To say I am shocked would be putting it mildly but apparently Mr. Sasseville and his crew are going ahead with the 2013 version of Sturgis North.  Read the article in the Vernon Morning Star.

After what I witnessed at Sturgis North 2012 and the heavy handed police presence, I am very surprised that this event will move forward.

BUT - according to the article in the Vernon Morning Star, the police are happy with the event as nothing major happened but apparently here were lots of complaints about noise and drinking at the Stomp....hmmm  I will need to check in with the organizers of the Stomp and the local RCMP to get the skinny on that! I do know from others that there was a harsh police presence there and a check stop at 8 am one day.

Their poker run was subjected to a police check as were the poker runs from the Sturgis North event, but other than that, I only saw one squad car and was told that two officers did a walk through.

Sturgis North however had such an oppressive presence that one entrepreneur has begun making patches about having survived the Cop Fest.

Now I promised to give you MY impression of Sturgis North 2012 and the Saturday night festivities.

The "Biker Build Off" left a very flat taste in my mouth.  Having hosted, helped and covered many a custom build offs and custom shows, I was underwhelmed with the motorcycles in the show and not because they weren't top quality machines - which they all were, but because we have seen many of the machines several times over the course of the last three or so years. Very few of the bikes were new to the show circuit.

The best part of the show was having old friends like Roger Goldammer, Matt Hotch and Paul Yaffe judging - Jim Shope was also on hand as were Tom, Pee Wee and Angela of Bker TV to visit with.

The term "Biker Build Off" leads one to believe that bikes will go through final fit and finish on stage or in front of the show goers, this was nothing more than a custom bike show/competition in my humble opinion.

After having talked to the builders and seeing how little traffic they got, the organizers are going to have to completely rethink and rework their venue layout to make any of these people happy enough to attend again to show off their machines. But hey, what do I know!

They are going to have to do some major negotiating with the RCMP and Liquor Control Board too because I dare say that the "Beer Gardens" was little better than a travesty and I doubt that many people will want to stand to enjoy their beverages again.

The camping I am told will also need some major work for people to want to stay in the"dust bowl" . Since I never went to any of the public camping areas all I can do is repeat the comments from the riders who stayed there. It's nothing more than hearsay until write ups and photos start being posted)

I know they (Sturgis North) faced a lot of challenges, a new venue, extreme police enforcement and extreme sanctions on their liquor license. They also have a ton of debt from last year to pay back so if they are going ahead with 2013 it will be interesting to see if those businesses and individuals who were left out of pocket from last year will get paid now.
(There are many articles in the news feeds that address the debt from last year - just search our site or Google)
The winning bike, from Freakshow Choppers, a bike we have seen many a time over for the last three years - it's gorgeous, it deserves to win in a custom bike show, but a "Biker Build Off" implies new motorcycles, something as to yet unseen in the show circuit.

I witnessed too much and have heard to much to feel good about their chance for true success with the riding community. To me, it was more like a music fest than a rally and perhaps that is what they are going to focus on next year - the music, it is the one thing they did really, really well, but the rest of it? Not sure how the riding community is going to embrace this thing. It depends on many, many things.
The photo of myself with Paul Yaffe after the trophy presentations at around 8 pm
I guess time will tell, perhaps they are banking on the short memory span of we humans and our  basic forgiveness and understanding and or curious natures. Our Pride -  We all have high hopes that Western Canada will have a large rally that will see our American friends come visit our gorgeous country - it's a pride thing.  I get that. Big time!

Having said that, in my mind, unless there are HUGE negotiations with the RCMP, the Liquor Control Board and the vendors, builders, sponsors and unless they take full advantage of the speedway which has SOOOO much potential I just don't see it being a big hit as a rally. A Music Fest - yah, I can get that.
 The night time concert on Saturday at about 10pm as I was leaving for Joe Shmucks and to collect the rain gear I had lent Chance at the Riverfront Pub in Grindrod.

Decent crowd to see the big bands and overall attendance in vendor alley was the best it had been on Saturday.

I have been wrong before, many a time, and I could be wrong this time but I know this:
I will not sponsor this event again.  I was disgusted and discouraged with what I saw, heard and experienced on so many levels.

Merritt also had it's challenges - the police were oppressive there, and some of their events were cancelled on the Friday and their beer gardens were cancelled at the rodeo grounds which really upset people, but over all, people had a lot of fun. I think they got rattled a bit with all of the new hurdles that they had to jump through, and it caused a bit of disorganization. But, it was a good event and it may have been destroyed.

It is not easy to host an event that the RCMP deem to hold high risk and obviously they deem large motorcycle rallies a risk in BC. Still - they could have used a far more "community policing" attitude.

All three events had club presence, I wonder if that was the difference between the three events that experienced extreme police pressure and the one in Sicamous, where there was none and yet, Invermere had a small club presence same size as Merritt, one booth so, that can't be it - can it?

Will either of these events be a success in 2013?
Will the Stomp go ahead for it's 24th year - an event that like Merritt is run by the locals?

Well, I guess that depends on how many of you riders go out to support them.

I am willing to give the Great Canadian Bike Rally an extra kick as a sponsor, I know how sincere and hard working the coordinators are - but they are unsure if they will continue on unless something is done about the police and their conduct.  That will be determined at a meeting later in August. (There is an article on this subject in the news feeds under Travel/BC Events) I will support the Stomp and their Charity - the Hospice. Again, we will have to wait for word from the organizers as to what the date will be in 2013.

So for now, we are left with the knowledge that Sturgis North is a go, in Vernon for 2013.

Guess I might have to pay for a one day ticket to go see if it turns out OK - I know I will not be welcomed back as a sponsor - not just because I won't offer to be one, but because I sent an email telling them how disappointed and disgusted I was. I was called a backstabber and two faced - I was informed that I have been bad mouthing them for months and no one in the industry likes me or would support them if I was on board - so I am persona non gratis with them, which in truth is more than fine with me.

Like every rider I can find the positive too - the people. For me, events are a way to connect with my fellow rider, regardless of ilk. I do not care what patch you wear and don't wear.  What I care about are your kids, your parents, your lives, the stories we share about rides, rallies and businesses, of triumphs and challenges being a rider.  And so I understand why many will say they had a blast - no matter which event they attended.

Don't think for two seconds that I didn't have fun, I loved seeing my old friends, be they the celebrities of our communities or the regular every day rider, the one that has a job that's not so glamourous or the life that is what we deem - average or blessed without the aide of an audience other than our friends.  I am blessed to be part of both as are many in our community!

I feel honoured and humbled to have the time I do with every rider I meet - so many of you do become members of my chosen family. And all of you are members of my extended family. I do not have to agree with you or you with me for us to find common ground and to be able to respect our rights as individuals. The art of agreeing to disagree and keep relationships that you really value alive without hurt feelings or resentment is one I work very hard at.  I DO VALUE your opinions. Your experiences, and your friendships. And I do get why many will say they had fun.

In the end it's all about perception. It's about being willing to lay down $500, 600 or $1000 to spend time with friends in camp instead of taking in the event you paid for.

It comes down to expectations, customer service and atmosphere and whether or not that is important to you.

The concept and vision for Sturgis North that was shared with me over two years ago was one I believed in. It's execution to date is to me, far from what that real vision was. They might get there - I am not saying they won't.  Hard work, perseverance and vision are what it takes and Mr. Sasseville is nothing if not tenacious.  Will his team be able to truly pull off his vision? Time will tell.

I might be excluded from something that could be huge in the riding community but at the end of the day I have to stay true to my own ethics, beliefs and path and so I will never sponsor this event again as long as the existing show management is in place, it's a personal thing.

Could they ever change my mind? That depends on many things and this could be fodder for another of my rants, somewhere down the line.

Just remember this:

If you riders buy tickets - no matter the price, no matter the event, and just complain about them and the quality - then the show/s will be a success - because as long as you lay your money down and accept less than stellar customer service and experience - the show will go on.  If you just complain about the police presence and don't do SOMETHING like write me a letter or fill out our Harassment form and become a part of the movement to protect our rights and freedoms, then nothing will change.

If you were not happy, as so many profess to be, then you will do either one of four things:

1) You will try again for year three to see if any of the shows promises will come through and because you really like some band they are going to bring in.

2) You will bitch and whine about the prices, quality and service from last year, but cause all of your buddies were there, you had fun and so will get in on the early birds tickets to see if it will be as bad as last year, but will still be looking forward to being with friends at the same time.

3) Get involved in someway; either pitching in as a volunteer, getting involved as a sponsor or give the events your feedback - your honest feedback so they can improve or at least have ammo to take to the police etc when the time for negotiations come around.

4) You will decide to try something different, a sober riders rally, a Christian Riders Rally, a rally in support of our veterans, a rally in support of finding the cure for some illness that has touched your life,  a rally from your manufacturers riding club or just going on a ride, alone or with friends -  a nice, leisurely one visiting our Rider Friendly Business Partners - some of the best rider owned and rider specific businesses in Canada!  And the riding in the regions these businesses are located!

So my questions for the days are:

Did you attend any of these events this summer - Sturgis North, GCBR, Sicamous Burn Outs, The Stomp, Horsethief Hide Out.

If you did what did you enjoy them for - the music?
The friends, old and new?
The activities?
The other entertainment aside from music?
The riding/poker runs or other?

Did you experience any motorcycle only stops?
Did you see, experience or witness any harassment, discrimination or oppression?

What was your over all impression?

If you think I am being too harsh or too rosy in my impressions or observations of any of these events - I dare yah, change my mind! I'd love to see you try! Looking forward to your take on things!

There is lots in the news feeds today that may have impact on your life as a rider, check out what's new on

I want to take this time to wish Gator, Ali's hubby a very Happy Birthday - Mark and I love yah!!!!!

I am off to Summerland and Wheel 2 Wheel Motorcycle Care, to go get a new front moccasin on Black Betty and then head into Vancouver and the Trev Deely Precious Metal Fest at the Salt Building in Vancouver!

I am stoked about that! See you on the road!

Please, ride like everyone around you is blind and can not see you!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Belt Drive Betty Blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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  1. Anonymous2:39 PM

    I was at the Stomp and was pissed off that the RCMP ( on Saturday night at 7:15 pm were shooting photos with a movie camera on private property of motorcycle club members,peoples bikes and anyone who objected to their invasion of their privacy.Not cool.

  2. Anonymous8:21 PM

    6 of us went up to sturgis north 6 of us left after one night.Went to the STOMP and enjoyed our weekend.

  3. Anonymous8:26 PM

    B.C Police are destroying the Motorcycle Travel industry. Rallies generate millions of dollars throughout B.C every year. Wow..No wonder taxes are so high in this Province.. It's to pay for unreasonable ammounts of Cops to discriminate against hisss

  4. Anonymous3:26 AM

    Hi Betty.... Alice (Trinity Triker) here!! Did you ride through Falkland around noon today (Wednesday, July 25)?? I was sitting outside at the Pub and think I saw you ride through!! Happy riding!!

  5. I have performed at hundreds of bike events all over the world and its rare to have everything together just right. I'm glad I was not there blowin my music out to the wind. Love ya Betty. Your solid gold :)

  6. Anonymous10:36 AM

    I will never support "Sturgis North" as I see it as a shameful knockoff. No better than the guys on the street corners selling fake rolex to the tourists.

    Why do people feel it necessary to ride the backs of other groups successes. I mean that Sturgis SD is in it's 72 year of rallies and it's a household name in the biker community and the largest bike rally in the world. So it really bugs me that someone from BC, or anywhere for that matter, wants to cash in on their success of building the name "Sturgis". Why not call it "Calgary Stampede North" It makes about as much scene.

    The Stugis South in Texas got their ass sued by the promoters of Sturgis Rally in SD and I hope that the BC knockoff is next.

  7. Anonymous11:18 AM

    It's too bad the cops don't get rid of the "old school" thinking that everyone riding a bike is an outlaw gang member. I guess they think by showing their presence & authority, the average joe taxpayer will be impressed thinking there is some valuable policing going on. Too bad they don't have the intelligence to realize that the majority of the riders they hassled last weekend were the average joe taxpayer. I guess all the revenue coming into the communities isn't all that important? Time to start bitching to the politicians in charge, or is anyone really in charge of these thugs?

  8. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Call the liquor board and find out why the beer gardens were as they were! Again Sturgis North as issues and were under a special permit because of screw ups and lies! Also Sturgis has lied, cheated, and mislead so many even the RCMP. Even some of the companies they worked with have no websites and they to never paid people like STRURGIS NORTH (still owe 200,000 (CBC NEWS) from last year as RAY the organizer has stated) Reality is Sturgis North gives a bad name to Bike Rallies and should be shut down. They owe too much money, do not help locally, locally people are pissed off! Business people have nothing nice to say in Vernon about them! Also good ol’ Ray has lied publically and contradicted himself!
    OH MOST OF ALL STURGIS IS TRADEMARKED! Call them they are not happy either. If they make money they will sue! The real Sturgis stands by they are not affiliated by any means. Using someone’s else’s name for self gain! Come on it shows how low class the people who organized Sturgis North Are.
    Also ask the RCMP why they were as they were. Again Sturgis has done some dirty pool! When you lie cheat and steal, and have issues the RCMP has to do its job since Sturgis North does not. Why did they have no chairs or glassware? Because of bad organization. Even the security was pissed. Though it does not make it right what SOME officers have done. I met both the jerks and the nice ones.

    STURGIS NORTH CAN GO TO..... they have locally done nothing good! Not worth the BS and 100 - 125 a day

  9. Sad to hear that BC events are so corralled by the BC RCMP. Not so in Alberta events I have attended this year. At The Border Bike Rally In Lloydminster the RCMP help traffic control (2 motorcycles + 1 car)with the poke run an at the rodeo, show & race events no presences. I chatted to the RCMP motorcyclist, OK guys, just there to help stop traffic. The show had private security(BIG BOYS) and that it. Other runs thought Alberta I attended NO PROBLEM NO Presence!
    Why is BC that way? Different breed or HQ orders?

  10. Anonymous1:13 PM

    I was at Sturgis North for the duration of the event and had none of the problems many are complaining of. Some things could have been a bit better setup but this was the first year at this venue and experience is a wonderful teacher. I'm sure the organizers have learned and will make next years event even better!

    1. You must be one of the organizers or you had the rarest of rare experience. No one I have spoken to or who has written in seems to have enjoyed the event I know that like many I enjoyed spending time with friends. But the event itself left many underwhelmed. It is now 2 for 2. It is never good to over promise and under deliver and sadly I do not think I am alone in saying that I won't be back not as long as the current show managers are in place. Many had hoped this show would have been fun and entertaining. Many hoped western Canada would have a premier event. Many feel like their pockets were raped. I can not in all good conscience sponsor a for profit event that is as disappointing as this one has been. I think the riding community would think I had lost my mind. The reason our paper is well read is that the reports on the events come from the riders themselves. I get out as many as I can. I refuse to blow sunshine and ruin my credibility The pictures speak for themselves

  11. Regular Joe10:33 PM

    *lol well I'm not an organizer, just a regular joe and my experiences are 1st hand info not hearsay.

  12. You had a very different experience compared to pretty much any one I have talked to.

  13. Anonymous7:23 PM

    I've done both years of SN. I enjoyed Salmon Arm the most as it was spread out and there was more cruising between venues and downtown. Having it in town like that puts more money into local businesses. It's hard to believe comments that SN1 didn't contribute to the local economy. Just ask the Tim Hortons owner or the campground owners!

    The Motoplex was boring. Cramped, isolated and dull. Great music at times but overall it was more like a church swap meet.

    I didn't find the cops too bad at all. I got stopped twice...once at a road block at Salmon Valley road checking for valid registration (fair 'nuf) and again by a cruiser near the Stomp for "spirited riding" through a corner...but just a pleasant warning. Nice.

    Treat Cops like assholes and they'll return the favour. Be nice. Beats paying a ticket or losing your ride.

    So prove to the cops that just because we ride doesn't mean we are all hardasses stereotypes. And if you are a real hardass, quit bitching and suck up the harassment.

  14. Well Anonymous - you obviously did not read what this post was about - no one said businesses didn't make money - but there were a lot of contractors who didn't get paid. And you may have gotten lucky with the cops because of your sweet demeanour but there were many others, nice though they were that were harassed - your reality does not necessarily match the reality of others.

  15. Anonymous8:50 AM

    sturgious 2011 was great 2013 when it was moved to Vernon was horrible a lot left and went to the stomp,if they move it somewhere else than Vernon it will be great as it stands mosy are going other places unless they move it

  16. The venue in Vernon would have been fine if the organizers knew anything about hosting an event but no, they tore up the grass, laid things out horribly..the organizers need to go before it will ever be a decent event - but hey what do I know...

  17. BikerBrat8:57 AM

    don't shut sturgious down just move it out of Vernon even salmon arm was better it was bad in Vernon we all left went to stomp just pick a better place to have it thankyou

  18. It won't matter where the event goes unless the people running it - who owe somewhere in the neighbourhood of $600,000 to area businesses - are removed - this event will never amount to anything more than a cash grab - I have done too much investigating of Ray & Joan - the organizers to ever trust them, support them or ever attend anything they run ever again. THEY are the biggest part of the whole problem and if Salmon ARM IS GOOD WHY DID THE STOMP JUST ANNOUNCE THEY WERE MOVING TO SICAMOUS? Could it be that Sturgis North ruined things there for them not to mention the miles of debt they left behind.