is only £35.00, the lessons are free. We have agreed with the car section that they have loan books so there will be no books to purchase in order to do the course.
I was challenged to do the course by Andrew Bloomer who then agreed to do the Motorcycle course in return, what was evident the fact I had done a Motorcycle course really gave me an big advantage when taking the course. If I can do it anybody can. :-)
If anybody is interested please let me know.
Coordinator / Senior Observer
Warrington Advanced Motorcycle Group
Congratulations to our Chairman, Andrew Bloomer, who has qualified as a Senior Motorcycle Observer with Chris Givvons, one of the IAM's Staff Examiners. Well done, Andrew!
IAM HQ recently received a very nice letter from a lady who had successfully completed the motorcycle course at Warrington and passed her advanced test. Here's what she wrote:
I felt that it was important to take time out to write and say what a rewarding and transforming experience it has been in training and taking my advanced motorcycle test recently.
Having ridden bikes on and off for 20+ years I can honestly say that it is only now that I feel I can really ride my bike and what's more, really enjoy the whole experience. The skills that I have been taught and the knowledge and use of the IPSGA system means that I am in control and prepared for anything that may come my way and as such I can do the one thing that I never could before - RELAX and ENJOY the freedom that motorcycling gives you.
As a woman I sometimes have felt a peer pressure from the group of guys I ride out with and never really felt that I was a capable rider, often intimidated not by the guys but by my own insecurities and lack of confidence. This truly affected me to the point that I almost wanted to give up motorbikes for good as the anxiety and nerves that built as I got my bike out was starting to become more than it was worth and I was constantly making excuses why I couldn't go out for a ride or get the bike out. It was affecting me so badly that the other half decided to enroll me on the IAM course as an early Birthday present ... probably the best present he could have ever bought me!
I started off for the course with dread and trepidation (which was how I was now starting most of my bike rides!) but then I met up with GORDON BLACKSHAW of the Warrington Advanced Motorist Group. Gordon immediately put me at ease and has been a fantastic support throughout the whole experience as my observer. Gordon's patient, humorous yet strict approach has taken me from a nervous, wobbly rider riding 50p roundabouts to a confident, smooth, safe and secure Advanced motorcyclist confident in her ability and control....a fantastic achievement! (A miracle some would say!!)
Friends who I have ridden out with since have commented on the difference in my riding style and positive attitude, so much so that they have started to look at the way they ride (even though they are much more confident than I ever was) as they can see how much smoother and progressive I can be now without appearing to hurry or hit the brakes.....who would have guessed they would be learning things from me?!
Gordon has been a fantastic observer and has in time instilled in me a quiet confidence and self belief that has transformed my riding and given me a whole new experience of motorcycling. I cannot thank him enough and would like to make it known the positive effect he and the IAM course has had on my motorcycling life. Gordon truly is an asset to the IAM team and I cannot rate him highly enough, I would recommend him and the course to any one I meet in future that is interested in building their confidence or improving their riding skills.
I would like to also thank Jonathon and Geoff of the Warrington Advanced Motorist group who also gave me their kind feedback, and my examiner John Hughes - they are all excellent representatives of IAM and very much appreciated. Many thanks to all at the IAM for a pleasurable and rewarding experience and again a special thanks to Gordon for his patience and magic in making me a better rider. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all that I meet in future.