Yorkshire MAG newsletter April/May 2020

I hope you’re all keeping safe and aren’t going too stir crazy with the lockdown situation with this virus.

I’d like to start with some devastating news for anyone that knew him. On Tuesday 7th April Leeds MAG life member, Panos Englezou was involved in a collision with a car whilst on his way to work. Panos died of his injuries at the scene. He leaves behind three grown children, his partner Debbie and eight year old daughter Phoebe.

Due to the current situation, a normal funeral is impossible but I’ve spoken to Debbie and she has asked that we do something to celebrate Panos’s life once this is all over.

Everyone involved with Yorkshire MAG sends their heartfelt condolences to Panos’s family and friends at this awful time. He’ll certainly be missed by many throughout Yorkshire.

Goodnight my Greekshire mate ❤️

Following on from this a motorcycle police officer was killed this week in a similar incident. This may be due to drivers taking even less care when driving due to the quietness of the roads, so please, be even more careful during this strange time.

As you’ll appreciate, things have slowed down significantly due to the lockdown with councils, events and meetings all having to be stopped.

Councils are still working behind the scenes but motorcycle issues such as bus lane access are firmly on the back burner.

I have had an email from Bradford City Council regarding a meeting I was due to have with them to discuss both bikes in bus lanes and secure motorcycle parking that they were happy to conduct via video link, but I declined as I hate that sort of thing and asked to have the meeting when things get back to normal.

Leeds City Council have been in touch about some “wand orcas” that they are intending to use to segregate cycle lanes in the city. MAG is fundamentally opposed to any initiative that takes road space away from motorcycles, thus making it more dangerous to filter in traffic. They could also be dangerous if hit by a motorcycle so we’ve contacted the council to voice our opposition to the scheme. To be fair, at least the council have asked for our input, which certainly wouldn’t have been the case a year or so ago.

Hull City Council cabinet considered a report entitled “Local Cycling and Infrastructure Plan” towards the end of February.  Essentially this is a proposed medium term plan to develop an enhanced cycle network across the city.  Whist this is a good thing, especially with the majority of the routes appearing to be off road, the report contained a couple of concerns in relation to on road enhancements, which could have a detrimental effect on the safety of motorcyclists. Garry Williams (EY Rep) wrote to the council specifically around the potential use of light segregation being considered (with bollards being used in the report as an example) and the proposal to widen existing cycle lanes, thus reducing road space for other traffic.

Garry also raised (for the eighth time), the issue of the missing security rails in the two Paragon Street bike parking bays.  The original rails were funded by MAG and removed during the 2017 city realm works. The council response was as before, in that they are looking at an alternative form of device (He has suggested two other suitable options), and they are currently trying to source a manufacturer, and once found, arrangements will be made to have these installed. 

 He received a further update by email on April 9th which read “I have managed to source the supplier for the bollards with the locking loops (as in the Silver Street bays), and it appears they were specially manufactured for Hull CC.  I am in discussion with the manufacturer around supplying a number for Paragon Street.  I shall be in touch again once I have lead times for delivery and installation”.  Looks like some progress at last.

Staying with Hull City Council, the Hull Daily Mail reported that bus lane fines have been temporarily suspended, although this is not obviously evident as far as I can see looking at the Hull CC website.  If you are still riding your bike into Hull, take extra care when riding in bus lanes.

Even though bus lane fines in Hull have been suspended, be aware that speed awareness courses have also been suspended so if you get caught over the speed limit, it’s a straight 3 points and £100 fine or worse! I found this out the hard way!

The MAG NC had a virtual meeting where certain things were discussed.

MAG funds are obviously taking a big hit with current situation. A massive part of the money to run MAG comes from the events and rallies and usually we’re just gearing up for these, but not this year.

The office is already run as efficiently as possible so extra savings are negligible. We’ve ended the contract of the sub editor of The Road but due to the fact that all of our paid staff (5 people) are still working in some capacity (taking memberships, producing The Road, creating strategies and guiding policy) so furlough is out of the question.

If anyone has any fundraising ideas please let me know at manny@mag-uk.org. If anyone is in a position to make an extra donation to MAG, there is a “donate” button on the MAG website.

The greens seem to be starting to use the Coronavirus lockdown as proof that we don’t need Internal Combustion Engined (ICE) any more.

The government have already put out air quality figures showing the reduction in particulates in the air, so expect an even bigger push towards green vehicles and more bias against petrol engined vehicles after the lockdown is over.

The government are also having a review of VED (Road tax) costs across the board. MAG have produced a position statement that has been passed on to the Department For Transport which is a weight based matrix as the heavier the vehicle, the more damage it does to the road.

Clean Air Zone (CAZ) implementation around the country has been put on indefinite hold due to the current situation.

All local mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections have also been postponed until next year, so our theft league table isn’t as urgent as it was, but is still going to be put together over the next few weeks. We’ll get the info out to you as soon as we have it.

As you may be aware, six month grace has been given to all MOT’s due to lockdown and MAG has approached the DFT to ask about CBT certificate dates as obviously these will be running out too as people can’t retrain or take a test. Apparently some riding schools are continuing to provide CBT’s under social distancing rules, so if you need this information, please check locally. 

Here is the link to the current “Network” which will keep you informed with MAG happenings around the country. https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/8/84/APRIL_FINAL2020.pdf

As I mentioned earlier, rallies and events around the country have been hit by the Covid 19 outbreak. People have been contacting me to ask for updates to the rally situation. This morning I’ve spoken with Pete Walker (Yorkshire MAG events organiser) to find out where we stand with the rally situation. This is the official statement from Magic Action Promotions regarding the Yorkshire MAG rallies –

Following a management meeting this weekend we have made the difficult but we feel sensible decision to cancel Into The Valley 2020 and postpone the Farmyard Party till September this year. As it stands Yorkshire Pudding Rally is still set to go ahead at the end of July.

After consultation with various authorities and advisors over the last couple of weeks we feel postponing the Farmyard Party to September 25-26-27 gives the rally a far greater chance of happening than if we were stick to its traditional date in June. Very little else will change, it will be the same venue, bands, traders, caterers, fires and no fires field, Carry Nowt Camping, Great British Glamping, etc….

We do anticipate the rally may encounter some hurdles that we will have to overcome to go ahead in September, but we feel that they will be surmountable, and we do love a challenge. So, if we are allowed gatherings, it is safe to do so and you buy tickets then we will see you in September.

One of the immediate rules we have been advised to implement is that all tickets must be pre-booked, we have been told it is highly unlikely that gate tickets will be available or permitted.

Tickets can be booked now at www.magicactiononline.co.uk or by calling 0800 988 3199.

*** If you have already purchased tickets to Into The Valley or Farmyard Party this year then read below for your options ***

As you’ll be all too aware, the current Coronavirus restrictions are playing havoc with everyone’s lives. MAG is far from immune from these problems and has already been hit financially due to the cancellation of many of its fundraisers. These events are the lifeblood of the organisation and without the income they may well have issues in the coming months.

To try and avoid this we ask you to kindly consider donating the your ticket(s) to MAG to ensure we will all be back next year fighting fit.

This applies to PRE-BOOKED INTO THE VALLEY tickets only:

If tickets were purchased from a MAG rep or one of our outlets:

  1. Donate the ticket cost to MAG – please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box* with a note stating DONATED
  2. Use your ticket at Yorkshire Pudding Rally 2020 or purchase an upgrade for £12 to a Weekend Farmyard Party (25-27 Sept) to do this go to https://www.magicactiononline.co.uk/shop/farmyard-party-upgrade (not available via reps or outlets)
  3. Return them to the outlet for a full refund

If tickets were purchased online with a debit or credit card or with a cheque via the PO Box:

  1. Donate the ticket cost to MAG – please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box* with a note stating DONATED
  2. Use your ticket at Yorkshire Pudding Rally 2020 or purchase an upgrade for £12 to a Weekend Farmyard Party (25-27 Sept) to do this go to https://www.magicactiononline.co.uk/shop/farmyard-party-upgrade
  3. Return them to the PO Box* for a refund (excludes booking fee(s), these are retained by our 3rd party booking agent)

This applies to PRE-BOOKED FARMYARD PARTY tickets only:

If tickets were purchased from a MAG rep or one of our outlets:

  1. Use them for the new September date (25-27 Sept)
  2. Donate the ticket cost to MAG please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box* with a note stating DONATED
  3. Return them to the outlet for a full refund

If tickets were purchased online with a debit or credit card or with a cheque via the PO Box:

  1. Use them for the new September date (25-27 Sept)
  2. Donate the ticket cost to MAG please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box* with a note stating DONATED
  3. Return them to the PO Box* for a refund (excludes booking fee(s), these are retained by our 3rd party booking agent)

* MAP EVENTS, PO Box 247, Beverley, HU17 9GY, please write your contact number on the back of one of the tickets.

All enquiries: 0800 988 3199

Thanks to each and every one of you for your support, take care till we see you in a field (hopefully sooner rather than later).

News from the five Yorkshire MAG groups is a bit sparse as all meetings have been suspended for quite a while now.

Leeds MAG’s annual Easter egg run to Lineham Farm children’s centre was curtailed somewhat as we weren’t allowed to attend en masse so we met up and collected lots of eggs from members and delivered them by car.

Huddersfield MAG concluded their Easter egg raffle with a live Facebook draw! I’ll let Huddersfield Rep, Linz report on this one –

Hudds MAG did our Easter Egg draw on Wednesday 8 April 2020 –  it was a bit different to the usual draws which are in the pub surrounded by lots of lovely MAG folk.  This was our Isolation Easter Egg draw which was done live on FaceBook by me and my glamorous assistant, Mr Foody (the Jed to my Howard Jones … the Bez to my Shaun Ryder, if you will).  We encourage the purchase of raffle tickets by strapping them to creme eggs (and Caramel / Lindor / Oreo eggs), and raised a cracking £140 for MAG!  There were winners from all across Yorkshire – which are locked up in Foody Towers awaiting the time when we can deliver them out to the lucky winners.  Huge thanks to everyone who bought tickets and congratulations to our winners, especially to Bod from East Yorkshire and Laura at The Field Head (Hudds MAG meeting venue) who won the 2 Thorntons Marvelously Magnificent Eggs kindly donated by our friends at DC Motorcycles in Huddersfield.  If you want to see the results (and our total inability to understand how ‘going live’ works), see: https://www.facebook.com/linzfoody/videos/10157620541841523/. Stay safe folks, Linz (Hudds MAG Rep).

We’re still wanting to restart Scarborough MAG and York MAG or get a completely new group going in North Yorkshire. If anyone is willing to become a rep (it’s great fun and very rewarding) or even host a meeting, just to get a likeminded group of folk keeping in touch and pushing the MAG message, please give me a call (07867918722) or message me via email, text, Facebook etc. North Yorkshire is a big area and it’s a real shame we don’t have a North Yorkshire group or two, especially considering it’s a biking Nirvana.

If you’ve not already joined the North Yorkshire MAG Facebook group, please consider doing so. We’re looking at planning some meetings at The Sun Inn at Norwood after the lockdown and also doing some ride outs to cafes in North Yorkshire. We’ll be getting info out about these things on Facebook as the new North Yorkshire MAG website isn’t up and running yet.

It’d be great to get some stuff going on in the biggest county in Yorkshire so come along and join in with the things we’re planning.

If you have any ideas for events and fundraisers or if you like to see your local group do something different, get in touch with either me or your local rep. MAG is member led and without your input and participation it will stagnate.

Due to the current situation I’ve not put any events in this newsletter. Hopefully normal service will resume very soon.

Stuart, the South Yorkshire Rep has secured a very good deal for MAG members in that neck of the woods. “Thanks to our friends at doncaster motorcycles mag members who produce a valid mag membership card will enjoy 10% off mot ,all services and summer prep, winter prep for next winter ,on top of that there will be deals on selected tyres ,accessories and consumables this will however not cover already discounted goods. Remember this is subject to you producing a valid membership card thanks Neil Sawbridge and Dr tepi 😃”

Finally if you want to get more involved at a local level (and to really get the most out of your MAG membership, I strongly recommend that you do) here are the meeting details of the five Yorkshire MAG groups – though we are looking to expand with more groups so if you haven’t got one close by and fancy getting together with like minded bikers, get in touch with me at manny@mag-uk.org

We’re very lucky in having some very strong groups in Yorkshire, but we need the members to join in, so pop along to your local meeting and help to make a difference

💥 PLEASE NOTE ALL MEETINGS ARE CURRENTLY SUSPENDED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS 💥

East Yorkshire MAG meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 8pm at The Forresters Arms HU17 0PR

Huddersfield MAG meet every Wednesday from 8.30pm at The Fieldhead HD3 4FB – PLEASE NOTE: HuddS MAG’s AGM (due to have been on 13 May) is postponed until further notice.

Leeds MAG meet every 1st Tuesday and 3rd Thursday from 8pm at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR

South Yorkshire MAG meet every Thursday at The Market, 2 Wentworth Rd, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8EP from 7pm

Wakefield MAG meet every Wednesday from 8.30 at The Grey Horse WF1 1JG

Hope to see you at an event or meeting very soon.

Keep safe

Manny (Yorkshire MAG rep)

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