David was the first person I met when I came to Ottawa in 1972. I was wheeling my Honda CB350 into the apartment garage on moving day only to find my new parking garage neighbour working on his Ducati 250 single. With the bikes being the catalyst we struck up a conversation that signalled the beginning of friendship that lasted nearly 40 years.
Through births, deaths, good times and bad times, we remained friends, not always seeing each other that often but never really being far apart either. And when we did drift it always seemed that common two-wheel interest would soon draw us back together whether it was participating in a local trials event, meeting up at a mutual friend’s place, or just dropping in while out for a ride.
It was David who sold me my first Norton, which began a love affair which has lasted to this day and which has involved at least 5 or 6 of the marque occupying my garage at various times. And it was through him that I learned to ride trials, taking my Honda TL125 places where no motorcycle should be able to go, and earning many, many bruises and scrapes in the process. We taught motorcycle safety courses together and logged thousands of miles on back roads, seeking out new riding loops with the requisite number of curves (i.e. lots). David and his wife Judy stood up for us when we got married, and he would later share the blame when the missus came home to find us rebuilding an engine on the kitchen table using the dishwasher to clean parts and the oven and freezer to heat and cool parts that needed to be press-fit together. He was always there to provide mechanical advice or information on the history of pretty much any vintage motorcycle in the Ottawa area as he knew most of them and/or their owners.
Then, a few years ago, David contacted the big C. The treatments were hard and the recovery slow but eventually he was back into the Ottawa motorcycling scene, riding as much and as often as he could and being actively involved with the BMW Owners Club, the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group, and others. But, sadly, the disease returned with a vengeance and this time he would not prevail.
So today I prayed that he is now in a place where the roads are paved, the curves are many, and his faithful BMW will never run out of gas.
Goodbye my friend.