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.
The struggles of “normal life” during 2020 are now starting to morph into the new normal. The restrictions and new “must do’s” are becoming a habit for many and people are getting used to the new way to socialize… NOT!
We are still missing our rides and rallies the way they were in years gone by. Summer being filled with weeknight runs to nearby communities for their ‘Bike Night” and weekends filled with Rallies. The towns are feeling the punch from the lack of business those rallies brought in and the local economy is hurting.
Through all this though, was a weekend of fun and games, brother/sisterhood, riding, socializing, and helping a small community in Nova Scotia that has struggled more than most through 2020. Portapique, Nova Scotia.
The Boyd family has been in the Portapique area for over 6 generations and started hosting the Northern Riders - East Coast Howl in 2017. The Howl raises money for the community, this year specifically, the cemetery. Like many charities and community groups, fundraising has been hard through 2020, so this year, the Boyd family stepped up and raised the bar by taking their usual one day event and making it a weekend to remember! I am pleased to say I believe the weekend will be a new trend!
We were first in line to get our tickets (by ticket i mean a gorgeous hoodie or Tshirt) and we were off!! In saying first I literally mean first, we rode out the week before to meet JD on site and secure our spot. When we got there, what seemed to be a field was really a gorgeous area prime for camping, a bike rodeo, a pig roast, a live band, a canteen, and a dirtbike track for the kids (big and small). It was impressive!!
The Boyd family doesn't play around and they take treating their guests to fun and kindness very seriously. They added many brand new picnic tables and portapotties to the site to make sure everyone was comfortable, they opened up a new section of land to accommodate more tents and brought in a tractor to host hay rides to the beach!
Getting to know JD, Greg and their family was one of the many highlights for us and we can’t thank them enough for making Lil’Lady feel like a part of the family right from the start, YES, this is a kid friendly weekend! It is all about the family when you are with the Boyd’s.
There were a few planned group rides that took us around the area, and off course the bike rodeo! Gadget and Lil’Lady held their own but Lil’Lady may have come out ahead in a few of the events, with a bruise or two to prove it. When she plays she plays to win. Haha. They had a slow roll race, barrel push, plank race and ring toss to name a few. Competition was high that afternoon but fun was had by ALL!
It wasn’t just about fun and games, we did fundraising too with a few various draws etc and they managed to raise $1150 for the cemetery, way to go Boyd Family!!!
I look forward to next year and am happy to say this will be an annual event for us, so when we make it through this year and start planning 2021, make sure you get to the Northern Riders 4th East Coast Howl, you will be glad you did!
Stay Tune for more footage to come!!