Monday, 16 May 2011

Today I said my last goodbyes to an old friend

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.


  1. im sorry canajun :(
    rest in peace david and enjoy the roads that we can only dream of from here.

  2. I'm really sorry, you have my sincere condolences. I want you to know they're not crappy internet condolences, but the real, from-the-heart, deal.

    I lost a riding friend, whom I call 'Raptor' on my blog. He was an alcoholic and a manic depressive and shot himself just under a year ago. We were friends for only three years, but the loss was crushing. I can't imagine the loss of a lifelong friend and the pain it must bring to you.

    As many stories as I write for my own blog, there go a good number that remain unfinished or unpublished because they're so full of the sadness that remains with me over his loss. I hated him for suicide, but it was the mental illness that took him, really, and the further away I get from the date of his departure, the easier it is to remember the times we had over the loss I feel. I know you're close to the pain now, but do your best to remember the good, and smile, if you can.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  3. Loss is never easy to accept and I am sorry that your friend lost his fight. I like to believe that when our time here is over we go to a better place and that is comforting. I hope your friend was a believer and may he RIP. May you find comfort in the memories.

  4. Hi David:
    Really, really sorry to see this. We had no idea this was happening. We lost track of Dave & Judy many years ago, but our response to your blog is no less heart-felt. Please give Judy a hug from us.
    Pat & Janet

  5. Canajun:

    I didn't know David, but through your words and feelings feel sad that this has happened. Seems he was a great guy who touched a lot of people. Sorry for his loss

    Riding the Wet Coast

  6. Canajun,

    Such moments as these leave me without words, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and David's family.


  7. Sorry for your loss Bro., we all know what it's like to lose a lifelong friend and brother especially as we all get older, man it hurts but we're all with you. The pain will eventually subside and loving memories will remain.

  8. Truly sorry for your loss Canajun...may he rest in peace...never an easy thing

  9. To all who commented, thank you for your condolences.

  10. Please accept my condolences, Lets hope there is a better place and this is just a little side trip.
    May the memories last forever.

  11. Dear Canajun:

    The void created through the loss of a great friend would be unendurable, if it were not for the conversations, the rides, the adventures, and the misadventures that make memories so priceless... And healing in nature.

    The greatest loss is for those who didn't know your friend and whose lives are poorer for it. Still, it will seem like something is missing on the next few rides you take... Until you realize his spirit rides the wind you race.

    Jack R.
    Twisted Roads

  12. sorry,but wonderful writing keep writing..


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