It’s the holiday season and a time to reminisce. It has been a busy year testing cars and bikes. I feel blessed, as I’m sure all of my colleagues at Wheels do, that my work revolves around a passion for everything motorized. I do not take lightly the privilege of being allowed to test drive the newest, latest vehicles, sometimes months ahead of their release (like the 2014 Subaru Forester I drove in Japan).
My memories are fond of the Bentley Continental GT V8 I drove last July, an automobile I never really lusted after until I got behind the wheel. I called it “meticulously handcrafted rolling sculpture” and meant it.
An invitation to drive the Porsche Cayenne Diesel got me on a plane to Alaska last August, a place I’ve been yearning to visit since my mid 20s. Even though the rigours of this job (don’t kid yourself, it’s tough work — nudge, nudge, wink, wink) meant I had to get back on a plane for the return trip after just one day, the images of serpentine rivers flanked by snowy mountain peaks with ribbons of pavement disappearing into the gorges between are seared into my mind forever.
It’s time to start planning a road trip.
It’s no surprise, though, that with a background in motorcycling my most memorable moments of 2012 derive from a season of racing in the Honda CBR250R Media Challenge. The races were run in conjunction with the Canadian National Superbike Series and pit journalist against journalist in a no-holds-barred contest to determine the alpha dog of the media pack, the overlord of the track, the ruler of the two-wheeled tourney. OK, you’re getting the point: I won the championship.
Even though I won the crown, my real pleasure came from mixing it up with the kids, who rode in the parallel CBR250R Race Series.
Journalists, and young racers aged 13 to 25 years, shared the track, racing against each other but collecting points in their respective series.
Dicing for position with the top three competitors in the series, Ryan Roche, Tomas Casas and Stacey Nesbitt, often provided the tightest, most exciting racing of the weekend, regardless of the race class. And I’m not embarrassed to say that even though I may have led a few laps throughout the season, when push came to shove these kids gave me the business.
Former CBR125R Challenge winner, Stacey Nesbitt won the CBR250R Race Series Championship, which eventually led to a wild card ride in the last round of the Asia Dream Cup, held in Qatar in November. She did remarkably well there, finishing 13th and 11th in the doubleheader.
My memories of the championship are bittersweet, however, for aside from a shelf-full of trophies, I also acquired a permanent reminder of my reign over my peers: A third-degree separation of the AC ligaments in my shoulder, the result of getting inadvertently tangled up in a three-bike melee. Fortunately it happened in the very last race of the season, after the championship title was settled.
Columns & Advice
Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X