First off. Today is Remembrance Day. Lets all just take a moment and appreciate the sacrifices others have taken that gives us the freedom to make a November Ride Night like this possible…
Appreciation… That word covers a lot of ground on an evening like this. Mr. Chong, thanks for organizing another successful gathering of our riding community. And, all the Islanders who joined, always making it an inviting experience. I appreciate all the damn deer staying in the bushes, and everyone else keeping out of them. But man, I appreciate the weather… is this even November?
Gathering on our usual sheet of delineated asphalt, we amassed a group of about 23 riders to join the evening burn up the coast. Reconnecting or introducing, some short conversations before the riders meeting and suiting up.
Getting through the intersections as one being impossible the lead group pulled over allowing the group ride to remain a group. Heading up past four lanes the continually curving corners of Sooke Rd scream to be taken at “the right speed”. As often as always, small strings of cars keep that speed just below where you would like it, keeping the smooth flowing lean transitions a little too relaxed and a little too upright. Trickling past Sooke the valve is opened releasing our pent up energy blasting ahead like we blew the damn end of the hose.
Winding our way along in a group full of various riders, various bikes and various skills it’s easy to notice others limitations. An important thing to remember is that group riding with the LIRC is a group of individual riders, responsible for themselves they make their own choices. Rules can be broken. Always appreciated by the riders with more horses and years of experience it’s often best for the more chill or inexperienced riders to hang near the back. Passing is common so don’t take it personal, it’s usually done relatively safely at a decent moment so keep an eye on your mirrors if you find yourself needing to take the corners a little slower. Everybody respects the person who rides their own ride, and nobody wants to see someone pressured beyond their skills putting themselves into the ditch.
A great place to meet up, Stoked Pizza has a west coast vibe. Tasty wood fired pizza, comfortable surroundings, a large parking lot and a sweet location. A rare one, this little restaurant forces you to take a ride before dinner. No complaints here. Again, this was a meeting that time seemed to tick by fast. Never a full opportunity to say hi to everybody or eat at the same time, the over powering mass putting the pressure on the polite pizza making crew.
Finishing early, some took the long route home and circled "The Loop", while others headed back in smaller groups for a ride at their own pace. Another great ride night, especially for November. Unreal weather, who’s up for another in December? Crazy thats even a possibility. Gotta love this island.