A photo from the 2018 Toy Run. NEWS FILE PHOTO

EDITORIAL: Rider-friendly City of Port Alberni welcomes Toy Run

It is Vancouver Island’s largest motorcycle event of the year

More than a thousand motorcycles of every make, model, size, and colour are expected to gather at Little Qualicum Falls on Highway 4 on Saturday, Sept. 14 for the 35th annual Port Alberni Toy Run. It is Vancouver Island’s largest motorcycle event of the year, and is much anticipated by riders and spectators alike.

This is an ideal time of year to show our respect to those who ride on two wheels instead of four.

There are numerous challenges and hazards motorcyclists face that those who drive in vehicles with four sides on them don’t think about: the rubber used to patch cracks in the road, or fresh asphalt that turns greasy the first time it rains after paving, and especially inattentive drivers who just aren’t expecting a single headlamp coming their way.

This year more than others, motorcyclists have succumbed to various hazards on Island roadways. The Port Alberni Toy Run will hold a brief ceremony prior to the start of the run at Little Qualicum Falls on Saturday to remember those who have lost their lives.

Following the ceremony, the Alberni Black Powder Club will fire their cannon at noon to start the ride.

Motorcycles will travel westbound along Highway 4, past Cameron Lake and through Cathedral Grove into Port Alberni—down Johnston Road, across Gertrude Street to Harbour Quay, circling the fountain and gaining speed up Argyle Street, ending at Glenwood Centre around 1 p.m.

“What makes this Toy Run unique are the thousands of people who line the route to cheer the riders, holding up signs thanking them for helping the children in the Alberni Valley and west coast communities,” said Port Alberni Toy Run Chairman David Wiwchar.

“Since 1984, the Toy Run has raised almost $2 million for local children’s charities, and the people of Port Alberni really appreciate that.”

Once at Glenwood Centre, there are games and events for children and families, as well as events for the hundreds of riders who come from throughout B.C., Alberta, and the Pacific Northwest to attend the popular annual event.

Port Alberni is known as one of Canada’s most rider-friendly cities. Let’s do our community proud this weekend and show all riders exactly why.

— Alberni Valley News

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