Why do any of us bother?

Genuine email from the IAM local group yesterday. Someone wise once said that when you take all the fun out of motorbiking - there’s not really much left.

Surely a simple - “Please make sure you socially distance on the social rides” would have been sufficient?

Who thinks this is a good idea ffs?

Dear All,

We are delighted to announce the re-starting of our Social Rides, although perhaps not quite as they have been in the past, at least for a while to come given this pesky virus situation.

The first of these new Social Rides will be on Sunday 23rd August 2020 and will cover a variety of routes depending on the number of people attending.

Details as follows:-

Rides will be in separate groups, each with a ride leader assigned in advance

Only the Ride Leader will be issued with the route in advance of the day.

Each Ride Leader will have a different route from start to finish, there are 8 different routes, all tried and tested by the Ride Leader team.

People wanting to attend must text X on 078xxxxxxxxxx no later than mid-day on Friday 14th August to confirm attendance.

X will assign each attendee to a Ride Leader and notify you of your start time and meeting point.

X will maintain a spreadsheet of who has done which route, to ensure that you are not assigned to the same route more than once.

It will not be possible to simply turn up on the day, as we have to limit the numbers in each group, so riders who have not pre-booked and been assigned a ride leader will not be able to ride with the group.

All riders must arrive in time for the briefing, anyone missing the briefing will not be allowed to join the ride.

It may be possible to stop for refreshments along the way, please bring these with you, as it may not be possible to use café’s etc. this will be decided by the Ride Leader, based on the ability to maintain suitable social distancing and the latest government guidelines.

Apologies for setting out some quite strict rules for our new style social rides, but we need to ensure that we can do this safely for everyone, and stay within the latest guidelines, hopefully things will return to normality sometime in the not too distant future.

Look forward to seeing some of you along the way as we get back out some social rides,

Edit: To be fairer to the author it appears that these guidelines were written before the relaxation of group sizes, when a gathering of more than 6 was illegal. So not quite as bad as appears. Hopefully will be binned asap.

That’s just f’ing rediculous.

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See also

I wonder how these people get out of bed in the morning without someone to wipe their arse for them.


As I was reading it I found I was talking mainly through my nose by the end…

I don’t mind a set of rules to be clear but I don’t need to know what X will do with the routes.

But maybe this is what people want.

Unfortunately someone needs to have the record in case someone is ill and they need to notify people, so.i get the whole spreadsheet. I don’t need to know how they organise the route

Ultimately this is not a few friends with similar ideas on the virus. Some people will turn up not caring at all, others will be cautiou. so maybe they’ve tried to.cover all bases

For reference, if anyone comes for a rideout with me, I won’t be releasing the route beforehand, mainly because I haven’t actually decided of one and the briefing will consist of telling you we’ll be running the Keep the Fuck Up method of following said undetermined route :stuck_out_tongue:


If anyone goes on a Rideout with you, best bring offroad wheels

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I’m not sure if its just because I’m nearly at the point of doing my IAM assessment, but that really doesn’t seem that bad to me.

They are arranging it so that as many people as possible can go on the ride, whilst keeping it to the 6 households rule. The only other option of doing this is max 6 people on a ride, including the ride leader and tail gunner (unless people live together). The spreadsheet is so they can do this several times, and as a rider you don’t have to do the same route twice.
IAM are a stickler for rider briefings, but that’s part of the image of doing things properly that they have to project. This is nothing new (for my group at least).

As the charity is focused on doing things safely, I cant see why they would not do it in a safe way.

My issue isnt splitting into 6s, they did that pre covid.

It is the tone of the instructions, the overkill as if we cant simply do what we normally do, just with social distancing.

Filling in a spreadsheet ffs. Having to preregister. Not telling us where we are going! Not sharing the route.

In other words treating us like we are children. Hardly an enjoyable experience imho.

i thought you always had to pre register, just that was by rsvp on facebook. (though ive not actually been on one yet)

I don’t see the point of not sharing the route, I assume that’s to stop people unofficially joining in. It does feel a but possessive over the routes (as happened on LB a few years back).

I think the spreadsheet is just to spread people out so you do a different route each ride, that shouldn’t be something that participants see, or even need to be particularly aware of. (it sounds like it carries on from one ride to the next, but doesn’t state that)

My group haven’t started rideouts yet in any form.

No preregistering with our lot. We had a destination and were given GPX routes if we wanted them.

Then split into 6s on the day.

That was all preCV.

My local group did something similar for an official IAM sanctioned ride, albeit not with quite that tone. Wasn’t too bad in the end, was quite nice to have a ride with a tight group of similar capabilities, rather than the more traditional huge ride of couple dozen getting strung out. From the other side, if it’s an IAM ride, IAM insurance/public liability is potentially at stake if things go wrong. And if it’s discovered official guidelines weren’t followed, then things could get very awkward very quickly for the local charity registered group.

As such, most of the people I know in the group are now organising their own non-IAM personal rides, just a bunch of mates who happen to be following awfully similar rides through the similar waypoints at coincidently similar times of day…

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And that is why I usually delete all of my IAM emails without even bothering to read them. I find the whole military planning thing far too prescriptive and takes a lot of the fun out of group rides for me. I think that I’ve only been on three or four group rides since I passed my test and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon, especially with RULES like the above.

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I was contemplating joining seeing as I get honary membership/Qualification due to work so that I might get out and do some more rides. Think I’ll give that a miss now

@Curtis The training and qualification is definitely worth doing, especially if you can do it through work. Unfortunately, having just said that, a lot can depend on who you get allocated to for the training. I was lucky and I had a really good Observer both in terms of his personality and ability, but there are some absolute cocks doing the training as well who are so sanctimonious and dogmatic that they reinforce all of the old stereotypes.

I originally joined for the social side as well as the training, but I find the whole rigid structure of the organisation too much and since passing my test, I only really use my membership for the trackday training and very occasional monthly meetup where there’s a special offer on. Horses for Courses and all that.

I left LAM a few years ago when there was a lot of in squabbling due to a poor chair and the number of rides dropped. It may well be better now though.

I guess each is individual at any one time and can’t be tarred with the same brush.

It does seem a familiar issue with IAM, basically coming across as stodgy, rule leaden, and unfun organisations.

Definitely seen this perception a lot, and as @eezie mentions, each group will always vary in this regard. That said, it can be somewhat self fulfilling - a rule leaden group will likely only attract (and retain) those happy to perpetuate said rules. There also seems to a be common problem with local IAM groups to get volunteers to help out, contribute and keep groups going. If more ‘fun’ people contributed, I’m sure groups would be more fun, and in turn attract more fun people. Bit of a vicous circle unfortunately.

I’ve been a remote LAM member since 2003 and keep up on the forum but spend my bike time offroad or on track these days and stopped riding to work when it went 20mph and squeeze all the roads for pushers … so rarely ride with LAM these days …

…but think its a GREAT badge to have and worth going thru a bit of paperwork and OCD for the end result so dont get put off …you do a year of IAM stuff and pass and then its up to you

its like school had quite a lot of rules but am glad i stuck it out even tho some of the teachers were knob heads !