TRURO – About 2,500 bikes roared through Truro on Saturday under sunny skies as part of the 28th annual Blessing of the Bikes.
“We’ve been holding this for close to 30 years now,” said Lloyd Rector, an organizer. “This is the longest continuously running event of its kind in the Atlantic region, if not in Canada.
“It’s the unofficial first rally of the year and I’m tickled pink that everyone is here. It’s good to catch up with people you haven’t seen all winter. The support of the Town of Truro and of Mayor Bill Mills has been excellent and I want to thank them.”
Bruce Thompson, of Brookfield, has been participating in the blessing for about 10 years and was out with his Harley Davidson Road King.
“It’s the ride that’s important, not the destination,” he said about what he enjoys most about biking. “When you travel in a car it’s about the destination.
“This is one of the early rides of the season so you get to see people you haven’t seen since last year.”
Thompson has been biking since 1977 and still has his first bike, a Yamaha.
This was the first year participating in the ride for Dean Mason, of East Mountain.
“I got back into biking last year after a long hiatus,” he said. “I always wanted to get back to biking and after 32 years without a bike I got one last year.”
Owning a Boulevard S50, Mason has already spent many hours on the roads with it.
“This year, I’ve been out with it quite a bit, even in snow. I enjoy it because there’s nothing around you when you travel, there’s a sense of freedom and enjoyment of the wind.”
Kelly Rivard was at the blessing both to enjoy the event and to promote the Ride for Sight, of which she is co-chair.
“The parade on June 14 will start at the Legends parking lot in the Truro Power Centre, go through Truro to parts of Colchester and East Hants and then to the campground in Urbania (Wide Open Wilderness),” she said. “If there is anyone interested in volunteering we would love to hear from them.
“Our event is very weather dependent but we do have a pretty local group that follows us. There are people from Yarmouth and Cape Breton who participate.”
The Ride for Sight will run from June 13-15 at the campground and include bike games, entertainment and camping.
Ride for Sight is the longest running motorcycle charity fundraiser in Canada. It raises funds for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and this year the Maritime Ride for Sight has set a goal of $25,000.
Tristan Adshead, of Princeton Heights, volunteers with Colchester Ground Search and Rescue and was helping to direct traffic in Victoria Park on Saturday.
“There’s a great turn out here,” he enthused. “I love bikes and I hope to get one of my own soon. I’d like to get a street and trail bike so I can use it as a dirt bike but go on the street too.”