Steering into 2017 with some driving ambitions and resolutions

The motorcycle meet at Reepham and Whitwell Railway Museum.

The motorcycle meet at Reepham and Whitwell Railway Museum. - Credit: supplied

Motoring editor Andy Russell gears up for the new year and wheels out some of his road-going resolutions and hopes for 2017.

Getting out and about to explore the Norfolk and Suffolk coast paths. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

Getting out and about to explore the Norfolk and Suffolk coast paths. Picture: Mark Bullimore. - Credit: Archant

Many people make resolutions for the new years, with the best of intentions, but the difficult bit is sticking to them.

That's why I've gone for ones that I know I will enjoy, so will be driven on to seeing them to fruition.

Andy Russell plans to explore more of Norfolk and Suffolk this year by bike having passed his advanc

Andy Russell plans to explore more of Norfolk and Suffolk this year by bike having passed his advanced motorcycle test last year. - Credit: supplied

But I've also come up with some, which will also benefit me and make life easier, for people who might need a steer.

Looking back, I'm quite pleased with how my resolutions panned out last year – I think I am a more courteous and patient motorist (well, most of the time) and I achieved my main aim of passing my IAM Roadsmart advanced motorcycle test.

Roundabouts are tricky to negotiate if motorists don't indicate where they are going. Picture: Simon

Roundabouts are tricky to negotiate if motorists don't indicate where they are going. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk


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So what have I got planned for this year?

Either on two or four wheels, I want to get out about to find some new delights in Norfolk and Suffolk and become a tourist in my local environment by visiting attractions that I never found time for.

Orford Ness - the nature reserve also houses some interesting military history. Picture: Archant arc

Orford Ness - the nature reserve also houses some interesting military history. Picture: Archant archive. - Credit: Archant

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Top of the list is Grime's Graves, the prehistoric flint mines at Weeting, near Thetford, and Orford Ness National Nature Reserve along with its rich military history from its days as the site of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.

And with a dog back in my life again, I'll be taking Mabel with me whenever possible – in the car I hasten to add – so she can enjoy our fine countryside too with some long walks. Over this year I'd like to walk a lot more of the Norfolk and Suffolk coast paths to fill in some gaps in my local knowledge– but probably not all in one stretch.

I also want to get to see more of the superb motoring events we have in our county both for cars and motorcycles.

As well as getting to the Snetterton rounds of the British Touring Car and British Superbike championships I shall be looking out for more of those local events and club gatherings, often for charity.

I've still never got to the summer motorcycle meets at Hunstanton, Buckenham and Whitwell and Reepham Railway Museum and the annual Copdock Motorcycle Show at Ipswich's Trinity Park in aid of charity is a must this year.

And the difficult resolution this year – the one that will cause me most grief and I am least confident about – is seeing if I can get my wife on a motorcycle again 30 years after she last rode pillion.

As for those for other people, I am keeping my wish list short and sweet.

Be a good-mannered motorist and make way and allowances for other road users by showing courtesy rather than contempt, restraint rather than range.

Use indicators appropriately to signal your intentions to others. You may know where you're going but the rest of us have to guess.

Do at least one thing to make you a better driver. It might be a training course, an advanced driving or riding test or it might just be refreshing your knowledge of the Highway Code.

But most of all I wish you a happy, and safe, motoring year ahead.

Did you make any motoring-related New Year's Resolutions? Let me know about them – email motoring@archant.co.uk

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