It’s 6:45 PM on a glorious Sunday night. I’m sitting in my very favourite spot, my porch. It’s one of those days that you chock up to Mother Nature as being way past two thumbs up. I have a very nice white wine on the go that was probably corked by some guy named Gino in the land of Ducati and from where I sit, I can pick out Rochester, New York across 41 nautical miles of semi-fresh water. You could put Holland in that geological puddle several times and still have a good view. My chocolate lab is at my feet snoring with her eyes open (how do dogs do that?). I ignore the drone, pleasant with the fact she’s happy as a lark chasing something really ‘canine important’ in her dreams. Aside from waking up to the Three Sisters Mountain in Cranbrooke, I have the best view going; it allows me to drift off and write about two-wheeled obscurities.
I sit reflecting on the riding season of 2007. Memorable? Well, sort of. Outstanding? The jury is still out on that one. I call it one of those preparatory and building years. Let’s see, I’ve knocked on about 30,000 two wheeled klicks, been down to Ohio… whoo, now there’s a goal. Went to Laconia, New Hampshire for an extra large dose of V-twin straight pipes and x-rated tee shirts, both on and off the racks. Other than that, I’ve just gone from here to there in my own Ontarian world, ya-ya, centre of the universe, I know, but it’s still a pretty big chunk-O-dirt when you consider the price of real estate.
So what’s the big deal about 2007?
I had a bunch of two wheeled laughs with my Brother and best bud Ron Joyce. That’s really important to me as family is always number one. Along with Ron and a mess of family help, we provided a beautiful place for my daughter to get married in. I finished my shop that would give the ‘Tool Man’ Tim Taylor pause (Arghh) and I practiced falling off my 1200GS Adventure. Other than that I’m not telling you anything more, because I have an epic adventure coming for you in ‘08. So what’s special about 2007?
A few things. It was dry. Yay Mother Nature! It allowed us some quality two-wheeled time on hot and sticky pavement. My riding buddy’s wife (Jeri) and my own smarter half (Bobbie) got their motorcycle licences (congrats!). Aside from that trivia there was a bunch of stuff that motorcyclists should be exceptionally proud of. The Ride for Sight was a smashing success. Charity rides across Canada should give any Canadian rider the right to be bloody-well proud of their sport – because we are absolutely the most charitable group, bar none. Jody Mitic, the Canadian trooper that lost his legs to an insurgent booby trap in Afghanistan was offered the ability to ride once again by so many good folks via a new bike and a bunch of extras. I was so very proud to witness that. The Northern Star Riders transferred their fabulous flag of support to our front line troops. Now there’s an outstanding accomplishment! Motorcyclists across Canada support our troops. Does that sound like enough? No. We switched our format and went with big photos and big print, all on high quality paper, a move that had me wondering because I really did like the little Mojo mag. However, looking at the big new format all I can say is that we forged ahead towards the best possible Canadian motorcycle publication available today. So in those terms, was it a banner year? Yes. This year produced times that made me humble to the point of tears and I’m happy, no, damned proud to be a part of it. I just hope you enjoyed it too and share in the success.
Now for the big Canadian recess. A time to talk of battery tenders and ’08 rides; a chance to sit back and contemplate the great deeds yet to be accomplished and wonder why the Leafs are pooching another season. Come to think of it, we have the absolute best sport, in the absolute best place. Ponder this, if you had 21 degrees every day, what would make two wheels special? Instead of a mind and soul clearing commute to and from work it would just be another ho-hum daily grind, might as well drive a mini-van. Us Canadians get to look forward to a little breather, where we can ride through the ridiculous fall colours of Mother Nature and then settle into our shops to make the nuts and bolts perfect along with our own soul and renew a commitment towards riding again. It’s odd when that all comes together too, just about the same time that the sun feels a little warmer and water seems to be constantly dripping off some frozen structure. We also get to go to motorcycle shows and mill around with a whack of like-minded folks and buy stuff that we didn’t need until we got there.
So am I depressed about seeing the end of a great riding season? No… okay maybe a little… I’ll probably need therapy around February, but for now I’m cool. Besides, Ron has a covered trailer about the size of a battleship and I know he’ll get ‘two-wheel weird’ about the same time as me and we both know our way down south pretty good, sooo… I might even be able to get my Doc to write me a prescription “Load bikes in trailer, go south, unload bikes, ride for seven days, repeat if necessary”. See, there’s always an option.
Ya. That’s the ticket.
Ride safe. Ride far! Stu