Sunday, 24 June 2012

Get your filthy hands off my Biking

24th of June 2012, MAG action day.

Disney never made a film about these two!

If you are reading this, but are not a biker then you may be wondering why Bikers are making so much fuss at the moment about proposed legislation coming direct from Unelected Bureaucrats working in the offices of power with in the EU. More directly, you may be wondering why a load of bikers held up the traffic today in the middle of the day while wearing very large yellow t-shirts shouting about the EU?

Well, there is a very good reason, or to be brutally honest a whole pile of reason, but here is a brief synopsis taken from MAG themselves on why they are very concerned about this new legislation.

o                 It aims to restrict the possibility of carrying out modifications to motorcycle power-trains (from the airbox down to and including the radius of the rear tyre) - your campaigning efforts so far have helped to roll-back some aspects of this threat but we are still faced with proposals to make it far more difficult to work on future bikes and to add cost and complexity to bike ownership.
o                 It aims to prevent engine re-mapping
o                 It admits that there is no evidence to say there is a problem caused by modifications, or what size that 'problem' may be.
o                 It aims to make 'Advanced Braking Systems' compulsory on every machine from 125cc up, adding hugely to the purchase price of cheap commuters.
o                 It aims to limit the availability of aftermarket parts that may alter performance
o                 Much of the technical substance of exactly what is included may not be written until after the regulation has become law, instead the Commission will use 'Delegated Acts' to make changes and it is unclear how effectively these will be scrutinised.
o                 The European Ombudsman has found the Commission has a case to answer that the legislation has been drafted in breach of European Treaties (which requires evidence to justify a new law)
o                 Other procedures seem to be at odds with democratic accountability

Taken directly from the MAG Website,

Strong stuff, but what does any of it mean? Basically if you buy a bike and then intend to modify it in anyway. Tough, you wont be able to. No funky tyres, no race exhausts and no way you are going to be allowed to take out that wimpy cam shaft and put a nice race one in that de-tuned GSXR engine you bunged in your heavily chopped Streetfighter frame. Add to that they want you to fit ABS to every bike on the market, even if it is a super cheap training bike. Let’s be honest, ABS is an option and not every one likes it. Personally, I had ABS on the Honda I rode a while back and to be frank the brakes on that lacked feel because they were just horrible. The brakes on my SV are simple “twin piston in a floating calliper” units and they are both strong and effective. In use they have loads of feel and can stop very well. ABS would be an option, but would it be nice? Also how much would it cost? 

So in protests against this draconian “thou shalt do as thou is told” laws, we all got together and had a bit of a shout on the motorway. Those present in the Van were Biker Rock Radio Boss, Steve and his Biker Rock crew of DJ Ghost and Prof Plums. On the bikes were a rather broken Jayne (still suffering with a poorly shoulder) riding a shiny and clean Sylvie and Carol with Alex on Noreen.

On our arrival at Taunton Dean services, our immediate priority was to get the music blasting and get some good biker tunes rousing the crowd of gathering bikers. I am pretty sure that no one expected a PA to turn up or for great music to be present and the guys from MAG quickly came over and said hello. A quick exchange of T-shirts and we were ready to roll.

The Biker Rock Radio Roadshow in action.
The Rozzers come for Jayne and Alex.

At exactly one PM, the convoy started and three hundred bikes rolled out onto the north bound and hit forty miles per hour. It was a magnificent sight and once again I was able to ride with Carol on a huge mass protest ride. On the south bound side of the motorway, another large group of bikers were heading the other direction and nationwide, bikers everywhere had gathered into groups to do exactly the same thing. This truly was an epic protest.

Best parts of the day had to be the smiles and waves of support we got from car drivers, crowds who gathered on bridges and kids watching. But then there is something impressive about three hundred bikes thundering by.

Other sights worthy of note were the birds of prey we saw hunting in the verges between carriage ways or on the sides. I counted several buzzards and had one fly right past me, as we cruised along, clutching it's lunch of a vole in it’s beak.

The ride was a lot of fun, but it had a serious point. That point was this, to those unelected people making decisions for “my benefit”, when you know nothing about me, get your filthy hands off my hobby!


A party at Gordano Services after the protest ride.

It is not just two wheels being threatened.

Prof Plums showing off his Woofers

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