Special to the Record
The Comox Valley ATV Club teamed up with the Port Alberni Hill Climbers ATV Club and invited ATVers from the five ATV clubs on Vancouver Island to a campout and a fundraiser poker ride.
The event was held Aug. 23-26 at the Boy Scout camp on Great Central Lake. Members from the Cowichan Valley ATV Club, the Mid-Island ATV Club, the Port Alberni Hill Climbers ATV Club and the Comox Valley ATV Club took part. We also had one rider from Ucluelet and one from Gold River. We asked ATVers camped at the campground, who were not members of any club, to take part, and I am sure we grew our club by three new members.
This event was strongly supported by our two major sponsors, Courtenay Motorsports and Western One Rentals and Sales. In addition, donations by many local businesses allowed us to give away over $3,000 in prizes.
Due in part to the hot weather and dry conditions, only six families camped at Scouts Beach. That was a shame. Those who camped had a spectacular time. We rode every day and sat around the campfire sharing stories every evening. Forty-three riders took part in the fundraiser poker ride.
As both of the sponsoring ATV clubs are members of ATV/BC, this was a sanctioned event which meant we were covered for liability insurance and forest fire insurance. ATV/BC is the provincial body which is made up of the approximately 40 ATV clubs.
First prize, with four of a kind, was won by Tony Stetner of the Comox Valley ATV Club. Tony used first pick at the prize table to choose a Stihl chainsaw donated by Western One Rentals and Sales.
Second prize, with a full house, went to Alex Jessiman of the Cowichan Valley ATV Club who chose the OGIO storage bag donated by Courtenay Motorsports.
Third prize, with a king high straight, went to Jim Hilman of the Comox Valley ATV Club who chose the iPhone docking station donated by MadMan McKay.
Proceeds from the fundraiser poker ride will help us to grow our clubs, train riders, train safety instructors and improve riding areas.
Hosting events like this is very important in growing our club and raising awareness of the popularity of ATV touring. This event is certain to become an annual event, with a quality prize pool, for ATV enthusiasts on Vancouver Island. About one half of the participants came from out of town.
Events similar to this poker ride are becoming common in communities around the province. They improve tourism, bring spending into the communities involved, raise awareness of the responsible aspects of ATV ownership, and help attract new members. ATV tourism is becoming big business. ATVers travel, camp and ride all around the province. Vancouver Island offers some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere and riders will travel to see it.
If you own an ATV and are interested in becoming a member, please go to the ATV/BC website. You can join ATV/BC online and also join your local ATV club. The more members involved, the easier the task of dealing with government regarding issues that concern ATV owners, such as registration, licensing and land access.
Thanks to Warren and Carol Crump of the Alberni Hill climbers for preparing the trails and signage. These were the best marked trails I have ridden. Thanks Rod Armstrong for leading the riders from the Comox Valley and for providing radios.
This was an excellent team builder and an event which I will do again. Every participant won a prize and got to see some beautiful new areas. There were no break downs, nobody was injured and nobody got lost. Job well done!
Rick MacDonald is president of the Comox Valley ATV Club.