As they say, "all good things come to an end."
For the past four years, my wife and I have planned and organized a memorial ride inspired by our son, Jason. About 8 years ago, Jason and I discussed plans for this ride. We knew a memorial ride would be the type of ride we wanted to implement. But which charity should we choose? There are so many charities that riders participate in. In our discussions, we also knew we needed to have a theme and give the ride a name.
On his return from a fishing trip to Nova Scoria, Jason came up with the theme, "Just Another Road Trip". The theme was not for the ride, but for his funeral. You see Jason was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, an incurable bone cancer. After battling this cancer for a few years, he realized his time with us was limited and he began making all kinds of preparations. That's when we discussed the idea for this ride in earnest.
We chose to make this a non-charity ride. This ride would be for the riders, to remember someone they have loved or known and lost. This ride should be an enjoyable ride with lovely scenery, a few twisties here and there and a picturesque destination where the riders can reflect and remember. Such a place is Lake-on-the- Mountain in Prince Edward County between Trenton and Kingston just south of Belleville, Ontario.
Jason passed away April 9, 2005 at the age of 30.
When Jason passed away, that theme was etched into his marker stone at his request, next to the etching of a motorcycle. In planning this ride, we chose the same theme to reflect on Jason's life, and the memories we all have of our loved ones.
He was a father to his girlfriend's daughters, a brother, a son, a friend, and anyone who knew him also would say he could be a pain in the butt... in a good way.
He was also a rider. Between chemo treatments, and when his health got better, he got his M2 exist which made him so proud. But he was only able to ride a couple of times after that. For this final memorial ride, I personally took the time to reflect on our son's life. When we stopped for a snack, or ice cream, I looked around the Prince Edward County area at all the beautiful scenery. Many memories came flooding back.
You see, when Jason was a young boy, my parents had a trailer in a park year round just south of Isaiah Tubbs motel on West Lake. He loved going to this trailer park for swimming and fishing. We would also go to the Sandbanks to cool off and play in the crashing waves in Lake Ontario. Sometimes we would go to the Tambo variety store for ice cream. This is where we stopped with our group of riders to top up with gas.
For this ride, the riders received printed directions for a self-guided tour to and around Prince Edward County along with a tourist brochure from the Prince Edward County travel bureau. The riders were given six hours to travel, enjoy and explore the route, which would normally take about four hours at a leisurely pace. This allowed everyone to enjoy the area's wineries, shops, restaurants and boutiques. Our group stopped at the Black Creek Cheese factory for ice cream and cheese curds to take home. They would go good with some wine later that we picked up on our way home. They were then asked to meet at our final destination at Lake-on- the-Mountain at 4 pm.
This is such a breathtaking location. The small lake is high above Lake Ontario. Parking is to the east of the road. Walking to the east from our bikes, you come to a guard-railed edge looking down a few hundred feet to the water below where the Glanora ferries cross taking their cargo of vehicles and passengers to the continuation of the highway towards Kingston. A stroll west to Lake-on-the-Mountain provides you with a very scenic view of this small lake. There are no motorized crafts allowed on this lake.
Once we all got there, the reason for the ride, and how the ride came about was explained. Then we read the names of the people we wanted to have remembered and had a moment to reflect.
Next we did the draws for the gift certificates and donations provided. Our sponsors were mentioned and appreciated; Clarington Cycle for providing the Tim Horton coffee, Eagle Eye Customs, Bennett Power Sport, GP Bikes, Belt Drive Betty, Mackies Harley Davidson & Asselstine Country for donating gift certificates and/or prizes. Each person that participated in the ride was given a ticket at registration for these draws.
We thanked the volunteers for helping out at registration. Then, slowly we said our goodbyes... got on our rides and headed for home or other destinations.
It was a good day, a great ride, good fellowship and a well-remembered occasion. Who did you ride for?
-Bruno & Darlene Gauweiler
In memory of Jason Gauweiler