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Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations

 

MEP Ride Archive

MEP Ride 1997

Whilst sorting through some “floppy” discs - remember them - at the MAG Office I came across these photographs and press release - below - from the second MEP Ride in 1997.

Reading through the list of attendees from National European road rider organisations I find it hard to believe that MAG was not represented at the ride.

If you know different or can confirm this please drop me an e-mail.

If you attended any of the MEP Rides since 1997 and have any photographs or briefing documents I would love to catch sight of these, again drop me an e-mail .

Trevor Baird

General Secretary MAG UK

general-secretary@mag-uk.org 

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Local FFMC marshals prepare to do the job of the police who did not show up!
Picture 'European Parliament'

Roger Barton MEP, with pillion Becky who works in the European Parliament, are ready to roll on an Aprilia 650 Starck. Picture 'European Parliament'

 

 

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Simon Milward of FEM tells the President of the European Parliament Jose Maria Gil-Robles and Roger Barton MEP the aims of the run before departure.
Picture 'European Parliament'

European Parliament President Jose Maria Gil-Robles addresses the riders. Simon Milward is to his right with MEPs Roger Barton and Bernd Lange (black leather suit) also in the foreground.
Picture 'European Parliament'

 

 

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Unknown Rider

Hugh Kerr MEP (beard) tries a Harley Davidson for size.
Picture 'European Parliament'

 

 

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Joe Wilson MEP (grinning wildly) enjoys a Harley Davidson, though it is much bigger than the old Matchless he last rode. Picture 'European Parliament'

Stefan Pfitzner (shades, Cromwell helmet) from the Cabinet of the President of Parliament tries an 883 Sportster.
Picture 'European Parliament'

 

 

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Eric Thiollier (on chair) of FFMC explains the agenda for the evening in front of President Gil-Robles, and MEPs Roger Barton and Nuala Ahern.
Picture 'European Parliament'

FFMC Marshals with Placard.
Picture 'European Parliament'

 

 

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Bryan Cassidy MEP with BMF members from left: Dick Sutton, Peter Spires, Robin Gregory, Trevor Magner, Sue Roskell & FEM General Secretary Simon Milward.
Picture 'European Parliament'.

Successful motorcycle ride with MEPs

Press Release

22 July 1997

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) arrived at their Summer breaks in fine style this year. Eight MEPs joined a motorcycle ride on Thursday 17 July in Strasbourg, France.

They were accompanied by twenty-five members of staff from the Parliament, Council of Europe and press corps, along with 250 motorcyclists from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the UK. The original idea for the event had come from Roger Barton MEP and local motorcyclists in the '67' branch of the Federation Francaise des Motards en Colere (FFMC).

Parliament had never before experienced anything quite like it. Motorcycles lined the whole main entrance area three-thick, politicians tried on helmets and chatted to their constituents, whilst licence-holders chose their machines from a good choice lent by local dealers.

Shortly after 19.00h the Spanish President of Parliament, Mr Jose Maria Gil-Robles, addressed the riders in French and English. Standing on a chair, undoubtebly reminiscent of days in his earlier political career, he recounted an amusing late-night argument between Roger Barton MEP and Martin Bangemann of the Commission concerning the now discredited proposal to restrict the power of superbikes.

He then asked that his Cabinet member Mr Stefan Pfitzner, who was to ride an 883 Sportster, was returned safely to him, before wishing all the riders a safe enjoyable ride. The presence of the President gave the event real credibility whilst giving Parliament an opportunity to show that it can have some fun too.

The cavalcade circled the old and new Parliament buildings before heading west towards the Vosges mountains. FFMC 67 marshalled the group via perfect biking roads to Obernai, a tourist wine town at the foot of the Vosges. The local Mayor was ready with a reception committee, and after several speeches about the culture of the area, the group were free to sample the delights of Alsacien cuisine in a vast choice of local restaurants.

It was over all too soon, by 23.00h the last motorcycles were heading back for Strasbourg with their grinning passengers.

FFMC and FEM would like to thank the City of Strasbourg, Shoei France for donating 12 helmets, local dealers for two Aprilias, a BMW, a Kawasaki, two Hondas, two Yamahas, and four Harley Davidsons, the services of the European Parliament and Council of Europe, the BMW and Goldwing Clubs, and in particular the motorcyclists who made the event into such a memorable occasion.

On Friday many riders accepted the invitation of the City of Strasbourg to take a tour of the city by canal, before being received by the Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg at a lunch-time reception with Roger Barton.

Simon Milward of FEM said, "Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was also a great opportunity for legislators to get to understand motorcycling a bit better. FFMC 67 and its members did a magnificent job, let's hope they are willing to do it again next year." FFMC was saddened that no French MEPs took part in the ride, a situation they hope to change for next time.

Strasbourg was the scene of the first ever Euro Demo in June 1988, when over 5000 riders turned out on the Avenue de l'Europe adjacent to Parliament in protest at unwanted national legislation. The founding meeting of FEM also took place there with rider organisations from France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Luxembourg, Austria and Greece.

END

MEPs on the ride:

Roger BARTON
Bernd LANGE
Hugh KERR
Joe WILSON
Giles CHICHESTER
Peter TRUSTCOTT
Christine ODDY
Nuala AHERN

MEPs who attended the start/supported otherwise:

Jose Maria GIL-ROBLES (EP President)
Ian WHITE
Bernie MALONE
Marianne THYSSEN
Nel VAN DIJK
Frederic STRIBY

National European road rider organisations represented:

Motorcycle Action Group (Belgium)
Kuhle Wampe (Germany)
BVDM (Germany)
Coordinamento Motociclisti (Italy)
BMF (UK)
 

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Tel. 0870 444 8 448 Fax. 0870 444 8 449
Website:
www.mag-uk.org

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