Issue 16 May-Jun 2008
Back Issues

Building Bridges

NE police force links up with MAG

ONE of Britain's most biker friendly police forces is linking up with MAG in a ground-breaking pact in the North-east.

Face to face talks between MAG campaigns manager, David Short, and Cleveland Police Bike Section Head, Sgt Nick Walker, have produced what all concerned hope is a blueprint for a continued bright biking future in the Cleveland force area.

Cleveland's finest have adopted the slogan "Working With Motorcyclists For Motorcyclists" and proof of the pudding, they say, is the catalogue of co-operation between the police and MAG over a calendar of biking events in and around Teesside throughout 2008, the first being none other than MAG's own No1 Rally on Saturday May 10th. This will see Nick's team of Motorcycle Officers - all of them keen bikers in their own right, providing a large scale escort for the parade of MAG members' machines which will traverse the force area leaving Teesside Industrial Estate (on the A1045 at Thornaby) going through Stockton and Middlesbrough en route to Redcar.

Major evidence of Cleveland Police's continuing commitment to motorcycling is their own Ridewell event, one of the biggest biking shows in the region. Cancelled last year when it was washed out by the appalling summer weather, this year's Ridewell promises to be back bigger and better than ever with MAG members actively encouraged to attend and take part.

Ridewell, run by Cleveland Police with support from Stockton Borough Council will be back at its regular venue in the picturesque grounds of Preston Hall and Museum on the A135 Yarm Road, Stockton, on Sunday July 6th and will provide a bonanza of biking treats, many of them "hands on", including observed ride outs run by police riders, a trials display and contest, a chance to meet members of the Virgin Media Yamaha Superbike team, a stunt display from the Vertical Brits plus a shopload of trade stalls and other attractions.....and it is all FREE - including parking. The organising committee is keeping its' collective fingers crossed that this year the weather will be much kinder than it was in 2007. More details at www.ridewell.org.uk.

More MAG members are expected to be taking part in Teesside's contribution to the national Ride to Work Day on Wednesday, July 16th when the Cleveland Police bike team will be providing a VIP escort for a mass 7.30am "commute" from the meeting place at the Ridewell site at Preston Hall taking a route through Stockton and Thornaby to Middlesbrough where a free bikers' breakfast will be laid on enabling all taking part to socialise and fortify themselves for the day ahead before setting off for their day on the treadmill.

Over and above these planned events, the Cleveland's Bike Section run a well established continuing observed ride programme where riders of any level of experience can have their skills assessed by Police Class One riders, who will also offer their advice. This facility is available to any MAG member at no charge whatsoever. Interested - then contact PC Iain Tribick on 01642 301574 to fix one up. There are limited numbers of pre-booked rideout slots available at Ridewell. Ring Iain or drop him an E-Mail at iain.tribick@cleveland.pnn.police.uk to see if any are still available.

Cleveland's enthusiastic Police bike team also plays a key role in the award winning "Handle it or Lose it " rider development programme which offers instruction and advice to help you get the most from your bike. Two of these weekend courses are being made available free to two lucky MAG members in the hope and anticipation they will pass on the good news to others. More details of this offer at www.handleitorloseit.com.

Said Nick Walker: "I always find it refreshing when new links are forged. MAG's love for all things two wheeled is shared by my team. We want to continue to develop the theme of our motto of 'Working With Motorcyclists For Motorcyclists' and what better way to do it than assist MAG members with bikers' interests and developing skills. All the members of our team are keen and committed motorcyclists as well as Police Officers. We all want to see other bikers enjoying themselves on two wheels and staying safe while they do it."

Nick also said he hopes that the Cleveland force's view of motorcyclists will assist in removing barriers and show their human side. This can be seen from some of the alternative bikes they ride which are supplied to them via partnerships that have been formed with Just Harleys of Newcastle. Said Nick: "This isn't a get out of jail free card. If people are caught doing something stupid on two, three or four wheels, they will be dealt with in the most appropriate way, but in the Cleveland area you can rest assured you will not be pulled simply because you are on a bike. We see responsible motorcyclists as legitimate road users like any others and we'll continue in our efforts to support them".

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