18 October 2008


Already a few weeks ago, 4 October (I really don’t know where time goes), early Ontario Saturday morning—I joined up with about twenty other enthusiastic women trail riders and their motorcycles. We gathered for our riders meeting which would set off the fifth annual fundraiser--“Megs Ride”.

THANK YOU MOTORESS SUPPORTERS —your contributions helped MEGS RIDE exceed goals! This “women’s only” event is hosted by Ontario’s Northumberland Trail Riders Club (NTR) with the purpose of raising funds for the Northumberland Chemo Clinic in honour of their member, Meg Thorburn. Meg’s been battling a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma (currently in remission). This year the club had to finance the ride themselves as previous sponsors couldn't assist—but still succeeded in doubling the amount raised in 2007, exceeding their grand total goal of $35,000.

The trails were laid out by NTR members throughout the Northumberland Forest just outside of Centreton Ontario—the men are usually busy with the logistics supporting the women for this ride. A big “shout out” to the fine fellows in attendance (though not allowed to ride) —great to make your acquaintance! The route took us through nearly 90 kilometres, a full morning and afternoon of terrain that off road riders dream about. The routes were shown by either orange (basic experience level) or pink (more challenging level) arrows, taking riders up hills, and down again, through open space bush lined gravel trails. We rode over fallen trees, stacked logs, rocks and washed out ground as a result of this season’s record breaking rainfall. Lunch was served mid day at a clearing halfway through the woods—indeed that warm soup went down well, it was only 13 degrees, only felt when stopped of course.

BMW Motorrad Canada provided me with a 2009 “just out of the crate” BMW G450X—their enduro /motocross model which was awesome to ride. Light handling, smooth and plenty torque---"oh la la" reminding me it had been two seasons since my last true off road adventure. The G450X was a wee bit on the high side for me, some management required to climb aboard, but really a non-issue especially after making suspension adjustments. And you know, off-road riding has really no traffic pressure worries, so having both feet on the ground isn't so relevant to your riding control. You don’t have to remain between lines or stop at designated markings--your usual road riding concerns disappear. It’s just you, the woods--oh yes, and scurrying chipmunks along with the occasional rabbit and fellow riders. Initially I thought the bikes weight to be no trouble, its only 120 kg (dry weight) or 265 lbs. But later discovered I did need help getting out of a few falls especially the manner in which the bike ended up on the ground-super fun-ny! Admittedly, I’m still taking care of the broken back that occurred last year, so wasn’t going to take any chances where’s that concerned.

We could not have asked for a better day--a perfect sunny Canadian Autumn ride staged amidst a colourful forest backdrop; accompanied by the fabulous camaraderie of the NTR club riders/members. Hope you’ll join us next year!

Special thanks to Kevin Virag for being there and capturing us in his lens.

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