Dick Hunt's Blog

January 2, 2010

Motorbikes

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:20 pm

Motorbikes
by Dick Hunt, May 31st, 2008

When I was a teenager in rural Alberta I wanted a motor bike so intensely I could almost taste it. I saw an ad in a country magazine for a second hand one for $250.00 and I filled out the form and put it in an envelope and asked my Dad to post it when he went to town. It went with my Dad but I never heard back from them. I wonder why?  In fact both  before and after I craved the motorbike I wanted to have my own bicycle, but had to be content with the occasional loan of my elder brother’s bike.  It was not until I joined the R.C.A .F in 1941 that I had my own bike, second hand for $20, used to go to and from training School in Calgary Tech while studying Radio Technology.
When we lived in Williams Lake our son Tim had a school friend who used to give him a ride on his little  motorbike.  One day after school the young fellow was riding down the rather steep hill past the Junior High school just after  school, going very fast, when one of the teachers drove out of the school parking area right in front of him. There was a fearful crash, someone immediately phoned the police, a Doctor was called and the boy was pronounced dead at  the scene.  To double the tragedy the Dr. who was called was the boys Father who was only aware of the identity of the victim when he saw him in the tangle of the Motorbike.  It was a major crisis in the Junior High and certainly for Tim too.
When we moved to Campbell River in 1973, Tim began to get second hand Motorbikes and fix them up and ride them.  To  put the matter in perspective, the reader should know that Tim was an amputee, having lost  his right leg at the hip socket at the age of 16 days, from bone cancer.  He had been an avid bicycle rider for years, using a band to enable him to keep his foot on the pedal as he rode.  Balancing a motorbike with only one leg and keeping control is something else.  At aproaching age 52 Tim is still riding motorbikes.  He has even been tagged for breaking the speed limit on occasion in  his younger  days.
Late one Saturday night in Campbell River I had a call from a family asking if I could come to see them as they had just learned that their son had lost his life in a Motorcycle accident on Long Beach near Tofino.  He had been speeding along the beach and failed to see a driftwood log across his path. He was killed at the instant of impact.  The family told me how to find their house, on the south west  corner of a certain intersection.   I hurried over and found the house  in the deep darkness but could not discover where the entrance was as there was no streetlight in the vicinity.
I groped around the perimeter of the house and finally discovered what seemed to be a carport, cluttered with all manner of junk.  I carefully picked my way along until I found a door knob.  I knocked on the door but no-one heard me.  I knocked more loudly and something latched onto my heel, without a sound.  I knocked again and the grip tightened, just as the door opened, letting light shine into the area.  Then the householder spoke to the large dog and they invited me in, apologizing for the difficulty.
I agreed to officiate at the funeral and we made the arrangements.  I am still in touch with members of that family. I  was glad to be able to be of service.
About eight years ago, here in Maple Ridge, I was asked to go to a home to talk with a family whose son had just been killed in a Motorbike accident.  He was traveling too fast on his new higher powered bike when he lost control and crashed into a concrete barrier, killing himself instantly. I conducted his funeral service and the Chapel here in town was packed out.  He was a very popular young man and worked evenings as a DJ at a local Hotel.  I was pleased to be able to bring comfort to the many young people who were there, as well as the family.
And now there is the news of the death of Luc Bourdon,  rocking the country from coast to coast, only 21 years of age and top pick Rookie of the Vancouver Canucks.  A  sad loss, as are all the tragic incidents that end in sudden death, especially of the young, leaving a large gap in many lives.  It would appear that most deaths resulting from motorbike accidents take only one life.  But the ripple effect for family, friends, school chums  affect many people.

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