Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

DesTination: Montebello!

Fairmont Le Château Montebello,
Montebello, Quebec
What a day! There was an assortment of emotions this morning as members from the Dragon Riders Riding Group took to the road from Moe's Bar & Grill in the West Island and headed out towards Montebello, Quebec via Riguad and Oka. The weather was in and around 29 degrees and before long the majority of riders began undressing as the day progressed. Being used to Irish weather when motorcycling it was a rare treat for me to be able to remove my leather jacket out of necessity as temperatures were multiplied by the heat of the engine, let alone the tarmac. There were roughly nearly twenty bikes in our pack today, some with passengers whilst other equipped with sound systems and i-pads no less... yes, you read that right! More on that in just a second...

Believe it or not I hardly knew anyone today bar the usual suspects. The majority of members who joined the ride were also new to each other. Thus, I must apologize in advance if I didn't get a chance to take a picture of every member with their bike in advance (or if I can't recall your name at the moment!). Acting as Tailgunner I found myself in the fortunate position of being at the rear of the group accompanied by some lovely people. However, being such a beautiful day what started off as a twenty something group of Dragon Riders soon became an assortment of hundreds of bikes coming to and fro as we rode along the river banks of Outaouais River. I couldn't help but think about how satisfying it was to see so many bikers ride along passing us and at times joining us in lieu of how difficult the Quebec government has attempted to make riding motorcycles! At times, especially in Montebello, it felt like cars were the minority on the roads as the streets were inundated with motorcycles of all makes and models.

True to its creed, the Dragon Riders were made up of a variety of motorcycles today and included our fearless leader, Steve Houle's Yamaha Road Star, Michel NG's Kawasaki Ninja 400, "Bobby the Bobber's" H-D 48, Jean-Sebastien's Buell XB12S, Beakster's Lady in Black & Red - Triumph Bonnie, and Bruce & Ginette's Honda Goldwing! New additions (at least to my blog site) included Stephan's Yamaha FZ1, Charle's Yamaha FZ6, Sydney's lovely H-D Nightrain, Geoffrey's Kawasaki 800, Paul's Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad and Lex, Kat, and MC were riding Honda Shadows of various vintage. For those of you from Intruder Alert you will be happy to know that my Suzuki Intruder 1400, aka Serenity, continues to run effortlessly since adding seafoam. The bike is really exceptional and the Corbin seat is perfect (at least for me) for long rides as is the Jardine Billet Back Rest Extension which I consider a must for long rides! It allows for plenty of cargo space without the need for saddlebags, a personal preference of mine. Finally, the Jardine Fishtail pipes are a fantastic addition and I have been complimented repeatedly on them by fellow riders. If you are wondering about the actual sound they make, think helicopter... really!

Steve's Chromed Dragon and My Darling Serenity

Bruce & Ginette's Goldwing -
Air Conditioning is Apparently Optional

MC's Apple i-Bike! ;-)
Lex's Honda Shadow 750
'Ms. March!'
Charles' -  Yamaha FZ6
The Heartbreak Kid!
Kat's 1988 Honda Shadow
Nobody knows for sure who the fella behind her is.... ;-)
Paul's Kawa Vulcan Nomad
"Live Long & Prosper" Paul... yes, I went there... sorry.
Sydney's very sleek NightTrain
Photo © Sydney Fruchthandler
Make Pretty Pictures,
ne'st pas?
The first part of our journey found our group split up on several occasions in lieu of cage drivers and stop lights. The group was pretty large and despite the best efforts of our fearless leader it was not always possible to see if we were still there or not. Nevertheless this wasn't necessarily a bad thing in my opinion. It gave the few of us left behind the opportunity to get to know one another and to ride quietly along and see some beautiful sights that we may have missed if we were trying to keep formation in a larger group. Our first stop was in Rigaud, Quebec. Rigaud is a beautiful town that had picturesque quality not unlike most places I have visited in Quebec. Unlike previous ride outs our presence was perhaps less overwhelming today given that so many people were riding their cycles. It seemed almost surreal and made me think of the Netherlands whereby bicycles and motorcyclists are the norm; so much so that during the warmer months cars must actually give way to them! The sight of so many bikes must have caused most cage drivers to think twice however as admittedly they were very courteous and polite as we rode along and parked.

Why Men Join the Dragon Riders... ;-)
Bobby the Bobber - 'Heeeeyyyyy' and the Gang...
Steve Loves it When a Plan Comes Together...
Jean-Sebastien -
Can you Taste the Difference?
Charles - The Heartbreak kid and the Michel - Naughty but Nice.
Outaouais River
Mrs. Dragon!
Resto-Pub Le Zouk
Before we knew it our 10:00am departure from Montreal had now turned into a 14:00pm lunch date in Montebello at a Resto-Bar aptly named Le Zouk. The site of twenty-something bikers seemed to throw the waitresses off guard as we approached with thundering appetites. The staff were good sports about it though and not wanting to face our hungry wrath they quickly opened up another part of the restaurant on the balcony and set to work taking our orders and frantically went about making our meals to order. The atmosphere was great and Montebello could have been Sturgis what with all of the motorcycles parked on the streets and riding through. For motorcycle lovers it was nothing less than breathless; particularly because of the quality of motorcycles to be found here. It also didn't hurt that cyclist and pedestrian alike, and even cage drivers were waving to us happily as we rode into a town renowned for its historical value.

A Welcomed Intruder!
Is there anything more beautiful than a row of motorcycles?
There were various clubs out today
as evidence by the types of bikes!
Four Lovely Ladies... (well, three anyways...)
Steve Laughs in the Face of Hunger...
This is what happens after four hours or so on a Harley!
Posterity's Sake
Bruce, Charles and the Iron Kilt...
Michel's best James Bond impersonation
and MC, Bond Girl!
Serenity Showing off her Jardine Fishtail Pipes
O.K. Corral
Hide & Seek Anyone?!
Funny how Monuments are never as big as they appear on T.V.?!
Time seems to have no meaning when riding a motorcycle. Even when I try to go for a short ride (i.e. corner store) inevitably my wife puts out a missing person report with the local police. It has become an unwritten fact that motorcycle + me = 8 hours minimum. The corner shop inevitably means the shop in Oka; and if I am not careful a trip to Canadian Tire could easily translate into a trip to Vancouver! Today was no exception. What started off as a 4 hour ride turned into 9 hours of pure riding pleasure with occasional stops for life's little necessities. However, just when you think you have seen everything someone surprises you. I found myself hearing the faintest sound of music playing in the air as I rode along. Thinking it was Bruce and Ginette's Goldwing it occurred to me that the music was coming from in front of me. There was MC, riding happily along with her i-Pad blaring through two mounted chromed speakers. The song, a "Walking on Sunshine" kinda tune, though I am not sure exactly what it was?! The i-Pad itself was mounted to her handlebars and she was rather proud of the fact that this was an innovative use of a tablet. Surprisingly, it didn't really look all that out of place. (I bet you didn't even notice it in her picture!) So there you have it, if losing yourself on the open road isn't enough you can now watch a movie, check your emails or make a home video whilst stuck in traffic! ;-)

Our trip home was bittersweet and inevitably we found ourselves crossing through Grenville Sur-La-Rouge and Hawkesbury, Ontario. By the time we got to Vaudreuil, Quebec, it was already 18:00pm! Thankfully the heat began to subside and admittedly, I feel and look more like a lobster than a weather ridden biker. (Note to self, bring sun tan lotion in future! sigh...) Unfortunately I am ashamed to say that I didn't get to know every single person on the ride out today. Nor did I get the chance to photograph every single member with their cycle. However, if it's any indication to how friendly these people actually are, we picked up two strays along the way in Rigaud! If that isn't a testament to how personable we are, than I don't know what it is. If you or someone you know is heading my way drop me a note and I just might meet up with you... I'll just tell my wife I am heading to the corner store! ;-)


  1. Hi Mario,
    Great review. Yes, that was my chinese 'Bond impersonation' .. :-) I bet you want to see my version of 'William Hung's .. She bangs' ... lol! ... fat chance !!!

    Again, thank you so much for all your precious tips that make me a much better rider.
    Last but not least, I would like to thank your better half, for allowing you to accompany me on those incredible rides.
    Take care and stay safe.

  2. Bad old wifey is glad you had a good day. I enjoyed reading about it! xx

  3. Lots of fun reading your stuff. Hope you will continue writing up future rides (and more). Cheers!

  4. Beautiful bikes, Gorgeous women... can anyone join?

  5. Hey,

    The guys are pretty darn cuddly too once you get to know them... Just look at Steve. LOL...


  6. Another great read, I feel like I am on the adventure with you everytime I read your blog. Thanks for sharing your life with us.


  7. BSJ - you really do a great job of writing these up! Are you a journalist by trade?? Enjoyed the read -- again.

    BTW - Mrs Weary & I are planning on being in Plattsburg, NY in July. Just a few weeks away.

    We will arrive the 13th, and be there for a week before returning home! How far are you away from Platsburg?

    BTW - the temp you posted on this read said 29 degrees. Was that Celsius or Farenheit?

    IF F' that was a pretty cold morning start!