I was driving back in the rain from the Tsawassen ferry terminal, looking around for motorcycles. There weren’t many. Although I’d seen a few street bikes earlier when I was driving around Vancouver. There had been a shiny Triumph Bonneville, rider in leathers, goggles and helmet. My Kawasaki KLR650 is, of course, in its winter slumber at Burnaby Kawasaki.
It wasn’t but a month ago that I was in Puerto Vallarta, soaking up the sun. And I was bike seeing there too. Where the motorcycles I was seeing in rainy Vancouver were dedicated commute vehicles, mainly larger motorcycles like the BMW R1200 GS, the motorcycles I saw in Puerto Vallarta were also dedicated commute vehicles, but also delivery vehicles and in some cases a food truck.
I was very impressed with how much in the resource-depleted setting of Baja coast Mexico, outside of the resort areas, the motorcycle was in use. But it wasn’t a status vehicle, at least not in the same way a shiny Triumph Bonneville is on the streets of Vancouver. The small 125cc bikes of Puerto Vallarta were extremely important to their owners, their livelihood, even part of the family. I watched one twenty-year-old fellow take the rear wheel off his 125cc Honda like he’d done it a million times, just on the street, to do some repairs.
It made me think of how much I missed and yet how little I used my own motorcycle in comparison. I suppose it depends on where you live in the world.