Motorcycle Action Group
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has had a busy year in Devon. These are some photo's of some of the events held in the Mid Devon Groups area.
If you really value your motorcycling, you should support MAG.
MAG represents all motorcyclists, from the rider who uses their bike for daily transport, the traditional classic bike rider, the sport bike rider, to the hard core rallyists, custom builders and club members.
As individuals our voice is lost, but as a group we can insist our voice is heard.
MAG has full time lobbyists, sharing their time in Brussels and the UK. Local groups lobby MEP’s and MP’s, and represent riders at meetings with City, District and Local Councilors. As a member, you can choose how much a part you want to play, but by being a member, you have the knowledge you are playing a part in saving our daily transport, hobby or lifestyle, from EU Regulation interference and UK Government Legislation.
You can join online: http://www.mag-uk.org/en/joinmag/a6318
Link to youtube video of MAG President Ian Mutch explaining why YOU may wish to be a member of the MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP
Riders Are Voters, watch this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWktDnKfvTY&NR=1
Mid Devon Group EU Hands Off Biking Demo 25th Sept 2011 leaves Exeter Services.
Committee Members of the MAG "Yer Tiz" Rally in Sept/Oct 2011
South Devon MAG stand at 2011 Rose and Crown Show with Roy Cook, Rich Long, Pete Bourner, Anna Yendal and Jenny Cook.
Motorcycle Action Group South West Regions AGM 2011 held at the Rose and Crown, Sandford.
Mid Devon MAG start up meeting with Paddy Tyson and Ian Mutch March 2011
Riders Are Voters (RAV) at Bridge, with Paddy Tyson and prospective Exeter City Councillors
Devon MAG members riding to Remember Fred Hill. February 2011.
Dave Rea, Rich Long and Roy Cook at the Rose and Crown Show and Meet, July 2010
Dave, Rich and Roy at the Rose and Crown
MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP
MAG Stand at Rose and Crown Motorcycle Show and Meet
Here in Devon we had our first meeting for the South West section at the Welcome Stranger pub near Liverton.
At that meeting it was decided that we would set up a MAG promo stand at the Rose & Crown bike show near Crediton the following week. After discussing with the organiser John Groves, who was there he kindly agreed to reserve a space at the show for us.
This show seems to become more popular each year with about 400 bikes and 600 people turning up this year (nearly double last year's figures), so it was a good time to start campaigning.
During the day we had a steady trickle of interest from people who hadn't heard of MAG before and from people who had been members but for whatever reason had let their
Interestingly, one young lad who I got chatting to, had recently passed his test and when I asked what the test was like, he said the swerve and stop manoeuvres were most unnatural. He said that the speed at which he was forced to take a 90 degree corner felt really unsafe and that in a real-life situation he would have slowed down considerably before approaching the bend; it was clear he felt traumatised by it.
Having explained to him that the test criteria was one of the things that MAG was in discussion with the government about, he went away saying he would join.
I hope he does, we need some young people to realise we are here and what we do.
John suggested we hand out leaflets in the crowd, so I loaded up some membership forms with print-outs advertising the GWR rally and handed out these and back-issues of the Road. I have to say this was a good policy as all except one person were interested in taking
The weather was on our side and there was a really good cross-section of bikes, trikes and scooters and it was definitely a worthwhile day.
For anyone who is unsure about whether to bother setting up a MAG stall at a rally or show I would have to say just go for it.
We made do with a Lidl's gazebo with sides and a couple of old collapsible tables with cloths over to set out the literature on that Paddy Tyson had brought with him to our first meeting.
Since that first meeting, dealers have been visited, leaflets have been handed out, posters have been put up in newsagents, pubs and post offices. A banner has been made for attendance at that great Wednesday evening mecca that is Paignton Bike Night.
I think MAG is back on the map in Devon for a few people now.
Many thanks to Dave and Roy who helped man the stand for most of the day. For supplying the photo I must thank Rob Blinkhorn who runs a publication called Mad About Motorcycles in which he has a full page advert for MAG this month - google them and find out.
Richard Long, North Tawton, Devon
MAG Taunton see photo above
Over 60 people made the effort to attend the first meeting of Taunton MAG on 11th September, at the Gardners Arms. It was a fantastic turn out and Rosie and Mike did a brilliant job of organising the whole event.
As a great example of the way that MAG in the south west of the country is reinvigorating itself, some members rode up from the Dorset and South Devon MAG groups and more rode south from Weston MAG, to demonstrate their support for the fledgling group.
Mike and Rosie only decided a month ago that Taunton deserved its own group to promote and defend motorcycling and they seem to be off to a flying start.
Mike Baker the S. West regional rep, rode up from Cornwall and Paddy Tyson came along from Central Office to answer any questions people may have had about campaigns or how MAG works.
To top off a great evening, there was even a huge spread of food prepared by the Gardners Arms, which is always a winner!
Three new members joined during the evening.
Words from MAG’s President
It’s fantastic to see MAG rising in the South West again. Ever since I first left school in 1970 I have made annual pilgrimages to the West country and have lived in Plymouth for a total of a year when studying for my seafaring qualifications. I also have a long-standing connection with Glastonbury that has become a second home for me.
It’s interesting to see how the fortunes of regions change and mostly that hinges on one or two people who build a nucleous of core supporters from which an entire region grows. I’ve been hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm I’ve seen in the South West and the heart-warming return of old faces to complement the new blood we’ve clearly attracted. The exciting thing about any pressure group is how much can be achieved by a very small number of committed people, even by one determined person.
While MAG’s raison d’etre is political I have learned that a social dimension provides the glue that holds groups together and having events is key to that process. It will be great to see MAG-funding shows and rallies building in the South West and since there is an above average proportion of bikers to overall population in the region the potential is clearly there to make the South West a major player in the social calendar.
These are interesting times with the relentless force of the health and safety culture that historically has been the ‘dragon to MAG’s ST George’ increasingly being challenged by those who say ‘enough is enough’. For MAG the challenge is to combine its libertarian ethics with the promotion of meaningful safety programmes that do not conflict with our appetite for what we have always defended – the right to enjoy riding motorcycles.
These are the good guys, the dealers who support MAG.
John Cawse, Proprieter of Moorland Motorcycles, Okehampton. Tel:0183754553
Kai Rockliffe, Manager of SP Motorcycles www.s-p-motorcycles.co.uk
Steve Whitear, Proprieter of Pear Performance www.peakperformancemotorcycles.co.uk/
Martin Coats and Adam Trevelyan, Sales www.cmsexeter.co.uk
Lee Anthony, Manager of Bridge Motorcycles www.bridgemotorcycles.com/
Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) Mid Devon Group
MAG meets MP
Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) Representatives of the Mid Devon group met with local MP Mel Stride to discuss various issues that affect riders in Devon.
MAG activist Richard Long from North Tawton, and Mid Devon Rep John Groves from Crediton, voiced concerns regarding the Part I motorcycle test which includes the dangerous and unnecessary swerve and stop module, and the reduction in testing centres that forces riders to make long and unnecessary journeys to take the tests. Also on the agenda was the ‘Get a Grip’ campaign, where local authorities and service providers are being encouraged to install non slip manhole covers when carrying out new road construction or planned maintenance.
Following the meeting, John Groves said he was impressed with Mel Strides knowledge of motorcycling, and felt confident that Mel would take a keen interest in issues that affect motorcyclist’s safety and would take an active part in representing motorcycling interests regarding present and impending legislation.
Mel said “As someone who has owned and ridden motorcycles in the past I am acutely aware of the kind of safety issues on which MAG are campaigning. I will certainly do what I can in Westminster to assist on these kind of issues.”
Motorcycle Action Group
Press Release 7th Feb 2011
Motorcyclists from throughout Devon attended a memorial ride to Dartmoor Prison on Sunday 6th February to remember the actions of 76 year old Mr Fred Hill. Mr Hill was a veteran motorcyclist rights campaigner who died in Pentonville Prison whilst serving a prison sentence as a result of his refusal to conform to the compulsory wearing of crash helmets legislation that was introduced in 1973.
Mr Hill, a motorcycle dispatch rider during the WW2 and a retired school teacher, was repeatedly jailed for his belief that motorcycle safety issues were best served by education and not legislation.
Devon riders rode through strong winds, rain and mist, to assemble outside the prison main gate and lay a wreath in memory of Fred Hill. Mr Clive Cook, South Devon MAG representative and organiser of the memorial ride rode his 1942 Norton H2 ex Army Dispatch riders motorcycle as tribute to Fred. Mr Cook said that although the helmet law was no longer a major issue for MAG, it served as a reminder that anti motorcycling legislation can be hurriedly introduced without thorough detailed analysis, and pointed to the fiasco of the new motorcycle test that resulted in local test centres being closed, and the new module swerve and stop test that resulted in numerous crashes with some serious injuries at the new Regional Test Centres, during training sessions and during the test.
Today, MAG is continuing the fight to promote road safety and prevent unnecessary repressive and anti motorcycle legislation. Meeting are held with Members of Parliament to make them aware of impending issues and legislation, and with DCC Road Safety Managers to advise them of recent road safety initiatives that are taking place in other parts of the country. An example of this is the ‘Get a Grip’ campaign that is introducing bicycle and motorcycle friendly manhole rings and covers that give consistent grip and longer life to surrounding road surface.
MAG hold regular local meetings to update motorcyclists on local and national issues. Details about MAG can be found at www.mag-uk.org or contact a local representative at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The inaurgal Mid Devon MAG meeting was held on 17th March, 2011, at the Rose and Crown, at which 78 bikers attended to hear Paddy Tyson and Ian Mutch explain what MAG is doing to promote and protect bikers rights. 5 new members joined on the night.
Devon MAG held a Riders Are Voters (RAV) Question Time at Bridge Motorcycles on 14th April, 2011, inviting prospective City Councillors from the four main parties who were taking part in the 5th May elections. Andrew Leadbetter, Chairman of DCC Highways Committe also attended. All the issues raised are being followed up by MAG and Andrew. Two of the prospective Councillors were taken for a short pillion ride bt DAM members, and one Councillor, a biker himself, rejoined MAG.