A Little History
In 2002, Triumph riders from all over western Canada and the northwestern USA first descended upon The Adventure Hotel (formerly the New Grand Hotel) in Nelson, BC to start an annual tradition, the Kootenay Rat Raid. A few people have been responsible for putting on the Kootenay Rat Raid over the years. From 2003 to 2007, this was actually a Triumph sanctioned event. For those 4 years, Triumph came down and put on an event in appreciation for their riders complete at times with their demo truck. When Triumph pulled the funding, Mike Gebler stepped up and took it over in 2008 and the Raid truly became a Rat event for the riders put on by the riders. In 2009, Vern Vogt did all the organizing to keep the event going. From 2010 to 2012, Paul England accepted the challenge of putting on this fantastic annual event where we also saw the return of Triumph Canada in 2011. Although still not a Triumph sanctioned event, Triumph Canada has stepped up and donated tons of prizes in appreciation of their riders each and every year. After a decade of Raids, the reins were handed over to Liane Langlois to start a new chapter in 2013. She continues to look forward to the challenges of organizing such a great event and hopes she does everyone proud.
Attendance at the Raid has reached over 150 registered riders. Although all version of Triumph motorcycles are well represented and are the clear majority of brand in attendance, we welcome riders of all makes and models. This has allowed the Kootenay Rat Raid to grow into one of the premier Triumph raids left in North America. Some of the other noted raids include the Ozark Raid, TRAP in Portland, various raids in England, Australia and even one in New Zealand coincidentally held in a town called Nelson.
What makes the Kootenay Rat Raid so special are the people that attend and the cast of characters that come from it. We get riders from all over western Canada and the northwestern United States. About a half dozen of the attendees have been to Nelson since the inception of the Kootenay Rat Raid. So many positive memories are created at each event and different for each person. Whether it is meeting new faces, seeing familiar faces, or riding the beautiful twisted roads of the Kootenay area, there is something for everyone to take home with them, usually including life long friends. There is something to be said about the Triumph community. We truly do go our own way.
Since the inception of this event, it did not miss a year until 2020 with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic that halted all events for the most of that year. We made the tough decision based on restrictions in place to cancel 2020 and celebrate the 18th annual as a combined 20/21 years.
Liane's love for motorcycles started at a young age while riding small bikes on her uncle's land in southern Saskatchewan.
In late 2001, Liane moved to Edmonton, AB. Each year she would attend the motorcycle show and sit on the Triumph Speedmaster. There was no other bike that caught her eye. In January 2007 she was finally in a position to achieve a life long dream, stop being a passenger, gain freedom and put down the down payment on a phantom black Speedmaster. On May 5 that year, she picked up her bike and has been going non-stop ever since.
After having the opportunity to race at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2014 on a friend's Bonneville, she knew she would need to find a proper bike of her own. In 2015 with the help and sponsorship of Blackfoot Motosports, Liane added to her collection with a 2002 Daytona 955i. Although the event she races at was cancelled in 2015, she certainly put some miles on getting used to the bike. In 2016, the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials returned and Liane was able to test the Daytona out on the salt, surpassing her goal of 150mph, achieving 155.210mph.
Since riding is such a huge passion in her life, Liane has become a major player in the riding community in Edmonton and soon the province. With the lack of any safety and awareness programs in Alberta, and with the rising number of collisions and fatalities, Liane, with the help of some key concerned riders, founded and registered a non-profit society, the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society. AMSS launched their first campaign in May 2016 with incredible help and buy in from the Edmonton media. 2017 saw growth in the annual campaign to include Calgary thereby hitting both major centres in Alberta. It is through this initiative that she hopes to grow a province-wide annual campaign starting in May each and every season.
2020/21 marks Liane's 8th year at the helm of the Kootenay Rat Raid and she continues to enjoy organizing this event for all to enjoy!