Members of European Parliament Motorcycle Ride
File under Events
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
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.|
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:
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)
The motorcade got augmented with some 15 motorcyce Police from the Federal Belgium Police, riding a mixture of Yamaha and BMW motorcycles.
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....
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 and finally the parade was followed by a Police command car.
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.
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.
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.
The motorcycle parade went on for quite some length. Riding in the back, I could not see the front.
At minor intersections, the Police would hand over to the Road Captains, who would continue to block the road.
The Brussels people came to see the "parade" in droves, many applauding and taking photos, despite the major traffic jams created.
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.