Wakefield MAG November 2008 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) Beverley Rideout Report
2) Yorkshire AGM
3) Tan Hill (Hawes) Rideout Report
4) Castleford Bike Parking Success
5) Farmyard Party Plans
6) 2009 Rally Dates
7) Forthcoming Events

1) Beverley Rideout Report - Saturday 18th October 2008

Nine Wakefield & three Barnsley MAG members met up at the Stork Lodge Tea Rooms on Saturday 18th October, for our planned ride over to the Yorkshire AGM, near Beverley. We fully intended taking our time and the scenic route over to the East Riding. Our route out of Wakefield was to take us via Doncaster Road, however, after taking Thornes Lane from Stork Lodge, our onward passage to Doncaster Road was blocked by road works. We had a little enforced detour along Ings Road, to the roundabout, then back again before we could pick up Doncaster Road. The accusations of us getting lost whilst still in Wakefield are greatly exaggerated !!!!

From Doncaster Road, we took the A645 through Featherstone, Pontefract and Knottingley, passing Eggborough power station and heading towards Goole. Near Goole, we picked up the A614, passing through Howden and the grandly titled Holme upon Spalding Moor, before taking a left onto the A1079, skirting Market Weighton and onwards to Beverley.

Our planned lunch stop at Beverley had to be cut short as we were only half an hour from the AGM registration time, so we decided to forge ahead to Dunswell. In true Wakefield MAG fashion, we took the wrong turning so had to backtrack but made it within plenty of time. The ride there had been cold but sunny and dry, however, the rain clouds were gathering for our return trip !!!

After the AGM, our journey back was indeed wet and dark but we took a more direct route, bypassing Beverley town centre and all arrived safely back in Wakefield by early evening. A most pleasant rideout all in all.

2) Yorkshire AGM

This year's Yorkshire AGM went incredibly smoothly with nothing contentious or controversial (unlike some other years !!!). As Wakefield MAG Rep, I presented a short report of our activities and achievements during 2008.

I knew that we had been busy, but it is not until you list everything we have done, do you realise quite how busy we really have been:

All in all, a pretty good and successful year for the branch.

All I can say is WOW !!! A huge thanks to all those Wakefield MAG members who support, attend, and make all those events the huge success they are.

The key note speaker at this year's Yorkshire AGM was Nich Brown, MAG's General Secretary. Nich outlined his plans for a bigger, better and more successful Group, building on the fantastic success we have had to date.

We were also entertained to a talk by Fergus O'Connell, National Vice-Chairman & National Clubs Liaison Officer. Things are looking very good on the Clubs affiliation front and we have more affiliated Clubs now than at any point in MAG's 35 year history.

Elections were held for the Yorkshire MAG Regional Committee, and the results were:

No motions raised and the AGM actually finished early.

A huge thanks to the 8 Wakefield MAG members who attended the AGM, 75 branch points duly awarded.

3) Tan Hill (Hawes) Rideout Report

Twelve of us on eleven bikes met at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms for our much awaited Tan Hill rideout. In addition to Steve, Justine, Gordon, Toby, Daz, Mark, Lorna and Allen, we were very happy to welcome along Lee, Richard, Neil & Gill from our buddy branch Barnsley. Sunshine and showers was the weather forecast for the day (and it wasn't wrong).

We set off at our planned time of 10:00 and rather than heading through Bradford on the A650, we decided to take the longer scenic route so headed out of Wakefield on the A642, picking up the A6120 Leeds Ring Road at Cross Gates. North of Leeds we took the A660 towards Otley and Ilkley, stopping in Ilkley for a smoke and toilet break, before picking up the A65 at Addingham. Rather than stay on the A65, we decided to take the 'very' scenic route so headed towards Harrogate on the A59 prior to taking the B6160 towards Bolton Abbey and Grassington. This road has stunning scenery but as it was Autumn and large collections of fallen wet leaves and mud from farm traffic abounded, it was wise to keep the speed down and watch the road.

We stopped in Grassington to check out the route, then in true Wakefield MAG fashion, set off in the wrong direction (we don't have the nickname 'Lost Riders' for nothing !!!). It wasn't until we passed Stump Cross Caverns that we realised we were going in totally the wrong direction, but it was quickly remedied by an about turn in Greenhow Hill (Oh, how we laughed). Back into Grassington (again) then the correct (B6160) road this time to Kilnsey, Kettlewell, Starbotton and Bucken.

Again stunning scenery but the prior heavy rains had left the road flooded in a number of places. You quickly learned to NOT leave your feet on the footpegs when riding through the fords !!!

Whilst on this road we were also treated to a sheep dog herding display as a whole flock of sheep were being moved by the farmer from one field to another, along the B6160. The two sheep dogs were certainly earning their keep in dog biscuits that day.

Further along, we picked up the A684 towards Aysgarth and Hawes. By the time we hit Hawes it was nearly 14:00 and as the clocks had gone back to GMT on the Saturday night, we didn't have a huge amount of daylight remaining. We therefore decided to stay in Hawes and visit Tan Hill on another rideout (at a time of year when it wouldn't get dark quite so fast). In Hawes, we hit the famous Penny Garth bikers cafe for hot drinks and lunch (Lorna can highly recommend the Sausage and Yorkshire Pudding !!). Purchases of the particularly splendid local Wensleydale cheese were thwarted by the cheese shop being shut.

Following our watering and nosebag stop in Hawes, we headed back on the extremely scenic B6255 & B6479, right through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, passing through Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Settle. The scenery here is stunning and a bike is one of the best ways of experiencing it. Past Settle we took the A65 back through Ilkley and Guiseley. Just near Leeds Bradford Airport, Lee's chain came off and jammed the rear wheel. Fortunately, this happened when setting off from temporary traffic lights at road works, so he was able to pull the bike off the road. Had this happened at speed, the consequences dont bear thinking about. Lorna made a quick call to Pingy, who, with Mo, came out in his Transit van to pick up Lee and his bike and transport him safely back to Barnsley. Pingy and Mo are absolute heroes for this act (lots of free beer coming your way on our forthcoming Christmas pub crawl !!!!). It later transpires that the chain on Lee's bike hadn't snapped, as originally thought, but had jumped off the back sprocket, exactly how still to be determined by Lee, but at least he has the bike home and safely in his garage.

Following our unscheduled stop, we made our way back to Wakefield on the A6120 Leeds outer ring road, past Pudsey and the White Rose Centre, arriving home at 19:30, after covering over 180 miles.

A cracking rideout, albeit, very cold and some of the showers were of monsoon proportions. We will be heading back to the Tan Hill Inn as we didn't quite make it on this occasion, but we might just wait until the Summer !!!!

4) Castleford Bike Parking Success

Following a one-man campaign with Wakefield Council, Wakefield MAG member Neil Liversedge has successfully got secure motorcycle parking facilities re-instated on Sagar Street in Castleford. Sagar Street has had designated bike parking for many many years, but this was removed by the council when the street was re-developed. Neil successfully lobbied Wakefield Council, who have not only re-instated the designated motorcycle only parking bays, but have also installed secure rails that the bikes can be chained to, thereby reducing the risk of theft. A result in anyone's book and well done to Neil for achieving this in what has to be a record timeframe.

As you may well know, Wakefield MAG has an ongoing campaign to improve the provision of secure motorcycle parking facilities within Wakefield and the Five Towns area. It is also worth remembering that motorcycles can park for free in any Wakefield Council controlled car park.

5) Farmyard Party Plans

There are to be some exciting developments for next years Farmyard Party. As you will no doubt know, the Farmyard Party for the last two years has suffered some quite appalling weather. As the FYP is an outdoor event, this has invariably meant many thousands of rally goers getting somewhat wet, particularly if watching the bands in the main arena, or popping out to the food stalls.

However, for 2009, the main arena will be covered !!! A circus style 'Big Top' will be erected and the main arena stage will now be indoors, so, no more getting wet. A new marquee is also to be erected near the food stalls, with tables and chairs inside, for the specific purpose of keeping you dry whilst enjoying the many varieties of food on offer. A brilliant idea, although with all this forward planning to make the event as weather proof as possible, you can almost guarantee that it will be glorious sunshine and baking hot all weekend !!!

P.S. With the Big Top Main Arena, there is no truth in the rumours that the marshals will have to wear big shoes, red noses, face paint and throw buckets of shredded paper at each other !!!

Whilst on the subject of FYP food, the MAP committee are looking at ways we can improve this for 2009. The FYP has some 14 or 15 food vans/stalls and also the FYP cafe, which we would like feed back on (all puns intended) so, do you like the cafe?, did you eat in the cafe?, what do think of the cafe?. What do you think of the range of food available at the Farmyard? Do you have a style of food that we should have on, that was not on, any vans that you thought where great, or not so great?. If you have any feedback, let me know and i'll pass this onto the MAP committee.

6) 2009 Rally Dates

As some of you will need to book holiday for next years rallies, here are the dates of the main MAG events for 2009:

As in previous years, tickets will be on sale for these events at the branch meetings, from around March(ish)

7) Forthcoming Events

Forthcoming events for November and beyond:

Wednesday 12th November - Wakefield MAG 5th Annual Bikers Quiz Nite

Our hugely popular quiz night, to be held on Wednesday 12th November at 20:00 in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield.

One Hundred bike related questions covering the whole spectrum of bikes, personalities, sport, history and biker culture. There will be a general invite to the whole of Yorkshire MAG and beyond and previous years quizzes have been very well attended. Leeds MAG have won the trophy for the last four years but each year it has got closer and closer. Previous year have gone all the way to the tie breaker. Could this be 5th time lucky for Wakefield MAG ?!?

This is an event not to miss and you have ample time to do a bit of subject matter cramming !!!! There is a nominal entry fee of £1 p.p to cover the cost of the prizes. Enter individually or as a team (of up to five - but do pick your fellow team members well !!!!).

Sunday 30th November - Visit to the Motorcycle Show at the NEC

We are laying on a mini-bus to take us to this years NEC Bike Show, so all you need to pay for is your ticket and a share of the diesel and parking costs. This will undoubtedly be the cheapest way of getting to the show from Wakefield. Purchasing your show ticket in advance is highly recommended to avoid the queues once at the NEC. Tickets are £15 in advance and can be purchased online (www.motorcycleshow.co.uk) or via the ticket hotline (0844 581 2345).

Let me know if you would like a seat booking on the mini-bus.

Saturday 6th December - Wakefield MAG Christmas Pub Crawl

We have not been on a pub crawl for a while so our Christmas do promises to be a good one. Meet 19:30 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. Fancy Dress, Reindeer Antlers and Santa Hats strictly optional.

Wednesday 17th December - Leeds MAG Christmas Toy Run

Leeds MAG will be holding their annual Christmas Toy Run to Lineham Farm Children's Centre on Wednesday 17th December, starting out from the Rising Sun (290 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds) at 18:30, thereby giving plenty of time to go on the run and still be back in time for our weekly meeting at 20:30. Lineham Farm is a charity which provides outdoor activities and events for underprivileged children from Leeds and beyond. Itís a worthwhile cause which Leeds MAG have supported for a number of years. The centre at Lineham Farm has also been used by MAG on a number of occasions as a venue for Reps and MAG activist training weekends.

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.