Travelling across Canada on two wheels
As I write this, it is -20 C and my motorcycle-a Yamaha Roadstar Canadian Special Edition-is under wraps in the garage, ready to go as soon as spring arrives. So I am dreaming of sun, pavement and two-wheeled trips. I have been riding for 40 years and will ride until I can no longer hold my bike up.
Motorcycle riding is a passion that has taken me many places in Canada. I have ridden, on different trips, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and through much of the United States. For the most part, I ride alone: just me, my motorcycle and the open highway. Not that I would mind riding with others, but as a solo rider I only have one bladder and one gas tank to consider.
Why do I ride? With riding comes pleasure, fear, exhilaration and relaxation. When I ride, I have a sense of freedom, a sense of being on the open road with no “cage” around me. It’s hard to explain if you have never ridden a motorcycle. It’s like trying to understand why the dog likes to hang his head out of the car window.
Riding is a banquet for all of the senses. I have feasted my eyes on magnificent scenery from the Rocky Mountains and the hoodoos in Alberta to the fields of wheat and canola in the Prairie provinces and the lowlands along the St. Lawrence River; from the flower pots at the Bay of Fundy to the cliffs at Bonavista.
I can smell everything from the cow manure when the barns are cleaned in the eastern counties of Quebec to the wild roses in Alberta. Then, there’s the honeysuckle in bloom and the pine trees in the Acadian forest of Nova Scotia, the fresh bread from the local boulangerie and the crispness of the approaching fall in northern Ontario. I also love the smell of salty ocean air as you ride around the Bay of Fundy, the mushroom farms in Manitoba and the feedlots in Saskatchewan. Of course, there’s nothing like the smell of rain in the air before it actually starts.