Wakefield MAG October 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) Scarborough Rideout Report
2) Spat out of Hull Rally Report
3) York MAG / York Bandit OC Charity Night Report
4) Extended Motorcycle Test - The Good News
5) Extended Motorcycle Test - The Bad News
6) Branch Products
7) Yorkshire AGM
8) Forthcoming Events (incl. 2 rideouts in October)
9) Branch Website

1) Scarborough Rideout Report - Sunday 28th September 2008

Report by Paaam White, our South of England correspondent

The day started off well - 16 of us meeting up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, with a cup of tea to get the journey off to a good start.  After an early group photo, the motorbikes and trike set off eastbound and the A64, heading for a hopefully sunny Scarborough.

The half way stop was at the Highwayman café, where we pulled up for another well earned brew and Ron very kindly handed out the milk chocolate digestives for us all to share.  Unfortunately Chas was not as fortunate as he not only missed out on the biscuits, but his bike suffered an electrical problem just before the café, which caused him and Graham to pull over to a lay-by to try to sort it out.  Mark went back to see if he could help shed some light on the problem, shortly followed by Igor and Corrine who went back with refreshments and more knowledge/advice.  The rest of us carried on with our journey East.

We managed to arrive at Scarborough in a record 3 hours and 15 minutes, where we went in search of something to eat.  It was a meal of two halves with the group splitting into 2 - half ate at the fine dining Fish and Chip café where they had lunch in style with all the trimmings.  The other half ate fish and chips with their fingers whilst sitting on the sea front, gazing at the bunches (Ed: Bunches ?!?) of donkeys walking up and down the beach.

Afterwards, we all went to browse in the quality shops that Scarborough sea front had to offer.  Between us we purchased the traditional sea side gifts to take home - toys, sticks of rock, clothing, a model Ducati and a couple of triangular bandages.  Unfortunately the casinos proved the injustice of gambling with nil wins - but there was much excitement over the toy crane machines, with squeals of delight and groans of disappointment (as appropriate).

Following a traditional English downpour of rain, the group again split into 2 - half going home via scenic Filey, whilst the other half opted for another cuppa before setting off.  Mick went off for a last minute bit of shopping, before we all returned back to the bikes for the ride home.  Unluckily for Daz, there was one very poorly seagull in Scarborough that day who’d had a curry the night before and had left him with an alternative paint finish all over his bike.

The journey home was a bit quicker although the roads were quite busy, so we had a ciggy stop at the Highwayman café where, after a quick costume change by one of our members and some technical advice given by Igor to some scooter boys who were having problems with their hairdryers (sorry, scooters), we all made it home OK.

A good day was had by all - a good laugh with friends and many cups of tea.

Our next rideout destination is the Tan Hill Inn, England's highest pub, and star of the Everest double glazing TV commercials. See Forthcoming Events (below) for more details.

2) Spat out of Hull Rally Report - Friday 19th - Sunday 21st September 2008

Report by Daz Pearson & Eddie Johnson

Fourteen branch members decided to meet on Heath Common, near the Horse & Groom public house for the mass ride in to East Yorkshire MAG's Spat out of Hull rally, on Friday 19th September. The idea was to meet at 5:00 pm and leave at 5:30 pm, but as per usual, we were late setting off. Daz, Mo, Pingy, Mick, Chas, Steve, Joanne, Jason, Sue, Tracy, Lorna and Robby all set off on bikes (and trike) with Kelly & James following in the car (Ed: WHAT ?!?). The route took in the scenic back roads to Beverley via Heath (Wakefield), Pontefract, Knottingley, Howden, Holme on Moor & Dunsfield, taking the A63, A1079 & A1176 en route.

We all arrived safe and sound at the Spat out of Hull rally site to find a fair amount of tent pitching had already taken place, so we headed to a sheltered corner for the fun in the dark to begin - tent poles, guy ropes and tent pegs frantically flying in all directions. It has to be said that Joanne was the master erector .... something about years of practice !!!

This was Wakefield MAG's first time at this venue but we soon got to grips with the site and organisation - the food was excellent and fair priced, the friendly atmosphere (the more so as the night went on), two bands gave us sounds to enjoy and the dance floor was packed all evening.

Saturday afternoon most of us had a ride over to Hornsea on the East Yorkshire Coast and enjoyed ice creams and the obligatory fish and chips. The weather was hot and it felt like the middle of summer. Meanwhile, a couple stayed behind to enjoy the afternoon comedy show, X rated with lots of harsh language by all accounts (Ed: how frightfully ghastly !!).

Later on, after the two excellent bands had played hard all evening, Aidy (the pony tailed East Yorkshire MAG marshal) did his dual meatloaf half and half show - the performance was a bit like the Ronnie Barker sketch where he can be seen as a women dressed one side and the other side a bloke. On one side Aidy wore his hair in a pigtail & the other side long and flowing, his rendition of 'By the Dashboard Light' was excellent by any standards and at one point an over enthusiastic punter in the audience made it appear he was dragging this duel singer off stage left, to rousing cheers from the filled room, what a star.

Sunday most of us fuelled up before loading up the luggage and we all set off together through Beverly in glorious weather and took the scenic route back towards Market Weighton, Goole, then a slow ride through old Selby (as the main bridge was closed), South Milford and stopping off at Squires Cafe for a cuppa.

A Great weekend, the weather was warm and dry (for a change), and our thanks go out to Wayne and all at East Yorkshire MAG, they did us all proud.

3) York MAG / York Bandit OC Charity Night Report

Four Wakefield MAG members attended the York MAG / York Bandit OC Charity Night on Saturday 4th October, at the Crescent WMC in York. All four enjoyed the three live music acts, rock DJ, buffet and raffle laid on by the York guys and gals. The Wakefield members were most successful in the raffle and just about everyone who attended won something. I could have won a battery optimiser but Justine decided instead that I (she) would be much happier instead with a chocolate fountain !!!

The charity night was to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and by all accounts, they did rather well.

A good time was had by all and it was great to support the York guys (who are always very supportive of our events).

4) Extended Motorcycle Test - The Good News

Following two years of hard campaigning, the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has welcomed the official announcement of an eleventh-hour delay to the introduction of an extended practical test for new motorcycle riders.

Several large regions would have been left without any local test facilities and riders in many parts of the country (including Yorkshire) faced journeys of several hours to reach a test centre. Wakefield was to lose it's current motorcycle test centre at Carr Gate and our nearest test centre was to be either Rotherham or Keighley (hardly what you would call local).

Three out of four Driving Standards Agency (DSA) test centres are due to be sold-off to fund a small number of new "Multi-Purpose Test Centres" (MPTCs) capable of hosting the new test.

The regulations were due to be imposed at the end of September, but with less than half the test centres completed the new implementation date will now be Monday, March 30, 2009.

The move comes after the DSA came under pressure from motorcycle riders’ organisation MAG, working alongside organisations representing the rider training industry (MRTA), motorcycle industry (MCIA) and others. This is a long-overdue victory for common sense and shows the combined voice of all the motorcycle interest groups can bring about real change in official policy.

DSA claim the six-month delay will allow them to find suitable sites in other parts of the country. But with many of its existing test-centres already closed, and many others due to be sold-off, the moratorium may prove embarrassingly inadequate as only a handful of extra sites are due for completion. Finding suitable sites and gaining planning-permission for the super-size test-centres has proven impossible in many parts of the country.

MAG has consistently argued that the proposed total of 66 test-centres, a cut of three-out-of-four, will mean riders have to travel unacceptably long distances. Many training businesses face financial ruin and some have already closed as a result of riders opting for residential courses away from home as their only option.

The extended test is required by an EU Directive on rider training, but Britain appears to have given the rules a unique interpretation. All EU member states must comply with the new test requirements but have not opted for the same solution as Britain. MAG is supporting calls for a public inquiry into the handling of the new test arrangements and the strategy of building a small number of Multi Purpose Test Centres.

5) Extended Motorcycle Test - The Bad News

MAG has called on the Department for Transport to prevent new riders from being ripped-off by unjustified increases to test fees.  

In February of this year, Parliament agreed a 33% increase in the cost of a bike test to cover the costs of a new, longer test from 29 September 2008. Despite not implementing the test as planned (see above), the cost of a motorcycle rider test has increased from £60 to £80.

Parliament was specifically told that half of the test fee increase relates directly to the introduction of a longer, more demanding test. The regulation itself carries an explanatory note which is equally clear that the purpose behind raising the fees relates to special manoeuvres required to be undertaken off-road at the new Multi-Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs).  

In a letter to the nation’s rider training schools on 12 September, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) said that test booking arrangements would continue as before. Some trainers have been shocked to find that they have booked the old style test in good faith but are now facing bills based on the delayed new test at a much higher cost.  

MAG has urgently contacted the government asking them to take swift action to prevent a wide-spread rip-off. More than 40,000 new riders can be expected to apply for a test over the next six-months, taking the existing test but paying for the longer test. The new test itself has been delayed, so it is neither justified nor in the spirit in which the legislation was laid before Parliament for the test fees to be increased.

6) Branch Products

Our Wakefield MAG branded beanie hats have arrived from the supplier and are on sale at the branch meetings for £7.50 each. The beanie hats will be very very useful for keeping the cold out at the forthcoming autumn rallies !!!!

We have also placed an order for Wakefield MAG branded stickers and we should have these from the supplier very shortly.

We also have a small stock of most other clothing items and bike flags/pennants, so if you want something, please let me know. With Christmas not far away, remember that Wakefield MAG products make mighty fine Christmas presents !!!

7) Yorkshire AGM

This year's Yorkshire MAG AGM is on Saturday 18th October, at the Dene Park Sports Club, Beverley Rd, Dunswell, HU6 0AA (on the A1174 between Beverley & Hull).

The AGM will start at 13:30 and registration is from 13:00 onwards. All Wakefield MAG members are invited to attend (don’t forget your MAG membership card otherwise you won’t be able to get in). This year's guest speaker is Nich Brown, MAG's recently appointed General Secretary.

We are having a branch rideout to the AGM, setting off from our usual venue at our usual time (Meet 09:30 (leaving at 10:00) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield). We will be taking the scenic (learner friendly) back roads route to Beverley, where we will have a spot of lunch, prior to the AGM itself.

Following the AGM there is an evening do at the same venue and camping is available for those who want to stop over.

75 Branch points will be awarded to all Wakefield MAG members who attend the AGM, with a further 10 branch points for coming on the rideout, and 10 for attending the evening party. What better way to give your branch points tally a boost !!

Hope to see you there.

8) Forthcoming Events (incl. 2 rideouts in October)

Forthcoming events for October and beyond:

Saturday 18th October (morning) - Rideout to Beverley

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield. We will be taking the scenic (learner friendly) back roads route to Beverley, where we will have a spot of lunch, prior to attending the Yorkshire MAG AGM at nearby Dunswell.

If you don't fancy the AGM, come on the rideout anyway as Beverley is a most attractive town and the Army museum of transport in Beverley is well worth a visit.

Saturday 18th October (afternoon) - MAG Yorkshire Region Annual General Meeting

To be held at the Dene Park Sports Club, Beverley Rd, Dunswell, HU6 0AA (See Above). The AGM will start at 13:30 and registration is from 13:00 onwards.

Saturday 18th October (evening) - Post Yorkshire MAG AGM Party

To be held at the Dene Park Sports Club, Beverley Rd, Dunswell, HU6 0AA. Live band and camping available for those who want to stay over.

Saturday 25th October - Huddersfield MAG's Twelfty Party

19:30 onwards at The Gas Club, Gas Works Street, Huddersfield. £5 on the door. FREE ENTRY FOR FYP MARSHALS (if you haven't already used your voucher at Spat out of Hull or Leathered in Lincoln rallies). Don't get too drunk for the following day is our much awaited rideout to Tan Hill !!

Sunday 26th October - Rideout to Tan Hill Inn

Meet 09:30 (leaving at 10:00) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield. We will again be taking a most scenic and learner friendly route to the Tan Hill Inn, star of the recent Everest Double Glazing TV commercials. Tan Hill is located at the meeting point of Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Bowes Moor in the Northern Yorkshire Dales, and is famous for being the highest pub in Britain at 1,732ft above sea level.

Spectacular scenery guaranteed on our much awaited Tan Hill rideout. Hope to see you there.

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 !!!!).

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.

9) Branch Website

More new content updates have been made to our branch website over the last month, including a touring report by Lisa, Herbs, Sandie & Martin, aptly titled, 'The Short Way Down'. Be sure to check out the site.

If anyone would like to submit an article detailing their bike, or a particularly memorable biking adventure, send in a report and photos, and we'll publish it on the branch website.

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.