Well, here we are, December 31 has come and gone, the calendar has turned to a fresh new page and we are into a brand-new year. Sitting here on the first day of January it is only natural to take a moment to reflect on this latest lap around the sun while simultaneously contemplating the adventures that await us in 2023.
Like every year, 2022 had its share of ups and downs. On the positive side of the scoreboard, after two years of dominating every news cycle, the COVID-19 pandemic gradually faded off the front page giving way to the now-overused “new normal” phrase and ushering in long-awaited changes like the ability to travel without a battery of medical tests or move around freely in public without covering your face and for race fans, the chance to attend events like the CSBK championship in person. Of course, soaring fuel costs throughout the summer and supply chain issues that limited the availability of parts, accessories and new bikes are among the challenges that riders will continue to face as we move into this new year.
While 2022 was by no means perfect, it definitely lived up to an “it is what you make it” mantra and throughout the country many riders took advantage of the great weather that stretched well into the fall. However, all good things must come to an end and except for those with studded tires or the resources to travel to warmer climates, our prized two-wheel possessions are now resting comfortably in anticipation of the 2023 riding season.
For years the start of a new year has coincided with the motorcycle shows and the chance to see all the latest models up close in person. The good news for 2023 is that organizers are moving towards bringing them back. First up is the Toronto Motorcycle Supershow which is right around the corner on January 6 to 8. This will be followed by the return of the MMIC Motorcycle Shows with an abbreviated two-city tour (Toronto February 17 to 19 and Montreal February 24 to 26). No, it is not perfect and definitely disappointing for enthusiasts on the west side of the country, but it is a step in the right direction which will hopefully see a full slate of shows return in 2024.
Racing action in 2022 featured battles that immediately became topics of discussion and bench racing throughout the country highlighted by the CSBK Pro Superbike showdown between 2019 champion Ben Young and the reigning 2021 champion, young gun Alex Dumas. If Young’s successful return the top of Canada’s Superbike elite in 2022 is any indication, the 2023 Bridgestone CSBK season will be one to watch. Best of all, CSBK wasn’t the only racing series to go to a new level in 2022 as racers throughout the country competed for trophies and bragging rights in successful series like the VRRA, Super Series, EMRA, WMRC and many more. With so many opportunities to go racing, even the team from Inside Motorcycles got into the action, fielding two teams in the AMRA J.R. MacRae Memorial Endurance Race. The opportunity to see road racing stars like former CSBK champion Brett McCormick and X-Games Gold medalist Cody Matechuk renew old rivalries out on the AMRA circuit made this another event to remember and one that everyone involved has already added to their calendar for this year.
The social aspect of motorcycling returned in 2022 with riders taking advantage of rallies near and far as well as bike nights throughout the country and beyond. With a growing number of events and bike sales at record levels, you can definitely count on great opportunities to meet up with old friends and make new ones throughout 2023 and beyond. Whether your plans for 2023 include a trip to western Canada for the Harley-Davidson Rally in the Rockies, heading south to fulfill a bucket list trip to Sturgis or evenings with your local Moto Social chapter the calendar will have something for everyone.
2023 is here and waiting for all of us to get out on the roads, trails and racetracks. While winter will probably stick around for a few more months, the promise of this new year makes it easy to get excited and I for one can’t wait. In the meantime, now is the time to get your bike and yourself ready for all the adventures that await you. The only question to be answered is: Where do want you want to go this year and what are you waiting for?
- From Patrick Lambie