Archive for April, 2011

Saturday April 30th 2011

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Steve Saunders took his big 500cc Triumph Twin around the Scottish Pre 65 course on Friday, without loss - so he leads the event going into Day #2 - We will post the final results later today.


Looks like a busy day today, with some running around to do, and people stopping by to pick up parts etc.


On the weather front, the temperatures are supposed to hit +19 tomorrow, so it will good for another “Work” day in Summerland - each round trip  involves a 4 hour drive - which leaves for about 4 hours to work on the loop, so I’m usually pretty knackered by the time I get home. -climbing up & down the hillsides either taping or checking for lines, is hard on the knees, but a great workout for the two old guys. -  as the big weekend draws near, the excitement is building, and I’m sure all the riders will enjoy what we have in store for them - the 20 km loop is always fun, and some of our new sections are fantastic - nothing dangerous, just a test of ability by all classes. ( keep checking the gallery - Easter Album for additions)


There is a Moto GP race in Portugal this weekend - so far the new Italian Honda rider Marco Simmoncelli has set the pace in practice.


more news as it happens >>>>>>>UPDATE - Check out the neat video of the Pre 65 on Trials Central forums

Friday April 29th 2011

Friday, April 29th, 2011

So I wonder how many of our readers stayed up (or got up) to watch the Royal Wedding  - my wife and I did, and I must say, when it comes to this kind of thing, nobody does it better than the Brits: - We found it quite refreshing to see the amazing display of pomp and pageantry, and a day when so many people forgot about the troubled World we live in, and packed the streets of London to share the occasion. - It was also nice to see that they picked two Welsh Hymns to start off the service at the beautiful Westminster Abbey. - We wish the young couple a long and happy life together.


In other parts of the UK - in Scotland, to be precise,  the Pre 65 riders would have been thinking of other things, as they tackled the sections around Kinlochleven. -  we will keep an eye on any news of this throughout the day.


With only one more day in the month - it’s time for me to head to Kelowna to see my book-keeper - I will also be stopping by to see Paul about the WTC printing - the punch cards that we will use are actually being supplied by Cam Whiffing from Ontario, who has his own family printing company, these will be on water-proof card. - Cam was a  member of the Canadian Team in the Welsh International Six Days Enduro, that I attended back in 1983. (Thanks Cam)

We have also heard from more people who plan on coming to the Summerland National, these include the three main men from “Team Cornergrass”


I phoned Dave Sugden’s wife yesterday to find out how he is doing, after his nasty crash at the Blackfoot Trial - he is still in the Foothills Hospital and has a broken wrist as well as a broken bone in his pelvis. - Obviously he was in a lot of pain, but  still managed to drive himself home from the Trial - We wish him a speedy recovery, and will also miss him at Summerland. -  Freak accidents like this are rare in our sport, but a reminder that having a “Spotter”  can sometimes help.


More news as it happens >>>>>>

Thursday April 28th 2011

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

We were in Summerland again on Wednesday, working on the Trial - only managed to get one section taped, but it’s a “Goodie” - We call this one “Big Kahuna” - and it is situated on the back side of the shale climb. - the weather was a bit strange yesterday, and it was hailing while we worked on this, but later were in bright sunshine for the ride over the top of the mountain - glad to say we managed to find an easier way to get the juniors up the big hill, and Pete made it no problem after I “Scrubbed” it in a few times. - - For this year, all classes will ride the full loop, except for the split at the beginning, which will see the Champs ride Avalanche Alley, before heading up to “Big Kahuna”- check out the new pics we have added on the Easter album. ( still some snow drifts in places)
The reason we have done it this way (as in 2009) is because (a) This requires less checkers, and (b) It gives Junior and other classes the chance to watch some of the Champs ride.

Something else that we did yesterday, was take pics as we traveled from Summerland to the start area  - another “First” so out of town people can now download the album from the gallery and store in their Ipod etc, - to check on the route. Of course we will have RED arrows on the road from the KVR tracks to the turn off for camp.


Over in Haggis-land - the Pre 65 Scottish gets underway tomorrow, and vintage buffs will get a chance to see some very exotic machinery - one very “Trick” bike will be the Triumph twin ridden by Steve Saunders, who is no stranger to Scotland, having won the Six Days a number of times. - We hope that John Dearie has now settled  back in his native land, and will be up in time for the early start on Monday morning. - as mentioned previously, Guy Smeeth will fly in on Saturday and Andy Greig will pick him up for the “Fast ” drive up to Fort William. - One funny “Snippit” I saw posted on facebook, was by Harry McKay’s wife Wendy - she said that somebody had just started to play the pipes near where they live in Aviemore, and that it was time to close all the windows, as all the local dogs had decided to join in. - I guess the Bag-Pipes are something you love or hate - with my mixed heritage I certainly enjoy the sound.

UPDATE - We see that Jon English will start at the tail of the field on day one #262

In other news, Jordi Pascuet (GG) won the Three Day Santigosa Trial -for the 7th time - beating out Takky Fujinami (Hon) and  Gabriel Reyes.(Ossa)


And on a final note  today ! - The small Olympus water/shockproof camera I use while out on the trail had a big test yesterday - it fell out of my pocket while taping Big Kahuna, and bounced down the rocks !! - Glad to say it still works fine !!!!

Wednesday April 27th 2011

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Like most people in BC last night - we were glued to the TV set watching the hockey game from Vancouver - what a game and what a series - very exciting, and at least the officiating was better last night. Go Cannucks Go !!

Some bad news from Alberta via Steve Foord, who emailed to say that Dave Sugden broke his wrist and pelvis in a fall at the Blackfoot Trial - he is in hospital and we hope to have more news on his condition later.

Another injury related story - this time from Guy Smeeth who is due to ride the Scottish next week - he phoned  to see if I had any ideas on how he could get from Edinborough to Fort William on Saturday - I suggested he post on Trials Central under the SSDT forum, and guess what, it only took a short time for Andy Greig, (The webmaster for the site) to respond, saying he would pick Guy up on route from his home in the big City.- The power of the Web and comradeship by the Trials community is huge. ( Guy will start the week with a shoulder injury)
We are in Summerland again today working on the Trial  - more news later>>>>>>

Tuesday April 26th 2011

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

While most of the TV stations seem to be covering stories on the Election or the Royal Wedding,-  if you live in BC, and have even the remotest interest in Ice Hockey - then the focus today - or tonight, is on the 7th game in Vancouver, between the Cannucks and the Black Hawks. - Please don’t phone me after 7pm !!!! - Of course if our team are down 3-0 after ten minutes, I’ll be switching over to “Wheel of Fortune”, so feel free to call if that’s the case.

Back on the Trials front, I see Laia won the first round of the ladies World Championship, last weekend - Emma Bristow and Becky Cook filled out the podium.


Billy T sent me a few more pics which I’ve posted on the “Odds” album - nothing quite like seeing a bald-headed man riding a Trials bike in a Kilt !!!


The poster, complete with directions, for our WTC National, is now up on the front page of Trials Canada, please note that we need checkers at the site no later than 8am on both Saturday and Sunday, and yes we DO need YOU - without  checkers these National events are never the same, so if you can help please contact me by email or phone - I will give a crash course on the rules and regulations, before I send you off with your paper-punch, we try to pair a newby with an experienced  person. - Checkers can use enduro or trail bikes to get to some of the sections, but “NO” spectator  MX or Enduro bikes are allowed on the loop during the events. - another small point is that if you plan on bringing your dog, please ensure that it’s kept under control - we have had everything from dog-fights to raided food supplies by “Man’s best friend”  - and while we love them all dearly - if it’s your steak that just got ripped off - then it tends to alter your perspective.

The Trials site is only 20  mins from Summerland - and the road is good except for the last couple of km’s - which is a very narrow  uphill - take great care while driving - go slowly, and watch out for logging trucks. - You follow the KVR green signs from Summerland ( turn into town by the Esso & Petro-Can)  - once you reach the train tracks - you go straight (after stopping) and pick up the RED trials arrows.

If anybody has any questions or concerns, please call me at (250) 545-6139 - We want everybody to have a great weekend. and expect around 60 riders for the event. - One thing to note if you are riding, is that the WTC National classes are Champ, Advanced, Intermediate, Junior and Senior 45 and Senior 55. - the Expert class is dropped for the National Series as this is duplicated by the Champ class.  - Senior’s ride the Inter line.

- On Monday we have the Outlaw Vintage event, with classes for “A” and “B” riders.


Monday April 25th 2011

Monday, April 25th, 2011

What a fantastic day we had yesterday at Summerland  - Pete and myself managed to get four sections set up, with all being multi-lines, and we were also able to ride the loop from the top of Moose Mountain, through some snow-drifts, but everything is now melting like crazy. - I took a few pics, which are up on the gallery. - of course the camera tends to “Flatten” things out a bit.


Back home at 4pm - just in time to watch the hockey game, which was really exciting - the Cannucks were on fire for this, but were unlucky to lose out in overtime. - If they play like that on Tuesday in Vancouver, they could still take the series.


We had an email from Doug Nimmo - who says the SGC Trial at Blackfoot Park on Sunday was well laid out by Foordy and he had fun, although he found it a tad tough, for his first time out this year. ( He was ordering parts!!)

The Team Beta boys were on form at the European Round in Italy, with the British lads taking both the main classes

see story below -courtesy Trials Mag: - Also Jack Sheppard report on the “What’s New” page
European Championship 2011 RD 1 Italy

Jack Challoner (TTT Beta)

Jack Challoner led a winning spree by the English riders in the opening round of this year’s championship in Italy.

Championship Cup: 1: Jack Challoner (TTT Beta-GBR) 24; 2: Matteo Gratarolla (Gas Gas-ITA) 35; 3: Francesc Moret (Montesa-ESP) 35; 4: Alfredo Gomez (Montesa-ESP) 37; 5: Pere Borrellas (Gas Gas-ESP) 53.


Junior Cup: 1: Jack Sheppard (Jitsie Factory Beta-GBR) 21; 2: Giacomo Saleri (Beta-ITA) 21; 3: Cedric Tempier (Sherco-FRA) 43; 4: Steven Coquelin 9Gas Gas-FRA) 45; 5: Eddie Karlson (Gas Gas-SWE) 45; 6: Luke Walker (MRS Sherco-GBR) 50; 7: Bradley Cox (Beta) 60.


In the Intermediate class both Becky Cook (MRS Sherco) and Emma Bristow (Ossa Moto UK) did them selves proud coming home in 3rd and 6th positions.

Sunday April 24th 2011

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Easter Sunday, and the sun is shining - I will be meeting Pete at Summerland to do some more work on the National loop.


I saw a post by Mike Brewer from Winnipeg, on the Trials Central site, saying that he might be moving to Kelowna this year, - ( moving anywhere from Manitoba is likely a good plan - although obviously some people like it) Mike was a member of the now defunct “Take Five” Trials club, which were quite active in the 80’s. - Billy T also responded to the thread, with a great pic of himself riding up a big wall on his Evo 125 ( will post on the “Odds” album.


Later tonight we will switch on the Hockey game from Chicago - the first ten minutes should tell the story.


John Dearie called yesterday, he left for Scotland last night, and will ride the Six Days - this time next week he will riding down the main street in Fort William in the parade to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this famous event - the only question is “Will he wear his kilt?” - John told us that Guy Smeeth, who is also entered, hurt his shoulder at a Trial last weekend, and might not be able to make the trip - this would be a real shame, but trying to ride the Scottish with any sort of shoulder injury is not really an option. - Jonathan English is the 3rd Canadian entered - we will watch their progress and report on a daily basis.


more news as it happens >>>>>

Saturday April 23rd 2010

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Looks like a great day shaping up, with temperatures around +17 for both Saturday and Sunday. - it’s about  time.

Not a lot to report today - I posted pics of the 1971 CMA National Trial Program on the “Odds” Album, which was the first time the event had been held out “West” - Once again the fickle Alberta weather played havoc for us, with overnight snow making the event difficult for everybody - I know I spent my day leading the pack on the 50 mile loop, as I was the only one who knew the way, the snow had blanketed the trails and the red arrows hung like limp ducks from the trees. - all in all a very frustrating state of affairs, then to cap it off my Blackfoot Montesa died five sections from the finish. - I do have a video of the event, filmed on super 8 by John Whitby, which while it has no sound, does show everybody searching for grip with the 4 ply Dunlops fitted to the bikes. - John Jones won the Trial on a special 175 Kawasaki which was a modified trail bike. - We had a number of riders from Ontario and also from the USA.

In fact 1971 was definitely a mixed year for me - I won the first two Trials on a Bultaco, but broke my leg in May, so only got the cast off a few weeks before the National, and to make matters worse, I never really got on well with the Montesa that was supplied by Blackfoot Motorcycles.. ( Not that they were a bad bike - it just didn’t suit my riding style)

Looking back at these early days of being involved with organizing events, I sometimes chuckle at our mistakes,  but they also proved to be very good training for the future, - the World Round in 1975 was again hit by bad weather, but somehow we got through it all without too many riders getting mad at us.


The war of words between Adam Raga and Albert Cabestany continues, with a report on Todo Trial of the last Spanish Championship event. Raga is quite vocal in his criticism - but Albert prefers to say people can check out the blog on his website for his point of view.


More news as it happens >>>>>

Friday April 22nd 2010

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Happy Easter everyone - bright sunshine and warm temperatures forecast for the Valley, so it should be a great weekend. -  another drubbing of the Cannucks in last night’s game, means that there won’t be much celebrating for them - I only watched the first 10 minutes of the game, when it became apparent that it was all going downhill.

The Easter weekend is always a busy time for motorcycle sport, especially in the UK - the Lomax Cup Trial  takes place on Easter Monday ( a holiday in Great Britain)  and starts from the Pub yard at Pontffadog, in North Wales. - The event  used to get most of the “Factory” or “Works” riders, as they were called in the 50’s, and when I rode it in 1957, it was Sammy Miller on his 500cc Ariel GOV 132, who took the win. - the course they used back then was around 100 miles, and covered some fantastic countryside in the Welsh mountains. - One of the famous sections was “Heartbreak Hill” - I wonder if they still use it, -  although I expect it would now be fairly easy on a modern bike.

We have posted some more pics on both the Classic and the “Odds” albums - John Kitchener sent me a few from his collection, when  he campaigned a KT 250 Kawasaki in the UK - John rode it in the Scottish and one pic shows him at the start of Edramucky - a very famous section that was used in the old days - this had some big boulders, and I used a pic of Canadian rider John Jones for the cover of the National Championship program we held near Bragg Creek Alberta, in 1971.  - As the Scottish Six Day Trial is all the talk right now, I’ve also posted some pics from the past on the Odds Album - these show many of the super stars of yesteryear, many of whom are entered for the 100th anniversary event, which starts on May 1st.

A lot of the conversations in Fort William, are bound to include the unbelievable win by Gordon Jackson in 1961, riding his “Works” 350 AJS  - when he lost just one point all week, - the historic photograph taken by Peter Howdle, is also on the gallery, and shows Observer, David Johnson on the left side, marking the “Dab” on his score card. - We contacted David, who now lives in Calgary, to see if he could come out to our National Trial in Summerland to be our “Chief Observer” - it seems that David was also invited to attend the Scottish along with  Gordon Jackson,  - who will present the awards. - However, Johnson will be unable to attend either event, as he is moving house that week.

Check out the pictures - they are sure to bring back a lot of memories for some people.

Thursday April 21st 2011

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

After a fantastic day yesterday in Summerland, the weather is back to gloomy today, and looks like there has been a skiff of snow on the hills across the other side of the lake.

Glad to say that the snow has all gone from the lower areas at the Trials site, so Pete and myself were able to do a detailed inspection of Avalanche Alley - we did some work on a new line for the #3 section, which proved to be very difficult at last year’s Outlaw - all the top riders struggled here, but Foordy did manage to clean the huge boulders of #2 on his second loop. - This will be a favorite spectator section, as it’s not far from camp, and can either be viewed from up on the ridge, or down in the gully.

Yesterday we elected to check out the backside of the Mountain, and found that there is still quite a lot of snow on the trail, we rode through some of this to see if any trees were down, before turning around and heading to the “Shale Climb” - this section has been a firm fixture at the Outlaw for many years, and the loose rocks of the 3rd gear climb still pose a challenge, with the rocky slabs at the top being used again next month. - ( We will be coming up the other side)

The new 2011 Beta Evo 290, which I have nick-named “Black Beauty” performed flawlessly, as expected, and I did notice the lower handlebar position  - especially on uphills, where it seemed easier to control. - It’s amazing how Beta seem to improve the models each year, with slight adjustments and innovations.  Check out the pics from yesterday on the gallery.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, and the start of a long weekend, so no doubt most Trials enthusiasts will be heading out for a ride, - in Alberta the SGC have a Trial scheduled for Sunday at Blackfoot Park, but this will only happen if weather conditions allow the Park to be open. - Best check with Foordy before heading out.

Hockey fans will  be glued to the TV sets tonight, as the Cannucks try to finish off the Chicago Black Hawks - they are no doubt still licking their wounds after a 7-2 drubbing in the last game.

Last night I watched the Super Sport road race from Assen Holland, on Speed -  Welshman Chas Davies won this on his Yamaha, after red flags stopped things three times with some “Big-time” crashes.

We’ve heard from Jonathon English, who along with Guy Smeeth and John Dearie, will head to Scotland next week for the 100th running of the Scottish Six Days Trial. - Jon says that he is looking forward to riding the event for the first time, and that he hopes to be at the WTC National when he returns, with lots of stories.

More news as it happens >>>>