Easy rid­ers

‘We’re ex­pect­ing a big­ger crowd this year, we’re hop­ing to get about 1,500 bikes’

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CHRIS­TIAN ROACH Chris­tian.roach@cb­post.com

An­nual bike rally opens to­day in Mem­ber­tou.

Mem­ber­tou will be filled with the sound of revving en­gines to­day as the 2017 Cape Breton Bike Rally gets un­der­way.

It’s the sec­ond year the event has been held in Mem­ber­tou and one of the event’s or­ga­niz­ers, Kerry MacLel­lan, said mov­ing the rally to Mem­ber­tou was a great choice.

“The change of venue is probably the best de­ci­sion we’ve ever made. Coming to Mem­ber­tou, we’ve had an in­crease in peo­ple ar­riv­ing and in ven­dors over our pre­vi­ous site in down­town Syd­ney — which wasn’t work­ing for us,” said MacLel­lan.

The week­end will be jam­packed with events, rang­ing from guided bike tours around the Cabot Trail, a pig roast and a mo­tor­cy­cle stunt show.

MacLel­lan said the M&M mo­tor­cy­cle freestyle stunt show can im­press even the most ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers, in­clud­ing him­self.

“They put on a heck of a show. It’s phe­nom­e­nal what they can do with th­ese bikes. I’ve been bik­ing since I was 16 years old and I’d be afraid to do what some of th­ese guys do,” said MacLel­lan.

MacLel­lan said this year’s rally is ex­pected to draw larger crowds than last year.

“We’re ex­pect­ing a big­ger crowd this year, we’re hop­ing to get about 1,500 bikes, we had about 1,000 last year who reg­is­tered with our reg­is­tra­tion desk.”

The Cape Breton Bike Rally has a core group of or­ga­niz­ers who are all rid­ers and un­der­stand what ex­actly makes a good rally, but to pull off such a big event it takes a lot of volunteers said MacLel­lan.

“We probably have 60 volunteers, who aren’t all bik­ers, they come from all walks of life and all dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties

in the ar­eas,” said MacLel­lan “We even have one guy who lives in On­tario, who’s orig­i­nally from Cape Breton but comes down ev­ery year to vol­un­teer,” said MacLel­lan.

The rally is sched­uled to run from Friday un­til Mon­day, where the event will sign off with a farewell ride to the Canso Cause­way at 11 a.m.

CHRIS­TIAN ROACH/CAPE BRETON POST

From left, or­ga­niz­ers, Lloyd Sheppard, David Camp­bell, Ken Markotjohn, Greg Whyte, Mike Basso and Kerry MacLel­lan get ready to set up for the 2017 Cape Breton Bike Rally on Thurs­day.

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