This past weekend out here on the wild west coast was the annual Ride to Live that raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer in BC.
In past years I have been on the Telus Ride for Dad but my first time on this ride however both events have the same goal. I pre-registered for this ride online over a month in advance and once I got a few donations there was no backing out, I was in for the whole 9 yards.The ride was scheduled to start at 10am from Trev Deeley’s HD dealership just off the Trans Canada highway on Boundary rd with a police escort to the first stop in Coquitlam. My plan was to arrive at Trev’s by 9am, full tank, coffee in hand giving me lots of time to pick up my riders pack consisting of a ride flag and map, poker hand card, ride pin, lunch ticket, drop the donations I collected off and still get some video footage.
Sunday morning it was looking to be a beautiful day, I got to Trev’s at 8:50, a full 10 minutes ahead of my schedule and pulling up behind the last bike in line found myself in the shade of a few trees that lined the boulevard. Thinking myself pretty lucky and not to far from the front of the line I went inside and worked my way through the store to where registration was set up only then did I discover I was closer to the back of the line than I thought, not that I really cared that much, the shade was still a major bonus.
Once we finally got under way just 2 blocks from Trev’s heading south we have to pass over a controlled railway crossing with 2 sets of tracks, two cops with bikes were parked on the tracks and just then a train was coming, one of the cops started waving his arms at the train but once the bells started ringing and the rail arms came down they were smart enough to clear off the tracks, making it over I shared a laugh with the rider beside me at the officers effort to stop that train and a few riders did get cut off from the group. Climbing the hill there was no stopping at the red light as we turned east onto the Trans Canada and motorcycle police had the whole highway blocked at the onramp we were merging from.
Now from here I’m not sure what the actual plan was (I missed the riders meeting) but we had the highway to ourselves and never got over 50kmh, I’m guessing the lead cops were hoping the cut off riders at the train tracks would catch up. It was weird looking in my mirrors and seeing 2 police motorcycles about 6 bikes back, lights flashing and solid cars across all lanes of highway behind them, all crawling along at 50kmh. I had a flash of what OJ must have felt like in the white Ford Bronco. Sadly I found out later I had a corrupted SD card in my gopro so I don’t have any ride footage but I did manage to get some video on my camcorder at a few stops, you can watch that video here
At maybe half way to the first stop we did get up to the 80kmh speed limit taking the centre lane while cars speed by on the left and right of us, I knew then we had lost our police tail gunners but with what seemed like 800 bikes in front of me I couldn't tell who was in the lead the odd time I did get a glimpse that far ahead.
The first stop was Lee Valley Tools in Coquitlam on United blvd just off the Trans Canada highway in the shadow of the Port Mann bridge, pulling into the parking area well marked with orange cones and even more volunteers in orange shirts we were directed to the rear of the building were we merged into 3 lines, circling around the far side where volunteers took your poker card and punched the number you indicated. These were the more traditional poker run hands, you have a sealed envelope with numbers 1-52 all around the edges, inside is a card with a card a suite under each hole, you pick a number, get it punched and move on, much quicker set up than stopping to draw cards, we didn’t even have to get off our bikes. Moving back around the front of the building volunteers were handing out water and telling you to either park or get out of the way, there’s a lot of bikes behind you. The next 2 stops and final destination we were left to ride our own rides and I did some pre-ride planning that had me glimpsing riders at cross streets all the way to our next stop at Garibaldi Secondary School and once again there was no shortage of volunteers to get us all looked after in quick time with the dry grad students raising money selling drinks and cookies.
Stop 3 was Mission Raceway Park and like the first two stops it too went off without a hitch and riders were each given 2 passes for any races in the 2018 season, nice of them.
From here it was on to the final stop at the University of Fraser Valley to hand in your card and where you got to see what cards you drew, I had a pair of two’s, worth less than squat. I made my way to the food tent and had the choice of a beef, chicken or fish burger that came with an apple, chips and a water. A few bike dealers were on hand and some accessories distributors, there was also some live entertainment. I didn’t stay to long as 4:30am Monday comes really fast once Sunday afternoon kicks in.
I did raise $370 for a worthy cause and had a great time doing it, saw some old friends too, I never have been very lucky at poker runs but I’ll keep trying, it’s the ride and sometimes the cause, not the cards you draw.
For more of my ride photos see my Instagram account at opus710adventures