Wakefield MAG August 2010 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) Wakefield MAG Midsummer Mayhem Party Night Report
2) Treasure Hunt Report
3) VJMC Show Report
4) Wakefield MAG Donation
5) EU safety proposals taking the wrong direction
6) MPs promote motorcycling for the young (EDM 533)
7) Humber Bridge Board Announcement
8) YPR Ticket Wanted
9) Pinderfields Hospital Bike Parking
10) Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip
11) Forthcoming Events (for August and beyond)

1) Wakefield MAG Midsummer Mayhem Party Night Report

Wakefield Mag held our inaugural Mid Summer Mayhem Party Night on Saturday 3rd July, at the Horse & Groom, Heath, Wakefield.  The pub had been closed for a couple of weeks prior to the party and we had an emergency venue set-up, just in case it wasn't open on the evening ..... however, come party night, we had no last minute hitches to contend with, and the pub was well and truly open for business.

Folks started arriving from 7:00pm onwards, with most congregating outside, at least until the sun went down, as it was such a lovely evening.  We had pre-sold 86 tickets and had 71 through the doors over the course of the night.  We were delighted to welcome along members of Leeds, Huddersfield, Barnsley, Sheffield and York MAG branches, together with numerous others from local MCC's, other friends, friends of friends etc etc .... you get the gist !!!

The band, Twist of Fate, came on for their first set at 9:00 and rocked the house with their classic rock tracks.  Food was laid on by the pub, curry or chilli, at a very reasonable £3.50.  Time for the silly games as we waited for Twist of Fate's second set of the evening, all involving making various items out of balloons. We handed out a prize for the best balloon bike in the bike build off which was won by Wakefield. There were various other artistic impressions built from the balloons as you can imagine.   Funny how beer increases the level of audience participation as it were !!!

Twist of Fate came on for their second set of the evening at 11:00, and had the dance floor rammed.

We drew our raffle just before they started playing.  First prize was £50, won by Keely Gill who was with the band (no it wasn't a fix).  Second prize was two tickets to the Yorkshire Pudding Rally (courtesy of Magic Action Promotions, Yorkshire MAG's events arm), won by Wakefield MAG member Mark Rhodes.  Third prize was an MoT voucher (thanks to Jumbo Motorcycles for their kind donation), and was won by Keith Mavern of Leeds MAG.  The fourth & final prize, was a selection made from a pool of other potential prizes.  This was won by Wakefield MAG member Micha Beckett and he chose a multi-tool and groundsheet (courtesy of Johnson's of Leeds).

Once the second half of the night got under way and the beer was flowing nicely there was lots of throwing of heads and dancing, and it wouldn't be a party without the appearance of our very own Slash. Twist of Fate did a great job of getting the crowd going and even the locals got up and had a dance with us, partying well past Midnight, inside and out.

We had a number of other raffle items which weren't won, and these will be carried over to some of our other events as prizes, and those not used will appear in our Post Christmas Auction, where they will be available to the highest bidder.

After paying for the band and the raffle prizes, the party made £283, which will be donated to the MAG fighting fund.  A most respectable amount indeed. Everyone had a great time and we are already being asked when the next one is !!!

A huge thanks to everyone who attended and made the night the overwhelming success it was.  Particular thanks have to go to Lisa & Tracey and Mick, who organised the party night, publicised the event and sold tickets like they were going out of fashion  ..... top effort guys, MAG salutes you.

2) Treasure Hunt Report

Seventeen of us assembled at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Sunday 11th July for our 6th annual Treasure Hunt. Mick, Lisa and Tracey were acting as event control and handed out our instructions and clues to the various mystery destinations. This year we also had to collect various items en-route, which would be tallied up for points at the end - a proper treasure hunt !!!

After studying the instructions we set off in 6 different teams, at 10:00 to find our first destination. The question was "If your pet was this colour you would be upset and probably take it to see a vet". The answer was Red, after Redcats on Horbury Road. However, not all of us got the correct answer as a BP garage was just down the road, and BP's corporate colour is green, and you are often described as green when you are ill.

The next destination was further along Horbury Road. "A white building, but this far inland, that can't be right". The answer was the Ship Inn. Our next question was "The five rises you wont find here", which was the Bingley Arms at Horbury Bridge (Bingley Five Rise Locks, get it ?!?!).

Left along Netherton Lane where the question was how many speed humps do you count. The answer was a quite unbelievable 34 (all along a stretch of road little more than a mile long !!!).

We then passed a saw mill which provided our next question "Who started a job in 1860". Job Earnshaw Sawmillers was the answer. Turning left at the end of Stocksmoor Road at Midgley brought us to our next mystery destination and the Black Bull pub, which nicely answered the "Name the Bovine Beast" question.

We now had to turn sharp right, counting how many posts in the dark shine white. The answer was six, as it was only the ones with reflective white strips on. These questions were starting to get a little tricky !!

Our next question was what stands tall upon the hill, and the answer was Emley Moor TV mast, which you can see for miles around. We now had to find the house where pets reside, which was Bretton Cattery & Kennels. We then had to find a church with a steeple and name the chap who used to speak to the people - the Rev J Cousans did, at least before the church was converted to a house !!!

Our next question was which three of the alphabet are carved in wood, "CPW" being the answer. Onward to our next destination which was the local Spar shop in Woolley, where we had to name the opening times (7:30 - 10:30, every day). We now crossed the M1onto A637 and into Bretton Park. The winter gate lock time was our next challenge (5:30). The naked man statue (looking to his left) , difference in parking cost between car and coach (£6) and the place to purchase a Mr Moo ice cream (Information Kiosk), provided our next batch of exciting question and answer challenges.

We now skirted past Delta Force Paintballing Centre (another answer) on Denby Dale Road, and onto the Navigation pub, where we had to find out the cost of the Pink Gaga tribute band, playing in August (£10). Heading back towards Wakefield City Centre now, taking in the famous chippy (Kingfisher), Cedar Court Hotel, the bird of prey on Denby Dale Road (The Red Kite) and Hampsons Garden Centre. We then had to 'venture on past the tip, and into the estate we must slip' .... Groan ..... naming the building where you can learn a trade, which was Wakefield Skill Centre.

Now it was time to head back to Thornes Park to be marked and present our collected treasure. There were several items to collect en-route including a map of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, lolly pop stick, a nail (metal pin, striking with a hammer variety, or, of the human hand variety, which most folks seemed to provide), portrait of the queen (seemingly difficult to find but of course every stamp, bank note or coin has one), teeth (provided by a comb mostly) & a dandelion, all for a total of 6 bonus points.

The scores were totted and the results were:

Our prizes came from some of the non-raffled items from the party night and the entry fees made us a profit of £13 (pretty much the first time the treasure hunt has made any money).

A cracking ride out was had by all, and a profit for MAG was made to boot, does it ever get any better than this ? Oh, and Steve the Meerkat would like everyone to know that they won !!!!!

3) VJMC Show Report

For the fifth consecutive year, Wakefield MAG hosted the Yorkshire MAG stand at the hugely popular VJMC Japanese Bike Show, held on Sunday 25th July at Lotherton Hall . The weather couldn't have been better and we certainly needed the sun tan lotion this year.

As we did the year before, we helped our good friends in the VJMC marshal the show and provided 13 marshals over the course of the day, manning the entrance, exit and show gates, together with our own stand. Lots of people visited the MAG stand, showed a lot of interest in MAG & took literature. We joined a new member on the day, renewed the membership of another and sold £33 worth of branch products. A great result.

This years Japanese bike show attracted hundred's of quality bikes, so much so, that they ran out of entry forms (and 350 had been printed !!!!). The judges job must have been pretty much impossible, but they came up with a shortlist of 15 stunning bikes, with the prizes being awarded just before 3pm.

Once finished, the showground cleared out pretty quickly, and our exit gates marshals were kept pretty busy for a while.

All in all, it was great show, the MAG stand was busy all day and it was good to help out our good friends in the West Yorkshire Branch of the VJMC. The VJMC later told us that it was their best and most profitable show to date, and that they couldn't have run it without our invaluable help. A good result all round.

Finally, a huge thank you to all our 13 volunteer marshals, who gave stirling service over the course of the day. Hip Hip .......

4) Wakefield MAG Donation

Our Wakefield MAG coffers have been swelling considerably of late, due to Lisa's lucrative weekly raffle, other event fees, product sales, and the tidy little profit from our party night. We banked our petty cash and the bank balance was a very healthy £1,115.36. We voted to make a sizeable donation of £1000 to the MAG fighting fund, via the Yorkshire Region.

That takes our total donation, year to date, to £1,550 !!!! We set ourselves a target of £1,500 at our AGM back in January, so we have broken that record already, and we are only in Q3. We have also set a record of the most funds raised for MAG in any one year. We are not complacent however in Wakefield MAG, so we have set ourselves another target to reach £2,000 by the year end. We might not make this ambitious target, but we'll give it a good go !!!

5) EU safety proposals taking the wrong direction

The European Commission, the body that effectively governs the European Union, has published new plans to halve the number of road deaths by 2020. The Commission says that "While other vehicle transport modes have shown significant decreases in fatalities and serious injuries over time, those for PTW (Powered Two-Wheeler) riders have exhibited much lower decreases or remained even static."

The Commission says its 'Road Safety Action Programme' includes "a new focus on motorcyclists".

The Commission plans to regulate biking through mandatory Advanced Braking Systems, headlamps being permanently lit and preventing riders from tuning or modifying engines. New standards for rider clothing will be introduced and the annual MoT test could be replaced by a new Euro 'road worthiness testing' system. Airbag technology in bikes and rider clothing is also being considered.

UK riders' representative organisation, the Motorcycle Action Group, has joined the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations to warn that the plans will result in a worse deal for riders without delivering improved road safety. MAG say's that while the proposals are unlikely to mean overall improvement in rider safety, they will certainly reduce consumer choice and increase costs.

MAG(UK) General Secretary Nich Brown says "Some of the most effective ways to reduce the risk that riders face on Europe's roads have been ignored. The Commission should be making sure all member states actively think about the needs of riders as part of overall transport policy and managing their roads, as well as focussing on reducing the risks to rider safety presented by other road users and larger vehicles. Instead, they are relying on unproven and expensive measures that focus solely on restricting vehicle design."

Advanced Braking Systems remain more difficult to develop for Powered Two-Wheelers than for most cars. FEMA and MAG(UK) say the user must retain the right to decide on whether to use what remains an expensive and limited technology.

The benefits of Automatic Headlamp-On to help riders be seen by other road users are increasingly doubtful, most cars and larger vehicles now run much stronger lighting in daylight hours.

Anti-Tampering measures may prevent a minority of riders from tuning engines beyond the performance limits on the rider’s licence. However, they also prevent any rider from making legitimate improvements to fuel consumption or engine characteristics and increasingly requires special tools for basic maintenance and repair.

Current Road Worthiness Tests (such as the MoT) may be replaced by a new Europe-wide test requiring checks to see that riders only use maintenance and repair parts, luggage, accessories, etc. that are approved by the manufacturer of the original bike or the EU itself. Such a system would restrict choice and add further costs for the user even though vehicle defects contribute directly to a very small proportion of crashes.

There is concern that commercial interests may be helping to drive many of the Commission's proposals; restriction of the market for replacement parts, aftermarket equipment and maintenance facilities would almost certainly mean riders face less choice and more expense. Ironically, this could lead to new safety problems.

Wakefield MAG says "None of this is good news for motorcyclists and disappointingly, we have seen all these so-called safety proposals before, and defeated them in the past, on the grounds they were/are unproven. However, an EU wide target to halve the number of road deaths by 2020, together with a different set of EU commissioners this time round, means we have a long and tough battle ahead of us. Motorcycling as we know and love it, is under a very real and determined threat"

If you are not a MAG member already, now is a very good time to join !!!

6) MPs promote motorcycling for the young (EDM 533)

Stephen Pound, MP for Ealing North, tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament on Monday 19th July, calling on the Government to provide stable funding to promote the Wheels to Work scheme for young people.

The actual text is included below:

Early Day Motion 533


That this House notes the moped loan scheme for young people known as Wheels to Work which has traditionally received cross-party support; further notes that in the current economic climate it is more important than ever that young people have access to employment, education and training opportunities; further notes that the low cost of providing small motorcycles to jobseekers can more than offset the cost to the Exchequer of leaving young people economically inactive and claiming benefits; and calls for the Government to actively consider how it can facilitate and support individual Wheels to Work scheme efforts to gain stable funding, so enabling them to continue to provide this invaluable and cost-effective service.

An EDM is a tool used in Parliament to draw attention to an issue and is something that MPs only sign if their constituents ask them to. EDM's can lead to debates in Parliament if enough MPs back them, and can result in new or amended government policies and even new legislation.

MAG has long campaigned for the Wheels to Work scheme to be available nationally, as it enables youngsters to become independently mobile for either work or college, especially where poor public transport provision prohibits this.

Please ask your MP to sign EDM 533. Visit www.ridersarevoters.org if you aren't sure who your new MP is.

7) Humber Bridge Board Announcement

The Humber Bridge Board have announced that bikes may go free when they introduce their new electronic tag charging system.

MAG has long fought the extortionate toll fee of £1.20 on the grounds of congestion, lower pollution, low wear and tear on road surface due to low weight and single track. In fact, the only time a bike actually causes congestion and inconvenience for other road users, is when they have to stop and dismount to safely access the funds for the crossing.

Due to extreme construction cost overrun and the increase in interest rates in the 1990s the debt on the bridge has soared, but MAG has always maintained that that is no reason to disproportionately charge a user group that should be encouraged as a low cost, cleaner alternative mode of personal transport.

Let's hope their announcement comes to fruition in the near future.

8) YPR Ticket Wanted

If anyone has a spare Yorkshire Pudding Rally ticket, that they are looking to offload, Keith would love to hear from you (07944 876982).

9) Pinderfields Hospital Bike Parking

Recent Wakefield MAG visitors to the newly opened Pinderfields hospital buildings are delighted to report that numerous free and secure motorcycle only parking bays have been provided. A huge thank you to the Facilities Management team at the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals Trust for providing this facility and showing a fantastic example for others to copy !!

10) Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip

As advertised in previous newsletters, the Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip has been organised for Saturday 2nd October. We will be joining our 'North Sea Trawler', the Flamer II (www.flamer11.co.uk) out of Hartlepool (better fishing opportunities than the Yorkshire coast according to Mick Culpan, our resident fishing expert). It's a full day trip (8am – 5pm), cost is £30, with a £10 deposit to secure your place. All the relevant equipment is provided (rods, reels & bait), all you need are waterproofs and something to eat and drink. We will be fishing for Cod, Ling & Pollack (apparently) and there is a trophy up for grabs for the biggest fish landed. All in all, sounds like a fun day and it's a bit different from our usual activities.

The boat takes a max of 12 anglers, but unfortunately, we have had a couple drop out, so two places are now up for grabs on a first come, first served basis.

Let us know asap if you would like to come along.

11) Forthcoming Events (for August and beyond)

Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally 2010

Hesley Wood Scout Camp, Chapeltown (Nr M1 J35).  This event is pre-book only and all tickets have long sold out. Good news for MAG, potentially bad news if you want to go and haven't got a ticket !!!!

Sunday 15th August - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Goathland (Aidensfield pilgrimage)

Meet 8:30am (leaving at 9:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 20th - 22nd August - Ganton Gathering Rally

Organised by Scarborough MAG, raising funds for the MAG foundation.  Usual site: Ganton Wold Farm, Ganton YO12 4PG.  2 bands Friday, 2 bands Saturday, bonfire, usual food and bar facilities.  800 limit, pre book only. £15.00 per ticket. Cheques payable to 'Ganton Gathering' & available (with SAE pls) from Stuart Gething, 26 Linden Road, Scarborough YO12 5SN.  Enquiries: 07919 370608

Friday 3rd September - Sunday 5th September - NE MAG Stormin' The Castle 2010

Witton Castle Country Park, Witton-Le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 0DE. www.storminthecastle.co.uk

Sunday 5th September - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Whitby

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

Friday 17th - Sunday 19th September - East Yorkshire MAG's Spat out of Hull Rally

Bonfire, Bands, Comedians, Great Food. Dean Park, Dunswell, Nr Hull, HU6 0AA. http://east-yorks.mag-uk.org

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.