On Wednesday the 6th of July 2005, European motorcyclists met with their elected representatives at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to enjoy a motorcycle ride through the beautiful Alsacian region.
Organised each year by the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) and the Strasbourg section of its French affiliate FFMC since 1997, the MEP Motorcycle Ride has become a traditional event in the European Parliament calendar. FEMA national member organisations from all over Europe enjoyed this great opportunity to have closer contacts with their elected representatives at the European Parliament.
In spite of the threatening weather, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and assistants were welcomed by motorcyclists from all over Europe in front of the European Parliament, and had the opportunity to choose amongst a wide range of models, the scooter or motorcycle they wished to ride for the evening.
This year's event was focussed on the Third Driving Licenses Directive and the Road Traffic Safety report, both currently being discussed within the European Parliament. MEPs Mr. Mathieu Grosch and Mr. Ari Vatanen, Rapporteurs for the two dossiers respectively, shared their views with the audience and the press during the Motorcycle Ride opening speeches. Furthermore, FEMA presented a document on guard rails and had on show two samples of guard rails fitted with a motorcycle-friendly device.
Around 19:30, the group of over 100 participants departed for a pleasantly sunny one-hour motorcycle ride to Plobsheim (South of Strasbourg), efficiently guided by the marshals of the local section of FEMA's French affiliate FFMC. At destination, the group enjoyed a nice outdoor dinner, courtesy of Harley-Davidson Europe, main supporter of the event. During the meal, three H-D presents were raffled amongst the guests and all participants received motorcycle-minded souvenirs of the MEP Motorcycle Ride.
FEMA Secretary General Antonio Perlot said: "This 9t edition of the MEP Motorcycle Ride has proved once more to be a wonderful way for legislators and citizens to informally meet. FEMA is pleased to organise it, as it is a different way of talking about- and more importantly experiencing - motorcycling. The MEP Motorcycle Ride raises the legislators' awareness about Powered Two-Wheelers, their congestion-relief advantages and their specific safety needs.".
FEMA wishes to thank all the supporters and participants of the event, particularly the MEPs Patrons of this year's MEP Ride, Mr. Luis Queiro', Mr. Peter Skinner, Mr. Luca Romagnoli, Mr. Patrick Louis, Mr. Helmuth Markov and Mr. Mogens Camre.
Our warm thanks go again to Harley-Davidson and to ACEM, The Motorcycle Industry in Europe, which, through its members, provided the motorcycles for the event. Further thanks go also to AVD for being present with an historic bus, as well as to Lazer and Hein Gericke for providing helmets and rain suits.