IPA UK’s Motorcycle Group celebrates its 10th Anniversary with an International Rally around Yorkshire and beyond

08 Sep 2019

What an exciting start to our first International Rally, celebrating the inauguration of the Group’s formation ten years ago! Nearly 100 riders and pillion passengers with 80 bikes arrived at Storthes Hall Park, Huddersfield University Campus - some would consider the area to be the ‘centre of the universe’ for motorcycling!

The event was officially opened by the Mayor of Kirklees Municipal Council, Councillor Mumptaz Hussein, ably assisted by the Huddersfield Town Crier, Vic Watson, who was suitably dressed in a magnificent blue outfit. Our visitors arrived from far and wide - representatives of their own country’s IPA Sections - Australia, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, and Switzerland. Section UK were represented by riders from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Bikes of all makes and sizes, including two trikes, filled the campus car park. Some IPA attendees were also members of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.Chairman Paul and Kim

The International Rally was 12 months in the planning, led by Group Chairman Paul Firth, ably assisted by a number of members. Our Vice Chair, John Birkenshaw, worked hard to gain sponsorships, both from a number of IPA Section UK parts - National, Region and Branch levels - together with tangible support by Allan Jefferies BMW Dealership, Morrison’s Supermarket, Taylors Yorkshire Tea, Black Sheep Brewery, Timothy Taylor Brewery, and Casarva Trike Conversions, and, for the social side, thirst was quenched with Timothy Taylor’s beer.

Although our Australian - Joe Anderson, Victoria Police - had travelled the furthest and had hired a bike from our BMW sponsor, credit must be given to two of our intrepid Scots who travelled from their homes north of the border some two weeks before the Rally. Not directly to Huddersfield, but they went to Europe and through to the Balkans taking in places such as Sarajevo and Mostar, in Bosnia & Herzegovina, before getting back to the Rally, completing some 3,600 miles!

MayorThe Rally started in earnest on Day 2, where conducted guided rides in small groups took in the delights of the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District - Bakewell (famous for its cakes), Masham (known for its Black Sheep brewery) and Hawes (with its Wensleydale Creamery). Furthermore, there were rides to York, Scarborough (Fair Collection) and Whitby (for famous fish & chips). For those who did not wish to ride out, coaches were laid on for visits to Manchester and Leeds Royal Armouries. These rides were repeated on Day 3, with riders swapping destinations from the previous day. Although everyone remained safe travelling out and about, a couple of spills occurred due to misjudged slopes and tiredness after a long day, with minimal damage to bikes and no doubt some dented pride.

During the evenings off bikes, everyone engaged socially with a BBQ and live entertainment from ‘The Max Band’. On Day 3, the evening was rounded off with an excellent carvery meal and a DJ provided by the venue. Chairman Paul took the opportunity to make some presentations of our memorabilia, and our overseas participants reciprocated generously - with hats, badges, a cuckoo clock, and shields - most appreciated.

Mention must be made of the tremendous efforts by DIGS, the venue who ensured our every need was accommodated. The food was excellent - breakfasts and evening meals, and for those who needed sustenance during the day, the bar provided suitable snacks.

A wonderful event, some friendships were rekindled, many new friendships were made, and we promoted the ethos of Service through Friendship – ‘Servo per Amikeco.

Mike Vince, Treasurer IPA UK Motorcycle Group