Keighley motorcycle expert calls for legal off-road area for trail bikers (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Keighley motorcycle expert calls for legal off-road area for trail bikers
11:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
A motorcycle expert who runs a self-help maintenance centre in Keighley has called on Bradford Council to stop bashing bikers and create legal off-roading areas for young riders.
Roger Henderson runs the Renaissance Workshop in Dalton Mill, which offers advice and help to would-be bike mechanics and restorers.
“I used to run the motorcycle maintenance classes at Keighley College until the funding was cut, so we’ve been doing it ourselves as a charity for the last five years,” Mr Henderson said, surrounded by re-build projects.
“What annoys me is that while people are happy to sit and criticise kids for going out on trail bikes, the council is not prepared to do anything about it by setting up legal off-road sites,” Mr Henderson said.
“I have read articles in the Telegraph & Argus about the issues at Flappit Quarry and with bikes allegedly going on the moors.
“Well, the problem is there’s nowhere legitimate for young riders to go. Sometimes a dad might take a kid down to a quarry to practise and find the next thing the Council will be threatening him with prosecution or even confiscation of the bike.
“What I’d like to see is some co-operation. I’m not talking about alllowing kids to tear around anywhere and terrorise the neighbourhold. But Bradford Council has so much derelict land where that type of biking could be done without causing any nuisance at all. It would just be a constructive way of tackling the problem instead of the anti-biker feeling which seems to exist in Bradford district,” Mr Henderson said.
He fell in love with motorbikes as a teenager and 50 years later is still a keen rider as well as running the workshop, which provides enthusiasts and beginners with tools and workspace.
“Basically we give all the help we can and only charge for parts and costs,” he explained “Getting involved with bikes is a great hobby for kids and the best preparation there is for being a good car driver later on.
“It really needs encouraging,” Mr Henderson said.
A Bradford Council spokesman said there were no plans to re-open Flappit Quarry or develop any supervised off-road centres for motorbikes.
This week Council wardens on motorbikes equipped with video cameras have teamed up with West Yorkshire Police to tackle a spate of anti-social off-road behaviour at beauty spots such as Baildon Moor and open land above Windhill, Shipley.