Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lakeshore and Leslie aka L&L - Toronto's Largest Motorcycle Meet

Lakeshore and Leslie, aka L&L, is Toronto's largest motorcycle meet. Bikers from all over converge in the joint parking lot of Tim Horton's and Price Chopper in the Leslieville region of Toronto every Thursday. Hundreds of motorcycles will roll in and out anywhere between 7pm to after midnight. Some stay for the length of time it takes to drink a coffee while others will stay for a few hours. Being a bike night, attendance is of course somewhat dictated by the weather. Don't expect to see more than a few die hard regulars on a rainy evening.
A lineup of sportbikes by the Price Chopper
This meet had humble a beginning when it started 2006 by Kevin and Mike (thebronze and cagedcbr from ). There were no designs to make it the biggest meet in Toronto. They just wanted a place to hang out and have coffee. And apparently they wanted the option to buy fresh produce and lunch meat.
Ghostrider's motorcycle?
The thing I like about this meet is you'll never know what you'll see or who you'll meet for the first time! I've seen a boa constrictor, a dog that travels on a motorcycle, Ural sidecar, slammed and souped up scooters, a Suzuki Hayabusa with a built-in vibrator, bikes from the 70's and more! You'll see the whole spectrum of the motorcycle community from cruisers to sportbikes and customs to scooters. You'll see the accompanied range of people from all walks of life too. All are welcome here. I've met motorcycle builders, computer nerds, nurses, artists and many more types of people. But what you do or where you come from doesn't matter -- our love of motorcycles is what brings us together.

Marta, Raf and Reenie share Ighor's boa constrictor
Fiona's Ural sidecar rig with passenger Shaun
(more after the jump)

Another hint this meet is hugely popular is you can check-in on the social media apps foursquare and facebook.  This meet was starting to get so large the property owner hired security guards on May 24th of this year as the sheer number of bikes made it difficult (and possibly too intimidating) for customers at the Price Chopper to park and shop. See the YouMotorcycle blog for a letter he received from the property owner  . Contrary to one what one might think about motorcycle culture (or perhaps it's a Canadian politeness thing), there haven't been any rowdiness problems that I've heard of. Security is just there to redirect the motorcycles from parking in front of the Price Chopper store until 10pm when they close.
Slammed and modded scooters.

Larry aka "Chewie" -- one of the interesting characters I've met.
I like to just walk around with my camera and if I see something interesting I'll ask the owner if I can take a photo. Then we'll get to chatting about the bike, riding and whatever else. It's a great way to meet new and interesting people.  I always say I meet some of the most interesting people I never would've had the privilege of knowing if not for motorcycling. Having a big camera has benefits too as people sometimes ask if I can take photos for them.

Margot and the boys
Su still loves her Aprilia RS125 even without all it's clothes on
I use my Nikon D7000 with 35mm f/1.8 camera. I love the low light sensitivity of this camera at ISO 1600 and 3200 and at f/1.8 I get both a beautifully shallow depth of field and a fast enough shutter speed for hand held shots.

Passing the Wendy's drive thru
Josie and Melissa asked for their photo to be taken.
So the next time you'd like to see some interesting motorcycles or people, just head down to L&L, grab yourself a double-double from Timmie's and enjoy your free admission to a weekly motorcycle show.

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