Port Alberni – Canada’s Most Rider Friendly Community
Our resident, ‘Rider’ and guest writer Belt Drive Betty, updates us on her recent motorcycle rides across Canada and introduces us to ‘Port Alberni’, a Canadian City which currently holds the title for Canada’s Most Friendly Rider Community. For motorcycle news and road trip inspiration, keep up to date with Belt Drive Betty as part of our Lifestyle & Auto content. You can also visit Belt Drive Betty over on her official media outlet ‘Busted Knuckle Chronicles’.
Port Alberni, British Columbia, is a small city where community service work has become the rule, not the exception. Port Alberni, British Columbia is located on Vancouver Island.
This deep port community of 17,000+ people is also a community of huge hearts working to fill great needs. One of the hardest working toy-run committees that you have ever come across can be found in this city that is nestled between the mountains and the ocean.
Riders at the Rodeo
The riding on Vancouver Island is magnificent but around Port Alberni it is majestic. Little Qualicum Falls provincial park where the ride starts from is an absolutely gorgeous place and Cathedral Grove located in MacMillan provincial Park is an amazing place to ride through. The Douglas Fir trees are so tall that they all but obliterate the sun!
But like any ride, the community at the end, the day’s destination is what truly makes a ride special or memorable.
To a person, the people who make up the Port Alberni Toy Run Committee, work long hours to ensure that not only do the children of their region get a Christmas, they ensure that their teens get breakfast all school year long and that First Night, Easter & Halloween are all special times for ALL of the children whose parents will let them partake.
Today people line the streets with signs thanking the riders for helping their community; it wasn’t always that way.
These motorcycle riding philanthropists had lots of fears to overcome, but through dogged persistence and the absolutely HUGE passion that they all exhibit and is the hallmark of many a rider, these great folks have won over the city and it’s regions residents.
To attend a toy-run with 1,400 or so other riders who join in leaves one with a pretty overwhelming sense of pride and belonging…there are no words to explain adequately how one’s heart swells.
Volunteers at the toy-run, Port Alberni.
When you see the children of their community at the toy-run after party doing crafts, having a hot dog, drinking a lemonade and mingling with the people who are there to help them, it’s pretty incredible.
If you get a chance go to YouTube and watch the 2 episodes that I filmed for TV, words can not come close to expressing why Port Alberni deserves to hold the Title, Canada’s MOST Rider Friendly Community of the 2016 riding season and is our reigning champion. They hold that title until the 2017 champion is announced on May 31st 2018.
Motorcycle Parking at Barkley Hotel
I urge you, if Canada is at all on your radar for a place to ride, check out Vancouver Island and Port Alberni in particular, you’ll not only enjoy the riding, the scenery and the history, you’ll fall in love with the people.
You can take a look at the official Belt Drive Betty youtube channel here and watch the two part series on Port Alberni – Canada’s MOST Rider Friendly Community! If you’re a rider – let us hear your thoughts! We are always hoping to answer questions and provide content that engages – so if you have any suggestions or queries please leave us a comment!