Archive for December, 2011

Saturday December 31st 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

 The Scottish quiz from yesterday brought another quick and correct response from Tony Down, who said that Mick Andrews rode an Ossa in 1978, and finished 4th. - Mick was a bit peeved at Yamaha during this time, and re-signed with Ossa, but even he couldn’t save the brand from the receiver’s mallet. - However, it was Bob Clark who was first in with the correct answer, - so here is the last quiz for 2011.

Quiz:     - What Year did Eddie Lejeune win the Scottish ????

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The last day of the year, and a time to look back on 2011, and recall what was good, bad and ugly. - The good is easy to remember, we had a great National Trial at Summerland, in spite of a ton of snow making early season plotting of the route and sections a ” bit ugly”. - As the month of May approached, Pete and myself were out at least twice a week, with me trying to get everything straight in my head before the big weekend.

With the route and sections, pretty much going according to plan, a late afternoon crash by Pete, proved to be a scary moment, when he went end over end backwards down a steep rocky hill section - by the time I reached him, the Beta had squeeked ( upsidedown and revving to the moon) - Pete was cursing and saying he had cut his arm - a fact that became only too clear, as he rolled up his sleeve. - Holy crap - the blood was gushing everywhere. - keeping a cool head, Pete instructed me on what to do, which amounted to grabbing some toilet roll, out of his backpack,  and some of the section tape to close the gaping wound and stop the bleeding.

Because of the situation, I ended up driving back to Vernon some two hours North, without changing out of my riding gear, but when close to home, I remembered that I didn’t have any cool ones in the fridge, so I stopped off at the local Beer Store -   grabbing a six pack of Coors, I was at the counter fumbling round for my money, when I glanced up to see the young lady clerk looking at me with mouth open and wide eyes - it was only then, that I noticed that I was covered in Pete’s blood. - “Don’t worry I said it’s not mine - you should see the other guy” - I’m sure they had a laugh about the crazy old white haired man.

The May long weekend arrived, and we were really pleased to have a good rider turnout - close to 60 for each day. - as always, it was a scramble to get checkers, and once again a big thankyou to all who helped out with only very limited instruction. - Will Duggan won on Saturday, and Thomas Cordner on Sunday, but in truth we all won at this event, as although we needed to check the rulebook on Sunday, the sections were all very ridable, and everything went off  pretty much without a hitch.

The year proved to be interesting with a few trips to events in Alberta, before once again we were faced with the task of putting on the Ady Trial in the Fall - because of the forest fire hazard, we postponed this, until the Thanksgivng weekend, and elected to have just one long loop with 20 sections. - A good turn out and a happy campout with friends, made this another super event, - Brandon Wince won again, just beating out Stan, but all the riders seemed to like this one loop format. - I should mention that although setting up Trials the way we do it, is challenging, especially as you get older, it can be very rewarding,  we also would like to thank everybody who helped through the year either with checking duties, or picking up the tape after the Trial.

The WTC Canadian Championship Series, was again a big success, with the last two rounds held in Quebec. - quite a number of Western riders made the trip East, - it was Jon English, who ended up winning the prized #1 Expert plate, - all of the results for the year can be seen by clicking on the WTC website.

As we look forward to 2012, - we already feel the excitement of putting on the Outlaw Trial on the May long weekend - This will be special, as it’s the 25th Anniversary. -  We promise it will be one to remember.

                                                HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY !!!!!

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Friday December 30th 2011

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Another warm day in the Valley, and no fresh snow on the ground - looking good for a ride on New Year’s Day.

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We heard from Steve Fracy, that they had a great day out at Ioco on Boxing Day - the Trial was mainly just a very laid back practice session, but it sounds like young Matt continues to impress with his riding, Devon Dargis was also out on his new 2012 Sherco, along with Todd and Tanner and a lot of other club riders to enjoy the annual fiesta.

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The answer to our Scottish quiz yesterday, was - AJS - Mick Andrews was a factory rider, and finished runner up in 1963. - his second attempt at the Scottish Six Days. - Mick was later hired by Ossa (as a Scrambles rider) - and along with many other great British riders, jumped on the Spanish band wagon. - Mick won the SSDT three consecutive times on the Ossa - 1970,71,72.  ( I was there in 72, but didn’t meet Mick until we both joined Yamaha in 1973) - This was an interesting time for Motorcycle Trials, as 1963 saw almost a quarter of the 210 Entry on the Britsh Greeves two-strokes. However the winner on this occasion was Arthur Lampkin on the little 250cc BSA Four stroke.

By the end of the third day in 1963, a total of 60 riders had retired for one reason or another - the Trial was still starting in Edinburgh, and the long road ride, was hard on the small two-strokes, although Greeves had no problems, having supplied their riders with special gearing for the event.

Another interesting bit of trivia from the ‘63 Trial, the quite famous car driver ( He won Le Mans four times)  Jackie Ickx, entered on a 100cc Zundapp, but did not feature in the results.

Quiz: - What machine did Mick Andrews ride in the 1978 Scottish? - And where did he finish in the results?

 

Thursday December 29th 2011

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The big news for today, is that the first shipment of 2012 Beta’s has arrived. - these usually sell out pretty quickly, so anybody interested should get in touch with me asap. - Details and pictures can be seen on the front page of my site.

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Well, I didn’t do either of my projects planned for yesterday - instead, I decided to do some maintenance on my 300 Evo - cleaned it up, changed the oil etc, plus checked the spokes and various nuts & bolts. - Must say I’m impressed with the new “T” rim on the back, as the spokes have only needed a slight “Tweek”  since I got the bike earlier this year.

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We received a number of correct responses to part of the Scottish quiz from Yesterday - The slogan that DOT used for their bikes was “Devoid of Trouble” - only two people Tony Down and Neil Carter came up with the rider’s name that we were looking for - Eric Adcock was a regular at the SSDT finishing 4th in 1962. - The Manchester rider, often rode ( and won) the Trials events in the area where I grew up. - Bob Clark guessed John Draper, but I have no record of Draper on a DOT - he usually rode a BSA as I recall. ( I could be wrong on this)

Quiz:  Mick Andrews won the SSDT a total of 5 times, but what machine did he ride before he joined Ossa?

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Check out this video: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Ds-3-9Xi5a_k&h=SAQGgWfrs

 

Wednesday December 28th 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

The early morning sound of the snowplow, going by on Pleasant Valley road, tells me that we have had more of the white stuff, but with the temperature at +5 - it will melt pretty quick. - Tasks for today, include making a trip to the garbage dump, and then maybe geting stuck into some paperwork.

Talking about garbage, reminds me that on boxing day, we noticed a car parked at our Kelowna riding area, and thought perhaps somebody was out for an early morning walk, - unfortunately, when we came back from our ride, we found that they were likely the culprits who had dumped a pile of garbage on the ground. - Why people spend money on gas to drive to a remote area to dispose of their rubbish, rather than spend the $3,00 charged at the Landfill, is beyond me. - If the “Do-gooders” want to make headlines raving about saving the planet, they should chase these individuals.

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As mentioned yesterday in my report on our boxing day ride, Barry and myself rode some fairly difficult ( for old men) sections on Monday, but one thing that Barry commented on, was the amazing traction that I was getting with the X-lite tires on my Beta, - while only the top of the line models come with these “Stock” - we have been impressed by the fact that we’ve  had no problems with them so far, in regard to either loss of air, or punctures, in fact there are no ” cuts” at all on my tires, in spite of the fact that I used this bike to set up the Outlaw in the very rocky Summerland location.

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Only Tony Down came up with the correct answer to yesterday’s question on the Scottish - It was George Fisher, who nearly won the 1954 event on the little 122cc Francis Barnett. - These Villiers powered bikes were quite popular in the area that I grew up, as a local garage sold them, and the owner’s son “Scrambled” one of the 197cc versions. In those days, it was common to use just a very short “Stubby” header pipe on the two-strokes for racing, and while this saved some weight, the noise from the bikes at the local track was likely only “Music” to the ears of young lads like myself.

There were quite a lot of small British Factories using the Villiers engines, many of which competed in the Scottish, makes like “Sun”  -”Norman” - “DOT” - “James” - “DMW” - “Cotton” - were all popular.

Quiz: - What was the name of the top “DOT” rider in the Scottish, and what do the letters “DOT” stand for?

Tuesday December 27th 2011

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Boxing Day weather in the Okanagan Valley, was very mild, and perfect for the Traditional ride at Bear Creek - while only Barry and myself, plus a bunch of deer were out enjoying the fresh air, the exercise and the really good practice sections we set up, made for a great day. - I didn’t take many pictures, but did post a nice one on facebook, of a deer we stumbled across on our way back to the parking lot. - He (or she) was one of four who were laying down in the trees near one of our sections, and like most of these beautiful animals, none of them were too concerned about us or our Trials bikes.  - There was only a light covering of snow in the shaded areas, although I’m sure this will have changed now, as we had about 3-5 cm last night.

No news yet on the Boxing day trial at Ioco, but in Yorkshire, a lot of the top lads were out at the Bradford club event, where Dougie Lampkin (GG) and James Dabill (Beta) tied for the win on zero points, they were followed by Jack Challoner (Beta) on a dab, then the Hemmo brothers (Betas) on 5 points.

It will be a few days before we see the entry list for the Scottish, but the answer for our Boxing day quiz, was 1954, and Sammy rode a homemade special with a 197cc villiers engine. - a young 17 year old Sam, rode the bike from Ireland to Scotland and back, winning the “Ben Nevis Quaich” for the second best newcomer award. - At this time, the Trial was still starting in Edinburgh, with riders having to make the long 133 mile trek up to Fort William, on the first and last days. - (Can you imagine any of the modern day riders doing that?) - The 1954 Trial was the start of a great career for Sammy Miller, who went on to win the event five times, this was also the year that a small 122cc two-stroke nearly won. - it would be another eleven years, before Sammy became the first rider to do this on a 250cc Bultaco.

Quiz: Who was the rider who nearly won the SSDT in 1954, on a 122cc Francis Barnett?

Check out this Scottish video from 2011 ( Note the Outlaw toolbelt in the one section)

http://vimeo.com/33585083

Saturday December 10th 2011

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Only two short weeks to go before the big day, and glad to say that at least one Alberta Trials rider will be getting the Christmas present he asked for, as yesterday, we shipped out one of the new 2012 very trick Sherco 290’s.

There is one school of thought, that says buying the first year of any new model, is taking a chance, as they usually have a few “Bugs” to work out. - This was  not the case with the first Sherco (Bultaco) brought out in 1999 - the bike was basically flawless, as was the 2009 Beta Evo. - both manufacturers, have a good reputation for quality and this is evident by the fact that we don’t have any complaints. However, it would appear that small improvements by all the factories, mean that the very best model is more likely to be the 3rd year bike.  - From reading the reports on the new Sherco, ( It has already won the prestigious “Scott Trial”)  it seems that this bike will be very popular.

Last night we had a call from Jacek, who is organizing the Ryan Young Training schools for next year - It looks like the date for the Summerland School, will be April 21-22 - final costs and details will be posted later, but are likely to be in the $300-400 range for the weekend - numbers are limited, as Ryan only accepts a maximum of 12 pupils, so if you are interested in learning from one of the best “Teachers” - email me, and I will pass on the info: - It should be noted, that Jacek will be doing this purely on a cost basis, and not as a business venture.

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Our Scottish quiz from yesterday, proved difficult - at least to get all three parts correct. - the first person to email me the right answer, was David Craig from Vancouver, who posted that it was Gordon Jackson on a 350 AJS, that won in 1961 with a loss of only one point. Dave also knew that the Observers name was David Johnston. ( He now lives in Strathmore Alberta)

Quiz: - Who was the rider that finished 13th in the 1984 Scottish ?

Friday December 9th 2011

Friday, December 9th, 2011

As usual, the first thing I do before going into the office, at this time of the year, to type my daily blog - is check out the window, for snow. - Today is again clear and dry, but I notice that the temperature in Kelowna is -10, while in Vernon, we are 2 degrees warmer.

With only a couple of weeks to go before Christmas - I suspect that shopping malls will be frantic this weekend, anybody who still needs the Outlaw Elves to forward presents for Santa to deliver, had better email or phone quickly. - an early morning trip to the local post office yesterday,  found it very quiet, so maybe the tight money situation, really is effecting the amount of parcels and cards that people are shipping out.

We all have our special memories of Christmas, and for me, one in particular, came to mind while writing out a card to my family in the UK. - It was around this time back in 1985, that I received a phone call to say that my mother had been taken ill, and was not expected to live - could I come home to England. - Of course, I immediately made arrangements to fly home, and was at my mother’s bedside for two weeks. - things did not look good, but during the second week, we were surprised one night,to hear Carol singers, outside in the grounds below the bedroom window. - my father opened the window, so that we could hear the wonderful voices singing “Silent Night” - I can still recall that night, and think of it as a true miracle of Christmas - my Mother recovered, and lived for another seventeen years,

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For motorcycle fans, there is not a lot happening at this time of the year, but the ATRA do have an Indoor Trial planned for next weekend, and the CPTA, always hold a Trial at Ioco on Boxing day - We did this many years ago at East Kelowna, in rather snowy conditions - I remember that we had 11 riders, and everybody had a hoot - we had simple rules, with no score cards - each rider got to try the sections 3 times, with his last attempt counting ( everybody was expected to remember their own score) - although I would say that this was a great success and a lot of fun - We haven’t put on an actual event since. - We do however, try to get out for a ride on boxing day no matter what the snow conditions.

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Our Scottish quiz from yesterday was a trick question - but this didn’t fool Tony Down of Colorado, who correctly posted that the 2001 event was canceled because of “Foot & Mouth”  - As usual Tony was the first one with a reply.

Today the question is from  1961, and is in three parts - Who won the event, and what was his score? - plus, what was the name of the Observer on Grey Mares Ridge? ( Hint: That man now lives in Canada)

 

Thursday December 8th 2011

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I’m a bit late getting to the keyboard today, as I was called to do Christmas Card duty by Mrs Outlaw - But here we go with some news on what is happening on yet another great morning in the Okanagan.

Looking at the “Stats” for my website for the past year, the numbers are quite amazing - so far  there have been 631,680 hits on the Outlaw Site, with people from all over the World, clicking on at some point - Canadian fans top the list, but we get a lot of readers from Stateside, in 3rd spot, comes Italy then believe it or not Thailand. We even had a couple of hits from Nicaragua !!! The most popular month was May, with 99,860 hits. - could this have been because of the Scottish? or maybe our WTC National in Summerland?

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In other news, we had an interesting email from Gord Walker, who is working on a barge near Papua, New Guinea - Gord is in the Oil & Gas Industry, and writes about his daily life in this place of “Crocs and Head-hunters”  -  I had a school chum, who spent many years in this area after he was “demobbed” from the army - he showed me photographs of the large reptiles, plus one of him with the local Soccer team - he was the only white guy, and the only one with boots. - I wonder what ever happened to Bob Hawkins?

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I see that the Texas Speedway deal is “On again” - after they managed to come up with the large cheque for Bernie Ecclestone - The Formula One boss, has stated that there will be two Grand Prix events in America in 2013 - this means that the Moto GP teams will also race at this venue.

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It was once again Tony Down, who came up with the first correct response to the Scottish quiz from Yesterday - The answer was - Hugh Viney - the AJS factory rider was the first one to get a “Hat-trick”of wins at the event. - both Harlow Rankin and Mike Seto guessed  that it was Viney, so here is the question for today.

Who was the winner of the Scottish Six Days in 2001? - email your answer to daverhodes@shaw.ca

Wednesday December 7th 2011

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Today is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and yet an early morning check of all the news sites, fails to get even a mention ! - Can the World learn from Historic events, or do we just forget and move on? - Somebody sent me a link to some Photographs taken in 1939-1940 of Nazi Germany - They were all in color ( new at that time) and shot by an American Life Magazine Photographer, who strangely disappeared shortly after. - The pics: were not discovered for 70 years, but are of incredible quality, - However, it’s the content that is still scary to see - the huge mass of people packed into stadiums, all under the spell of Adolf Hitler. - They send a shiver down your spine, when you realize the control this monster had over the German people.

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As we count down the days to Christmas, the shopping Malls are full, with Electronic gadgets in big demand, and while I tend to avoid all the commercial aspect of the season, it can (and should be) a happy time of giving and receiving gifts - one item that I saw listed  today, was a “Memo Pad” for Seniors - No not for me, but I was impressed by the fact that somebody has seen fit to make a product that helps older folk cope with life in the computer age. The unit is also aimed at people suffering with memory loss, by simply posting a reminder of Doctor appointments etc, and can be monitored by family members. - What a great idea.

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With the poor economy effecting all but the rich, I see that Gas Gas UK have a big sale on their bikes - the whole Industry is suffering like the rest of the World - some Motorcycle  retail stores are now advertising on Facebook - and who knows when things will improve. - One good thing is that there is likely never a better time to buy, as prices are at rock bottom.

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The first correct response to our quiz from yesterday, came from Tony Down in Colorado, who knew that it was Bill Wilkinson, on a Greeves that won the Scottish in 1969, the last win by a British bike. - Tony also mentioned that he rode with Bill in 1970, when the popular Yorkshireman was not happy with his 175 Sachs engined Greeves - on the first day, Bill lost 5 marks, while Tony ( mounted on a TY 250) lost only 7 points. - A number of readers guessed that it was Sammy Miller on his famous Ariel in 1964 - the year before he defected to Bultaco. - It was back in 1969, that I did a test of the 175 Greeves for Cycle Canada, and although not a bad bike, the Factory soon shut down, with the influx of the European and Japanese products.

Quiz : Who was the rider who first scored a “Hat-Trick” of wins in the Scottish ? - email your answers to me daverhodes@shaw.ca

Tuesday December 6th 2011

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Nobody came up with the correct answer to yesterday’s “Scottish” quiz - The first solo winner of the event was V C King on a 348cc Douglas and the year was 1928 - Unless you have the book SSDT -The first 100 Years*, it’s unlikely you would know this, and most of the riders today, don’t know that sidecars were a big part of the Scottish in those early years. - The question for today is from a more modern event, but I wonder if anyone will get this one - “Who was the last winner on a British bike - and what was the year?”

Note. * This book and the DVD can be ordered by clicking on the SSDT website.

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I see that the FIM held their year end “Gala” recently - presenting awards to Tony Bou and Laia Sanz - Ms Sanz looking  more like a fashion model in a low cut evening dress, while Toni also had on his best “Duds” - Laia was  voted the “Woman of the Year” - Around 500 people packed the Estoril Casino in Portugal, to enjoy a special evening to recognise the achievements of Motorcycle riders from around th World.

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The story we posted on the blog yesterday, regarding the 92 year old lady athlete from Vancouver, certainly stirred some interest, - and not only from the older generation. - A buddy once said to me that we have to make the most of every day - that man was Adrian Brown, and he was building my shop at the time - how right he was. - Ady died at age 51.

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“Two Strokes are back” - At least that would seem to be the case in the World of Xtreme Enduro - a video clip on Facebook of the event put on in the UK last weekend, shows a mass of the “Ringy-Dings” - and this was one race that Graham Jarvis didn’t win - in fact I’m not sure who won, but it could have been David Knight, or Jonny Walker.

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Like most people, I get a ton of emails each day, with everything from funny stories & jokes, to picture albums with magnificent shots from all over the World. - One thought provoking mail I received today, was about Walmart - the profit and success of this American Company are mind blowing, - but the Stats also point out how poorly the US Government have done on the economic front for the past few decades. - The melt down in Europe has been a huge wake-up call, - most elected Politicians would go broke if they tried to run their own business, - so why are we trusting them to run a Country? - Maybe it’s time for a Math test for applicants, rather than a “Winning smile”

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The weather report for today, looks pretty good in the Valley - a cool -7 to start the morning, and the chance of a skiff of snow - but already, I’m planning for the weekend.