Ride For Dad Comes to Kawarthas

A Big Win for Everyone

Editor's Note: There's nothing quite like getting some serious time on the trails. Whether it's taking on a particularly challenging stretch you've heard about, or just seeing how the season has changed a favourite location—the great outdoors, the scenery, the fresh air—it's where you want to be. The only way to improve a day on the trails is by doing it with friends. People of like mind can make a good time great, sharing in the joy that occurs when we get together. And that's the spirit behind ATV fundraising events. With Fathers' Day just around the corner, the Kawartha ATV Association put this energy towards the fight against prostate cancer, holding their first Ride for Dad event on June 6, 2015.

Waking up to sunny skies on the morning of the event was an encouragement to the organizers. By 8 am, a steady stream of participants had begun to file in to the Log Chateau Trailer and Camping Park, located just north of Fenelon Falls, Ontario. The park is the perfect location to host a large event, with plenty of fields for parking, a recreation hall and cabins/camping available for those wanting to make a full weekend of it. Best of all, the Victoria Rail Trail, which is the main artery of the KATVA Trail System, runs right through the centre of this ATV-friendly park.

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The KATVA offered pre-registration on the Ride for Dad website, but the majority of riders chose to register on the morning of the event. By 9 am, over 160 bikes were registered, with close to 250 total participants including passengers, families, and volunteers.  “We are thrilled with the turn-out for our first Ride for Dad event,” explained KATVA President Carolyn Richards. “It was great to see so many new faces coming from all across Ontario.” 

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The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) and the Canadian AQCC Safety Institute (CASI) were in attendance to kick off the start of the Canadian-Wide ATV Safety Week, aimed at educating new and experienced riders to ride safe. ATV Safety Week also marks the beginning of the year's hands-on ATV rider training courses launched by CASI. To learn more about registration for you or your kids, visit the CASI ATV Rider Course SM website

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At the Riders' Meeting, we were briefed with the schedule, times and rules for the day. Participants could set out on their choice of a 60-km or 80-km route, both offering a variety of beginner and intermediate trails to explore.

And for the first time, there was also a route for Side by Sides, a progressive move by KATVA in light of the recent changes to ATV regulations in Ontario. Riders enjoyed a social "meet and greet" located halfway on both routes with a refreshment stand sponsored by HB Cycle of Cameron, Ontario.  

The two routes directed all riders through Kinmount, Ontario as the link back on to the Victoria Rail Trail. Luckily for everyone, the new Kinmount Model Railroad and Museum and the local Farmers' Market were open and welcomed everyone for a tour and treats. Learn more at www.kinmount.ca.

With the ride portion of the event was completed, participants gathered at the Burnt River Community Centre for a Roast Beef and Turkey Dinner. Everyone chose their cards for their chance at the $1,000 top prize. The three highest poker hands were rewarded with cash prizes, and the three top fundraisers took home a BBQ, a TV and power tools.

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The mission of the TELUS Ride For Dad is to raise funds to save men’s lives by supporting prostate cancer research and raising public awareness of the disease. Kawartha ATVA brought in over $17,000 for the organization. “The event gave KATVA a chance to raise money for a great cause as well as encourage ATV Safety and Training for new riders and youth,” said Richards. “It was a perfect day for riding and coming together to celebrate the sport – just a win for everyone.”

Even though the Ride for Dad event is over, KATVA welcomes new riders anytime. With over 250 km of maintained trails, encompassing all skill levels and all types of terrain, it's the perfect location for any rider. Check out their website for information on purchasing day or season passes at www.KATVA.ca.

About Shawn and Corrie Hynes

Shawn and Corrie have been avid dirtbike and ATV enthusiasts for over 30 years. Originally from Northern Ontario, they spent most of their lives enjoying the outdoors and discovering new wilderness to explore. They currently reside in Kawartha Lakes, where they enjoy the KATVA and HATVA trail systems, as well as regularly touring across Canada in search of new ATV routes to explore and write about on their ATV Blog.

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