Biker Blog - HOG Poker Run
By: Bill McQuarrie
If you haven’t been on the ride before, then be prepared to be blown away as it’s one of the best in the West if not all of Canada. About 700 bikes start showing up Friday, May 27th and while the Poker ride doesn’t happen until Saturday, the good times begin happening when you arrive.
After checking into your motel, head up to Kamloops Harley to pick up your registration package and stick around for some music, a BBQ and a parking lot party on Friday night. And of course, Kamloops Harley will be open all evening and you can bet they’ll have some great deals happening.
By the way, with that many bikers in town, it’s best to book your room as soon as possible. There are lots of motels to choose from with a range of prices to fit any budget. Two places that have specialized in catering to bike enthusiasts are: The Accent Inn and The Country View Motor Inn. Both are biker friendly motels (right down to washing stations in the parking lot) with easy access to Hwy 1.Both have restaurant and fast food places within easy walking distance. For more information you can check out Tourism Kamloops’ website at www.tourismkamloops.com for more details on accommodation and restaurants.
When Saturday morning rolls around, head back to Kamloops Harley for the start of the ride. There’s a pancake breakfast happening and if you’re planning on getting together with some others riders, it’s the perfect place to arrange to meet.
There will be bikes everywhere but it’s still easy to find a place to park your ride and a great opportunity to see what everyone else is riding...Just another reason I like a motel that makes cleaning and polishing my bike easy.
Once you’ve packed away a few pancakes and a coffee or two, it’s time to ride and if you’ve never ridden in the Kamloops area before, you are in for something unique. In fact, I know when some of my buddies come up here for the first time, they can’t believe this kind of ride friendly country exists just a few hours from Vancouver. There are so many amazingly different one-day rides around here that you’d need to stay for weeks just to try them all.
For instance: This year’s Poker Run will at one point take you through the closest thing to a desert Canada has. For some of it, you’ll be forgiven if you think you’re riding through parts of Montana or Wyoming or even northern New Mexico. Sagebrush, grasslands, Ponderosa pines, sandstone hoodoos and long sweeper curves running through rolling hills.
If it’s twistiness you’re looking for, the ride between Cache Creek and Fountain Flats will give you an opportunity to lean into a few and scrape some floorboards if you want to push it. This part of Hwy 99 seems purposefully designed for bikes, so enjoy and remember, you’ll be coming back this way, so you’ll get to experience it twice in one afternoon...which may still not be enough.
The ride back to Kamloops starts at Fountain Flats and after retracing your route to Cache Creek, you’ll head over and down to Ashcroft, cross the Thompson River and then begin a spectacular climb up into the high country as you head for Logan Lake.
And speaking of Logan Lake...When you arrive you’ll pass two turn offs at the entrance to town. The one on your right, Hwy 97C, would take you to either Merritt or Spences Bridge. To the left is another ride to Tunkwa Lake and eventually back to Savona and Kamloops. If you’re thinking of staying an extra day or coming back soon, these are both rides I’d recommend and will be covering them in more detail in another blog.
After Logan Lake, it’s a short run to Hwy 5 (the Coquihalla) and back to Kamloops. If four lanes are not something you’re into, don’t take the on ramp, continue straight ahead and try using the Lac Le Jeune road instead. It will still get you to Kamloops but through forest and ranch lands and on two lanes instead of four.
The Poker Run ends with a dinner/dance at the Valley View Arena on Saturday night and the local HOG chapter has arranged for a shuttle bus between most major motels/hotel and the arena.
This Poker Run is limited to 700 bikes and usually sells out, so you should book now. All the information you’ll need and registration forms can be found at https://www.kamhog.com/forms/2016Registration.PDF
Got questions about this or other rides in the area? Let me know. And remember, if you live in the lower mainland you can leave after work on a Friday and be here in just a few hours. Ride totally different roads on both Saturday and Sunday. Hang out at our two amazing Craft Brew Pubs and be back home by Sunday evening…It doesn’t get any better than that.
Stop by the Kamloops Visitor Centre to pickup your copy of Motorcycle and Dualsport Circle Tours.
Photo Credits: Rhonda Rivers
The Tourism Kamloops March 2015 Desktop Calendar is downloadable for your desktop - get it here!
Perks of the job!
Being a journalist is tough! You’re constantly under deadline, always looking for stories and the work is never done. But there’s definitely some perks, take this most recent motorcycle trip put on by Tourism Kamloops, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Eagle Rider, Kamloops Harley Davidson, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Destination BC.
The trip got started at Kamloops Harley Davidson where the riders were outfitted with bikes and all the necessary gear. The serious riding was about to get started so it was important to get everyone outfitted with the proper safety and fashion.
— Lisa Monforton (@lisamonforton) June 14, 2014
On day two, after a fueling up on breakfast at Ric’s Grill the tour set off for a short ride to Ashcroft with a stop at Tobiano Golf Course for lunch. The Ashcroft Rodeo was just getting under way as our media group pulled up. The Ashcroft Rodeo featured all of the usual rough stock events of Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding, as well as Boys Steer Riding. There were also lots of timed events with Calf Roping, Team Roping, and Ladies Barrel Racing.
We’ve got plenty more riding ahead of us in the days to come! Check back to see how the trip is going.
|Ah yes, it’s consumer show time of year and the first stops were the Edmonton and Vancouver Motorcycle Shows. The best part of representing Tourism Kamloops at these shows is the first day when people are lined up with their ‘gear’ on, bikes parked in front (that’s right, even in Edmonton with the snow and -25 degree weather) and excited to see what’s inside. When the big doors open and you hear the buzz of people rushing in to see everything first, it really sets an exciting tone for the day.|
|It didn’t take long for the crowd to fill up the venues and when they arrived at the Tourism Kamloops booth they weren’t disappointed! In most part due to the ever so popular Motorcycle Circle Tour Map. Many made a point to stop at our booth first to get it before checking out the rest of the show. This map showcases 7 different self-guided day routes in the Kamloops area as well as 3 newly added dual sport routes which are perfect for those planning their trips for the year. Of course, our contest for a free Harley Davidson rental, accommodation and 2 dinners in Kamloops made traffic stop. Why not stay, ride and play in Kamloops, right?|
Again this year we invited EagleRider Kamloops - who rents motorcycles to tourists in the Kamloops area - to share our booth which got a lot of people popping by to check out the bikes and at the same time find out how they can rent bikes, ride and stay in Kamloops!
And it wouldn’t be a Motorcycle Show without the tricks! Kids and adults alike come to the shows to see the stunts and thrill shows which feature stunt drivers on bikes and ATV’s taking jumps and poppin’ wheelies. How can you not take a quick break to check this out!
We’re out there, getting Kamloops in everyone’s fall, summer and spring plans. Great way to spend the work day!
If you’d like to request a copy of our Motorcycle Map be mailed to you, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep the rubber side down,
2012 National Edition
City of Kamloops, BC
Special Mention: Turf Management and Extreme Quality of Sports Accommodation
The City of Kamloops, a finalist in the International Challenge (Large) category of the 2012 National Edition of Communities in Bloom, received a 5 Bloom rating and a special mention for Turf Management and Extreme Quality of Sports Accommodation during the National Awards Ceremonies at the Edmonton Capital Region on October 12th and 13th.
Following their evaluation of the community, volunteer judges Bob Ivison and Alain Capelle wrote: “The City of Kamloops is Canada’s Tournament Capital and to support this title and facilitate the sporting achievements the city has ensured that its sports fields are maintained to the highest standards.The facilities at McDonald Park and the new centre at Tournament Capital Ranch are exemplary and are a credit to the City. Other facilities in the city and at the Tournament Capital Centre are superb with state of the art equipment and technological innovation. The City considers itself to be leaders in turf maintenance and this claim is hard to argue with. The wealth of turf management expertise supports the health of the community.”
Communities in Bloom is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of green spaces in community settings.
Within the actual context of climate changes and environmental concerns, communities involved in the program can be proud of their efforts, which provide real and meaningful environmental solutions and benefit all of society.
For further information, please contact:
City of Kamloops, BC:
Communities in Bloom National Office:
Vivian Shum - Tel: 514-694-8871 / E-mail: email@example.com
Thank you to our National Sponsors & partners
Home Hardware - Scotts
National Capital Commission - Zaunscherb Roberts Blair - CN
Beauti-Tone - Teck - Ball Horticultural Company
Miracle-Gro - Turf Builder - Scotts EcoSense - RoundUp
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
Nutrients for Life - Municipal World - VIA Rail Canada
Please visit our website at www.communitiesinbloom.ca for a complete list of the results along with an online copy of our latest magazine.
I decided to purchase VIP tickets in advance (only $10/each) to ensure we had good seating and made it so we didn’t have to arrive too early (to claim seats). Having said that – you can just show up and buy tickets at the door for $5 but be warned that it might be standing room only! In any cases, I surprised my husband with the tickets and off we went.
Having never been to a Burlesque Show – neither of us really knew what to expect but when the show started, we were both pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere was great and all the acts were really tasteful and fun. The traditional vaudeville style of entertainment was very prevalent with a good blend of dancing, singing and comedy!
The Kamloops Burlesque Showcase is a welcomed addition to our already vibrant nightlife scene and I highly recommend checking it out – for a $20 frisky night out, how can you go wrong?
For More Information on Kamloops Burlesque, check out: http://tourismkamloops.com/home_showSection_ID_911.html
My family and I were doing some visiting in Vancouver last week and had a great trip back to Kamloops which inspired me to blog about the topic of driving the Coquihalla Highway. For those of you who haven’t made the journey and have heard ominous tales about “Snowshed Hill” and huge mountains of snow, I’ve found the trip (which I’ve made many times since the highway first opened) to be quite pleasant. And yes, there are mountains, usually snow but the highway crews are amazing to keep the roads clear so you can enjoy the winter wonderland as you travel.
Betcha’ Didn’t Know? Kw'ikw'iya:la (Coquihalla) in the Halq'emeylem language of the Stó:l? is a place name meaning "stingy container". It refers specifically to a fishing rock near the mouth of what is now known as the Coquihalla River. This rock is a good platform for spearing salmon. According to Stó:l? oral history, the skw'exweq, or underwater people, who inhabit a pool close by the rock, would swim out and pull the salmon off the spears, allowing only certain fisherman to catch the salmon. The Coquihalla Highway, derives its name from running alongside this river between Hope and the former location of the toll booth about 50 km away.
Be Prepared: as a former Girl Guide, I’ve always been taught to be prepared. This also holds true for driving the highway. If you’ve got good all season or winter tires on and drive for the conditions, yes that means slowing down and taking it easy, the highway can be a nice drive. For any trip our family does, we always have our truck equipped with jumper cables, extra blankets and a first aid kit, which I’d recommend.
My Travel Recommendations: our boys are 8 and 5 years of age so we pack plenty of snacks, drinks and games for the trip. We have a DVD player in the vehicle, but I prefer for the boys to look out the window and interact with us instead of zoning out watching a movie. There are all sorts of games you can play too from the ‘License Plate’ game, ‘I Spy with My Little Eye’ and travel-style board games. We bought mini Etch-a-Sketches for the boys which provides hours of entertainment. Music is also a must and family sing a longs makes the journey fun if not a little hard on the ears.
Great Stops: We typically fuel up in Chilliwack, have a washroom break and grab a cup of coffee then head out. 30 minutes up the road is Hope and you can stop at the Visitor Info Centre and have a picture with the ‘Rambo’ cut out and marvel at the coastal cedars and tall firs. About an hour from Hope is Merritt where the Nicola Valley opens up and it’s really beautiful. TIP: we typically find gas prices in Merritt a little higher so if you have enough gas to get you to Kamloops, maybe wait to fill up. Check www.gasbuddy.com for the best, up to the minute prices. Kamloops is only 50 minutes down the highway and once you get into the city there are many turn offs to get into the city centre. With four major highways intersecting Kamloops, the city is easy to get to and has a ton of great things to do!
- Awesome Aleece