Opinion: Staying social

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At the Toronto Motorcycle Show on the weekend, I was asking people why they ride in the first place. I heard all the clichés about wind in your face and freedom of the open road, neither of which hold up on the city’s Gardiner Expressway, and about affordable power and excitement and even ease of parking. And I heard some true wisdom that made me yearn for the highway.

But one of the biggest reasons, cited by almost everyone, was the social side of motorcycling. We just love riding and sharing time with others who do, and when we’re not riding, we’re thinking about it and talking with others who do.

That’s why the CMG pub night was so great on Saturday night: it was a chance in the middle of winter to share two-wheeled adventures with others who ride, all in the comfort of a downtown pub, and then suddenly, the Lucas Push came through.

Mondo gets down with his camera in front of all the action as the Lucas Push crosses Bathurst Street.

Those people are nuts. As Mondo Lulu tells us, they push an old British motorcycle from pub to pub in a homage to Joe Lucas, the Prince of Darkness. It’s all just an excuse to go on a pub crawl but what’s wrong with that? It’s the motorcycle that brings them together and keeps them going, and lets them wear leather jackets in the middle of winter.

I’ve never really been one for joining clubs or riding in groups, mostly because I like to ride when I want and stop when I want. It’s not fun to ride with others who don’t share your philosophy of the road – who ride faster or slower, or don’t understand about blocking positions in the lane, or riding staggered. But when you do find others who share your passion and ride the same way that you do, it can be very rewarding indeed.

Jacob Black, CMG’s Managing Editor, in the centre, makes himself at home with some CMG fans at the Wheat Sheaf Pub.

There’s not a lot of riding at this time of the year, but there is bench-racing with those friends, and there’s a show to wander around where it’s always summer, and there’s preparation for the season. We’re only a month or so away from riding in southern Ontario, and no more than two months away in most of the rest of Canada. It’s at a time like this that we all need a Lucas Push in our lives. We’re almost there, and our motorcycling friends can help us make it through.

“Hmmm – So tell me again why you think I should test motorcycles in more exotic places.” Zac listens to some constructive commentary at the pub night. Too bad for him that it’s all a blur.

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