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Jane Craft

I first learnt to ride in 1984 on a friends Yamaha FS1E, after which I bought my first bike, a Kawasaki AE80. 


In 2017 I returned to riding and took my CBT at the grand age of 49 and began my journey back into motorcycling on an Yamaha MT125cc. In the bitter cold winter of 2017, I started training for my full bike licence which I completed in March 2018. I was determined nothing would get in my way now.


Shortly after I bought my first 'big bike', a Triumph Street Triple R, WOW! Since then I've had a variety of bikes from a Triumph Tiger 800, to a Honda CB1000R.


In 2022 I decided to go on a 'Bike Sense Rider Development Day' run by local council's and it was then I was introduced to “Staffordshire Advanced Riders” at bikers breakfast. Nervously I had my assessment ride with the one and only Dave Lewis, “AKA Billy Bob”. I loved it so much I decided to continue with the advanced training. 


I have learnt many new skills which I feel have really improved my safety, I feel far more confident in my abilities and every ride out is a school day! I thoroughly enjoy the social rides, committee meeting's and the cake!


I've booked on my first club trip to Pembrokeshire in March 2023, can't wait!


In a nutshell, its fabulous, I would highly recommend advanced training to everyone. Grab the opportunity to enhance your skills whilst meeting new people, you wont regret it. 



Simon Clegg: I was born in Stoke on Trent and have lived in Staffordshire nearly all my life and I am currently employed in the construction industry as a purchasing manager. My first bike was a Yamaha FS1E in 1976, after that I had a few bikes finishing with a Honda 900F2 in 1982, from then I had a break from riding motorbikes and got married and had two children and it wasn’t until five years ago that I started to ride bikes again. I started with a Suzuki 600 Bandit and it was at this point I felt I needed some extra training after being away from riding for nearly 30 years so I joined Staffordshire Advanced Riders as a social member, I then changed my bike for a Honda Blackbird then changed again for a Triumph Sprint ST, this is the bike I did my training on and passing my RoSPA test in August 2014 to become a graded rider, I now ride a Triumph Explorer 1200cc. Since joining Staffordshire Advanced Riders I now help with the running of the club in my role as Social Secretary.


Stephen Roche


I trained to get my bike licence when I was 40 years old, having had a deal with my parents since I was 18 years old that I would not ride until that birthday. They thought that would be long enough to put me off! Having turned 40 I developed the desire to have an Harley Davidson once I had been on a friend’s machine, so I started training and eventually passed my test a year later. 


I started on a Suzuki SV650S, had a HD Heritage Softail Classic, then a Yamaha R6 during a mad moment on eBay after having been in the pub. I swapped the Heritage Softail out for an HD Electra Glide. The R6 was then followed by a Honda 750 VFR which uninsured white van man totalled for me by turning across my path at a set of traffic lights in Manchester!


I then bought an HD Dyna Fatbob to tour Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Denmark again before home. Seventeen days and 3000 miles later we returned. I still have her tucked away and want to repeat that trip one day.


Next came my BMW 1200GS which I currently ride. The best bike I have ever had so far, and such a capable machine. But last year I bought another SV650S, again another mad moment on Marketplace this time. I have been upgrading her and now use her for track day training as she is a bit lighter to throw around and won’t cost so much to fix if I don’t keep the wheels on the black stuff! I have also been using her to tinker with and develop my mechanical knowledge of bikes.


I am continually trying to improve my riding and so sign up for more training either on the road or the track. I know I can be better! The training is certainly paying off. Having completed the Police run Bikesafe course in North Wales (which was excellent) I was directed towards RoSPA to further develop. I found Staffordshire Advanced Riders and am now part way through my training to become a graded RoSPA rider.


I still need another bike, three just isn’t enough! But I have run out of space to put them! Mrs R doesn’t seem to think a Ducati in the living room would be classed as art!



Edward Giles: I was born in 1961, and  have been part of  Staffordshire Advanced Riders (SAR) since the end of 2011. Biking has been an important part of my life from the age of 16, when I used to mess about on various wrecks my friends and I had between us, learning how to not ride bikes, and has remained so, with a few gaps when kids / mortgage first hit, pretty much to date! The first proper road bike I owned was a 250cc Triumph Trophy, bought as a bit of a shed, though after many months, did it up to its former glory. I then went Jap, with the obvious reliability and speed advantages, and have worked my way through a whole range of bikes, some I'm proud to have owned, e.g.  GPz 900, Z1100, Z750, ZRX1200, several 1200 bandits (one heavily blinged) and a whole list of off road/enduro bikes I used to throw myself at the scenery on/off, on a regular basis, as well as ones I'm not so proud to mention, e.g. 250 Super Dream :(   and now my garage has a 1250 Bandit and my favourite, a 1980 Triumph Bonnie, a real gem !
I did my advanced training / test with West Mids ROSPA, not realising there was a closer group to me, and moved to Staffordshire Advanced Riders (SAR), where I continue to enjoy developing my skills as a rider. Joining ROSPA, taking the training and the test, as well as the 3 yearly re-test has made a big improvement to my standard as a biker and I now feel much more confident and safer, having learnt how to ride properly !! For me, being a part of SAR is a great source of fun and friendship, being part of a great group of people, covering all abilities. Our social calendar really helps that, and with club inspired and related biking activities and regular monthly club rides with like minded folk, it makes it all a real pleasure.


Gill Galpin

As far back as I can remember, I loved the feeling of freedom, speed, and independence that two wheels gave me.
First my push bike which was almost a surgical attachment,  then as soon as I could, a snazzy red and white Suzuki Snip moped.  Unfortunately, although in hindsight perhaps I should say fortunately, my parents were dead set against me having a motorbike, so I quickly passed my driving test and graduated to four wheels.
Working for a High-End Accident Repair Centre in my early career, I drove everything from a Ford to a Ferrari which fed my passion for all things fast and furious, but I still always looked longingly at my friends two wheeled joy machines which I begged and borrowed when I could, a red Honda Superdream being a particular favourite in the early 80s.
So, when my husband went back to bikes around 10 years ago, I jumped at the chance to take my full bike test and have my own bike.
Although I passed my test quickly and bought my first bike, a Triumph Street Triple R, to my disappointment and frustratingly, I found I didn’t have the skill to ride my bike the way I imagined I would and wanted to, so after joining Staffordshire Advanced Riders I started to have some training with the experts.
The support the Trainers gave me and the knowledge I gained was invaluable and changed the way I looked at the roads, both when driving and riding, but more importantly gave me the skills I had lacked to enjoy riding my bike safely and at a level where I was able to feel the exhilaration that riding a bike with confidence brings.
I took and passed my Advanced Test, but the learning doesn’t stop, and riding with the group gives open access to the wealth of experience the other riders and trainers bring , as well as being part of a great bunch whose banter is just as much fun as the riding.

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Dave Lewis aka (Billy Bob)  

I’m Dave Lewis. Know in the club as ‘Billy Bob’, but that’s the story for another day. 

I started riding in 1986, with a birthday present from my wife. This was with CSM, the motorcycle arm of BSM. This was at Belle Vue Speedway circuit car park in Manchester. It also included the loan of one of their bikes for the course.  

After an hour riding around the cones on the car park and another hour in the classroom we were taken onto the roads for an assessment. I was then told to book my test and let them know where and when the test was booked for. Test day arrived, I rode to the test centre, rode around a block to the left, then a block to the right. Emergency stop, U-turn. Congratulations you have passed. 

I bought my first bike a couple of months later, Kawasaki GPz500. I loved it but that’s when I had to learn to ride a bike. I persevered for a little while then realised I needed extra training. Pre internet this wasn’t always easy to find. I signed up for a course with the local IAM group. I finished the course and took their Advanced Rider test. I passed this and enjoyed the process so much that I continued my training and became an Observer with them, to pass on what I had learned. 

Life, and bikes passed by, and I found myself living in South Cheshire.  Like many of us I found myself with a little more time on my hands and wanted to take some more training. 

I joined Staffordshire Advanced Riders with the hope to progress on to gaining a test pass with RoSPA. I achieved this, and again, enjoyed the process and went on to become a Tutor with the group. At the next AGM I was ‘encouraged’ to take a post with the committee. 

I am now Membership Secretary and Training Coordinator. I’m not a glutton for punishment it’s just that the two jobs go well together. Holding these posts, I tend to be the first contact with the club, which I do enjoy. 

Having changed bikes more than is probably healthy during my early riding career, I now ride a Triumph Tiger Explorer which I am enjoying very much.  I enjoy helping other riders gain more confidence in their riding and improve their safety while riding. So, as well as Tutoring for the club, I also work with Staffordshire County Council on their Bikesense, and, offer training with other groups and companies. 

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Martin Bloore

Hi I’m Martin Bloore currently Club Secretary, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme. I’ve worked across a number of industries & countries and currently work for the Civil Service.  I’m probably one of the few that don’t have a distinguished biking pedigree. Bumbling around on 125s in the 1980s, I got distracted with kids, work and travel finally sorting myself out in my mid 40’s getting my full license though the DAS scheme. Realising I wanted to reach 50 & beyond, I joined SARs with the primary aim of staying alive & upright on my CBF1000 and to stand any chance of getting my ideal bike (BMW RT1200).  As it turned out I swapped my CBF for an RT and passed my test with a gold at the first time of asking mid pandemic in 2020. Although I’ve only been riding for 5-6 years, I’ve rattled through a few bikes, from 125’s, a Honda CB600, BMW F800GT, CBF1000 and 2 RT’s, my current being a 2009 LE.  I’m also interested in retro bikes, especially ones that aren’t in bits, I’m happy to leave that to the other mechanic genius members. A Kawasaki R900RS & Enfield GT are on the list if I ever create the space in my garage.  I also ride for Norths Staffs Blood Bikes and support Doc Bike (a charity the club also supports). The Club is a brilliant place, members who are passionate about biking, don’t take themselves too seriously (unless it’s on road safety), willing to help anyone and share experiences. With regular rides, meetings and social activities I get to enjoy great company, learn a lot & maximise the freedom riding brings us all! 


Dominic Challinor

My Motorcycling interest started when I was 12 working and playing on my friends farm mostly on smaller cc 2 stroke bikes. As soon as I was 16 and needed transport for work I got myself my first bike, a moped, all I was concerned on doing was trying to squeeze every precious extra MPH out of it installing sports exhaust and changing jets and Variators until I could turn 17 and upgrade to a 125. As soon as my 17th birthday arrived I walked into my local motorbike shop and put all my savings into buying a Cagiva Mito 125 and at 17 I thought what a beaut, the 916 lookalike. After this and passing my test in 2001 I had many bikes from a VFR 400, Nina 636 to a GSX1000R. Even swapped style too supermoto for a while having a CCM 404 and a more aggressive KTM 625SMC which got nicknamed the beast. ( as it tried to spend most of its time on one wheel, on tracks of course).

After a very brief break and some travelling abroad I was back in UK and with my long term girlfriend ( now partner) we had our first child and I teated myself to a bike a Triumph sprint ST. 

Whilst attending the open day at Stafford police head quarters in 2016, I saw the local Blood bike stall and was keen to play my part in helping, but then found out I needed to be an advanced rider and so sought out my local group which happened to be SAR.

After some great training and successfully passing my Advanced test in July 2017. I was soon riding for Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes.

After a few years riding for the blood bikes and enjoying the monthly ride outs with the group, and another daughter later, I was eager to become more a part of the group and was somewhat conned into becoming the social media secretary and Website gatekeeper most likely due to my youth and that I knew what facebook was.....

After a further few years I was asked if I wanted to become an advanced riding tutor, which I jumped on the opportunity to give me the chance to pass on and share all I have learned over the last few years. 



Nick Tatlow

65 year-old not-quite-retired-yet criminal barrister. 

I came to bikes much later in life than most, although they’d always been in the background and I’d always wanted to ride “one day”. My dad used to tell me about his Vincents and Velocettes and Speed Twins, and in my teens and early twenties I’d cadge rides on mates’ bikes and read MCN every week as I daydreamed about my first 250cc learner bike. Funnily enough it wasn’t an Elsie, but a very boring and sensible CB250RS. For whatever reason, it never quite happened. Then along came career and family and bikes were on the back-burner, although I did get as far as a CBT once or twice. 

At the ripe old age of 57, with kids more or less grown up, I decided it was now or never time and went off down to Bryan’s at the Britannia Stadium and signed up for the CBT and then Direct Access lessons. I assumed that I’d sail through, what could be hard about it? Then discovered that I had Mod 1 yips. After a few humiliations, including dropping a bike on test (still hate U-turns) I scraped through in April 2016. By then I’d had a BMW F700GS waiting in the garage since the previous December. On the day I passed my test I got it on the road at last, only to find out that modern roads can be scary for novice bikers. Obviously, I needed help. My first port of call was the IAM. I had a lot of fun with the group, and still do, and passed their test in January 2017. Although that made me officially an “advanced” rider, I didn’t feel very advanced; more was needed and so I came to SAR in 2018, and took my first test in February 2020 and my first re-test last month. 

In the meantime, the F700GS was replaced by an excellent Tracer 900 and then my current R1200R, which is so much my ideal bike that I can’t bring myself to let it go. Until I win the lottery and buy an R1250R. 

Learning with SAR and riding with the group on ride-outs and weekends away has transformed my riding experience. I know that some more experienced riders find the Roadcraft method a bit prescriptive, but for me it has brought the confidence that makes riding so much more enjoyable and satisfying. And I’ve had loads of fun in great company. I’d strongly encourage any other geriatric newbies out there to come and join in!


Daz Clancy

My motorcycle passion started in 1971 at the age of 6 when I purchased my first motorcycle a Honda SS50 for £10, since then I have never looked back, competing in motocross, trials & even the odd track day. As I moved to road riding my focus changed to safety which led me to do additional motorcycle training which included One-to-One advanced training with an Ex-Police trainer, ERS, BikeSafe, IAM & now RoSPA. I am also a fully qualified DVSA CBT & DAS motorcycle instructor. 

Joining the SAR (Staffordshire Advanced Riders) club has enabled me to advance even further with support of the members & great training tips from the experienced tutors who help prepare you for the RoSPA test. 

Where possible I attend most committee meetings which is a great way to discuss & exchange ideas & meet new friends. It’s also a great way of getting involved in local biking events to help promote the group & what advanced riding is all about. 

You’re never too old to learn & constant assessment of your own riding skills only enhances your riding further……


Colm Walsh

Hi, I'm Colm Walsh - Special Envoy, Cultural Attaché and Translator - 37 years young and I have been riding since I was around 13 years old. I learnt to ride on an Excel 185 and since then, my passion for motorbikes has grown and grown. Originally from Blackburn, I moved
to Stoke around 15yrs ago for better prospect. I was learning to fly single prop aircraft and
my move to Stoke was supposed to be supporting a flying career. I created a family and the
plans/ expense of learning to fly, soon "flew" out of the window! Although I have been riding 125s for years, I only passed my DAS test in May of 2018. Once I passed, I bought a Triumph Speed four. It was like a rocket and was soon traded in for the V Strom 650 which is a brilliant bike. I had used this for doing my ROSPA advanced riding where I had gained
MANY skills and look at the road in a whole new way. My main reason for wanting my
advanced riding qualification, was for being able to join the blood bikers. Throughout my
training I had got to know a lot of the Staffordshire Advanced Riders (SAR) and have been
made to feel very welcome to the club. As well as SAR doing 2 weekend trips away each
year, we also do monthly ride outs which are a great way to be among like-minded safe
riders and enjoy the freedom of the road.
One of my proudest moments to date, is recently being signed off as a Blood Biker for
Shropshire, Staffordshire & Cheshire Blood Bikes. This gives me even more of a purpose to get out on the bike and do something with the potential to save lives and put something back into society. #itswhatwedo



I'm now a retired university engineer and key Infrastructure planner. 

A rider since 1980. I used to ride motorcycles for pleasure and as my main means of transport for commuting in and out of work. 


Bikes owned way back then included Kawasaki z200, Yamaha XS500 twins, Suzuki GT500 twin and Yamaha XS 750 triple. Then in common with many folk, along came wife, family, mortgage etc., etc... but I returned back to motorcycles in the early 1990s for a brief spell on a GXZ 750. 

About 6 years ago, I was able to committing more time / cash to motorcycles and I was acutely ware that conditions on the road had changed considerably in the intervening years.

With the increase volumes of traffic, the increased performance of the modern machinery now available and my own body and minds decreasing ability to make sense of it all. 

I was aware the “Going back to biking” for men of my age can be “Challenging”! So, I opted to get myself some re-training to increase my own safety and the safety of other road users!!


I started with Staffordshire County Councils offer of a  “Bike Sense Rider Development Day” and  then looked at other forms of training that would help me stay safe on the road, increase my hazard awareness and generally improve my riding skills.

That’s when I contacted my local RoSPA Group, Staffordshire Advanced Riders. I followed the training programme over a number of weeks until I was assessed component enough to take the RoSPA   Advanced Riding Test. Following a successful test result, I have remained with Staffordshire Advanced Riders, and developed my role within the club.

 I’m now the Club Secretary and Ride Coordinator. I have taken part in many Ride-outs and social functions,  Introduced periodic night rides and now also a member of the team who Tutor trainees.

I’ve also gone on to become a rider for Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes. 


Staffordshire Advanced Riders are a great bunch of like-minded folk, whose aim is to promote safety in all aspects of motorcycling.




Dave from Tean : I work with my wife Irene, who was slacking one day and had made no lunch so we pulled up at the Spar in Rochester for sustenance. Whilst she got the sandwiches I looked at the magazines. A classic motorbike magazine took my eye with a shiny Kawasaki GPZ900R on the front  “Mmmm classic bike?? I wanted one of them when I was younger!”  I remember it took all the trophies at Isle Of Man that year and left the other manufactures standing. The penny suddenly dropped, I was fast approaching 50!
I had grown up on a farm and had rode / driven anything with an engine from go carts, mopeds, tractors, cars… the miles I must have gone up and down those fields and yard. After different field bikes Ajs, Greevs, Honda’s etc. At 16 I hit the road on my pride and joy (at the time)  a Gitane 50cc after that I had all sorts as age and insurance would allow a  Honda 250,  a couple of Kawasaki Z650’s ,750 turbo, Z 1000, Z1300  plus a host of others.
I started trawling the net reading up on the GPZ900R, it took me back to happy biking days… no commitments or ties back then. Our two fabulous children needed us less and less; perhaps this was the time to get back into biking? There was a birthday bash weekend at Devises later that year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 900R. So I purchased a 900R in a crate, it needed some serious TLC. It took some time to restore but we just finished it in time for the bash and I decided to go and take my son too as he was just getting interested in stuff like that. At Devises I made some good friends who I still go out with for a bike trip at every opportunity.
I then brought a Kawasaki ZRX1200 (a bit more reliable) it went like a dream and looked a million dollars but my wife said the pillion seat was not comfortable enough for her big ass, so that went.  Although I had held a bike licence for some 30 odd years I was not felling confident or comfortable, I needed to polish my skills for  today’s busy roads, I bumped in to SAR at a bike show at Trentham and joined a little later after going out on a couple of social rides . After some training, I feel more confident riding my bike with and love to go anywhere, anytime in any weather, 
The members are a great group of like minded guys and girls; we have a few laughs and improve our riding skills in a relaxed manner so it’s all good.  
I quickly realised that if I wanted to get back to bikes I needed something comfy for the wife unless she would not let me go out! So I bit the bullet and bought a Yamaha FJR1300 one careful owner with hardly any miles. Since then I have had another two FJR’s, they may not be much to look at, but, they are so comfy and you can sit on them forever. We went around Europe for a couple of weeks with friends to celebrate our 50th birthday, which was fantastic. We have been back to IOM for the TT for the last four years. Every year SAR does a weekend trip away we have been to Scotland, Cornwall, and a trip to Northumberland is planned for later this year. Also planning a trip to The Algarve this spring for ten days, really looking forward to that. Bring on the good weather.



This could be you!!

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