devon

134 months ago

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[London] Sportbike Motorcycle Clubs: Wheels Wednesday

Starts: Jun 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM Ends: Jun 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM

It is Wheels Wednesday, a weekly meet up for members of London's Sport Bike Club and the Urban Assault Riding Club also based in London. Weekend rides which often involve cruises to nearby summer hot spots like Grand Bend or Port Stanley were leaving rider's antsy during the week and so Wheels Wednesday was born. The name is beyond lame but alliteration will bring approval and often a slight smile from even the least appreciative of the written word. I've only been on a couple of the Wednesday evening ride's but it only takes one night to start to understand the rider's itch.

Motorcycle Club members meet

Motorcycle Club members meet

Wheels Wednesday - Meet

The hallowed Wheels Wednesday starts around 6:30 and it is usually across from Jack's, a bar on Richmond Row, in a pay to enter parking lot that no riders pay to enter. We ride around the arm to get in or out. The bikes are parking in a row next to the side-walk. It's an informal show off that I'm sure makes everyone who's not a biker sick with envy. Most of us only see each other on these rides, it is when we catch up, show off mods, get advice, make other riding plans meet new riders and wait for the stragglers who show up late. Each season brings new faces. The love of sport bike brings people together that would likely never meet outside of the club. What's more is that it keeps them together - even when riders decide they want to ride abandon their sport bike and ride a Honda Shadow -. Let's see hockey try to do that.

The Motorcycle Club Line Up

The Motorcycle Club Line Up

Wheels Wednesday - Ride

Southwestern Ontario is flat. London is too far from the escarpment to have any interesting terrain so our routes involve long straight roads with sweepy wide curves and excellent visibility. We ride fast. On any given day we exceed doubling the speed limit. The county roads are single lane but continuing in the spirit of the one-percenters we break the rules, speed, weave, take up both lanes and overtake with ferocity, rain or shine. We've got some routes in the city and the surrounding area. We name them based on the street names that lead out of London proper. I won't name them because we don't need the attention. Ten or more sport bikes speeding through London's sprawl commands enough of that. Especially when riders hump their machines while pointing at the girls in summer dresses crossing at red lights. Maybe that's why we love the warm weather - more dresses?

Motorcycle Club Members decide on a route

Motorcycle Club Members decide on a route

We could do with a little more organization. Individuals adopt leadership roles in deciding routes but for the most part we use a mix of incorrect signs signalled by hands and feet. I always start at the back. I'm slow to put my gear on, I can overtake without having to slow down and I like to see the group. Riding at the front diminishes the thought of the group in my mind, I just see the road. Maybe that's why I can't remember anyone's name. I just get too excited and I don't need names, you are remembered by your bike anyway. That's got to be endearing in some way.

Club Motorcycles at Earls

Club Motorcycles at Earls

Wheels Wednesday - Relax

Regardless of where the ride takes us we end at Earls on Wellington. It is a departure from traditional thoughts of a rough, questionable dive bar that a tough cruiser club would hang out at. The venue, food, and service are exemplary and if you are lucky, you just might see a sexy red McLaren Mp4-12C in the parking lot. If the McLaren isn't around there is still plenty to look at. What's strange is that most of us aren't looking, we're buzzing. The post ride high is still fresh and we comment on stupid drivers, excess speed, pigs and club business.

Urban Assault Motorcycle Club Home Bar

Urban Assault Motorcycle Club Home Bar

Yes there is club business and a lot more of it than I imagined. In short, one club is the spawn of another and while relations are amicable, there was once a feud. I rode with Urban Assault last, but I am a member of both. As I sip cold beer from a warm glass and listen to the conversations around me, I realize the business between the clubs is an interesting story. Everyone wants to hear about motorcycle club feuds, but its history so it shall stay in the past. The future is more interesting. The club is moving towards organization, incentive and support for club riders in different ways.

There, I left it ominous enough for you to fantasize about the meaning of "support".

Motorcycle Club Art - Our only one-percenter

Motorcycle Club Art - Our only one-percenter

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AssainAngel

87 months ago

Still meeting on Wed nights?