The fam­ily that rides to­gether, stays to­gether

Our Canada - - Wheels - by Shelly An­der­son, Wasaga Beach, Ont.

From the very be­gin­ning, I don’t re­mem­ber a time in my life that the mo­tor­cy­cle world has not been a part of me. My mother and fa­ther, Ernie and Joan Ro­bi­son, have both rid­den the open air for as long as I can re­mem­ber. As a mat­ter of fact, my sis­ter Jeannie and I had our names en­graved on our par­ents’ mo­tor­cy­cle trail­ers—which were a big part of our fam­ily camp­ing trips while we were grow­ing up. There’s noth­ing like fresh air, camp­ing and a fam­ily rid­ing off to­gether into the sun­set!

Fast for­ward to my late 20s: Most par­ents would cringe if their youngest daugh­ter in­formed them of her im­pend­ing date with the On­tario Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion to ob­tain her M1 mo­tor­cy­cle li­cence— not this girl’s par­ents! My dad was as proud as can be, and even took me mo­tor­cy­cle shop­ping, where I found my first true love—a bur­gundy Yamaha V-star 250.

In my early 30s, I met the next (and most im­por­tant) love of my life, my hus­band Tony. And what a match we are—he rides, too! Soon, the whole fam­ily was rid­ing to­gether and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the lo­cal Blue Moun­tains chap­ter of the Cana­dian Mo­tor­cy­cle Club. It’s al­ways a fun time tak­ing part in the club’s char­ity events, such as the “Ride for Sight” and “Beat Can­cer” rides.

Af­ter a few years with my beloved V-star, sadly, I out­grew her. It was time to move on and let another beginner en­joy my well-loved girl. I found a beau­ti­ful fuschia Suzuki Boule­vard 650 as my next set of amaz­ing wheels; some­how, it was meant to be! I should have been a sales rep for Suzuki, be­cause

as soon as I started gush­ing to my par­ents about my new bike, my mom de­cided it would be the per­fect bike for her, too! She bought a white one and now we can both keep up with the big boys! Much like the wind­ing roads we love to cruise along, life threw us a sud­den twist when my hus­band was di­ag­nosed with kid­ney fail­ure at the age of 29, due to com­pli­ca­tions with his di­a­betes, which he has had since child­hood. Af­ter the di­ag­no­sis, Tony went on to spend the next three years on dial­y­sis while await­ing a dou­ble kid­ney/pan­creas trans­plant. Be­ing on dial­y­sis meant a lot of re­stric­tions for him, but the one thing he could still do was ride. Even though he was weak, we still man­aged to find peace rid­ing and liv­ing our life to the fullest.

My won­der­ful, brave hus­band re­ceived his trans­plant two years ago; even with fam­ily by his side, it was a long re­cov­ery. He had to for­feit a rid­ing sea­son while re­cu­per­at­ing at home, but I am happy to say that is all in the past. Tony has a se­cond chance at life, and we take ev­ery ad­van­tage of the gift he has re­ceived. Our love for one another and for rid­ing has forged a strong bond within our fam­ily. With the sun and wind on our faces, our fu­ture awaits us on the road ahead.

Clock­wise from top: Meet the biker fam­ily—from left, Shirley’s dad and mom (Ernie and Joan), Shirley, and Shirley’s hus­band, Tony; Shirley, with her first mo­tor­cy­cle; the two happy cou­ples; on the rode for char­ity.

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