Opinion: New faces

Do you remember how we advertised last year for somebody to help us test-ride motorcycles and write about bikes? We had a ton of applicants, as you’d expect, and we finally chose Dean Edamura as CMG’s new correspondent. We didn’t announce him – we just threw him in at the deep end with an assignment to ride Suzuki’s GSX-R1000R and he’s been riding and writing for us ever since.

Dean pays his bills by running his own industrial design company. Unfortunately, when we tried to assign him to travel to Tuscany last fall and attend the launch of the Ducati Scrambler Icon, he realized his passport had expired. He wasn’t happy about that, and got a new passport right quick, but not in time to ride in Tuscany. He finally made up for it last week by travelling on his first international press event to the Canary Islands in Spain, to tell us all about the new Ducati Hypermotard 950.

Dean hits his stride for CMG on the Ducati Hypermotard 950 in Spain.

I’ve moaned about attending exotic press events in the past – I’m writing this on a plane to Los Angeles, escaping 20-below temperatures for a couple of days of 20-above in southern California, which seems a bit cheeky – but it’s an important part of what we do. They don’t always go well, but we’ll travel wherever it takes to get you the best story; sometimes it’s around the corner to frozen Rice Lake and sometimes it’s to Laos, Australia, South Africa, or Greece. We all enjoy seeing new places and riding new roads, and if we can do it with an interesting motorcycle, then so much the better.

Dean’s not the only new face at CMG. Dustin Woods joined us last month as our Managing Editor, and despite being lashed to a desk at AutoTRADER.ca world headquarters, you’ll be seeing more of him on our pages through this year. Dustin’s been writing for HOG Magazine and Wheels.ca, among other publications, and he’s always been a bike guy. Don’t hold it against him that he owns a 1984 Yamaha Maxim 750 (his first bike from years ago, recently bought back from the person he sold it to), but instead try to think of him with the 2003 Yamaha R6 he once owned, or the 2003 Harley-Davidson V-Rod. Much more respectable.

Dustin tries to enjoy a sprinkle of refreshing rain while riding with Mark to Milwaukee in 2013.

Dustin and I rode together from Toronto to Harley’s 110th anniversary party in Milwaukee and that was one of my better road trips, staying over at some motel in the Michigan woods and swapping tales of the road on the plastic chairs outside our rooms with a mickey of something strong. As Dustin himself wrote recently, “motorcycles have provided both camaraderie and solitude. Even when encountering inclement weather, I can’t think of a time when I would rather have been in a car. It forces you to pack less and problem solve. Every excursion becomes an adventure when you’re on two wheels.”

I dunno – I’ve been caught in the rain, or even the snow, enough times when I’d have happily traded my bike for a car, but the sentiment is well taken. Motorcycles really are the only form of travel that can still be an adventure. If they happen to take you somewhere warm and dry, then so much the better.

Please join me in welcoming both Dean and Dustin to the Canada Moto Guide pressgang of regulars, which now includes Zac, Costa, Jeff, Willy, Jeremy and Matt. We all love motorcycles for the same reasons, and yet for different reasons.

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