Right To Ride Gets a Re-vamp

Our partners over at Right To Ride have re-vamped their site, press release below, and RTWW can’t stress enough that riders show their support to Right To Ride and their efforts in ensuring Bikers rights are not over-looked.  Check out the Right To Ride press release below and head over to their site today and sign up..


Back To Rights

9th June 2010

Right To Ride today launches its brand new website with a new address www.righttoride.co.uk dropping the “Write” and putting the “Right” back into Rider’s Rights.

Apart from looking all shiny and new, the main change is to give a direct opportunity for visitors to the site to comment on the news stories, the issues, the consultations and the campaigns that we are involved in.

Our main aims and objectives remain unchanged, however we are reiterating that at Right To Ride we can only do this by consultation with and support from riders; to define our position which is that there is always a line that we will not cross when engaging with authorities and decision makers, principles which we will not compromise under any circumstance.

Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird, says, “Our thanks to all the clubs and individual riders that have supported Right To Ride over the past year.

We’ve been asked what added value can Right To Ride give to Northern Ireland motorcyclists.

The answer is simple: Right To Ride is a point of reference not just for bikers, riders, motorcyclists, whatever you ride but also for decision makers.  When the authorities put out consultations on road safety issues, training, legislation etc, they always look for a relevant organisation to discuss these issues with.  When bikers are given a raw deal or are unfairly treated by businesses or the authorities, they look for a fellow biker who can help them. In a nutshell, this is what we do.

The other change at Right To Ride is that you can sign up to support Right To Ride either as an Individual Rider, Motorcycle Club or Business, with no membership fees. As a supporter you will receive a supporter’s card.

We also have, “”Don’t Expect Us To Be Quiet!” stickers. You don’t have to be a supporter to receive these.

What’s coming up from Right To Ride?

Our reply to the DOE’s consultation on a Road Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland;

Our views on proposals regarding the introduction of the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive in Northern Ireland, as a follow up to our reply to the Northern Ireland consultation;

Keeping an eye on the review that Roads Minister Department for Transport in Great Britain has announced which will re-evaluate:

1) The manoeuvres carried out in both modules 1 (off-road) and 2 (on-road) and whether these manoeuvres could safely be conducted in the on-road test.

2) Other related motorcycle testing and training issues, including the options for training and testing for progressive access under the third driving licence directive and how any changes relate to wider proposals to improve motorcycle training and testing.

We have written to our authorities to ask if motorcycle riders, trainers, road safety groups, the wider public and others will have the same opportunity in Northern Ireland;

We are looking at a project in Europe which is proposing a force feed throttle to warn riders if they are speeding, where the throttle of a motorcycle can be controlled automatically and the rider has no control over the throttle and thus the bike.

Right To Ride is attending the 1st International Motorcyclists’ Conference to be held in Brussels at the end of June.

This conference is organised by the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations, with the support of other rider federations from Canada and Australia, safety organisations, businesses and the European Commission.


The old website, www.writetoride.co.uk if technology works, will automatically route to the new website www.righttoride.co.uk so if you have linked to us or certain pages these links will go to the new website.

We have produced new logos which can be downloaded from http://www.righttoride.co.uk/?page_id=80

If you have linked to our RSS feed this has now moved to http://www.righttoride.co.uk/?feed=rss2

Also our email addresses have changed to reflect the new website.

General Inquires: info@righttoride.co.uk

Trevor Baird: trevor.baird@rightoride.co.uk

Elaine Hardy: research@righttoride.co.uk

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All Northern Irish motorcyclists have the right to clean roads!

A new Facebook Group has been founded to fight for safer roads for Northern Ireland bikers.  This cause was founded by Stephen Leathem (Leo), on behalf of all motorcyclists in Northern Ireland and he is going to tackle the problem of the condition of our roads….with your help hopefully he will succeed!

The Group States;

Join us and support us in our pursuit to have our local government sit up and take notice of the disgraceful state of our roads….we are talking about everything from potholes to farmers trailing mud all over the B-roads.  We pay our Road Tax just like everyone else and have the right to clean, safe roads!  Please feel free to send us any photos of the poor road conditions or post them yourself on the wall and we will make sure they go to the right place.  Join the cause before there is another life and bike ruined!

This is one of a number of worthy attempts to highlight road issues for bikers and you will find another awareness campaign ‘Fix A Road’ over on our partners Write to Ride web site.



Those of you who read MCN will also know they are making efforts to highlight the problems of potholes specifically, as part of a nationwide attempt to name and shame councils which refuse to assist their efforts.

Bikers aren’t alone in this campaign either as RTWW’s Editor Nick Moore carries out Rural Regeneration and Community Development work via a number of different enterprises, and is putting together the ‘Action For Rural Roads Campaign’ which initially targets the Ards Peninsula in Co.Down, and brings together support from Community Groups and Police partnerships in that area.  More details on this project will be available soon.

It would seem the spotlight is well and truly on N.I. roads and as it’s election season again our timing couldn’t be better to apply a little pressure.  Show your support for these campaigns and help make the Province’s roads safer for all.

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BikersRVoters – Shaping UK Government Motorcycle Policy

Our partners over at Write To Ride have launched a new initiative to get Bikers motivated to lobby and have their opinions on motorcycling heard at Government level.  Relying on politicians to ‘understand’ biking issues without guidance can give results ranging from ludicrous to dangerous, take this complete arse for example – ‘Labour MP Barry Sheerman has called motorcyclists “widow makers and orphan makers” who were “disgraceful in a civilised society”.
Below is a statement from Write To Ride’s Trevor Baird on the BikersRVoters initiative and head over to www.bikersrvoters.org for more information.

BikersRVoters – Political Soapbox

As the General Election looms closer to elect MPs on 6th May 2010, Right To Ride has launched its BikersRVoters campaign website.

Bikers R Voters is a non – political lobby with no allegiance  to parties and historical divides. What is important (for us at least) is whether motorcyclists even have a modicum of influence in the ‘corridors of power’ and whether we can affect policies and legislation regarding motorcycles and other related issues that surround motorcycling.

Bikers may be Voters but there is no illusion here that motorcyclists as a community, won’t just vote for a motorcycle friendly politician, however it may have some influence to tip the balance, together with other major issues of concerns that we as voters face in our daily lives.

The objective is to inform – listen – debate  – with those who do not understand or have a different perspective regarding motorcycling and to stay engaged with those who fully understand the importance of motorcycling in Northern Ireland. .

We’d like to know what all parties think of motorcycling – what they can do for us in the various corridors of power and how they can implement this in the real world – a platform – a Political Soapbox for motorcycle policy issues.

We  also want to know the rider’s point of view – The Rider’s Soap Box gives the opportunity to express what riders think are the main issues for motorcycling. What you think the politicians should be doing and what they would do if they were in charge!

2010 is the 15th anniversary of  “The Bigger Than Borders” demo that saw 3,000 motorcyclists ride from Belfast to Dublin in protest against proposed new European anti motorcycling laws and interference by the European Commission in motorcycling matters.

This “megaphone diplomacy” still has its place in our armoury if there is no other option left.  But for now, we hope to be a bit more sophisticated in our engagement with the politicians – our elected representatives.

Who is in a better position to inform and communicate issues that effect motorcycling than the riders, either as individuals or organised as an effective lobby, armed with a knowledge of motorcycling.

Trevor Baird


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Important Stories on “Write To Ride”

Our motorcycling partners over at Write To Ride have highlighted a couple of important stories of late and make a good case for better representation of bikers rights.

The 1st is the horrific tale of a fellow biker in Norway that, after being run down and seriously injured by a car driver, has found no justice or recompense for his accident as a judge has let off the driver in question!  The reason being, and I kid you not, was that the motorcycle was harder to see than a car.  Is that to be an official excuse now for hitting bikes;

“I couldn’t really see the bike your honor they’re not as wide as a car y’know.”
“Oh that’s ok if the other guy was stupid enough to ride a motorcycle the risk is his and I’m sure you had a good look around you, case dismissed.”

Head over to Write To Ride for more on this story and how you can lend your voice to the Norwegian Motorcyclists Union in support of the injured biker.


The 2nd story involves the new Roads Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland.  The Department of the Environment’s (DOE) Minister, Edwin Poots has launched the DOE’s consultation paper to prepare a new road safety strategy for Northern Ireland which will cover the years 2010 to 2020.

The Minister said: “Improvement is also necessary to reduce injuries to older pedestrians and motorcyclists and to deal with the increased risks faced by children in areas of deprivation.  To be effective a new strategy must tackle these issues.

Write to Ride covers the details of the proposed Strategy here and voices its concerns on some of the suggestions targeted at motorcyclists.

Ride The Wild Wind agrees wholeheartedly with the opinions of Write to Ride in this matter and would encourage our readers to give their support to Write To Ride which is fast becoming the voice for riders rights in Northern Ireland.  RTWW has heard many complaints about the lack of action by other riders rights organisations in the UK and how they’re lethargic approach to the machinations of Europe, and local government, are letting Brussels buffoons walk all over us.  This isn’t the case with Write To Ride who have been very active in challenging anti-bike bias and keeping a watchful eye on riders rights in general.  Head over to their site today and show your support.

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Think Bike – Think Biker – Making the Video

Our partners over at Write To Ride have the making of video for the new Think Bike – Think Biker safety campaign we posted earlier in  the week.  This is a great video and hopefully a campaign that people will take notice of.  The TV advert is presented again below and head over to here on Write To Ride to see the making of.

New ‘Write to Ride’ Article – Think – Named Riders Campaign

Our partners over at Write to Ride have a new article up featuring the UK Government’s new ‘Named Riders’ campaign, part of its ‘THINK!’ road safety strategy.

The new £3.5 million campaign marks a radical departure for THINK! after research showed drivers are more likely to notice motorcyclists on the roads if they personally know them.

The Think! adverts put motorcyclists at the centre of the new campaign in a bid to encourage all drivers to see the person behind the helmet.

Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird says, “This is another well thought out advert from the DfT and we hope that it gets aired here in Northern Ireland, rather than the blood guts and gore campaign ads we suffer here in Northern Ireland, that in our opinion push the viewer away from road safety, instead of pulling them in”.

Head over to Write to Ride for more on this story.

The 40 second version of the THINK! advert is below and on-line at our YouTube Channel RideTheWildWindTV ;

Check out the new ‘Write To Ride’ article ‘The Tampered Spirit of Motorcycling’..

Our friends over at Write To Ride have a new article up on the latest european intent to meddle with our machines.  Anti-tampering regulations to stop riders improving or altering their machine are ridiculous and contrary to the very nature of motorcycling, that special bond and trust you make by knowing every aspect of your bike and how it works.

What’s next one wonders, how far will they go to stop you tinkering with your ride?  Perhaps, much like a car engine, they’ll seek to seal up your bike, making it tamper, and tinker, proof.  Legislate and regulate to the extent that an owner must return to the dealer for every aspect of bike maintenance and general upkeep.  The potential knock on effect of such an initiative would be to kill off hundreds of experienced bike mechanics businesses, such as our RTWW partner Steve Baker Motorcycles, by introducing machines that they are either physically prevented from interfering with, or in doing so will void the owners warranty.  As legislators seek to make more and more pointless regulation of motorcycles they also stiffle any potential innovation that comes about from modifying and personalizing your ride, perhaps preventing discoveries to enhance the economy and ecological performance of motorcycling.

I know that all sounds a bit doomsday scenario, but the current anti-tamper regulations along with several other mad suggestions over the last couple of years from Europe showcases an anti-bike sentiment, and a fundamental lack of understanding about what bike ownership means to people and what it involves.  All the more important that riders rights organisation such as Write To Ride receive your support to ensure you can keep two wheels on the road.

Check out the Write To Ride article here or click on their RSS feed to the right.

Rant over, Europe picked a bad day to bug me Grrrrr….

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