2020 New Years Day Recap

What a great way to start the year.

The Island being its regular self, our beloved spot on the ocean showed its multiple weather personality disorder once again.  You never know what to expect from day to day… or hour to hour. Perhaps its a good lesson for what the rest of a year often brings. Enjoy the sun while it’s there, be as prepared as you can, and smile through the crappy weather.

The sun glistening through the cloud on a comfortably warm January 1 morning. Meeting up at our iconic downtown location, I lost track of how many that were drawn to the very inviting morning for a ride. Hanging out chatting with the carillon banging out a new tune, the bikes came in purring or grumbling, the sweet sounds of our machines arriving one by one… with the occasional disruption of some hooligan doing a fly by with their modified pipes… “Keith!!!” 😉

With our much appreciated organizers, Mr. Christopher Chong hosting the dual sport mountain ride and separately Mr. J. Chartrand leading the street tour, both groups were certain to have an interesting route planned, with them ending at a joint gathering at Bucky’s Taphouse. Additionally, they even arranged a few prizes and tickets handed out during the day gave everyone a chance to win a couple $100 gift cards from Island Motorcycle Company and a spectacular sweater from Bucky’s Taphouse. Thanks Simon, you have to come and join us one of these days.

Helmets on and ready, the diverse group of bikes and riders set out on a ride.  Out of the down town core and traffic lights, the group managed to stay mostly together. This really was a nice morning for riding.

A “ride” is what this was, and definitely the focus of the route planner for this days gathering. Never forgetting what brings us all together, the leader of our pack takes us on a tour for “riders”. Never about just getting there, it’s always a little ridiculous to watch the most indirect route unfold. Thank you for never trying to put us asleep on a highway parade.

Regardless of your machine, the passion for the riding is the very thing that drew me to this riding club in the first place. A great time hanging out with our like minded friends, a group ride can be a fun change. Keen to your controls and maintain a steady lane position when grouped, and space it out and line it up in the twisty’s. Patience for some and vicarious riding skills for others, we can all learn something new on rides with each other like these.

Reminding us of what season we were actually in, we hit the storm blown country roads and tree debris snot strips. Tire placement and easy carving this time of the year, the conditions always makes familiar roads more interesting.

Prospect Lake break and a group up, we even added a couple more riders to the list. Found another familiar rider joining us on route to another personal favourite road on the lower island. “What’s up Dan! Glad you could make it!”

Munn Rd. to a Bear Mountain coffee break. Taking our time on an easy riding morning, it was a comfortable place to juice up the system and get ready for another favourite local road next on the agenda.

You will notice there isn’t a single photo of Kangaroo Rd. That road is way to fun to be messing with a camera. “Let’er rip man!” Even in the rain that road is an intense good time.

With the route anything but straight, Jamie lead us through a great linkage of road carving favourites eventually leading to our next stop at The Stick coffee house, up in Sooke.

Pissin’ rain. I believe we lost a few riders on this break. Some perhaps fooled by the morning’s “island paradise” weather, it’s sporadic behaviour was sure to send a few home with soakers at the end of this next leg. Another riders meeting and a route plan un-wavered by the inclement weather we took the scenic route. Gillespie, another favourite road proving to be more challenging in the wet and more dangerous on it’s best corner thanks to a sea of gravel spread all over the apex. Watching it unfold in front of me, I  see the rider ahead hit that “Holy Shit” moment into the turn. Straightening out the lean and braking easy, he rode it dead straight off the road into the deep gravel, resting it just into a bush. “Good save bud!” Watch that deep gravel on the way out.

I call it a great riding day. The day was met with some variety and challenges, some fun fall style riding with some great people. Lightening up, the weather turned nice once again and reaching Bucky’s we met up with our dirty compadres. Hanging out for a bite to eat, there is never enough time to say hi to everyone and lately barely enough space to hold us all.

From me, and Aaron, we hope you all have an awesome and safe year out there and looking forward to another great year with the LIRC. Happy New Year.