CMG’s Christmas Poem

ILLUSTRATIONS BY PATRICK GRAY

For a rider at Christmas, there’s no greater gift
Than to take out the bike for a mid-season lift.

When there’s snow on the ground and a bite to the air,
Your bike is still waiting, though ride it with care.
The roads must be clear and empty of snow,
But if that’s the case, then you really should go
For a ride in December, wherever you are.
Just start up the engine – you needn’t go far.

Good gloves and grip heaters, warm boots and a scarf –
If you’re facing the winter, don’t do things by half.
Full-coverage helmet, a wired-up vest
And a thick padded jacket will always be best.
Thin oil, good fuel, deep tread on each tire.
Then your ride will come through with all you desire.

People will stare at you. People will gawk.
They’ll think you are crazy if you try to talk
About how much you want to head out on your bike.
When the temperature’s freezing, there’s not much to like
Unless you are snug as a bug in a rug.
And then you’ll be happy, ‘cos riding’s a drug.

But you’ve got to go slowly, and you’ve got to take care
As you follow the road through the cold winter air.
Keep your visor flipped up so you don’t fog too quick;
Watch out for the ice that will make the street slick.
Canada’s cruel at this time of year
When your breath turns to crystals and your eyes start to tear.

It’s no different for people who ride their Ski-Doos
On the snow and the ice of the lakes, and who choose
To embrace all that winter can bring in the North.
They’re not scared of the cold. It can only bring forth
Some excitement, adventure, a different way
To make most of the riding on this special day.

But you might say a bike is a summer machine.
The road must be warm if you want to go lean
in a corner, or pop the front wheel in the air
(Though not in Ontario, not if you dare
to be seen by a cop while you’re pulling a stunt,
Or your licence will vapourize – what an affront).

Your bike is in storage, it’s under a sheet
And waiting for spring and a day with more heat.
If that is the case, then I guess you’ll miss out.
You’ll go months on four wheels; you’ll develop a pout
When you think of the freedom a bike can deliver.
The thought of its power will make you a-quiver.

But for me? No, it’s Christmas and festive tradition
To put on the gear and make it a mission
To fire up the bike – my own gift for the day
That gets me through winter, my own Santa’s sleigh.
And when ready to ride, dressed as warm as can be,
It’s then that I’ll know that I have to go pee.

For to me every Christmas, there’s no greater gift
Than to take out the bike for a mid-season lift.

5 thoughts on “CMG’s Christmas Poem”

  1. Here’s another, just because….

    Twas the night before Christmas and out in the garage, two bikes were sitting…… a V Twin montage.
    But all of the streets they were covered with snow….
    Not a safe place to ride, not a spot on the road.
    The tenders were plugged in and humming away… keeping batteries charged on that cold winter day.
    The chrome was all shiny, the paint bright and clean, but the weather outside was nasty and mean.
    Then out in the yard I heard such a sound, But how can that be, there was no-one around?
    Then out in the driveway was a thunderous roar… the unmistakable sound of a V Twin big bore.
    The driver was plump dressed in leather and black. A long beard of white and a big leather sack.
    He went to the house and walked right through the door… leaving gifts by the tree and gifts on the floor.
    A helmet and shield and a new set of lights, to make the ride safe on those warm summer nights.
    A new set of pipes just to make the bike sing. Chrome license plate cover. A bit of new bling.
    Then back to his Bagger, old biker Clause ran. He fired it up and lifted the stand.
    And I heard him exclaim as he roared out of sight…
    “Safe riding to all, and to all a good night.”

  2. ‘Twas the night before Christmas at the motorcycle store.
    The sales clerks were gone; they’d locked up the door.
    Back in service, the tools were hung with great care,
    The floors had been swept, the workbenches bare.
    Sales had been brisk, filling staff with elation
    As they headed down south for their winter vacation.
    The new shiny sportbikes had all been sold out,
    And all that was left was an Indian Scout,
    A Norton Commando, a Rudge Multi too,
    And a black BMW R32,
    A Vincent, a Matchless, and Velocette,
    And a drippy old Brough that wouldn’t start on a bet.
    “This stinks,” said the Norton. “We’re just as fine
    As those Japanese bikes the kids buy all the time.”
    “You’re right,” said the Vincent as he grew agitated.
    “All I need is to get my back tire inflated,
    Then I could compete with the best of `em yet.”
    “Me, too! I’m still fast,” cried the old Velocette.
    “If someone was handy, somebody smart,
    They’d know how to fix us and get us to start.”
    And so while they grumbled and whined and complained,
    They didn’t notice a visitor came.
    He was dressed all in leather, black head to toe,
    And his helmet had reflective stickers that brightly glowed.
    His beard was snow-white. It reached to his chest.
    How he got in the door was anyone’s guess.
    He looked them all over. “Merry Christmas!” he said.
    “Are you fellows available to pull my big sled?”
    “Who, us?” laughed the Matchless. “We’re rusty and old.
    Nobody wants us, that’s why we’re not sold.
    Kids want electric, not our old kickstarts.
    These young punks think we’re just bikes for old farts.”
    “My Lucas headlight hasn’t worked well in years,”
    Said the Rudge. “And my gearbox is missing some gears.
    I’d be much obliged if you’d look at my choke.
    And the earthing brush in my magneto is broke.”
    “My mix is too rich, I think,” said the Beemer.
    “Does anyone know how to set the carb leaner?”
    Then Santa said, “Hey, stop the whining, you guys.
    You’re legends and history in many men’s eyes.
    So what if you’re rusty and don’t look brand new?
    Hypermotards and `Busas wouldn’t be here without you.”
    Then the vintage bikes lights started glowing with pride.
    And the Norton Commando said, “Let’s take a ride!”
    “I’m ready, let’s go, come on!” said the Brough.
    “Let’s get it in gear and show `em our stuff.”
    They took to the road, their pipes roared like thunder.
    And Santa sat back in his sled, filled with wonder.
    And he said as he watched them race into the night,
    “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe ride.”

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