Source: Wakefield Express, Friday 16th May 2008. Reproduced with the kind permission of the Wakefield Express (Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group)
Typical really, hot sunny weather for weeks then the day of the Leeds MAG Demo run on Saturday 17th May it decides to rain, that fine rain that gets you wet, as Peter Kay would say. Still, it didn't deter Wakefield & Barnsley MAG members from attending as 15 of us were on the rideout from Stork Lodge Tea Rooms in Thornes Park to Squires Cafe at Newthorpe. We met another 3 Wakefield MAG members at Squires itself so a brilliant turnout from the branch. Also on the rideout from Stork Lodge was local motoring correspondent from the Wakefield Express, Julie Marshall, on a Harley VRod that she was testing. Gorgeous looking bike but the riding position was a bit odd, and I don't think she will be buying one somehow.
This year the message behind the demo run was to highlight the lack of multi-purpose test centres in the Wakefield / Leeds / Bradford area which means that come October, when the new test comes into force, novice riders wanting to do their practical test will have to travel to Hull or Rotherham which is completely unacceptable. The gathered masses at Squires also had a minutes silence at 12 O’clock to commemorate the life and times of Robert Dunlop.
The run set off from Squire’s café around 12:15, coinciding nicely with the rain stopping and we met up with the police on the A63, to be escorted into Leeds City Centre. There were about 60 bikes on the run despite the weather and although there didn't seem to be that many at Squires, once the run was underway, it was a pretty impressive sight.
The route was pretty much the same as last year but we did have an unplanned detour which took us through parts of the city centre twice. However, the run was none the worse for it and everyone seemed to prefer the new route so maybe we’ll go that way next year too.
A huge thanks to Leeds MAG for organising the run and to West Yorkshire police who provided support for the run, as they do every year. I've since found out that the Police on the bikes were all in attendance on their days off, with several of them swapping shifts and days off in order to be there, sterling effort.
I don't know how successful the demo run was in highlighting the plight of learner riders come October, but it was a cracking rideout !!!!