Ten of us met at the Grey Horse at midday on Saturday 26th May to participate in this years Leeds MAG Demo. Great to welcome along two new faces on their inaugural Wakefield MAG rideout. The weather couldn't have been better, hot, sunny and not a cloud in the sky.
We set off at 12:30 as advertised, taking the non-direct and scenic route to Squires, via Stanley, Methley, Castleford, Fairburn and Ledsham, arriving at Squires around 13:15ish. The route past Fairburn Ings was slow as the road had been recently resurfaced with the cheap and not so cheerful top dressing of stone chippings. At least a few cars had been down the road so if you followed the car tracks it wasn't too bad. Once into Fairburn village the road was back to normal (i.e. potholes everywhere but at least it wasn't loose gravel). Then, lo and behold, heading into Ledsham, we hit a new road surface again, only this time hardly any traffic had been down the road so this was literally riding through loose gravel (always fun, especially when you have to go round a corner !!).
Squires was heaving and it wasn't too easy finding a parking space, even on the bike. We met a good few other Wakefield MAG members who had gone direct to Squires. Time for a cold drink then it was assembling ready for the demo run.
This year, we had the police escort directly from Squires itself, which was really good as in previous years we had met our police escort on the outskirts of Leeds on the A63 near Colton. 150 bikes left Squires at 14:00, together with our escort of 2 police cars (topping and tailing the run) and 2 police bikes (roving marshals to close the junctions en-route, until relived by the demo's own marshals).
We were led into Leeds via the A63 through Crossgates, then picking up the A64 past Seacroft and onto the Inner City Loop, not having to stop at any traffic lights en-route. We followed the Inner City Loop, past the bus station, making lots of noise under the railway tunnel, through City Square, then past the Town Hall, up past the Merrion Centre then back out of Leeds, where we were given the police escort all the way back to Squires. The route wasn't quite as good as previous years where we had been led up the Headrow (normally closed to traffic) and right into the heart of the city, however, plenty of people did see us, and lots of leaflets were handed out explaining what the demo was all about (EU hands off our bikes !!!!!!).
A lot of people dispersed on the way back but for those that did go back to Squires, a party night and camping was laid on.
A huge thanks to Leeds MAG for continuing to put on this annual demo, a huge thanks to all the marshals who blocked junctions after the police had closed them, to keep the run going smoothly, and a huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who turned out in force to support the demo (75 branch points well earned !!!).