The last ride for me of the season was my very first Toy Run. I was excited to see what this major day of bikes was all about. The day dawned and it was cloudy but not raining, so we decided it was a go. I was taking one of my sisters on the back – she can’t ride (or drive) because of a vision thing, but is an experienced passenger and loves bikes. The day turned out well despite some scary moments in the beginning.
We stopped first to pick up photogirl to ride to meet the others at the gas station. However, a few blocks from her house, photogirl had a small spill thanks to an errant tar snake, wet roads, cold tires and braking. It was scary to watch. Weirdly for me, I saw it happen in my brain before a couple seconds before it did in reality, so I wasn’t actually surprised, and stopped, put my flashers on, got my sis to direct traffic and went to check on photogirl and help her get the bike up, even though my heart did leap to my throat and I consumed with worry, praying that nothing bad had happened to her. I was extremely relieved to find that she was just shaken – she was lucky to be fully geared and not to hit the SUV that was beside her. Even her bike was barely hurt, considering.
We met Hot Rod at the gas station, and, while we were waiting for Speedy, watched another group of guys meet up and gas up. We then headed out to Coquitlam to form up. However, the scares of the morning weren’t over yet. We suddenly had to slow on No 1 – and as we went past the blockage, found that a couple members of the group of guys we’d seen gas up were crashed on the side of the road. Other bikers had stopped and had the situation well in hand, so we rode past and hoped mightily that they were OK. I posted it later on BCSB and found that they were, so much relieved.
We got to the mall and found spaces in the wide parking lot full of bikes. My sister and I ran off to Zellers to buy toys, as I’d been too busy with work (Convention!) the week before. Thus, we’re absent from this one of photogirl’s pictures.
We got back just in time to gear up and go – we didn’t really get to see some of the more unusual bikes, but the ones we did see were a riot. We got into the procession – everyone was pretty polite and well-mannered about how they rode. It was amazing riding in a group that size, not stopping for anything, and seeing all the people who line various parts of the route to watch all the bikes go by. Most of it was fairly slow, except the fast bit along Barnett Highway. It really made me feel quite wonderful to be part of such a community. Is it really part of human nature to feel so good about being part of a larger whole, doing the same thing – is it just mob mentality used for the good?
Then it was back to home – I took my sister across town to where she was staying, and found that despite the shocks of the morning, she really does like the adrenaliny bits of riding, and even does OK in the rain. And, she’s a great passenger – I’ll take her along anytime!