“I feel like we all have this vision of ourselves in our heads, how we would look if we weren’t conforming to society’s expectations.”-Sugarlips
First Name: Jackie
Last Name: Gordon
Bike Year: 1986
Model: Savage LS650
Current Job: Health Care Aid
Home Town: Shawnigan Lake
When did you get your first bike and what was it?
Sally is my first bike, I got her in June 2018.
Why do you ride?
I’ve dreamed of riding since I was a little kid. My dad had a bike in our basement and I remember playing on it and pretending to ride it. I’ve always had a huge desire for adventure and am a bit of a thrill seeker. I had a couple of boyfriends with bikes as I got older and always wanted my own. I finally learned to ride two years ago. Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I find it therapeutic and thrilling at the same time. Every time I ride I feel grateful for the life that I have, it reminds me how good I have it.
What motorbike related book, movie or show would you recommend to a friend?
I loved “Long Way Around/Long Way Down” and I really enjoy “Ride With Norman Reedus”
What does your dream bike look like?
I don’t have a particular bike, but I definitely love a nice comfortable old school looking cruiser with lots of nice flowing curves.
What’s your favourite route to ride these days?
From Shawnigan through Cobble Hill, Cowichan Bay, Maple Bay, and back.
Earbuds in or out?
Out, cause I haven’t figured out how to keep them in while putting my helmet on…..
Haven’t had any.
What place/route do you dream of riding?
Sooo many! Italy, South of France, UK/Scotland, down to South America….
What’s something unique to the motorcycling community?
Everybody seems so friendly and welcoming. I have to admit, I’ve been kinda lurking on the LIRC facebook page but haven’t been to any rides yet. As a new rider I was nervous about keeping up. Will definitely be joining some this year though.
Randy asks: How would you explain your passion for riding to someone who was “kind of thinking about it”?
I just feel so amazing when I ride. I’m getting older and was kind of missing that bad ass feeling you get when you do something that is fun but comes with a bit of risk and requires some skill and mental focus.
What question would you like me to ask the next rider?
What’s your favourite go-to ride on the island?
Anything else you’d like to talk about?
The person that is in these photos is Sugarlips, and she is who I am on the inside. I feel like we all have this vision of ourselves in our heads, how we would look if we weren’t conforming to society’s expectations. I have always had this huge personality that I was afraid to let loose. When you are a woman my size, you tend to try to blend in. As I’ve aged I’ve found that I care less and less about other people’s opinions and I refuse to hide. Let your freak flag fly!
Post Shoot Analysis
I remember sitting on my couch a day before the shoot racking my brain for ideas. I was just about to dig into google and instagram for inspiration but then paused for a moment, put down my phone, leaned back into my chair and forced myself to generate my own ideas.
It was a struggle at first but as soon as the thought, “what if our hero ran out of gas?” drifted into my head, momentum gathered and soon I was thinking up scenes faster than I could write them down.
Speaking of scenes, Jackie suggested in her initial email that we use the Save on Gas Station at Shawnigan lake as the backdrop. I was instantly in love with the idea and thought it would fit perfectly with Sugarlips. I made a call which connected me directly with the owner and we were lucky enough to be granted permission to use the station after hours. He even agreed to leave the lights on for me which was critical to creating the atmosphere.
I met Jackie and her husband a couple hours before sunset which happens at around 9:10pm during the summers up here in Canada. I knew I wanted to wait for dusk so that the garage lights would balance with the sky. It took far longer than I anticipated for the evening light to fade and although it meant a lot of waiting around for Sugarlips, it was actually the best thing that could have happened to us.
For roughly 90 minutes I scouted, planned and practiced every shot so when our shot window of opportunity opened I knew exactly what needed to happen. As a result this was my most thoroughly planned Bike & Rider shoot to date and I think it shows in the images.
Jackie was a blast to work with, full of energy and up for anything. We got a number of encouraging honks and hollers from passers by. It’s not everyday you see a character like this at your local gas station. I admire how Jackie embraced Sugarlips and “let her freak flag fly”. Let’s not fritter away what little time we have here trying to fit in, that’s quite boring.
I wanna say a huge thanks to:
Jackie – for the bold, new and beautiful concept + location idea
Jackie’s Husband – for helping with lights and keeping Jackie company while I wondered back and forth countless times finding by angles
Save on Gas Boss – For so willingly allowing us to use his gas station as a backdrop and leaving the lights on
Save on Gas Worker – For figuring out how to override the timer on the lights, you saved the shoot buddy!
My Wife and Daughter – For supporting me on this project even when it means rolling in at midnight 🙂