Wakefield MAG March 2009 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you canít attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, itís the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Fred Hill Run Report
2) 2009 Rideouts
3) Post Christmas Auction Charity Donations
4) MPTC National Demo Run
5) 10 Pin Bowling Night
6) Rally Tickets
7) Edinburgh MAG Rally
8) Inflatable Jackets
9) Contact your MP
10) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

1) Fred Hill Run Report

The 2009 Yorkshire MAG Fred Hill Memorial Run was held on Sunday 22nd February, rearranged from it's original date of 8th February, due to the snow and ice we suffered earlier in the month. And what a difference a fortnight made, warm (for February), dry roads, no rain and even a touch of sun. We had a most impressive turnout at Stork Lodge, including a few new members. Great to welcome along Bob, Lynn, Paul (on a girls bike !!!) and Neil too, from our buddy branch, Barnsley MAG.

Time to admire Mick's new bike, on it's inaugrual Wakefield MAG ridout, before we set off for the nice leisurely ride over to Squires. Twenty five of us on twenty one bikes set of at 10:00, taking the scenic route through Stanley, Methley, Castleford, past the ducks and swans at Fairburn Ings, then onto the old A1 route at Fairburn, through Ledsham village, then the back roads route to Squires, arriving at 10:45. We trailled a new rideout system too, a variation of which we will use for all our future rideouts. Our rideout marshals looked very smart indeed in their new Wakefield MAG branded marshals bibs.

At Squires we met up with a further 4 Wakefield members, so a most impressive turnout indeed from the branch. An excellent turnout at Squires too, with Leeds, Huddersfield, East Yorkshire & Scarborough MAG branches represented, as well as numerous other MCC's and individuals. Time for teas & coffees before some 160 bikes set off on the run (on time !!!) at 11:30 . We followed the same route as previous years through Sherburn-in-Elmet, Tadcaster, Boston Spa, Harewood, then the picturesque country roads to the Sun Inn at Norwood, Nr Otley, our destination. It was a most pleasant run and a quite amazing sight seeing so many bikes. An amazing experience too riding amongst so many bikes. We got waves in all the small villages, kids thought it was great, car drivers just looked on in shock, wondering where all these bikes had come from.

The car park at the Sun Inn was a bit dodgy in places it has to be said, muddy hardcore being a pretty accurate description. More coffees & teas at the Sun Inn, a catch up with old friends and of course, the obligatory group photos.

A huge thanks to all the Wakefield MAG members who attended and they are all duly rewarded with 75 branch points (as opposed to 10 for a normal ride-out) as this counts as a MAG demo run.

It was a fantastic rideout, amazing turnout, everyone immensely enjoyed themselves, and a very fitting memorial to Fred Hill, Yorkshireman, and a true MAG hero.

2) 2009 Rideouts

As mentioned in last months newsletter, we have gathered ideas and suggestions for our 2009 rideout destinations and voted on them at our branch meeting on Wednesday 25th February. So, by popular demand, and democratically agreed (the Govt could learn a lot from Wakefield MAG !!), our rideouts for the year are:

Sunday 15th March
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York

Monday 13th April (Easter Monday)
Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conversation Centre, Settle, North Yorkshire

Sunday 17th May
Lord Stones Cafe, Carlton in Cleveland (up t'road from Helmsley)

Tuesday 26th May
Evening rideout to York Bike Night, Bumper Castle, Wiggington, York

Sunday 14th June
Tan Hill Inn (England's highest pub .... and we will get there this year, hence why we are going in June !!)

Monday 29th June
Evening Rideout to Barnsley MAG meeting

Sunday 12th July
Treasure Hunt (you'll have to work out where to go from the clues and instructions)

Tuesday 21st July
Evening Rideout to Leeds MAG meeting

Thursday 13th August
Evening Rideout to Halifax MAG meeting

Sunday 23rd August

Sunday 13th September
Fort Paull Armouries and Visitors Centre, Paull, East Yorkshire

Sunday 11th October
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, North Yorkshire

Sunday 8th November
Matlock Bath

3) Post Christmas Auction Charity Donations

Following our hugely successful Post Christmas Auction, which raised a staggering £450, we have voted on which charitable causes we donate the advertised 1/3 (£150) to. We have chosen 3 worthy causes, each of which will receive £50, and these are:

4) MPTC National Demo Run

The annual Leeds MAG Demo run, set for Saturday 9th May, is now going to be the MAG National Demo Run, to highlight the plight of learner riders with the Multi Purpose Test Centre (MPTC) Fiasco, which is particularly bad in Yorkshire. The Leeds MAG demo run, which is a police marshalled ride through Leeds City Centre, is always a great event, and this year's event promises to be even more so, now this represents the MAG National Demo. Demo rides are the Action in the Motorcycle Action Group, and as well as the very serious message they put across, are always great fun and well attended.

The run assembles at Squires at 11:00, and leaves at 11:30, where we will collect our police escort en-route to Leeds City Centre. The run will then return to Squires, for speeches, petition signing and a buffet. Invitations are being sent out to local training schools and learners, as they are the most affected by the MPTC fiasco. A film crew will also be in attendance so who knows, you may even get on the telly !!!

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 at 09:30, leaving at 10:00 for Squires where we will meet up with other Yorkshire MAG branches and hundreds (hopefully) of other riders, for the MAG National Demo Run.

As this is a political campaigning demo run, attendance at this event will earn you 75 branch points (as opposed to 10 for a normal ride-out).

Hope to see you on Saturday 9th May.

5) 10 Pin Bowling Night

Our Social Committee have organised a Wakefield MAG 10 Pin Bowling Night on Friday 13th March, at the LA Bowl on Doncaster Road, Wakefield. Our last 10 Pin Bowling Night was an absolute hoot, and this one also promises to be, particularly as we have over 20 members who have already confirmed they are going. With this number in our booking, we qualify for the complimentary buffet (and being good Yorkshire folk, we always like getting Summat for Nowt !!!).

Cost of the bowling night is £12.95, and that includes unlimited games, from 19:00 until 23:00. If you would like to go, we will need a £5 non-refundable deposit, the week before to secure your place.

Hope to see you there.

6) Rally Tickets

We now have our allocation of Yorkshire MAG (MAP) Rally tickets for sale at the Branch meetings (ITV, FYP, GG & YPR). Ticket prices for this years MAP events are maintained at last year's credit crunch busting prices (Into The Valley £15 Pre-Book; Farm Yard Party £25 Pre-Book; Ganton Gathering £15 Pre-book and Yorkshire Pudding Rally £15 Pre-Book). Let me know if you want some. YPR tickets are already selling fast and sold out months before the event last year, so if you are planning to attend this most excellent event this year, i'd buy your tickets sooner rather than later if I were you !!

7) Edinburgh MAG Rally

This year, Wakefield MAG will again be attending the Edinburgh MAG Rally (Friday 5th - Sunday 7th June), en-masse. Already 19 of us are planning to venture north of the border to attend one of MAG's best kept secrets, the Ag Ol Anns An Achadh Rally at West Torphin Farm, Harburn, West Calder, West Lothian, EH55 8RT. Tickets are £15 pre-book and includes £5 worth of beer tokens for MAG members !!. How can the Scot's be so generous ?!?

Last years event was brilliant, it's a proper farmyard site (bands playing in cow sheds !!!), proper toilets, cheap homecooked food (courtesy of the farmer and family), cheap bar (bottles of Newcastle Brown and Real Ales at £1.50 !!!), and a lovely picturesque camping field. This rally comes highly recommended. Give us a shout if you fancy going as we will be ordering our tickets in the next week or so.

It's only 200 miles and you will have the cred of telling everyone you have been to a rally in another country !!!!

8) Inflatable Jackets

You may have seen the recent BBC News item, covering inflatable jackets for motorcyclists.

These inflate in a fraction of a second, in the event of suddenly losing contact with your bike, and provide neck and lower back protection, over and above that provided by leathers and other protective gear. Numerous A&E (Accident and Emergency) Doctors are saying they should be made compulsory for mototcyclists, claiming they could save 1000's of lives and therefore we should all be made to wear one.

The MAG press release, in response to the claim for these jackets to be made mandatory, follows:

The notion of making the wearing of inflatable jackets mandatory for motorcyclists is a simplistic knee jerk response that does no credit to its advocates. †

If there is some safety benefit to the use of such apparatus, it is nonetheless a huge leap of reasoning to go from such recognition to a decision to criminalise any rider who fails to wear the kit. †

The advantages of this apparatus remains unproven in road going applications and to be even talking about compulsion reflects an unhealthy appetite for conformity ahead of reasoned debate. †

MAG is committed to cooperating with others to advance the cause of motorcycle safety but not at the expense of reasonable freedoms. †

MAG will not endorse the promotion of any safety device without rigorous examination of it. In this case, besides the issue of rider choice there is also the consideration of risk compensation. The emphasis of road safety initiatives should be on accident prevention in preference to secondary devices, which simply reduce the consequences of accidents. Such devices may have their place but as a body committed to principles of personal choice and moderation MAG believes that this debate would profit from a little calm evaluation. †

To be credible all legislation should reflect a proportionate application of justice. The expectation that riders who do not wear this kind of apparatus should be placed outside the law departs dramatically from such a principle.

9) Contact your MP

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is concerned that Local Transport Plans are not incorporating the pro motorcycling guidance that has been issued by central Government. †

Pro motorcycle policies that recognise the advantages which motorcycles offer to communities in terms of maximising available space and resources are not being widely adopted at a local level. †

While MAG has been highly successful in persuading key figures in central Government that motorcycling should be encouraged. Responsibility for enacting policies which reflect that conviction has largely been devolved to local authorities, a feature of politics which makes MAG's local group structure crucial. †

MAG is now encouraging its activists nationwide to contact their MPs and ask them to what extent the transport authorities in their constituencies are following government guidelines in respect of motorcycling. †

Examples of pro motorcycling policy that are not being widely promoted at local level include, enabling the use of bus lanes by motorcycles and adequate parking provision for motorcycles. ††

Contact details for your local MP can be found on this web site, on the Local MAG page

10) Forthcoming Events (for March and beyond)

Friday 13th March - 10 Pin Bowling Night
See Above

Sunday 15th March - Wakefield MAG rideout to the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, York
Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Saturday 4th April - MAG AGC
MAG's 2009 AGC will be held on Saturday 4th April at the Hurworth Community Centre, 41 Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington, Co Durham, DL2 2BN (5 miles from A1/A66/A68 and 10 miles from A19). 75 branch points up for grabs for all who attend.

Sunday 5th April - Wakefield Hospice 10K race
The Wakefield Hospice 10K race is on Sunday 5th April and we will again be providing motorcycle marshals for the races wheelchair competitors (1 bike per wheelchair competitor), plus a back marker. The bikes provide protection to the wheelchair competitors from traffic, as the race is held on normal open public roads. This charity event is very well attended, and attracts some seriously good atheletes. There is a new route this year so more details to follow as and when we get them. Please help marshal this prestigious local event and let me know if you plan to attend.

Monday 13th April (Easter Monday) - Wakefield MAG rideout to the Yorkshire Dales Falconry & Conversation Centre, Settle, North Yorkshire
Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd May - Into the Valley
The first of the Yorkshire MAG rallies. Tickets now available at the branch meetings (see above).

Monday 4th May (May Day Bank Holiday) - Wakefield MAG Bike Show
The Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala is being held in Clarance Park, Wakefield on the Bank Holiday Monday (4th May) and Wakefield MAG will again be hosting a bike show at this event. Last year we had a most impressive turnout (over 50 bikes and 8 trikes in the show). Let's try to beat that this year !!!!

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.