The 2002 Ontario Guzzi Riders rally was held once again at the Anchor Bay Campground on Pigeon Lake, near Peterborough, about eighty miles northeast of Toronto, on the 21st to the 23rd of June. As in previous years, the forecasts were worse than the weather we actually had at the rally site, which meant that the attendance wasn't as good as it could have been, but once again, everyone who attended had a great time. The rally site is situated between the two small towns of Ennismore and Buckhorn, and with great roads in between them it was no great chore to ride into one or the other for any meals, or provisions for the usual Saturday evening barbecue.
Thursday evening and Friday were once again spent meeting and greeting old and new friends and eager rally goer Leon Karlak, from Lockport, New York, was the first to arrive on Thursday afternoon, and we spent several hours reminiscing and shooting the breeze before everyone else arrived. At one time Leon's faithful '73 Eldorado toppled off its stand and fell onto the grass, breaking the windshield in the process. Luckily, local man Jack Elliott came to the rescue and took the screen home that night and brought it back the next morning ready to bolt right into place, and he even cleaned it. How about that for service! Not the first time Jack has come to the rescue, maybe we should give him an award.
On Saturday morning Jack once again took everybody for an escorted ride/observation run/lunch tour on his very nice California II, and it was much appreciated by those who could keep up! Jack has had a long association with Kawasaki, both selling and racing them. He may be retired now, but he doesn't seem to have slowed down very much! In the time I have been riding Moto Guzzis (23 years), I have known several ex-motorcycle dealers who have had the opportunity to ride many different sorts of machines and could have just about any bike they wanted, but the bikes they choose to ride are Moto Guzzis. I guess that says something for the bikes we ride.
We had lots of great door prizes for the Saturday evening awards ceremony and barbecue. The Male Long Distance award went to Mike LaMartina from Rochester, New York. The Long Distance Female was Joan Adler from Belleville, Ontario, and the Two-up award went to Larry Hogg and I'm not sure if it was Samantha or James who rode with Larry, while the other rode with their mother in the car.
Jack Elliott has been great help in running the rally for the past few years. He lives just down the street, so he wouldn't get a long distance award, and he helps organize the Observation Run, so he couldn't win that. However, I felt he deserved an award because everybody appreciates the work he does. So this year, he won the Best Tour Guide award. Then, a little while later, he also won the Peoples Choice award!
The Observation Run was won by Klaus and Rose Schulz, MGNOC lifetime members and Ontario Guzzi riders stalwarts from Scarborough, Ontario, on their Jackal.
The best Hard Luck story award this year went to Rick Longfritz who, with wife Dana and daughter Carly, from Appleton New York, spent several hours wandering around the countryside in the dead of night looking for the rally site!
We would like to thank all the organizations who sponsored our rally this year, including: MGNOC; Cycle World in Toronto; McBride's Cycle, Toronto; Parker Brothers Power Sports, Toronto; and, of course, the local Guzzi dealer, Bavarian Motorsports, Woodbridge. Also, a big thank you goes to Joe Greer and Anchor Bay Campground for letting us use their facilities.
We have held five rallies now at Anchor Bay and everyone who has attended has enjoyed themselves. It's in a great location, but the facilities themselves are a little limited. For 2003 we are moving the rally to a great new site in Utopia, near Barrie, Ontario. This new site will enable us to offer more to the rally goer and we think it has great potential. It is on the eastern bank of the Nottawasaga River, and there is a really nice (flat) camping area, with full facilities. There are also lots of indoor sleeping accommodations. Dormitory accommodations of 12 rooms, for up to 8 people per room will be included in the rally fee. There are also 4 motel type rooms, each for 2 people, and there are 6 house rooms available that will accommodate up to 16 people total. Motel and house rooms will cost extra and must be reserved. It will also be possible to reserve dormitory rooms for groups or families at no extra cost, but all reservations must be made as soon as possible.
In the house there are cooking and dining facilities, there is a 'sun barn' which will probably be the rally headquarters, and underneath the barn is a bar and sauna. There are full laundry facilities on site and everything will be available on site, so even if the weather forecast is not good (usually the forecast is a lot worse than the weather is in June), we will have everything needed to keep you dry.
At the moment we can only definitely say that the Friday evening meal will be included in the rally fee, but the more people that come to the rally, the more we can include. Hopefully, all morning and evening meals will be included in the $30 U.S. funds ($45 Canadian funds) rally fee. Call me at 705-722-3312 or email me at email@example.com for information and reservations or check out the http://www.ontarioguzziriders.com or the campsite itself at http://www.campsaulaine.com.
After May 1st. the registration fee will be $37 U.S. or $55 Canadian. Unfortunately, the only date available this year is the last weekend in June, the same weekend as Ron and Alice Komorowski's rally in Virginia. Sorry Ron, I won't be able to come this year!
This is a great new site and is easily capable of handling a really good International Rally at some time in the future, if we can get enough people interested. So get out your sense of adventure, dust it off, and come on up to Canada this June. Don't forget, your U.S. dollar goes a lot further up here and we're really not that far away.