Wakefield MAG July 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) Magpie Rally Report
2) Tan Hill (Fred Hill Memorial) Run Report
3) Farmyard Party Report
4) MAG UK 'Head to Toe' raffle
5) No to Bike Parking Tax (NTBPT) Campaign Update
6) EDM 208
7) Wakefield MAG Midsummer Mayhem Party Night
8) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

1) Magpie Rally Report

Five of us met up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Friday 4th June for our trip down to Mersea Island, for Colchester MAG's 3rd Magpie Rally.  Suitably breakfasted, we headed out on Doncaster Road toward the A1, and J37, where we met up with Barnsley Bob, and supposedly 4 more of the Wakefield rally contingent ...... who were nowhere to be seen.  A quick phone call revealed they were waiting for us out of sight at the other side of the roundabout.  Oh, how we all laughed.

We then pressed south on the A1 before heading into Lincolnshire to meet Igor, our resident 'Lincolnshire Splitter'.  We continued, cross country, through the Lincolnshire Fens before becoming stuck in a huge traffic jam in Spalding.  Fortunately, Lorna had her Sat Nav on hand so we made a detour to avoid it and continued south through the Cambridgeshire Fens.  We did a steady 50-60 MPH pretty much all the way and had lots of stop offs and breaks.

During our last break, 20 miles from Colchester, we received a call from Panos, who had just read the June Newsletter, discovered we were going to the Colchester MAG rally, and made a spur of the moment decision to join us, quickly packing the bike and setting off from Leeds at 18:00.

We arrived at the rally site at 18:30 (not getting lost once I hasten to add), some 200 miles and 8 ½ hours after setting off from Wakefield that morning.  That could be a new kind of Wakefield MAG record !!!

But hey, no rush, as our pre-erected tents were ready and waiting for us.  No time at all to make camp then it was time to crack open the tinnies and explore the site.  The facilities and location, were absolutely superb.  We spent most of Friday night sat around our tents, enjoying the warm evening, copious amounts of beer and chewing the fat.  Panos arrived at 22:00, diving straight into the bar before calling on the mobile to find where we were.  As it happens, we had a spare pre-erected tent, so he had no need to pitch his own tent, thus, more drinking time !!!

Saturday was another hot warm day, and we had a look at the rally stalls then had a wander along the beach (there are not many rallies where you can do that !!!).  Micha went paddling but soon found it was more mud than sand, not that we laughed at him of course.  Saturday afternoon, most folks went to the onsite open air swimming pool for an hour (again, there are not many rallies where you can do that either !!!).  We also had a good look around the bike show, which had some pretty impressive entries.  We also hit the afternoon comedy show, which was pretty funny.

Saturday night we watched the bands, the first one, Voodoo Bones, was rockabilly, not to everyone’s tastes, but the second band, Fubar, were pretty good, and we are sure we have seen them before at one of the more northern MAG rallies.

Saturday night it rained heavily but we were all tucked up in our tents by then.  All too soon it was over and we made our way back, using a bit more of a direct route, and a respectable 5 hours return trip, including an hours stop at services for a bite to eat.

A most enjoyable time was had by all, and the weather couldn't have been better.  However, we were all agreed, as good as it was, we all want to return to the Edinburgh rally again next year, so fingers crossed it will be on again.

2) Tan Hill (Fred Hill Memorial) Run Report

Five of us assembled at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Sunday 13th June, on a decidedly wet day (in stark contrast to the sunny Saturday), for our advertised Fred Hill Memorial Run to Tan Hill Inn.  We set off at 10:00, and promptly got split up in Wakefield, a mere couple of hundred yards after  setting off.  However, we were soon(ish) reunited on the A650 at Newton Hill, then stayed on the A650, all through Bradford, Keighley and heading towards Skipton, where we picked up the A65.

We stayed on the A65 until Settle, taking the B6480 and a stop in Settle town centre for food, drinks and comfort breaks.  Just as we were parked up, we met John who was en-route to meet us (in Hawes).  We continued out of Settle on the B6480, through Horton-in-Ribblesdale, then taking a right at the famous Ribbleshead Viaduct, onto the B6255 towards Hawes.

From Hawes, we took the hugely scenic Buttertubs Pass road to Thwaite, then onto Keld, and an  interesting (two sharp hairpins) minor road up to the Tan Hill Inn, where we met Steady Eddie, who had come up on his trike a couple of hours before.  There were a lot of bikes at Tan Hill doing a charity run for the Great North Air Ambulance.  Also at Tan Hill were several vintage bikes, and it's quite an achievement for 95 year old bikes to get there, as none of the roads in any direction can be described as easy, especially for Edwardian era machinery.

We stopped at Tan Hill for lunch (giant Yorkshire Puddings highly recommended !!!!), before we took the B6270 and A6108 to Leyburn.  From Leyburn, we stayed on the A6108 through Masham and onto Ripon, picking up the A61, then the A168, running alongside the A1, then the A659 to Tadcaster, then the Towton road (B1217) to Garforth and winding our way back to Wakefield on the A642.

A most splendid rideout and a pity only 7 of us got to enjoy it.  However, we can put the relatively poor attendance down to two main factors:

3) Farmyard Party Report

Wakefield MAG once again attended the Farmyard Party en-masse.  Quite a few went early on the ‘Marshals only’ Thursday, with the rest of the contingent arriving at various times on the Friday.  As per our standing tradition, we all wandered into Helmsley town on Friday morning for a slap up Bikers Breakfast, then into the Red Lion on Helmsley square for an afternoon ‘session’.  We had a most enjoyable afternoon, then it was time to wander back to site, for a bit of a sleep (to sober up), in time for our evening marshalling shifts in the Blues Tent.

Saturday day time was a mixture of marshalling (for some), looking at the bike show, enjoying the comedians, spending money in the many traders stalls, watching the Bird of Prey display, trying out the free Dyno testing, bucking broncho and sampling the fine foods and beverages the site had to offer.  Saturday nights bands in the Blues tent were better than Friday nights, although Friday’s weren’t too bad (heard a lot worse !!!). The headline band in the main arena was an ELO tribute band.  A bit different to the normal heavy rock but they went down really well and sounded just like the real McCoy.

The event set up week had been hot and dry, the take down week after was likewise, but the weekend itself saw intermittent rain, strong winds and very cold temperatures considering it was the middle of June (typical really).  And when we are talking about cold temperatures, we mean single figures and being able to see your breath !!!!.  The poor weather did undoubtedly keep a few folks away, but MAGs’ premier motorcycle only rally was still attended by some 8500 happy rally goers.

The gate worked very well this year with both the pre gate and the main gate working like clockwork and the queues never getting out of hand. With the help of Halfway Heroes MCC and the CMA, marshalling the campsites, the roads and fire breaks were kept free of bikes and tents.

All of the marquees and the entertainment was very well received, with all the venues being packed on both nights.  The FYP offers far more quality entertainment, at a bargain basement price, than any other bike rally, bar none.

Another cracking FYP was had by all.  A huge thank you to all the Wakefield MAG members who willingly gave up their time, to help marshal the event (for free), and after paying for their tickets (same as everyone else), to attend the event.  You are all heroes !!!!

4) MAG UK 'Head to Toe' raffle

Roll up, roll up for the MAG UK 'Head to Toe' raffle.

Weise Clothing have generously donated the following prizes, which will literally kit you out from 'Head to Toe' :

Have a look at what you can win on the Weise Clothing website: www.weise-clothing.co.uk

Tickets are £1 each, which is a steal when you look at the quality of the prizes on offer.  Tickets can be purchased at all the main MAG events, from our local branch meetings (as soon as we get some tickets that is), and from MAG Central on: 01926 844064 (Unfortunately due to banking and postal charges we can only sell them on the phone as a book of 25, but of course, that's 25 chances to win!!!).

The draw will take place at the Carole Nash International Motorcycle & Scooter Show at the Birmingham NEC on Sunday 5th December 2010.

All monies raised from the raffle will go to MAG UK.  Best of luck, and thanks for helping the fighting fund and ultimately, the future of motorcycling.

5) No to Bike Parking Tax (NTBPT) Campaign Update

The High Court case against Westminster City Council is now well under way.

MAG’s man in Westminster has just spent two days at the High Court to witness the NTBPT claim against Westminster City Council's (WCC) bike parking tax scheme. In essence the claim is that the Traffic Orders for the permanent scheme issued in Jan 2010, were not made according to all relevant regulations and that therefore the scheme is illegal and must be scraped.

This is the latest news from our man on the inside ...

There is no doubt that the authorities are taking this case extremely seriously as it was heard not by one judge, but two, including one of high seniority, Lord Justice, Sir John Pitchford. (www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/hss/23839.html)

During the first day he actually told the claimant's barrister with a smile that he might be ‘pushing at an open door’.  During the morning of day two, the NTBPT barrister made a series of well made points that caused the Westminster team to quite literally hold their heads in gloom.  However, during the afternoon, the WCC defence barrister made a series of loose points and claims the judges said were 'unsubstantiated' - and at one stage the proceedings took on an almost farcical tone as the Judges tried to get a clear idea of what the Western extension of the Congestion Charging zone was and if it had anything to do with the case.  But input from the defence was mostly accepted by the judges as a legitimate contribution to considering the pros and cons of the case.  It was almost as if the defence were being allowed to waffle about more or less anything without being held to account on whether the council had really done what was legally required to justify making the scheme permanent.

Obviously that did not bode well for a ruling against the new orders for the scheme.  In summarising where we ended up, our man in the know says that it is impossible to say what the ruling will be, as there was so much written evidence that was only referred to briefly in the court.  But he advised caution about assuming that just because the council did not really justify their new tax to the court, that the court would tell them to scrap it.

Our man concluded that although some good points were scored for the claimants, the NTBPT barrister may have put too much emphasis on a string of legal points drawn from previous cases than clearly spelling out the fundamental key points of the case against Westminster - even though the judges asked him to do just that on two or three occasions throughout the hearing. And, now that WCC say the main 'reason' to impose a new bike parking charge for on-street bays is a ‘need to manage demand for kerbside space’ the key arguments against the scheme are these:

  1. WCC already had all the powers it needed to 'manage' and control parking of all vehicles, including motorcycles but without the new charging scheme.
  2. The council has not made any case at all to justify an extension of their existing parking control powers, or produced a shred of evidence to support their waffled claim that charging bikes to park in existing on-street bays will make anything better.
  3. The key reason that WCC gave for charging during the 'trial' scheme was to pay for better bike parking facilities, but that was dropped when it came to making the Traffic Orders to make the scheme permanent because as a matter of fact, all on-street motorcycle parking facilities in the form of bays and security devices that are subject to charging under the NEW orders made in January 2010, were all in place and paid for BEFORE the new orders were made.
  4. No case has been made to show or evidence produced, to prove that the imposition of a new charge for parking in on-street M/C parking bays has any impact whatsoever on WCC's ability to manage demand for it.
  5. The only truly plausible motive and reason for the new charges that Westminster have admitted to, is a desire to use surplus revenue from the new scheme to address a fall in revenue from car parking.

The judges have said it may take them up to two weeks to reach a decision and issue a ruling ...... Watch this space for further updates

6) EDM 208

So we now have a new government and the MAG political successes continue ....

We've already had meetings with the new Under- Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning, who has announced an enquiry into the DSA new motorbike testing fiasco and now also that he is re-opening the consultation into Britain's interpretation of the new EU Driving Licence Directive (3DLD) (due to be enacted Jan 2013).

It had been decided that a new young rider would sit a total of 8 tests (many of them identical) to get their full licence, when in fact they could have just been offered training at intervals as they progressed to bigger bikes.  Mr Penning has acknowledged the stupidity of this idea and agreed to reassess the situation.

These are incredible results so early in the life of a government but there is yet more news and an opportunity to get involved too.

Sammy Wilson MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 208) promoting motorcycles that I hope you will ask your MP to sign.

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 1002 which so many of you got your MPs to sign in the last Parliament, was vital to achieving the review into the motorcycle test that Mike Penning MP has just announced.

EDM 208 reads:

That this House notes the positive impact that motorcycling can have both as an alternative to the private car and as a way of reducing congestion in towns and cities; is concerned that these benefits and the views of motorcyclists are often overlooked in the development of transport policy; and calls on the Government to give greater attention to these issues during the course of this Parliament.

Please ask your MP to sign this.  If you are not sure who your new MP is, you can find out on the Local MAG page.

There are currently 23 signatories, lets see if we can get a full house!!!

7) Wakefield MAG Midsummer Mayhem Party Night

We held our inaugural Midsummer Mayhem Party Night on Saturday 3rd July, at the Horse & Groom Inn, Heath, Wakefield.  A full report will appear in next months newsletter, but suffice to say, it was a huge success and we raised a significant amount of money for the MAG fighting fund, both through ticket sales and the raffle.

And .......... we are already being asked when our next party night will be !!! .... Watch this space for updates

8) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

Sunday 11th July - Wakefield MAG 6th Annual Treasure Hunt (Branch run with a difference !!)

Numerous questions, numerous clues, numerous destinations and numerous answers - The Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout.  Meet 9:30am (to get clues/instructions) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield. (Treasure Hunt will leave at 10:00am prompt).  £1 per entrant (to cover cost of prizes).  Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places, and a booby prize for the least number of correct answers.

Sunday 25th July - Wakefield MAG at the West Yorkshire VJMC Show

Wakefield MAG will again be helping our very good friends at the VJMC to run their hugely popular Japanese Bike Show at Lotherton Hall.  We will also be hosting the Yorkshire MAG stand at this superb event.

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

Hesley Wood Scout Camp, Chapeltown (Nr M1 J35).  Tickets for this most splendid and highly popular event are now sold out.

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

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.