Saturday March 28th 2020

March 28th, 2020

It was four years ago that Bob Clark brought the very first TRS  for us  to see at Summerland, on a very wet & cold weekend - -We  were very impressed by the general fit & finish of the new Spanish bike, and took it for a short ride.  Of course a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, and the Jordi Tarres machine, has leaped to the top of the charts with great sales and general acceptance by the Trials fraternity.
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Here is Bob tackling one of my sections, out on the loop - you can see the snow in the background.
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TRS will have the Raga models available with the e start later this year, after the Virus thing blows over - the battery is situated behind the headlight - Neat. ( We already have the Xtrack E-Start model)
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Some great old stuff being posted on the web these days - tons of pics from the 50’s -60’s when I was riding in the UK - The best time for Trials in many ways.
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When Touring was a real challenge!!!

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Here is a link to John Moffat’s latest site, which now has about 2,000 members - they are posting lots of great old pics.  Check it out>>
Trials Riding When Stopping Meant A Five!

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With things being very quiet - How about taking this challenge ?
How much do you know about Motorcycle Trials & Trials Bikes? Questions are based on mainly classic bikes and riders. Take our quiz and test your knowledge!

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Friday March 27th 2020

March 27th, 2020

Back in the day - we used to call this “Body Lean” - a technique for keeping balance, later referred to as “Body English” in the USA. - Then Mick Andrews invented the wide leg style and the rest, as they say, is History.

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Trial WM-Lauf Österreich 1978

And another one >>

Part 2 of 2. Classic Trials from 1982. Kick Start Trials made for TV competition from Easton Neston Park the United Kingdom.

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We had a visit from our TRS friends from Alberta this week,  Byron had yet to get a ride on his new Raga 300 and was absolutely going stir crazy, so he and buddy Gord Rinke  stopped by my place on route to Kelowna.

While waiting for Byron to show up - Gord asked if he could try my e-start Xtrack  300 and put on quite a show for the neighbors pulling wheelies in the driveway - not content with that - he then tried out the neat Beta Evo 125 we have - and did the same thing on that - being short and stocky, Gord can ride just about anything but had big praise for both bikes. ( That 125 we  have is a steal)   I guess in retrospect, I should have filmed all this, but as he wasn’t wearing a helmet, I didn’t want to show something some people might  get all upset about.

( Hell up until the mid 70’s we never wore a Crash Helmet for Trials - and I can only recall one incident in the Scottish where a rider was killed after colliding with a car, that should not have been on that road)

Not that I’m condoning not wearing a helmet - we think this is something everybody should do - but sometimes a bit of a “Try-out” in the back yard is I think OK.
Anyway Thursday they were out riding in the Bear Creek area and by all accounts had a blast, hooking up with Shane, Andrew and Richard. - They sent me a few pics - from what looks to have been an awesome day.
The smiles say it all even if it appears that Gord has a tree growing out of his head (HE HE)  - Check out that new 300 Raga complete with the Outlaw sticker !!
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A blast from the past.
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Thursday March 26th 2020

March 26th, 2020

Yesterday, I shared a link to the opening clip of the movie “On Any Sunday”  - without a doubt the best Motorcycle movie ever made, and financed for the most part by Steve McQueen. - Not only was McQueen a great actor, he was also a very good rider who raced in the desert, plus was on Team USA at the ISDT ( when it was called a Trial) - Here is a copy of his FIM license. ( Note I’ve spelled License the American way with an “s”)
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Did you know that Bob Johns, the Editor of Trials Canada and a Director of the WTC, is also a very accomplished musician and performs with a Country & Western Band on Vancouver Island.  - Bob is a super nice guy, with a long background in the World of Trials, dating back to the 1950’s in England, where his brother John still rides in Classic events, on an Ariel similar to the ones seen below in this old photo.

My tutor for Off road riding back in the 50’s, was our local club  “Hot-shoe”  - Bernie Blomer ( who later became my brother-in-law) - Bernie had a 500 Ariel for Trials, which I rode a couple of times, but only around town to show-off !! I would set in on full retard to plonk through the traffic. ( I can still remember that)
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This is Geoff Ward - Factory AJS rider at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire - I saw him race there at the very first Scramble I attended ( as a spectator) - the hill was and is today - so steep - I didn’t think anybody would make it up - boy was I wrong - Wardy came rocketing over the rocky slabs at the top  bouncing high in the air - an incredible sight and sound to a young 16 year old - and yes I was hooked.
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The ACU - Organizing Motorcycle body for the UK has just issued a Statement - saying all Motorcycle Sport is cancelled until May 31st at least.

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Your video for today - Mike Duff was a very good rider on the International road racing scene back in the day - He later had a sex change and now calls him/her self Michelle.  - ( Maybe it was having too many high speed scares !!)
This is my first upload on VIMEO. I was still a teenager when I started making this in 1969. It was my first film and I was just learning about the filmaking process…

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We have just received our last order of Outlaw Toobelts for a while, as  my Lady who hand makes them is shutting down due to the Corona virus.  Let me know if you need one!! - Also have some of the rear fender tool pouches back in stock ( the ones that replace the crappy ones fitted to the old IT Yams and XR Hondas)

These will also fit on the new TRS Xtrack models !!
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This is the “Double Duty” - 2 bikes in one  TRS Xtrack - Chris decided to see just how long it would take to switch to Trials mode - The answer about 15 minutes ( but maybe a bit longer first time)
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I had two people answer the question on the pic I posted yesterday from Witches Burn in Scotland - Brett Clark and Bob Olar from Ontario.  They say it’s Steve Saunders and the year was 1985 - Brett remembers, because that was the year he rode the SSDT. - And as I wasn’t there that year, I’m not in the picture, but was in that exact spot by Eric Kitchen in 1989. ( Maybe he has that rock reserved for him!!)
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A reminder that we are still open for business but by appointment only and we keep you at a distance!!

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Wednesday March 25th 2020

March 25th, 2020

This is a great shot of a rider going up the big step at Witches Burn in the 1992 Scottish - The Photographer in the yellow vest is the famous Eric Kitchen - I was at this event and stood just behind him for a while taking pics on a very wet day. Update :  Taking another look at that pic - that might be me standing just in front of the rider - as I know I was wearing a blue waterproof outfit. - Not sure who the rider is on the Beta TR34.   Also don’t know who took the great shot.
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As mentioned yesterday, I delivered Ross his new Beta Factory bike up to Scotch Creek - at which time we discussed  the issues of running events at this time. ( from a distance)  - Although our Outlaw/WTC National on the May long weekend may still need to be cancelled. - We have elected to wait until the end of April before making any announcement.  Stay tuned to the blog for the latest news.  As the chief Clerk of the Course, Ross has to make the final decision, but we also need to clear this with WEC regarding Insurance.
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Anybody who has been to the Scottish, will recognize this section - Pipeline has been used for decades, but still takes points even for lads on modern bikes. - The town of Kinlochleven is just at the bottom of this hill, which had a lot of locals employed at the power plant - ( now closed) Back in 1972, my brother and myself stopped at the pub located near the start of this section, for lunch, and we were quite surprised to see a lot of the workers in having a “Half and a Half” - that is half a pint of Whiskey and half a pint of beer to wash it down.  - No wonder the plant closed !!  Not sure who the rider is in this Ian Lawrie photo.
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Yesterday I got a call from Jack Chant - an old friend from Calgary - he had seen the “Girlie” pic I posted and wanted me to know that he was in the Saskquash (?) Cross Country  held in between Hope and Vancouver back in the day - it was organized by Danny Amor, and Jack mentioned it was a two lap race, but the girls were only at the first check on the first loop. - much to the disappointment of many riders.  - - Harlow Rankin also rode that day, but I was not there ( Drat)

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With all the bad news regarding the Corona virus - business shut downs - races -events cancelled -(even the Olympics) it would be easy to become very depressed. - But remember that famous quote by Richard Nixon ?  “When the going gets tough - the tough get going” - That isn’t to say that we are suggesting everybody relax their vigilance regarding staying safe and keeping a distance. - but I also agree that we can’t just stop everything - we need to be careful and take precautions, but being out in the woods, is likely the best place for us right now.

Ron Walsh wrote a good post regarding riding at Ioco - saying yes he still wants to ride - but maybe mid-week when few people are there, and please respect his space !! - As old guys with already health issues, we are the most vulnerable, so please understand.  Our Motorcycle Image has never been more important.
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Here are a couple of video links>>
On Any Sunday Open

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https://youtu.be/Uuk8vBAvxWA?fbclid=IwAR0sCrAW31jej4PhHAC3ixFQMPvy6BfXEyO5Wo93ovHpwui9kuNm9P1CgSA

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Tuesday March 24th 2020

March 24th, 2020

I must say that I was pretty cautious when opening this crate from Italy today  - but as it came over by ship it’s had time to rid itself of any virus  - about a month - ( I hope)  - Just to be safe - I sprayed everything with disinfectant, & left it for about an hour.

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Chatting to my truck driver, he told me he just dropped off a pallet of ammunition at Canadian Tire in Vernon - The Sales guy told him they have sold 600 guns in the last few weeks !!  Are people nuts? - Very Scary.

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Today - I will take a drive up to Scotch Creek to deliver Ross his new Factory Beta, plus drop off some parts for some of the other Shuswap crew.   - I think the isolation period will be hard on a lot of folk, but we all need to take care,  it’s a good time to catch up on some service work on the bike.  I will only be doing this one drop, but can still mail out parts or arrange for pick up - You just need to phone ahead.  We have pretty much been home-bound for the past three weeks.
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And just for a change - here’s a nice shot of Haken Anderson   with the first Yamaha YZ Mono-shock bike - This took the MX World by storm, and we later converted one for Cross Country racing - it was a tremendous break through as the new bike would track perfectly straight through any whoops, instead of flicking side to side like a twin shock. ( because of rear wheel swing arm flex)
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Spare a thought today for all the employees at the Beta Factory in a Country that has been devastated in recent weeks.
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Monday March 23rd 2020

March 23rd, 2020

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OK Now I’ve got your attention !!  This pic wasn’t taken in Canada, but does anybody remember a similar attraction at a BC Cross Country Race ?? back in the day - and can you name the event??

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Some of the images showing up on FB about idiots in the UK and other places taking no notice of posted warnings regarding social distancing, with scenes of crowded beaches and traffic backed up going to public parks, are truly incredible.  No wonder that some Countries are calling for Marshal Law and patrolling the streets with the police and military.

Sadly a lot of young people seem to think they are immune to catching this virus, - think again knot-heads.

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As for us old folks - we are staying home, except for arranging to pick up prescriptions and groceries when required - I wear a pair of thin Trials gloves when out - although they say this doesn’t really help.
I should mention that we are still open for business at Outlaw - but only by appointment just call ahead -(250) 545-6139.

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We have taken time to check up on some of our old friends by phone -  glad to say Jimmy Corkle is doing OK down in Elko, but has shut up shop because of people stopping by and not respecting  the no contact instructions.  - He has had an eye operation cancelled ( as many of us have had similar calls) - Luckily he can get out for a hike up Rabbit Mountain which out his back door, with his dog for company.

We have heard of other people trying to get back to Canada from South of the border - Steve Richardson and Stan Bakgaard. - Plus the latest info has some Provinces closing their borders except for business and transport trucks.

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Your video for today >>
Trials torque: From world trials to the fastest extreme enduro races, Dan Hemingway is one of the most gifted men on the planet on two wheels. And now his tw…

Please note: the Hemmingway family are cousins to the Lampkins - also the lads are on Evo 125’s  AND we have one in stock !!  Fantastic little bikes - we also have an Evo 80 Junior -  Call us for more info.
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Sunday March 22nd 2020

March 22nd, 2020

This is a pic of Eric Adcock who just died in the UK - Eric was a factory DOT rider, and usually won our Trials in North Wales and the Cheshire Center. - Although other factories tried to hire him. he stayed with the DOT Factory.   - I remember one particular muddy Trial, when he made this long slippery hill section look very easy, so jumping on my James, I tried to do the same, only to come sliding back down underneath the bike. !!

He always had very wide flat handlebars on his DOT - likely because the front end with the Earles Type forks, was really heavy. -Also check out the bulb horn on the handlebars, required to be street legal back then -I still have one!!!  ( Remember most of the Trials were linked by  public roads - plus with money tight - us young club riders, we used to ride our bikes to and from the locations, also using them for transportation during the week)

-  I nearly bought a DOT at one time, but when I got a better offer from my local Dealer, I stayed with the James brand.
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With the ever changing scene regarding the Corona-virus, we have decided to stay home this weekend .  Although I loved being out in the fresh air last Wednesday.!!!

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I think I might be lucky as I can escape the boredom by going out to the shop and finding something to do, plus I do have a yard that I can ride around.  But old movies are getting  lots of time - Yesterday afternoon, I watched “Bullet” for the 100th time - Steve McQueen was a Super Star, and sad he died so young.
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This was posted on Enduro 21 - I totally agree  that we should continue to get out when we can - but I would also add that  maybe we should also take our own vehicles, driving solo.  - Even the close proximity when riding with a buddy could be a hazard at this time - stay well apart and avoid personal contact. - I think handshakes and high 5’s are a thing of the past. ( sad but true)  - I’m guessing that Off Road Motorcycling is probably one of the only things that anybody can do right now. - but please act responsibly  because others might not see it this way.

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American Motorcyclist Association President stresses staying safe to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but points to “ride motorcycles” social media meme as symbol of unity.

In an open letter published by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) from its President and CEO, Rob Dingman, the message is loud and clear: ride motorcycles.

Speaking about the anxiety caused by a global Covid-19 pandemic, Dingman says, “I’m going to ride when I can. If I can’t ride, I’m going to plan riding trips, talk about riding with friends and think about riding.”

Dingman’s letter points to a social media meme doing the rounds which warns to be smart and follow the necessary safety guidance but says the following:

  • Avoid crowded spaces: Ride motorcycles.
  • Do not use public transportation: Ride motorcycles.
  • Well-ventilated spaces are virus free: Ride motorcycles.
  • Wear gloves: Ride motorcycles.
  • Keep at least six feet from other people: Ride motorcycles.
  • Keep a positive attitude: Ride motorcycles.

The letter from the AMA President blows a refreshing wind in these strange times. Be smart but plan for the future. “I’m going to continue to be an active member of the motorcycle community because as a membership organization, community is, after all, how we do what we do.” Says Dingman.

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Jamie McGregor from Ontario, posted some pics on facebook -  that he took at the 1975 FIM World Championship Trial  in Bragg Creek - This one a signed pic of our old buddy Mick with the Factory TY 250? - A bit of an added story to this, as the bike arrived at Walt’s Shop in Calgary with the top of the crate just resting on the top - so when I took Mick down to pick it up, he was quite amused because he said he didn’t nail down the top so customs could check it out !! -  Later I took Mick out to one of our riding areas, and he just aced all the “Expert ” sections that we struggled on.

Unfortunately, Mick did not do well at the event I set up - not sure if it was a mind game or what - but he finished down in 11th spot. - Obviously the Euro guys had no idea what to expect, and also as a first time World Trial organizer,   neither did I !! - Looking back some 45 years later - it’s easy to understand the mistakes that were made. - But at the end of the day, I still like to remember the post made by the winner Vesterinon, who said the Trial I put on prepared him for what was to come in the World Championship. ( 1975 was the first year for this)
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Saturday March 21st 2020

March 21st, 2020

As the global outbreak of coronavirus continues to develop and restrictions put in place, the FIM, the Autoklub of the Czech Republic, Motorcycle Federation of Japan, Federació Motociclista d’Andorra, regret to announce that the FIM Trial World Championship Events, TrialGP Czech Republic - Sokolov (CZE / 23-24 May), TrialGP Japan - Motegi (JPN/06-07 June) and the TrialGP Andorra - Sant Julià (AND/20-21 June) are postponed.

All parties are currently evaluating if it will be possible to re-schedule the events later this season.

Further information will follow in due time.

FIM Communications

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Here is a Collector pic of the Lampkin Family  - Dougie with his Mum behind him - brother Harry - Martin and John. - I think this just after Dougie won his first World Championship Trial on the Beta.

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This pic is to show that this rider actually got out of the section with a clean, as his front wheel axle had passed the end cards, before he fell. ( Many riders new to the sport don’t know this rule)

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I wonder how many of the riders from today, remember that Toni Bou started his career on a Beta ?  as did Jordi Tarres and Dougie Lampkin - and I wonder how many World Championships they won for the Italian Factory?

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And here is a blast from the past - a Trial in Alberta back in 1971 - -I ended up winning the event. but fell coming out of the last section came off a big high bank with the bike landing on my leg - wrecking my right knee and cracking the bone !! Not a biggy I thought, so rode the bike out of the bush back to the camp - loaded my trailer ( Hop Hop Hop) and drove home. Next morning my knee was the size of a football, so I drove to the Hospital ( Babsy couldn’t drive back then)  hopped into emergency and that was me done for two weeks - came out with cast on my leg which put paid to my riding for three months.  ( As you can see by the pic it was a crappy day with rain & sleet - slick and muddy. - I think John Whitby took the pic)

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Back in the 1950’s when I got interested in Trials, there was only one book, with coaching tips,  as a young lad, I bought this and read it cover to cover many times, especially after I started competing - Max King went on to write more books, but this is the one I wish I still had.  It was my bible back then.

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Friday March 20th 2020

March 20th, 2020

Here is a nice pic of the Factory James Team ready for the 1954 Scottish - bikes were rigid back end - on the Trials model which was called the “Commando”  - I had the later Competition bike called the Cotswold - which had the swing arm rear suspension a big break through at that time for the Motorcycle Industry.  - I’m not sure how these riders did at the event, but as a young lad, I used to always check out the results in the Motorcycle Magazines, they won a lot of Trials between them.
Take a look at the extremely lightweight forks, and the vulnerable looking crankcase & shifter ( on the right back then)

At that time airbox’s had not made it onto competition bikes, so we used to cut a large piece of rubber from a car tyre and fit it behind the open carb intake  ( You can see this on two of the bikes in the pic, while Stirland appears to have a different set up.
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Got a call from Sammy yesterday & we talked about the effects the Coronavirus is having on everything - Please see the post on the dirt schools planned for BC.
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This pic shows why Sammy Miller won so many Trials - He never gave up trying to save a dab!!

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Another pic from the past - the winning Scottish Six Days bike from 1969 ( Photo Credit A Smith)
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And back to the modern stuff - this is Heath riding his TRS in the Rhonda Valley of Wales -likely the last time for a while, as this private land has now been shut down because of the Corona virus.

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And a pic of the Yamaha Factory bike of Kuroyama - big heavy slug on which he did really amazing things. - But does anybody remember him?  after a brilliant career, he had a bad fall at the first Xtrial at Sheffield and broke both his wrists.
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And finally - stay positive and healthy during these troubled times.

Thursday March 19th 2020

March 19th, 2020

Although we will not have anything to report regarding Motorcycle sport for sometime - don’t stop clicking on the daily blog - as we have a ton of old images and nostalgia to keep your interest.

Here is one from the UK - where mud Trials were always common.

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An old Scottish Program showing Mart Lampkin on the cover .
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And one I took yesterday - having been pretty much house bound for the past couple of weeks - I just had to get out into the fresh air. - Andrew V, picked me up, and we traveled down to Kelowna on the back road - stopping briefly to say hello to Roy, in the Valley of the sun. - Obviously  we took as many precautions as we could regarding keeping our distance.

It was an absolutely spectacular day to be out - we saw some fire fighters out on a learn to ride ATV exercise,   they had about 4 rented side by sides,  so some things are still happening  - we watched them a bit, but kept our distance.

We then went up the fire road, where I took this pic  - a lot has melted, but we eventually ran into too much snow & ice, so turned around.

Later we stopped at a couple of sections we made up, last time we were at this location, and I spent some time coaching Andrew on some basics. - Yes it was good to be out
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And finally a bit of humor. - A neighbor who has his own small business, said he was happy to hear the Trudeau has announced financial help in these troubling times - all you have to do is phone

1-800-assole.!!!!

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