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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Reading through some other threads this evening I was reminded of a red mist incident in Calais while proceeding through the Chunnel terminal.

Mrs Gromit and I had checked in and were riding our TA and AT in train boarding mode (i.e. gloves in top box, helmet strapped to luggage, passport and documents in tankbag pocket,) towards the immigration booth when a French Gendarmerie patrol car blips its siren at us from behind and pulls alongside. A female Gendarme leans out of the window and says in a French accent (well she would wouldn't she?) "put yor elmet on", "I'm sorry said I, what did you say", put yor elmet on, it is the lorrre, repeated the lady Gendarme. I stopped the bike and said "I don't understand, this is not a public road, it is private land and the helmet law doesn't"........ before I could finish, she said "it does nurt matturr you murst put yor elmet on now in case you fall off yor moto and beng yor ed, this eppens a lot. You murst put it on, it is the lorrre!!!

Rather than risk missing our train by arguing the toss in a French jail, I bit my tongue and put my helmet on before I was tempted task why she wasn't wearing her seat belt in case she ran into a kerb or something!!!! She also hadn't asked any other car drivers to fasten their seatbelts and virtually none of them (understandably) were being worn.

OK I thought, I'll play the game. So when we arrived at the passport control booth and the immigration official asked for my passport, I handed it over. He then asked me to remove my helmet. I told him I'd been told by the Gendarmes It is against the lorrre to take it off and I must keep it on in case I bang my head. He wasn't impressed and demanded that I remove it to compare my face to the picture in my passport. OK I said. I switched off my engine, put my sidestand down and got off the bike. If Mrs Hitler was still around she wasn't going to accuse me of riding with no helmet. I struggled with the chin strap and removed my helmet and presented myself to the by now irate immigration official who closely studied my face and grudgingly returned my passport. By now there is quite a queue of rapidly despairing motorists checking their watches and waving their arms about . I took my time carefully putting my passport away and putting my helmet back on, starting my engine and driving sedately away towards customs. Well....... now its Mrs Gromits turn. Same deal as before engine off, sidestand, helmet, passport, Well there is a really long queue building up now and there are a few brave souls near the back starting to use their horns. Luckily customs just waved me through or I think there might just have been a riot.

Why is it that bikers seem to be treated so unreasonably in situations like this?
It is the same at the toll booths on motorways or bridges and tunnels, we all go to a bit of trouble to cause the minimum fuss by having some change handy. What we should do, is stop the bike, put the sidestand down, get off, take your helmet off and earplugs out so you can hear the attendant and undo your jacket to find your wallet pay the toll, put your change away properly and then take your time getting properly ready to move off safely and comfortably ready for the next few hundred miles

With a bit of effort we could slow things down so much they wouldn't want our money, in fact they'd probably pay us to drive on through, especially if we hit the toll booths en masse in the rush hour. I reckon if it was a properly orchestrated protest it could be well worth considering (if lobbying for toll free passage for bikes didn't work). Was something like this done on the Dartford tunnel? cos I notice there is no charge for bikes on this now.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
 

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Sir FallofaLott
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Reading that I couldnt get the copper out of allo allo outa my head lol - I kinda always thought thats why bikes were free over a lot of tolls - the agro they could cause to the smooth flowing of traffic by faffing about :D
 

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Wing Commander
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Anyone fancy joining me in a little protest at my local Tesco? We all ride in and take up every single pump and try to fill up. they won't allow it unless you remove your helmet, so we just stand there and refuse. I'll organise the local paper and MCN and we can shame Tesco into allowing biker to refuel without having to remove safety gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like it Whealie!!:evil4:

There's another similar thing
(although I think my thread is about to get hijacked:( )

I have had to blacklist my local filling station for that very reason. I quite understand the security concerns, but they need to find another way around it. Taken to its (extreme) logical conclusion this type of security policy will have us all stripped to our skiddies before we are allowed to enter the local post office:shock: :oops:

Nothing annoys me more than pulling into a filling station on a long ride with an empty tank to find that sort of helmet policy in operation. At the very least they should clearly display this policy with the pump prices at the roadside so you could treat them with the contempt they deserve by just riding by.They really haven't considered the inconvenience factor of having to remove so much kit so you can oblige. You have probably just built up a nice layer of warm air in your jacket, your ear plugs are sitting nice and comfortably in your ears and you really don't want to disturb all this.
It wouldn't be so bad if they actually provided a shelf or something to safely park your helmet on while you fill your bike. I don't know about you but having effectively written off several hemets by dropping them onto concrete in filling stations because I have put it on the bike and then moved the bike to get more fuel in (wobble the tank to get the air out). I now do not remove my helmet ever until I have filled up and only then to rearrange ear plugs or blow my nose or whatever.

I refuse to use filling stations that operate this helmet policy and would rather risk running out of fuel than comply. However, I might be tempted to visit your Tescos under the circumstances you have suggested.:D
In fact with a willing group we could have a hit list of similar filling stations and go from one to another. When each finally gives in we could just put in the minimum amount of fuel and go on to the next one. Behaviour and honesty would have to be examplary though. Any rowdy behaviour or non payment of fuel would do us more harm than good.

When can we do it Whealie?:evil2:
 

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Top Cat
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Re: Oi! Monsieur put yer 'elmet on s'il vous plait

We must be considered more law-abiding over here in the east, as I've never been asked to take my helmet off when filling up with petrol - or even paying for it. Mind you, I don't shop at Tesco.

Incidentally, last time I caught the ferry from Portsmouth I was asked by one of the queue-controllers to put my helmet back on, so when I returned to Dover I left it on through passport and customs and neither asked me to take it off. Goodness knows how the immigration person could compare my mugshot with the eyes peering out of my full-face helmet!
 

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Wing Commander
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What amazes me is the reason given - that the security camera taking all the number plates only takes from the front. So which **** is going round the country fitting security cameras in the wrong place. Surely you simply call in the supplier and point out that the camera is in the wrong place and does not offer the security provided and insist they rectify their mistake?
Of course if the security camera company said it would be a problem but Tesco chose the cheaper option then Tesco deserves all the crap it can get from us.
 

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Stone Crazy
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Yes helmets and garages i do not seem to get a problem here in north devon but i do were a flip helmet and open it when i am in the garage, as for customs etc be careful at dover, if you read the signs as you enter the port it says traffic laws apply in the port,
merv
 

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Was something like this done on the Dartford tunnel? cos I notice there is no charge for bikes on this now.
Yes this is exactly what happened on the Dartford Tunnel, it was an MCN orcastratrated campaign which I gladly participated in, as I used to go through on my way from Watford to the Dartford office most days. My average was ten minutes removing gear, earplugs etc, and my favorite was 'accidently' dropping coins everywhere, I remember one nutter in a BMW trying to knock me off by rear ending me after he got through the tolls, he was so pissed off, thankfully I was on my Blackbird and able to piss him off further by waving my two fingers at him as he tried to close in :D . But the bottom line was that the campaign worked and now it's free for bikes, as are most tolls in the UK. Now I've started a one man campaign here in Ireland where I do my strip tease act on the M7,M1 and M50 toll roads, unfortunetley Irish drivers seem to have endless patience and the toll booth operators seem to enjoy the break and like to chat about the bike :rolleyes: .
 

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Wing Commander
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Wing Commander
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Irish drivers seem to have endless patience and the toll booth operators seem to enjoy the break and like to chat about the bike :rolleyes: .
That's what makes it such a great place.
 

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Gelände Straße
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I haven't used Tesco's for fuel for ages because of the same thing. I went in specifically because I knew they had the Pay at Pump system there, specifically so I didn't have to remove my lid as I was in a bit of a rush. After much fannying around and the pump not being authorised (naturally without explanation) I selected the Pay at Kiosk option and fuelled up.

I then went in to pay for the fuel and was harangued by some 16 year old spotty Vicki Pollard type for not removing it, and was told I wouldn't get served if i did it again. She was set straight in no uncertain terms :argue:

It's ridiculous, if we were after making off without paying we'd not be going into the kiosk in the first place, and if we were after robbing the place, we'd be brandishing a gun not our Switch Cards!

Now I go to the place down the road run by jovial Indians who call me "Boss" and even take an interest in the bike :rolleyes:
 

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That's what makes it such a great place.
Not too sure about that mate, don't get me started on the health system or the state of the roads, the one thing that I have noticed on my wanderings around the world is that there is no Utopia, everywhere has good and bad points, and I must admit after having one of the best curry's in the world in Birmingham, after a great international show and even though I only lived there for a few years,I was starting to miss all that old Blighty has to offer.
 
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Surprised to hear about people having trouble with Tesco - I fill up at our local Tesco (Hatfield - Jack Oldings) a couple of times a week using Pay at Pump and have never had to take my lid off. In fact, I don't even get off the bike - that's why I like going there. Anywhere else takes a lot longer.

Maybe it's just Tesco stores in London that have that policy?

Regarding Eurotunnel I usually remove my lid (mainly to take my ear plugs out) in the queue to check in, unless it's raining. I have been asked a couple of times while riding to the terminal building to put it back on so now I always do - it doesn't bother me. I always wear it through passport control and customs and have only ever been asked to remove it once - that was by UK customs coming home (in Calais) when they dismantled half the bike and came close to strip-searching me, determined to find whatever it was they were looking for. They wouldn't tell me what. They kept me for over half an hour and when I asked them whether I still had time to catch my train (fortunately I'd gone through early) they said "That's not our problem". :angry1: Miserable buggers.
 

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I've taken the ferry over to France (either from Portsmouth or Poole) well over a hundred times and have never had a problem with the authorities on either side of the water. Also never been asked to remove my helmet at a petrol station(although I took it off to chat to French cop who wanted to chat about the XTZ I was riding at the time). Me not know why!:dontknow:

However I can kinda understand why the stations ask you to do so. Like being carded for buying alcohol, better left to the employees discretion instead of blindly following company policy.
 

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Yokel In Utah
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Although in the latest MCN, BP have announced that there will no longer be a requirement to remove helmets at any of their stations, and they hope to apply this to the stations that they supply also (not branded BP). The 'remove helmet' sign will stay, but you don't have to any more, it's just a request. :thumbright:
 

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Wing Commander
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Although in the latest MCN, BP have announced that there will no longer be a requirement to remove helmets at any of their stations, and they hope to apply this to the stations that they supply also (not branded BP). The 'remove helmet' sign will stay, but you don't have to any more, it's just a request. :thumbright:
I have never removed my helmet in a BP garage, that (and the Nectar points) is why I go there.
 

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Wing Commander
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Now I go to the place down the road run by jovial Indians who call me "Boss" and even take an interest in the bike :rolleyes:
They're not jovial, they're taking the mickey.
 

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DILLIGAF
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I was in a flip when Tesco refused me.
Same happened to me. I got a flip lid for the very purpose of not having to take it off at petrol stations. I flipped it up at a Tescos forecourt, they activiated the pumps so I filled up. Went into pay and he asked me to remove my helmet. Shocked, I told him I didn't need to as it was open. He was very smug and had a shitty attitude so I told him, you either take the money, or I go, Helmet stays on. In the end I just held the £20 up to the security camera (had put £17 in the tank), then left it on the counter and rode away.

Will never use Tescos again. Have just read in the MCN though that BP garages have revoked their helmet off policy...
 

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Mines a big red one
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I guess I've been lucky. There's a sign in all Tescos asking for helmet removal before you enter the kiosk. That said I've never had to remove mine anywhere yet!!

When going abroad I always take my helmet off at the docks/train entrance and leave it off. Never had a problem.


Perhaps it's just an English thing.:D
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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I've mentioned before about my run ins with petrol stations. The last one was a refusal to turn the pump on unless I took my helmet off. I didn't bother filling up, just walked a little into the doorway and shouted,

"How dare you treat me like a potential criminal. It's more likely that you'll steal from me by skimming my bank card, than me from you when I can't get more than 15 quids worth of fuel in my tank." I have removed the swearing in between every 2nd or 3rd word.

Felt better after that, especially as the petrol station up the road had just been caught doing just that.
 
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