I know that these last few years have been economically challenging for everyone.
But more and more, Canadian businesses are asking - where have all the customers gone.
At least in certain sectors of the economy that is the question being asked by many.

To the US would be my thought - the Canadian Dollar - when it goes over about 95 cents USD generally drives our Canadian consumers to the US.

I guess that's why I find many Canadians pulling out of their advertising contracts and more US companies wanting to advertise with me. I have been doing this long enough to see the trends as I look back.

Consumers seem to be holding on to their cash - bike show sales for floor space were down across the board, consumers were not spending the way they were and consequently little businesses like Belt Drive Betty & The Busted Knuckle Chronicles are seeing a huge shift in where their income comes in from.

I dare say that the after market parts, custom shops may suffer will here in Canada  as in 2007/08 because the costs here are so high. Our wages are higher, our cost of living is ridiculous and people need to feed their families first so they spend where things are cheaper because they want it all - and don't we all? We want to be rewarded fairly for our work, have a great lifestyle and enjoy the fruits of our labour. Canadian businesses are not playing on a fair playing field though. It is tough when you have among the highest cost of doing business in the world.

I feel for my Canadian business partners in certain industries - some of them are going to be dealing with recessionary situations, other sectors however are going to flourish.

Which ones? Well travel and tourism partners will see more motorcyclists than they will motor homes and bus tours - the cost of fuel will see our road ways far easier to navigate because even big truck traffic will be down.

That's what happened in 2007/8 when gas was over that $1.25 point here in Canada. The Trans Canada Highway between Golden and Revelstoke used to terrify me because of the way the big trucks push you in the mountains. In 2008 I owned the highway, sometimes for as long as 20 minutes before I saw another vehicle. It was wonderful.

Gear and leather dealers should do OK with a new influx of riders - the motorcycle industry is already getting a shot in the arm because more and more people will be buying bikes, the insurance industry will flourish and hopefully this summer - You riders are going to use your BDB Club Membership cards when you go to businesses - if a business is not sure of where they are getting a response, they will NOT renew their ads and we will not be able to provide the services for free to you riders that we do. We want to keep the tools and services we offer you free and add more free services for you but that takes advertisers!

So, use your cards, tell people where you found them and take advantage of all of the special services and discounts our partners offer  - membership is free and full of all kinds of benefits - we do not detract from the organized and manufacturer riding groups but add value to all the offerings you currently get from them.

As always - I welcome your feedback and input - without you, there would be no point to what I am doing!

In Other News:
In Kansas - Big Dog's closing is official and BDM - a new company set up will keep parts etc going for Big Dog riders.

In Alberta a rider was jailed for causing injury to his passenger while being intoxicated while riding

In Ontario - Veteran's plates are now available for motorcycles and that has many in Alberta wondering why they are not available here

There are other headlines that might be of interest to you, it is my hope that you will take a moment and check them out at

Pre Order your charity calendars soon folks - I need to sell a minimum of 50 in each category in order to be able to print them!  Details for purchase are available on each calendar page!

Have a fabulous Friday and if you are fortunate enough to get out on your scoot - PLEASE - ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you!

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  1. Oh so true. The question also has to asked, that with our Canadian dollar at an all time high, why then is it still 20-25% cheaper, even with duty and taxes, to purchase things in the USA? The Canadian consumers are not realizing the savings our strong dollar should afford us. When I hear the argument about economies of scale I think -What a load of crap!". While the US economy is still in the throes of a recession and people are not spending money, our Canadian economy is showing strength and we are SPENDING! We are being ripped off -Plain and simple!

  2. Gerry - as a retailer in Canada who deals constantly with the USA I would like to address your comment. While I do agree that some retailers have used the strengthening of the dollar as an opportunity to capitalize, most of us are just to tread water. We face some challenges in meeting the USA prices that as a consumer you would not expect. For example, every leather garment has 13% duty, every textile garment has duty from 18 to 22%. Boots have duty from 18 to 96.5% depending on what they are. Usually as a consumer buying from the USA you do not get charged the rates of duty that a commercial purchaser does. Now add to that the premium exchange that the credit card companies charge and you have a price that is 25% higher or more plain and simple. Now..... there are things that the extra costs buy you. For example, have you gone through the process of returning a defective garment or product back across that border? Unless you smuggle it in, be prepared to spend a half hour or more doing paperwork with copies of your original paperwork etc.
    I would love to meet or beat the "internet prices" for my customers and sometimes I can and do. I would love for the courier companies in Canada not to be three times the price as in the USA... I would love to have the concentration of consumers and consequently the volume of sales that my USA counterparts enjoy.... I would appreciate it if the Canadian government didn't want to dip in my pocket every time they hear a couple of pennies jingling together!
    I think you will find that if you shop around Canada there are places that for a small overcharge will service you better than running across the border. Most retailers would love to sell you their products for the best price they can. Regards - Randy Moore for Leather & Steel Ltd.