How Beyond Our Streets Started A Motorcycle Awareness Ride
Like all events it always starts with an idea. In this case the idea was to be seen in tight formation parading across the 401 as a clear statement that motorcycles are, once again, out for the summer. As a crew the intent is to bring a change of perspective to the bike community as a whole as well as change the image of club riders. Through past years large groups of motorcycles have been described as “MOBS” or out on “Hooligan” rides. A big reason for this Awareness Ride was to show large groups of motorcycles riding together skillfully and peacefully through traffic. BOS will continue to look for small ways to bring fresh ideas to the motorcycle scene. There are many important rides throughout the year and it is important to continue building meaningful rides for anyone who enjoys participating in these events.
The next step was to get an idea of the type of ride structure that would help keep all riders safe as well as bring as little disruption to the cars that would be sharing the road with us the day of the ride. Anyone who has been a part of a large pack ride knows it is a difficult task to avoid causing traffic when entering the highway with a large amount of bikes all at one time. The crew pre-plans who will be the mid gunners, and tail gunners helping move the pack in and out of traffic as needed. The typical formation for sports bikes is staggered formation. Club riders in the front, Solo riders in the middle and new riders at the back of the pack. The reasoning behind this formation is club riders tend to know how each other ride and can lead/ control the ride from the front. As you move toward the back of the pack you have new riders so they can see how more experienced riders conduct themselves, as well it allows them to move more at their own pace, to an extent. BOS decided to use the fast lane as a single lane of transit for all bikes and to use a handful of gunners to help create space once an exit would being approached. For this particular ride BOS was able to manage the entire pack with just their members however on bigger rides it is common to have multiple crews working together in order to have enough able bodies to help protect the pack and keep the pack moving together. The goal with this type of structure is to create an illusion that every bikes is part of one singular vehicle, moving in unison. A common term referred to a pack of bikes moving as one is a “snake.” As the pack moves between lanes there is a sharp resemblance to the movement of a snake.
Once the crew is able to come up with the type of ride to focus on, the next part is setting up a route and end destination. In the GTA taking traffic into consideration, the overall direction or route of the ride can become tricky. Fortunately through communication with other crews and road captains BOS was able to come up with a destination located in New Castle Ontario that leads out to some remote roads towards highway 115.
Hopefully this will be an annual ride hosted by BOS to help highlight summer kickoff. Saturday June 10th 2018 Beyond Our Streets was able to follow through on a promise to host an awareness ride to help bring attention to motorcyclists this summer. This ride was executed in June, obviously motorcycles have been on the road for a couple of months however it seems right to host this ride as summer is just about to officially begin. The ride went from Square one and finished just north of 401 East, up highway 115. For anyone who is looking to explore some lightly populated roads, heading up highway 115 will be a positive experience for any riding enthusiast. You can be sure to run into twists and turns on open country roads leading towards the lake, just be sure to wait till summer officially begins as sand is used on these roads during the winter months.