Wakefield MAG January 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.

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and New Year. In addition to getting some Christmas pressies that you really wanted, hopefully you also got some that you gladly want to give away !!!! WHY ? ....... because the Wakefield MAG Post Christmas Auction is rapidly approaching (See below for details).


1) Wakefield & District MAG Annual General Meeting
2) Post Christmas Auction
3) Manchester Bike Show Visit
4) Wakefield MAG is going to the dogs
5) Pet Food Run
6) Biker Friendly Crash Barriers a Reality
7) Riders are Voters 2010
8) Forum
9) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

1) Wakefield & District MAG Annual General Meeting

Our 8th branch Annual General Meeting will be held in the Grey Horse, on Wednesday 13th January, starting at 8:30pm. All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes. As this meeting is effectively a MAG political meeting, it carries with it a whopping 75 branch points for everyone who attends (a normal branch meeting only carries 5 points). As all the points are tallied at year end and go towards the branch heroes presentation, points really do mean prizes !!!! What better boost to your branch heroes tally for the new year !!!

The Annual Wakefield MAG mailshot was posted to all eligible Members, i.e. current or recently expired MAG members with a WF postcode, in early December to formally place notice for the meeting. 108 letters were produced, for 113 current members and 17 who had expired over the previous 8 month period and not subsequently renewed (if you think the maths doesn't add up, we only produce one letter for joint members to cut down on postage costs). And of these 108 letters, 84 were posted and 24 hand delivered to meeting regulars (again to cut down on postage costs). Some meeting regulars who don't reside in the Wakefield District were also emailed their mailshot letter. If you want an email copy of the mailshot letter, drop me an email and i'll send a copy onto you.

The previous AGM minutes are posted on the branch website (under the AGM's menu item, spookily enough !!) and will be available at the AGM itself. Again, if you want your own copy, please let me know and i'll send one on.

The deadline for motions to be submitted for the AGM is Wednesday 6th January.

Hope to see you at the AGM !!!

2) Post Christmas Auction

Our Post Christmas Auction is rapidly approaching and will be held on Wednesday 27th January 2010, at 20:00, at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, and if previous years events are anything to go by, an event not to be missed. The idea is that you bring along all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, donate them to the branch, and we auction them off to the highest bidder.

Our last auction was our most successful yet, and raised nearly £450, which, bearing in mind the bidding on a lot of items started at 50p, was a staggering and truly impressive result !!!! Even more impressive was that this amount was more than £100 better than our previous best of £330, not a bad result considering the world was in a global recession !!! Of course, for 2010, we want to beat that !!!!

The auctions are always hugely entertaining and there are always some real quality items donated, and hence, some real bargains to be had.

Proceeds from the auction will be split with a 1/3 donation to a charitable cause(s) and 2/3 going to the MAG fighting fund. I hope to see you there (and don’t forget to bring your unwanted Christmas pressies !!!).

3) Manchester Bike Show Visit

Wakefield MAG will be visiting the Manchester Bike Show (National Motorcycle Show) on Saturday 9th January, at Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex). For an entry fee of £12, the organisers promise an action packed high-octane start to the New Year with everything you would expect and more from the greatest regional bike show. There is something of interest for almost every motorcycle enthusiast and there is a full programme of entertainment planned, including Heart-stopping stunt displays, Indoor Freestyle Arena, Dealers (BMW, Suzuki, Honda, Ducati, Triumph et al) and dealer approved used bikes, classic bike and classic scooter display, Custom & Extreme Performance Corner, Motorcycle trials riders like Steve Colley, Extreme Globe (demonstrations by Finland’s Heidi and Mikko), Bikesafe, Traders village ………and much, much more (See website for further details: www.bikeshowseurope.com).

As the weather is likely to be a bit iffy at this time of year, and car parking isn't the best in central Manchester, we are taking the easy option and going by train. We are taking the 09:06 from Dewsbury train station, which arrives at Manchester Piccadilly at 09:49, from there it's a short walk to the venue (or an even shorter tram ride).

If you want to join us, we are meeting on platform 2 at Dewsbury train station at 08:50 on Saturday 9th January. Hope to see you there !!

4) Wakefield MAG is going to the dogs

As previously advertised, Wakefield MAG is going to the dogs (literally !!!!) ......... at Kinsley Greyhound Stadium, on Friday 19th February. The dog racing will cost £12, but that includes a meal, a pint and two complimentary betting slips, so it's a bit of a bargain all told, and promises to be a great night out.

We are now collecting deposits of £5 (non-refundable) to secure places, so, if you would like to go, let us know asap.

5) Pet Food Run

By popular demand, we will be holding a charity pet food run to deliver dog food and other doggie treats to dog rescues in the Wakefield area. Whitehall Dog Rescue in East Ardsley and Ponderosa in Allerton Bywater are two we are aware of in the Wakefield area, but if you know of others please let us know. Although at the early stage of planning, we are provisionally looking to organise this to coincide with our March rideout. More details as and when we have them, and I hope you will be able to join us (and start collecting those doggy treats in preparation !!!).

6) Biker Friendly Crash Barriers a Reality

After years of campaigning work by MAG and it's European partners (FEMA), a new draft technical standard for crash barriers has been approved by CEN (Euro committee for normalisation - yes really!). That means it is finally on its way to becoming a Euro standard. This is a great start to the new year !!! (But let's hope we never actually need to use them).

7) Riders are Voters 2010

MAG’s campaign to consult with all political parties and candidates standing for election to Parliament at the next general election was launched at the NEC Bike Show at the end of November. With around one-third of all MPs likely to be replaced with new ones next year, this is the best opportunity we have had in years to make a real difference to the way MPs and ministers think about biking.

Both the BMF and MCI are officially working with us to make RAV2010 a success. This should mean we avoid duplicating a lot of effort and that RAV2010 is more effective as a result. It is also clear recognition of the role MAG has played over many years in raising awareness of the importance of motorcycling and the positive contribution it makes.

Some big improvements are needed in the way motorcycling is understood and dealt with, many of the battle-lines are around long-standing issues such as over-regulation of biking and the creeping tide of further restriction; some are around increasing the pace of change in those areas where we already made headway, such as better roads, which are fit to ride.

Phase one of the RAV2010 campaign is to gather ideas and practical support from among MAG members, other activists and riders generally. By mobilising the UK’s riding voters we can boost the number of activists, individual MAG members and MAG groups. With over a million active riders we could start to make a real difference in some key constituencies. Whoever arrives in Westminster to form the Parliament, they will at least understand what’s on riders’ minds and what is expected of them. In the wake of the expenses scandals and public anger over political standards, the next intake of MPs may well prove a little more attentive to what their electors say.


a) Visit the campaign website (www.ridersarevoters.org) and tell us what are your biggest concerns:

b) Volunteer to actively participate with the RAV2010 campaign. MAG is looking for able/willing volunteers in all geographical areas to contact and solicit answers from prospective parliamentary candidates. This is so that we can ensure blanket constituency coverage for the campaign and ease the burden on the small number of MAG's paid employees (There's no point MAG Central doubling up a work load that volunteers are happy/capable of doing). Full details will be provided together with RAV specific questions and a concise list of candidate's contact details. If you would like to help, let me know and i'll pass your details on, or contact MAG Central directly, via the campaign website (www.ridersarevoters.org)

Without the work done in previous elections by MAG volunteers taking a little time to communicate with the candidates in each constituency, biking would not have had any of the successes of recent years.

Although there are many threats on the horizon, we have made considerable advances since the bad old days when politicians and decision makers treated riders like cattle. Government officials now consult MAG on an almost weekly basis, allowing us to turn the tide on issues that directly impact on everyday biking. We have steered government thinking away from ideas such as taking control of the throttle away from the rider, electronic surveillance tags on every bike, continuous road-tax and insurance bills for bikes that are not being used.

We have been making steady progress on Better Parking, Bikes in Bus Lanes, Road Maintenance, Crash-barriers, High-grip manhole covers, etc. Now we need to build on that past success, build-up our presence through local MAG groups and individuals so that even after the election is done with, MAG will be pushing every local council to make sure the roads we ride are more bike-friendly.

There are those who predict it is only a few years before the demise of motorcycling as we know and love it - let’s prove them wrong by making RAV2010 the biggest, most effective, political campaign this Century.

For all the latest info, go to www.ridersarevoters.org or search for the ‘Riders Are Voters’ page at www.facebook.com.

Get involved, tell your mates !!!

8) Forum

We launched our forum on 16th November 2009 to provide another means for our membership to communicate with us. The forum can be used to have a chat, post comments, suggestions, ask questions or anything else that takes your fancy.  So, be sure to sign-up to the forum and have your say !!!

The forum is accessible from our web site (just click on the Forum menu button), or direct at: http://wakefieldmag.netboards.org

If you can't attend our meetings regularly, use the forum, facebook group page (Wakefield MAG) or branch email (wfd_district_mag@hotmail.com) - it has never been easier to keep in touch and actively participate.

9) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

Saturday 9th January - Visit to Manchester Bike Show

As detailed above. Meet at 08:50 on Platform 2 of Dewsbury train station on Saturday 9th January.

Wednesday 13th January 2010 - Wakefield MAG AGM

As detailed above.

Wednesday 27th January 2009 - Wakefield MAG 6th Post Christmas Auction

As detailed above.

Sunday 7th February - Fred Hill Memorial Run

The run assembles at Squires at 11:00, and leaves at 11:30 for a marshalled ride to the Sun Inn at Norwood near Otley. 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 Leeds MAG (the organisers), other Yorkshire MAG branches and MCC’s for the Fred Hill memorial run

Saturday 13th February - Leeds MAG Valentines Party

Get loved up with Leeds MAG at their Valentines Party, at the Dragon Hotel, 150, Whitehall Road, Leeds, from 20:00

Friday 19th February - Wakefield MAG is going to the Dogs

As detailed above

March - Wakefield MAG Pet Food Run

Details TBC in next months newsletter.

That's all for this month, hope 2010 turns out to be a great biking year, 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.