updated on: June 29, 2017
The First Annual Powassan Motorcycle Rally
Don't Miss the First Annual Powassan Motorcycle Rally Near North Bay Ontario
North Bay, Ontario Gets Ready
Insert Thousands of Bikers Here
Motorcycle enthusiasts rejoice, there’s a new ride in town! The first ever Powassan Motorcycle rally is being held at the Powassan Fairgrounds over the Canada Day long weekend near North Bay, Ontario—welcome news to those mourning the loss of the area’s much-loved Bikers Reunion, which ended its fifteen-year run in 2016. This has the potential to become the biggest motorcycle event on the Ontario calendar.
“The big plus, and the reason that I wanted to do it this year, was to make a big splash with it being Canada’s 150th,” says Don Smith, chairman of Bikers Battling Cancer Inc. and founder of the event. He adds that they’re not trying to fill the shoes of the Bikers Reunion or trying to duplicate that event in any way.
Rather, it’s an event inspired by Bikers Reunion’s main purpose—to raise funds for local cancer support programs. “I took a look at [the Bikers Reunion] and I said, ‘you know what, a lot of good comes from this,’” he says. Smith praises the cooperation of the Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac, city council, and local sponsors in helping get the event off the ground so quickly.
“I'm quite happy with what we've accomplished thus far in a short period of time,” he says. He also anticipates that with Powassan’s close proximity to North Bay, the festival will draw a large number of visitors from the city—whether they’re die-hard riders, curious visitors, or families of all ages out for a weekend of entertainment.
A Packed Canada Day Weekend
Sunday is the day of the big ride (see below for more info) and concerts that evening include tribute bands Blue Radio (Blue Rodeo), Ultimate Urban (Keith Urban), and Let’s Have a Party (Toby Keith). During the day attendees will have lots to discover—there’s a silent auction, kids activities, a local farmers market, beer garden, raffles, food and merchandise vendors, and Canada Day fireworks.
Bikers Battling Cancer
The BBC Ride is the climax of a three-day event packed with musical acts, celebrity appearances, contests, parades, a pancake breakfast, and family-friendly activities, with proceeds going to fund North Bay Regional Health Centre’s cancer programs. Riders can register here and wristband access to nightly concerts at the fairgrounds can be purchased here. Daytime events are free and of course, the town’s Canada Day parade is not to be missed!
The big news is the scheduled appearance of Ryan and Shannon from Count’s Kustoms. The Counting Cars stars will act as ride captains (and fans who want to get up close and personal with the stars can buy tickets to a BBQ meet and greet after the ride). Registration is at 9 am with kickstands up at 11 am. Coffee and muffins will be provided by the Girl Guides.
The 95-km loop takes riders up to North Bay to the North Bay Regional Health Centre before turning back to Powassan. With tonnes of smooth roads, hills, twists and turns, and incredible scenery, riders will get a taste of Northern Ontario at its best. Riders should note there are no road closures for the event, so organizers urge you to ride safely and obey the rules of the road.
Where to Stay
There are loads of accommodation options and packages available, ranging from tent and RV campsites adjacent to the fairgrounds to local hotels like the Ramada Pinewood Park Resort, which is a sponsor of the event and is offering special rates to rally attendees. There’s about 25 acres of land set aside for camping, so attendees will have no trouble finding a spot that suits their needs and price range.
Wristbands for admission to the evening concerts are $20 for the entire weekend. They can be purchased online or at the following venues:
- Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, McKeown Ave.
- CIBC, Main St. and McKeown Ave.
- North Bay Cycle & Sports Ltd.
- Carlson Sports Limited
- Tiny Italy
- Municipality of Powassan
- Screamin Demon, Nipissing
- North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation
The first year of an event is always worth checking out. You get to say "I was there when..." And if this turns out anything like Bikers Reunion, it would be pretty cool to be able to say you were there when it started!