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Fuming about Emissions

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’rights, has raised major concerns about a ridiculous new ‘tax on biking’ in the county’s capital city.

An ‘Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ),’ will impose the same daily tax of £12.50 on riders of non-compliant PTWs as car drivers.

Dr Leon Mannings, MAG’s Policy and Campaigns Adviser, has been in extensive talks with the ULEZ team leaders in Transport for London (TfL). However, and despite explaining that all types of PTW are a vital element in solving London’s congestion and pollution problems, the current plan is to impose new taxes on motorcycles as if journeys by PTWs cause as much pollution as cars or vans that are often stationary in jammed traffic.

‘What the authorities fail to recognise,’ explains Leon, ‘is that taxing motorcycles is counterproductive and in MAG’s view is totally unjustified. As TfL’s own study of PTW emissions in 2011 clearly showed, trips by all types of motorcycle produce far less CO2 and NOx compared to cars when emissions from the same real-time journeys are compared. PTWs do not cause congestion whereas cars and vans do – no matter how energy-efficient they are claimed to be.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or


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More Cycle Lanes?

Over recent days, many media stories have echoed MAG’s concerns regarding the emphasis on the construction of segregated cycle lanes. In a Daily Mail article by Tom Rawstorne (entitled ‘Cycle lanes lunacy! More and more are being built across Britain, causing gridlock and pollution. But the maddest thing of all? They’re often EMPTY’), he highlights the issues relating to the cycle lane agenda.

‘The trouble is that it is only now, with many of the changes finally being implemented, that other road users are starting to fully feel their impact’ writes Mr Rawstorne.  ‘Gridlocked streets bordered by cycle lanes that seem virtually empty outside the rush-hour.  Partly as a result, the capital is said to be the world’s most congested city, with the average driver spending 101 hours in traffic last year, according to transport experts INRIX.’  Rawstorne adds that ‘traffic delays are up, while average vehicle speeds in Central London have fallen to 7.4mph — slower than a horse-drawn carriage in the 18th century.’
‘We’ve been raising these issues for years because we saw this crisis coming,’ confirms MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender.  ‘The massive increase in cycle lanes is not based on any objective calculation of danger. The already limited London road space has been squeezed further by
dedicating swathes of it to cycle lanes which are under-used. Cycle lanes that have been built with huge amounts of taxpayers money for the benefit of a very few. Even many cyclists, it seems, never wanted them.’

MAG believes the negative reaction to cycle lanes is set to increase. ‘We’re working with authorities to bring some common sense to the debate.  The current approach is based on fashion, not logic or any sense of proportionality regarding bikers and other road users who are suffering gridlock for the sake of the cycling agenda.  That’s bad business, bad environment policy and a terrible way to treat the 97%+ road users who aren’t cyclists.’

See also:




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President’s Report from Hungary

As I write this I have been home from Hungary less than 48 hours, and I am still buzzing from the International Rally. What an awesome week! There were 12 from WIMA GB, including 2 guests, and we represented you in every aspect – on the bikes, in the pool, on the dance floor, in the bar, bull riding, tethered football, eating, on the parade ride, winning raffle prizes, raising money for MOR, and at the National Presidents’ meeting. It was a “full on” week, in temperatures around 30C each day, apart from Thursday, when we had some drizzle, and Saturday, when we returned the hire bikes, riding to Budapest in torrential rain. What a good job I practised for this riding home from Disserth!

On the adage that “pictures speak a 1000 words”, and that guest editor Jan Salihi is waiting for this, here is a pictorial report, click on an image and scroll through the selection to see the captions.




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Lobby Harlow

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, is lobbying Harlow Council for a change in the terms of an injunction directed at preventing anti-social behaviour in the local area.  MAG has already been in close communication with the Council, but the issue has yet to be fully resolved.

MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, has had two meeting arranged – both of which were postponed at short notice by the authority.  A new date has been arranged – on16th August – but MAG is concerned this is some time away.

MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender, has expressed worries that this delay could fuel unrest among the law abiding motorcycling community.   Selina says, ‘so far, MAG has been able to secure the patience of riders, on the basis of discussions taking place between MAG and the authority.  This is a key reason why Lembit is very keen to have the meeting as soon as humanly possible is to secure meaningful progress in regard to the injunction and its wording so that the matter can be put to rest.’

Selina has written to the authority, asking for the meeting to occur well before the 16th August – more specifically, in the week beginning the 25th July.  Selina adds, ‘I am acutely aware of the level of unease the current situation is causing.  I’d be very grateful for the local authority’s assistance with resolving the matter as soon as possible.’

MAG will keep the riding community updated on developments as they happen.  Lembit says ‘this is a key priority for me, and I’m acutely aware that we simply have to separate the content of the injunction and what the authority is trying to do in terms of dealing with antisocial behavior.  The problem isn’t bikers, it’s hooligans who just happen to be using bikes.  It’s unfortunate that the injunction appears to discriminate against powered two wheelers, which I know wasn’t the intention.  We’ll get this fixed amicably.  But it does need to be fixed.’


Update November 2016: MAG has increased the pressure on Harlow Council for a resolution to the on-going dispute about an injunction which bans groups of riders from travelling through the borough at certain times of day.

‘The problem is that while the Council have a real anti-social behaviour problem to deal with in the area, they’ve taken the wrong path to address it,’ says MAG’s Essex representative, John Metcalf.  ‘What the injunction actually does is prevent law-abiding riders from going through the town in the daytime, even if there are only two of them. The Council says it won’t enforce the injunction against those who are riding sensibly, but no law which technically illegalises reasonable behaviour is a good law.’

MAG is making another effort to make progress with the officer of Harlow Council, and specifically the legal team there.  However, if these talks fail to materialise, then the campaign may move towards more direct action.  ‘MAG always prefers to achieve a negotiated solution,’ adds John.  ‘But if we continue to find resistance from the local authority in terms of even talking about the options, then the next step is to create a series of events to test the stupidity of these rules.  That’s a lot of hassle and potentially embarrassing for the Council, but since this injunction is being repeatedly introduced around the UK, we have to make a stand and put a stop to regulations which outlaw honest biking.’


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Paris Ban on Pre 1999 Bikes

Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) Press Release

Blanket ban on pre-1999 bikes in Paris ‘makes no logical sense:’ MAG

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has hit out against Paris authorities which have announced plans to outlaw all motorcycles manufactured before June 1 1999 between 8am and 8pm from the city.   The measure, scheduled to begin on July 1 2016, will be enforced with a €35 fine from 1st October.  The ban was agreed by the Minister of Environment, the City of Paris, and the transport authorities.


The new policy contains some glaring contradictions, and the level of pollution generated by vehicles does not seem to be the key consideration.  Vehicles in Paris already require a coloured badge to show the emissions group they belong to.   Yet pre-1999 bikes will be banned regardless of the colour of the badge.  That means that, even if a bike is ‘clean,’ it will be excluded from the city solely on the basis of age.


MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, has strongly rejected what she regards as an unfair and counter-productive scheme.  ‘Whatever problems Paris has with air quality aren’t going to be fixed by a blanket ban on older bikes.  For one thing, even an aging scooter has a tiny environmental footprint compared to most new cars.  So what’s the logic of banning a ‘good’ form of transport on the basis of what looks like political dogma?  Also, the total amount of road traffic made up of older bikes and pre-1997 cars – which will also be banned – is less than 10%.  Of that, a miniscule proportion is bikes and scooters.  So it makes no logical sense to ban this two-wheeled section of road traffic – as there’s going to be no measurable difference to air quality.  It’s a discriminatory, badly thought out move which will make Paris hugely unattractive to thousands of owners of older and classic bikes.’


London is considering an ‘ultra-low emissions zone’ by 2020, which would introduce heavy charges for vehicles that do not meet stringent emissions standards.  MAG has repeatedly raised the same concerns about this move as it is about the Paris ban.  ‘MAG is happy to work with the authorities to find sensible solutions to common concerns,’ adds Selina.  ‘What we won’t tolerate is the systematic exclusion of one of the most eco-friendly forms of powered vehicles ever invented, just because the decision-makers haven’t bothered to take a strategic – and sane – look at the consequences of what they’re doing.’

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We Buy Any

As a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who have had a great deal of pleasure from bikes and the biking community over the years we try to give a bit back by supporting our local bike charity.

We stick to the price we offer you and we collect your motorcycle for free at your convenience anywhere in the UK. We always make sure the funds are in your account before we take the bike.

We have over sixteen years experience in the motorcycle industry and offer a professional service to all our customers regardless of your motorcycle’s age, condition or value.

We don’t just want to buy your motorcycle, we want you to sell us your motorcycle and tell all your friends how easy and straight forward it was.

With this goal in mind we try to make the process of selling your motorcycle as quick and pain free as possible. You get a free, accurate & instant on-line valuation (we are the only bike buying website that does this) which gives you the best price for your motorcycle on any particular day. For more information please do visit our website.

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Andalusian Adventures

We just learned that one rider a month does not survive the twisty, mountainous road from Ronda to San Pedro. Just as well we didn’t know that a few days earlier when Liz and I rode that exact road….in the wet! However that day, we’d had our ‘sensible heads’ on and, however much the temptation was to twist the throttle and look up at the amazing views, we went gingerly and carefully on the slippery roads. We also rode a bit and then stopped properly, at viewing points, to take in the full, sweeping vistas over the coast
of Malaga and looked at the sparkling sea, hundreds of metres below.

Today, however, the sky was blue and the roads dry. I’m riding a BMW 650GS and Liz is riding a BMW F800 R, hired from The bike tyres were warm, as we’d just blasted forty minutes or so, from our mountain base in Teba, to the mountains of Parque Natural, just west of Ronda. Turning off the A374 main road, we started on the gentle twists and turns, through cherry trees about to blossom and cork trees stripped of their bark, towards the pretty little mountain village of Grazelema where we stopped for coffee. We probably sat warming ourselves in the spring sun a little too long, because gradually, quite few tourist buses spilled their passengers out into the square of this quaint little town, disturbing our peace and quiet enjoyment.
Climbing higher, to over 1200 meters, we wound our way, twisting and turning, mostly in second gear, up to the top of Mount Prieto. From there, we looked down from our lofty perch, for miles and miles over the turquoise reservoir known as the Embalse de Zahara. It was really, really, turquoise, as if painted by a child, exaggerating the deepness of the colour. Somehow, it just didn’t quite look real!

There were few cars, but several super fit cyclists, puffing their way to the top. So we had to be careful not to cut blind corners and to keep to the correct side of the narrow D road we now found ourselves on. The road down to the lake was steep, first gear steep in places, so we carefully used a lot of engine braking and rear brake to complement the squeeze on the front brake. At one point, we caught up with a nervous car driver, also in first gear, jumping on and off the brakes in full panic mode. It took a bit of careful
negotiation, not to scare them even further, by getting too close to make an overtake, without them feeling pressured into going faster and making a serious mistake. The metal Armco barrier on the steep bends, had mostly given way to solid blocks of two-foot high, white painted concrete, castellating the side of the road. I wondered if they would be more effective (or not) than the Armco, in trying to prevent anyone from going over the vertiginous drop over the side of the mountain? Either way, I didn’t want to put them to the
test! I concentrated hard, looking for the vanishing point at each bend , watching for it to move away, close up, or just stay still, before making my decision to slow down or speed up. I worked the throttle, brakes and clutch briskly and carefully, knowing my life probably depended on each tiny little decision.

The road from Grazelema to Zahara is spectacular if you have a head for heights and you know what you’re doing on a motorbike. It was described by a journalist of a famous biking magazine as ‘a road so perfect, yet so challenging, that riding it is as close as he has come to having a transcendent experience’.

After the intense concentration of the tight mountains bends, it was a joyful relief when we reached the lake and started on the flat, wide-open, sweeping bends of the road that followed along beside the water. Liz now took the lead and spurred us both on with a fast change of pace. At last, we found the sixth gear that had eluded us in the mountains and thoroughly enjoyed tipping the bikes over from side to side, riding fast into and out of each curve. It was thrilling to ride fast with such an experienced and safe rider, who closely matched my own riding ability. Adding to the thrill, I hurried and cajoled on the small underpowered 650cc bike, in an attempt to catch up Liz on the 800cc…..Not a chance!

Liz and I had come to Andalucia to ride some of the most beautiful mountain roads in Europe. We both also wanted to achieve a longhand ambition to see the Alhambra in Grenada. It took us about two hours, in the early cold morning, zapping fast along the motorway to get to Grenada from Teba, but the journey was well worth the effort. If you’re ever in this area of Spain, you just have to put the Alhambra on your ‘must see’ list. The ancient walled city and palace is one of the most important architectural structures of the Middle Ages and the finest example of Islamic art in the Western world. It also contains the most elaborate gardens, with ponds, waterways and beautiful fountains. There are shady, hidden courtyards, balconies and ingenious methods of catching the cool breezes definitely needed in the heat of an Andalucian summer, but not at this time of the year!

Liz is extremely knowledgeable about plants and could correct my poor memory and names for plants and flora and was therefore an excellent trip buddy not just for the motorcycling, but also for the visit to the Alhambra. It really is a rather special place!

For anyone who fancies a few days away biking in the Spanish mountains, all that’s needed is a low cost return flight to Malaga and a booking with They can provide accommodation in Teba, a range of different motorcycles to hire and transport to and from Malaga airport. There are plenty of little restaurants within 15 mins walk from the accommodation and for those travelling in the summer, the accommodation includes a lovely swimming pool and the most stunning views over the mountains, that I have ever seen anywhere in Spain.

I understand that Liz might be in the process of making a short video clip of our adventures for anyone that might be interested.

Meanwhile, if you fancy giving a ‘mini adventure’ like this a go and would like further information about how to do it, please do drop me a line at

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Neil Liversidge Resigns

MAG has announced that one of the leading campaigners for motorcyclists’ rights, Neil Liversidge, is resigning as Director of the organisation. Neil, who was one of the key leaders as MAG restructured itself into a proactive, politically energetic movement, said ‘I wish MAG, the staff and all of you personally all the well in the world, and I exhort you to support your Board and in particular the National Chair who is doing a great job which I admire very much.  MAG has never in my experience had a better team than it has today.   You are doing a great job and can be proud of yourselves.’

MAG’s Chair Selina Lavender has praised Neil’s contribution to the riders’ rights agenda across many years.  ‘Neil is MAG through and through.  He’s tirelessly contributed to our work at the cost of his health, his work and his family.  No-one could have done more than Neil to help the organisation become the foremost voice for bikers in the UK and also in Europe.  The Board and the National Committee wish to take this opportunity to formally thank Neil and acknowledge his dedication to the organisation.  We all wish Neil well and look forward to seeing him at our events in the future.’

As a result the Board now has two Director vacancies, one of which is a financial role. Anyone interested in these positions should contact the Board via

Contact MAG at   and    01926 844 064

Link to Neil’s statement

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Ride to Work Week 20th – 26th June

Ride to WorkRide to Work Week 2016 is on between Monday 20th and Sunday 26th June.

The campaign aims to raise the profile of commuting by motorcycle or scooter and to highlight the main benefits which include:

. Time saved – less time in traffic means more time in bed!
. Money saved – save on petrol spend more on you
. Easy parking – motorcyclists get into the smallest spaces
. Road skills improve riders who drive are better car drivers too
. It’s just more fun – you’ll turn up to work with a smile on your face

Special content will be shared during the week via social media, using the hashtag #commutehappy and Facebook page

. Riders can share their own pictures and Ride to Work Week content via the Facebook page and Twitter in order to show the rest of the UK why their mode of transport is so enjoyable.
. Events will be held across the UK for the public and for employees at motorcycle friendly businesses. These range from ‘bikers breakfasts’ to VIP parking and free CBTs for non-riding staff.
. The Ride to Work Week team will also put on a programme of events and Get On free ride opportunities in Northamptonshire, where the County Council is the first in the UK to actively encourage a modal shift towards motorcycling.
. Special offers, promotions and giveaways will be available throughout the week. Watch the Facebook page for details. These usually include free commuter cover from insurers, and offers on top brands for clothing and accessories as well as prizes!

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Steph Jeavons @ Colwyn Bay

We are delighted that Steph Jeavons will be joining us on Thursday 7th July at 7pm to discuss her trip (so far) around the world on a Honda CRF250L. Many of our customers will already know Steph as she worked at Colwyn Bay Motorcycles for several years, so we are thrilled that she would like to share her adventures with us. As a solo female rider she is attempting to become the first Brit to ride to all 7 continents, whilst doing the longest journey on a 250cc motorcycle. Steph has already been riding for 26 months and has covered 52,000 miles across 40 countries and 6 continents.


Steph doesn’t have a big inheritance, a fat trust fund or even corporate sponsorship. What she does have, however, is an authentic curiosity and genuine sense of wonder that characterizes not just this particular adventure, but her life in general. Steph lives with open hands and an open heart and while she cheerfully admits that she’s no stranger to fear, she’s determined to let her imagination and her dreams”determine her reality.  Throughout, Steph has been committed to connecting with people who are passionate about riding, or eating, or drinking, or music, or cars, or dreams”indeed, people who are passionate about living. These consequently find themselves connected not by language or politics; but by a thread of hope attached to a Honda CRF 250 that left the Ace Cafe in London on March 23, 2014.


A dedicated supporter of Rally 4 Life, Steph has spoken internationally at a wide variety of events and venues. Join us and Steph on the final half of her journey around the world, do not miss this unique opportunity to be inspired to remember your dreams. You can follow Steph at One Steph Beyond and meet her at Colwyn Bay Motorcycles on Thursday July 7th.

  • Date: Thursday 7th July
  • Time: 7pm
  • Venue: Colwyn Bay Motorcycles, 4 Groes Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8PU


Steph Jeavons.002



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Mayors on Bikes

Key London Mayor Candidates Share Motorbike Views with MAG

Britain’s leading riders’ rights movement, the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), has secured statements from the two front running candidates in the race to become Mayor of London.  Sadiq Khan MP (Labour) and Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative) shared with the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) their thoughts and plans for the capital’s hundreds of thousands of qualified motorcycle and scooter riders – and both have expressed their appreciation of the importance of powered two wheelers as part of the London transport mix, promising to work to ensure their needs are taken into account.  MAG is including links to their original text.  Sadiq Khan’s statement link: has appeared in the organisation’s magazine, The Road.  Zac Goldsmith’s statement, link: which arrived after publication of the magazine.

MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender, is very encouraged by their responses.  ‘MAG is not party political, we engage with members of all parties with a view to assisting riders in making an informed decision between leading candidates.  As either Zac or Sadiq are tipped to win this election, we invited them to outline how they see motorcycles in the context of London Transport policy (as neither had done so prior to our involvement). We’re sharing their statements to enable motorcyclists and scooter riders to make an informed decision about who they’d like as Mayor.’

Selina claims riders haven’t always felt they’ve enjoyed a level playing field with other road users.  ‘Hundreds of millions of Pounds have been spent on making cycling safer. All we’re asking for is consideration for our needs too – and recognition of the importance of motorbikes and scooters in our ever more congested city.  I’m heartened by the responses of both these front-running candidates. MAG can and will work with the winner. We leave it to the motorcycle and scooter riders of London to vote to decide who that should be.’

For more information contact 01926 844064 and

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Upcoming Events

JanS_Pat&Sho-PCcharitylaunch Hampton Court Sept13

WIMA Events 2016

25th – 26th April 2016 – Off roading in Wales – Check out the Black Desert website for more details. They have specific days for ladies and you must mention WIMA to get a discount.

1st May 2016: Weekend in Wales – Details TBC

21st May 2016:  WIMA Women Bikers Skills Day in Weymouth, Dorset.

10th – 12th June 2016: the National Rally will be held in Dyserth, Wales

August Holiday week-end in Hayling Island – More info soon.

OtheEvents & Upcoming Shows

1st May 2016 10: 30am – 4:00pm Motorcycle show at Withington Village Hall, Hereford HR1 3PP FREE entry, all proceeds from the raffle and sale of refreshments in aid of Breast Cancer Haven Hereford and Midlands Air Ambulance.

17th June – 4th July 2016: Ladies in Ladakh with Tiffany Coates. look at the HC Travel website for more information.

26th – 29th August 2016 The Overland Event Oxford, tickets on sale January 2016

International Rallies

11th – 15th  July 2016: Hungary, Estezgan, (near Budapest)

17th – 22nd July 2017: Estonia

30th July – 3rd August 2018: Finland in Moominland

2019: Curaçao and UK

2020: Germany

Check the WIMA World Website for more information on international rallies.

Regular UK Regional Meetings

Regular UK Regional meetings are also held in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Sussex and Dorset – see below.  If there is no meeting in your area, you are welcome to set up your own with help from the regional liaison or contact the President: president(at)

The Northern Liaison covers North Wales, Midlands, Northern England & Scotland.
The Southern Liaison covers South West; South East; South Wales; London & Home Counties and Anglia.

Monthly Meetings Agenda

Region Time and Date Details
W. Mids: Birmingham 10:00 am. 1st Sun of the month (except January) Meet for a ride out, weather permitting, at Manor House Tea Rooms, Earlswood Craft Centre, Wood Lane, Earlswood B94 5JH. If you want to eat prior to the ride they serve breakfast from 9.00am with prices starting from £3.00. Contact: Julie Walpole.
E.Mids, Lincolnshire North Lincs 8:00pm on the 4th Thursday of the month Contact Paula Clayforth for the venue. Also Ride Out on the first Sunday in the month: contact Paula.
London & South East 7:00­pm for a 7:30pm start on the 2nd Wednesday of the month Ace Cafe, Ace Corner, North Circular Road, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD Contact: Denise Gilvear Monthly ride outs/ins on Sundays in summer months.
North West: Cheshire, Merseyside, Manchester 7:30pm on the 1st Monday (or 2nd Monday if Bank holiday falls on the 1st.) The Bear’s Paw, Main Street, Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 7AF. Contact: Jane Wright
North East: Yorkshire 8:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of the month Barge & Barrel, Park Rd, Elland, Halifax HX5 9HP, including short ride out when nights are light. Monthly ride, 2nd Sunday each month, meeting same place at 11:00am Contact Ann Dower Tel: 07810 683787
Southern: Sussex 10:00 for 10:30 start on the 2nd Sunday of the month. Mayberry Garden Centre, 7­17 Old Shoreham Rd (A270), Portslade, Sussex BN41 1SP Contact Sue Barnes in advance.
Scotland Contact Katy O’Rourke (Glasgow) Contact Katy O’Rourke (Glasgow)
Lancs Contact Jan Fell 2nd & last Thursday each month, at 7-7.30pm Alison Arms, Preston Road, Coppull. PR75DU
Wales, North Contact Jane Wright 1st Monday, 7.30 pm [or 2nd Monday if Bank Holiday]: The Bear’s Paw, Main Street. Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 7AF.

Proposed ride-outs

On any Sunday

Just as there are many motorcycle events on any given Sunday, so there are a range of meetings on Sundays – even Saturdays!

Each area where members gather, rideouts, ride-ins or just riding together happens and we rely on members giving us information about where and when they happen. Of course there are many opportunities to see details of these on our Facebook page, but there is more information available to members in our regular newsletter. An example appears below just ot give you an idea of the spread of meeting places:

  • Abergavenny Bus Station, Monmouthshire. Car park & Café
  • ACE Café  North Circular, London
  • Greys Court National Trust Cafe, Henley-on Thames
  • Hindhead Commons and Devils Punchbowl, Hindhead
  • Cat and Fiddle Pub, Buxton Road, Macclesfield A537
  • Owl’s Nest Tearooms Llandovery A4069 to Llangadog
  • Newlands Corner Through Ewhurst to Shere A281
  • The Halt, on the A271 which runs the length of Wales!

Also check out  non-WIMA events and upcoming shows.

Below are suggestions in addition to the regular regional meets.

The list below are just ideas so, if any members are interested, they can suggest dates check the Members’ newsletter for more details, or get in touch with Denise Gilvear

Rhayader to Aberystwyth A44

Elan Valley There are super places to stop including the Red Kite Feeding Station where you can see up to 35 birds being fed at the same time!

Piece Hall – Halifax. Home to craft and independant shops

Sowerby Bridge – A58

Steel Horses Bikers Café

Sammy Miller Museum – between Southampton and Bournemouth

The Emmaus, Portslade Garden and Cafe, Very Peaceful!

Shoreham Locks

Glastonbury, Somerset

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2015 International Rally Australia – from Åsa Öhqvist


After our fantastic weekend at the Moto GP circuit we relocated down the road to The Shearing Shed, which was our rally site. However, first we had to get some wheels. We hitched a lift to Melbourne to collect the rental bikes at Garners, who kindly had offered WIMA a discount. Arriving at the shop was great, it was full of WIMAs who were being equipped with bikes and ready to roll. It took some time for us all to be sorted but in the meantime I could chat and catch up with friends from past rallies, so, as the Aussie say, “no worries”. Australia1My Estonian friend, Anneli, is worth a special mention here: she came strolling down the street, not showing a sign of having run the Melbourne Marathon the day before, she is a true super woman! We met in Japan 5 years ago and stay in contact for both riding and running. In the shop was Anna from Perth, who I met for the first time in New Zealand, 10 years ago, and we travelled together for 3 weeks back then. I also met with Tina, my very first WIMA friend, who I met at my first rally, in Sweden 2005, on a ride out to Store Mosse National Park and we ended up having heaps of cake for lunch at a café with all you can– eat cake buffet (I think it is a Swedish thing)

After meeting and greeting, prepping and packing we got ready to ride. I had rented a BMW 650 GS – a lovely old bike – and so we made our way back to Phillip Island. There, we met up with the rest of the WIMAs and I was happy to meet up with more friends I had not seen for years, as well as friends I saw last rally in Sweden in July. The evening started with a delicious welcome dinner and an official opening of the rally with a welcome speech by the Australian President, Moira, and our International President, Claudia. After this, it was mingle and party, lovely to catch up with friends and to meet a few new faces as well. I have to confess that I was rather tired after the weekend and turned in early. I slept beautifully in the cabin, shared with Estonians, Japanese and Germans – it was an international house, which is the way I like it!Australia2

On Tuesday, most of us rode to a botanical garden, led by local guide Kathy, to look at flowers and plants and say (in her own words): “oh, that’s weird”. I also saw a little mousy animal, quokka, which made me feel that I had accomplished something that morning. On from this, we continued to an old farm. It never stops to amuse me when Aussies point out that something is very old, i.e. 100 years. Well, western culture is young in this country. I walked the farm with Liv and Margareth, both Australians, who related back to things from their childhood and their grandparents, and actually, these things seemed quite the same as things that my grandparents had on their farm. Funny thing this, culture.Australia3 On the farm we could also see wallabies, and I was ruthlessly informed that the kangaroos I had seen 10 years ago were, in fact, not kangaroos, but wallabies. Imagine, during 10 years’ time I have treasured these memories of seeing wild kangaroos during Christmas in Australia. What a disappointment. I don’t know how I could have missed this, but honestly they all look the same to me, I just thought that the small ones grow to become big ones. Pretty much like small children regarding mice and rats 😮 Needless to say, this realisation made me feel silly!



Tuesday was also trash night.
Australia4This is something that I try to avoid getting involved in and since I was the only Swede I had thought that I would be excused. However, there was no mercy, humiliation had to include everyone so I did an improvised tiger hunt, very similar to what I do with the 2-4 year olds when I’m teaching, but in English. Amazingly enough, people seemed to love it, WIMAs are a cheerful lot. Other countries contributed with stories or dance and song performances and everyone was making a real effort so why shouldn’t I!?

On Wednesday it rained, and then it rained a bit more. Nevertheless, Kathy guided us safely up to the wildlife reserve where we could see all Australian animals – now I was going to get this kangaroo problem clarified. However, that proved to be optimistic, they still look the same to me, I can’t really see the colour difference and it was not possible to line them up for comparison. I decided that kangaroos are not all that interesting, my favourite Australian animal from now on is the wombat. In the nursery I could pet an 11 month old baby. He was being brought up by a carer who worked professionally with this and he would return to the wild when he was ready, in a year or so.

In my opinion, animals should not be kept in captivity and on display for our amusement. I was in two minds about going but in the end I was happy I came. This wildlife park seemed to work well and they were, for example, working on preserving the Tasmanian devil, which risks going extinct due to a virus. However, I thought some animals did have very small areas, and I was glad to learn that, for example, the Dingoes rotate between the display yard and a private one to not become nervous. Regardless, there is only so much time I can spend looking at animals in captivity.
I decided to hit the road and ride, after all that is what I came to Australia for. This proved to be a problem, an embarrassing one. I had left the parking light on by mistake and drained the battery, or so I thought. Luckily, there were other WIMAs there, Keiko and Tei (Michiko’s husband) helped me push start, which didn’t work, and then Tei unscrewed the plastic covers to get to the battery so we could jump start the bike… well, we got this far before he noticed that the kill switch was on. Oh, if only the earth could open and swallow me. How embarrassing! I never use this switch, I always turn the bike off with the key. I reckon that someone had tried to be helpful and intended to turn off the lights for me. So, we assembled the bits again and I could get riding. I had a lovely ride back to Phillip Island, I rode twisty roads in mountains with tall eucalyptus trees that smelled lovely, and then I rode twisty roads over green rolling hills with a view that stretched far. The only animals I saw were sheep, quite a lot of sheep – but the riding was fabulous.

Another destination was Wilsons Promontory National Park, which offered stunning nature and wild animals – I saw emus, nothing else but the view was fantastic. Mountains, fields with gnarly trees, swamps, steppe, there seemed to be a bit of everything. The view was so good that I didn’t bother to try capture it with a photo, I knew I would be disappointed. This was a place where you could spend days hiking I had to do with a ride through, it was a beautiful ride so I’m happy with what I got. The following day I spotted an animal, an echidna, next to the road while riding out with Angie, brilliant with a local guide again. I was just following her tail light and riding in a meditative way and there it was, like a present. This sums up my experience of Australian wild animals, after this I only saw birds. However, if I need to make peace with the kangaroo issue I have an invitation to Anna in Perth for a visit at her friend’s kangaroo sanctuary – good to know that there is a solution if the issue starts gnawing on my soul. As the Swedish representative and standing in for our Swedish WIMA president Carola, who was unable to come, I took part in the presidents meeting. I’ve done this before and it is always interesting to take part in the discussions, besides, I get to go to the presidents’ dinner afterwards and eat yummy food. This year, the meeting was extra exciting since I was standing for the position of Vice President. The votes were in my favour and I’m happy to be part of the international committee and contribute to WIMA International’s development over the next few years. Wow, exciting stuff! And please, don’t think I do it only for the dinners – even though the Italian restaurant Moira had booked served marvellous food. Well done Moira. It was a good choice if Rossi eats there it has to be delicious and nutritious stuff, or!?
After this, the only major event that remained was the parade, which also happens to be my favourite event! We all prepped our bikes with flags and other national accessories (like inflatable kangaroos, some go all out). Together, we rode through Cowes and I believe our appearance was impressive, people stopped and waved at us. After all, it was a parade of 60 or so female bikers from 11 countries (Australia, Austria, Britain, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA). After the parade we had lunch at the workers club in Wonthaggi. I love this Australian concept of clubs, there seems to be a club for everything. Following this, I experienced something new: I went geocaching with the Finnish WIMAs. I got initiated by some real pros, they even had a GPS to track the location of the geocache. Amazingly fun. It is like a treasure hunt, but without the hassle of finding treasure. Australia5I believe this is a great way of getting out and about seeing different locations, especially if the locations are as beautiful as this. Australia6Thanks to the expert geochachers Mari and Taru for enriching my life. Lastly, there was a farewell dinner and party. Yet again, we were served yummy food so special thanks were given to the chefs and the staff at The Shearing Shed. Next year’s rally in Hungary was presented with a video as an appetizer and an invitation letter from Emeze, the president of WIMA Hungary. Other things that took place were the presentation of this year’s Ellen Pfeiffer Award to Uli from Austria for her accomplishments within the local WIMA branch, and Keiko, former VP, and Sanna, former web manager, were thanked for their service in the international WIMA committee. We also collected 256.20 Aus $ for the Motorcycle Outreach, which will go towards setting up a repair shop at their location in Tanzania. This last evening was more a wind down than a party, most people were going to continue their travelling in Australia for some time to come.


(moved from WIMA International page)

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What does membership give you? Member ship costs just £14 a year and benefits included: participation in all events, including meetups, ride-outs and rallies, newsletters with travel and bike inspiration, discounts and contacts worldwide as well as affiliate membership on the BMF.


What does Membership give you?

Membership costs just £14 a year and benefits include:

  • A welcome pack of badges, pins and stickers
  • Participation in all events, including meetups, ride-outs and rallies
  • 11 newsletters a year
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  • Friendly contacts in the UK and Worldwide
  • Belong to a growing community of active, inspiring women!

For all new and existing membership related queries, please e-mail the membership secretary (live link) membership (at)

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The fees are listed below and are the same if you pay online, by cheque or Postal Order.

If you have access to a printer, you can complete or print off our Membership form Word doc or Membership form pdf.

You need to send the form whether you pay by cheque or PayPal. Fill it in and either e-mail the membership secretary or post it (with your cheque) to:


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UK and Overseas Members with PDF Newsletter £14 GBP

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Existing members will be reminded by the Membership Secretary to renew in the month that their membership is due to expire. A list is also published in the Newsletter. A renewal form and instructions on how to pay will be in the e-mail reminder.

You only need to return the renewal form if any of your contact details or your privacy status have changed.

You can renew online using PayPal using the same buttons for new membership – the fees are the same.

Check out our range of WIMA branded items in our SHOP page, as well as a list of the discounts WIMA membership gives you.

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News February 2015

Denise Gilvear, Southern Liaison Officer writes:

I know the feeling. Look out of the window…. is it snowing?……what’s the wind like?………. will I get cold?……… Is there a book I can read that will inspire me?

Well, the answers are; probably not snowing now; yes there is wind – it’s February; No you won’t get cold if you have the right base layers, middle layers, outer layer and waterproofs (now try and get on your bike!!) and yes, there is always something around that will let the sun shine in and your throttle hand twitch.

So, I’m on the hunt again for good rides, events and ‘happenings’ for the Spring and summer. There are a number of BIG events scheduled and you will have had information in your newsletter, but I’m thinking of those nice events such as tea as a National Trust property; lunch at a cafe with a wonderful view; meeting other bikers and sharing stories.

So, come on, get those thinking caps on and contact either myself, Denise, Southern Liaison Officer or Ann, Northern Liaison Officer and tell us about them.

Just as a matter of interest, a couple of us are thinking about a quiet weekend in Wales where the roads are superb, the food is great and the company… well, it’s WIMA isn’t it? So it must be good! Let me know if you are interested.

Possible ride-outs!

The OWL’S NEST Tea Room Diner, a family run business at the heart of the Garden Centre, just outside Llandovery, on the A4069 to Llangadog.This place welcomes groups and includes bikers within that welcome.

It was described to me as a ‘serious four hour ride each way’ but it does mean South-eastern girls will have a lovely ride, nice food and meet up with ladies from the West of the region. I haven’t put forward a date for this because it will need to be organised between us and the Region Rep, Sheila, in order to get the best out of it. In the mean time, take a look at the meeting place using the link below.

Of course, Jan suggests that if you’re game it could be a weekender event!

Jan has also suggested a jaunt to Mersea Island, meeting at the bike stop near High Beech. I have been to Mersea and found it a lovely place and would really like to do this ride. Anyone else up for it? I’m not sure when would be a good month for this. Any suggestions and anyone willing to take the lead for it?

Jan also mentioned The Elizabethan Hunting Lodge in Epping Road.  I have no idea where or what this is so will leave it to the London girls to inform me as I’m a simple country gal with no knowledge of these wicked London ways…………………..sorry, got carried away again!

I thought that this place: looked like a good place to meet! The blurb says:

Wessons cafe in Horam has been a bikers favorite stop for over 12 years . Motorcycle relics and memorabilia hang proudly from the walls . You are always assured of a warm welcome whether your arrive on by motorcycle , car , cycle , horse or on foot.

I also received a message from Sheila in Wales mentioning a biker’s cafe at Crossgates.
She is more than happy to find some places and meet up with others. I think it would be best to identify a location to meet and then follow Sheila (who knows the best roads and watering holes) to a location. Although I like making my own way in new places, sometimes it’s good to meet up with local friends and find places only the locals know. Added to which, some Welsh roads can be little devils to get round!!

Sheila also sent the following:

Hi Denise.
Nice ride up the Mountain road from Rhayader to Aberystwyth A44 in the summer with Red Kite Cafe half way. Circular ride around the Elan Valley dams from Rhayader with good award winning cafe and visitors centre,Red kite centres…I think there are 3. One on the mountain road to Aberystwyth has a cafe. A470 which runs the length of mid Wales…good cafe “The Halt”. All used by bikers and lots of photos on Google images of the places I’ve mentioned. Bikers cafes near Leominster on the Welsh English border. OK Diner, and a bikers cafe not far from there in a secluded wood, can’t just remember the name. The Steel Horse Cafe near Usk is new and just for bikers.An old pub turned into a cafe ..and should have it’s own website. Knills cafe at crossgates where the A483 and A44 meet Ideal for any members coming from England as it’s only approx 20 miles from the A49. There are so many places !!

You have Welshpool for Wales, but there are better places…Abergavenny bus station car park on Sundays, Steel Horse bikers cafe on the old road to Usk, and Knills cafe on the A44 near Llandrindod wells, tons of bikes there on a summer sunday,and even a few this week!! just to name a few. 🙂
Have a great 2014

If you fancy any or all of the above, let me know and we’ll get something organised. I think it only polite to let Sheila know when someone will be around so a quick get together could be arranged at any time!

Paula has asked whether we can meet up at the ACE on a weekend instead of our normal Wednesday evening. The answer is yes we can and certainly Rina and a couple of others meet there at weekend. They will usually let folks know when.

Paula also suggested a run out to the Sammy Miller museum one weekend. I think that’s a great idea and I’ll try to fit one in to the calendar if someone will step up to lead it……?

In addition she mentioned a Bus Terminal at Abergavenny but I need a bit more info about the location (please Paule) and i’m not sure if it is this she describes as ‘a bit like Box Hill, nothing there but loads of bikes’.

Sue Barnes has suggested a very special run which she describes as ‘the ‘bluebell ride’ which takes you up the A281, squiggles through Ewhurt to Shere and ends at Newlands Corner. See here:
This one needs to be in April or at least when the bluebells are out. So Sue, can you give me a date?

She also suggested The Emmaus place is in Portslade. See here:
She says ‘This would need to be on a Saturday, as it’s not open on Sunday. They have a great cafe, second hand shop and very peaceful gardens.’

I love the sound of this place and would love to go there. We’ll sort out a date and you can put my name down Sue!

The Shoreham locks is an interesting experience for a little ride afterwards, plus a quick walk on the beach…and a nice cream from the cafe for the brave!

Southwick beach

Finally, I have a super suggestion or request from Rina. She thought a trip down the A303 – Glastonbury would be nice. Again I want to do that trip as well! I’ve not spent much time there and would love to have a wander. Best to avoid Festival time!!

Ride well ladies!


(copied from News page)

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News August 2014

Ellen Pfeiffer Award 2013 – congratulations to Anna Zee

Anna received the Award in recognition of her contribution to WIMA and motorcycling causes on a national and european level.

Extract from GB nomination:

“During the 1990’s Anna became increasingly involved in the activities of the the largest UK Bike Membership Organization.  She was elected to the post of PTS (Political and Technical Services Director) of the BMF in the late 1990s, a role she continued to play through to the early 00s. Anna was responsible for the direction and policy of the two BMF Government Relations Executives during a time of pressure on Motorcycling in the UK and especially in the EU.

Anna was also the Chair of the BMF for over 5 years. Having guided the BMF organisation to survival, Anna has recently reverted to the PTS Director role, where she has been instrumental in supporting FEMA [Federation of European Motorcycle Associations] to an effective future.

She has always prioritised European lobbying at the expense of narrow national organizational interests.

Anna has given a huge amount of her time and personal support to a future for Motorcycling in Europe and says: ”Support your own biker organisation; whether it is BMF [UK], BDU (Deutschland) MAG [Nederlandse] , etc: FEMA will represent us all!. And let us not forget that European policies on motorcycling influence other governmental organisations in other parts of the world.” “

Members can read more about the Award in the September Newsletter.

(copied from News page)