Sunday, May 15th I woke up to news of the tragic death of Rob Harris (http://canadamotoguide.com/2016/05/19/rob-harris-1967-2016/). I was stunned, to say the least, as I briefly exchanged emails with him just the week prior. I had the pleasure of meeting Rob, and his wife Courtney, at the Fundy Adventure Rally last year. I was initially drawn to the CMG website for its unbiased and humorous approach to moto journalism. Through the site I learned of the Fundy Rally and vowed to attend the following year, which I did. Upon arrival I first met Courtney and immediately felt as though I was part of an extended family. Rob was a busy man, pulled in many directions, but I had the fortune of sharing a few cups of quiet early morning coffees during the Rally. Rob made you instantly at ease and treated you like a friend from the get go. What was immediately clear was his intellect and humour. I barely knew him, and I yet I will miss him. I can’t even imagine the pain his loved ones must feel. Once the initial shock subsided, I went to do the only thing I could, go for a ride in his honour. Then eerily, my bike wouldn’t start, just nothing. And this was a nearly new BMW that I never had an issue with. Was this a sign?!
The next day off went the Sertao to Motoplex and I was left to contemplate life without a bike and Rob’s tragic passing weighing on my mind. I questioned what I was doing riding a motorcycle with a wife and young children. Should I really continue riding? It only took a couple of bike-less weeks for me to realize the importance of riding in my life. I grew bitter and resentful the longer I went without a bike, much to the detriment of my family. I’ve always joked that riding was my two-wheeled therapy – but it’s no joke, it truly is my therapy. In a world where we are increasingly (and unnaturally) chained to our desks and devices, many of us need an outlet to stay sane. Mine just happens to be riding. Riders ride for different reasons, but most will agree that it allows you to explore while being immersed in your surroundings, unlike a car. For me though, it’s also the freedom I experience, providing me with much needed relief from fulfilling life’s professional and personal obligations (which don’t come naturally to me). So after experiencing a dark period of questioning my riding, I realize it is simply a part of who I am. Like Rob, I adore my family, but not riding would deny them of who I truly am. And frankly, I believe that my riding sends them a message, as Rob wrote to his daughters, “to live life to the full and without fear”. Well said brother, Ride in Peace.