Meet The Amazing Robbie Rocket!
I’d like to introduce you guys to Robbie Meiklejohn, who ran the “Rocket Motorcycles” shop in Toronto.
I first went to his shop in 2014 because I dropped my bike and cracked my rear foot peg bracket, and his shop happened to be in the area. I was very new to riding then, and Robbie taught me a few things whenever I went there. His shop was an awesome hang out spot on top of being a shop! I met a lot of people there, which was great because I was new to riding and didn’t have any friends who rode motorcycles.
In then fall of 2014, when I wanted to “escape the winter” and travel south on my Ninja 250 (that had just over 1500 km on it), everyone said I was crazy. Everyone tried their best to discourage me, scare me, and convince me I was being irrational. I actually got a lot of riders telling me I couldn’t travel on a Ninja 250, or the Ninja 250 was too small to keep up on the highway (WHAT?).
Only 2 people actually encouraged me, and Robbie was one of them. I actually wiped out on some black ice on the highway on the first day (lol), but I kept going… for 6 months! I wrote Robbie letters while I was on my trip and he used to show them to his friends. He was a senior dude, who didn’t have a computer or a smartphone, so he used to have people find me on Facebook, and message me saying “Robbie says hi!” and make sure I was doing alright.
After 6 months, I returned to Toronto for a “short break” (lol, that didn’t go well). I was pretty exhausted, so I didn’t swing by Robbie’s shop right away. I remember calling him and telling him I’d be by the following Saturday. Unfortunately, before I got to go, I received a message from one of his friends notifying me that he was in the hospital after having a bad stroke. I happened to be about 15 minutes away from the hospital, so I went to see him every day, hoping for the best. I was told he was probably not going to make it. He passed away 3 days later, on June 11, 2015. 🙁
I’m so lucky I got to see him before he passed away. I visited him 3 times or so. He was unconscious most of the time, but I was able to gather, from some of his words that he had an amazing time at the BAD ride with his friends (which I missed). It seems like that’s all he was thinking about before he died. He only opened his eyes once, but smiled when he saw me. I’ll never forget that smile. 🙂
You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see someone, and it makes me so sad I will never get to see Robbie again.
If not for him encouraging and inspiring me I would not have taken off on this adventure of mine. So he changed my life in a small way at first, which then led to much bigger changes, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
Robbie was one of the most badass people I’ve ever met, and I have so much respect for him. He raced motorcycles in his early days and went on some epic motorcycle adventures, including some in Europe! He was a smaller person but rode a MASSIVE custom Harley. How, I’ll never know.
I had a lovely time at Robbie’s funeral and gathering. I guess people don’t usually say they had a “lovely” time at a funeral, but I was able to meet Robbie’s family and so many of his wonderful friends! We all told each other stories of how Robbie influenced us and enriched our lives. Many tears were shared without shame, and also many laughs. It’s still hard to believe he is gone. I wish I could tell him what I’m up to now.
I learned that Robbie Meiklejohn was a very generous person, always spoke *well* of people, and had a gift when it came to teaching and encouraging. I was also honoured to find out that Robbie told many people about me and my trip and read them my letters, how sweet is that? I will always give Robbie plenty of credit when it comes to me taking that first trip, as he gave me so much confidence and inspiration.
You never know how you might change someone’s life by inspiring them, helping them build confidence, and allowing them to dream. Be like Robbie!
Robbie Meiklejohn’s funeral was in Harriston, and his gathering was in Newmarket. A bunch of us went on a fast, twisty ride between the two locations and stopped at a Tim Horton’s like typical Canadians. I’m sure Robbie would have approved! 🙂
Robbie may be gone, but he still lives on through the impact he has made on others.
We miss love you and miss you Robbie. <3
If you knew Robbie, feel free to join his memorial group on Facebook.
You can also read his obituary HERE.
Is there anyone in your life who inspired you to make a small change that eventually led to much greater things?