Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rider profile: Steve Liard

Name: Steve Liard
Find me on Earth: 43.6532° N, 79.3832° W
Find me Online: Aside from this interview and my Toronto Motor Scooter Club profile you'll have to find me on the road
Interview Date: October 10, 2016
Interview Location: Toronto Motor Scooter Club ride to Wasaga Beach





Life on two wheels: When did you start riding, how old were you?

Steve: My first ride was when I was 17 or 18 years old, many moons ago.

Life on two wheels: How many motorbikes have you owned?

Steve: I've only owned two bikes in my life but have ridden others.

Life on two wheels: What is your current bike, and is the current bike your favorite?

Steve: My current bike is a 2014 Suzuki Burgman 650 and absolutely it’s my favourite bike. I wanted (no… I lusted after) one for years before I could finally buy one.

Life on two wheels: Talk to me about the most challenging riding skill you learned.

Steve: Growing eyes in the back of my head. Seriously, it’s learning always to have situational awareness and not daydream. You’ve always got to be looking, paying attention and anticipating what the cagers might do. You must assume you are NOT seen.

Life on two wheels: Are you a moto-commuter, a tourer, or a fair weather rider?

Steve: I don’t commute because I need a vehicle at work, but I definitely tour and enjoy weekend rides.

Life on two wheels: Are you a solitary rider? How about riding in a group?

Steve: I ride solo and I am also a Ride Leader with the Toronto Moto Scooter Club and as a Ride Leader I organize and lead club rides throughout the riding season.

Life on two wheels: I dare you to share an awkward or embarassing riding moment.

Steve: I once had a split second of inattention while leading a club ride and low-sided the bike right in front of the entire group. Ended up breaking my thumb and cracking a bone in the other hand.

Life on two wheels: What is the best place your bike has taken you?

Steve: Two rides stick out above all others in my memory.

One is the Cross-Egypt Challenge in 2013 where I joined a like-minded group (45 riders) and we rode motor scooters 2,400 kilometers across and around Egypt. The adventure took us from Alexandria to Cairo, out into the Egyptian Sahara thru several major oases, then to Luxor, Hurgadah, and up the Red Sea Coast before crossing the eastern desert back to Cairo. Riding up to a finish line below the Sphynx and with the Great Pyramids as a backdrop is surely an extraordinary memory and a major thrill.

The other ride was a 15-day, 5,000 kilometer jaunt from Toronto down to Tennessee and the famous Tail of the Dragon, via the Blue Ridge Parkway, then out to the Atlantic coast and back up via Cape Hatteras, Virginia Beach, Annapolis, Gettysburg, and home.

Life on two wheels: Tell me why you ride.

Steve: I love the open road wondering what’s around the next bend and over the hill. There will alway be some new road or destination to explore.

Life on two wheels: If I could grant you one riding wish, what would it be?

Steve: To ride somewhere on every continent on the planet.
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6 comments:

  1. That Cross Egypt Challenge looks like it would be a great experience.

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    1. It was a great experience but there was also some disappointment as well. For example, the organizers took thousands and thousands of photos by a team of professional photographers, yet none of those images of us riding were made available to the riders. They were all for their own promo purposes. It would have been wonderful if (like the guys that photograph Tail of the Dragon) if low-res images were made available to view, with the option of purchasing high-res images. Then we'd have some great memories for our walls at home. I'm sure like the Tail, at $7 per image everyone participating would have likely bought 10 or 20 great images of themselves. So it's a disappointment to the participants and a loss of potential revenue to the organizers. Otherwise, Egypt was a wonderful country and I'm glad I had a week before and several days after the event to explore further on my own.

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    2. David, Steve told me how he came off his bike in Egypt when another rider clipped his handlebar as he passed him. He broke some ribs and tore ribcage muscles. After being seen by doctors he completed the tour, sometimes riding with one hand over bumps with the other hand supporting his banged up side. Steve is one tough determined adventurer.

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  2. David - Looks like you've got a riding buddy! Now you guys will have to ride to FL.

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    Replies
    1. I'd love to ride the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.

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    2. Riding down to Key West is an ambition of mine too. Before I do that I need to meet up with Jim and his friends for a long overdue tour of northern Florida.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.