by Scott Elliott, PCI #915/EMSCI #198
Niagara (ON) Regional Police Service
Okay, so I know the economy has gone for a bit of a crapper but come on, not even free tickets this year? Maureen shot me an email reminding me about the annual event (as if she had to) with the little fine print comment that there were no passes in the envelope this year. I don’t ask for much in life! Actually I think the organizers are getting wise to the fact that I would go anyway, which of course I did.
And in usual Maureen fashion, she added, “You’re still going to write an article though, right?” It was more of a statement than a question. So here it is.
It seems to be an every other year thing, but as soon as I walked in the 200,000 square foot show at the Better Living Centre at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto, I was mildly disappointed that the “smell” was absent. I’m talking about dirt.
Last year, as at many past shows, they trucked in tons of soil to run BMX and mountain biking events indoors. As I’ve mentioned in past articles, this simple aroma provides a powerful stimulus to my olfactory nerve and returns my brain to the glorious experience of riding outdoors, especially on my mountain bike. Damn! Not there.
Alright, enough griping! Even though I had to pay and there was no dirt, I still enjoyed my annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of the bike. I brought my friend Dave again, who, incidentally, is no longer a Bike Show virgin. But I’m sure we still both looked like kids in candy stores as we could hardly contain our excitement while perusing acres of bike porn. I picked up the exact road shoes I wanted at half the retail price and, of course, a few other items that I didn’t really need but wanted. Dave got his fill of bargains, too. For the record, my wife has pretty much given up on even attempting concern over my purchases at the show. I think the purse/shoe argument last year actually worked!
After calming down from the excitement of the Marketplace, Dave and I slowed down and went over to the other side to look at the displays where you can’t purchase anything (not that I had any money left) and examined wares from such notables as Trek, Bianchi, Thule, Yakima, Argon 18, Outdoor Gear, Louis Garneau and Pinarello. Who agrees with me? Is the Pinarello Dogma not the sexiest-looking road bike on the planet? Okay, maybe my wife is right. I could be a bit bike-obsessed.
There is another section that contains booths for charity rides, riding clubs, places to ride and just about anything else cycling related. The gang from the Regional Niagara Bicycling Committee looked sharp with their new display backdrops. You guessed it; I am a member of this group, so they get a plug.
We took some time to take in some crazy BMX riders and mountain bike racers on the indoor courses.
I was disappointed to miss the trials rider demonstrations, but we had to head home.
The only police-related booth was the Metro Toronto Police Bike Team. I ran into one guy I knew there and this brings up another topic. I knew this guy because he was on a ride from Niagara to Ottawa for the Canadian Police Memorial with me last September. Some of our American brothers might be interested in this Ride to Remember, September 26th to 30th.
A few of our officers have done this ride for quite a number of years now, and it has grown to over 50 officers from a bunch of Canadian agencies.
We welcomed three U.S. participants last year; it would be very cool to have some more American riders this year, particularly from IPMBA. Last year was my first year, and I loved it. The goal is to reflect on the sacrifices of our fallen officers and to celebrate them as “Heroes in Life, Not Death”, as the memorial motto goes.
We rode 640 kilometers (400 miles) over four days and joined up with about 300 relay runners as we were escorted up to the National Police Memorial, which is located on the Parliament Building grounds. This extremely emotional event was followed by a formal service on Sunday with thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world. For more information about this event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Elliott is a Patrol Supervisor and Bicycle Patrol Coordinator with the Niagara Regional Police Service in Canada. He is LEBA and IPMBA trained and has been an IPMBA Police Instructor since 2006 and an EMS Instructor since 2007. Scott is also qualified as a CanBike instructor and enjoys both road and mountain biking in his spare time. He can be reached at email@example.com.
(c) 2012 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of IPMBA News.