Cynically, my view from the top has changed despite efforts to exercise within the previous restrictive guidelines. My midriff has expanded somewhat and now obscures my feet. Being at home so much with a kitchen so close and a fridge full of ingredients for snacks isn’t a great help, neither is the fact that my other half makes such fantastic cakes. There is a continuous smell of baking if not for us, it is for number one son currently enforceably distanced from his partner or the grandson living alone in his first home. These are the Red Cross parcels that she regularly distributes which is better than forcing me to eat all of them, but the smell is pure torture.
Club life, along with life in general, has changed for all of us at present and even after recent slight easing of the restrictions there is nothing there that indicates when much more will change on the social and events front in the immediate future. However, the latest good news that we can ride our bikes (apparently confirmed by No 10 according to MCN) within the social distancing etc, gives us some respite from the current four walls of lockdown. I can hear the howls of protest from the 4 wheeled box brigade already. I guess we all took advantage of the earliest opportunity to exercise the bike. I could ride all day on just a few cups of coffee and a small snack and that has to help with the waistline. Of course, the general administration of the club continues and when you think the workload might reduce, that isn’t actually the case with some complex, challenging and time-consuming issues to be dealt with.
One of these was the 3 club track days advertised in the Journal. Even today as I pen this on the 14th of May the track owners “MSV” haven’t advised us that the event on the 18th May will not take place. Their Head Offices are closed so we are unable to communicate directly with them. In effect, refusing to discuss with us the postponement of the 18th of May date and are currently sticking with their present website advice “no activity before 17th May. Not at all helpful and this has forced us to send an email to all participants advising them “not to attend” on the 18th. Members all over the country are finding lots of ways to keep in touch and amuse each other, not always so politically correct but fun. How many of you are enjoying the efforts of the MUC-19 team and virtual pub nights?
One opportunity that has arisen within the national committee (NC) whilst dealing with business was to start a conversation on the future of the club allowing NC members to express a view and alternative ideas. On Friday 15th May we trialled a small Zoom NC meeting which went very well and will now replace our June full scale face to face meeting at a saving of around £3,000 to the club in travel and overnight accommodation charges. We’ll be working with the section reps that couldn’t take part this time because of work, in the intervening period, to ensure everyone is on board and we can overcome technical issues on voting for example. My aim is to hold more regular such meetings because events move so quickly these days and the current practice is too slow and cumbersome. Currently we hold three face to face meetings a year, but today shorter regular meetings by Zoom would in my view a much better option. I’ll keep you up to date on that.
MAG and the BMF are not only supporting John Broad in his efforts to get Oxfordshire County Council to rethink their motorcycle (powered two wheelers – PTW) section of their Local Transport Connectivity Consultation with robust challenges to the accident and benefits data, they are also on the case in London. The Transport Secretary suggested that encouraging people to commute by cycle should be a key part of proposals for transport as restrictions are eased. This was pounced on by the zealous cycling lobby and Sadiq Khan with his Street space plan for London to fast track the transformation of streets in favour of cyclists and pedestrians. I’m not against cycling having been a cyclist since the age of about 11 and raced competitively all over the UK and Europe for many years, it is this concentration on some aspects of travel without a properly balanced examination of all the possibilities which rattles my cage.
Now that I can venture out on my bike with a flask and some sandwiches I intend to make the most of it to enjoy the air and roads. If you’re thinking of doing the same, take a bit of extra care as there are regular police reports of motorists driving well above the speed limits and shaving the corners. I’ll be wearing my own quite effective PPE including visor and head protection and I’ll be social distancing throughout the journey. Just to relive the exhilaration of the open road for a few hours will be heaven. So give us a wave if you’re doing the same.