Wakefield MAG September 2009 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) YPR Report
2) East Coast Rideout Report
3) Membership Fees Increase Latest
4) Test review - call for info
5) Support MCN protest ride (Wakefield Rideout)
6) Sheffield access to Bus lanes
7) Westminster Bike Parking Charges
8) Sheffield Transport Planning
9) Yorkshire AGM - Details
10) Yorkshire patches
11) Girls Night
12) Forthcoming Events

1) YPR Report

The 6th MAG Yorkshire Pudding Rally was held on 7th - 9th August, at Hesley Wood Scout Camp, Chapeltown, North Sheffield. And for the 6th year running, the weather was dry, hot and glorious all weekend (surely some kind of record ?!?).

Wakefield MAG were very active in the event set up and take down this year, with members being involved from the Wednesday onwards, loading the truck from the MAP HQ (Jol's yard) in Driffield, setting up the site on the Thursday, marshalling the event over the weekend and packing everything back up again on the Sunday and Monday. Everything went swimmingly to plan, and everyone had a thoroughly good time.

Although Friday saw good weather, Thursday night had seen a downpour of monsoon proportions, so the site was a little 'moist' for the early arrivals on-site. Wood chippings were distributed in some of the more muddy bits, which did help, but care had to be exercised riding on to the site. The site filled up very quickly from lunchtime onwards and by early evening, was more or less full.

Friday night's bands (Microdots, The Mistakes and Jed Thomas) went down well, as did the beer for the vast majority of happy rally goers.

Saturday was a big day, in more ways than one, for at 12:00 was the wedding blessing for MAG members Gary & Christine, with the proceedings being conducted by Wakefield MAG's very own Padre, Rev'd Neal Owen. Virtually the whole rally watched / attended the blessing.

Christine (in black wedding dress and new rock boots) arrived at the 'altar', through the aisle of bikes on a Boom trike, just as planned. Yorkshire TV was in attendance and filmed the ceremony, which appeared on that nights Calendar TV news programme. Also in attendance were reporters from the Sheffield Star and other local newspapers, which carried articles in their next editions. It was a cracking ceremony and the happy couple were delighted with the day. Wakefield MAG got a personal thanks on the order of service, for our help in organising some of the on-site logistics, which was most appreciated. Thanks Gary and Christine, and all the very best for your future together.

The Saturday afternoon bike show was smaller than last year, but it being such a lovely day, a lot of people had gone on the rideout, or hit the bar early. The quality of entries though was still most impressive, with a top prize of £100 up for grabs, courtesy of Johnson?s of Leeds, bike show sponsors and purveyors of all things Camo.

The afternoon comedy show in the marquee was very funny indeed, especially Greg Cook, Ruff Daddy (foul mouthed puppets, likened to Les Dawson meets John Prescott, pi$$ed up in a kebab shop) and Ulsterman Martin Bigpig Mor. The poor couple who had come all the way from New Zealand (on a European tour, on their own bike), came in for a bit of stick (but then again, they should have known better than to sit at the front at a live 'adults only' comedy show !!!).

Saturday night's bands (Little Rock, Gun Law and the quite mental Megadeath Morris Men) were also spot on and had the whole site rocking, with the 'fire in a skip' nicely rounding off the evening's entertainment.

A huge thanks go out to all the volunteer marshals, from the Yorkshire Region and beyond. These 'heroes' pay for their tickets like everyone else, then happily give up their 'partying' time to help run the event, for the benefit of MAG. Splendid effort by one and all.

This year's YPR was a cracking rally and should have raised a fair bit for the MAG Fighting Fund. The only feedback, post event, has all been entirely positive. There were certainly lots of smiling faces leaving site on the Sunday morning. Roll on YPR 2010 !!!

2) East Coast Rideout Report

Over twenty of us met up at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park on Sunday 23rd August, for our much awaited rideout to the East Coast.  Steve led the rideout, with Mick and Chas acting as floating marshals and Lorna the back marker.  We set off bang on 10:00 (under threat of fines from Lisa for poor-timekeeping) and took the A642 out of Wakefield, passing through Stanley, Oulton, Swillington and Garforth, before heading past Lotherton Hall and Towton, en-route to the A64.  We hit heavy traffic at the roadworks on the A64 roundabout near Stockton on the Forest, but being on bikes and able to filter, it didn't slow us up much.

We had our first stop at the Highwayman Cafe, and the obligatory group photo.  After a suitable watering (and bacon butties for some), we continued our journey on the A64, coming off just after Malton, onto the A169, towards Pickering and a petrol stop.  Once past Pickering and into the north Yorkshire Moors National Park, the road and scenery becomes much more interesting.  We had a slight detour into Goathland (Aidensfield) for another group photo outside Scripps Garage, where we proved to be as much of an attraction as the Heartbeat set.

Back onto the Whitby road, we took the B1410 at Sleights, then the B1416 heading south towards Scarborough MAG's bike show at the Flask Cafe.  A quick check of the map in a layby just to confirm we were on the right road (which we were of course), then a right onto the A171 Scarborough to Whitby road, and the Flask Cafe.

Scarborough MAG's bike show was a cracking little show, with some quality entries, and very well attended.  We had a chat to the Scarborough MAG guys and met up with York MAG there too.  As it was late lunchtime, a number of our contingent couldn't resist the call of food for much longer, and took full advantage of the carvery in the adjoining pub.  The rest of us had fish and chips at the seaside firmly in our sights, so set off towards Scarborough, parking on the sea front on Marine Drive.

We enjoyed our Fish and chips overlooking the Harbour, then had a walkabout, enjoying the hot sunny weather.  We set off home late afternoon, taking the A64, bypassing yet more queueing traffic, arriving home early evening, after covering around 170 miles.

It was good to combine supporting an event of one of our fellow Yorkshire MAG groups, with a most pleasant rideout in hot sunny weather.  Result !!!!

3) Membership Fees Increase Latest

A revised arrangement has been put in place for the MAG membership fees increase, so that existing members are not unduly penalised. A number of key changes have been made, as follows:

This is the first rise in the MAG membership subscription since 2002, and will restore the cost of membership in real terms to where it was in the year 2000. Indeed, had the fee raised over the years by the rate of inflation, it should have been £26 by now.

At £25, the annual membership fee still represents terrific value, and it's still cheaper than the BMF !!!

4) Test review - call for info

Following successful campaigning by MAG, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee is to hold an official inquiry in to the Driving Standards Agency's (DSA) handling of the new motorcycle riding test that has resulted in widespread reports of injured riders and inadequate test facilities. Concerns have been expressed that there are too few test centres and that some test candidates are now required to travel long distances to reach their nearest test centre. Concerns have also been raised about the safety of riders taking the off-road test, particularly the 'swerve and stop' test.

The Transport Committee inquiry is particularly interested in establishing:

To support this inquiry, MAG is now gathering test cases to submit as evidence. MAG are particularly interested to hear from:

MAG invite information via the MAG Central Office.  Please email details of your particular case to central-office@mag-uk.org or alternatively you can post it to: MAG UK, PO Box 750, Rugby, CV21 3ZR. Deadline for submitting evidence to the inquiry is Tuesday 22 September 2009.

5) Support MCN protest ride (Wakefield Rideout)

MAG is encouraging it's 10,000 individual and 40,000 affiliate members to support Motorcycle News (MCN’s) ‘Reclaim North Wales’ protest ride on Sunday September 13th, aimed at reasserting our right to use public highways without undue police interference.

North Wales Police actively discourages innocent motorcyclists from entering the region by indiscriminately stopping as many riders as possible. Every summer weekend, around 400 bikers are stopped in North Wales, and 350 (87.5%) of those will have done nothing illegal whatsoever, and they are simply enjoying the roads, the magnificent scenery and exercising their perfectly legal right to use the public highways.

MAG is well aware that there are irresponsible riders out there but feedback from our members persuades us that the police response to the problem they represent is disproportionate and unfairly interferes with the sensible majority.

Some voices have suggested closing national parks to motorcycles altogether, a move that would signal a drastic departure from moderation and reasonableness.

MAG urges all taking part in the ride out to exercise special care, as a serious accident would be a terrible home goal for the riders' movement as well as a tragedy for anyone injured.

Wakefield MAG is supporting the protest ride and we will be meeting at our usual place (Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, Wakefield at 08:30, leaving at 09:00. From here we will stop at Hartshead Moor Services on the M62 to meet up with other local Yorkshire MAG Groups and MCC's who are taking part. We will then be leaving Hartshead Moor services at 10:00, heading for the MCN meeting point for midday, which is the Dragon's Rest Cafe, at the Caerwys Junction of the A55 in the north of the region (Post Code for Sat Nav: CH8 8RF). The route from Wakefield to the Dragon's Rest Cafe is just short of 100 miles. There is a second MCN meeting point at 4pm which is in the car park of the Swallow Falls Hotel, Holyhead Road, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, LL24 0DW. The route between both MCN meeting points isn't prescribed, as the idea is to simply enjoy the regions roads, riding within the law.

For further details of the protest ride and the meeting points, check the MCN website.

As this constitutes a MAG Demo ride, a whopping 75 branch points will be awarded to all Wakefield MAG members who take part. Remember to make sure your bike is 100% legal and ride within the law at all times (which of course, goes without saying !!). Hope you can make it.

6) Sheffield access to Bus lanes

A trial scheme allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes in Sheffield has been made permanent.

Bikers have been permitted to use the lanes as an experiment, initially on Abbeydale Road from 2003, and across the whole city since 2005. The trial was launched to try to cut the number of accidents involving motorcyclists, who account for 14 per cent of all people killed or seriously injured on the road despite accounting for less than one per cent of traffic. A Sheffield Council report said: "In the five years before the trial started, there were 21 accidents involving motorcyclists along the Abbeydale Road corridor, a third of which were serious. During the five year trial period this reduced to 13 accidents. This is a reduction of over one third, with just 31 per cent being considered serious."

Having tested the scheme thoroughly and assessed the results, Sheffield Council are satisfied that allowing Motorcyclists to use the bus lanes would be a positive step forward to improve their safety. The report also highlighted environmental benefits of encouraging safe motorcycling, including savings on fuel for urban journeys and fewer harmful emissions when using a motorbike compared to a car.

An excellent result for Sheffield motorcyclists and well done to the Council for implementing the scheme. We just need other councils across the UK to follow suit !!!

7) Westminster Bike Parking Charges

The controversial Bike Parking Charges in Westminster, the subject of a MAG supported demo on 1st July, are set to be made permanent. The Lobby group 'No to Bike Parking Charges' are launching a full legal challenge to fight the decision. The following is a statement by the MAG supported 'No to Bike Parking Charges' campaign group:

"There are only two ways to legitimately quash a Local Government scheme such as this motorcycle/scooter parking tax, by Act of Parliament, or via the High Court. Councillor Chalkley’s (Spear head of the scheme) decision to make the scheme permanent has opened a window for us to launch a full legal challenge via Judicial Review, for which we have to raise a minimum of £50,000 due to the need for a highly competent Public Law specialist legal team. 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. Our 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. But for us to achieve this, we must now turn to you, the motorcycling/scootering community. Quite simply, if we don’t hit them in this window [The law], then we will have little "legal" opportunity thereafter. So my message to you is simple...

...either we all club together to raise the £50,000 now (which would be the equivalent of one tank of fuel or £10 from 5,000 of you), or we will all be continually chipping in to a £93,000,000 annual bill.

But wait, as this fund is purely for a legal challenge, when we win, we will be entitled to costs. So, even if you find £10 a hard amount to donate, there's the real possibility that you could be getting it back. Again, quite simply, the more we raise now = the better quality of legal expertise we can instruct = the better chance of winning = the greatest chance of getting our money back!!!

But what if we lose? I hear you ask. Well, you will lose your donation. However, as it is me (Warren Djanogly) putting my name to this in person, I am risking bankruptcy due to what will be a highly punitive costs order. I am willing to take that chance on behalf of you my fellow riders, if only to show you how confident I am that we will prevail. All I ask in return is this...

My fellow riders, the choice is yours. £50,000 now & once only OR £93,000,000 each and every year thereafter"

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 the No to Bike Parking Fees campaign.

If you would like to contribute to the legal fund to Fight Westminster Council in the High Court, go onto their website (www.notobikeparkingtax.com) and make your donation. 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 money refunded.

8) Sheffield Transport Planning

The South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (SYITA) has recently published a statement of intent, to develop a long term (20 year) strategy for transport in South Yorkshire. The SYITA consists of elected members from each of South Yorkshire’s four Local Authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield), and as such borders the south of the Wakefield metropolitan area. The Authority are looking for parties to register their interest, and they will then have the opportunity to comment on the proposals and help shape the strategy. It is vital that motorcyclists are fully represented in such consultation exercises, as otherwise, the needs of motorcyclists, as part of the overall transport solution, may not be fully considered. If you as a motorcyclist, use the roads of South Yorkshire, and would like to take part in the consultation exercise, simply email (transport.strategy@sypte.co.uk) or call (Ben Still, Director of Strategy, 0114 22 1 1321) to register your interest and be added to their contact list.

9) Yorkshire AGM - Details

The Yorkshire MAG Annual General Meeting is fast approaching. The AGM will be held on Saturday October 17th, starting at 13:00, at the Milnsbridge Bowling Club (Liberal Club), 54 George Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD3 4JD. A buffet will be available from 12:00. Following the Yorkshire MAG AGM, will be the Magic Action Promotions (MAP) AGM. MAP is the Yorkshire MAG events arm and is responsible for the ITV, FYP and YPR rallies, which raise a substantial amount for the MAG fighting fund.

All Wakefield MAG members are invited to attend the Yorkshire AGM, and MAP AGM thereafter, which will earn you 75 branch points.

Following the Yorkshire & MAP AGM's will be the Twelfty Party, Huddersfield Central MAG's annual bash at the Gas Club in Huddersfield. Live Band: 3 Daze Lost, DJ & Raffle (see forthcoming events for more details).

10) Yorkshire patches

By popular demand, Yorkshire MAG patches will be for sale in the very near future. These will retail at £3, so if you would like one from the first batch of orders to be placed, do let me know and i'll add your name to the order book. We will also be purchasing a small stock to sell at our branch meetings, along with our other products.

11) Girls Night

Corinne Duma, one of our original Wakefield MAG members from our inaugural meeting way back in January 2003, rock chick, and amateur thespian, is to star in the Wakefield West End production of Girls Night, at the Theatre Royal Wakefield, showing from Tuesday 29th September to Saturday 3rd October 2009.

Hilarious and touching, Girls Night follows five friends in their 30s and 40s during a wild and outrageous night out at a karaoke bar. Friends since their teens, they have all had their fair share of heartache and tragedy, joy and success.....

Fourteen of us have already booked for the 1st October performance. If you would like to join us, go to www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk to book. Tickets are priced £11, £10, £9 (plus concessions).

12) Forthcoming Events (September and Beyond)

Tuesday 1st September - Wakefield MAG Evening Run to Leeds MAG

Meet 07:00pm (leaving at 07:30pm) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th September - Halifax MAG Headless in Halifax 3 Rally

Causeway Foot Inn, Causeway Foot, Ogden,Halifax, (A629). Tickets £5. Email: percussion_plus@hotmail.com / Phone: 01422 437019

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th September - Stormin' The Castle 2009

Stormin' The Castle is returning to its original home at Witton Castle, County Durham. Ticket prices are at 2007/8 prices, priced at £22 pre-book or £30 OTG. See: www.storminthecastle.co.uk for further details

Sunday 13th September - Wakefield MAG on the MCN ‘Reclaim North Wales’ protest ride

See above. Meet 8:30am (leaving at 09:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield. Alternatively, leaving Hartshead Moor Services (M62) Westbound at 10:00am

Friday 18th - Sunday 20th September - Spat out of Hull Rally

Dean Park, Dunswell, Nr Hull, HU6 0AA. Bonfire, bands, comedians, great food. £10 strict 500 limit, £5 cars. Cheques with SAE payable to East Yorkshire MAG to PO Box 247, Beverley HU17 6BB by 09/09/09

Thursday 1st October - Girls Night (starring Wakefield MAG's very own Corinne Duma) at the Wakefield Theatre Royal

See above

Sunday 11th October - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, North Yorkshire

Meet 09:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Saturday 17th October - Yorkshire MAG AGM

See above

Saturday 17th October - Huddersfield Central MAG's Twelvety Party

Huddersfield Central's Annual Bash at the Gas Club. Band: 3 Daze Lost, DJ, Raffle. 7:30pm till late at the Gas Club, Gasworks Street, off Leeds Road, Huddersfield, HD1 6NA. Tickets £5 (or free if you haven't redeemed your FYP marshals complimentary event voucher yet !!)

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.