Friends In Low places

June 1 2009

The show season is finally over with our last one, The Biker Bash in Halifax, Nova Scotia taking place on the weekend of April 18 and 19. Nova Scotia is one of our favourite places as everyone is so friendly.

Our friend Ang works at our booth at a number of shows for us. For those who visited our booth, you will probably remember her as she is quite a character. As usual, anytime you travel with Ang you know something is going to happen—generally it’s all good.

As Ang and I are standing in the Mojo booth in Halifax, she once again reminds me that she has never had her picture in our magazine. It wouldn’t be so bad if I only saw her at the shows, but I have to live five houses away from her 365 days of the year. So I think it’s time we told an Angela story. Now I am sure Ang is quivering in her boots here as there are so many Ang stories that should be told, but some would not be suitable and some are just the type that need to be told in person—complete with actions and 8 x 10 glossies. So I have chosen a dirt bike story that always makes me laugh.

Last year we had an off-road ‘Mojo Day’ at Yamaha Off-Road Riding Adventures. Clinton is in charge there and he and his staff have been in the middle of an ‘Angela adventure’ on more than one occasion.

With about 25 people in attendance for our Yamaha/Mojo Day we began sorting out gear, bikes and riding abilities. Ang promised she would be there but instead sent her husband and son and decided to take it easy and do some gardening instead. Once people realized she had backed out a phone call was quickly made, stating that there would be no excuses, just get over here now.

Within an hour she arrived. Clinton found gear that would fit and he helped her put it on properly. Once geared up, he then introduced her ride for the day, a brand new Yamaha TTR 230—it was a beauty—no one had ridden it yet. Ang questioned Clinton’s sensibility to be sure he was feeling ok, ‘cuz a brand new bike for a new rider maybe wasn’t such a good idea, and keep in mind we are talking about Ang here—where Ang goes adventure follows.

Clinton, however, had faith in Ang and gave her some instruction on the bike and showed her where the kill switch was and what it was for. Ang had ridden dirt bikes before, but never anything so new. She ended up doing a fantastic job. She followed the instructions and managed the hills, dirt, sand, gravel, water, mud, trees, rocks and other bikers. All was going well—she was a natural.

At the end of the day she just didn’t have quite enough. “Just ten more minutes,” could be heard as she asked the instructor to give her a bit more time. And he agreed.

But something quickly went wrong. As the engine roared to life, the bike somehow took off, then wiped out four or five other bikes along the way; like a domino effect. Kids were running to get out of the way of the falling bikes and Ang kept remembering Clinton’s words, “hit the kill switch should anything go wrong”. As she lay on the ground still hanging on for dear life, with bikes all around her she awkwardly tried to reach the switch. The engine continued to roar and the tires kept spinning on her pants until finally she managed to reach it and stop the engine. The bike suffered a bit of damage but no one got hurt. I think the hardest part was untangling the bikes and trying to stop laughing.

Another story that really brings tears to my eyes is when we were at the Toronto airport heading to the Calgary show in January 2008. As we went up the escalator in Toronto to wait for the train to take us to the airport, a young guy, maybe 28 years old, decided it would be a good idea to leave his 2 suitcases, 2 dufflebags, and skis on the over loaded cart and take the whole thing up the escalator. When he got to the top, the wheels wouldn’t go over the metal lip at the top of the stairs so the cart just stayed there and the poor guy had to keep stepping backwards because the stairs kept moving up on him. Then all the luggage fell off his cart. Ang and I took one look at the poor guy and sprang into action like Superheroes. We grabbed the bags and started ripping them off the cart so we could reach the base of the cart and haul it over the lip at the top of the stairs.

I have many Ang stories and have probably forgotten more than I can remember. Life is never dull when you are on the road with Ang, in fact it is full of laughs and very little sleep.

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