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Members of European Parliament Motorcycle Ride

27
June
2008
  Posted at 09:32:40 AM
  File under  Events
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

FEMA logo
The idea is a great one! Get those politicians that decide on our motorcycle future to actually ride one. How can you pass laws regarding motorcycles if you've never been on one? So the European Federation of Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) set about to organize a general ride out for the MEP (Members of European Parliament).

The ride-out was quite a success, first of all the weather was very nice in Brussels and secondly, FEMA did a good job organizing it. Here's a quick photo impression of the ride.

I have to apologize for watermarking all these photos. There's a web site in the Ukraine that has decided to take all my articles (and that of other motorcycle sites), translate them, and then publish them under their own name, with no link credits or whatsoever to the people who actually write the stuff. There's no contact info and their comments don't work, so no way to ask them to stop. So you're going to have to bear with me while I "brand" the photos. Sorry.


FEMA MEP Ride 2008

As you can see, we are truly in Brussels....

Some 20 politicians from all over Europe participated, and there were some 70-100 motorcycles present at the ride. Many national motorcycle associations were there to help out.

Loads of photos following the jump:


FEMA MEP Ride 2008

All the politicians that did not come on their own motorcycle (there were actually a few who do ride), and therefore did not have their own protective equipment, got some fancy stuff on loan. Their helmets were painted blue with yellow stars, ie, the European flag.

The motorcycles were on loan from the motorcycle manufacturers, brand new Harley-Davidsons (one of the main sponsors), BMWs, KTMs, Ducatis and even Benellis.

Before the ride, there were plenty of photo ops with the FEMA President, Hans Peter Strifeldt (seated)

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

The motorcade got augmented with some 15 motorcyce Police from the Federal Belgium Police, riding a mixture of Yamaha and BMW motorcycles.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

The Police force made all the difference. Riding your motorcycle in Brussels at this moment is not fun, since there are road works all over the place, and traffic is at a standstill. At the end of the day, traffic would be at a complete stop, thanks to the MEP ride....

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

After the safety briefing, we went out for the ride. The sequence was the Police up front, followed by the Road Captains from the local Belgium Motorcycle Association (MAG), followed by the participants, followed by the Belgium Chapter of the Blue Knights Open link in a new window and finally the parade was followed by a Police command car.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

We were instructed to ride in pairs, and stick to the right most lane, making sure that the lane to our left was empty at all times.

The rear Police car blocked both lanes from traffic coming up in the rear.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

The running of the parade was smooth as clockwork. You'd be riding at a slow pace (typically 30 kph), with all roads blocked off. Police at all intersections would block off all traffic.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

Then you'd see in your mirrors blue strobe lights, and the Police officers that had blocked a traffic lane, after the parade went past, would ride at a very high speed back to the front of the group.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

The motorcycle parade went on for quite some length. Riding in the back, I could not see the front.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

At minor intersections, the Police would hand over to the Road Captains, who would continue to block the road.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

The Brussels people came to see the "parade" in droves, many applauding and taking photos, despite the major traffic jams created.

FEMA MEP Ride 2008

Everyone was enjoying themselves (except maybe the Brussels inhabitants, who had been made to wait a long time). Even the politicians were waving at all the people, and taking snapshots along the way.

On a whole, it's a really nice event. Obviously, if you're going to be riding a motorcycle through Brussels, it's the only way. But having politicians exposed to riding a motorcycle in a busy city, even under Police protection, can only be a good thing. Who knows, maybe some of them will take up riding...

Nice job FEMA. Thumb Up Smiley





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