“My motorcycles keep society safe from me. My riding should be publicly funded.”-Randy De Bin
First Name: Randy
Last Name: De Bin
Bike Year: 2008
Model: Super Duke 990R
Current Job: Principle/Senior Estimator, Titan Window Films Ltd
Home Town: Prince George, BC
When did you get your first bike and what was it?
First street bike was a 1980 Yamaha XT500. Bought it at 18 for $1500. I bought it in Prince George and weirdly the guy I bought it from had moved from Nanaimo. He commuted daily Nanaimo to Victoria on the bike before being transferred.
Why do you ride?
Truly, it’s for my mental health. It’s one of very few things that quiets my mind. My motorcycles keep society safe from me. My riding should be publicly funded.
What motorbike related book, movie or show would you recommend to a friend?
I don’t find watching someone else ride, or reading about someone else riding, to be entertaining. Closest thing is the Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”. There’s a pair of 1980 Yamaha XT500’s. It was a 1 year look for the bike. I always regretted not having the machine gun option on mine.
What does your dream bike look like?
I think a motorcycle rider who has a single dream bike probably isn’t legit. I can say there’s a bunch of bikes I’d love to own. A KTM RC8 is really high on the list. The very last bike I’d want to be without is my Super Duke 990R. I was always of the opinion a bike was always purchased to be sold for the next bike, but I’d hate to lose this one.
What’s your favourite route to ride these days?
I sometimes ride the Marine Loop in the dark and alone. It’s a completely different ride to daylight hours. You need to tune in to the surroundings much better. For a normal “go for a ride”, it’s the process less than the destination.
Earbuds in or out?
July 3rd, 2018 in a supermoto race. Someone trying to pass me screwed up and basically ran over my front tire in a corner. Threw me and the bike in the air and I landed on my left shoulder. Clavicle broke into 5 pieces, rotator cuff all but detached. When I asked the surgeon about healing time being 6 weeks, he said, “this isn’t that kind of break”. I got cleared 4 months later.
What place/route do you dream of riding?
I don’t. If I hit the lottery tomorrow, there’s a good chance I’d buy something travel worthy and go away for a while. No destination, no plan. Just point the bike and ride for a bit.
What’s something unique to the motorcycling community?
Inclusion. More than anything I’ve ever been involved with. Lots of nonsense chirping between one type of rider or brand of bike and others, but if you’re on the side of the road, 100 miles from nowhere, the odds of the very next motorcycle stopping are excellent. I once towed a guy on a 1960’s hardtail Harley behind my 1985 Yamaha FZ750. He was about 100 years old and in colours and I was 18 years old and in nylon running shorts and Nikes. But he was broken down, and my bike was running.
Alyson Oshust asks: What adventure would you like to set out on next?
I have a grandson. He’s my adventure.
What question would you like me to ask the next rider?
How would you explain your passion for riding to someone who was “kind of thinking about it”?
Post Shoot Analysis
The first time I met Randy I knew instantly that I wanted him to be a part of this project. Parked on the gravel shoulder of a side road, I was waiting to meet Jamie for a rip up Flatty Hill. Jamie must have told his friend Randy the plan and he rolled up in his truck for a quick visit.
Randy is a trim, tan, energetic dude with a full head of silver grey hair who rocks some bright orange mirrored shades. He has what I can best describe as a Californian-middle-aged-swagger to him. (Not trying to say he’s old, just if you imagine these characteristics on a twenty-something it leans more towards cocky in my mind and that was not Randy’s demeanour) Having seen his posts on facebook for the past few months, I knew he was an integral part of the riding community and I very much appreciated his dark, sarcastic and bizarre sense of humour.
Randy told me the story of his KTM Super Duke 990 R. It was machine with a character and will as strong as his own. I was fascinated by the fact Jamie and Randy seemed to know the rounds of all the bikes in town and who had once ridden them.
On the day of our shoot we decided to start downtown. I wanted to capture a little urban riding before heading over to a more ominous setting, the E&N Rail Yard in Esquimalt.
The Super Duke 990R does not like to be ridden slowly. Sadly Canadian law prohibits us from really getting to speeds where Nina, Randy’s bike, is happiest. We had had to make due with hitting 50km/h between traffic lights and slowing the shutter a little to emphasize speed. By the end of our thirty-minute city session ripping up and down the street there were quite a few elderly folks cheering us on from their condo patios – albeit silently with frown-y faces but I’m sure they were cheering in their heads.
The E&N Round House is a great shooting spot. I worked there before with Chris and DR. Z and appreciated the fact there is a diversity of backdrops and no one makes a fuss. Is it a good fit for a 990R Super Duke? I feel the gravel may not have been the best choice, this bike begs to be ridden on the tarmac. Next time we either have to capture it in its natural habitat or do something and the very opposite end of the spectrum, like on some single track, so there is no confusion about the intention of the photo.
Due to cloudy conditions we didn’t get the golden hour light I was after but that forced me to work with a more subdued light which also lead to nice results. Most shots were accented with off camera flash and then I played with natural lighting for the final ones in front of the garage.
Our final destination was a bit of an abandoned development near the ocean. I had thought we could catch some color in the sunset but what little there was, was all gone by the time we arrived. We struggled for a good hour trying to make a compelling shot. It was only when we decided to finally give up that I saw my shot, a silhouette of Randy against the blue night sky. I just opened up my camera as much as possible and ended up capturing one of my favourite photos, maybe Randy’s too as it’s now his Facebook cover.
Randy and Nina, it was great getting to know you better. Thanks for your patience and willingness to try anything. Moreover, thank you Randy for so genuinely promoting my work and imagery through all your channels. I appreciate that you appreciate it. Until next time!
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