Vancouver – Toronto – Moncton – Charlottetown
As bike enthusiasts the spouse and I find the winter long. Living in Prince Edward Island can mean six months or more of too-cold-to-motor weather. One way to feed the enthusiasm is to attend a bike show. The year we left the Atlantic coast winter to spend three weeks in Ontario, followed by three months in British Columbia so were able to take in two major shows in one month.
There are many shows to choose from across the country and we are happy to tell you about just four of them. The idea is to inspire you to plan a vacation, or a mini-vacation, around a show or two come winter.
I must say it is wonderful to see the new bikes and accessories, but for me the best part is the people you talk to. Coffee areas are always a great spot to talk mechanics, and that perpetual favourite, the near misses and wow! moments. You also learn how small the world is for people who truly love to tour. At the Vancouver show we met one chap, wearing an Arctic Circle Yukon hat who says he loves biking in PEI best. We on the other hand are dreaming of touring the Yukon. Another fellow, this one from Ontario, seated nearby pipes up, “Say, did you go up those singing sands, past Montague on the Island?” and so the conversation goes.
There is a definite buzz in the air which intensifies as the day goes on. Talk of trips taken, or being planned, chrome or striping being considered, new bikes……….
The new year begins with what is billed as the continent’s largest and most comprehensive motorcycle show, the North American International Motorcycle SUPERSHOW in Toronto, usually held the first weekend of the year. Being 35+ years old this show has built a solid reputation. They have more than 50,000 folks go through over three days. It is spread out so the crowds didn’t seem overwhelming. With around 400 exhibitors, “Accessory Superstores” and staged events spread over several themed halls and special activities and competitions there was room to move and lots to enjoy.
The SUPERSHOW included over 25 manufacturer brands being represented, and a record breaking 80 motorcycle riding clubs, user groups and motorcycle associations participating with displays of members’ bikes, from touring and cruising to racing and offroad riding, vintage and marque clubs, and everything in between. Five separate military groups exhibited including motorcycle veterans’ units and the launch of new rides and rallies in support of our troops.
AND ON TO VANCOUVER
After a totally relaxing and super enjoyable trip across Canada in VIA Rails great passenger train we were amazed to find biking weather when we arrived in Vancouver in January. Far cry from the snow, sleet and ice of the East. In mid-January we headed out to Abbotsford to take in the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. One of the big attractions was the sheer number of new bikes on view, but running a close second was the focus on the lifestyle that is proving so popular with those who love to tour. We enjoyed that show so much we repeated the experience the next year, this time driving our RV across the continent, arriving in good time to enjoy the show again.
One thing that really impressed me at was the presence of resorts, campgrounds and tourism folks eager to welcome bikers. Destinations have put together a number of packages which include tours of various lengths with accommodation. Reps from the North, as well as communities like Revelstoke just made us long to hit the road. That feeling intensified when we hit the Ural display with sidecars just beckoning. My soon-to-be-operated on knee was positive it could rest quite comfortable in a side car. Of course I need to check out the getting in and out process of side cars.
All in all, this is a great show made ever more special by the glorious mountains forming a backdrop for green fields in January. Ya Gotta Love It!
Shows in our region tend to be a bit hit and miss so check with your local dealers for dates. In the past we have enjoyed great events in both Moncton and Charlottetown and look for many more.
These smaller shows are a great place to connect to the local riding community, clubs, dealers and to learn about coming events.
Before heading off on any winter trip we check to see if there are any such events we can connect with, even if we have to adjust our itineraries a little. A show in winter is a real boost to those of us who long for biking season.