Who said arrival of good weather, said arrival of motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles on the roads of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. In this sense, the five motorcycle clubs in the region are rubbing their hands at the idea of starting the new season.
Saguenay, two associations affiliated to the Federation of Quebec motorcyclist (QMF) bind to make 2016 a success, either Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquiere and Saguenay Motorcycle Club.
With its winding roads decorated with enchanting scenery, it must be said that the region is a place of choice for motorcycle enthusiasts.
“There is a fine road system here and we are privileged supports President of the Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquiere, Gaetan Girard. We have access to several roads that allow us to leave the area. Admittedly, more the road is tortuous, plus it’s nice to ride a motorcycle. ”
In theory, it is legally possible to ride a motorcycle on the roads of the province since March 16. The date referred by regional clubs is however the beginning of April.
“There’s a nice exchange with other associations in the region, sharing Girard. During the winter, we plan our season in order to go ride the summer and not have to provide all the As. We also meet regularly to chat, simply. It is true enthusiasts. ”
A popular place
Throughout the season, motorcyclists elsewhere in Quebec and Canada come to turn the Saguenay and Lac-Saint-Jean. According to the followers met, a simple ride often turns into a learning lesson.
“Every road has its history, says Réjean Lemieux, Acting President of the Club Saguenay motorcycle. If you are sensitive to discover where you come from, you can learn many aspects about the different villages. The people are always very interested in coming to share you the history of their hometown. ”
The motorcycle club Saguenay and Jonquiere Motorcycle Touring Association represents approximately 60 members each. A recruitment weekend is scheduled to Place du Royaume Chicoutimi, on 22 and 23 April in order to make themselves known to motorcycle enthusiasts.
“It’s an opportunity to show in order to recruit members, says Gaétan Girard. Personally, I find really interesting for a motorcyclist to joining one of our clubs. Yes, we get together to have fun, but it’s good to learn different driving techniques and safety regulations, especially for new owners. ”
A bit like the image of a cycling club, motorcycles clubs gather a few times a week to ride together to a certain place. Safety is the priority, however, according to Gaétan Girard.
“Going to 15, this is not safe, so we share rather in groups of three, says the president of the Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquière. The fastest are in front, the slowest at the back. It allows more freedom to ride with people who tend to ride at our own pace. ”
A refreshing day is held early in the season with members, to recall the main basic principles. An activity which remains essential, according to amateurs.
“It’s like a sports season, the first trip of the season is always a bit more difficult, says Gaétan Girard. It’s always good to refresh his memory with a rehabilitation session. ”
A constant popularity
Although it costs more to put a bike on the road a car, the price fluctuates depending on engine size of the vehicle.
According to figures from the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the price for registering a motorcycle with an engine of 401 cm3 and over is $ 567.23, down from just under four dollars compared to 2015. for motorcycles with a motor of 125 cm3 or less, the rate increased from $ 249.85 in 2015 to $ 243.41 this year. The owners of motorcycles with engines between 126 and 400 cm3 are those who have to pay more money than last year. In 2016, they will have to pay $ 407.36, an increase of nearly $ 50.
Also according to the data obtained by the SAAQ, 5879 Walk type motorcycles were outstanding in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. For all of Quebec, that number stood at 168,701.
“The registration price is not a factor in the recruitment of new members, because year after year, there is an increase of 8 to 10% of enrollment in our clubs, says Gaétan Girard. Some join us, but others are also leaving. There is always some turnover. The promotion of the club is another factor. Some are more aggressive on rates. ”
Besides the two clubs Jonquière and Chicoutimi, three other associations affiliated to the Federation of Quebec motorcyclist are present in the region. This is Buddy the bike (Alma), the Motorcycle Association of Lac-Saint-Jean East and that of Chibougamau-Chapais.
Ten activities bringing together the five regional clubs are organized each season.
Surprised by the effect Harley Davidson
Marlène Bilodeau remained speechless as to the effect caused by the purchase of his new bike. Owner of a Harley Davidson for four years, the lady immediately felt a buzz for his craft.
“When I bought my Harley, everyone began to talk to me and ask me about my motorcycle, said Ms. Bilodeau, proud owner of the Softail Deuce 1450 cc model. Yet I am the same person, but I’ve never done much challenge since I travel by Harley Davidson. It is the day and night. ”
The motorcyclist admit that the conduct of the famous brand has a special cachet. She who was the owner of various brands of motorcycles is now delighted to have turned to the Harley Davidson, a manufacturer who has made real efforts to attract the fairer sex.
“They offer aesthetics, ergonomics, fit clothes, in addition to motorcycles with more options, that is to say, they may be less severe, in addition lowered suspension that make the stools more low, “lists Marlène Bilodeau.
The lady makes the motorcycle more than 30 years. However, it was last year that she decided to join the Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquière. It is far from regretting his decision, in addition to being responsible for recruiting new members.
And as chance would have it, the current recruitment campaign is held under the theme “Women and the bike.” You can obtain information by contacting Ms. Bilodeau email ([email protected]) or by phone (418 820-3003).
Despite all these fine efforts to make more room for the motorcyclist woman myths remain. Myths that must be destroyed on the spot, according Marlène Bilodeau.
“It is often said that women are merely temporary, they drive less or they run slower, she notes. The woman is increasingly present and it is accepted in the world of motorcycling. Between 2010 and 2014, there was an increase of 30% of women owners of motorcycles, according to SAAQ statistics. These figures speak for themselves. ”
According to figures compiled by the Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquière, 24,000 women are owner of a motorcycle.
In Motorcycle Touring Association of Jonquière, 11 of the 58 members were women, representing a fifth of the total membership.
“There is a group of motorcyclists passionate about landscapes and places to visit, shows Ms Bilodeau. It emphasizes team spirit, harmony and esteem of others. It joins different causes, such as cystic fibrosis. Some of our members are also involved in the bike patrol during the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay. ”