Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vancouver Motorcycle Toy Run 2009




This is one of the great motorcycle rides of the year. Bikers join together, each bringing toys for Christmas cheer for children without. The police block off roads in Vancouver and Burnaby so we can parade through the city. The ride begins in Port Coquitlam mall and ends at the PNE. Along the route there are families with children cheering and waving. It's a tremendous public relations event for bikers showing us as responsible respectfull citizens contributing to the community and greater good. The policeman bikers and firemen bikers and a number of the motorcycle clubs which are like the Rotarians, Kiwanis or Shriners of Biking participate. This year there were loads of children on the backs of their parents Harleys, Hondas, Triumph's and Ducati's. Christmas costumes and bikes made up like sleighs were present. Lots of biker chicks with pink helmuts, more and more riding bigger and meaner machines. Couples straddled the big cruisers but even Vespa scooter riders were out in force.
Last year I loved being in a sedate orderly group following strict formation and staying together at a steady pace. Only one fellow was wandering about a little. Later I learned he was on medical marijuania for cancer so his lollygogging style was understandable considering his condition. Overall it was a magnificent display of bikes and their riders
This year however I got in with the 'bad biker' group. This was decidedly not the Hell's Angels. The HA can ride motorcycles and are a pleasure to watch in formation.
This bad biker group was more like something out of a Simpsons comic strip. They would best be said to have been on the wrong drugs or if they weren't on drugs needed them. The crazy lady in front of me was throwing chintzy candies to the kids along the route. The kids meanwhile trying to catch the candies made to run on the road except their terrifed parents restrained them in the nick of time. I had a harrowing ride from hell dodging the errant toddlers aiming for Darwin Award nomination seeking a 1 cent candy amidst a thousand roaring motorcycles. This mad bitch who hated children kept looking back to see if I had blood on my spokes yet from smucking a littlest one. The others in her group were all over the road, a mix of odd ball bad bikers who didn't know what formation was. Ahead of this half dozen perceptually challenged group there was order. When I looked behind me there was order but right in front of me was a pocket of ripe overflowing, about to burst rank, insaniety.
Hitting the Barnett Highway this group I'd got pocketted in took off like we were in a race to the death, I slowed when we were well over a hundred causing those of their group behind to dangerlously pass me while popping steroids into their bike gas tanks. But the weird lady appeared again in front of me. Her 'guy' was smoking a rolly the whole way too. Unshaven. Lovely chopper. Found myself thinking they were trailer trash who killed family members to collect insurance. She threw more candy to the toddlers and looked back again, disappointed I'd dodge another child. You could see her sick little mind regretfully thinking she'd just have to wait till Halloween when she always had so much fun hiding razor blades in bobbing apples.
Somehow we survived the ride. Laura was on the bike behind me and later said she couldn't quite get into her Queen Elizabeth waving routine because of all the speed demon chaos in front of us. "Was it me or were we in a pack of bad bikers" I'd asked. "It wasn't you, that lady was a menace. Not only to the kids but the adults were clapping and suddenly ducking as she threw her candies right in their face!"
I was thankful to arrive at the PNE without incident. There the bikes came in 2 by 2. Everyone was beaming with good will and joy. I was exhausted but the girls loved the Barbie and Spidermen bags and canteens we'd brought and the bins were overflowing with every toy imaginable. We got our souvenir ride pins. I would wear mine as a medal for what I been through.
I bought Laura a small black Vancouver Motorcycle Toy Run 2009 t shirt and got myself an "extra large" (the "large" shrinks around the middle when they're washed). The PNE parking lot was packed. The sun was shining. It was a great run. Laura and I headed out on my Harley to Main Street for a Sunshine cafe breakfast.

1 comment:

Gunnsteinn said...

Hello William.
Good post :-) I have been riding for five years now and I have always been riding alone so this was my first Christmas Toy Run and actually my first ever group ride.

It was a fun day but I have to admit the ride did not start very well as you pointed out in your post. What happened soon after the ride started was that one of the bikes up in the front stalled so that bike blocked the road for the rest of the bikes. When this traffic jam finally got sorted out everyone who left after that were trying to catch up to the bikes in front. I hope I can participate in the Christmas Toy Run this year and hopefully it will be a little bit slower so I can enjoy the ride a little bit more :)

Best regards,
Gunnsteinn.