Watch Out For Each Other

May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month | Let’s Watch Out For Each Other

By News, Safety

Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) Media Release, April 28 2022

FOREST, ON – April 28 2022: 

 

Watch Out For Each Other returns as the theme for May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, promoted by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC).

“Our goal is to remind everyone that motorcycles are back on our roads and trails in full force, and that we all have a responsibility to help keep each other safe,” says Chris Bourque, MCC Board Chair. “We always want everyone to be safe. Each Spring we take this opportunity to encourage safe riding habits among all motorcyclists and safe driving habits among all road users.”

Interest in motorcycling has increased significantly over the past two years. Sales of all types of motorcycles went up by 8.45% in 2021. Street bike sales were up an amazing 18.1% last year, following an even larger jump in 2020, when lockdowns fueled sales for what could be considered the ultimate “socially distanced” form of travel and recreation.

All those new motorcycles mean that there are a lot of new and returning riders out there. “The young and young at heart riders are a primary target for safety messaging this year,” says Bourque. “Whether you’re joining the sport for the first time or coming back to riding after an extended time away from it, we want riders to be aware of all the things they can do to increase their safety.”

This includes a few basics: Get training. Practice your skills. Develop safe riding habits. Ride within your skill limits and according to conditions. These are the best ways to ensure you can safely enjoy all the pleasures of riding. There are a number of excellent resources available to riders, many of which can be found on the MCC website (motorcycling.ca). Locate basic and advanced training from schools and certified instructors. Take time to familiarize yourself with your machine. 

If you haven’t been out riding for a while, reach out to an experienced motorcyclist and soak up their advice and tips. Experienced riders are typically generous with their knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. They may remind you that in early Spring there is often gravel and debris on the roads left over from Winter, and that can make cornering, braking, and stopping safely more difficult. And there’s ATGATT – All The Gear All The Time. Wearing the right safety gear and appropriate clothing is a must for all riders.

In conjunction with Watch Out For Each Other, this year’s campaign features faces of motorcyclists to reinforce the fact that when you see a motorcycle, either on the road or on the trail, you are actually seeing a person. Bourque adds, “Under that helmet, behind that visor, is a person. A motorcyclist. A friend you haven’t met yet. Let’s all Watch Out For Each Other.”

The Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month campaign is primarily shared through social media platforms of clubs and organizations across Canada, and by supportive media outlets in print and online. This year there are new tools to make it easy for individuals, companies and organizations to show and share their support. Filters, frames, and stickers that contain short messages and branding for the campaign are available on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. They can be added to profile photos or a favourite photo of your bike, and posted to show your support for motorcycle safety. By using these tools, you’re also reminding your friends, family and followers to do the same. With the help of the riding community, we hope to reach as many people as possible through this grassroots effort.

 

Watch Out! Tips for better riding and driving

Motorists are reminded to Watch Out for motorcycles on the road. May is the start of peak riding season and there are more motorcycles on our city streets, country roads, and highways. Take that second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcyclist in your vicinity. Always check your mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes. Allow extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist and allow extra space when driving behind a motorcyclist. 

Let’s all Watch Out For Each Other all season long.

 

About the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada

The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is the voice of motorcycling in Canada. Our purpose is to create a better riding experience for all Canadians and to make Canada one of the safest countries in the world to ride a motorcycle.

Motorcycling is a vital part of our Canadian experience and an important form of transportation and recreation. Today, there are over one million motorcyclists riding on and off-road motorcycles across Canada. We are here “So You Can Ride”.

motorcycling.ca

 

For more information: For facts about motorcycling in Canada visit:
info@motorcycling.ca motorcycling.ca/resources
Women Changing the Motorcycling Landscape 2022

Women are Changing the Motorcycling Landscape 2022

By Off-road, On-road

I have been frequently asked: How did you become a motorcyclist? The enquirer often has a puzzled look on their face which, if expressed in words, translates to: you just don’t strike me as the motorcycling type. Well, women are entering the motorcycling industry at the greatest pace of any demographic at the moment! The reasons are as diverse as the women themselves, however many say that it is about freedom and the sense of independence; they were told they would never learn and so they were determined to prove they could, or perhaps they had always wanted to ride a bike! 

I learned how to ride on the farm in rural Manitoba. It was largely a practical skill because an extra small motorbike or two on the farm meant that anyone could hop on and go deliver a message, lunch or coffee to the ‘back 40’ where our dad was cultivating a field and one did not always need an extra pickup truck or to walk the distance. There was no texting! 

The Honda 90 was my first bike so I had to learn to shift and we made paths in the ditches or on the fields to ride in the evenings for fun after the chores and other farm work was done. My cousins and I had hours of fun riding and I loved it more than anything else! My brother was the first one to get a motorcycle for leisure riding on summer trips. This went a bit counter to the farm lifestyle because summertime is a busy season on the farm and most farmers do not take summer vacations. However, my older brother also loved riding more than almost anything. I remember the smell of the freshly cut grass and smoke from a bonfire as I rode on the back of his bike in the evening just before sunset. We rode every evening! 

It was not until I had my own career, money and adult life that it occurred to me that I too could get my license and buy a motorcycle for leisure. Even then, one of the male instructors said: I had you pegged as one of the people who wouldn’t get the hang of riding a motorcycle but you surprised me! REALLY?, I thought! Well, whatever stereotype he had in mind is what women have described many times. Gradually the landscape is changing and there are more women in leadership in the motorcycling industry, including organized associations, training and riding groups. In the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to serve on the provincial Board of Directors for the CMMG (Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups) and learned from the best about lobbying for the rights of motorcyclists and understanding how legislation can impact the safety and wellbeing of travel on a motorcycle. In January 2022 I was elected as the President of the CMMG. While this is a huge undertaking, there is an energetic set of new Board Members who are enthusiastic and committed to promoting the motorcycle industry in Manitoba! 

Recently, motorcyclists would not have been eligible for the two insurance rebates in Manitoba without the CMMG lobby. In addition, insurance rates have remained more reasonable with the CMMG engaging a lawyer to represent all Manitoba motorcyclists at the Public Utilities Board (PUB) hearings. 

CMMG also promotes safety, information and resources to motorcyclists across the province. As a Coalition of numerous motorcycle groups, this is the organization that is consulted about proposed legislation that could impact motorcyclists. 

CMMG also publicly promotes May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and this year the National safety message is: Watch Out for each other! I have had the privilege of representing Manitoba by serving at the national level on the Motorcycling Confederation of Canada (MCC) Board of Directors. Currently, I co-chair the MCC Road Riders Council. We are working on engagement strategies for road riders nationally and also actively promoting continuous skill improvement opportunities from across Canada with the belief that advanced training prevents accidents and injury, keeping riders and others road users safer. Quebec is carrying out a longitudinal study that is showing preliminary results illustrating this principle: continuous training throughout the lifetime of a motorcyclist prevents injury and accidents! 

The MCC has also been actively engaging with the international motorcycling community through multiple collaborations. FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is an international organization that brings riders from all regions and types of riding together. FIM Beyond Sport is the on-road, off-road, and adventure riding side of the sport. This includes priorities such as international tourism resources, support for continuous skill development and engagement in the sheer enjoyment of whatever type of motorcycle riding matters to you. 

I am thrilled that my daughter and her women friends are becoming motorcyclists as they join the growing demographic of women riders. Additional work is still needed to decrease discrimination and increase access for other populations. Manitoba is growing in its inclusivity in motorcycling. The Motosocial gatherings throughout Winnipeg welcomed more than 300 different types of motorcyclists and offered a good example of inclusiveness prior to the pandemic in Winnipeg. Even during the pandemic, motorcycling interest is growing! While we wait for the community to be safe to gather again, stay safe, and ride within the provincially recommended guidelines. 

Links: 

The Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups | CMMG 

Motorcycling.ca | Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) 

Women in Motorcycling | FIM (fim-moto.com) 

Beyond Sport | FIM (fim-moto.com) 

OFTR Celebrates 30 Years. Kellee Irwin, President OFTR, Board Member and Past Chair, MCC

OFTR Celebrates 30 Years

By Off-road

OFTR Celebrates 30 Years! 2022 marks the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders’ 30th Anniversary. With the commitment, volunteering, and passion of our members, we realized a point in the organization that no one imagined possible in 1992. In 2022, we are not only the voice of the off-road motorcycling community, but also its eyes, ears, heart, and throttle. 

Through our federation of clubs, the OFTR stewards over 2500 km of trail throughout Ontario. This expansive network appeals to all levels of riders. Enhancing this further is our newly launched #RideOFTR mobile app and web-based mapping system that provides real-time status of trails, difficulties, and interest points. The RideOFTR system creates unprecedented access for our 6500+ members in a safe, legal, and responsible way. More access, more adventure, more braaaap! Whether a member is learning that incomparable feeling of a clutch engaging the engine for the first time, or they are cautiously inching their way up steep rocky terrain, the OFTR trail has a perfect trail for them at their fingertips.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, we obtained the most significant increase to access for off-road motorcycles in Ontario’s history. In recognizing the tremendous value off-road motorcycling brings the Province of Ontario in tourism, recreation, and physical and mental health, the government passed legislation permitting unprecedented access to off-road, green-plated motorcycles on select shoulders of roads that serve as key transit points connecting trails, towns, and businesses to our members.

Looking forward, we strive to continue this legacy and build on our successes. This includes: 

  • Advocating for more trail access with various provincial, municipal, and private partners;   
  • Educating riders on trail etiquette, safety, skills, and advancements;
  • Pushing for wider insurance coverage for our members, particularly for those motorcycles under 150cc;
  • Strengthening our existing clubs and providing the tools to new clubs to reach their potential; 
  • A commitment to increasing diversity in the sport through programs, events, and communication initiatives; 
  • More transparency and accountability to our members through governance structures, communication policies, and compliance with newly implemented legislation for non-for-profits in Ontario (ONCA); and,
  • Organizing and promoting organized cherished events and rides for our off-road and dual sport members.

Of course, none of this is possible without the gracious donations of our volunteers, sponsors, and supporters. For those interested in becoming involved, visit our website at www.oftr.ca or email us at info@oftr.ca. Whether it is participating in various committees, trail clean up, event organization, or sponsorships, every contribution helps us preserve our privileges in riding in Ontario. Together, we can continue to build the sport today and for future generations.

 

Happy trails! 

 

Kellee Irwin
President, OFTR
Board Member and Past Chair, MCC 

trial de nations

Trial des Nations: Canadian team facing the best in the world in Portugal

By Competition, News

By François Cominardi, Written for Cycle Canada

The Canadian trials team had a date with the best teams in the world for the Trial des Nations, which took place this year from September 17 to 19 in Gouveia, Portugal. The team was made up of three riders: Félix and Michel Fortin-Bélanger on Beta, and Jonathan English on GasGas. The team was led by Derek Thomas.

This year’s 2021 event drew participants from 16 countries and three continents. In total, more than 70 male and female riders were present. The competition, won by the team from Spain, included Toni Bou (Repsol Honda), Adam Raga (TRRS) and Jaime Busto (Vertigo), who currently occupy the top three places in the 2021 FIM Trial World Championship. Tony Bou is the most successful rider in the history of trials, with 29 world titles (15 outdoor and 14 indoor). Spain has won every competition since 2004 and has taken the title 26 times since the inaugural event in 1984.

The Canadian team placed in 12th position, and though it was not the finish they were hoping for, the three riders experienced a wonderful, intensive weekend of learning and best performances.

By participating in this competition, Canada demonstrated its desire to be represented at the international level. In this regard, the MCC (Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada) has approached the CMA to consider a new dynamic for the representation of the FIM within Canada. As such, MCC sponsored the Canadian trials team financially with a $5,000 sponsorship. Other Canadian team sponsors include Beta Canada, GasGas / KTM, Lepage Millwork, Univers Traction Sport, L’ATAQ and TREQMOTO. Michel Fortin-Bélanger said he was privileged to have worked with the best in the world and that he is motivated to work even harder for the future. As for his brother Felix, he took notes to help his team perform better for the next few seasons. “The level of riding is very high in Europe, and it opens up new prospects for improving practices in Canada.”

Jonathan English recalled that this was his eighth participation in TDN, and certainly the most enjoyable. “It was not a normal year where we could plan everything well in advance. A lot came together in a short time, and we can be proud of having reached the starting line. The result is not what we hoped for, and it does not reflect the efforts of everyone involved. That’s sport sometimes. Team Canada was there, and we will be back!”

Manager Derek Thomas added: “It was a pleasure working with this team. We had a team represented by Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. A true national effort, really in the spirit of the event. It was a complicated year. It was the first big competition for our Canadians in two years, unlike the other competing teams. We will have the return of national trials in October and hopefully more Canadian teams for future international competitions.”

“It was almost unreal to be able to compete in the city, in a historic environment. ” commented Nancy Fortin, who went to support her sons. “The proximity of the spectators, the accessible facilities, everything was there to make this trial a success. Congratulations to the organizers.”

At the awards ceremony on Sunday, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) announced that the 2022 edition of the Trial des Nations (TDN) will take place in Italy.

 

To see a round of the Trial des Nations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvx1iCilyPc 

Photos Nancy Fortin and D.R.

CMA and MCC Work Together to Support Canadian Riders at Trial des Nations

By Competition, News

Joint Discussions Underway for a New Future for Canadian Motorcycling

Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) Media Release, September 7, 2021

FOREST, ON – September 7, 2021:

Canada currently has two well-established not-for-profit organizations for motorcycling. The Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA) was founded in 1946. Since 1950 CMA has been the Canadian affiliate with the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, better known as FIM, the World Governing Body for motorcycling.

The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) began in 2004 with a goal of fostering the growth and development of motorcycling, lobbying for changes to restrictive legislation, and promoting motorcycle safety across Canada.

Today, the two organizations are making history with the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding between CMA and MCC to work together. The first project is in support of the Canadian team participating in the 2021 Trial des Nations being held in Portugal. MCC has committed financial support to offset costs of transportation of machines, equipment and participants, accommodations, registration, and other expenses.

On July 22 of this year, CMA announced that a team of three riders were selected to represent Canada in this year’s FIM Trial des Nations in Gouveia, Portugal September 17 to 19. Team Manager Derek Thomas stated, “…the Trial des Nations, was our best opportunity for our membership and the best opportunity for the CMA to begin a longer-term commitment to the Canadian trials community, sister national federations, and to our FIM International governing body. We look forward to creating the stepping stones for both men and women to have opportunities into the future.”

For those new to the sport, motorcycle trials, also referred to as observed trials, is a non-speed event conducted on specialized motorcycles. The bikes are extremely lightweight and have no seating, as they are designed to be ridden standing up. Competitors ride through an obstacle course as they attempt to avoid touching the ground with their feet. Each time a competitor touches the ground with a foot (referred to as “dabs” or “prods”), the penalty is one point. The sport is most popular in the United Kingdom and Spain, and there are participants around the globe.

The future of motorcycling in Canada looks very bright indeed. Both CMA and MCC have made commitments to meet on a monthly basis for the remainder of 2021 to explore options aimed at determining the best and most advantageous course of action.

MCC: motorcycling.ca CMA: motorcyclingcanada.ca

MAY IS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH | Let’s Watch Out For Each Other

By News, Safety
To say that the past year has been impactful for everyone is an understatement. One of the positive outcomes of the rollercoaster ride of living in a pandemic is that we have come to recognize that, now more than ever, we truly are all in this together. Just as the pandemic has made us aware that we all have our part to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe, the same applies to motorcycling, both on- and off-road.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Canada and the United States. The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) annual safety campaign message for 2021 is “Watch Out For Each Other”. We all have a responsibility to help keep each other safe on our roads and out on the trails.
MCC Chair Chris Bourque says “For the past five years our message to riders and drivers is that motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility. For 2021 we encourage all on road and off-road users to Watch Out For Each Other. Rather than adding to people’s sense of anxiety and feeling like we are being told what to do, we simply ask that everyone doubles down on being safe.”
Chris has a great point. Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room, but right now it’s more important than ever to do everything possible to avoid burdening our healthcare systems with a preventable injury.
As always, motorists are reminded to Watch Out for motorcycles on the road. May is the start of peak riding season and there are more motorcycles on our city streets, country roads, and highways. Take a second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcyclist in your vicinity. Always check mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes. Allow extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist and allow extra space when driving behind a motorcycle.
Riders can look for ways to Watch Out For Each Other too. Motorcycling has enjoyed a significant increase in popularity as people look for ways to get fresh air, exercise, and a sense of freedom. There has been an uptick in commuting by motorcycle as it is a practical and environmentally responsible form of transportation. As of March 2021, MMIC, the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, reports double- and triple-digit year-over-year sales growth in Canada across all types of bikes, including Street, Dual Purpose, Competition, Off-Road Recreational, Mini Bikes and Scooters. So far this year motorcycle sales are up almost 75%.
There are many new riders experiencing the pleasures of motorcycling right across the country. If you’re an experienced rider, you can Watch Out for new riders by encouraging them to ride safely, ride within their skill limits, and according to the road conditions. Encourage them to wear “ATGATT” (All the gear, all the time). And don’t forget to direct them to the MCC website for great information and resources for Canadian motorcyclists.
We are all in this together. Let’s Watch Out For Each Other.

Media Release: MCC to Continue Bid for FIM Affiliation - Image of MCC-CMC official logo

Media Release: MCC to Continue Bid for FIM Affiliation

By Competition, MCC in the News, News

Date: February 4, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MCC TO CONTINUE BID FOR FIM AFFILIATION


Canadian motorcycle racing has a big problem.

 

FOREST, ON – February 4, 2021: On January 29, 2021, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM, International Motorcycling Federation) convened via video conference for their annual General Assembly. MCC (Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada) has been petitioning to become the Canadian FIM Affiliate for several years now. FIM allows one affiliate in each country. For the last 70 years, Canada’s representative has been the CMA (Canadian Motorcycle Association). CMA has had little participation in international racing for the last few decades. During this time, there has been an overwhelming desire to rekindle international competition in Canada across all disciplines.

 

MCC’s quest to become Canada’s affiliate requires that the CMA first lose their standing with FIM. In 2020, FIM leadership made a motion to Expel CMA from FIM. This motion was brought to the floor on January 29, 2021. The motion required a two-thirds majority of votes by the FIM Voting Delegates present to pass, as opposed to a simple majority. The vote fell short by 5 votes and although a majority was reached with 59% voting in favour of removing CMA, it did not meet the required threshold of 66%. 11 members abstained from voting, thus making the odds of reaching a two-thirds majority difficult to achieve. MCC was not afforded the opportunity to be considered because CMA was not expelled as the current Canadian FIM Affiliate.

 

While MCC is disappointed that it will not become the FIM Affiliate for Canada at this time, the membership continues to focus on positioning the organization to be the obvious and logical choice for this important role. MCC Board Chair Chris Bourque states, “I continue to be baffled by an organization like CMA, that does nothing with their affiliation, yet refuses to let it go. All the while, young and upcoming competitors are hamstrung to test their mettle against global competitors.”

 

There is also frustration within the Canadian motorcycle racing community, including racers and promoters. Veteran motorcycle journalist Colin Fraser, who produces the Canadian Superbike series for TSN says “The path for Canadian racers to the world stage has been severely compromised for the last 4 decades, and we really need to change with the times.” Justin Thompson, CEO at Jetwerx International and the Triple Crown Series states, “Jetwerx continues to support the MCC bid for FIM Affiliation, for the good of the sport and for Canada.”

 

For now, MCC will continue to work diligently on behalf of racers and riders across Canada. According to Bourque, “In 2021 we will continue to make MCC stronger and even better positioned to take on the responsibility of leading Canada back to competitive motorcycling at the international level through FIM Affiliation.”

 

About FIM
FIM is the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. It represents 111 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions. FIM not only serves as a racing sanctioning body but also has non-sporting initiatives such as: Women Riders, Ride True (without impairment), Motorcycle Tourism opportunities, Public Affairs, Ride Green.

 

About the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada
The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is the voice of motorcycling in Canada. Our purpose is to create a better riding experience for all Canadians and to make Canada one of the safest countries in the world to ride a motorcycle. Today, there are close to one million motorcyclists riding on and off-road motorcycles across Canada.

MCC blog - Riding all seasons to beat the January Blahs, image of a rider on a trials bike

Riding Out the Winter Blahs. Blah… BRAAAP!

By Adventure, Food For Thought, Off-road

Shake it out, find your rhythm; put that good soul back in your feet.

Have you ever felt out of sorts? Maybe without being able to pinpoint the reason? Maybe it’s the Winter blahs!

Of course you have and you’re not alone. (I won’t insert a statistic here.) We all know it happens and often even the brightest spirits are affected in the shorter days of winter. I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling this way. So have some of my friends and family. Reflecting on conversations and moods of the people with whom I have regular contact, it’s time to shake off some of the stress and beat those Winter BLAHS. 

Finding an outlet

Finding the right outlet is part of the battle that most of us struggle with during the “in-between” seasons.  So here I am in the last week of January, in the middle of a pandemic. The world we live in is far from normal yet. Thank you COVID! Combine this with a strange winter climate that so far hasn’t brought much snow to our province. 

What season is it?

So what season is this now? It’s time to be outside season. That’s what I need. It’s ‘get-dressed-for-whatever-is going-on-with-the-weather’ season, PERIOD!  I love being outside. This is my happy place. The sun is shining this week, finally. The trails are hardening with cooler temperatures, and there’s no snow. 

I’ve been bummed a bit by the weather lately, but now I’m not making any excuses. This past week I got outside more; daily in fact. Every day felt more adventurous as I got more in tune with the strange winter conditions we are having here in Nova Scotia this year. 

I need more!

A daily hike has been great, but I still needed something more.  For the past week, I have had the good fortune to enjoy off-road riding on a Beta trials bike. Winter riding has put a smile back on my face. Choosing the right trails; making sure not to damage those that are too wet; and finding spaces that are safe, fun, and have flow, has reinvigorated my normal adventurous spirit.

Get outside!

I’m not sure how long the snow will stave off, but for now, I encourage you to ride, too. You don’t even need studs in many places (so far), just air down to 6-10 psi and ride a gear high. It’s great practice for clutch control to maintain tractable power to the rear wheel, and it  will keep your skills sharp throughout the winter. 

Don’t be afraid to invest in some screw-in studs if you’re new to icier conditions. There’s a lot of fun and satisfaction in winter riding that blasts away the winter blahs.

 

Braap on my friends and feel well.

 

Josh Kelly is NSORRA’s President. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys every minute on the trails with family and friends, whether it’s off-road motorcycling, hiking, or mountain biking.