Some of the bikes and riders that took part in last weekend's annual Toy and Rod Run on the North Island.

Live to ride, ride so others may live

Bikers travel to the North Island for the 28th annual Toy and Rod Run.

HYDE CREEK—Bikers from across Vancouver Island converged on its northernmost communities last weekend to kick off an annual series of rides and activities to benefit local causes.

Nearly 80 bikers, most of them from outside the North Island, assembled Saturday morning at the Community Hall in Port McNeill for the 28th annual Toy and Rod Run, a ride to benefit the Gazette Hamper Fund by providing toys to needy children through the local Lions Clubs. With stuffed animals and other toys strapped to seats, handlebars and cowlings, the riders rolled north to Port Hardy and gathered in an impressive lineup along Market Street in front of Carrot Park in Port Hardy.

Mostly Harley-Davidsons, with the occasional BMW, Yamaha and Honda spotted in attendance, then returned to Port McNeill with several classic cars in tow, to reassemble at the parking lot of Gus’s Bar and Grill.

Next on the schedule was the seventh annual Pig Roast and Stomp, which has featured dinner and live music in this rural neighbourhood since 2006.

“They had done a dance for many years,” said Annie Leblanc, coordinator of the Pig Roast and co-host of the Toy and Rod Run with local rider Dawn Harilstad. “Participation was starting to go down, and we were looking to do something different. I like doing pig roasts; we raise our own pigs here.”

Tickets to the meal and stomp, featuring live music by Chevy Metal, raised additional funds that will be distributed to 101 Squadron Civil Air Search and Rescue and to the North Island chapter of the Royal Marine Search and Rescue.

Before this summer, proceeds had gone to fund equipment purchases at Port McNeill hospital.

Totals were not available Saturday night, but Leblanc said the group normally raises between $2,000 and $2,500.

While several local riders participate, and a healthy number of Hyde Creek neighbours bought tickets to the Pig Roast, Harilstad would like to see more local involvement in the event and fund-raisers.

“It’s supporting the North Island, but support from the North Island isn’t here,” said Harilstad. “These people are coming here from all over the Island.”

Sponsor Steve Drane of Victoria’s Steve Drane Harley-Davidson did his part to coax more local riders, bringing several bikes in a large trailer and setting up a display for information and sales at the Black Bear Resort.

Sunday was given over to the Vancouver Island Harley Owners Group (HOG), which held its annual Poker Run from Port McNeill to Port Alice and Port Hardy.

Just Posted

Quarterdeck restaurant, pub temporarily closed until summer

“We have decided to close the pub until April 30, 2019,” stated the pub’s announcement.

Port Hardy’s RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen: ‘It’s business as usual’ after cannabis legalization

Local RCMP will still be on the lookout for impaired driving despite cannabis legalization.

Jay Dixon finishes top three for School and District Leadership award

“I believe it’s all of our responsibility for our schools to provide quality education,” said Dixon.

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

MCFD hold events for Foster Family Month

Ranger said these events are a way of “trying to bring foster families together.”

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Port Alice municipal election candidate Bruce Lloyd’s profile

Lloyd describes his plans in great detail if re-elected on council.

Most Read