A ride for GOS Deborah Merrill, the fight against cancer….

A ride for GOS Deborah Merrill, the fight against cancer….

I’m not sure where to start because to be honest I never thought that one day I would write about …..cancer. I met the Merrill’s through Facebook, Deborah had made comments on different posts that I had put up during my summer and on that mega roadtrip that I took in June and July, 36 days and just shy of 11,000 miles. One night a couple of weeks ago, while surfing the web and going through my messages, I saw Deborah on Facebook, you know that little green dot that tells all of your friends that you’re online !!

spyder tv article deborah 4When possible, I like to ask people how they are doing, what’s the highlight of their riding season so far, it keeps me in the know about our growing Spyder community. I was sad to learn that Deborah received some bad news, that she had brain cancer and that riding her Can Am Spyder was getting harder and harder for her, making her a passenger most of the time. Knowing that a huge fight was waiting for her, I gave her my well wishes, knowing full well that the evil that is cancer may win this battle.

After asking Deborah a couple of questions about her riding through the years, I came to understand that the Can Am Spyder occupies a really big place in her heart and in her life. I asked Deborah if she felt up to writing a story about her time on her Spyder and how it impacted her life being able to ride and follow her husband on the road. She had dropped her 2 wheel bike a couple of years back and that she had only started to ride again when she found her first Spyder, on that alone, there was a good story to be told.

She accepted to write an article for STV with great enthusiasm, but she wasn’t sure how and when she could get it done, being at the mercy of her health, day to day, ups and down. I said thank you and left it at that. It was hard to shake this conversation from my head, I was thinking about it everyday. Was it possible to do something nice, just to cheer her up, but how ?

spyder tv article deborah 1Montréal and Tampa Florida are not actually close by, kind of hard to just drop by and say hello. So I reached out to the Spyder community. My first call was to my very good friend Leira Del Toro who is the founder of Girls on Spyders. Leira and I, along with Faran Hearyman and some other friends from the Spyder community had already worked together in the past with great success. So it was a natural to reach out to my friends from GOS, and I’m sure glad I did. We talked for 30 minutes or so about how we could help out the Merrill’s and I suggested we organize a Spyder Ride with her friends, GOS and the riding community !!

Leira was kind enough to help me and found a Can Am Spyder dealer in Florida that had done some business in the past with the Merrill’s, Tampa Bay Powersports. I was able to reach Dale Hoffbauer who is the general manager, after a short conversation, he was onboard !! We already have some details for you guys.

spyder tv article deborah 2On Saturday the 22nd of November 2014, Spyder TV with the help of GOS, Tampa Bay Powersports and Central Florida Powersports, we are going to put on a ride and a free BBQ for Deborah and George Merrill. It will start and end at Tampa Bay Powersports. We will be welcoming riders for free coffee and donuts between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., ride will leave at 10:30 a.m.

We ask you to bring a small snack as we will be back to Tampa Bay Powersports at 3:00 p.m. for a free BBQ –  Hamburgers, Hotdogs, sodas and water will be served by the dealer. This will run until 5:00 p.m. We will have time to spend with the Merrill’s and also catch up with the Spyder community.

I am really happy to fly down for this event, I will be coming in from Montreal Canada a day or 2 before the ride to help out with all that will be going on. More details about this great day will be communicated to you through Spyder TV and the dealers in the coming days. So please, keep an eye on your Facebook and spread the word about this ride for the Merrill’s to your friends. 2 or 3 wheels are welcomed and if you can’t come for the ride then just drop by for the free BBQ at 3:00 p.m., it will be a beautiful celebration…

If you are coming to this ride, we would appreciate an email with the number of riders and bikes or Spyders. This is going to help us get a head count to be well prepared for both the food and the ride, making sure that we have enough staff and volunteers to help keep everyone safe on the roads. Thank you in advance…..Email Pierre at

For information you can contact :
Tampa Bay Powersports
13521 N.Florida Ave Tampa Florida, 33613
Dale Hoffbauer 813-968-7888
Toll free 800-237-3599
Web site :
Spyder TV
Pierre Poliquin   514-617-4788
Web site :
Please come and like our Facebook pages, this is the best way to stay updated on this event and all other news concerning the Spyder World.

Pierre Poliquin


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2 Responses

  1. Janie Harper says:

    Thanks Pierre for doing this for my friend Deborah Merrill. We have ridden thousands of miles together on our Spyders including our trip to Spyderfest 2013. I will definitely be there on Nov. 22nd on my Spyder. It looks like Joanne Laughlin, another GOS friend of Deb’s, will be riding her Spyder there also.

  2. Marciana Huarte, GOS says:

    Thank you, Pierre, for your article. I am saddened with a heavy heart as well to here about Deborah’s cancer. I met Deborah on my way to Spyderfest 2013. I was the hitchhiker without a Spyder. Deborah, Janie Harper and Janie Harper’s daughter, Terri, picked me up at my hotel on their Spyders heading toward Spyderfest. The stories we told. What fun we had. I will never forget that trip. Because I will not be able to attend the ride and barbeque in Florida I will make it a point to ride here in Nevada on that day for Deborah and George. I wish I could be with them on that day.

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