By Yvonne Dick
Zooming into Ponoka July 23 to 25 is the 14th annual Central Alberta Vintage Motorcycle Group vintage bike rally.
Hosted by the Central Alberta Motorcycle Group, this year’s showcase is a salute to Italian vintage motorcycles. “We’ll probably have some Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Laverda, and hopefully some Aprillia, Motobi, and some of the less common ones that were made after the war,” organizer John Ferguson said.
The weekend event draws upwards of 800 people, with the main day being Saturday with the steak barbecue, show and shine, swap meet, CVMG challenge, biker games and poker run all taking place throughout the day.
“Friday night we will have spaghetti. We cook the noodles, you bring your favourite pasta sauce,” says Ferguson. Entrance for the weekend is $50 and includes the camping, steak supper and Sunday breakfast. The official event T-shirt will be on sale, this year with an Italian bike theme. Though all years of bikes are welcome, one of the oldest Ferguson remembers was owned by a man from Vernon, B.C.
“He came with a 1911 Harley and a 1913 Ariel. They were still drivable, he rode the Harley out to Crestomere and back that weekend,” says Ferguson.
The rally will include field games, slow riding contests, a poker run and more. During the poker run bikers buy a hand, ride to a spot, pick up a card or hand, ride to another spot, pick up a card or hand. Highest hand wins. Residents who want to see the cycles in action can watch them as they do their annual bike parade through downtown Ponoka, ending at the site of the Downtown Garage Sale.
“One year we had the mayor in our bike parade, riding a bike,” says Ferguson. “Some of the best parts of the weekend are seeing old friends again, checking out the variety of motorcycles, and the camaraderie,” says Ferguson.
Admission to view the bikes and activities of the weekend are free. Entrants can camp on site at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds.
“We’ve gotten people from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Montana, Washington, Oregon and the Yukon,” Ferguson said. “This year the Moto Guzzi Club might show up.”