I own a 1981 Honda CB 900C and ride it around Kamloops mostly to and from work but do take off on some of our motorcycle circle tours that depart from and return to Kamloops. This has been an amazing year for motorcycle riders visiting the region. The first ever Sturgis North Event was held in Salmon Arm, the Great Canadian Bike Rally was held in Merritt and to top them off, the HOG Rally in Kamloops this weekend. The camaraderie of travelling with a group of riders has an obvious appeal not the least of which is the sharing of great experiences.
Now...riding a 30 year old Honda motorcycle has its benefits and drawbacks. With 36,000 original kms, it is just broken in and is in showroom condition. It is bought and paid for and I wish I had a nickle for everytime someone has come up to me and said, 'I used to have one of those..or, that was the first bike I ever owned.' On the other hand, when I asked my neighbour, who has a nice brand new Harley, if he wanted to go for ride sometime, he replied 'How loud are your pipes?' Well....maybe some other time.
Living in Kamloops and promoting all the great things there are to see and do here is one of the favourite parts of my job. When events like the HOG Rally or the Western Canada Summer Games or the Hot Nite in the City draw so many visitors into the city, the team at Tourism Kamloops rolls up our sleeves and starts to work promoting attractions and activities to entertain visitors who have been attracted to attend the events. HOG Rally...hmmmm...let's think 2141 Steam Locomotive at Kamloops Heritage Railway with a train robbery thrown in, some new grizzly bear cubs at the BC Wildlife Park, a brew tour downtown, music in the park, etc.
Besides being branded as Canada's Tournament Capital, Kamloops is known as the 'hub city' due to the fact that it is intersected by 3 major highways, two major railways and two rivers. The first Europeans to arrive in 1811 had difficulty pronouncing the First Nations' name for the area ' Tk’eml�ps ' meaning 'meeting place', so they took their best shot and it became known as Kamloops. (By the way, the 200 year anniversary of the arrival of the Fur Traders in the area is this year). Having such a network of major highways makes motorcycle riding in the area ideal and opens up quick routes to the secondary highways and byways that feature twists and turns and a minimum of traffic.
Opening ceremonies for the rally are from 8:00 - 10:30 pm at the Kamloops Towne Lodge on Thursday and there will be a show and shine between 10:00 am - 1:00 pm on Friday. On Saturday, things head to the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre during the day then followed by closing ceremonies at the Tournament Capital Centre in the evening. There is lots more going on for the three days so I am looking forward to all the action. With the number of rally attendees predicted, you won't be able to swing a dead marmot without hitting a beautiful Harley somewhere.
In closing, I hope all the HOG Rally attendees have an amazing time in Kamloops and come back soon!