About thirty of us on twenty five bikes met at the Grey Horse at 11:00 on Sunday 24th June for the MAG National Demo (against EU Interference in Biking). Great to welcome along Barnsley MAG and a good few from the Yorkies (Yorkshire Branch of the Virago Star Owners Club). We set off at 11:30, taking the direct (albeit boring) route to the Yorkshire Demo start point, at Wetherby Services at J46 on the A1. We arrived in plenty of time at 12:10, and there were already a good number of bikes assembled. And the bikes just kept flooding in thereafter.
This demo start point (for the Yorkshire & Humberside MEP Constituency), was just one of 12, all across the UK, representing the 12 MEP constituencies in the UK. Each of the 12 Demo's was to set off at exactly the same time (13:00).
We had a pep talk at 12:50, from whom we had absolutely no idea - all the Yorkshire Reps were looking at each other and asking "Who's that ?" However, he did a good enough job explaining the ground rules - Only ride in the left two lanes, maintain 40MPH, adhere to the law, and most importantly, JOIN MAG !!!!
We set off at 13:00, like the rest of the country, and although we didn't have a police escort, they did kindly ensure the roundabout onto the A1 was clear for us all to join at the same time. The official count from the start point was 420 bikes and trikes (but this seems low, there certainly seemed to be a lot more on the ground).
It was then a very steady ride for some 40 odd miles at a very sedate pace. Due to the weight of bike traffic, it was difficult to maintain 40MPH, and 30 MPH was pretty much the average. Everyone was extremely well behaved though and no one went in the outside lane and no one was blocking traffic. There were certainly plenty of police cars on bridges and the hard shoulder watching our progress, however, they had absolutely no cause for complaint and it was probably even a little bit boring for them.
We arrived at the end point, Woolley Edge Services on the M1, some 40 minutes later.
The services was literally crammed full of bikes.
Another pep talk from Leeds MAG Rep Manny (only because he was the one with the loud hailer !!!) - Thanks for attending, Keep up the MEP letter writing, JOIN MAG if you are not already a member !!! Most folks then drifted away and the services returned to it's normal Sunday afternoon state.
A huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who attended in force.
I have no idea whether the demo was a success and whether it will be the catalyst to defeat the unnecessary and unwanted EU anti-biking legislation coming our way .... only time will tell. However, it was an amazing spectacle (as everyone in passing cars and all those who were crowded onto the bridges on the A1 & M1 will testify). It was also jolly good fun !!!!!