They have barely put the lid on the 2014 Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup, and organizers are already in the planning stages for next year.
“We had our AGM (last month) and we are looking forward to the 2015 event,” said CMR chair Jean Cameron. “This last one was our sixth year and it was the best one yet.”
Cameron estimated that 2,000 bikes and as many as 6,000 people showed up for the 2014 Roundup, held Aug. 8-10.
“It’s been growing every year,” said Cameron. “I think we had 65 bikes the first year, and maybe 300 people.”
Plans for 2015 include stretching it to a full three days.
“It was, I guess you could say, a two-and-a-half day event this summer. We will add a few things in 2015 to make it the full three days. The first day will be more for the vendors, and the park – sort of low key. Then in the evening, we will have an all-star wrestling match, like we did this year.”
The wrestling match is just one of the many events put on during the weekend to raise money for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.
In September, representatives from the Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup presented the TDR team with $13,000, from this year’s events.
Cameron said that while the Tour de Rock is the main beneficiary of the CMR’s fundraising, the weekend is an opportunity for many non-profit groups to set up shop in Cumberland.
“Not only do we donate our own funds, but we involve a lot of other charities in the weekend festivities as well,” she said. “They are welcome to use the event to raise their own money. Prostate cancer people (Ride for Dad) are here, breast cancer people are here and they are all fundraising. They all have their space (booths) on the street and it’s great exposure for them to reach out to a (diverse) audience.”
Cameron said that with all the attendees – bikers and non-bikers – as well as all the participants, it’s like no other bike rally around.
“This is so much more than a bike rally. It’s a festival, where you can go and see stunt riders, performers, fire spinners, live art, art shows – there’s a bit of everything here, for everyone.”
And then there’s the economic impact for the Village of Cumberland, and beyond.
For many businesses, the Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup is like Christmas in August. And it’s not just in Cumberland. The spillover when that many extra people come to the Comox Valley for a weekend is not only inevitable, it’s welcome.
“Bikers come here knowing it’s a charity event – they come here expecting to drop money, and they do,” said Cameron. “Without a shadow of a doubt. Food vendors, lodging, even BC Ferries benefits from this event.
“Yes, bikers have a unique lifestyle. It’s notoriously more free, and full of, shall we say, self expression, in terms of body art and things like that. But they are more than willing to come up here, spend their money, donate to whatever is going on, so they can hang out with their buddies.
“We have created this event so that we are featuring local art, local food, local musicians and exposing them to a new (demographic).”
The 2015 Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup goes Aug. 7-9.
The committee is already accepting volunteers. To learn more about the event, or to sign up as a volunteer, go to bit.ly/1B7n1oL