Ponoka Vintage Rally salutes Canada 150 and our early motorcycles

The Central Alberta Vintage Motorcycle Group roars into town for its 21st July 28 to 30

By Mike Rainone for the News

When the Central Alberta Vintage Motorcycle Group roars into town for its 21st annual Ponoka Vintage Rally from July 28 to 30 the ambitious members will enjoy their friendly competitions and exciting special events while also proudly saluting Canada 150 as well as all the great bikes that have been built and marketed in Canada over the years.

Our Central Vintage Motorcycle Group was formed in the late 1990s and is also a member of the Canadian Vintage Group. These countless avid clubs of men and women from all age groups and walks of life represent a colourful cast of congenial members and real life ‘characters’ who passionately share an ongoing love and deep respect for their bikes, their families, and for their countless hours of quality time together on the highways and by-ways of our great nation.

The very active 75 plus membership of the Central Alberta Motorcycle Group really looks forward to hosting their popular Vintage Rally at the spacious Ponoka Stampede grounds, where free camping is offered on sight as well as ample space and amenities for their unique displays and all of the other weekend activities.

Spectators of all ages are always welcome to attend the 3-action packed days of non-stop fun and keen camaraderie, which will feature a tailgate swap meet, chili-cook off, Poker rally, show and shine, Jeopardy, bike games, steak supper, award presentations, and much more.

It is always a real treat to browse around the grounds and admire the fabulous vintage motorcycles of all makes, styles, and ages, to chat with the owners, as well as to check out all the fancy new accessories and gadgets that go along with this exciting hobby, both out on the road and back in the garage. Vintage Motorcycle enthusiasts have always proudly strived to preserve and restore the long and colourful history of the grand and mighty motorcycle, and they have a whole lot of fun doing it. The Central Alberta Vintage Motorcycle Group also takes part in two Swap meets in Red Deer in the spring and fall (last Sunday in April and October) and really enjoy being involved in various events to raise funds to donate to various vital community causes.

The history of motorcycles in Canada

The wild frenzy of the production of the motorcycle throughout the world likely began in the late 1800’s with such weird but wonderful models as the Velocycle, the first steam and petrol powered machines, the rugged bikes for the wars and the race tracks, and on and on into an overwhelming market that today, led by Honda, Harley, and all the rest are producing multi-millions of powerful and fancy units annually.

When Canada’s Red Bull bicycle manufacturer decided to expand into the relatively new international motorcycle market in 1903 they set about acquiring the very best components from around the world. Harley Davidson had only built a prototype that year, although Indian had started off in 1901 with the Aurora Automatic Machine Company making its engines to Oscar Hedstrom’s design, and perhaps the bi-lingual and colonial Canadian temperament would guide them to more sights across the Atlantic?

The Canada Cycle Company was formed at Weston, Ontario in 1903 and after it’s first machine was built and road tested by November it was crated and shipped to Australia by boat, where it became extremely popular everywhere. In 1910 the company unveiled the CCM Lightweight, which shifted its sights from heavy castings and frames to a lighter model that featured wheel rims of Canadian Maple, polished accessories of nickel, a battery operated front lantern lamp, and a perky Swiss designed engine. This gem of an early Swiss/Canadian hybrid was a very beautiful motorcycle with perfect proportions, and although now extremely rare always had first class restoration qualities.

Admission for spectators to the 2017 Ponoka Vintage Rally from July 28 to 30 at the Ponoka Stampede grounds is free and for those wishing to attend the extra events such as the Friday Chili Cook-Off, Saturday Steak Supper, and Sunday breakfast, tickets will be available at the grounds.

More information on this great annual Ponoka event is available by contacting: Bill Hoar at Phone 403-786-2718 403-396-9915 (Cell) or at email bill.hoar@cciwireless.ca, or ‘Skinny’ your friendly local shoemaker at Phone 403-783-4648 or at email skinny1@shaw.ca.

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