The Rally coverage starts about halfway through.
Archive for May, 2009
For Immediate Release
August 18th, 2009
Sunday August 16th marked the third Awareness Rally of 2009 and once again it was a huge success. About 60 riders met up at the starting point in North York in a parking lot adjacent to a local riding school as they prepared for their Ministry test later in the day. Once again, our sponsors MotoLimo.com were on hand and followed us the whole day in their specialized service vehicles should any rider require assistance.
We headed off as one fairly large group and made our way onto the highway. Our route was fairly simple with the first half on the major highways, followed by secondary highways once we cleared Hamilton. We even picked up more than a dozen riders along the way who were waiting for us to pass by near Oakville bringing our numbers to nearly 90 bikes. Unfortunately we came up on traffic as we negotiated a few construction zones and we got split up into smaller groups as we expected would happen.
Eventually, most of us made it to the mid point in Simcoe where we were greeted by our gracious hosts Brent and Sheri, owners of BS Custom Motorcycle. Cold water and soft drinks were a very welcome sight considering the sweltering heat nearing 40c with the humidity. There was even fresh coffee, although that was mostly for them as they waited for us in the much cooler shade for our arrival.
When we pulled in, we found a mock crash scene setup right at the end of their driveway, with an SUV parked with an old wrecked dirt bike laying in front of it and a mannequin laying on the hood representing an injured rider. This certainly caught the attention of many drivers passing by. That along with many signs that had been erected saying, “Look Twice – Save a Life” and “Share the Road” helped drive home the message that we were trying to send. Road safety affects us all and it starts with safer, more attentive motorists.
Many riders headed down the street to grab some lunch while I hung out with our hosts and talked to a reporter from a local newspaper. Once everyone returned, we held a raffle for various prizes donated by On The Fringe (Port Dover), Kahuna Powersports (Toronto) and Vision Cycle (Milton).
Special thanks go to the Simcoe OPP for blocking a lane for all of us to depart BS Custom in a safe manner. We continued our rally passing through, Brantford and Cambridge, heading for our final destination at Formula Kartways in Brampton where we were entertained by the amazing control and skills of some performance riders including “Country” from CIX (all the way from Illinois), and Jeff Kacan from Twisted Intentions. Once again Peel Regional Police showed up to show their support of the RoadAwareness campaign, however due to some concerns they had, I agreed to shut down the show to alleviate the somewhat awkward position they found themselves in. In all fairness to them, they support what we are doing as a whole but didn’t want to be in a position of watching someone get hurt during the stunt show.
I was once again reminded that despite the opinions of some of our fellow motorcyclists, the police aren’t just out to get us every chance they get and our relationship with them certainly has room for improvement. It’s amazing what can come out of having open, candid and rational discussions. I would even go so far as to say that they would like to improve relationships between them and the motorcycling community. We can do our part by not riding irresponsibly and offering up a touch more respect.
All in all it was a fantastic day and a great ride. By the end though, nearly everyone was feeling the effects of fatigue, dehydration and a touch of heat stroke.
A special thanks goes out to Sandra Dawson from my team who organized all the details of the Simcoe rally point. Her efforts were key in making our stop at BS Custom Motorcycle a huge success. Additional thanks go out to Lori from 2 Wheel Promotions for helping to spread the word about the event and to Formula Kartways for allowing us to use their parking lot while they undergo some renovations. Lastly, thank you to those who volunteered to lead the groups.
Stay tuned for our future events. We hope to hold another rally near the end of the season and 2010 is shaping up to be a great year with a massive Scavenger Hunt style event already in the works.
Shaun de Jager
Motorcyclists from across the GTA gathered Sunday at Square One and Yorkdale shopping centres to remind drivers to be cautious when sharing the road with bikes.
About 200 bikers attended the Road Awareness Rally, which began at Yorkdale at 10 a.m. Participants then rode to Square One at 10:30 a.m., where they rallied for an hour before breaking into smaller groups and riding to Woodbridge AMC Theatre.
Shaun de Jager, a Toronto motorcyclist who led a similar rally in March near Hurontario St. and Eglinton Ave., told The News earlier that there have been too many fallen riders on the roads this season. He said the ride and rally was meant to remind people to drive more cautiously when sharing the road with motorcyclists. “One motorcycle can be hard to see, but when over 200 bikes ride together, that stops traffic,” said de Jager.
As a team, we are still far from our goal and I emplore you to reach deep for this great cause. As a direct result of the funds that we have raised, medical break-throughs have been made and sight is being restored to those who have fought with degenerative eye disease.
In 2008, our team raised over $35,000, which added to over $300,000 raised in Ontario alone.
By sponsoring me in the Ride for Sight, you will be contributing to finding a cure for blindness. One hundred percent of funds raised by riders go directly to The Friends for Fighting Blindness, which continues to fund significant research breakthroughs.You can help support me by making a secure online donation using your credit card.
Click on the link below:http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=1986527