Whistler Blog

In the scene and part of the scenery

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In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.

-Robert Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Love the feeling of wind in your hair? Bugs in your teeth? Power between your legs? Do you love being a part of the scenery instead of just watching it all go by? Well, if this describes you, or at least, the you you’d like to be, you need to come and check out the first annual Squamish Motorcycle Festival this weekend (July 12-13).


“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.” (Pirsig) I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance when I was in college. I was in love with the idea of taking on the questions of life while riding my trusty machine across the country (ok, maybe I wanted to be more like Keroauc) experiencing a world that was, well, outside of my experience. I never did buy a bike, but that may change yet! Suzanne Jolly, the creator and organizer of the festival, only learned to ride in 2011, but has since ridden over 30,000km and done a solo ride through Nicaragua. She was inspired by stories that other riders had shared of great adventures and experiences both on the road and off and wants to give others the opportunity to be inspired. One of the great things about the Festival is that there is no discrimination. Do you love crotch rockets? See yourself cruising down the highway on a hog? Maybe dirt is more your thing? Or did you grow up thinking that Evel Kneival (or maybe Super Dave Osbourne) was AWESOME jumping over those buses?


Maybe you see yourself on an Indian with a smoke and rolled up t-shirt sleeves a la Marlon Brando or Jimmy Dean? Well, you can find them all at the fest. There is “no sport bikes only” or “classic Harleys rule” this weekend. Everyone is coming together for the love of bikes – all types of bikes! The schedule includes: A motorcycle stunt show performed by Van City Stunters, a showcase with featured speakers sharing stories of world-wide motorcycle adventures, a Show and Shine open to all, and a get together at Chances Casino. The daytime events on July 12th are free and family-friendly event and there will be plenty of parking available for both motorcycles and cars. The “non-riding” public is invited to participate and enjoy the festivities. The evening event, the Festival Showcase, at the West Coast Heritage Railway Park is 19+ and ticketed. The Moto GP screening at Matches Eatery and Public House is free, but limited to 19+.