On Saturday June 4th, the second annual All-Ways Apsley Motorcycle Rendezvous will take place at the North Kawartha Community Centre from 9am to 4pm. With a reoccurring date of the first Saturday in June each year, the new tradition is already promising to be one of the largest family friendly events of its kind in the area.
At the inaugural event in 2015, over 200 bikes made their way into Apsley along with several hundred guests. This year, double the amount of bikes and upwards of 500 guests are expected to attend. The day-long event will include games, awards, community vendors, a live DJ, food concessions in support of Apsley Minor Hockey, a 1-hour Guided Ride and more. New in 2016, a Show and Shine will feature nine categories for riders to enter their motorcycles in to be judged, including a People’s Choice category, giving riders and non-riders alike a chance to vote for their favorite bike.
Kim Dunford and Rick Meridew conceived of All-Ways Apsley during a foggy motorcycle tour around the Gaspe Peninsula in 2014. Both Kim and Rick have a long history of riding and an interest in promoting local business and non-profit organizations. All-Ways Apsley combines the two interests.
Kim’s very first bike was a 50cc Sachs two-speed which he owned and rode legally as a 14-year-old in Germany where his father was stationed. His license plate and insurance were procured at the local bureau for 10 DM (about $7.50 CDN) but no motorcycle license was required. Once back in Canada in 1969, Kim bought a Honda 90, followed by a Kawasaki 100cc Trail Boss and then a 650 Suzuki (pictured with his wife Joyce) that he sold a few years later. After years of attending bike shows Kim and Rick returned to motorcycling in 2009.
Kim purchased a BMW F800GS. In 2011 Kim and Joyce began touring and got a more suitable BMW 1600GTL. 85,000km later, they purchased a 2016 BMW K1600 GTL Exclusive with plans to put as many kilometers on the bike as possible. Kim and Joyce do an extensive trip each year riding two-up averaging about 15,000km. Past trips have included the Yukon, the US West Coast, Newfoundland and all across North America.
Ricks first bike was a 50cc Yamaha Mini Enduro that he rode in the woods around Peterborough. He also competed in observed trials on 90cc and 100cc Hodaka. All of this was before Rick turned 16 and had yet to obtain a license. Once he had a license, he began racing local enduros on a 100cc Hodaka and a 125cc Penton (pictured outside of Jake’s Cycle Ranch). Enduros can be described as sections of aggressive trail riding linked by short stretches of back roads. In 2009 Rick purchased a BMW F650GS that would handle road and some dirt riding. Gradually Rick’s focus turned to touring and when his wife Sue decided that she wanted to come along, he purchased a BMW R1200RT.
Kim and Rick plan a “guy’s” trip and a “couples” trip each year to various US and Canadian destinations, taking turns planning the routes and accommodations. Despite the extensive trips and thousands of kilometers they have put on their motorcycles, they agreed that right here in Apsley is the perfect destination for fellow riders to meet up on an annual basis for a family friendly event that would also help to promote local businesses. With a nomenclature the community can be proud of, All-Ways Apsley alludes to the amazing routes surrounding the area that are considered as some of the best in the province. The wider riding area is currently being promoted under the banner “Ride the Highlands” (www.ridethehighlands.ca).
Kim and Rick were pleased to discover a large community of riders in the Apsley area, many of whom have helped extensively with organizing the event. Among others, Gord McColl and the Kawartha Charity Riders have stepped up to help with organizing the games, show ‘n’ shine, and guided ride. Gord is an experienced event organizer who currently rides a Harley-Davidson V-Rod. Paul Pilon has also been instrumental in the second year of planning. Paul has ridden many motorcycles over the years both on and off-road. Most recently, he has tried his hand at some impromptu ice racing.
Gary Geraldi and Jim Elder of the Township of North Kawartha have also been invaluable committee members, ensuring that the 2016 event will be a tremendous success.
The partnership with the Township of North Kawartha as well as the support of Lead Sponsors; Tucker’s Marine, Boyer Chevrolet Buick GMC Bancroft, Apsley Home Hardware Building Centre and Steve’s Auto have ensured the longevity and growth of the event within the community.
For more information about the event and details for how to become involved as a sponsor or vendor, please visit www.all-ways-apsley.ca. We look forward to seeing you there—rain or shine!