Wakefield MAG June 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 Bike Show Report
2) Leeds MAG Celebration Run Report
3) Freedom Run Report
4) Magpie Rally
5) No to Bike Parking Tax (NTBPT) Campaign Update
6) Rally Tickets
7) Fred Hill Run
8) Forthcoming Events (for June and beyond)

1) Wakefield MAG Bike Show Report

We hosted our popular annual bike show at the Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala, on Monday 3rd May (May Day Bank Holiday), at Clarence Park Arena.  We have supported the Hospice for a number of years by putting on a motorcycle show at the Gala, which is one of many attractions at this key fund raising event for the Hospice.

Upon arrival at the site to set up the Yorkshire MAG stand, we found that we were not in our originally advised position, as that was taken up by a horse display team, that had to be moved at the last minute away from the noise of the fun fair.  Instead, we had an elevated slightly sloping plot above the main arena.  Initially, what looked like a poor position turned out to be rather good, as we were visible from the entire site, and next to the access road, whereas our original position was tucked out of the way and not at all visible.  Every cloud as they say .....

We quickly erected the Yorkshire MAG stand, and populated it with lots of MAG promotional material, leaflets, posters, copies of the Road magazine, together with Wakefield MAG products for sale.  We then waited for the show entrants to start rolling in.

We had around 30 bikes in the show at any one point, with many comings and goings over the course of the day.  Steve and Igor drew the short straw for the very difficult task of judging the show.  We decided to award 6 categories, based on the bikes in the show at the time of judging.  Several potential category winners left the show early so couldn't be included in the judging, including ex MAG Director Ian Churchlow's mint 13 year old Triumph Daytona, which would have been a possible winner of the best modern category.

The difficult decisions were eventually made and these were:

Another excellent show and a most popular attraction at the Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala.  We recruited several new members on the day and Wakefield MAG product sales made over fifty pounds, which will be donated to the MAG fighting fund via the Yorkshire region.  We also made a similar amount for the Hospice, through their donations bucket, located at our stall.  We later heard that the Hospice had raised over £30,000 during the day.  A truly fantastic result.

A huge thanks goes to all our volunteer marshals who put the stand up, manned it throughout the day, helped run the show, and packed everything back up again.

We will be hosting another show at the Hospice Gala next year, so hope to see you in 2011.

2) Leeds MAG Celebration Run Report

Twenty Wakefield MAG members gathered at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms in Wakefield, on Saturday 22nd May, to participate in Leeds MAG's Celebration Run.  We set off shortly after 11:30, taking a bit of a detour around Wakefield city centre to avoid the road works, before heading out of town on Aberford Road (A642).  We stayed on this road until just after Woodlesford, where we took a left onto Newsam Green Road, heading towards the A63 at Colton.  We passed through Cross Gates, meeting the A64 at Seacroft, then a short distance to the run assembly point at the Red Lion public house (on the A64, just inside the Leeds boundary).

A good few bikes were already gathered, ready for the run start time at 13:00.  Shortly after, our police escort of three bikes and one police car arrived, and the marshals briefing was conducted.  Helping Leeds MAG marshal the run was GEMS MCC, Team Sober MCC and East Leeds Lions MCC.

We set off bang on 13:00, along the A64 and into Leeds City Centre, with all junctions blocked for the run, initially by the police, then maintained by the run's roving marshals, until we had all safely passed.  The route through Leeds took us straight through the city centre, effectively twice, which was packed with Saturday afternoon shoppers.  There is nothing quite like riding in a huge convoy of bikes, with a police escort, with all junctions and traffic lights cleared for our passage.  The procession of bikes was a huge spectacle and we were clapped and cheered through the city, with many photographing and videoing the procession of bikes and trikes.

We then made our way out of town along Whitehall Road, towards the end point, which was Leeds MAG's HQ, The Dragon on Whitehall Road (A58). Following the Celebration Run, a 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' Bike show was hosted by Leeds MAG at the Dragon.

A great turnout by Wakefield MAG and it was good to support our neighbours in Leeds MAG.  The weather could not have been better, hot and dry all day, although dare I say it, it was actually a little too hot, at least for slow riding through a city centre.  How come you never really feel the heat coming off your engine in the depths of winter ?!?!?!

A huge thanks have to go to West Yorkshire police, the bike cops swap shifts and work on their shift rest days, just so they can marshal this annual run.  Good effort guys.

3) Freedom Run Report

Nine Wakefield MAG members attended the East Yorkshire MAG Humberside Freedom Run and Riders are Voters (RAV) event on May 1st.

The Run left the Riverside Cafe in Beverley, where 400 bikes had gathered and it wound its way down and through Hull, before arriving at the Humber Bridge for the questioning of local politicians. The run collected riders all the way, swelling to nearly twice its original size by the time it reached the bridge.

The 3 main political parties were in attendance at the Bridge along with many riders who had chosen to gather there and not do the ride out. Two of the candidates were fighting to defend their parliamentary seats and one of these, the Conservative for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart, was riding his VFR Honda. Diana Johnston (Lab) and Denis Healy (Lib-Dem) were competing directly for the Hull North seat and the event became the most raucous so far. It was also the best attended by a long way and could well have been the largest open air event of its kind in the whole election campaign.

After the event Graham Stuart (Con) got out his wallet and paid for MAG membership, the second candidate at a RAV event to do so.

The Run was drawing attention to the extortionate toll on the Bridge and to the Police's Operation Achilles in the area.

2,500 riders then enjoyed a great celebration of biking back at the Into The Valley Rally, organised by MAP (Yorkshire MAG's events arm), where the Mayor of Beverley was also in attendance.

4) Magpie Rally

Our much awaited journey north, to the Edinburgh MAG Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally has had to be cancelled, due to the rally itself being cancelled this year (due itself to a multitude of reasons, all conspiring against poor old Steve Wykes and the Edinburgh MAG team being able to host this years event).  As most of us had already booked the Friday off work, and mentally prepared ourselves for a weekend of rally related fun and frolics, we were most keen to make sure the weekend wasn't lost.  A quick trawl of the MAG events list highlighted Colchester MAG's 3rd Magpie Rally on the very same weekend as the cancelled Edinburgh MAG rally.  A further bit of investigation uncovered the fact it is 200 miles from Wakefield, exactly the same as Edinburgh.

Call it a coincidence, call it fate  !?!!?

So, we have all booked tickets for the Colchester MAG 3rd Magpie Rally, on Friday 4th - Sunday 6th June, at Mersea Youth Camp, Mersea Island, Nr Colchester.  The rally is £16 pre-book or £20 on the gate.  The facilities and location, according to the website (www.magpierally.co.uk) look superb, including log cabins and pre-erected tents, available for hire.  All the log cabins were already booked but most of us have opted for one of the 4 berth tents, complete with camp beds, an absolute bargain at £10 for the weekend.

The planned entertainment looks good:

Throughout the weekend there are trade stalls and catering trailers as well as the main dining room which will open up for sit down meals.

Around a dozen of us will be attending, and if you fancy joining us, you will be more than welcome.  Tickets are still available on the gate.  We are meeting at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, off Thornes Lane, Wakefield  at 09:30 on Friday 4th June.  From there we will head south on the A1, with a slight detour into Lincolnshire to pick up Igor, our resident 'Lincolnshire Splitter', before continuing south on the A1, then east(ish) to Colchester, then onto Mersea Island and the sea side.  It's 200 miles closer to the equator, so we are guaranteed hot sunny weather ...... Honest !!!!!

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

As previously covered in these newletters, MAG is fully backing the No to Bike Parking Tax (NTBPT) lobby group, which is fighting the controversial Bike Parking Charges in Westminster, London. NTBPT are campaigning to remove the highly unfair bike parking charges, which have the very real potential of becoming the national model for councils across the UK, if not successfully revoked. Although in London, councils across the whole of Britain will be watching this case very closely indeed, as a potential revenue source in these hard economic times. To safeguard free secure bike parking in the Wakefield area and beyond, all bikers are encouraged to support this campaign.

There are only two ways to legitimately quash a Local Government scheme such as this motorcycle/scooter parking tax: a) by Act of Parliament, or b) via the High Court. NTBPT have launched a full legal challenge via Judicial Review, to quash this tax via the High Court.

Three important announcements have just been made by the MAG Supported NTBPT campaign team, relating to this legal challenge:

1) High Court names the day! Thursday 24th June 2010 sees the High Court hearing, after many hours of preparation, filing of claims & witness statements only possible due to incredible donations. More details regarding viewing galleries and waiting areas in the Court will appear on the NTBPT website (www.notobikeparkingtax.com) nearer the time. Riders are urged to fill the Strand outside the Court to display solidarity. Warren Djanogly of NTBPT says "Win or lose, we will have given the biggest Council in the country one helluva bloody-nose, whilst exposing the more dubious aspect of their behaviour regarding the way they look after their own, and their pals that provide private services to the Council, with the residents and rate-payers' interests way down the priority list. And that is purely down to what has been described by many as the most dynamic campaigns ever witnessed in the UK."

2) The "Final Fifties" - the last time NTBPT will ask you for money!! Please donate any amount, however big or small, to NTBPT. They are considerably short of the £50,000 needed for the highly competent Public Law specialist legal team required to fight this case in the High Court. Please go to their web site to donate whatever you can afford (www.notobikeparkingtax.com)

3) Inaugural "London - the Long Way Round" Parade lap of the M25 (117 miles) on 19th June 2010. Primarily for the thousands who can’t attend the Court hearing days during the working week in central London. The NTBPT campaign say that whilst they appreciate that many smaller cc machines will be excluded, there are powerful and highly symbolic reasons for a DEMO on the M25:

Starting at the M40 junction, the demo will ride clockwise around the M25, being joined by bikers from all over the country at their preferred junction. The Demo will cruise at 45mph, estimated times the demo organisers anticipate to be passing each junction are posted on the NTBPT website (www.notobikeparkingtax.com).

There will be a 15 minute pit-stop at each of the service stations to allow re-fuels; leg-stretches; bum-reviving etc but more crucially, a chance to pick up other riders safely.

NB: this inaugural run is unashamedly a fund-raising for the legal fund. Anyone joining us will be asked to contribute £5. The fivers will be used for the official count of numbers attending.

The alternative of doing nothing, as many of you already are aware, is that a host of other councils and authorities less-financially well-off as Westminster, will start to sign up to a version of the scheme. NTBPT supporters, the Tax Payers Alliance, have calculated that, if they roll this bike tax out nationally, the motorcycle/scooter community will be laying out a staggering £93,000,000 per annum in parking fees. If we don’t hit them in this window [The law], then we will have little "legal" opportunity thereafter. Simply, the motorcycling community cannot really afford to lose this case.

Please help in whatever way you can, even if it is just raising awareness of this issue amongst fellow motorcyclists, and pointing them to the campaign web site (www.notobikeparkingtax.com).

And remember, if the legal action is successful, and every biker needs to hope that it is, there is a good chance you will get your campaign donation refunded.

6) Rally Tickets

We still have Farmyard Party and Yorkshire Pudding Rally tickets for sale at our meetings, but we wont have them for much longer !!!!

Farmyard Party is on Friday 18th - Sunday 20th June at Duncombe Park Estate, Helmsley.   Tickets are £25.00 if you buy them in advance, which is a considerable saving over the £35.00 on the gate price.

Yorkshire Pudding Rally is on Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August at Hesley Wood Scout Camp, Chapeltown, Nr Sheffield.  This event is pre-book only and is very nearly sold out already.  We will only have our branch tickets for another week or so before any unsold tickets are recalled back to MAG Towers for the ticket hotline.  So if you want tickets to this most splendid event, you will need to get them quick, as once they are sold out, there will be no more for sale anywhere (except possibly eBay, at considerably more than the £15 ticket price !!!).

If you can't make the meetings but still want tickets in advance, drop us an email or give me a ring (0772 078 4734) with your requirements and we will get back to you.

7) Fred Hill Run

Due to the bad winter we suffered earlier this year, the annual Yorkshire MAG Fred Hill memorial run, normally held in February to commemorate Fred's unfortunate death in Pentonville prison on 10th February 1984, had to be postponed several times.

Rather than wait until next year for the memorial run, we have, by popular demand, decided to dedicate our next Wakefield MAG rideout (on Sunday 13th June to Tan Hill Inn) to Fred Hill. MAG owes Fred Hill a colossal debt for the example he set us, and we intend to commemorate his anti helmet law campaign, which, agree with the law or not, set's the precedent of the 'Let the Rider Decide' ethos, which is so central to the MAG philosophy.

If you don't know who Fred Hill was, check out the Obituary in our February 2010 newsletter.

Really hope you can make this memorial rideout on Sunday 13th June, setting off at the earlier time of 9:00am, from Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield. As this is a MAG 'political' run, 75 branch points for all attendees !!!!!!

8) Forthcoming Events (for June and beyond)

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th June - Colchester MAG's 3rd Magpie Rally

Our hastily arranged Edinburgh MAG replacement. See above for details. Superb weather and palm trees gently swaying in the breeze .... guaranteed !!!

Sunday 13th June - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Tan Hill Inn (Dedicated to Fred Hill)

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

Friday 18th - Sunday 20th June - Farmyard Party

The one and only FYP, the biggest biker only rally in the UK.

Saturday 3rd July - Wakefield MAG Midsummer Mayhem Party Night

We are selling tickets to our inaugural Midsummer Mayhem Party Night on Saturday 3rd July, at the Horse & Groom Inn, Heath, Wakefield. All the usual MAG party night attractions including live music from local band (and MAG members) Twist of Fate, Silly Games, Raffle, Hot Snacks, Fancy Dress (optional, but prize for the best outfit) and lots more. Demand is high and entry by Pre-Book ticket only so be sure to get yours quick before they sell out. Tickets are only £5 and available from our branch meetings. If you can't make the meetings, let us know (via email or phone) and we'll reserve your tickets.

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

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).

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 are £15 Pre Book only and still available (but only just – be quick if you want some !!!)

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

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.