When I joined the West Coast Biker Church, I was early asked by one of the members if I had a "clean record". I asked 'why" and the fellow said that they wanted to liason with some of the other gospel biker groups south of the border. The trouble was, 'some of us had troubles with the law before we found Jesus."
Now this was a born again Christian biker talking. So obviously the American border could be a detriment to many motorcyclists travelling to the great annual American Black Hills motorcycle rally, Sturges. This is where the Harley Davidson crowd meets and the Boss sang a year or two ago.
Given the increasing paranoia of Homeland Security and the profiling of bikers, all bikers are drug addicts or terrorists, it's not surprising that someone figured there was a need for a major West Coast Motorcycle Rally north of the border. I hear increasingly from elderly Christians that they don't want to cross the American border because the radiation from their cancer treatments gets them strip searched and anal probed. I imagine a lot of bikers especially those with iron butt awards would want to avoid this.
Further, Sturges North welcomes 'all makes of bikes' , not just American made. I ride a Harley and am thankful that I do as one fellow Harley rider of dubious background told me, "My friends and I think it's okay to hurt anyone not riding American made." I think he was joking. It was a backhand compliment to me when I attended a sober round up in the northern backwoods, riding in on my Buell. Even though I think this big guy on his high bar chopper was joking, I was glad at the time that Buell was American made. Since then I ride a Honda enduro as well as my Harley.
Canada is a nation that embraces pluralism. The Triumphs have been with us since they served the WWII vets that fought with England for that great motorcycle making nation. BMW's are a favourite here thanks to their success in the off road categories and popularity with the 'The Wrong Way Round' sorts. Being part of the Pacific Rim we've also had the best of Honda,Yamaha, and Kawizaki. Naturally the Italians who brought us the finest foods and taught the locals how to grow grapes like their Dukatis and Moto Guzzis.
So Sturges North is an "inclusive" gathering. All bikes are welcome. The Salmon Arm area has long been on part of the most popular motorcycle ride advertised the world over for it's scenic beauty and winding roads. It's a great location for lakes, rivers, camping, rv's, back woods trails and wilderness, as well as fine dining and fine accomodation tourist towns with even nearby Halcyon and Nakusp hotspring resorts.
In addition to the Motorcycle Rally, the Music Festival is really shaping up with a truly Woodstock flavour. I'd personally like to hear Third Day, Creed, and I Need to Breathe Christian band but Doug and the Slugs even though Doug is dead isn't anything to sneeze at . Powder Blues is unstoppable. Streetheart, Nazareth and Harlequin should be appreciated for the older Woodstock crowds who will be able to take off their hearing aids for a change. Helix, Prism. Steppenwolf and Eric Burden and the Animals will be amazing.
Some of the older bikers will have given up riding two wheelers because of virtigo. Fortunately ,there will be enough young people of the cafe racer set there who will be able to help them out of their walkers and onto their trikes.
I feel for the emergency doctors in town who will likely get experience with wild mushroom intoxication in old farts on high cholesterol, hypertensive medication, heart medications, chronic obstructive lug disease puffers,mixing their Jim Bean with viagra. UBC should volunteer a research team for on site medical emergencies.
The organizers are great in that they're giving cut rates to the Military Vets. I love the biker organizations in general for their appreciation of our troops. The RCMP will likely be paid to be there. As a biker organization they've shown themselves over the years to be understanding and appreciative of other mounted folk.
The only downside is that they don't allow dogs. I can understand that pitbulls and bull mastiffs, popular with some bikers, should be outlawed but dogs, like my cockapoo, who rides on my bike shouldn't be discriminated against. There really should be a separate category for biker 'purse' dogs. That said there are pet friendly RV and tent campgrounds, cabins and motels in the Salmon Arm area.
I don't know if my Harley Electraglide will make it but it sure looks like a place to take my Ford F350 SuperDuty Harley Davidson Edition truck, Rockwood Minilite RV, the Honda 230 and Honda Big Ruckus, canoe and fly rod. I've always been proud to say I was at the first Strawberry Mountain Peace and Love Festival. I had long hair and my face was painted with stars or some such shit. I don't remember most of the festival.
Now I'd like to be able to regale the folk around the nursing home some day with my being at the first Surges North Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival. I figure that most of us will have learned by now how to have a great time in the wilderness without the need of drugs and booze. We still love motorcycles and rock and roll. I just hope the good bands play early because I fall asleep before midnight. The best trout are up at dawn.