Two Hills, Alberta, is like most rural communities in our province. It’s small (only 1,400 people), it has a great golf course, a number of really good restaurants and it’s very much in the heart of farming country. What separates this little town from the rest is that Two Hills is a must-do that should be on every rider’s bucket list.
Back in 2015, Two Hills won the first-ever Canada’s Most Rider Friendly Community Contest held by the Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association (CMTA). Two Hills is also home of the Run to the Hills Memorial Rally.
Back in 2015, Two Hills won the first-ever Canada’s Most Rider Friendly Community Contest held by the Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association (CMTA). — Photo courtesy Renee Charbonneau
About 12 years ago, Bob Ross and his friend Mark Kussman thought that Two Hills needed a tourism draw. They decided that a memorial to honour those who ride and have passed on would be a great idea. There was nothing like it in Canada. As riders, they knew that most of us tend to like our ashes scattered to the wind and therefore there is no place for family and friends to gather to remember them.
The Run to the Hills Memorial Rally was created to be a fundraiser for the monument and to give riders a connection to the memorial and its gardens. The event started with 30 riders and has now grown to over 600.
The Run to the Hills Memorial Rally was created to be a fundraiser for the monument and to give riders a connection to the memorial and its gardens. — Photo courtesy Carla Lehman Photography
Ross and Kussman obtained a 99-year lease on an old provincial wayside stop. They turned the old cook shack into a chapel, built a wrap-around deck and refurbished the outdoor toilets. Trees have been planted and the two-acre spot is manicured and kept looking gorgeous by a summer employee. Hundreds of volunteer hours have been logged on this spot to make it the peaceful and comforting place that it is.
While there are additions that have yet to be completed, like a set of gates to be added to the paved teardrop driveway and a memorial wall filled with names to be erected permanently, the centerpiece of Ross and Kussman’s dream, the Wayside Fallen Riders Monument, is now in place. Perseverance, hard work, love and community created this beautiful memorial and its gardens for all to enjoy.
The Wayside Fallen Riders Memorial Park is located across from the Two Hills Lions Golf & Country Club at:
Two Hills, AB
If you would like to get involved, connect with Bob Ross and the volunteer committee on the Run to the Hills Memorial Rally Facebook page.