I am a local “Salmon Armite” and considered myself privileged to have seen and been a part of the first Sturgis North Motorcycle Rally. I knew there were others who were quite open to this gathering, as well as those who felt it would destroy Salmon Arm, as we know it. I didn’t think I would get such a firsthand look at the two sides.
A week before Sturgis we had a family reunion and my uncle from Vancouver Island rented a cabin near Salmon Arm. He had been in contact with the owner and the property manager for some time and told them we would be having a gathering on the Friday night.
Monday, when he arrived, seven of us decided to go and see him and, because it was a beautiful day, we took our motorcycles. The moment we left my uncle was paid a visit by someone in the strata questioning the “bikes.” The property manager came out, stating her concern about Sturgis, saying they didn’t want “bikers” in their quiet strata and then asked my uncle for a larger damage deposit.
Two days later she came out again declaring that we were now unable to use the common area for our reunion because we would need everyone from the strata’s permission. We had to find another place to hold our reunion.
On the other side of the coin, I was on the receiving end of Salmon Arm’s generosity on many occasions.
Although I am from here whenever a “local” saw me dressed up in my leathers they would stop and ask how I was enjoying the festivities or welcome me to their community. I had quite a few even apologize for the weather.
So for those of you who came out and welcomed the rest of the world into our backyard, I thank you, and for those who were too afraid to even come out and play, hopefully you will be given that opportunity next year.