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February 2005 - Vol 7, No. 1 - Road Trip PDF Print E-mail
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Road Trip

2005 Eyes Wide Open Ride

By Dwight Lobson, ISRA #290

A Hearty Canadian How You Doen Eh!
(Pronounced "Dew n A")

Well, it's time to ride on Vancouver Island again! I know--you've been missing the eagles, the ocean's surf, the killer whales, the snow-capped mountains, the crystal lakes, the pristine rivers, the Coho salmon, the country back road twisties, the near unoccupied sea to ski highways, and your Vancouver Island ISRA friends.


That's darn righteous of you missing us like this, so we've decided to host a big ole ride for you all to take in this July of 2005. For those of you that have not had the pleasure of riding Vancouver Island, I would be doing you an serious injustice if I did not tell you right up front that this will be the ride you'll talk about for some time! We promise!

So here goes. You're officially invited on behalf of The Norwestars to The EYES WIDE OPEN 2005 MOTORCYCLE RIDE, VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA. The ride dates are July Friday 22, Saturday 23, and Sunday the 24. This ride is free of charge and enables you to ride your iron horse with 150 or so other friendly ISRA motorcycle enthusiasts up and down beautiful Vancouver Island.

We have miles and miles of scarcely occupied, beautiful twisty back roads plus some of the best no-nonsense adrenalin sea-to-sky highways for you to ride on. For me there is nothing more satisfying than waking up your senses with a unique blend of west-coast ocean salt air, mountain fresh air, the sweet smell of worn leather, motorcycle gasoline, and then hearing that supreme sound of our V-twins firing up for another go at it on Vancouver Island. Be assured that we are committed to make this your best motorcycle event for this summer

For the record, the meaning of "Eyes Wide Open Ride is simple. If your eyes are wide open, you will see those less fortunate around you and then you will help them. In this case, we'll ride hard, party severely, dance up a storm, camp, motel, over-eat, smoke way too many Cuban cigars while reminiscing about all the past rides, and during that time we also open our collective eyes wide open to help raise some real hard cash for a little six-year-old boy named Jevin Belanger. Jevin has suffered from birth with Cereal palsy and epilepsy and needs our financial support to help him have a better quality of life.

During the 2003 Eyes Wide Open (EWO), ISRA & Norwestars members raised (with the help of the locals) $25,000.00 for little two-year-old Hailey Jones. Hailey was suffering from cerebral palsy and experienced as many as 30 seizures per day. After receiving her medical treatments from monies raised, Hailey is doing very well, miraculously, with no current seizures at all. Who would have known that a bunch of motorcyclists and a three-day motorcycle ride would set aflame a grass-roots fundraising campaign. We were completely stunned that so many individuals cared and offered their hard-earned money to make a difference in a little girl's life. Well, many of you did make a difference, and Norwestars want to do it again for Jevin Belanger on our 2005 ride.

Lorne Purchase--fellow ISRA/Norwestar member, Roadstar owner, and VP of Operations at the Coastal Community Credit Union--deposited $1,000 into the trust fund as a gift from Coastal Community Credit Union. Lorne has also made arrangements for all 21 island locations to accept donations on behalf of the trust fund. Yamaha Canada Corporate and all five Island Yamaha dealers are also on the bandwagon, supplying us with big prizes for the upcoming 2005 EWO. Simon Holt, owner of Spunky's Motorcycle Shop, has also donated 50 EWO 2005 T-shirts. Once we sell them at $20.00 each, we will deposit the $1,000 to the Jevin Belanger Miracle Trust fund. Alrighty then. pull your throttles big time, burn some major rubber for Lorne Purchase, Yamaha Corp, the island dealers, and to Simon for stepping up, ya baby.

In addition to these donations and prizes, Norwestar members have received the Save Your Loose Change Challenge, and many will be bringing their saved coins for Jevin's trust. Over the course of the next six to eight months, Norwestar members will encourage other individuals, companies, clubs, and associations to help raise funds for Jevin. We trust that a few months after the 2005 EWO we will be able to give everyone a very successful financial report.

Below is the three-day schedule for the 2005 EWO.

Day One: Friday, July 22, 2005

On July 22, our first day's marshalling point and rally will begin in Victoria, B.C., on Dallas Road at ocean-side Cloverpoint. Many say this section of road and landscape in Victoria resembles the Cliffs of Dover. We are only a few blocks from the Trans-Canada Highway Mile 0. From Cloverpoint, you can see clear across the sun-drenched ocean to the spectacular snowcapped USA Olympic Mountains. While the early-bird riders wait for everyone to arrive, there are often kite surfers that will entertain us as they bounce rigorously over the ocean waves and thrust themselves 60 feet into the air and then back down again. They are pretty impressive to watch, as the kite span alone must be a minimum of 24 feet wide.

Most of our EWO riders will begin arriving at Cloverpoint at 9:00 a.m., with a prompt departure at 10:00--bells sharp. During the one-hour wait, TV reporters and newspapers reporters will interview members for the noon and evening news hours. We seem to get a fair bit of airplay. At the same time, SG Powers Yamaha of Victoria will have a Yamaha tent set up with coffee and donuts for everyone, and during this time, they will give away prizes for just turning up.

At precisely 10:00, road captain Don Grill will light up his 1800-cc roaring Honda beast and regally escort us along the ocean highway, through millions of dollars of prime real-estate, and then through the burbs and over the beautiful Malahat Mountain range. It's a spectacular way to introduce the riders to some beautiful roads and heavenly ocean property. You gotta have some big bucks to live beside this ocean.

Once over the Malahat Mountain range, we will have a changing of the guard, and our new road captain will be Dave Heatley (aka Mr. Transparent himself). You can count on him smirking with glee as he shows off his very black new HD Classic. Dave will guide us through 60 minutes of mountains highways and windy country back roads, eventually escorting us to the Lake Cowichan's Trail Ends Pub for a scrumptious smorgasbord with all the fixings. This rural pub is built adjacent to a beautiful quiet lake, so if it's a sun scorcher, you can stick your feet in and cool off.

After lunch, Mr. Transparent will ride us to Doug Stone's Duncan Motorcycle Sales. At the shop, we will offer prizes from Doug and from Yamaha corporation. Our island dealers are not afraid to buck up some serious prizes. In 2003, Doug gave away a $500 leather jacket to one of our guest riders. Doug's the man; he knows how to show us the money.


Well, getting out of the Doug's parking lot with 100 bikes plus is never easy, but we've got built-in experienced blockers who are not afraid of oncoming traffic. I've seen these blockers stare down many a 4x4 or big cruising cement truck and not even blink, as we all safely boogied on through their veil of protection. I'm sure these blockers will be some of those who got our island members their famous nickname, "The Merry Band of Lunatics." The ongoing joke is us boys n' girls are on day passes and love riding hard! The truth is, we are all having so much fun (rain or shine) on these Roadstars and V-Stars that we must look as if we are on day passes. I guess when you get right down to it, we're not the least concerned about the rubber side down or chrome up jargon; we just aim our iron horses, roll the throttle, and try to survive our chrome additions and its reflecting glare. Ok that's enough bonding, lololol.

Our EWO ride continues through some more scenic back roads for 35 minutes, arriving at the turn-of-the-century heritage, small town of Ladysmith for a small break. We'll park the bikes down at the ocean-side Transfer Beach. It's a great little moderately treed, grassy park that rolls down into a spectacular west-coast view of the ocean and surrounding islands. This stopover will be primarily for our Norwestars illustrious founding father, past president in exile Matt Walker and his Cuban-cigar-smoking contingency. It's here we'll let them fire them up to their heart's content. In real time, that will be about 15 minutes or a small cigar. The short stop is good for me as well because having the EWO host status, all that I seem to have to do is just stare at one of those Cuban cigars and I immediately inherited one. Humm, maybe the stop is more for me.


Upon departure from Che Guevara Cigar Park, Mr. Transparent will hand over the road-captain reins to me. I have us immediately committed to a few more extremely terse weaves through some more glorious countryside. To be honest, it's on these dreamlike almost surreal country back-forty roads that I am often seduced into laying down all my pre-conceived ideas about what riding motorcycles is. It's where the thinking about motorcycling ends and where being in the motorcycle groove ultimately takes me over. What a transition! To be more specific, this transition starts somewhere between the hypnotic sound of the almost silent ssssssseeessstttt wind grazing my outer ear and the syncopation of the engine performing to its designer's perfect expectation. It's between those sliced transforming moments, the Roadstar V-twin snatches my cognitive mind and pulls me deep into the shear joy of reality motorcycling. All my obligations dissipate; any plaguing turmoil disappears behind my acceleration, and the remaining road dust is the only evidence I might have had any other concerns. It's just me breathing, my motorcycle cruising, my combined surroundings and me. Everything is alive, the colors, the swaying trees, the ever-dancing heat mirage up the road, the wind carrying the scents of horses and hay, the friendly nod from the driver in the passing cage, and the swamp mist that leaves a hint of vapor on my glasses. This space is where I meet centrifugal force head on and seem to have some control over it.

After that last back 40 section, I'll next take us up on to the 110-km-per-hour Nanaimo overpass highway, and it's here we can enter into the translucent wave of nitro speed for those who want to. I mean we gotta booggie sooner or later, right? And it might as well be under my watch. About 6 kms after that big burst of nitro cruising, we'll slow down to a nice respectable residential speed as we pull into Nanaimo's Harbour City Motorsports. We may look like bad-ass bikers, but we are going to arrive like Masonic Shriners on motorcycles. The owners at this dealership are great people. You can count on them to have us jump through a few hoops to win our prizes, but hey, you gotta work sometimes. It's not all riding, and fun is it, lololol.

Man, I love riding.


So we've received some prizes, drooled all over Harbour City's new 2005s for 30 minutes or so, won some more great prizes, and now we are back on our last leg of the ride for our first day. No sense wasting time. I'll take us right back onto the Nanaimo overpass highway for a little bit more translucent riding. Then, in 10 minutes or so, we'll gear down for a quiet ride through the golf course. Then, just around the bend, we will arrive at our weekend's base camp, the Rocking Horse Pub. This hidden gem is snuggled up in the country backwoods of Nanoose Bay and has a lot of charm. Luise, the owner's 25-year-old daughter, told me that she is thrilled that we are coming and assures me that we are going to have a blast! On our first night, we'll have a great kickback outdoor BBQ prepared from the pub. During the BBQ, we will distribute the EWO T-shirts and enjoy the evening. After the BBQ, it might be an early sleep or a chit-chat around the campground fire or maybe a few beers inside the pub. All in all, you're going to love this location! Remember, there is free camping here.

Day Two: Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rise and shine, out of the tents, get the sleep out of your eyes because the pub is serving a big, big, breakfast between 7:30 am to 9:00 a.m. Glen Adams will be your road captain for the first leg of the Saturday ride. Knowing him, he'll have all the iron horses out of the corral and lined up to go by 9:10 a.m., sharp. From there, Glen will take us up onto the Parksville Highway bypass and will give us a brisk ride to Spunky's new motorcycle shop. Simon will have some coffee, donuts, and a whack of more prizes for us to enjoy. You'll get to see Simon's new store and all of his new bikes. We anticipate a much larger gathering of riders at this point, as many of the locals take on this Saturday ride. In 2003, we had well over a hundred bikes.

Well, with the great weather we are going to be having, I anticipate that we'll be pealing off the leather jackets and riding with our new EWO T-shirt.

The next part is a great ride along the old Island Ocean Highway. We are going to be riding with the ocean to the right off us for a few good miles. Part of the scenery will be Denman Island and also a few Ocean Oyster farms. I believe this is where your senses are going to be awakened British Columbia style. Your nostrils are in for a treat--the unique blend of west-coast ocean salt air, mountain fresh air, oysters, gas, and leather is going to be front and center for a few miles. Up a ways we will pull into Union Bay rest stop for a washroom and smoke stop. It is here that Reg and Joanne will take on the road-captain and co-captain duties. Wait until you see Reg's Roadstar; he's got a stick shift on the left side and a new brake system that everyone is gong to be amazed with. A few more miles of this fantastic ocean highway and Reg will take us up to Courtney and then up Mount Washington's twisty mountain highway. I believe this ski resort is sitting somewhere over 5500 feet. Up on the top, we are in for a spectacular view and an excellent lunch together at the chalet pub. Some of you should consider taking the gondola up to the top of the ski area and then back down again. The gondola is inexpensive, and the view is well worth the journey up and then back down.

After lunch, Reg and Joanne will slowly bring us down the twisty mountain highway, and if we are fortunate, we might just get to see some black bears and some soaring eagles. Once at the base of the mountain, our road captains will escort us through some back country for a leisurely ride to Scott Wilband's, Courtney Motorsports. Once at Courtney Motorsports, will meet six-year-old Jevin Belanger and his parents, Michelle and Robert. I believe that a large amount of local people will be there to see our bikes as we will be in the newspaper the week before talking about the few million dollars worth of bikes that will be coming to the Comox Valley. At this time, we will officially introduce the Jevin Belanger Miracle Trust Fund, and the Norwestars will challenge the locals of Courtney and the Comox Valley to help raise funds for Jevin's medical needs. We will present Jevin with all the money we have raised thus far. It's a pretty exciting moment when two parents see our love for helping their child manifested through our fund raising. Once this event has transpired, we'll give away a bunch more big prizes, visit with Scott and his team for a bit, and then the thunder of the bikes will happen all over again.

Sing it again, Prez!


While riding a motorcycle, I like to sing Willie Nelson's "Im on the Road Again." That's not public singing--just a little personal singing under my own breath, you know, just for me. I'm on the road again da da da da da da da da. Ahhhhh, music to my own ears. I know what you are saying: "Don't give up my day job." Speaking of singing, later on this evening, our illustrious Norwestar, founding father, past president in exile, Matt Walker will be entertaining us at the Rocking Horse Pub. We give him a mike and the stage and Matt will sing his comic rendition of "Old Mc Donald Had a Farm." His singing and stage presence pretty much make us all split a gut during the entire song. It's hilarious and obviously now a tradition.

Once we pull away from Courtney Motorsports, Reg will take us back to the Rocking Horse via the old Island Ocean Highway again. This way, he'll show you the ocean and the road from a different vantage point. Our arrival time at the pub should be around 4:15 p.m.-ish. Time for a beer and a small rest, and then Dana and Brenda Mccomber will start the 2005 Spunky's Show and Shine Contest. They'll get it started around 5:00 p.m., finishing at 6:00 p.m. with some awards for the various biker choices. At 6:30 p.m., we are going to have an awesome dinner followed by a live band to help us dance the night away. It will be a great night, lots of fun followed with sweet camping dreams.

Day Three: Sunday, July 24, 2005

9:00 a.m. goodbye breakfast and short Norwestar meeting. Last but not least, we have the 10:45 a.m. "Die-Hearts Ride" to Port Aberni. Road captains Dana and Brenda Mccomber will take us past the pristine Cameron Lake stopping at Cathedral Grove Park to see some 880-year-old giant Douglas Firs that are nine meters thick at their base. Then, after thinking we are in the California Redwoods, we will ride over the mountain to the logging town of Port Alberni. Lunch will be at The Clockwork Restaurant on the ocean wharf and then back to the Rocking Horse Pub for the Die-Hearts last mug of beer or coffee before the last departures.

Just one of the Many Rolling Vancouver Island Back Roads

And then for me, I sleep all night and dream of the next time I can experience the shear joy of reality motorcycling with my friends from ISRA and Norwestars.

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