Wakefield MAG November 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 Sea Fishing Trip Report
2) Yorkshire MAG AGM
3) VJMC Charity Night
4) NTBPT Update
5) Mandatory ABS
6) MAG leads Mass Lobby of Parliament
7) Shock announcement regarding M4 bus lane
8) MAG UK 'Head to Toe' raffle
9) 7th Biker Quiz Nite
10) 2011 Yorkshire Regiment Help For Heroes Event
11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

1) Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip Report

Seven members of Wakefield MAG and three members of Wakefield region Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain made the trip up to Hartlepool on Saturday 2nd October for the 1st of our sea fishing expeditions.

It was with some trepidation that we set off up the M1 in the early hours of Saturday morning as the weather over the previous few days had been abysmal and we were expecting to get very wet. However that proved not to be the case as we all met up in Hartlepool marina car park after an easy run up the A1 and A19 and found the sun shining and the wind abated. Some of the crew had already had breakfast after calling in at one of the many famous fast food establishments and were raring to go. However on meeting our Skipper he advised we first call at the local tackle shop to purchase some lug and ragworm to tip our ockeye hooks !

So having purchased our bait we made our way down the gang plank onto the floating pontoon and clambered aboard the Flamer2 as our Captain manoeuvred into the sea lock at the entrance to the marina. A certain very blond female crew member was heard to exclaim "Ooh I thought they only had locks on canals" as the rest of the crew looked skywards before falling about laughing.

The lock gates opened after dropping us about 10 feet and the open sea stretched before us. What a relief for us all as we noted the very gentle swell and not huge waves that we had all feared. Our skipper took us out of the harbour on impulse power then engaged warp drive which lifted the bow and sent us skimming over the waves, had we been brave or stupid enough we could have actually water-skied behind the boat.

On reaching the fishing grounds which we estimated must be approaching Norway! we stopped and gathered round awaiting orders. Our fishing rods were already tackled up and we handed them round the boat, after a brief instruction on how to operate a multiplier reel and a demonstration on how to thread on a worm we all eagerly lowered our line over the side. About 30 seconds later Ian was reeling his up again with 3 mackerel dangling off the hooks this feat of angling skill was rewarded with all sorts of highly complementary comments from the rest of the crew but it wasn’t long before everyone had a bend in their rod as fish of all sorts of shapes and sizes started coming aboard thick and fast.

For many of the crew this was their first time sea fishing and for the rest it was only a vary occasional experience but there was a genuine buzz of excitement as we all wondered what monsters of the deep were underneath us shortly to pay a visit. We didn’t have to wait long to find out as Vicky gave a girlie shriek and pleaded for help as her rod arched over we all shouted encouragement as she struggled to wind in her line  and then cheered as a ling of gigantic proportions was hauled over the side. This was followed by cod, whiting, pouting and even more mackerel although some of the fish were undersize and put back to grow on for another day.

We did a fair bit of moving around throughout the day trying a mixture of wrecks, rough ground and banks in order to search out the fish. There was plenty of good natured banter aboard even when lines were crossed and the inevitable tangles occurred. There were incidents of being bashed round the head with wet fish and unplanned worm tasting wasn’t there Lorna Yuk!

But glad to say no ground baiting as we all had our sea legs and were far too busy to be feeling sick. All too soon we had to weigh the anchor and make our way back to port but all agreed we had thoroughly enjoyed the day and hoped it would become an annual event in the Wakefield MAG calendar.

2) Yorkshire MAG AGM

The Yorkshire Region Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 2nd October.  The date unfortunately coincided with the Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip so attendance from the branch was well down on previous years. Fear not though, Wakefield MAG were represented by Deputy Dawg Eddie Johnson.

Finance wise, Yorkshire MAG has had a great year raising funds for the MAG fighting fund. Over the year, £15,150 has been donated to Central, from £16,680 raised. £4,000 of that total is from small donations. Wakefield MAG's contribution over the year had been £1,550 to date, including a £1,000 cheque donated into the Yorkshire MAG account in early September. One of the Wakefield MAG branch objectives for 2010 was to raise at least £1,500 towards the MAG fighting fund, so we can safely say we have achieved that one already !!!

Neil Stevenson (MAG Foundation Director) proposed that a further £1,000 was donated to Central at the AGM, seconded by Kev Davison (East Yorkshire Rep), and it was agreed unanimously with the meeting attendees. A great result from Yorkshire MAG.

We gave a comprehensive report of our activities this year, and we have certainly been extremely busy !!!  ..... and the year is not over yet !!!!

Committee wise, the Yorkshire Region had the following officers voted into post for 2010/11:

An almost entirely new line-up for 2010/11, but all capable, keen and committed - the future looks very good indeed !!!

3) VJMC Charity Night

Seven Wakefield MAG members attended the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (VJMC) Awards night on Tuesday 12th October.  The awards evening was organised by the West Yorkshire Branch of the VJMC, to present their charity cheques, from the funds raised at July's Japanese Motorcycle Show at Lotherton Hall.  Wakefield MAG provided around a dozen marshals on the day of the Lotherton Hall show, managing the entrance and exit gates, and the bike show entry gate, thus freeing up the VJMC marshals to run the show itself.

We knew that the show had been an overwhelming success, given that the show entry forms had run out on the day due to the sheer volume of entries.  However, it was not until the sizeable charity donations were made, that you realised quite what an overwhelming success it really had been.

The proceeds of the show were shared equally between 5 local charities: Wheatfields Hospice, Wakefield Hospice, Kirkwood Hospice, Andreas Gift, which supports victims of brain injuries, and Ian Staincliffe Homes for children with Cystic Fibrosis.  Representatives of each of these charities were in attendance at the awards evening, each receiving £2,680.  In addition to this, a further £500 was donated to the Scouts, which they use to support the scouts who could not otherwise afford to go on trips, or to camp, or to buy equipment.   Raising just short of fourteen thousand pounds, for a days bike show, is a truly amazing result.

The evening was rounded off with a quality selection of food, which even managed to fill Wakefield MAG's very own Meerkat Steve (no mean feat in itself).

A great evening was had by all, and it is good to help and support our good friends in the VJMC.

4) NTBPT Update

MAG members, including MAG’s President Ian Mutch, joined the ‘Brussel Sprout’ run organised by the No To Bike Parking Tax (NTBPT) group on Thursday 28th October.

The early morning run to the Eurotunnel terminus near Dover resulted in a convoy of some 200 riders. After arriving in Calais they were met by members of MAG Belgium who escorted the riders 130 miles to The European Commission office in Brussels.

Road junctions in the Belgian capital were controlled by the MAG Belgium marshals who kept the convoy together as it crossed the city to the EU Commission. After waiting 20 minutes in the street outside the office, NTBPT Chairman Warren Djanogly emerged from within the building. Djanogly had met officials to submit a formal demand for an investigation into the conduct of Westminster City Council (WCC) over the issue of motorcycle parking charges.

This ride to Brussels will be seen as an historic event where the motorcycling community acted to expose the arrogant abuses perpetrated by local authorities to assist the UK parking industry in its avaricious attempts to use the motorist as a cash-cow revenue-generator.

Watch this space for more updates.

5) Mandatory ABS

News from the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA):

In a meeting on 21st October with Member States, the European Commission formally presented the proposal for new type approval rules for motorcycles. Besides introducing mandatory anti-lock braking systems for motorcycles above 125cc, the Commission rejected the introduction of an off-switch for ABS.

On October 4th, 2010 the European Commission released a proposal for new type approval rules for motorcycles. Following the suggestions of FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations, the Commission proposes to abolish the 100hp (74KW) limit in place in France, as well as the introduction of strong durability requirements for tailpipe emissions. But the proposal also includes harsh restrictions on riders’ freedom, like mandatory ABS and additional requirements for engine modifications.

With regard to road safety, though very supportive of technological improvements such as ABS, FEMA reminded the Commission that vehicle aspects represent less than 2% of motorcycle accident causation factors and objected to the Commission’s mandatory approach, which is limiting consumer choice. Instead, FEMA called for mandatory switch-off buttons for bikes equipped with ABS, since ABS is not suitable for certain riding conditions, especially with regard to riding on unpaved roads.

The Commission acknowledges that fact but considers the number of citizens living in areas with a high percentage of unpaved roads as negligible compared to the broader riding population. Indeed, the Commission fears that too many riders would switch off the ABS also when riding on common roads, due to 'unjustified lack of faith in new technologies'.

In addition to the limitation of consumer choice and increased costs for purchasing a motorcycle, FEMA is also concerned about the proposal not taking into account increased maintenance costs for ABS, and making no reference regarding durability and liability."

MAG says:  'No' to mandatory fitment on any class of bike.  ABS must remain an option at the point of purchase and the rider must be able to turn the system off.  MAG defends the principle of informed consumer choice.  Over-reliance on technological fixes can diminish basic riding skills.

6) MAG leads Mass Lobby of Parliament

The Riders Are Voters campaign organisations have called for Mass Lobby of Parliament on Monday 8th November 2010.

The Mass Lobby is not a street demo, it is a rare opportunity for riders from across the UK to gather at Parliament and tell the politicians how best they can serve the riding public.

There is plenty for the riders to say to their elected representatives and the governing parties:

Taking part in the Mass Lobby is very easy and free of charge, but you must register your details with Riders Are Voters if you want to attend.

You can register by Emailing central-office@mag-uk.org or Phoning the Riders Are Voters office on 0800 9883193 (rider registration is being co-ordinated by MAG on behalf of the RAV campaign organisations). You will need to tell us: - your Name and home Address including the Postcode (we will need to check details for your constituency and MP). - your E-mail Address and Telephone contact details (we will need to confirm your registration and may need to tell you about final arrangements for the day). - which motorcycle organisations you are a member of, if any (RAV is a coalition of groups working for a better deal for riders).

RAV will send you further information about arrangements for the day, including travel information.

Riders who are not able to take part in the Mass Lobby at Parliament can still support the campaign by making an appointment to see their MP at one of their local constituency ‘surgeries’ - ideally BEFORE the 8th of November.

See www.ridersarevoters.org or phone 0800 9883193 for further information.

This is your opportunity  - meet your MP where they work for you.

Hear what lies ahead for biking in the UK - Say what should be done.

Be a part of it, let your voice be heard.

7) Shock announcement regarding M4 bus lane

Transport Sec Philip Hammond has announced, that on the 24th of December, the M4 buslane which permits motorcycle access, will be suspended for 18 months.

It will be reinstated for the Olympics in 2012, after which it will be scrapped.

This is utter madness and flies in the face of all other government thinking that is attempting to generate 'modal shift' and encourage people out of their cars and onto other forms of transport.

This is especially short sighted when it is clear that the reinstating of the bus lanes during the Olympics is because traffic levels will be higher, therefore proving that even Philip Hammond acknowledges bus lanes enable faster and better flow of people traffic.

Surely it is the movement of people that causes most congestion, so putting lots of them in buses and on motorcycles reduces that congestion.

It appears that some easy political point scoring carries more weight than addressing the traffic and pollution issues in West London. What a great Christmas present for the health of Londoners.

8) 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.  We now have tickets for sale at the Wakefield MAG branch meetings, so pop along on a Wednesday night if you want one (or more). We only have these tickets until the 30th November so if you want some, buy them this month !!!

Even if you aren't interested in some high quality all weather gear, someone out there would be, so flog it on ebay!!! A few hundred quid just before Christmas will come in very handy indeed.

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.

9) 7th Biker Quiz Nite

Our hotly contested annual biker quiz nite is at 8:00pm on Wednesday 24th November 2010 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. Continuing last years popular revised format, there will be 60 questions, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge (but there will be a bike related link / theme somewhere, however tenuous).

Will Wakefield MAG retain the trophy they won for the first time last year, from holders East Yorks MAG ? Can Leeds MAG win back the trophy which was theirs for five years on the trot ? Come along and find out !!!!!

£1 entry fee p.p. Team (Max. 5) or individual entry.

Great prizes for the winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd), plus booby prize for the least number of correct answers.

We already have a good number of confirmed teams from many MAG branches and local MCC's, so let's try to pack the place to the rafters !!!! Free buffet at half time !!!!

Spread the word and I hope to see you there. All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund

10) 2011 Yorkshire Regiment Help For Heroes Event

Advance notice of a charity fund raising event we will be taking part in, in July 2011.

Wakefield MAG will be hosting a sponsored charity ride in, from Thornes Park, Wakefield, to York Knavesmire (York Racecourse), in aid of Yorkshire's very own Yorkshire Regiment Charity (1114654) and Help for Heroes (1120920). There will be numerous displays and attractions at the racecourse when we get there, including the Yorkshire MAG stand, and of course the heroes of the Yorkshire Regiment.

This is a fantastic opportunity to show our appreciation to our local Yorkshire Regiment, and raise funds for such a worthwhile charitable cause.

Sponsorship forms for the rideout will be circulated early in 2011. The rideout itself will assemble at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, Wakefield, at 10:00, leaving at 10:30, on Saturday 10th July 2011.

Mark the date in your diary. The event is also being sponsored by several other local MCC's and already promises to be a great rideout.

11) Forthcoming Events (for November and beyond)

Saturday 6th November - York MAG 1st Bonfire Bash

2pm until late, at the New Inn, Cropton, Nr Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 8HH. Fire, Bands, Bikes and Beer. Camping available.

£10 OTG; £8 Pre-Book. Details at: www.york-mag.co.uk

Sunday 14th November - Wakefield MAG at the City of Wakefield Memorial Sunday Parade & Service

As per last year, we will be attending the City of Wakefield Memorial Sunday Parade & Service at the Wood Street War Memorial, to pay our respects. Meet 10:00 at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, Wakefield, setting off at 10:30 to Wood Street (park in car park near Charlie Browns close by), ready for assembly at Wood Street War Memorial by 10:45.

Wednesday 24th November - Wakefield MAG 7th Annual Bikers Quiz Nite

Our hugely popular annual bike quiz. Like a pub quiz, but for bikers. 30 bike/biking related questions & 30 general knowledge (but with a bike link, however tenuous). Enter as a team (max 5) or an individual. Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place, and a booby prize for the least number of correct answers. Quiz starts at 20:00 in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield. Entry Fee: £1 p.p (to cover cost of prizes)

Saturday 27th November - NE Lincs MAG Christmas Party

Live Music, Raffle, Fancy Dress etc. Fund raiser for Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance and MAG. 7:30pm - Midnight at the Spiders Web, Carr Lane, Grimsby. £3 on the door

Saturday 12th December - Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

We don't know where and what time yet, but total fun, laughs and copious amounts of alcohol guaranteed !!!! Watch this space !!!!

Wednesday 12th January 2011 - Wakefield & District MAG AGM

Our 9th branch AGM will be held in the Grey Horse, on Wednesday 12th January, starting at 8:30pm. All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can.

At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes. As this meeting is effectively a MAG political meeting, it carries with it a whopping 75 branch points for everyone who attends (a normal branch meeting only carries 5 points). As all the points are tallied at year end and go towards the branch heroes presentation, points really do mean prizes !!!! What better boost to your branch heroes tally for the new year !!!

N.B. The Annual Wakefield MAG mailshot will shortly be posted to all eligible Members, i.e. current or recently expired MAG members with a WF postcode, to formally place notice for the meeting. The meeting will also be advertised in the events section on the MAG (UK) website, and the previous AGM minutes are posted on this website (under the AGM's menu item, spookily enough !!). Hope to see you there.

That's all for this month and I hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe
Steve Travis
Chairman & Branch Rep
Wakefield & District 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.