Wakefield MAG April 2011 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) Charity Pet Food Run Report
2) Dog Racing Report
3) Draconian EC Proposals
4) Edinburgh Rally
5) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling
6) MAP Visit
7) MAG AGC 2011
8) April Rideout
9) Yorkshire Region & MAP Meeting
10) Congratulations
11) Police stolen vehicle operation, nets 11% of bikes!
12) Leniant sentence for Bikers death
13) Extra Cash for Wakefield Pot Hole repairs
14) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

1) Charity Pet Food Run Report

Our 2nd Annual Pet Food Run (and first rideout of the year) was held on Sunday 27th March.  19 bikes assembled at our HQ (Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield), together with a trike and a car.  Most of the bikes were well loaded with dog food and associated doggy treats, as was the trike’s trailer and the cars boot !!!!.

We had our obligatory team photo then set off at 10:00 and took the A650 out of Wakefield towards our first stop off, Whitehall Dog Rescue at East Ardsley.  We met another 2 bikes here who claimed they had got the start time wrong !?!?!?!  Given the clocks had just changed to BST, we reckon they had forgotten to change their clocks (which is hotly denied, but we all know the truth !!!!).

We were greeted by Brian at Whitehall and deposited a vast amount of dog food and associated snacks & treats in the yard, and then had a guided tour and got to fuss the residents.  We were all delighted to see Monty the Rottweiler again.  Last year, Monty was undergoing numerous hip operations and wasn’t in the best of health, and it was great to see him much improved and full of beans.  We got back to the yard to find Henry had helped himself to a Rawhide Boomerang and was running round the yard with it (followed by his sister Holly but he wasn’t giving it up for anyone !!!!).

Our next stop was the Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch of the RSPCA, based at Pet Stop in Tingley (a mere 3 mile ride down the road from Whitehall).  We arrived at Pet Stop to find a Samoyed Dog Show taking place.  Daz had a look round the show ring and inadvertently won First Prize in the Guest Mongrel category !!!!!

We deposited the second batch of dog food and doggy treats at the RSPCA office, together the donations from the ‘whip round’ we had at the start of the rideout, which totalled around £25.  We then had a tour around the kennels and met the dogs up for adoption.  There were some lovely dogs there and it always makes you wonder how such gorgeous dogs end up in rescues.

Following the tour, the majority of us had a further rideout to that most famous Yorkshire biker hangout - Squires Café, in Sherburn-in Elmet, for a cuppa and a bite to eat.

We all agreed it had been a great rideout, and benefited two great local charities.  A huge thanks to everyone who brought along bags and tins of dog food, chews, treats, toys and other associated doggy delights.  Thanks also to the Yorkies (Virago Star Owners Club - Centre 5), who turned out in force to support us.  Particular thanks also have to go to John Millea & Sons of Hemsworth (01977 610229), who donated a huge sack of dog food (as they did last year too !!!).

We will be holding another Pet Food Run in March next year, so hope you can make it.

2) Dog Racing Report

About 20 of us rolled up to the Kinsley Stadium at 6:30, for most it was our second visit so check in was a lot quicker with programmes and vouchers passed around quickly.  A brief pause for a group photo, explanation of the vouchers and betting options for newbies, and then off to bag our 3 tables, check out the food on offer and get in line with our vouchers for the free drink.

Programmes and strategies were shared while eating the included dinner and then we all went off to place our bets.  I went for a random trap approach rather than my failed attempt last year to base on past performance, a few braver and more experienced even went for trifectas (choosing 3 dogs to be placed).

The racing started with a few photo finishes to keep it interesting, most  of us won a few races and some of our visitors from York had 2 trifectas come in which was the most luck any of us had.  The rollover lucky dip everyone was entered in took 4 races before none of us were left with a chance, but you can hope for next time as the nights jackpot was thousands.

After the last race, a large table close by who were all wearing flat caps goaded the party boy in a full dog outfit to run the track.  To laughter and cheers he jogged half way round, walked the rest but managed a sprint across the finish, not even close to a winning time though and I am sure the greyhounds had nothing to worry about.

A great night was had by all and i'm sure it will be repeated next year (or maybe even sooner).

3) Draconian EC Proposals

A series of measures that threaten riders’ freedom to make informed choices, potentially putting riders in harms way and threatening the right to free-movement, have been proposed by the European Commission.

A committee of elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) is currently considering these proposals and has already started toconsider recommendations in advance of a critical vote on 4th May 2011.

***Please read the information below for what YOU can do***

You can help make a difference to the outcome of that vote by asking your elected MEPs not to support the most controversial recommendations and biggest threats to rider choice, including:

Compulsory Advanced Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS does not work well on loose surfaces.The costs of fitting, maintenance and repair have not been properly assessed.

Anti-Tampering measures
Restricting riders’ choice of air filters,engine management systems, internal parts, exhausts, sprockets, tyres, etc.  The riders’ ability to make modifications to suit their own situation is to be regulated.
NB: enforcement through a new Europe-wide super-MoT is being proposed separately.

Compulsory Automatic Headlights-On (AHO)
Headlights can camouflage and confuse as well as draw attention. All new cars are to be fitted with permanent lighting which will cause more confusion.

Road-side Spot-checks targeting riders
Riders are to be detained for random checks of emissions and modifications.It is unacceptable to deny freedom of movement in this way.

But you must act quickly!

Below are details of how you can make a difference by getting your elected MEP to support MAG’s campaign against further restriction of riders’ choice

The committee of MEPs that is responsible for negotiating the proposals is known as the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee ‘IMCO’. The MEP who represents the IMCO committee in negotiations over the Commission’s proposals (known as the ‘Rapporteur’) is Wim VAN DER CAMP, a biking MEP from the Netherlands who is generally considered bike-friendly.

MAG(UK) is OPPOSED to some of Mr Van Der Camp’s key recommendations to the IMCO committee, namely:

1. Mandatory ABS
The Commission’s internal Impact Assessment admits that the data on the effectiveness and costs of compulsory ABS is weak. MAG opposes the removal of choice in principle.Where riders choose bikes with ABS the rider must be able to turn the system off when riding on loose surfaces such as gravel.

2. Mandatory Automatic Headlight-On
The Commission’s internal Impact Assessment admits that the data on the effectiveness of AHO is also weak. MAG is opposed in principle to removing control over vehicle lighting from the rider who is best placed to judge whether using a headlamp in daylight conditions might put them at risk through blending in to a bright background or confusing other road users.  Environmental and road safety objectives are not well served by permanent lighting.

3. Tough-line on 'Anti-Tampering'
The Commission’s internal Impact Assessment admits that the data on the effectiveness of Anti-Tampering is also weak. The perceived problem is said to be that young riders should be prevented from tuning low-power bikes beyond the performance limits allowed by their driving licence.  This is an issue about enforcement of licencing, the ability of qualified riders to de-restrict or otherwise tune their vehicle should not removed. MAG does not accept that individual riders’ modifications to the drive train will lead to significantly worse emissions, fuel consumption andsafety across the total population of motorcycles.Riders must retain the ability to make modifications to suit their own situation as well as maintain and repair their vehicles.

4. Regular random spot-checks at road side.
MAG believes that targeting motorcycle riders for random detention at the road-side is an unacceptable restriction on their rights of free-movement.

MAG(UK) asks for a more rider-friendly stance in some of the other recommendations to the IMCO committee, namely:

5. Mandatory On-Board Diagnostic equipment
OBD equipment to monitor emissions performance should not be designed to interfere with the stability or capability of two-wheeled vehicles or to monitor the movements of individuals. MAG proposes that the operation of OBD equipment should preclude limp-home/disable modes triggered by emissions and that there should be safeguards on the extent of data-logging permitted.

6. Small-series and Individual Vehicle Approvals
The ability of new entrants to the motorcycle market should not be restricted by the reduction of the present upper limit of 200 vehicles for small-scale production exemption from the proposed regulations.The ability of individuals to import or build individual vehicles should not be further restricted.  The proposals in Article 42 and elsewhere are far more draconian than the present system for member states to approval individual vehicles.

MAG(UK) however fully supports Mr Van Der Camp’s other recommendations to the IMCO committee, including the following proposals:

How to contact and persuade your elected Members of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament is the elected body representing your interests in the European Union.  You have a right to seek their support on issues that matter to you.  The background information about issues such as compulsory ABS, and ‘Anti-Tampering’ given above should help you to start a reasoned discussion with any MEP.

The UK is divided into twelve electoral regions made up of the nations and regions of the UK. Each region has between three and ten MEPs and each MEP in a region represents each person living there.  The number of MEPs per region is: Eastern - 7, East Midlands - 5, London - 8, North East - 3, North West - 8, South East - 10, South West - 6, West Midlands - 6, Yorkshire and Humber - 6, Wales - 4, Scotland - 6, Northern Ireland – 3.

Riders are urged to contact ALL of the MEPs who represent their constituency as soon as possible and ask them to support MAG’s objectives. In particular, if you are a supporter of the political party an MEP belongs to, it may help to make this clear and to discuss how you believe the values and objectives the party stands for would be well-served by support for our positions on mandatory ABS, restrictions on modifications, etc.

Your MEPs for Electoral Area Yorkshire & the Humber are as follows:

Edward McMillan-Scott
Boston Lodge
42 High Street
Boston Spa
North Yorkshire
LS23 6EA

Telephone: 01937 583 699
Email: edward.mcmillan-scott@europarl.europa.eu
Website: www.emcmillanscott.com
National Political Party: Liberal Democrats

Linda McAvan
Labour Constituency Office
79 High Street
South Yorkshire
S63 7Q

Telephone: 01709 875665
Email: lindamcavan@lindamcavanmep.org.uk
Website: www.lindamcavanmep.org.uk
National Political Party: Labour Party

Godfrey Bloom
108 Main Street
North Yorkshire

Telephone: 01757 630778
Email: gbloom@ukip.org
Website: www.godfreybloommep.co.uk
Website: www.ukip-ynl.org.uk
National Political Party: UK Independence Party

Diana Wallis
PO Box 176
East Yorkshire
HU15 1UX

Telephone: 01482 666898
Email: diana@dianawallismep.org.uk
Website: www.dianawallismep.org.uk
National Political Party: Liberal Democrats

Timothy Kirkhope
Beechwood Farm
Main Street
North Yorkshire

Telephone: 00 322 284 7321 EU Office
Email: timothy.kirkhope@europarl.europa.eu
Website: www.kirkhope.org.uk
National Political Party: Conservative Party

Andrew Brons
PO Box 116
LS27 9WW

Telephone: 01924 820946
Email: andrew.brons@europarl.europa.eu
Website: www.andrewbronsmep.eu
National Political Party: British National Party

4) Edinburgh Rally

The much loved by Wakefield MAG, Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Edinburgh MAG rally, jewel in our rally calendar, is definitely on for 2011 !!!!! Cue raptuous applause.

This years rally is on Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th of June, at the usual site in West Calder, Edinburgh, EH55 8RT. We are now collecting ticket money to send off for our rally tickets in bulk, so if you would like to join us, £15 will secure your pre-book ticket. Alternatively, tickets can be bought on the gate, for £20.

It will also be a special weekend for us, as it is one of our member's 50th birthday on the Friday ...... Edinburgh wont know what has hit it !!!

We are also planning to help marshal the event to help out Steve Wykes and his team in MAG Scotland - although not on the Friday night obviously ;-)

5) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling

The Wakefield Hospice 10K Race is being held on Sunday 3rd April and Wakefield MAG are once again (as we have for many consecutive years now), helping the Hospice marshal this prestigious race, which is significant fund raiser for our local charity. The race, as you may know, is held on public roads and sets off from Clarence Park, heads along Horbury road in a linear route, to return the same way back to the finish line, again at Clarence Park.

Our role is as roving marshals for the tail end of the race.  A police car will follow the main body of runners and progressively open up the road.  This is to minimise the time period when the road is closed, following numerous complaints last year.  There will however still be a number of runners / walkers doing the course, and the roads will by now be open to normal traffic.  The Hospice has an obligation to ensure the safety of these remaining competitors, and that is where we come in.  We can ride up and down the route, at normal speeds and observe the remaining runners / walkers.  We need to remind them to keep on the pavements and watch out for traffic if they mistakenly think the road is still shut.  It's an eyes & ears role.  The marshals can either park up at a good point and watch, ride up and down or a combination of both.  We need to check that the turnaround point on Horbury Road is covered (and position one bike here if it's not).  We'll also need a tail end marker for the very last runner (slow walker !!!!), which will signal the very end of the race.

We have some marshalls already but many hands make light work as they say. If you would like to help marshal the race (which is jolly good fun), meet near the lodge in Clarence Park no later than 8:30am. I will have attended the race organisers briefing at 08:00 and can update you with any last minute instructions etc. The race itself starts at 09:00 and we will need to be in position before the race start.

Hope to see you there. Thousands of branch points available to all race marshals !!!!

6) MAP Visit

Pete Walker (A.K.A. The Crown Prince of Yorkshire) is visiting Wakefield MAG on Wednesday 6th April, to talk about the running and management of the Yorkshire MAG Rallies (ITV, FYP & YPR). Pete is the Events Manager of MAP Ltd, the wholly owned events company of the Yorkshire MAG Region. The Yorkshire MAG rallies, via the Yorkshire Region, provide significant funding to the MAG fighting fund (more than any other Region in the UK) and we are justly proud of what we do. Pete's talks are always interesting and the floor is open to ask any questions you like. It's also a quite fascinating insight into how these major events are put on, which is no mean feat.

Hope to see you at the meeting, which starts at 20:30 in the Grey Horse. Pete will have the floor from 20:50(ish).

Still on the subject of Yorkshire MAG rallies, the tickets are NOW for sale at the Branch meetings. Ticket prices for this years MAP events are maintained at last year's prices (Into The Valley £15 Pre-Book; Farm Yard Party £25 Pre-Book and Yorkshire Pudding Rally £15 Pre-Book). Let me know if you want some. YPR tickets will sell fast and sold out months before the event last year, so if you are planning to attend this most excellent event this year, i'd buy your tickets sooner rather than later if I were you !!

7) MAG AGC 2011

MAG's Annual General Conference is this month, being held on Saturday 9th April in Beverley, East Riding.

Doors open 9.30AM, Free Tea and Coffee plus sandwich on arrival. Conference starts 10.30am prompt. Free Buffet lunch 12.30pm. Free camping Friday and Saturday night at the Rugby Club (MUST be booked in advance) A full English breakfast can also be booked by campers Night time party band, DJ, cheap beer open to all delegates and MAG members.

Location: Beverley Rugby Club 155 Norwood, Beverley, East Yorkshire HU17 9HT. (Located behind the Lady Le Gros pub). Enquiries: For Camping or Venue info: Kev Davison, Tel. 01482 863237

DON'T FORGET YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD! 75 Branch Points for all Wakefield MAG members who attend the AGC.

8) April Rideout

The Wakefield MAG April Rideout will be to that popular Peak District bike mecca, Matlock Bath. Meet at 09:30 (leaving at 10:00) at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield on Sunday 17th April. The rideout will be led by Lorna Jaques.

9) Yorkshire Region & MAP Meeting

The next Yorkshire MAG Regional Meeting is being held on Sunday, 17th April, starting at 11:00 at the Cross Keys (A650 Brittania Road, Nr Asda) in nearby Morley.  Following the Region meeting, a MAP meeting is being held in the same venue, starting at 13:00, to discuss the planning and organisation of the Yorkshire MAG rallies (ITV, FYP & YPR).

Everyone in Yorkshire MAG will be made very welcome at both meetings, so if you aren’t attending our branch rideout on the same day, why not pop along to either of these meetings to see democracy in action and to see for yourself why Yorkshire MAG is the biggest and best MAG Region in the UK !!!!

75 Branch points awarded to any Wakefield MAG member who attends these meetings.

10) Congratulations

Congratulations to Wakefield MAG Products Officer Mick Culpan who has recently qualified as a DSA approved Compulsary Basic Training (CBT) instructor. So if you are reading this and want to learn how to ride a bike, or know someone keen to get on two wheels, Mick is the man to talk to !!!!!

11) Police stolen vehicle operation, nets 11% of bikes!

After months of planning and detailed intelligence gathering, the Metropolitan and Kent forces sealed off the exits to Brands and apprehended some individuals who suddenly decided they didn't want to be part of the days racing.

Primarily however, the police operation was addressing the number of stolen bikes, or parts of those bikes, that end up on the race circuits, quite often in the hands of totally innocent racers.

Exactly half of all motorcycle theft in the UK happens in London and the figures involved are staggering:

Many of these bikes are 'ringed' and returned to the market very rapidly, quite often ending up in dealers showrooms where they are sold and bought innocently. However, due to the models most often targeted for theft being the same as those that are well represented in various race series, the operation had some merit.

Although the police began inspecting bikes during early morning scrutineering, it became easier to inspect them post race, while the bikes were held in parc ferme. This was also so that none of the racing schedule was affected.

4 bikes per race were seized as stolen machines, which amounted to a truly shocking 11% of those inspected. Alas, the available officers were only able to inspect about half of all the machines they wished to look at otherwise the results may have been much higher. It should be noted that no machines under 600cc were inspected, so the smaller race categories, kids classes and MZ racers were not effected.

A metropolitan police spokesman told MAG that of all the bikes seized, only 3 would have been picked up by the usual PNC check, because the rest had had their engine or frame numbers altered to ensure evasion from just such a check. They also said that targeting the first event of the season meant that championship standings wouldn't be affected.

It should be made clear that the ACU, Palmer Racing who own Brands, and indeed almost all of the officers involved, were not aware of the operation, prior to its commencing and a warrant was attained to cover all of the premises. But the secrecy of the operation goes some way to demonstrate how important the Met views motorcycle theft.

MAG applauds the operation, as it does the 'Link-Lock' initiative to encourage locking your bike to another bike lock, if there is nowhere secure to attach your machine. Two bikes are a whole lot harder to steal than one after all. MAG however, continues to fight for the provision of secure bike parking facilities throughout the country, for convenience, peace of mind and to drive down the cost of insurance for riders. Its an old phrase, but 'together we'll crack it!'.

12) Leniant sentence for Bikers death

You may have seen the news reports of an incredibly leniant sentence given out to a retired company director who killed a biker while driving home (at well over the legal drink drive limit) from a boozy lunch at his golf club. What makes the matter far worse, was the complete lack of remorse or compassion shown by the driver.

The details of the case are quite unbelievable. Read on ......

Richard Borrett had drunk a bottle of beer and three to four glasses of wine at his golf club before driving. He cut across the path of oncoming motorcyclist Jason Mickelburgh, 37, who was thrown into a field and killed. Borrett did not bother to check on him, instead asking another driver if he could borrow his mobile phone to call his wife, Guildford crown court heard. Van driver Robin Welling, who witnessed the crash, said it appeared as if Borrett was not concerned by the biker at all. And when Russell Birch arrived on the scene in Betchworth, Surrey in April last year, 65-year-old Borrett told him: ‘I don’t mind the fact that he’s dead. I don’t know him.’ He told another witness: “The motorcyclists drive far too fast around these roads.”

Borrett, of Betchworth, was breathalysed by police and his lowest reading was 51mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Borrett’s "judgment and reactions as a driver were impaired by the alcohol", said Judge Suzan Matthews QC. "There is no sentence that I can pass that will restore Jason Mickelburgh to his family," said judge Matthews, adding that the offence was so serious only prison would be appropriate.

Borrett admitted causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink or drugs. He was banned from driving for three years and given a 3 year jail sentence (the minimum for the offence).

Read the press reports here:


The maximum penalty for causing death by drink driving is 14 years in jail, with an unlimited fine, although the ban is a maximum of 3 years (which was received).

If you think this is a travesty of justice, particularly in light of the complete lack of remorse shown , write to the Director of Public Prosecutions at: The Crown Prosecution Service, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS and ask the CPS to appeal for the maximum jail sentence. Whilst you are at it, contact your MP and ask for questions to be raised in the house, specifically to the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke MP. Remember - Bikers are Voters !!!!!

13) Extra Cash for Wakefield Pot Hole repairs

Following the announcement in last months newsletter that Councils in England are to be given more than £100 million of extra funding to spend on repairing potholes, the Wakefield District has been awarded an additional £850,000 of that national funding.

You will be aware of our ongoing campaign to improve road conditions in the Wakefield district. If you see Pot holes and damaged road surfaces, you can report them to Wakefield Council, via the Local MAG > Report a Pot Hole link on this website.  This link itself points to a number of road hazard reporting websites, including Wakefield Council's Highways Problems on-line reporting form.

Email details of your reports to the branch email account (wakefield-rep@mag-uk.org), as we are running a competition with a prize available to the member who submits the most in 2011. Lisa Brooker is currently in the lead, but it all to play for with another 9 months of the year remaining. Time to strike while the iron is hot !!!!

14) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

Sunday 3rd April - Wakefield MAG marshalling the Wakefield Hospice 10K Race

As detailed above

Saturday 9th April - MAG Annual General Conference

As detailed above

Sunday 17th April - Wakefield MAG Rideout to Matlock Bath

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ.

Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May - Into the Valley Rally

Dalton Estate, South Dalton, East Yorkshire. £15 Pre Book; £20 OTG. Tickets now available at Branch meetings (see above)

May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May - Wakefield MAG Bike Show

Wakefield MAG Bike Show at the Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala. This is a free to enter bike show (although a donation to the Hospice would be most appreciated), with multiple show categories up for grabs. We look forward to welcoming you, and your moped / bike / trike / scooter / Combination on May Day.

Location: Clarence Park Arena, Clarence Park, Wakefield. Entry into show from 9:30am. Show starts at 10:00am

Did we mention it was FREE !!!!

Sunday 15th May - Wakefield MAG Rideout

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ. Destination to be announced in next months newsletter.

Saturday 28th May - Leeds MAG Demo Run

Demos are the ACTION in the Motorcycle Action Group. They are also great fun. The demo run is also a rare opportunity to ride in a huge group of fellow bikers, right through Leeds City Centre, packed with Saturday shoppers, all with closed roads and a police escort. What a great incentive to get out on your bike and make your presence felt !!!

More details in next months newsletter but be sure to mark the date in your diary as this is not one to miss.

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.