Bung Bung may be a strange name for a vintage snowmobile event, but it makes sense when you understand the origins of the wacky name.
“The bung bung is the sound of a single cylinder snowmobile,” said Matt Elliott, Bung Bung event organizer. “It makes this bung bung sound when they first start.”
For the sixth straight year, sledders are going to embark on a trek up Lucille Mountain in McBride, B.C., wearing retro clothes and driving vintage snowmobiles.
“Some people have matching sleds and suits, onesies and colourful outfits from the 1970s,” Elliott said. “There are some real cool sleds from back in the day when there were 100 manufacturers compared to four or five now. Vintage snowmobile stuff is getting pretty popular.”
Elliott and his friends came up with the idea on a late fall day five years ago when there was only a couple feet of snow on the ground.
“We do it early in the season for something to do,” said Elliott. “We decided to ride our vintage sleds because it didn’t matter if we wrecked them.”
This year’s event falls on November 30, 2019, with a pre-mixer show and shine the day before at the Elk Hall in McBride. On the day of the ride, sledders gather at the base of Lucille Mountain and putter their old machines up Lucille Mountain Road in an effort to ascend to Lucille Cabin where music, a roaring fire and good times await.
“The battle for most people is just getting up to the cabin because of sleds breaking down,” said Elliott. “Some of them are unable to climb the trail because they’re not running right or that sort of thing. Just getting up to the cabin is kind of a win. We usually have a dozen or more that don’t make it. They’re left along the trail—wounded soldiers. On the way down we have a few new snowmobiles with mechanically inclined guys to get them fired up. Running downhill isn’t a problem, though. Going up is.”
Last year’s event drew quite a crowd. Included among the 90 sledders were snowmobiling icons Brett Turcotte and Turkey Reinhart. If you’d like to take part in this year’s Bung Bung, fire up your classic ride and join Elliott on his 1979 Yamaha SRX 440 as he and a bunch of old school riders climb Lucille Mountain to an afternoon of nostalgic fun.