By: Belt Drive Betty

If you are like most riders, there are places that you ride to that just melt your heart.

Either you love the ride to the place, or the people once you get there, the scenery, the customer service, the hospitality, friendliness.

Whatever it is, it’s a hidden gem and it’s most likely in a more rural location too.

If the US is anything like Canada when it comes to allocating tourism marketing dollars then big centers and places of note get all the funding and the little communities with the great coffee, or the interesting roadside attraction, well they don’t get much in the way of marketing assistance.

Yet for we riders, the little out of the way places are where we’d rather ride to. We don’t really want to ride around the big cities, that gets so dangerous, too many people, often distracted driving, too many potential issues between roads signs, potholes, debris, and traffic and then there is construction season.

It’s important to share the places that treat you well, to reward them for treating you well by voting for them, nominating them, sharing the news about them with fellow riders everywhere.

I am sure that Dirty Dogs can tell you how important these word of mouth contests can be to their well-being. Great Food, Great Service, Great Atmosphere only go so far if no one knows about you. A place becomes popular and thrives because once people discover it, they share the heck out of it.

It’s most important for we riders to do that, far more than any other community, as we stand to lose the most.

If you look at riding to the Northwest Territories for example (See the Map), Indian Cabins and Enterprise are no longer selling fuel. They can’t afford to, there is not enough traffic to make the costs worth it.

So now, if you want to take in the magnificence of the midnight sun in Yellowknife, you need to pack jerry cans of fuel with you. High Level to Enterprise is 273 KMS or 170 Miles. On my decker, if I stay at 100 KMS/PH or 60 MPH, I can go by Indian Cabins and make it to Enterprise, but I don’t like to. It’s too sketchy. Now I would have to carry a jerry can that will get me from High Level to Fort Providence in order to refuel.

Rural Canada is dying a slow and painful death, and why? Because they can’t market themselves, they have few partners, little money and in many cases, they are losing hope.

We riders, we can help those little gems we love to thrive and survive, it’s in our best interest!

Voting for our contest begins in April. If you are thinking of a ride through and part of Canada this year, why not check out all the cool little places that Canadians like to ride to, who knows, might put a new waypoint on your bucket list map!

Canada’s MOST Rider Friendly Community Contest,

I have featured a few photos from Port Alberni BC on Vancouver Island. It’s an awesome community, VERY Rider Friendly and they won our contest two years ago.

Colorado Rider News is one of our media sponsors helping little communities get some much-needed love! And we love them for it!

I look forward to sharing with you some articles on communities that we Canadians love and in the meantime, I hope to get down to Dirty Dogs in Golden and see if they are as Rider Friendly as Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku Alberta is….

Maybe the next BEST of competitions should be North VS South!

If you are blessed to enough to be riding already, please remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you!