From left: Patrick Frampton, Karin Young, Amarjit Dhadwar and Ian McAlpine stand next to Dhadwar’s bike at the 100 Mile House Community Hall during the Gold Wing Road Riders’ Show and Shine. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

From left: Patrick Frampton, Karin Young, Amarjit Dhadwar and Ian McAlpine stand next to Dhadwar’s bike at the 100 Mile House Community Hall during the Gold Wing Road Riders’ Show and Shine. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Gold Wing Riders disband, ride into the sunset

The Gold Wing Road Riders Association rolled into town last Friday one last time

The Gold Wing Road Riders Association rolled into town last Friday one last time.

More than 95 motorcyclists from the Gold Wing Road Riders Association held a rally in 100 Mile House July 22-24 before the association disbands July 31.

Riders came from across Canada, for “fun and fellowship and riding,” said Dave Ward, assistant district director of the North West Coast District. They chose 100 Mile House because it’s centrally located in B.C.

Ward said they had been organizing the event for over a year.

“We got bikers coming here from Pennsylvania, it’s like wow! And we thought maybe they were just stopping in on their way to Alaska like a lot of bikers do here,” Ward said. ‘No, no, we picked this rally. We’re coming.’ It was kind of cool.”

The Gold Wing Road Riders Association formed about 45 years ago. The rally kicked off Friday with a Show and Shine where people could see the bikes, and vote for their favourite. Bike games designed to help motorcyclists improve their slow manoeuvring were also held in the parking lot at the Days Inn.

“We have some cones and some tricks that people have to do to compete and it’s very difficult. It’s fun to watch,” said Ward.

This was followed by a BBQ sponsored by the 100 Mile Lions Club and a light parade through town.

Motorcyclists also participated in a guided ride to Barkerville. Many also travelled to Lillooet because they liked the twisty-and-turny roads through the Marble Canyon. A treasure hunt was also held in town.

“A lot of businesses have contributed prizes and so everybody has a set of instructions and they have to go find certain clues by visiting businesses in town,” said Ward. “So it was our way of contributing back to the town. That’s why we’re here.

“The people of 100 Mile House have been very, very good to us.”

A banquet Saturday night and pancake breakfast Sunday morning wrapped up the event – and marked the end to the chapter.

“They’re officially folding,” said Ward. “It sucks, and nobody wants to volunteer to do the work that’s needed to keep the association going, so they just decided we’re done. This is happening everywhere.”

Des Rees, of Sherwood Park, Alta. and chapter director for the Canadian Prairies, cited many reasons for the club’s demise.

He noted membership has dwindled from 80,000 down to 10,000 members because there aren’t many young people joining up anymore.

New environmental regulations, already seen in Europe, are also making it harder to run big bikes, he said.

Rees said he wanted to take part in this final ride before the association disbands.

He urged members to keep their Gold Book, a resource the members share, so they can connect anywhere they go across the United States and Canada.

“There are bikes of all vintages here and riders of all types and shapes and sizes and ages.” Rees laughs. “We kinda like to hang out together.”

With a file from Fiona Grisswell



lauren.keller@100milefreepress.net

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Karin Young and Kevin Bramhoff, organizers of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association event last weekend, stand next to Bramhoff’s bike at the Show and Shine at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Karin Young and Kevin Bramhoff, organizers of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association event last weekend, stand next to Bramhoff’s bike at the Show and Shine at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Karin Young and Kevin Bramhoff of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association stand next to Bramhoff’s bike at the Show and Shine at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Karin Young and Kevin Bramhoff of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association stand next to Bramhoff’s bike at the Show and Shine at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. (Lauren Keller photo - 100 Mile Free Press)