Wakefield MAG June 2008 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) ITV Rally Report
2) Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala Bike Show Report
3) Leeds MAG Demo Run Report
4) Edinburgh MAG Rally Report
5) Event Tickets
6) MAG Press Release - Cancelled Events
7) Products
8) Forthcoming Events

1) ITV Rally Report

This years Into The Valley looked in serious jeopardy as right up to the day before the rally, the road up to the rally site, and the field itself were pretty waterlogged following April's constant rain. Various trucks and other vehicles necessary to put the rally on, couldn't get onto the field and the rally looked like it may have to be cancelled. However, the difficult decision didn't need to be made in the end and an truly heroic effort by Yorkshire MAG members, who crammed a weeks worth of rally set-up into one day, made sure the rally was most definitely on.

Wakefield MAG were there in force and we provided 13 marshals to help the rally run smoothly, marshalling the traders area, campsite, bar and entertainments area and the main gate. This was the first time a number of Wakefield members had actually marshalled but they all enjoyed themselves and will marshal again (always a good sign).

The weekend itself was blessed by good weather although the tracks were still a bit muddy and needed careful negotiation, especially on a bike loaded with camping gear. It was also a tad cold on a night too. However, none of this detracted from what was an excellent rally with record numbers in attendance.

A great start to the MAG Rally Season

2) Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala Bike Show Report

This years Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala had to have a last minute venue change, due to the advertised site at Clarence Park being too muddy to hold the gala. The constant rain and the Chinese State Circus the week before had unfortunately left the fields somewhat reminiscent of the Somme. Our hosts, Wakefield Hospice, therefore had to switch venues at the last minute to the playing fields in Thornes Park instead, on the instructions of Wakefield Council. Local Radio Ridings FM, and the Wakefield Express did a cracking job of advertising the venue change but there was always a risk that this would affect attendance. However, the fears were unfounded as hundreds of people flocked to the Gala, and the new site was actually bigger and better placed than the original one. The days leading up to the show had seen some pretty wet and miserable weather but the day of the show itself saw the sun shine and we enjoyed one of the hottest days of the year to date.

Wakefield MAG have supported the Wakefield Hospice Gala for a number of years now by putting on a small bike show but it wasn't until last year than we started advertising it beyond the Branch itself, with the aim of growing this into a much bigger event, and attracting top quality entries. Last year we had 25 bikes in the show, this year we more than doubled that with over 50 bikes and 8 trikes in the show. We can safely say that we achieved our objective of growing the size of the bike show. In addition to the bike show, we hosted the Yorkshire MAG stand at the gala, selling Wakefield MAG products, promoting MAG and enticing new members.

The show proved to be a hugely popular attraction at the gala and we did a roaring trade selling Polaroid photos of kids (and adults) sat on the bikes, with the proceeds going towards the Hospice.

The quality of entries into this years show was also quite astounding, making the judges jobs that much harder. We also had to vastly increase the show categories to cope with the entries (just as well we had some extra prizes). Igor, Paul, Bill and myself had to make those difficult decisions, but in the end, we reached a consensus decision.

Best in Show Kawasaki Z1B. This was a cracking bike which had been lovingly restored by owner Henry Stubbs over a number of years. Such was the quality of this bike, it would have won at any National Classic Bike show

Best Modern Yamaha Vmax

Best Classic Triumph Bonneville (Meriden). A late entry by owner Ron Cellier but he walked away with the much deserved Best Classic prize for a beautifully turned out bike

Best Trike Yamaha Bulldog Trike. You don't see many triked Bulldogs but this one was spot on with it's fully independent rear suspension

Best Rat Suzuki TU250 (at some point in it's life before it was converted to a trail bike and painted in black Hammerite)

Best Modern Runner-up Honda Fireblade (1992)

Best Trike Runner-up Honda Goldwing

The show was a huge success, we made £62 from our product sales, raised over £50 for the Hospice and recruited several new members to boot. It was a tremendous team effort by Wakefield MAG so well done to all those Wakefield MAG members who attended, most of whom still recovering from Into the Valley. A huge thanks also to the Yorkshire Trikers who turned out in force and provided the excellent Best Trike trophy.

We will definitely be hosting another, even bigger show next year, so hope to see you there.

3) Leeds MAG Demo Run Report

Typical really, hot sunny weather for weeks then the day of the Leeds MAG Demo run on Saturday 17th May it decides to rain, that fine rain that gets you wet, as Peter Kay would say. Still, it didn't deter Wakefield & Barnsley MAG members from attending as 15 of us were on the rideout from Stork Lodge Tea Rooms in Thornes Park to Squires Cafe at Newthorpe. We met another 3 Wakefield MAG members at Squires itself so a brilliant turnout from the branch. Also on the rideout from Stork Lodge was local motoring correspondent from the Wakefield Express, Julie Marshall, on a Harley VRod that she was testing. Gorgeous looking bike but the riding position was a bit odd, and I don't think she will be buying one somehow.

This year the message behind the demo run was to highlight the lack of multi-purpose test centres in the Wakefield / Leeds / Bradford area which means that come October, when the new test comes into force, novice riders wanting to do their practical test will have to travel to Hull or Rotherham which is completely unacceptable. The gathered masses at Squires also had a minutes silence at 12 O’clock to commemorate the life and times of Robert Dunlop.

The run set off from Squire’s café around 12:15, coinciding nicely with the rain stopping and we met up with the police on the A63, to be escorted into Leeds City Centre. There were about 60 bikes on the run despite the weather and although there didn't seem to be that many at Squires, once the run was underway, it was a pretty impressive sight.

The route was pretty much the same as last year but we did have an unplanned detour which took us through parts of the city centre twice. However, the run was none the worse for it and everyone seemed to prefer the new route so maybe we’ll go that way next year too.

A huge thanks to Leeds MAG for organising the run and to West Yorkshire police who provided support for the run, as they do every year. I've since found out that the Police on the bikes were all in attendance on their days off, with several of them swapping shifts and days off in order to be there, sterling effort.

I don't know how successful the demo run was in highlighting the plight of learner riders come October, but it was a cracking rideout !!!!

4) Edinburgh MAG Rally Report

Fourteen of us on ten bikes made the long trek from Wakefield to West Calder, near Edinburgh, for this years Edinburgh MAG Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally, on the 30th May. The journey there took us over eight hours with some lengthy delays caused by bike trouble with Allen's ZZR. Still, we got there in the end and once off the A1 and onto the A68, the scenery through Northumberland and into the Scottish Borders is most impressive. Once there, up with the tents, and into the cow sheds for the cheap beer, quality food and good bands.

The Edinburgh MAG rally really is an absolute gem and I can't quite understand why it doesn't get a much higher attendance. The site is a proper farmyard (no marquee, just cow sheds !!!), excellent food (laid on by the farmer), cheap beer (£1.50 for Newcastle Brown and real ales !!), good bands, proper flushing toilets and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. The weather, for the last three years on the trot now, couldn't have been better. No rain whatsoever on the Friday and Saturday, with Saturday being blazing hot and us 'southerners' from Yorkshire getting sunburnt, whilst the Scots on site turned from Blue to White !!!

This year, Saturday afternoon's entertainment, if you didn't fancy the rideout, was Clay pigeon shooting. Most of us had a go at some point, with varying degrees of success. We wont mention that Ian Whittaker, ex Parachute Regiment and veteran of several Shooting Club competitions, couldn't hit a fish in a barrel !!!

Next year, they are planning Paint Balling which should be a laugh.

Wakefield MAG were most successful with the rally awards on the Saturday night. For the second year running, Justine won the Longest Travelled Female award, and a nice little trophy. The branch as a whole won the biggest club attendance award. This was a combination of numbers and distance travelled and although were weren't the biggest club in attendance, we were certainly the furthest travelled (by a factor of 3 !!!). The prize was a full size broad sword. A brilliant prize but it was certainly interesting transporting it back to Wakefield on the bike !!!

Seven of us did some last minute marshalling to help out on the Saturday evening, and in doing so, doubled our branch points allocation. It's always good to help out, as from personal experience, these events certainly don't run themselves.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and we made our way back 'down south' mid morning on the Sunday. The 'all good things ending' certainly included the weather, as it rained heavily and solidly all the way back home. Not that it that detracted from what had been an absolutely fantastic weekend.

Well done to Steve Wykes (Scottish Regional Rep) and his team for putting on this great little rally !! We will be going again next year, so if you fancy a rally a little further afield, this one is definitely recommended.

5) Event Tickets

We now have returned our Farmyard Party tickets and completely sold out of our allocation of Yorkshire Pudding Rally tickets. You can of course pay on the gate for the FYP (£35) and for a short time, you can still buy YPR tickets via the ticket hotline (0800 988 3199), or the website (www.yorkshirepuddingrally.co.uk). Tickets for the YPR are selling fast and the event is capped at 1,000 and is pre-book only, so, if you haven't got your tickets already, you're in danger of missing the boat. So don't delay, buy today !!

We do still have tickets for sale at the Branch Meetings for the Ganton Gathering Rally, to be held on Friday 18th – Sunday 20th July, at Wold Farm, Ganton, North Yorkshire. This rally is a fund-raising event for the MAG Foundation. Tickets are £15 Pre-Book, or £20 if you buy them on the gate.

6) MAG Press Release - Cancelled Events

Three press releases have been issued concerning this as MAG Central has been inundated with calls from bikers expressing their concern at the cancellation of the Welsh Motorcycle Show, amongst others. MAG share these concerns, in particular the potential knock on effect to other bike shows and rallies which may fall victim to concerns by the police and other authorities in relation to public safety and criminality.

MAG have taken positive steps to allay fears amongst the motorcycling community that there is a police policy to eradicate motorcycle rallies and shows across the UK. This perception has been fuelled by recent police objections to some rallies and shows, most recently the Welsh show and the Bulldog Bash in Warwickshire. MAG's Campaigns Manager, David Short, has held talks with Warwickshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable Andy Parker who has given assurances that any objections to events are based on intelligence specific to particular events. He stressed that there is no national policy to prevent motorcycling events taking place. He emphasised that the police service recognises that the vast majority of events are well run, peaceful and consequently are supported by the police. Mr Parker welcomed the representations made by MAG , recognising the benefits of partnership working between the police and the motorcycling communities.

MAG wish to make it clear that none of its events are at risk of cancellation from the authorities.

The Welsh show has been cancelled because the land owners, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, have withdrawn permission for the event to be held on their land. This is nothing to do with the police or any objections to the licence or the event from any one. The cancellation is purely a commercial decision by the landowner. Also worth pointing out that the organisation of the Welsh Motorcycle Show has no connections with MAG. The Welsh Motorcycle Show was run by MAG in the past but for the last 4 years has been run exclusively by 'The Welsh Motorcycle Shows', a limited company headed up by Steve Bennett.

So, business as usual for MAG events.

7) Products

We have a stock of Wakefield MAG branded products for sale at the branch meetings. Items in stock for immediate sale are:

We also have a small stock of various Wakefield MAG branded clothing items and MAG patches & stickers (please ask), as well as copies of Ian Mutch's much acclaimed books:

Buy these from Mick Culpan, our Products Officer, at the Wednesday meetings or drop me an email with your requirements and i'll get back to you.

8) Forthcoming Events

Forthcoming events for June and beyond:

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.