Cannonball 500 – 2015 Rides
2015 was the first year for Canada’s Cannonball 500 rides and it was a great first year. With a Summer ride and a Fall ride it was a great way to put some miles on the bike and get out and explore Manitoba.
The first ride for the Cannonball 500 was June 21, 2015 and was a 534 mile loop around Western Manitoba. A Fathers Day ride and the day after the River City Rides 2nd Anniversary bash. In the midst of summer it was a hot one, but a great one. The ride involved Winnipeg, Dauphin, riding Mountain National Park, Brandon and Morden. Dealer stops were River City Rides, Country Boys Choppers, Wheat City Cycle and Gaslight Harley Davidson.
We had about 75 riders leaving River City Rides and had a massive line up out of door from about 6:30 am. Had a cooler of water for all riders stopping in (33 degrees outside) as well as coffee and doughnuts for those looking for a pick-me-up. In Dauphin, Country Boys Choppers were open and Danny & Danita were there to welcome all the riders. They said they had about 40 riders leave their shop in the morning. Down in Morden Rudy from Gaslight Harley Davidson was hanging out greeting some of the last riders. They were closed during the day but were welcoming riders in the morning and at the end. Had a big bucket of ice water for all riders to grab on their way through. Water was a must on this ride.
The riders from the Cannonball 500 in Saskatchewan also ran through part of Manitoba, going through riding Mountain National Park. This means the park saw 150 riders from Manitoba and 100+ riders from Saskatchewan all riding through the park on the same day. They have never seen that many riders in one day and I had a good conversation with one of the gate keepers as she was curious what was going on.
My total was 938km (582 miles) in 11 hours 59 minutes. Yes, 1 minute shy of 12 hours. Got a huge laugh out of that timing.
The Fall colours ride was a Cannonball 500 Lite edition that had 2 routes available to ride. Eastern Manitoba and Western Manitoba. Being a Fall ride a shorter ride was done, being 500 km instead of 500 miles. This way riders are only riding during the daylight.
The Eastern route was a 540 km ride through the Whiteshell Provincial Park. In Fall this park really shines as the scenery is absolutely amazing and there are a lot of 2 lane blacktops with nice twisties (my favourite). This route had 2 dealer stops for riders to check in at, River City Rides in Winnipeg and SAR Sports in Steinbach.
The Western route was a 520 km rider through Riding Mountain National Park, Dauphin, Neepawa and Brandon. Stopping at Cycle Boyz Customs and Country Boys Choppers. A ride through RMNP is always great, regardless of the time of year.
The Fall run was shorter and had to be done in 7.5 hours. Even though it was a shorter distance it was harder to complete. Partly due to construction but mostly due to enjoying the ride and great food at a lunch stop :)
With the great success of the 2015 rides, the 2016 rides need to be bigger and better. In 2016 there will be even more and even longer rides. Can’t wait!