I just returned home from a four day trip to Charlevoix Quebec and I had a blast. The Charlevoix Tourism team members showed me a fantastic time that included lots of riding, wonderful sights, hotels and FABULOUS food - I can't wait to get my photos edited and my articles written to share with you!

Travel is a wonderful thing, it expands your mind and tantalizes your senses but it does one other thing - it gives you an appreciation for your home and your own bed!

There has been so much going on in the news and I am sad to report that the long weekend saw two riders in New Brunswick killed in separate crashes, another killed in Ontario and one killed in Edmonton Alberta. For information on the crashes visit the Rider Down tab on

My heart aches for the families and friends of these riders.

I have a busy few days ahead of me as I get ready to leave for Toronto and the Heroes Highway Ride.

The purpose of the Heroes Highway Ride, a free event for all riders, is to show our troops, the men and women who fight for our rights and freedoms that they are loved, respected and appreciated. It is meant to honour the sacrifices that our troops and their families make.

I want to address some of the concerns that have been expressed about this year's ride and the changes
to it and how they will relate to the safety of 3-5,000 motorcycles being on the Highway of Heroes - the 401.

The route this year is from CFB Trenton to Toronto and YES, there are changes to the ride.

In the past everyone left in one solid procession, escorted by the OPP Golden Helmets with intersections blocked by the OPP for the safety of all.

This year, the same as last year, the OPP will be leading the ride, however the ride is being somewhat broken up in that there will be one large pack of 200 VIP riders, members of the military, press and others who have been invited to ride lead, that will be heading out first. There will be a short 5-10 minute break and then the rest of the riders will be sent out in groups of 25 leaving at 1 minute intervals - according to Lou, the organizer, the OPP feel this will reduce the accordion effect that can happen in large rides and the police believe that this type of staggered leaving will reduce negative public perception on large rides and reduce the potential for crashes etc. 

The OPP will still be blocking intersections at both the beginning and end of the ride to ensure riders can enter and exit the highway safely with minimal interference from other motorists - as has been done in the past - the major difference this year is the staggered leave.
Please remember that this ride is taking place on the busiest highway in Canada and is entering the largest city in Canada and there are huge safety concerns for riders and motorists alike - do I like the changes?

I will reserve comment until I see them in action.

Regarding patches and the wearing of them, as in years past, all patches are welcomed by the organizers as the attitude among the organizers is that every Canadian should be allowed the right to say thank you to our troops for the job they do defending our country. 

There will be a dissemination of how the HHR went off between the organizers and the OPP - what went wrong and what went right will be discussed afterwards and potential tweaks may take place for next years ride a result of what is learned. I am told that the OPP are looking at this event, the largest one day ride in Canada in support of our troops, as the proving grounds for standardizing the safety aspect of all large motorcycle events in the province of Ontario.

Some people see the changes to this year's ride as police interference and while that may be true on some levels, the police insist that these changes are for the safety of the riders and the motoring public and nothing more - I guess we will find out on June 2nd.

Although I have talked to a member of the OPP (Constable Leon) regarding this event I also have a call into the officer in charge of this particular event to find out more about the changes and the reasoning behind their implementation and will make sure that when I have those answers that all of you are kept informed as this is going to affect every other large ride in Ontario at some point in the future.

So, in closing, for those who attended last year - you will not notice much of a change - the only aim here, is an attempt to deal with the large volumes of traffic on the Highway of Heroes (the 401) and to keep the riders of the HHR as safe as is humanly possible.

For those who are thinking of attending - it is the most emotional ride you will ever be a part of, so come on out and support it!

There are a ton of articles in the news feeds that may be of interest to you and may affect your day and life as a rider, I invite you to check it our at

I leave you with a couple of funnies shared by friends on Facebook and through email and one American photo that may give us all pause for thought...

PLEASE REMEMBER THIS PHOTO on JUNE 2nd when you ride in the Heroes Highway ride - it may be American but the sentiment is the same for any soldiers matter where they are from.

Have a fabulous Tuesday and remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. Hi Betty, I have been following these changes and the implications are large. I rode in the pouring rain last year and also attended the year before. Its a great cause and very emotional. I was proud to be a canadian biker.
    That said I am not attending this years as the organizers and even the Perfect Pigs minus Lu are also not attending. It does not bode well for the future of motorcycle rides in general. The police again are taking over as the bikers G--- around and I for one plus the OCC also feel it is taking away part of our rights. To go right smack in the middle of downtown toronto is also not a good plan. Just wanted my two cents worth in and let us know how it turns out. LOve reading you.
    Judi W. THR

  2. Thanks for your comment and honesty Judi.

    I for one feel differently.

    I understand the position of the OCC to a degree, but if one takes a step back and looks at the bigger picture, wouldn't the OCC be better off riding en masse to support the men and women who fight to protect our rights and freedoms?

    By supporting them and paying homage to the fact that truly - it is because of their service and sacrifices that we have the relative freedoms that we do, we gain as a community. I feel we need to defend our rights by exercising our right to the freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to association - if we could show unity in a large public display and behave better than the students in the province of Quebec - if we could all simply come together and show our respect to these people as Canadians who ride motorcycles and forget about who is who and who rides with who and just come together as bikers - riders - motorcyclists - think of the message that would send. That we, the riders of the Canadian Motorcycle Community are UNITED IN RESPECT FOR OUR TROOPS AND OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS - after all if we don't use them we will loose them.

    Perhaps riding the ENTIRETY of the Highway of Heroes is not to some people's liking and I am OK with that.

    There are many places a person could leave the ride should they want to avoid downtown Toronto. I just really feel that for the sake of all riders we all need to put our differences aside for one day and say thank you.

    I am the daughter of a man and a woman who both served during peace time. I was born at CFB Churchill and my brother who passed last year was born in Downsview and my dad served in Trenton. This ride means something to me on so many levels - I ride to honor the memory of my friend, Cpl Micheal Starker a member of the Veteran's Canada MC, who was KIA in Afghanistan.

    I for one do not care who you are, what patch you wear on your back or who you do or do not ride with - I feel that for this one very special day we should come together as a persecuted community and show our men and women and their families that their sacrifices MEAN SOMETHING TO US and we should do that by using our rights and defending our freedoms by coming together with NO OTHER AGENDA than to say thanks.

    I say this with respect to all concerned. I truly see this event as the perfect opportunity for this community to unite for the greater good.

    I know I am dreaming a big dream - because this community is made up of a lot of people with different ideas but I really want to believe that we have the ability to come together - to stand shoulder to shoulder and USE OUR RIGHTS INSTEAD OF ALLOWING ANYONE TO TAKE THEM AWAY...

    I am simply offering a different way of looking at things - we could turn this into a real community unifying thing if we had the will...