On Sunday May 20th, 2018, an event was held in honor of those who have lost their lives while driving their motorcycles, or as members of the motorcycle community would say “riding”. The event commemorates family members, friends, and loved ones who are no longer here and brings people together to celebrate and remember their lives. The event includes music, food and drinks, family activities as well as a “bike blessing” followed by a ride up to the barbecue location.
Bikers and family members from all over the GTA and even further gathered at 401 & Port Union to assemble and commence the bike blessing before heading to the actual event. Hundreds of people came out and were present at the initial meet up. Two members of the planning committee motioned everyone in and began to speak to the crowd. One male informed the crowd of where they would be riding to and what route everyone should take. He advised no stunts be made while driving and wished everyone a safe and fun ride. His friend then began to speak about a loved one he’d lost to reckless actions and used the word ride as an acronym for “remember in death eternity” as he asked the attendees what they were going to do in honor and memory of their loved ones. He prayed for those there in their journeys in life as well as their ride to the event.
After the blessing was finished, members assembled with the people they had rode their with or the people the ride with in general, and lined up in an orderly fashion before all leaving the lot to partake in the ride to Brampton or “the ride for our fallen”. The main roads and highways were packed with colorful bikes and embroidered leather, as one by one and two by two the many riders cruised on their way. The ride was about thirty minutes long and no reports of accidents or collisions with any of the bikers were reported.
At the barbecue, you could find face painting, a bouncy house, kids running around, as well as an array of food options from hot dogs to chicken and rice. You could also find merchandise from several of the riding groups in attendance. Against the walls riders parked their bikes and interacted with the members of the community. The event was also a fundraiser held by members of a family who’d lost someone in an accident. A five-dollar admission charge to all who were to attend the fundraiser event as well as a draw was held.
Many said the event is a great way to support people in the community by just being there for one another. A number of people felt like coming to biking events allows them to be around and make lifelong bonds with likeminded people. Three young men had met the year prior at the exact same event and stated they’ve been best friends ever since.
A member of the family who’d started the event wanted to let people know that people who ride motorcycles are no different from those who drive cars. Stating the bad reputation people have given to bikers is unfair as well as the way bikers are treated on the roads.
The barbecue was scheduled from three to eight, wrapping up a bit early by about 6. Those that road in hopped back on their bikes and left with their friends and loved ones. The family members of those that had fallen had concluded this year a success as more people were in attendance than the years before, hopeful for what is to come next.
By: Nadia Elawad