This Saturday in Smiths Falls, an annual rally of motorcyclists will be looking to smash the record of simultaneous burnouts by motorcycles.
This is the third year the Rideau Rendezvous will descend on the small eastern Ontario town and according to James Taylor, one of the founders of the rally, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
“We had just over 4,000 motorcyclists last year,” said Taylor. “We’re looking to double that this year and with the work we’ve been doing in Quebec and the U.S., we’re hoping for between 4,000 and 6,000.”
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According to the Guinness book of world records, the current record is held by a group of 300 people in the Philippines and was set in April 2015. With the number of people already showing interest this year, Taylor is more than confident they’ll succeed in surpassing that amount.
“We’re going to beat it, that’s no problem,” said Taylor.
According to Taylor, Guinness has a very specific set of rules in order for the group to qualify. While he is confident, they only get one shot to attempt the record and co-ordinating that many people at once is a bit nerve-wracking, says Taylor.
In order for the record to be broken, says Taylor, the entire group has 30 seconds to begin the burnout and must maintain it for 10 seconds.
The rally itself was founded in order to bring awareness to road safety in the eastern end of the province, specifically in reference to motorcycles.
“There are so many bad accidents in eastern Ontario,” said Taylor. “We already had a western element but we didn’t have one in the east.”
That’s when Taylor, an accident survivor and a consultant with an injury law firm, got in contact with a friend in Smiths Fall who was on city council at the time. The rest, according to Taylor, is history.
On top of the record-breaking attempt, the day will also be full of events, even for those who don’t ride motorcycles.
The family-friendly celebration will be held at the Railway Museum in Smiths Falls, and Taylor says there will be entertainment for all ages. Live music, illusionists and train rides are all part of the show.
Due to safety reasons, the burnout can’t be held on museum grounds so there will be a charity ride from the museum to the space where the record will be attempted at a private lot in town.
For those interested in participating in the record, the entrance fee is $20. All other events are free.