Winter Sucks Ass

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Living in Canada first off is incredible but riding a motorcycle here comes with some drawbacks – the major one being winter! I use to be a lover of winter if I’m being completely honest. I love the brightness that the snow created, I loved the crispness of a good cold morning and large flakes falling – so so beautiful. However, that was before I started riding. Even when I was riding on the back I still didn’t completely get the whole omg I need to ride thing. Now I get itI

As our weather in Southern Ontario is starting to change (Spring is just a little over a month away) us riders are all getting pretty anxious. Reading the forums and Facebook groups is both fun and sad as we wait. Watching our southern US friends out enjoying themselves on two wheels is pretty hard to swallow most days – We want to be out there too. Of course everywhere in the Canadian groups you get the winter and salt debates about riding late into the season or pulling your bike out to early. We are of the belief that unless you bought or are paying for someones bike you shouldn’t concern yourself with what others are doing.

Now all this being said the one great part about heading into the tail end of winter – there’s a bike show almost every month. I know, it’s awesome!

In January we headed to the North American Motorcycle Supershow and omg did we have fun. I’m not sure if it was the show or the people we went with but either way what a great time we had. It was a long day but a great one non the less. The area the we loved the most was all the different tourism boards. Even though we all now that the destination isn’t as important as the journey you have to admit that the destination is also important. We love our country and want to explore it as much as possible. This year will be a tour of the great lakes and we can’t wait to get going.

I didn’t come out buying however, Andy came home with lots of goodies – Harley boots, an Indian jacket, boot polish, accessories for his bike to name just a few things. As Don and Shelley (our buddies we went with) said “omg he got so much shit”! lol We have also decided that the next time Andy goes to a show he needs to bring a wagon just to carry all of his purchases. Thanks god he’s such a good sport and is willing to put up with us!

 

 

We also loved looking at all the custom bikes. To see what people can accomplish with these bikes is unbelievable. Their talents should be celebrated!

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The other area that we took our time going through was all the vintage bikes. This might have been Andy’s fourth area. He also found some guys displaying “vintage” Concours so he was able to have a good chat about his ’86 Councours (first year of the model). Of course while Andy chatted I took some pictures 🙂

Now as much fun as we had at this show we were already making plans to head to The Toronto Motorcycle Show that was taking place the weekend of February 16th-18th. They were having a She Rides event that I  was probably more excited about than I should be lol Anyway, during the lead up there was lots of chatter in my female riding groups about who was going and wondering what the night held for us. I don’t think any of us quite got what we were expecting from the She Rides event.

This is what was posted on their website…….

Looking for a fun girls’ night out?

Grab your best friends and come to SHE RIDES on Friday February 16th!

More and more women are learning how to ride and discovering the fun, excitement, freedom and camaraderie of motorcycling.

SHE RIDES is a celebration of these women and the perfect opportunity for any motorcycle-curious ladies to take the first step or the next step in their riding adventure.

On the schedule for Friday:  1/2 price admission for women after 5 pm, as well as female-focused activities and entertainment, including a ladies’-only motorcycle draw for a brand new 2018 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS, courtesy of Canadian Kawasaki. Click Here for more details

On the Friday we headed into the city early and picked up our daughter as she wanted to attend as sh’ed never been to a motorcycle show before and was curious what it was about and we thought this event would be the perfect opportunity to introduce her to this world. We arrived at 4:30 so paid $15 for parking (it was only free after 5pm and wasn’t indexed which we weren’t thrilled with but understood), we paid full price for the three of us to go in (women were 1/2 price after 5 – again we were ok with this). We looked around and hit a few of the vendors as I’ve been looking at the Rev’it Airwave 2 jacket for hot weather riding. The booth displaying Rev’it didn’t seem to have much female gear so when I asked I was informed, with a laugh, oh no we never bring hardly any women’s gear. What??? So off I went to look at other stuff and again had almost the same conversation with two other booths. One gentleman from a local to us bike shop also felt the need to mansplain things that I didn’t even ask or care about. Off to the stunt show next which was fun to watch I’ll admit. I’v already decided that I want to try dirt track racing this summer and see what all the fuss is about. I also figure that it will make me a more confident rider what i fit construction zones this summer. Last year I really struggled and would get so nervous when I hit gravel and road resurfacing areas. As we hung out for the night we never saw any female-focused activities or entertainment. The only thing that we came across that was listed on the website was the draw for the bike from Kawasaki Canada. Five women were picked to go try a key in the bike and the excitement they all showed was just so fun to watch.

I realize that what the booths have isn’t a show issue but not having things that were listed on your site – that is a show issue. I’m not sure if they have any women that ride on their planning group but if they don’t maybe it’s time to hire some and also actually talk to women about what we’d like to see.

I’ve talked about this before – when it comes to this sport women spend more money then guys do. The majority of men that I know have one pair of riding boots, maybe two jackets, two pairs or gloves and a hemet. Want to know what I have (and this is mostly all stuff from this year) 3 helmets, 3 jackets, chaps, 4 pairs of gloves, multiple pairs of glasses, 2 pairs of boots and that’s just what I can think of. My list for this summer includes a couple pairs of motopants, another jacket, motoshoes, and likely another helmet. Plus I bought a brand new bike in the fall. And the majority of women I know have multiples of riding gear as well. Just think what would happen if companies actually started marketing to us! It isn’t just the gear companies that need to do better. all the bike advertising I seen was either male solo riders and when a bike showed 2up riding it was man upfront and a women hanging on to him, even before I rode my own bike this drove me crazy!

Now one thing that the show did offer is the chance to sit on all the new models. It was less crowded and you had a great opportunity to talk to the bike manufactures.

 

I did walk away with two highlights from our evening however-

  1. Watching our daughter learn how to pick up a dropped bike. We also heard how she now whats to learn how to ride 🙂 -which we would be completely thrilled with!

 

2.  I got to meet the woman that designed my awesome Joe Rocket helmet! I’ll be clear she was helping me with a jacket at the GP Bikes booth and my helmet was sitting there so I proceeded to tell her that I had that helmet and how much I loved it. That’s when she spoke up and told me it was her design. How cool is that!

 

I realize that I might come off a little bitchy about the show and for that I apologize. I’m just really frustrated with having to search so hard to feel represented and I had really hoped that someone had finally tapped into the missing opportunity. One thing I do know for sure is that the company that does figure this mess out is going to soar!

 

I could also just be bitchy because frankly WINTER SUCKS ASS!

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I grew up in small town Ontario so of course there were a couple of motorcycles in the drive house. The only problem was that I didn’t ride them I was only a passenger.

It wasn’t until I met me husband, Andy, that I spent any real time on a bike. We had a bike (Yamaha XJ750) before the kids arrived. However, after the kids came along we just didn’t have time to ride anymore so we sold it. There’s nothing worse than a bike sitting around and not being ridden!

Fast forward twenty years and we were once again cruising around on two wheels. Almost five years later and the only thing that’s changed is I now ride my own bike. If only I had understood how awesome it was to ride my own bike I would have done this years ago.

Cheers,
CL

Follow CL:

I grew up in small town Ontario so of course there were a couple of motorcycles in the drive house. The only problem was that I didn't ride them I was only a passenger. It wasn't until I met me husband, Andy, that I spent any real time on a bike. We had a bike (Yamaha XJ750) before the kids arrived. However, after the kids came along we just didn't have time to ride anymore so we sold it. There's nothing worse than a bike sitting around and not being ridden! Fast forward twenty years and we were once again cruising around on two wheels. Almost five years later and the only thing that's changed is I now ride my own bike. If only I had understood how awesome it was to ride my own bike I would have done this years ago. Cheers, CL

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