Members of the VIA Rail team at the Cloverdale Bed Races in an undated photo. Ron Powers is pictured third from right.

Cloverdale Bed Race mystery solved

Retired VIA Rail worker says he knows where the blue bed used by Turkey's Party Makers' champion team originally came from.

A mystery involving the origins of the blue bed that’s helped Turkey’s Party Markers ride to five successive victories at the annual Cloverdale bed races has finally been solved (“A Race with a Reputation,” May 6) – just as the 38th annual race is about to get underway Thursday.

Retired VIA Rail electrician Ron Powers says the bed originally belonged to his team.

It was originally a double bed that was custom-cut and welded into a sturdy single with with four bicycle tires and push handles.

The work was done at the VIA shop in downtown Vancouver, and the easily-recognizable colour is “VIA Rail blue”, he told the Reporter.

The VIA Rail team pushed the bed to victories three years in a row in Cloverdale, and also pushed the bed in New Westminster’s Hyack Festival, where they placed a respectable second in a race there.

Eventually, the team retired and the bed was sold to Turkey’s Party Makers, says Powers, who is a director and operating superintendent with the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society.

The 38th annual Cloverdale Bed Races are May 14 starting at 6:15 p.m. on 176A Street, between 57 and 58 Avenues. The free event follows the children’s decorated bike parade and a demo by competitors at the World Freestyle Round-Up at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.

For more information and to register, call 604-574-4328 or the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce at 604-9802, or visit Cloverdale.bc.ca (see Special Events).

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.