Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rider profile: Mike Fritz

Name: Michael Fritz
Find me on Earth: Cornwall, Ontario
Find me Online:
Interview Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Interview Location: Cornwall, Ontario

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

Mike: I was 5 years old when my father bought my brother and I a blue plastic battery operated bike. It was only meant for indoor use and surely I drove my folks batty driving it all the time. I was 8 or 9 when my friend bought his first dirt bike and I rode it as much as he did. I was hooked for life. At 16 got my first street bike and only went back to a dirt bike in 2014.

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

Mike: 7 bikes.

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

Mike: Presently I am riding a 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650. Is it my favourite? That’s a hard question. I can’t look back on any of my bikes and lament anything about any of them. They were all superb bikes and brought me to many spectacular places and I had amazing times on all of them. However, my V-Strom has married two of my life passions together. My insatiable desire for adventure and my passion for “The Ride”.

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

Mike: Being new to the adventure riding world, I have been learning an entirely new set of riding skills. I ride off road as much as possible. Pushing a 500 lb machine through mud, water, dirt trails and bush. Perhaps the hardest skill to perfect, or try to get down, is drifting in corners. I purposely force my rear wheel to break contact with the dirt or gravel and swing the back end out. It’s not so much a difficult skill as it is a scary “butt puckering” skill. It allows me to corner better on gravel, sand, and in mud. I’ve also found it has added to my on road skill set. It has taught me to respect the agility and ability of these machines.

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

Mike: I ride year round. However, winter riding is saved for those nice clear days when the roads are clear.

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

Mike: Typically I am a solo rider. However, when riding trails and places where an extra hand is needed to help pick up my bike or push it out of a muddy bog, or up a steep hill, I have found the comradery of a few other adventure riders is not only advantageous for all of us, but is a lot of fun.

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

Mike: On my first bike, just shortly after I got my license. I was in my school parking lot. I loved to impress the girls with my wheelies. Not so much on this day. I let out the clutch just a little too fast and ended up on my ass. My bike ended up hitting, of all things, the school principal's car. Ooppps.

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

Mike: This summer, me and two buds headed out on a 9,000 kilometer east coast road trip. Part of it was off road. However, the “ bucket list” ride most adventure riders dream of is the Trans Labrador Highway. 1,500 kilometers of haul roads. Some of the worst maintained roads in Eastern Canada. Sort of equivalent to the roads up to Dead Horse, Alaska.

Life on two wheels: Tell me why you ride.

Mike: It is part of what defines me as a person. I have experienced every emotion under the sun on two wheels. It keeps me dreaming, and looking forward to the next ride.

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

Mike: I have a dream, and it is in the works, to drive from Dead Horse Alaska, in the Arctic Circle, to Tierra Del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America, in the Antarctic Circle. This will probably happen within the next two years. However, my wish would be to continue that ride and ride the entire world over a course of three years.



RichardM said...

What a great interview! I like the comment about drifting through corners. I was surprised in the past when I discovered that I could do that on the Beemer (w/o sidecar) a couple of years ago.

David Masse said...

I have never done that on a motorbike. When my friends and I spent endless summers marauding on our coaster brake bikes, we did a lot of off road riding. Whether on the road or off, slamming on the brake and skidding the rear out was a favorite pass time. The stakes are much higher on a motorcycle. The satisfaction of doing it well must be commensurately higher.

David Masse said...

It's funny that the rider profiles don't get many comments, yet I think that, collectively, they are the most interesting aspect of my blog.

I get it. It's kind of odd to comment on a rider's profile, unless the interview strikes a strong chord with the reader.

I like to go back to the profiles page occasionally and read through the profiles. Always the same questions, with answers that are always very personal, and then some themes that run through the answers that show that many riders have the same view of their riding.

It's fun to collect them.

Unknown said...

Just spent the morning reading the riders profiles David, and I have to agree with you, they certainly are interesting. I especially like the " most embarrassing moments"

Unknown said...

It is amazing what these machines are capable of doing. Takes some know how to do it safely but once you have it down it can be a hack of a lot of fun.

David Masse said...

Thanks Mike, it is an honor to have your profile here.

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