How to organise a SAM Group Ride (2007/07)


First of all I must tell you that you need to have passed your IAM Advanced Motorcycle Test to lead a SAM Run, if you have, the next thing is to contact the SAM Group Runs co-ordinator and say that you will organise a ride.

The co-ordinator will sort out a date and a start point for your run that is convenient for you. We use Wickham Square, The Meon Hut lay-by, King Alfred’s Statue in Winchester or the Ower Services just off the M27. The start point that you chose will dictate the direction of your run. Head outwards away from the start if at all possible. OK, you have just phoned Ian and arranged the date, so next you need to find a nice comfy armchair and settle down with your map and a note pad.

Active ImageNow, are you going to do a full days run or just a half day will be the first decision that you will need to make. A 100 mile ride with a group of 10 riders or so with a stop for coffee or tea may take up to 3 1/2 hours from start time to stop. Anything much over a 100 miles will probably become more than a half day trip. Try to choose somewhere interesting as a destination or even a nice pub for lunch. The Dog and Partridge in Crewkerne, Glastonbury Cathedral, Midsomer Norton, Monmouth on Wye, The source of the River Thames. The list of possible destinations is endless.

Try to choose somewhere new where we haven’t been before, as that is much more fun. Sort out your own type of route, but you may like to avoid major trunk roads if possible. Many `B` roads are really nice to ride, so just because they are marked yellow or gold on your map does not mean they are narrow lanes, as many are not. You do not need to take the shortest route to your destination, so choose the route that uses some `A` and some `B` roads. Motorways can be used to get to a good bit of road if necessary. It may be a good idea to avoid narrow roads or lanes with loose surfaces and blind corners, as no one really likes those, particularly when they are riding a new Ducati 1099 or a nice Harley Davidson. Check the mileage and amend the route to lengthen or shorten it as required.

If you have a SAT NAV this job will be much easier, so put in as many via points as you need.  Of course, you will need to think about comfort stops on the way. Pubs often do morning coffee. Garden Centre Coffee Shops are very good and do not forget the Little Chef type stops.  Many riders lose concentration after an hour in the saddle, so I like to stop for a brief leg stretch or perhaps a petrol stop as a good way to re-focus attention. If you are able to recce the run before hand and to sort out the stops for lunch etc that is a bonus, but it is not a prerequisite for being a Run Leader. You will need to decide if you wish to lead a, Leisurely, a Moderate or an Advanced pace run. Now take a look at the SAM Run Leaders Guidelines Document number 010JG Issue No. 8 as that will give you further information that you will need to consider. Find the document on under `Useful Documents` If you are map reading on the day, then do mark up a map with a highlighter and have 2/3 spare for the Back Marker etc. Place your copy into a clear plastic pocket and tape it to your tank ready for a quick reference when you need it.   

Even if you have a Sat Nav, an emergency map can save the day!

You may get an offer from someone to be your Back Marker before the day, if not, you will find someone on the day with no problems. you see. 

You will find that when you arrive home after the run that you will have a big smile on your face and feel so good about yourself, for it is fun organising a SAM Group Ride.Contact Ian or myself should you have any questions.

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