Ride Manitoulin motorcycle rally hits the pavement this weekend

MANITOULIN—The sixth annual Ride Manitoulin motorcycle rally is roaring onto the Island July 15 and 16, and this year’s event is promising to be bigger and better than ever. Each year, motorcycle enthusiasts from across the continent come to Manitoulin Island for a fun weekend focused on comraderie and fun.

One of the things that makes the Ride Manitoulin event so popular is that it is about more than just partying hearty for a couple of days, so put visions of wild leather clad rebels back on the DVD rack, Ride Manitoulin tends to attract a more solid middle-aged crowd.

“We definitely are family-friendly,” said organizer Anna Orford. “It is looking great for this year.”

The events start on Friday, where participants will have all day to meet and mingle with their fellow riders and Manitoulin locals. Registration starts at 12 pm and the day culminates with a charity dance hosted by DJ John Roy beginning at 8 pm to 1 am.

Saturday there is a day-long show and shine where you can display your sweet ride for everyone’s adoration. One of the most popular events for the general public, there are always some great bikes to check out. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in multiple categories.

Registration opens at 8 am on Saturday, and the poker run starts at 10 am. The 50/50 split sees half the money going to the highest hand and the other half going to Starlight Children’s Foundation—is there any better way to see the sights of Manitoulin. Entry is $5 per poker run pass and you can snag as many passes as you want. The poker run lasts about three to four hours.

From 5-7 pm there is the popular Biker Rodeo, where you can watch and laugh at the different games being played and even win some cash. Some of the games featured include the Beer Barrel Roll, Bite The Weiner and Slow As You Go. At 8:30 pm the show and shine winner will be announced and at 9 pm to 1 am The Tim Woodcock Band, featuring Greg Deschert on keyboard, will entertain.

“There is also so much going on this weekend all across Manitoulin,” said Ms. Orford. “When the motorcyclists set out on the poker run, we make sure they know that there are things going on in communities across the Island as well.” Ms. Orford referenced the Manitoulin Art Tour, the Kagawong Summer Fest as cases in point.

Ms. Orford came into her organizational role fairly late in the game this year, but she said that she was in great shape thanks to the volunteer committee behind her. “I have so many great people helping make this happen,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, Ride Manitoulin probably wouldn’t be happening this year. They really have been fantastic.”