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Today as I look out my window, I no longer see the green of the park or the flag fluttering in the breeze, but I see the mountains and the sea from my chair in the living room. The mountains have a "cloud halo" where the clouds ring the middle portion of the mountains. The sea is calm as the single freighter makes its way to the harbours in Seattle.
But today, I think the halo has a special meaning. You see, today we send one of our brothers home. He will take that one last ride and those clouds will be there to steady him as he travels and when he gets to those pearly gates, he will be greeted by his brother who left us several years go and his other brothers from across the land. It is not a time to morn, a time to cry or a time to be sad, rather a time to smile at all of the crazy things Recycle said and did. A time to remember that ear-to-ear grin when he was on his Red Steed. His wave to everyone on two wheels - yes, even scooters. A time to share that smile and remember times like when he looked into his empty beer bottle and swore there was someone drinking it because it emptied too soon, or when he bit into his hotdog and it shot out the other end like a cartoon clip. Ron was a man like no other, he is Recycle, CMC65092
If you would like to donate to Ron's Memorial Fund, please go to: http://cmc-victoria.com/donate.html Thank you.
Safe journey home brother Ron. We are going to miss you. RIP
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I am not usually classified as a jealous man. Well...if truth be told, I am slightly envious of the West Coast BC chapters with their unquestionably scenic mountains. Having once resided there in a time when testosterone was both legal, and NOT politically incorrect, I know of which I speak.
There is now another contender for my 2-wheeled yearning: Europe. I have visited different parts of Europe in years past, but have never had the opportunity to actually ride motorcycles during my visits. Something I desperately hope to address while I still retain the capacity to balance on two wheels.
To that end, I will begin preparations to address a portion of that particular itch, by planning a cross country ride to British Columbia. To give credence to that goal, and to augment my incentive to actually make it happen, I plan on attending the 2017 CMC National Rally, scheduled to take place in the Coombs/Nanaimo area on Vancouver Island. I have convinced myself that it is actually preparation for riding throughout Europe.
Below is one reason why, instead of going to bed at a reasonably decent hour, I am staying up in the wee hours of the night researching (ok...binging) on YouTube videos made by European motorcyclists, who seem to have more leisure time (and by the looks of their bikes), apparently more liquid assets than I currently have.
I now have just over a year to plan, save, and acquire a larger, more comfortable long distance touring bike, to venture out west. Who is up for some transcontinental 2-wheelin'?
Earlier this month, national and international journalists weighed in with their impressions on the appointment of Mark Saunders, Toronto’s new Jamaican-Canadian Chief of Police. Given the multi-layered complexity and scope of responsibility of such an important and far reaching senior public-facing position for Canada’s most diverse and populous city, it goes without saying that the principals, Toronto’s Mayor and the Toronto Police Services Board, responsible for reaching the final decision for the new Chief’s appointment, were required to so with soberness, foresight and unanimity.
It is interesting to note that some of the Board members at first, maintained different stances on who should be the next Chief of Police; which in and of itself was nothing unusual. In fact it indicates an environment where differing ideas are allowed to be expressed. Afterwards, those who were questioned, stated their final decision was unanimous. If there were any reservations, none were publicly forthcoming.
The full spectrum of expectations, realistic and otherwise, will now come to bear on Chief Saunders from many directions; most likely all at once. His first and foremost concern will be the police officers under his direct charge. It is an unfortunate, yet forgone conclusion that some elements of the public do not trust, or have any love lost for the new Chief’s police force. This belief has been established partly through the graphic and unfortunate incidents between police and suspects that have been shown via the media. This influential perspective has also been augmented by the recent troubling police visuals south of the border. But let us not for a moment lose sight of the fact that a percentage of those who see Toronto’s police as the enemy, are part of the darker elements of our society that substantiate the very need for the existence of our police.
One can only imagine what it must be like being a member of a police force; not only the Toronto Police, but the OPP, RCMP, or any of the many Municipal detachments across Canada. Whether as a veteran of many years or a freshly minted recruit, the difficulties inherent in carrying out their responsibilities will always be compounded by the perceptions and expectations of the very public they are required to serve. In Chief Saunders’ case, he will have to navigate and balance the crucial course of effectively equipping, rebuilding and maintaining morale among his staff, while at the same time addressing such issues as the very real stigma of profiling, engendered through the current policy of Carding. He will have to deal with what is seen by some in the public as itinerant unchecked police abuse of power, while ensuring his police force operates at peak efficiency through strict rules of engagement, which are in place to keep both the public or even any alleged perpetrator as safe as possible. At first blush, with so many vested parties holding him under a microscope, the tasks that lay ahead are unquestionably daunting.
Another challenge to Chief Saunders will be giving a continual account of himself to those who have oversight over him; the Mayor of Toronto, the Toronto Police Services Board and yes, to a certain extent, the public at large. Every action, decision, or word that comes from his mouth will be literally held for public record and scrutiny. But the Chief should be fully aware of that, as it comes with the position.
Chief Saunders has inherited some potentially divisive responsibilities, and his qualifications certainly are not being called into question, but fulfilling his mandate as Chief of Police should not be about leaving a legacy for himself. More so, elements such as enabling opportunities which allow for the building of new foundations of community-based trust and interaction between the public and Toronto Police. At the same time, and of no less equal importance, ensuring his members have complete training and support; not only to carry out their assigned duties, but also for when those duties take their toll on them, physically and emotionally.
There will always be detractors when it comes to senior level appointments that inherently have a direct impact on the public. Let us at a minimum give opportunity for those newly appointed to positions of public trust, time to bring about necessary change. Yes, we can help by being diligent of their actions, or inactions, but more importantly, by being active with mature, supportive engagement as well.
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Well, hopefully spring is here for most of us. I have had my bike out twice, and it snowed the next day both times. I am going to risk it again today and go for a short ride with my friends.
Like most riders, I waited patiently for that first ride, and with the winter that seemed to drag on forever, I was beginning to feel a bit caged! The first ride out was tentative, as the roads were covered with sand and grit, but it felt SO AWESOME!
I read grizzz's Blob Post about enjoying the small things in life. I also read through the tributes to Tina (from 089) and although I didn't know her, the tributes really tell the story of a courageous lady. I had an idea.
There is a challenge on the Internet called the 100 Happy Days Challenge http://100happydays.com - challenges people to focus on things that make them happy, even for a little while.
As the site says - We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.
71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
If you are up to the challenge, you post a picture every day for 100 days of things that make you happy. You can change the privacy settings to whatever you want, or you can just keep the challenge to yourself.
My idea is this - is anyone interested in doing a CMC 100 Happy Day challenge? We could use the hashtag #100HappyDaysCMC or create a forum here for folks to post. What a great way to promote our love of riding, our friendship and the beauty of belonging to CMC!
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So on Thursday March27th “I was looking out my window” (cheers Grizz) and although the temperature was less than ideal the roads looked very dry. I must admit there was a large amount of sandy areas, and was very determined to avoid these. With that said I rolled my bike out of my garage and started it up. I let the bike warm up about 10 minutes or so, the bike itself was pleading it was ready, it responded with nice crisp throttle rolls.
I used the time while the bike was warming up to GEAR UP, I must admit I was a little nervous, not about getting hurt, but rather possibly dropping my bike and being upset at myself for being an idiot So for the first 20 minutes or so I just rode around a 2 block radius of my house, just getting the feel, The only bike I had ridden really was the little Honda CBR125 used at the Humber course. So my Honda Shadow 500 was a very new and different experience compared to the other. After I was comfortable with the handling and controls I ventured a little further from home, This is when I realized that @ 60 kph the wind is stronger than I had anticipated, so back home I went.
I thought to myself that was F U N ….. Hmmm. So I went upstairs and put on a pair of sweatpants on underneath my jeans. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting track pants & jeans are a good alternative to proper weather riding gear, but I just had to get a few more klicks in before putting my bike back in the garage.
Thinking about it some more I thought “Oh, I know, I have to go order a new set of contact lenses.” So I planned my route to try avoiding the higher traffic areas, It was going to be about 15 km each way One of my first observations upon arriving at the plaza was how BIG the parking spaces were, backing my bike into a spot I thought to myself “this bike is a lot easier to park than my SUV”. I took a much larger street for my ride home and @ 4 pm it was quite busy. Shortly after getting underway it began to SNOW!, luckily it was just some light flurries and was not enough to even change the colour of the road; I felt much better being on DRY roads. The ride home was very straight, but some good practice in heavier traffic. So all in all I put just over 50 kms for my first ride ever on public roads. It felt AWESOME getting that monkey off my back
Aces N Eights
Stay tuned for my next post:
My First Ride - Things I did well, and things I need to work on