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A look at who attended this year’s Wharf Rat Rally

DIGBY, NS – Thousands of people rally every year at the Wharf Rat Rally, the biggest such event in Atlantic Canada, and this year was no different.

People from all over brought their bikes into town for the occasion.

Among those enjoying the rally was Destiny Kemmis and her father, Clint, both from Digby.

A rally was organized by Bikers Down in 2012 in Nova Scotia to help raise money to cover medical costs for Destiny, who suffers from a serious heart condition.


Destiny in Digby

Destiny is now nine, and looks forward to seeing her biker buds return each year at the Wharf Rat Rally.

“This rally is like her Christmas – it’s the thing she looks forward to the most every year,” said Clint.

Destiny ran around the cenotaph, throwing hugs at various people.

“Hello little darlin’!” said Dave (last name omitted), as he caught her in a bear hug.

“Wharf Rat has become a family event for us,” said Clint.

Destiny’s Ride now rallies for other similar causes, continuing to rally to raise money for children across Nova Scotia.

“It’s so nice, especially since they don’t have to do that. They just do it anyway,” said Clint.


Taking in the sights

Many people enjoy watching motorcycles roll in even more than the events organized for the rally.

Some such people are Daniel Girard, Gerard Gervais, Marcel Louwet, Jean Louwet and Art O’Brien, all visiting the rally from Fredericton, N.B.

Each of them have seen at least two rallies, and spoke of how much they enjoy seeing the bikes burst by year after year.

“The colours, the models, the people – it’s all different every year,” said Gervais.

“This is definitely one of the highlights for us.”

Newfoundlander Ginger Penton-Leith travelled to Digby from Oshawa, ON, where she lives now, deciding to come on a whim.

“I was able to book a room at the Digby Backpackers’ Inn and even made some instant friends,” she said.

“I’m so glad I did that.”

Decked out in pink riding gear, a pink hat, pink hair and pink sunglasses, Penton-Leith is an example for female bikers everywhere.

“Everyone knows my bike when they see it – it’s covered in these colours too,” she said.


Bringing bikers together

Kevin Bean’re has been a rally regular since it first began in 2004.

He met good friend Timo Richard, aka Mad Squirrel, nearly ten years ago, and the two have been lasting friends since.

Both caught a cup of coffee at Tim Hortons’ Sept. 1 before heading down to the Digby Wharf to take in the sights.

“This place is like a second home to me,” said Bean’re.

“The friends you make here are lasting. There’s something about all of us being adrenaline junkies, loving the ride, and bonding over that.”

Bean’re led multiple rallies to assisted living facilities this year as part of his Share the Wind project, which focuses on bringing motorcycles to those who can’t ride themselves.

“The feeling of freedom riding gives you is something everyone should experience in their lifetime,” he said.

He and Richard spoke about why they do what they do, and why they’re so passionate about bikes.

“It’s something you do because you love it. There aren’t many things that double the feeling of hitting the road on a bike,” said Richard.

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