Ontario Guzzi Riders
AUGUST 2011 UPDATE
As you can tell, it’s been long time since our last proper update on this site. We were not able to carry out any
site maintenance for a while, but that has changed now. Before we get into the full update, I just wanted to
post the latest information on our rally which is coming up very soon.
First of all, food.
As last year, there will be a complimentary barbecue on the Friday night, and on the Saturday morning we’ll
go for a breakfast ride, but this time it will be to a place that will be able to handle a hungry hoard of bikers!
The breakfast was good last year, but the wait for some people was just a little too much. Saturday night
there will be a pig roast with a pot for donations prominent on the table. As always, there will be snacks
available in the bar between meals for late arrivals and those whose hunger just can’t be satisfied.
There will be live bands in the tavern on Friday and Saturday nights, and we’re hoping that Harmonica Bob
For those tent camping, we’ve negotiated a deal with the Joli Voyageur campground and for two nights
camping they will now charge $30.00.
And this year, Corsa Meccanica, the only Guzzi dealer in Toronto, will be coming to the rally and bringing
demo bikes and lots of goodies.
Hope you all can make it, it looks like it’s going to be another great rally!
March 2012 UPDATE
2011 Ontario Guzzi Riders Rally Report!
By Bruce Brown
Once again, the weather gods smiled upon the Guzzisti who attended the Ontario Guzzi Riders Rally from
August 26-28, held for the second consecutive year in Lavigne, mid-way between North Bay and Sudbury, a
bucolic setting on the shores of beautiful Lake Nipissing. Nothing but sunshine and fair weather prevailed for
the entire event.
My friend David (Hoovy) Hoover (who I met in 2010 at this rally) and I rode up to Lavigne from London, Ont. on
Friday, August 26. Hoovy was forced to use his “back-up” bike, a BMW R100, as his Norge was down for
repairs. Nice as the old Beemer is, I missed the booming exhaust note of the Norge. There are few sounds
known to mankind better than that of a couple of Guzzis in full song on the open road.
In 2010, my wife came to the Rally with me, so we rented a cabin. For 2011, Gail had work commitments that
kept her in London, so Hoovy and I brought our camping gear and stayed at the Joli Voyageur Campground.
We found the area where we pitched our tents to be well-treed, smooth and comfortable. The
washroom/shower facilities were clean and well maintained. I would not hesitate to recommend this spot to
On the way up, we took a short detour near Atwood to visit a Mennonite sausage factory and sales outlet that
Hoovy had discovered some time ago while scanning a topographic map. Hoovy purchased some fabric-
wrapped sausage to bring to Lavigne. I am not normally an avid sausage fan, but I have to say, it was
Upon our arrival at the Lavigne Tavern, Guy Fortier’s rally headquarters, we found Guzzi faithful from far and
wide flocking to the area. This year, thirty-one attendees came from various parts of Ontario, Quebec, and as
far away as the State of New York. In fact, the distance prize (male) was claimed by Keith Smith from Paul
Smith’s, NY, who rode some 500 miles to the rally. The distance prize (female) was taken by Christine
Tremblay from St. Jean Richelieu, Quebec , for her ride of 666 kilometres. The longest two-up ride was by
Tim McKenzie and Trish Cloud from Nepean (360 kilometres.) In my opinion, Guzzi riders are true
motorcyclists, the real deal. I have been to a number of MG rallies since I came into the fold in 2009, and I
have yet to see a Guzzi trailered to a Rally, which is not the case with the owners of certain other marques
who are more enthralled with the “biker lifestyle” than actually riding their machines.
One of the nicest features of this rally is having Guy’s tavern as the rally HQ. Once the bikes are put to bed for
the night, the cabins and tents down the road are within easy walking/crawling distance, so no one has to
worry about how many adult beverages they consume. Friday evening was spent socializing and getting
reacquainted with folks from last year and meeting others who had not been here before. Guzzisti are a very
sociable crowd. It is always good to do some hanger flying and swap stories about rides, dealers (good and
bad), mishaps and other Guzzi experiences.
On Saturday morning, Guy organized and led a ride to Hidden Lake House, near Verner, for breakfast. The
restaurant was well organized and offered very tasty fare for a reasonable price. Following a leisurely meal,
the group broke into smaller segments to explore some of the local roads. Hoovy, Tony Romanin from
Niagara Falls, and I headed off to Temiscaming, Quebec, a very easy ride from the Lake Nipissing area.
After a nice day of riding, everyone re-grouped at the tavern for dinner and the awards presentation, followed
by an evening of entertainment by bluesman Ross Neilsen and the Sufferin Bastards. For those of you who
do not already know it, Guy brings in first-class musical acts to his little tavern in the near north. Ross has
appeared regularly at the Lavigne Tavern, which truly is the place to be on Saturday nights. This tavern is very
cool. For me, it brings to mind the kind of roadhouses which exist throughout the U.S., but are rather rare in
Canada – good food, great atmosphere, and ice-cold beer. Plus, there are quite a few Moto Guzzi signs and
symbols throughout the establishment, adding to the ambience and making it ideal for a Guzzi rally.
Sunday morning, Hoovy and I packed up and joined Phil Tunbridge at his cabin, where he kindly prepared
breakfast. Then it was off to the Lavigne Tavern, where Guy and Judy had the coffee pot going so that riders
could stop by for some hot java before hitting the road for home.
This is a very relaxed and laid-back rally, as are most Moto Guzzi events. If your schedule permits, I would
highly recommend you get your motor running and head out for adventure at this year’s rally, set for August 24-
26, 2012. Guy and Judy Fortier will be waiting to greet you.
See you in Lavigne in August 2012!
Rally HQ - The Lavigne Tavern
|Saturday Morning Breakfast Ride to the Hidden Lake House
The Joli Voyageur. Cottages and Camping -- Right on the Lake!
April 2012 UPDATE
It's almost that time again! With the 2011 rally seemingly only a few weeks in the past, we were shocked to
realize that the 2012 event is only a little over four months away! If you have read the 2011 Rally Report
(below), you will already know what a great success that event was, and we are already hard at work making
sure that the upcoming event will be even better! Click here for full details, and we'll see you in Lavigne!