Updated: Apr 8
May 27, 2017 was a beautiful sunny spring evening. Sug had just under an hour before he was to meet a long time friend for dinner and then go bounce at a local pub for the night. With this extra time what else better to do than hop on his '05 Victory Kingpin "Falcor" and set out for his favorite ride in Chilliwack BC; a 15 km run along the Fraser River with over 50 curves and winding corners.
Sug never made it to those magnificent curving roads as minutes into his ride his life would forever be changed. An 82 year old woman not paying attention to the traffic or the intersection lights, blasted right through him in classic T-Bone'n style. Sug was launched head over heals 40 ft into a corner parking lot, barely missing a light pole and electrical box. Falcor flipped through the air to land upside down, the primary case demolished and his engine screaming, 6qts of oil spewing out. Lying there face up, never losing consciousness, Sug stared up at a crimson stained sky, his orbital sockets filled with blood from wounds on his face. Not alone for long as several people close by stop to help. Sug tries to keep them calm, explains to contact Marla at work and make sure she knows he is responsive, and call his Bikers Against Child Abuse chapter to inform them of the security of his patches he's earned.
Chaos ensued as all the first responders came rushing in through the crowd of onlookers, frantically working to save a man's life they have never met before. Paramedics call for Med-Evac that has to arrive from Merritt. Flying top speed, the sounds of a Sikorsky S-76 cruising at excess speeds of 280kph; The cavalry arrives.
I was at work for my weekly night shift when a distraught young woman came in asking for me by name. Frantically, she informs me Sug has been in a terrible accident; she doesn't relay his wishes of calmness. I had also rode my bike to work that evening, but it would be staying put. My manager drove me to the local hospital and we anxiously wait when finally a uniformed police officer meets me at the emergency entrance. Sug isn’t there, he is on an air ambulance to a trauma centre in Vancouver. Disparity sets in, not knowing if I'd ever see that beastly but magnificent man again.
The battle ensued well into the flight as Sug started to slip. He describes his near death as the most peaceful experience of his life but unfortunately that is where the peace ends. Coming to, still aboard the helicopter, hearing the voices of determined air medics fight to keep him alive but he was so ready to let go, Sug knew he couldn't leave me alone in this world.
Almost three years later with 10 surgeries down, body parts being rearranged, emotional disorder, daily night terrors and painful rehabilitation, Sug is still here with us on his new ‘11 Victory Vegas 8-Ball "Garthim".
So why does Sug still ride (and many people ask this!)? For Sug riding is like flying, a moment of freedom, an embrace of all his senses, living in the immediate moment not concentrating on what was or what will be, the sound of the motor and the vibration which he feels, enjoying the lasting friendships and bonds of brotherhood. For many bikers riding a motorcycle is not a hobby or pastime, but a passion, a deep fire burning in your soul, it is life.
What we make of distress and heartbreak is within our control. And so Ambassadors rises out of the ashes of this trauma, because as Sug likes to quote DH Lawrence “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.”
Wishing you all safe but very badass adventures with your motorcycle families this year!