In late 1997, I came up with an online site under the name of the Toronto Dual Sport Club. At the time, the site was an introduction of my ideas and an open invitation for anyone wanting to ride with me. This proved to be the smartest move I made, since I had extreme doubts on buying a dual sport bike in a country where the the majority cruised the highways of Canada on their Harleys or sport bikes.
I received an email from Brian Helliwell who expressed a keen desire to make the the club work. I, being new to Canada, took comfort in the fact that Brian's knowledge and interest would be a valuable asset to the club. This was not only due to his interest in riding but his constant willingness to promote the club and heighten dual sporting's awareness. I call Brian my tour guide but really, he is much more. We talked about what the site could use and what we could do to increase the membership. Changes were made and our first ride was in Ingersoll on the 29th of March, 1998. We had a turn out of 5 riders! With every passing year, the membership has increased steadily.
Our club and it's members have successfully maintained a keen respect for the environment in which we explore. Our motto is adventure, friendship, experience and fun! We have had riders with different skill levels take part in our rides. Due to the respect our members have for one another, many good friendships have been created.
On a personal note, ever since I started riding, I have grown to love it more and more. I lived in Kenya (East Africa) and have traveled extensively in the sub-Saharan region as well as Australia. Both experiences have left me asking for more. Riding, travelling and adventure have become a deeply embedded passion of mine and I plan to encompass the entire globe in the future. I often end up talking about the subject with everyone I meet and find my adrenaline sky-rocketing. I know that as long as I am able, I shall ride.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Robert M. Pirsig's book - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: "You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by eight inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness."