The final riders of the 44th Three Flags Classic Motorcycle Tour make their final stop at the Vernon Lodge Tuesday, Aug. 3. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Motorcycle tour starts in Mexico, ends in Vernon

This week saw 230 motorcycles end a journey of 3,285 kilometres in Vernon

Hundreds of motorcycles pulled into the Vernon Lodge this week for the last stop in their more than 3,000-kilometre journey from Mexico.

The motorcyclists departed Mexico on Aug. 30 and pulled into the Vernon Lodge days later for the 44th annual Three Flags Classic Motorcycle Tour. It’s the first time the tour has ended in Vernon. This year’s event saw 230 riders start off in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, and hit two mandatory checkpoints in the U.S. along the way.

The fastest riders arrived just one day after starting the tour, with the last of the group coming in on Sept. 3.

“Everybody rides at their own pace,” Dannie Fox said. “You’ve got people who ride like there’s no tomorrow and people who like to smell the roses along the way.”

Fox enjoys doing a bit of both — and having participated in the tour for 41 years, he’s done a bit of everything on the bike.

An Arizona resident who spent the first 70 years of his life in California, Fox can’t leave Vernon without bringing home the Ogopogo.

“I’m hoping to pick up a souvenir for my grandkids, and I bought my daughter one of those when she was 10 years old on Three Flags and she still has it.”

RELATED: From Mexico to Vernon: motorcycle tour to finish in Okanagan

Canada’s two-wheeled Ironman is Chris White of Gold River, who’s taken part in Three Flags 39 times. He doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve got four children and I’ve told them all, please don’t get married around Labour Day because I’ll be going,” White laughed.

Like Fox, its the camaraderie that keeps White coming back to the tour, and the friendships he’s made on the road are something he looks forward to all year.

“When you see each other once a year there’s just so much to share. I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” he said.

“We just love to ride, and when the weather’s good and the roads are great it just adds to it.”

White has big plans for his 40th birthday. Upon arriving to Vernon on Tuesday he got a call from his younger sister, who said she’s up for Three Flags 2020 — a surprise he didn’t expect “in a million years.”

Rodney Chew, vice chair of the Southern California Motorcycle Association, said more and more Canadians have been joining in recent years, and made up about half of the riders in this year’s tour.

“I believe this year there were more Canadians than Americans, and then we actually had some people from Nigeria and some Mexican riders.

“Vernon people have been really nice, and everything here has just been wonderful,” Chew said.

READ MORE: Okanagan dragon boater cruises to 7 gold medals at world championships

READ MORE: Motorcycle cop explains the deadly nature of Highway 3

Brendan Shykora
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon Vipers to face Salmon Arm in simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Township of Spallumcheen departments available remotely

Business in the township is continuing in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

Vernon Vipers give ‘stick tap’ to graduating players

Six Vipers thanked by team for their contributions to the B.C. Hockey League team on- and off-ice

Vernon Vipers tweet out award winners

BCHL team announcing season-ending award winners on a daily basis over two weeks

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Most Read