Wakefield MAG April 2009 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can’t attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, it’s the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Yorkshire Air Museum Rideout Report
2) 10 Pin Bowling Report
3) MAG AGC - Important Update
4) Wakefield MPTC
5) National Demo Run
6) Rally Tickets
7) Edinburgh MAG Rally
8) MAG Slams 50mph proposal
9) Delivering a Sustainable Transport System
10) Stormin' The Castle
11) Calling ITV Marshals
12) Wakefield MAG Bike Show
13) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

1) Yorkshire Air Museum Rideout Report

Twenty five Wakefield and Barnsley MAG members met up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Sunday 15th March, for the first Wakefield MAG rideout of the year. Our destination was the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, York, and we fully intended to take the scenic route to get there. We had 3 floating marshals (Mark, Lorna & Daz), as well as a lead (Steve) and tail marshal (Mo) for the run.

Twenty two bikes and one trike set off at 10:00, taking the A642 out of Wakefield through Stanley, before taking the Methley road to Castleford. A detour round Methley due to road works, then through the Castleford Potteries and onto the A656, Lock Lane. Right at the Allerton Bywater cross roads, then the most picturesque route through Newton, Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve, Fairburn village then the unmarked road to Burton Salmon. Left onto the A162 heading towards Tadcaster, passing across the A63 at the roundabout then a right onto the B1222, then a left towards Church Fenton village.

Lovely quiet country roads in this part of North Yorkshire. Just before RAF Church Fenton, we took a right heading towards Ryther, then joining the B1223 towards Cawood. At Cawood crossroads, we took a left onto the B1222 towards York. This road meets up with the A19, but we weren't on it for very long, before turning off towards Wheldrake village.

In true Wakefield MAG fashion, we sailed right past North Lane (which we should have taken to Elvington), and 3 villages later realised that we had missed the turning. A quick check of the map and an alternative route back was found. We took a right so we could double back on ourselves, only to find a dead end, and several amused children at a house in the middle of nowhere. Oh, how we laughed. A quick U turn then retraced our steps back to Wheldrake village, where we found North Lane quite easily this time. North Lane becomes Greengate Lane heading towards Elvington village, and we took the B1228, and arrived at the Yorkshire Air Museum gates at 12:00.

A group discount had been negotiated in advance, one of the museum staff came out to greet us and we all got in for £3, instead of the normal fiver entrance fee.

The Yorkshire Air Museum is located on the site of the old RAF Elvington, which housed British and French Bomber crews in the Second World War. Many exhibits recreate the wartime airfield, including the control tower, French Officers mess and barracks. The museum has won many tourism awards and it is not hard to see why, as it's a real gem in Yorkshire's crown.

Most of our Group had a go on the Lancaster Bomber rear gunner simulator. To be judged to be an adequate tail gunner, you had to achieve a score of 200. Igor managed a mere 30, so it's unlikely he'll be getting his RAF call-up papers !!!

We all had a good look around the hangars, containing lots of famous planes, both from WWII, and before, right up to modern fighter jets and helicopters.

All in all, a cracking day out, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the run, lovely dry weather and we didn't really get lost, more enjoyed a detour, with style !!!!

Our next monthly rideout is on Monday 13th April (Easter Monday), to the Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conversation Centre, Settle, North Yorkshire. Hope to see you there.

2) 10 Pin Bowling Report

Our Social Committee organised a Wakefield MAG 10 Pin Bowling Night on Friday 13th March, at the LA Bowl on Doncaster Road, Wakefield. We had a most impressive turnout and 32 Wakefield MAG members, friends and family turned up for the night of bowling. We had six lanes to ourselves, so the majority there at the LA Bowl that night were from Wakefield MAG. Our Social Committee devised a draw system so we were all put into lanes by random selection, which was great as it encouraged everyone to get to know each others family members.

With so many in our group, we qualified for the complimentary buffet, which was good quality fodder, and being good Yorkshire folk, we liked getting Summat for Nowt !!!

10 Pin Bowling is a very sociable game, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the drinks were flowing, and the conversations kept everyone entertained. There was dancing between throws (for those whose drink really was flowing), and the bowling scores ranged from the respectable 153, down to the frankly embarrassing 21 (most of us being at the lower end of double figures it has to be said).

Thanks to everyone who came along and made our evening a most enjoyable one. A huge thanks also to our social Committee for organising it all, jolly good effort girls.

3) MAG AGC - Important Update

Significant developments in the business of this years AGC are being notified to all MAG members.

1. Election of the National Chairman of MAG (UK)

After three terms in office as MAG's National Chairman, Jane Chisholm has announced that she will be stepping down at the AGC. This leaves one of the most important volunteer posts in MAG open to new candidates.

Jane's message to the membership reads: "I'm really sorry to have to make this decision at this late stage, but I can’t stand for the chair of MAG at AGC for the next year. This is due to the failing health of my parents, who cannot cope without more help following a recent stay in hospital. I had hoped that I might manage another year, but it is now apparent that family circumstances mean I would not be able to commit anything like the same time and energy to MAG this year."

Nominations were invited and one nomination has been has been notified to Central: Paul Turner (Cumbria Regional Rep), proposed by Fergus O'Connell (National Vice Chairman and Clubs Liaison Officer), seconded by Greg Philipson (North East Regional Rep)

2. Late proposal for a national campaign

"East Yorkshire MAG propose (after a unanimous vote) that MAG (UK) prepare and implement a national campaign, to protect the liberty and freedom of motorcyclists, travelling on the public highways from overzealous and discriminatory policing."
Proposed by Jol Lawson membership number 97448
Seconded by John Metcalfe membership number 117378

NB: Although received after the advertised submission date, this proposal has been brought forward at the discretion of the National Committee.

The 2009 MAG Annual Group Conference will be held on Saturday 4th April 2009 at Hurworth Grange, Hurworth on Tees near Darlington, Co. Durham. Proceedings start at 11:00am.

All current MAG members are invited to attend (production of a valid membership card is needed to gain access to the AGC).

All Wakefield MAG members who attend will be duly awarded 75 branch points.

4) Wakefield MPTC

Wakefield may soon have it's own Multi-Purpose Test Centre (MPTC). The following article was printed in the Wakefield Express on Friday 13th March, and spotted by several of our eagle-eyed members:

New L-Test Centre Plan

Learner drivers could soon be taking their tests at a new centre.

A full planning application to build a multi-purpose driving test centre for the Driving Standards Agency at Silkwood Park, close to junction 40 of the M1, was submitted to Wakefield Council's planning department last week.

The application was a result of changes in EU legislation to the motorcycle driving test, which requires centres to have an off-road area to test motorcyclists on high speed breaking and slalom manoeuvres.

Car drivers could also take their test from the centre, which will employ 10 full-time examiners. It would be open from 7am to 9:30pm, seven days a week. Wakefield's current test centre is based at Carr Gate.

This is a great result for the Wakefield District (providing the planning application is successful), very convenient opening hours, and especially in this economic climate, additional job opportunities for qualified examiners.

5) National Demo Run

Despite the recent announcement of a possible Wakefield MPTC, other areas of the country are not faring as well, which is why Leeds MAG is hosting the MPTC National Demo Run on Saturday 9th May. The annual Leeds MAG Demo run is now going to be the MAG National Demo Run, to highlight the plight of learner riders with the Multi Purpose Test Centre (MPTC) Fiasco, which is particularly bad in Yorkshire. The Leeds MAG demo run, which is a police marshalled ride through Leeds City Centre, is always a great event, and this year's event promises to be even more so, now this represents the MAG National Demo. Demo rides are the Action in the Motorcycle Action Group, and as well as the very serious message they put across, are always great fun and well attended.

The run assembles at Squires at 11:00, and leaves at 11:30, where we will collect our police escort en-route to Leeds City Centre. The run will then return to Squires, for speeches, petition signing and a buffet. Invitations have been sent out to local training schools and learners, as they are the most affected by the MPTC fiasco. A film crew will also be in attendance so who knows, you may even get on the telly !!!

Wakefield MAG will meet at our usual point (Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, Thornes Road, Wakefield) where we will have a mass ride-in to Squires. Meet at Stork Lodge at 09:30, leaving at 10:00 for Squires where we will meet up with other Yorkshire MAG branches and hundreds (hopefully) of other riders, for the MAG National Demo Run.

As this is a political campaigning demo run, attendance at this event will earn you 75 branch points (as opposed to 10 for a normal ride-out).

Hope to see you on Saturday 9th May.

6) Rally Tickets

Our allocation of Yorkshire MAG (MAP) Rally tickets for the ITV, FYP, GG & YPR rallies are selling like hot cakes at the Branch meetings. Let me know if you want some, especially the Yorkshire Pudding Rally, as this is a pre-book only event with a finite limit and will sell out months before August. Ticket prices are the same as last year (all £15, with the exception of FYP, which is £25).

7) Edinburgh MAG Rally

We have ordered our tickets for the Edinburgh MAG Rally and already, 22 of us will be heading north of the border to attend one of MAG's best kept secrets, the Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally at West Torphin Farm, Harburn, West Calder, West Lothian, EH55 8RT. If you want to join us, pre-book tickets are still available from those good folks at Edinburgh MAG, for £15. Alternatively, tickets can be bought on the gate, for £20.

8) MAG Slams 50mph proposal

You may have seen the recent proposal for a country wide 50mph limit on all country roads. MAG were quick to issue a Press Release condemning the proposal:

The proposal for a blanket 50mph limit on country roads represents the ascendency of politics over reality.

Accident analysis shows that a very small proportion of accidents are due to excess speed with carelessness and stupidity within speed limits being far bigger factors.

MAG President Ian Mutch said :  

"Cutting road accidents is a valid goal but those who simply propose ever lower limits have lost all sense of proportion.  There is a balance to be struck between the reasonable expectations of the motoring public for mobility and motoring pleasure, and  the interests of safety.  The problem with those who crudely argue for ever lower limits is that they have no sympathy with those for whom the open road remains a source of pleasure."

9) Delivering a Sustainable Transport System

MAG UK is very disappointed to see that the Government’s report on sustainable transport has virtually excluded motorcycles. The report entitled ‘Delivering a Sustainable Transport System – planning for 2014 and beyond’ deals with a range of transport options but motorcycles are scarcely mentioned.

Part of MAG’s strategy for deflecting unsympathetic legislation aimed at motorcyclists has been to argue for the promotion of motorcycling within a sustainable transport system. In the course of this MAG?have argued that motorcycles reconcile the need for flexible personal transport with the conservation of both fuel and road space. Key to this strategy was the creation of a body, ‘The Government Advisory Group on Motorcycling’ to which MAG had direct access. This group was established in response to MAG’s campaign ‘Bikers Are Voters’ which ran in the lead up to the 1997 General Election.

MAG credit its access to this group with much of its success in deflecting potential draconian legislation aimed at motorcycles. MAG?has consistently resisted attempts to marginalise motorcycling as a fringe activity which represents a problem for politicians rather than an elegant solution to mobility challenges in crowded urban environments.

To now find that a major report has once again practically excluded power two wheeled vehicles is a retrograde step which MAG now seeks to expose and address.

MAG is calling upon its members to contact their MPs to question why such a sustainable form of transport has not been included in any detail.   

Contact details for your local MP can be found on the Local MAG page, on this website.

10) Stormin' The Castle

Stormin' The Castle  is all systems go for 2009 !!!  

Stormin’ The Castle is returning to its original home at Witton Castle Country Park, Witton-Le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 0DE. The dates are confirmed for 4th 5th & 6th September.  

All the usual attractions will be on site including a Custom Bike Show, two stages featuring top quality live bands, fairground, fun run & loads more.  

The event is a fund raising event for the Motorcycle Action Group but unfortunately due to the washout last year & the associated costs, this led to a loss making year & the event organizers were unable to make a donation to MAG for the first time in Stormin’s 18 year history.  

The Stormin’ committee would like to thank everyone for their support & hope to see all the regular & hopefully, many new faces back in 2009 for the 19th Stormin’ the Castle.  

Ticket prices are at 2007/8 prices & go on sale on 1st April, priced at £22 pre-book or £30 OTG.  

Further information: www.storminthecastle.co.uk

11) Calling ITV Marshals

Into The Valley is the first of the Yorkshire MAG fund raising events of 2009, and will be held on Friday 1st – Sun 3rd May, at Sledmere House in the East Riding.

Successful rallies certainly don't run themselves and it is only through the dedication of a (small) army of volunteers, that the events can run at all, make a profit (and hence make fighting fund donations to MAG), and keep the ticket prices low (and hence continue to provide bikings greatest bargain events).

If you are planning to attend ITV, please consider helping to marshal the event. The minimum shift is only 4 hours, which over the course of a 2 ½ day rally, is nothing, but would really make a difference. If you would like to volunteer to marshal, let me know and i'll pass on your details to the ITV team.

12) Wakefield MAG Bike Show

Wakefield MAG's annual bike show, will again be held at the Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala, on the Bank Holiday Monday on 4th May 2009. The bike show, which is FREE entry, will be held at Wakefield's Clarence Park, between Denby Dale Road & Horbury Road.

Following the huge success of last year's show, we have substantially increased the show categories (Modern, Classic Brit, Classic Jap, Vintage, Custom Paint, Custom Engineering, Rat, Trike & Overall Best in Show) to cater for all types of Bike & Trike

Show will be judged at 15:00, and entry into the show will be from 09:30 onwards (Gala officially opens at 11:00)

All are most welcome to come along and show off their pride & Joy. Last year we had over 50 bikes and trikes in the show, let's try to beat that this year and really put Wakefield on the map !!!!

Hope to see you there.

13) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

Saturday 4th April - MAG AGC

See above. MAG's 2009 AGC will be held on Saturday 4th April at the Hurworth Community Centre, 41 Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington, Co Durham, DL2 2BN (5 miles from A1/A66/A68 and 10 miles from A19). 75 branch points up for grabs for all who attend.

Sunday 5th April - Wakefield Hospice 10K race

The Wakefield Hospice 10K race is on Sunday 5th April and we will again be providing motorcycle marshals for the race. There is a brand new route for this year which is from the Lodge in Clarence Park, along Horbury Road to Highfield Road, then back to the avenue in Clarence Park for the finish.

One lane of Horbury Road will be blocked off for the duration of the race, and traffic from side roads directed other routes. The motorcycle marshals will act as front markers during the main race, protect any wheelchair competitors, should any enter, and several will be needed to ensure the closed off side roads remain closed. The races back markers are being provided by Wakefield MAG marshals, but on push bikes (to avoid burning out your motorbikes clutch).

The more marshals we have, the easier the event will be to marshal, so if anyone would like to help out, we are meeting at 09:00, at the Lodge in Clarence Park.

Monday 13th April (Easter Monday) - Wakefield MAG rideout to the Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conversation Centre, Settle, North Yorkshire

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd May - Into the Valley

The first of the Yorkshire MAG rallies. Tickets now available at the branch meetings (see above).

Monday 4th May (May Day Bank Holiday) - Wakefield MAG Bike Show

See above. The Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala is being held in Clarence Park, Wakefield on the Bank Holiday Monday (4th May) and Wakefield MAG will again be hosting a bike show at this event. Last year we had a most impressive turnout (over 50 bikes and 8 trike's in the show). Let's try to beat that this year !!!!

Saturday 9th May - MAG National Demo Run (protesting about the lack of MPTC's in Yorkshire and beyond)

See above. The run assembles at Squires at 11:00, and leaves at 11:30 for a police marshalled ride through the centre of Leeds. Wakefield MAG will meet at our usual point (Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, Thornes Road, Wakefield) where we will have a mass ride–in to Squires. Meet at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms at 09:30, leaving at 10:00 for a scenic & leisurely ride to Squires where we will meet up with other Yorkshire MAG branches and MCC’s for the National MPTC Demo Run

Sunday 17th May - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Lord Stones Cafe, Carlton in Cleveland

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Tuesday 26th May - Wakefield MAG Evening Run to York Bike Night

Meet 06:30pm (leaving at 07:00pm) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

That's all for this month and I hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.