Archive for June, 2011

Thursday June 30th 2011

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Leaving for Alberta and the Stony Plain Outlaw Trial in a few minutes (4am) - watch for a full report and pics on Tuesday - Have a great weekend everybody.

Wednesday June 29th 2011

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

A busy day planned - with a quick trip to Kelowna, before starting the loading process of the Outlaw van to go to Stony. - As reported yesterday, this is the last round of the Outlaw Series, and always a great weekend - plus of course as this is the Trial named after me, it’s kinda special. - bit of nostalgia as the Premier Plaque has a pic of me on my 1973 Sherpa T 325 on a steep section near Priddis -  Alberta. - Later that year, I went to work for Yamaha Canada, and rode that brand up until 1994, when I became a Beta/Gas Gas dealer.

A  lot of water has run under the bridge since that time, but my love for the sport is still as strong, and while my main focus has been on Trials riding for that period, we did have a few years Cross Country Racing, while with Yamaha. - developing the IT models was fun, and there is nothing quite like the thrill of success, when you win.

I think this is why Motorcycling has such a wide variety of people involved in both the sport and the recreational side, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, -  talking bikes puts everybody on a level playing field, no matter how much money you have in the bank.

As a family sport, there are few others that compare, -  being able to share Sunday rides with your sons or daughters, wives, girlfriends etc -  has to be the ultimate, plus you always get to see so much  great countryside. - So this long weekend make sure you make the most of it.

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I see Dougie Lampkin (GG) finished 2nd at the Erzberg Xtreme race - a great ride with a bad ankle - of course Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) finished 1st, but was later disqualified for missing a check - reminded me of the very last Cross Country race I was in - finished 3rd Senior,at the 1986 National in Peachland,  but along with Blair Sharpless was DNF’ed for missing a check early in the race while making up ground after a poor start. ( We wondered about this jam up of bikes in a gully, but I just followed Blair riding a high line around the pile up) - I still remember having a good laugh about it at the end with good buddy Al Perret, who won the class.

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I have just posted a couple of pics of Wilson Craig on the Odds Album - these were taken by Craig McDonald at the Super Stars last weekend.

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Thursday June 9th 2011

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

There was something nagging at the back of my head, while typing the date a few minutes ago - then it hit me - today is our 49th Wedding Anniversary - Jeeez !!! and I forgot all about it !! - I wonder if any local florists open early?

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Last night was another disappointing game for “Cannucks” fans - but I guess you could say Luongo had a 50% improvement over the previous rout by the Boston team.!!! - As I’ve said before, I’m not a die hard Hockey enthusiast, but it did appear to me that the officiating was a bit one sided against the Vancouver players. - But it ‘ain’t over yet.

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The Formula One Teams are in Montreal this weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix - the high speed track is popular with the drivers, and both McLaren and Ferrari are hoping to stop the series “Run away” by Red Bull - Sebastian Vettel has won eight of the last nine races.

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We have heard that Al McLeod passed away some time ago - many people will remember Al as a very enthusiastic Trials rider during the 70’s, when he campaigned a Sherpa T - he then rode a TY 175. and won the 175 cup at the 1975 World Round in Bragg Creek Alberta. - He later became a Yamaha dealer in Grand Forks. - RIP Allan.

In other news from that era, Pete Smith who won many events during the 70’s ( and was my arch rival) has recently retired from his Sidecar business in Kamloops, and is now traveling Canada with his wife in a “Smart Car” - Pete always liked to do things a bit unconventional.

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Wednesday June 8th 2011

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The Hockey fever returns tonight with game #4 from Boston, and the Vancouver Cannucks will be looking to redeem themselves after the “Thrashing” they took on Monday - the first ten minutes will likely tell the story.

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Meanwhile things are fairly quiet on the Trials scene, this weekend will see another round of the British Championship series (See story below) - and also the ATRA Trial at Falun Alberta. - We will be heading to that one, which has some neat sections including a creek on private land, West of Wetaskiwin. - details can be seen on the ATRA site.

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St David’s Preview


James Dabill (Beta)

After a two month gap the ACU/TRC British Trials Championships return into action this coming weekend with the St David’s Trial down in South Wales.You cannot say that the championships are not visiting every part of the country as we have already been to Yorkshire, Devon and Scotland. 

This time however it is down to Wales for the Neath Club’s event held at Ammanford for the second year in succession. Last years trial was a bit different from many of the venues in that we had mud, cambers, tree roots and some nice big climbs mixed in with the expected rockery. It made for some variety and the club have been doing some work on new and improved hazards.

 

The championships as is now well established run over the three main categories with Experts B being the best supported in rider numbers. Not only is that but the competition pretty fierce with Richard Timperley and Guy Kendrew at the moment taking the top places at the opening three rounds. Timps holds a three point advantage over his Ossa mounted rival but between these two it is very close to call. This does not mean to say that these two are the only likely winners. Last year Josh Woods won the class so he obviously enjoyed the venue and the Gas Gas rider currently lies third overall. Look out also for Zac Sherwin and Midlander Buster Regan both are capable of getting on that podium.

 

The Expert A class has not too many riders in numbers but it is competitive to say the least. Three rounds have seen three different winners with Ricky Wiggins, James Fry and Gary Macdonald all topping the podium. Gary does not ride this round so could we see someone new up there, possibly Jack Sheppard who now has two second places to his credit after missing out the season opener due to other commitments. Jack is going great guns on the world youth scene but will the 125 be well suited to this venue. The way Jack rides quite possibly is the answer, but those in front of him in the Championship including Jack Spencer will be equally keen to make life difficult for the Ipswich rider.

 

This all brings us nicely to the Championship Class and the usual question of can James Dabill be beaten on home soil. It must be two years since he hasn’t made first place and Michael Brown, Alexz Wigg and co must be determined to make it happen sooner rather than later. Dib’s already holds a nine point advantage over his next rival and that gap is already looking pretty decisive unless he can be pegged back and quickly. Brownie is riding well as is Alexz but so far neither they nor any of the others in the class have been able to make a serious challenge. Maybe this weekend?

 

The event weekend is the 11th/12th of June and the venue is at Ysguthan Farm, Heol y Myndydd, Gararnswllt, Ammanford. SA18 2RY

Practice on the Saturday between 3-5pm with the trial starting Sunday at 10.00am

Tuesday June 7th 2011

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Well there isn’t much that can be said about the Hockey game last night - except to call it a very one sided affair - hopefully the Cannucks will pull it together on Wednesday night.

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The recent rule change for Trials promoted under the FIM, which calls for a “5″ mark penalty for “Touching” a section marker, is to me quite stupid, and once again is causing more problems than it solves. - Just for the people who are not familiar with the old rule ( and the one we use for WTC events) - a five point penalty is only given, for ” Permanent  displacement of a marker” - in other words, if a rider knocks over a section flag, or moves a tape, then they get the maximum. - With sections at Championship events becoming ever more difficult, the new rule ( just brushing against a marker) is only going to cause more conflict between riders, organizers, and checkers. - In my book, the old rule of “If it ‘ain’t broke don’t fix it” holds true.

At a recent World Championship, both Tony Bou and Albert Cabestany were given “Fives” under the latest fiasco, as was Becky Cook at last week’s British Championship. (read below) - As far as I’m concerned, I see  this as just another way to lose riders from the sport, and one which we have no intention of enforcing at our events. - With at least five lines through most sections at Canadian Championship Trials, the task of the Clerk of the Course, is already difficult enough.

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Round five of the British Ladies Championship took place last weekend at Bracken Rocks, Derbyshire. The sections were quite tight and technical and the ground very dry but the rocks still polished a little through the day providing a good test.

Becky Cook (MRS BVM Sherco) had a good start to the day cleaning up to section five which was the first tester of the day. It involved a nasty rooty climb over a few rock slabs then a step at the top. Every other rider on the championship route had at least a three here, Becky rode this section with confidence and rode out of the ends cards with only one mark lost and a cheer from the crowd. But unfortunately she then found out that she had been given a five for touching a marker. Undeterred she remained focused on the following sections riding well until section twelve when her bike stalled and another five was recorded for a first lap of twelve, putting her down in third place, not where she wanted to be.

 

Nevertheless she was determined and kept fighting for the win, losing just six on her second lap, riding the tough section five for just a dab, the best score here along with Donna Fox out on a new Beta.

 

It was to be an unlucky day for Becky as disaster struck again on the final lap at section five. Another five went on her scorecard for touching a marker, a different one this time! Only one more mark was lost to record another lap of six.

 

Becky finished the day in a disappointing second position but is confident in her riding and knows she would have been up there if it weren’t for those fives. She still holds the championship lead and will be going all out to make sure of it at the penultimate round at Dob Park on July 3rd.

Monday June 6th 2011

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Today marks another anniversary of the “D DAY” landings in Normandy in 1945 - a date nobody should forget.

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What a great day we had Sunday, with exceptional temperatures, ( Is summer finally here?) - New guys Jeff Ryan and Kevin Hutchinson joined myself and Freddy Zillinger at Yankee Flats for a ride. - Kevin is a Scotsman, who has been living in Vancouver for the past couple of years, but who also has a buddy in Vernon, so he decided to give us a call to try some of the local stuff - Although I was able to show him some of the sections we used in the Ady Memorial Trial, there are so many trees blown down on our “Trials Hill” - that we will need to do some major chain saw work before the September long weekend event.  - As it was getting pretty warm by this time, I decided to take the boys on a trail ride way over to the Spanish lake area to cool off. - Both Kevin and Jeff were very impressed by the Countryside and really enjoyed themselves.. - I took some pics which I posted on the gallery.

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As there was nothing much on the TV last night, I switched on to the movie “Le Mans” starring Steve McQueen - this was made back in 1971, but I never did see it, but after watching it for about 15-20mins, I clicked over to another Channel - it was so boring and lacked any real story. - I still think the best ever movie made about Car racing, was “Grand Prix”. - Ironically, McQueen turned down a part in this to promote his Le Mans  movie, which didn’t do well at the Box Office.

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The 3rd game of the play-offs goes tonight from Boston !!!!

Sunday June 5th 2011

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Like most of BC, I was glued to the TV last night, watching game #2 of the Stanley Cup Hockey play-offs, - The Bruins played better last night, and had the lead going into the third period, on goals scored by transplanted BC players - (one from Vancouver & one from Kamloops) - The win in overtime for the Cannucks caused much excitement, with crowds in downtown Vancouver estimated at 100,000 - Mike Seto phoned at the end of the game looking for parts, and said there were even fans out in the streets in Salmon Arm !!

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Harold Pospisil also called to chat and said they had snow in Edmonton Saturday morning - I checked the temperature on my back porch and it was +34 at 7pm.

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Not much to report on the Trials scene, except I did notice that Bill Thompson beat Kevin Couves at the PNTA event last weekend - while there was only one point separating them on the day - it’s interesting to note that Kevin has just turned 45, and Bill is around 70 - well done to the old guy who continues to dazzle the younger riders.
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In Moto GP - Casey Stoner (Hon) won the race in Cataluna, Spain earlier today - he finished well ahead of Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yam) and American Ben Spies (Yam)

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More news as it happens>>>>>>>>

Saturday June 4th 2011

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

It was hot out on my back porch last night  +33, and although it was very nice to finally get some warm weather, these kind of temperatures are a bit “Too” hot for the old guy. - The rest of the weekend is also supposed to be nice, and we will be riding tomorrow at Yankee Flats, but when it’s too hot, I tend to get exhausted quickly, so will likely be taking a bit of a trail ride. - We had a new Scotsman drop by yesterday to pick up some gear - he used to ride in the old country and has just bought an 09 Sherco, so will probably be out with us Sunday.

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Of course most of the Hype today, will be about the lead up to tonight’s Hockey game in Vancouver - Although I’m not what you might call a true fan - like a zillion other BC folk, I’ll be tuned into the box tonight.

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While browsing the sites this morning, I came across an advt for Alpine Star Trials boots - Now while the latest renderings might be just fine, at Outlaw, we will never ever stock these again because of a bad experience in the early 90’s. - That was when the Jordie Tarres “No Stop” boot first came out, and we ordered a few pair. - the first three or four sets, were good, but then later we had about 12 pair that simply fell apart, so with unhappy customers, we contacted the Canadian Distributor in Calgary ( A very good guy) who in turn got in touch with his US counterpart. - After approx two months of complaints and phone calls, we were told that there was nothing they could do !!! - Not the right thing to say to a hot tempered Welshman. - This was the time of typewriters, not computers, but I mailed the US people a long letter with enclosed photographs, informing them, that if we didn’t get immediate action, copies of the same letter would be sent to all the Off road magazines in the World. - Amazingly, we were looked after, but suffice to say, that all our customers got Gaerne replacements. - We still sell Gaerne boots which are great, but for the past few years, the almost identical Novagar Trials boots, have become our number one choice - the price is right and the quality is very good.

The bottom line is, we don’t stock any inferior accessories, we test new products, and if they don’t stand up, we discontinue the line. - Pricing is very important, but just like many enduro riders have found out, buying a cheap toolbelt made in China, for example, often means the tools are lying out in the bush somewhere because of a hole in the bag.

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Friday June 3rd 2011

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Well, it looks like the anticipated postal strike is on - and while it’s not a big deal for some people, for small business it can be a real pain - At Outlaw, we rely heavily on the mail system for parts/accessory shipments and deliveries etc, so all we can do is ask our customers to be patient until it gets resolved.

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It was another busy day yesterday, unloading Opti Oil, then another trip to Kelowna in the afternoon - of course the usual road construction projects always add to the fun with delays making every drive more frustrating. - I must say that I’m glad the by-weekly trips to Summerland for the past couple of months are over.

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We just got our latest copy of Trials Magazine from the UK - this is a very well printed glossy, that covers all the latest Trials events with tests and really good photographs. - Anybody interested in getting a subscription (not cheap) can click on below.

TRIAL MAGAZINE ISSUE 27

Look out for the latest issue of Trial Magazine, number 27 dropping through your letterbox any day now and on the shelves in the news agents Friday.
 
116 Page Scottish Six Days Trial Special Edition
Inside you will also find:
Traditional: Scottish Six Days Trial (Including History 1909 - 2011 – Montesa Test – Clothing Feature)
On Test: Beta 300 “Factory Replica”
Freestyle: Tunnel Vision featuring Jack Challoner
Classic: Pre-65 SSDT
Travel: On Tour - Morocco
Cycle Workshop: Onza Preparation
Competition: World and British Championship Action
Plus so much more in your action packed Trial Magazine!!
Do you want to subscribe? Just click here!
Or you can also call: 01778 392481 to speak to one of the team or Mail: subscriptions@warnersgroup.co.uk
Trial Magazine UK
CJ Publishing LTD
1C Market Street, Whaley Bridge
High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 7AA
England
Tel : 01663 733137

Thursday June 2nd 2011

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Sharp eyed readers will have noticed that our blog was missing yesterday - this was due to a technical problem with the computers.

Anyway, glad to say we are now up and running again, so I’m burning the early morning candle to catch up on the latest news - and guess what, I find that there isn’t much that I missed by being off line for a day.

I see that the Xispa has resurfaced on the European web pages - seems they sorted out the court battle with Sherco, and have shown pics of their new bikes, - which now look like Gassers !!!

Last night we watched the first game from Vancouver - that’s hockey for anybody who has been living under a rock - I think the whole of BC has Stanley Cup  fever, flags waving everywhere and people wearing Cannucks jerseys.

We have posted some pics from John Dearie’s trip to the Scottish Six Days on the gallery - good shots of Johnboy “Dabbing” his way across the highlands - but still smiling.

The 2004 Beta that I advertised for sale didn’t last long - Lee Usher from Nelson (The Oset guy) is picking it up

With a possible mail strike looming tomorrow, shipping and receiving parts  & accessories could be in jeopardy - Yesterday, we had to ship out some stuff by courier and Greyhound, both of which are very expensive - in fact shipping costs have gone up dramatically this past year., - mainly because of higher fuel prices (so we’re told).