Everyone on two wheels knows the risks of riding but for true enthusiasts, the love and passion counters the risk, and there is a calculated and decided ‘if ya gotta go... do it doing something you love’ attitude among riders, there has to be. Especially these days with the increased distraction to drivers and hazards on the road, it is not that we don’t acknowledge the seriousness or impact of an accident or think we will defy the odds, it is just a decision to not let fear stop us. We ride defensively, aware and with safety in mind.
On the evening of June 19, 2020 a father and daughter duo did exactly that, put fear aside and set out to enjoy the ride. He was meeting her at work and they were just riding home, they did everything right, the accident found them anyway.
Abby, at 17 with a season of riding behind her, was in the lead with Dad close behind, when a car crossed the center line and hit Abby head on, with Dad going down behind her.
As a rider we all know that feeling that you get deep in your soul when you hear of a car vs bike head on.. We know the odds.. We know the nightmare.
For this dad, it was the worst thing imaginable unfolding in front of his eyes. It was a long night and couple of days to come, but thanks to his quick actions in the moment and the actions of all the emergency responders, the life flight team, the Doctors and nurses, everyone involved and especially Abby’s incredible strength and determination (with a heavy dose of stubborn thrown in for good measure), she will be OK!
It is a long road of physical, and emotional healing for all, to come but she will be alright... they will be alright.
I got the call from a frantic friend after it happened checking on us, I somehow knew in my soul that this one was going to impact me personally, and set about discreetly contacting the riding community to find out who. When I heard it was my childhood riding buddy, we went through some moments on back with our Dads at young ages, and his daughter and my heart and soul ached. I waited to hear the outcome and was never more happy to hear she made it through the night, but I knew it wasn’t over yet, however, I know both Abby’s mother and father, so indirectly, I knew the strength, and pure goodness within this young lady. Dad was amazing at keeping all of us who love them appraised of her progress via his posts, remarkably through it all they kept their humor. He let us know about the battles she was fighting and winning like a warrior. When she was finally able to communicate to friends and family, she had dad hold the phone and sent us out a photo captioned “I Lived Bitches”! We had our proof that despite this nightmare our Abby pulled through.
The riding community is a family, and immediately people started asking what they needed. Their community at home had things well under control, with neighbors taking care of the farm, delivering a freezer full of food (yes freezer and all), the family stepped in to help with the girls and critters still at home, so all that was left was to help Abby feel the love.
After talking to Dad we decided a bike run by the house would suit just fine, Abby hasn’t lost her love to ride through it all, yes, there was a moment of mourning for her ride then onto deciding what she is getting next. Sooo a ride it would be!!! Abby’s Warrior Ride was created.
Gadget, Lil’Lady and I were honored to take on organizing it for them, we all decided on mid September to give Abby time to get home from the Hospital. It was now the end of June and they hoped she would be home by the end of August. Who knew she would not be ok with that timeline and ended up home in JULY!! The date had already been set and so we left it, thinking she would be able to come out to watch us go by with more mobility. It turned out to be the best plan.
Finally the day had come, we had a good response to the event online but like everything, we know the numbers on paper don't always match the turn out. It was going to be a nice day after a week of rain so we had high hopes we would get upwards of 50 bikes show up. We were asking them to come a bit out of the way after all, so who knew... (Please keep in mind this is RURAL Nova Scotia, Upper Stewiacke to be precise, so feel free to google earth that and see what I mean, but it is beautiful there.)
We would have been happy with that, thinking, 50’ish bikes would give a pretty good show as we rolled by Abby at the house… We were ready, or so we thought, we had a friend set to ride as lead bike (they even had a flag!) with Dad and sister behind them (YES.. did I mention Abby’s Dad came out to ride with us, on the bike he had been riding that day, over the exact spot it happened, with his youngest on back… that is the STRONG of this family) Gadget and Lil’lady were parked to be mid pack with the camera ready to roll and I was taking the back.
Well, the motofamily came out en masse and with tons of love!! We had over 200 bikes show up, many two up and some with dogs! We were a sight to see!! It took over six and half minutes for all to get out of the parking lot and we took up a solid couple of KM of road. Thunder rolled through the Stewiacke Valley that day in support of an Amazing Family. People in the community came out to wave, record and cheer as we went by, showing us their love for their neighbors. The videos, photos and comments of love and support broke the internet that day. Special thanks to Steve Currie of Currie Cinemedia for coverage of the Ride.
We had set to gather after the 50km ride at the elementary school just by their home, so Abby could come see us all, all we could do was hope the parking lot there would fit everyone. It was a sight to see!!
We give our MASSIVE Thanks and Love to the motofam, for helping boost Abby’s spirit, the family’s spirit and the community that day and I am sure for the weeks to come!
As Always much Love and Respect, Forever two wheels Rubber side down.