By: Caitlin Beddington

The Valemount Legion, Branch 266 played host last week to regional and national riders in the 2014 Military Police National Motorcycle Relay Ride.

The BC Relay has raised approximately $15,000 on this tour so far, with 10 riders. The money is split equally between the Military Police Fund for Blind Children and the Children’s Wish Foundation. Tony Brooks and Lamont French organize and lead the tour. French has been a part of this adventure for six years.

“We have riders of all experience levels and it doesn’t matter what you ride,” Brooks said as he described the group. He referred to them as a “rag-tag” bunch of riders. They have really grown and gelled as a team. Brooks has been riding motorcycles for 38 years and leads the pack as the Ride Captain for the second year.

“We grow together.” says Brooks.

At each overnight stop they are hosted by the local Legion and served a hearty dinner. In the case of Valemount Branch 266 not only did they receive a delicious burger and salad dinner but also a pancake breakfast in the morning. The riders said a big thank you to Les Dammann, Pete Pearson and Kerry Pearson for hosting such a fun and welcoming night. Brooks said the highlight of this tour was definitely the Ice Fields Parkway and the twisty scenery on Hwy 99 near Duffy Lake.

The route starts and ends in Victoria. As they travel and visit different places in BC, the group is joined by other riders for different lengths of time. The largest flock of riders at one time during the 2014 tour was a grand total of 26 riders.

When the riders were asked in the morning at the pancake breakfast in Valemount if they would participate again, they all said yes. The journey is not over. The next big stop was 100 Mile House for these easy riders. Along the way the group makes friends and builds relationships. In Valemount Brooks met Michael Lewis, owner/operator of Three Ranges Brewery. Brooks commented that it’s people like Lewis who instantly support and welcome the riders who really make the difference for the ride.