Fu­elled with adren­a­line

Gold Wing Rid­ers skill­fully ma­noeu­vre their bikes to thrill the crowd

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DE­SIREE ANSTEY

“We teach mo­tor­cy­cle cour­ses – how to be safe on the ve­hi­cle and how to han­dle them on the road. Th­ese guys are show­cas­ing all the things they prac­tised. And you would think they are go­ing to run into each other, but they don’t.” Stephen Pineau

Spec­ta­tors in the grand­stand cheered as muscle mo­tor­cy­cles showed in­cred­i­ble ma­noeu­vring and bal­ance skills in a limited space.

Heavy ma­chines nar­rowly weaved past one another, be­fore form­ing a tight cir­cle with knees only inches above the tar­mac. The mo­tor­cy­cles then trailed off in an or­derly line, be­fore com­plet­ing another weave while the spec­ta­tors burst into ap­plause.

It was all part of an an­nual event put on by the Gold Wing Road Rid­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (GWRRA), held re­cently in the Credit Union Place park­ing lot.

“We’re do­ing a drill team ex­hi­bi­tion. It’s just a fun thing for us to do, and there’s ca­ma­raderie and fel­low­ship be­tween the bik­ers. Th­ese guys know their bikes re­ally well and can do spe­cial stunts with them,” said Stephen Pineau, the or­ga­nizer of the An­napo­lis Val­ley Drill Team event.

“It re­quires con­cen­tra­tion and know­ing what your bike can do. Th­ese are 1500 and 1800-cc mo­tor­cy­cle Gold Wings made by Honda. And th­ese guys are ex­cep­tional. They prac­tise ev­ery week and they re­ally know how to han­dle a bike.”

Many of the rid­ers are aged 50 or older, with plenty of mem­bers in their 80s.

“We have an 82-year-old biker with plenty of dis­tance touring,” grinned Pineau. “The Gold Wing’s motto is fun and safety with friends and knowl­edge.”

The main fo­cus of the group is dis­tance touring and spread­ing safety mes­sages.

“We teach mo­tor­cy­cle cour­ses – how to be safe on the ve­hi­cle and how to han­dle them on the road. Th­ese guys are show­cas­ing all the things they prac­tised. And you would think they are go­ing to run into each other, but they don’t,” he added.

Peo­ple came from all over the United States and Canada to watch the drill ex­hi­bi­tion that was fol­lowed by a mo­tor­cy­cle pa­rade through down­town Sum­mer­side.

Fast facts

- There are more than 80,000 Gold Wing mem­bers around the world.

- More in­for­ma­tion on the GWRRA club is avail­able at www.gwrra-canada.ca.

DE­SIREE ANSTEY/ JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Mem­bers of the Gold Wing Road Rid­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Re­gion Rally show skills and bal­ance as their heavy ma­chines nar­rowly weave past one another, close enough for a high-five.

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