Archive for February, 2012

Wednesday February 29th (Leap Year)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

As forecast, we have light snow falling today in the Valley - fortunately, I don’t need to go anywhere - hopefully this will be the last blast of winter weather…..


Checking the various web-sites, I see that Joan Pons was in Mexico last week, doing Trials schools - you can see a link on face-book, and also some video. - The “Crash” video link that Heath posted yesterday, was interesting to watch and covered all sorts of motor-sports, including some Trials “Get offs” by Dougie, Kenichi, and Steve Colley at a Sheffield Indoor from the  90’s..many of which looked downright scary, Kenichi broke both his wrists in the tumble, effectively ending his World Championship career. ( I still have a video of him as a young lad practicing in Europe with Tommi Ahvala and Thierry Michaud - they were on Aprilia’s, while Kuroyama was on a Beta 80)


The Moto GP Teams are in Sepang Malaysia, this week for the first official practice of the year, on the new 1000cc bikes - Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were fastest on Monday, but were then sidelined by an engine failure, that had the Honda crew scrambling to find the problem - this left the Yamaha boys leading the Ducati riders on day two. - Ben Spies topped the charts on Tuesday..


I see that JTG had a successful debut at the Two Day “Trial Brienza” - and while they didn’t win, they finished 2nd and 4th - Daniel Maurino (Ossa)  took 1st place, followed by  Jordi Pascuet (JTG) - Pol Tarres (JTG) was 4th - The results have been hard to locate, but we do know that Becky Cook (Beta) won the Ladies award.


Not too much to cheer about watching the Hockey game last night, when the Cannucks lost back to back, after leading early on. - the new guys on the team seemed to fit in quite well, but it was a low scoring game with Mike Smith outdoing Cory Schneider in the “shoot-out” - The Cannucks now return home after a six game road trip.


I see that young Matt Fracy has had some International exposure, with a pic of him and Bob Clark posted on the UK Trials Magazine web-site. ( We have the same pic on our gallery)

Tuesday February 28th 2012

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

More birthday Greetings go out today - this time to my elder brother, who turns 80 in the UK - Don paid us a visit a few years ago, and I took him out for a Trials ride on a Honda TL 125 - He hadn’t been on a bike for decades, but did quite well, up on Vernon Mountain. - When my brother was 75, he did something that few men his age (if any) have done - he went for a trip in a RAF Tornado fighter jet, flown by one of his former students. - flying upside down and breaking the sound barrier must have been something. - I think he might have a slower project planned for today - maybe a game of golf.


I had a busy day on Monday - first a drive to Kelowna Airport to drop off a friend - then back to Vernon, where I had my work cut out for me unloading a couple of skids of Opti Oil - those 30lb cases  take a toll on the back.


Doug Nimmo emailed me a link to an old Yamaha Trials training article posted from Australia. - It reminded me of my days working for Yamaha Canada, when I taught a bunch of schools in the 74-75 period. - One that proved to be really interesting was in Dawson Creek. BC, while another was in Saskatoon .

Of course in those days, we never used the clutch, but the basic principals of tight turns and body positioning are still correct, for modern day riding.


Below is an interesting write up of a New Zealand event - seems they have similar thoughts as us on nice log scenic loops etc - BUT 17 Classes ??

New Zealand trials news

Scottish Style two day trial.

 The 2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial has come and gone for another year and what a great weekend it turned out to be. Nelson lived up to its sunny reputation with the third weekend in February once again bringing ideal weather.

After many weeks of hard work and preparation by Stephen, Deborah, Nick, Peter & Andy, it was great to welcome everyone to Nelson and see so many happy faces. With a similar number of riders to last year the organisation ran smoothly and we were able to introduce some new initiatives, which proved popular with all riders, in preparation for 2013.

We would like to thank everyone for their feedback, which will help us fine tune this event for everyone in future years. We were pleased with the response and suggestions. We have already come a long way since the inaugural event in 2010 and the demand for this unique event will ensure it remains a permanent event in the trials calendar.

Our good friend Yasuo Manzawa has always insisted that growth will be in proportion to experience and now that we have a good team on board helping with the preparation and the weekend’s activities, we see a bright future for the NZ Ihatove. Founder, Stephen Oliver, thanked his family and team of volunteers for all their help, and this year actually managed to enjoy the camaraderie along with everyone else. He can see the advantage of a good event ‘recipe’ and how important it is to have skilled, enthusiastic team members on board.

Our guest rider this year was Youji Ishiyama (Ishi), who is now officially a NonStop team member, and proud to wear the ‘team’ shirt, even in the Japanese winter snows. He was accompanied by his wife Kikumi, and he tells us that they are already looking forward to their next trip to New Zealand.

This year’s format proved to be an improvement on last year, as we are keen to give the competitors options rather than being tied to the same-old-same-old. Following the example of the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove Trial our event is based on the Scottish Six Day Trial which makes this event like no other currently run in New Zealand. Incorporating both trail time and trials sections, across a range of picturesque terrain the ride gives plenty of time on the bike, enjoying beautiful scenery and enabling a large variety of challenges along the way.

With five lines and seventeen classes, all riders were able to choose a suitable category which suited their bike, age and ability. All riders unanimously agreed that this allowed them to ride within their comfort zones for the weekend, yet still retain the challenge of competition. Judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces it was a popular decision.

Although we will continue to call it the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial we have added the slogan ‘Scottish Style Two Day Trial (SSTDT)’ so people within the motorcycling fraternity will have a better understanding of the event.

We continued with the social evening and prize-giving on Saturday night, which was extremely popular. This included a slide and video show of previous NZ & Japanese Ihatove events and the facility allowed us to socialise as a group with a restaurant and bar on tap. This will be our regular haunt until we outgrow it!

We are already planning for next year’s must-do event for 2013 with the confirmation that Steve Saunders and his son will be our special guest riders.

This news has generated a lot of interest from several other international visitors that are keen to take part. As always, we will continue to keep you informed.
With Steve Saunders visit to Nelson it will make sense to take full advantage of what he has to share and so with this in mind we are intending to run a third day at next year’s event.
Friday will be dedicated to the Steve Saunders Boot camp which will be open to everyone at all levels. We will start the morning off covering the basics and advancing as the day progresses; there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get to know Steve.
Saturday will be the NZ NonStop Trial where everyone should be on fine form after the wisdom and insight learnt from Steve from the previous day.
Sunday will be the fun filled NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial.

More Photos:  Link to photo gallery updated 26/02/2012

Monday February 27th 2012

Monday, February 27th, 2012

A very chilly -13 here in the Valley this morning, but it’s -20 in Alberta - Not good news for the guy that I’m taking to the airport in Kelowna to catch a 10 am flight to Calgary. !!


But what a great day it was yesterday - Barry & myself were up on the hill, and had an absolute blast in the bright sunshine -quite a bit of snow up high, compared to last time we were out, but we were still able to get to a lot of our usual stuff - I even managed to reach the top of one of our old hill climb sections without any trouble - traction on the Beta in these conditions is incredible. - Check out the pics I took on the gallery.


I see that Michael Brown (GG) and Jack Challoner (Beta) finished 1-2 at a German Indoor last weekend - a good boost for them both going into the World event this weekend. - In other European news - there is a post on facebook saying that Jordi Pascuet finished 2nd at the Trial of Brienza - giving JTG their first podium. - We will likely see more news on this on later.


Birthday greetings go out today to Janis Clark, the hard working wife of Bob Clark, the Beta/Sherco Importer  - Have a great day Janis.


The Blonde Boys

Callum Williamson and Zac Collinson

Scarborough trialing duo, Callum Williamson and Zac Collinson are often mistaken for brothers, but are not related in any way, just the best of mates, after meeting at Primary School and sharing a love for bikes, they became friends. 

Although close friends, they are also two of the keenest competitors in Youth C class in the East Yorkshire Centre. Each rides a Beta Evo 80cc, Zac riding the Feetup Beta and Callum on the Acklams Beta. Both boys have improved a tremendous amount in recent years.

Zac won the Youth D medium wheel in 2010 after just losing out in the small wheel class. Meanwhile, Callum was competing and trying his hand at cycle trials and he also just missed clinching the British championship after a tie breaker on the last round. He is now making up for lost time on the trials scene and we wish them both the very best of luck over the coming season.

Keep it up lads!

Kelsey Williamson

Sunday February 26th 2012

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

NO SNOW - overnight, so we might just get out for a ride today, looks a bit gloomy - not sure what the temperature is!!!!


I watched the Super-Cross last night, which turned out to be a win for Ryan Dungey (KTM)  but Ryan Villopoto(KAW) sure put on a charge through the field and nearly caught him - James Stewart (YAM) also came from the back to finish 3rd.


The World Super-bike  race at Philip Island, Australia, saw Max Biaggi (Aprilia) take the win after early leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) crashed - Marco Melandri gave BMW their best ever result by finishing 2nd, while French rider Sylvain Guintoli grabbed 3rd for Ducati. - Englishman Tom Sykes (KAW) who started on pole, finished 4th, making it 4 different brands filling the top 4 places.

We had a visit from a new Trials enthusiast yesterday - we had a great chat about the sport, and in particular the family aspect, with camp-outs etc. - He ended up ordering a new Beta Evo, so we hope to have him out next weekend for some early instruction.


Not much Trials news from Europe, except that Jon Richardson has hurt his knee - no other details about the winner of last year’s Scott Trial.

With land use a big problem because of the environmental concerns - the FIM have produced a promotional video, to show the advantages and low impact of motorcycle Trials. - Of course this is something we have talked about for many years, with damage to the terrain minimal - in fact if you leave an area for a year, then return, it’s sometimes hard to find the trail you used. - low tire pressures and soft rubber, help in the regard. - but another aspect that makes Trials bikes more user friendly, is the noise factor - they are extremely quiet.


Saturday February 25th 2012

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Snow Snow go away !!! - Seem to recall a similar rhyme we used to sing as kids in the UK, but it was Rain, Rain, Go away, come again another day. !! - Anyway that’s the theme for today as we have more of the white stuff.

Not that riding a Trials bike in the snow can’t be fun, as I’ve mentioned before, and a video clip posted on the forum of Trials Canada, illustrates this. - The guys who took this, are from the Hazelton area of BC ( about 3-4 hours West of Prince George) - I was in touch with them recently, and they have invited me up for a ride in the Summer. - Will have to see how time goes, but it is certainly a beautiful Mountainous paradise - I did quite a lot of Traveling up in this neck of the woods while working for Yamaha Canada.


We watched the Cannucks take another win last night, this time beating the New Jersey Devils 2-1. - next game is Sunday when they play Dallas.


The final day for payment of entry, for this year’s Scottish, has come and gone, so Mairi and her team, will now be allocating the riding numbers, and confirming who gets a ride from the reserve list. - Maybe not quite the same interest this year, with no Canadians entered, but for me, just the thought of being in Fort William on the first week in May, conjures up fantastic memories.


I see that that the Super Pole qualifying at Philip Island scheduled for today was cancelled, after an Australian rider named Oscar McIntyre, was killed in the Super Sport race. - There have been quite a number of crashes in practice for the World Super Bike event - Welsh rider Chaz Davies fell and broke is wrist, putting him out for a while.


We’ve started a new Album in the gallery called Beta News - check it out to see a pic of Matt Fracy taking delivery of a new 2012 Evo 300 - Note how tall “The kid” is getting.

Yorkshire trials legend John “killer” Kendrew joins the Acklams Beta team

Yorkshire trials legend John “killer” Kendrew joins the Acklams Beta team, who would have thought it!!

Not only has he swapped to Acklams Beta, John takes up his new position in sales / marketing for Dave and Mike at D&M Design & Fabrications Ltd.


Killer is without doubt the best front man for them and we wish him well in his new position.


Pictured here is killer Kendrew receiving his new 2012 Acklams Evo 125 from Joel Sadler.

Friday February 24th 2012

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Well a glance through the window this morning, didn’t do much for my health and Temper - White over & still snowing. - I really hope this is the last big dump we get - I’m getting a bit sick of it - especially as yesterday, I drove back to Vernon from Kelowna, on the Westside road  - and it was beautiful  - our riding area was dry and the view of Lake Okanagan - was spectacular as always. - Although I had watched the TV forecast for the weekend. I was hoping that maybe the weather people were wrong. - so much for that thought.


At the World Super bike qualifying in Australia, there was a surprise yesterday, when Irish Honda rider Jonathan Rea posted the quickest time - up to that point it had been an all “Ducati” affair - 2nd best was newcomer  Davide Guigliano followed by Jacob Smrz and Carlos Checa all on the red Italian bikes. - Super pole goes today & the race on Sunday.


Last night’s Hockey game proved to be a thriller, between the Detroit Red Wings and the Vancouver Cannucks, with the wings looking strong and leading by one going into the last minute of regulation - when a goal by Sedin tied it up with 15 seconds to go  - Wow ! talk about never giving up  - after a scoreless overtime period, it then went to a shoot-out - with Luongo brilliant in the net, and Burrows winning it for the Cannucks with a great move on the Wing’s goaltender.


We had a call from Jacek last night, to chat about the Ryan Young Trials schools - everything seems to be going according to plan - with reservations now booked in Summerland for Ryan and his wife. - Most of the riders have now sent in their cheques to confirm their spot, but there are a few who have not, so if you are one of these please get it off  in  the mail pronto, as Jacek will be finalizing the list within the next couple of weeks.


I see that the ATRA have an Indoor practice session planned for March 24th, near Falun Alberta - details are on the club web-site. - Hopefully we will get more pics from this one for the gallery.

Next week will see the first  Outdoor for junior and lady riders at a place called Andalusia in Spain - This will be the first confrontation between Laia Sanz (GG) and Becky Cook,(Beta)  since both changed brands - should be interesting to watch - but of course you can’t count out British Ossa rider Emma Bristow. and Spanish star Sandra Gomez.


There is a great video clip from Japan posted by Heath on facebook, ( also a link from his site  - it shows all the top riders trying a really difficult rocky bank, with a concrete “Kicker” - the surprising thing is that the first rider makes it look pretty easy - and he  was on a new JTG. !! - A couple of the other top riders also did well - Kuroyama on the Scorpa/Yamaha - (which looks like a tank) - and I think it is Tommi Ogawa on the Honda.-  check it out.
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Thursday February 23rd 2012

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Well the court case yesterday turned out to be pretty much as I thought - will have to read the paper tomorrow to find out the result, but I did get to chat to the lady  who had her car stolen - she told me it was a write off, and she got hardly any money from ICBC.


As we head into the weekend, the forecast doesn’t look good for a Sunday ride, as another system is due to deliver another dump of snow.  - It will likely arrive on the same day my shipment of oil gets delivered, which always makes for a fun time.


I see that there is an interview with Mat Mladin - the former World Super Bike Champ, on the Cycle News Web-site. - The often controversial Australian, gives a report on how his life-style is going since his retirement in 2009.


Today I have to make a short trip to Kelowna on business - at least the roads will be OK - it was a pretty nice day on Wednesday with a mild temperature and sunshine - almost felt like Spring.

===========================================> more news as it happens

Wednesday February 22nd 2012

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

A very important day in the life of my eldest grand-daughter, - who is 14 years old today - hard to believe for us older members of the family, who have watched Hannah grow up from a funny little girl, into a very intelligent young lady, who enjoys Ringette hockey and photography. - Happy Birthday Sweetheart.


I see that the topic on Trials Central regarding the scoring at the Wallace Cup last weekend, has now grown to seven pages - nothing like a bit of controversy  to get people pounding the keyboards.


Chad Reed is out for the season after his crash in the Super Cross final in Dallas last Saturday - he sustained a number of broken bones plus a torn ACL - tough luck for the Australian rider.


Had a call from Pete yesterday - he said it was snowing “Big Time” in Summerland, but up this end of the Valley, we only got rain, with strong winds forecast for today


This morning I have to attend Vernon Law Courts, as a witness from an event that happened one year ago  - some young guy stole a car and crashed it in my neighbor’s field, ( after wiping out my paper box) - he neglected to notice that the windows of the car were all frozen up when he took his early morning jaunt, & couldn’t see through the windshield (DOH) - I figure the case will go something like this ” Do you recognize the defendant?” - No because I was looking through my office window  about 100 yards away, when he took off down the road - end of story I think.


more news as it happens >>>>

Tuesday February 21st 2012

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Another “White Carpet” outside the house this morning, although it’s still dark out there - Once again Mr Mike forecast things correctly, hopefully his prediction of +8 later will melt everything.


The new rules of “No Stop” being used at many of the Trials in England, seems to have got off to a controversial  start - a glance at a very long post on Trials Central yesterday, includes a number of video links, showing various riders on the same difficult section at Sunday’s Wallace Cup Trial.

While I said “New Rules” - this really isn’t the case, as the sport used this scoring system for most of the Century, with the Scottish Six Days Trial perhaps the most famous event that utilizes this format. ( They tried the stop & hop but it didn’t work for them)

All competition events require a “Rule book” - but Motorcycle Trials are maybe one of the hardest for both newcomers and spectators to understand - and the constant changing over the past decade by the FIM, have only added confusion.

Simply put - the No stop rules,mean that if the rider’s front wheel ceases forward motion, then he is awarded a 5 point penalty - sounds easy to score, but because of the riding style with the modern bikes, a momentary “Pause” is often overlooked by the Official Observer (Checker) - Adding to the confusion, some Observers get swayed by obnoxious riders or spectators - some of whom are not even familiar with the current rules, all adding to a less than satisfactory end to what is supposed to be a fun day of sport, - and that, in a nut-shell, is what happened at the S3 Championship Wallace Cup.

I found the video clips interesting to watch ( on the forum of TC) - the Trial was won or lost on that one particular section, and after reviewing all the camera angles, the only rider who rode it correctly for a “Clean” was Dan Thorpe, who has made a career out of practicing the ” No Stop” technique.  - The fact that he was one of the joint winners, with a loss of only one point, was both fair and just.

The biggest problem, as I see it, is that the observer in question, will likely never volunteer his services again to any club, after the comments made by some ignorant people, - and in the UK, the sport really needs these selfless souls, to stand out in all weathers,  just to help the local club, - in some cases, it’s often older riders, who are giving something back to Trials.

From a personal standpoint, I think the way we run events in Canada, is much better, although it’s only usually National Trials that require observers (Checkers) - I think the rules need to be kept simple, and while I don’t condone the long stop with a foot on the ground, that thankfully has now been voted out - a momentary pause, in my book , should not constitute a failure (5).

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on in the TC thread, is the need for trained checkers, certainly for British Championship or World events. - Barry and myself talked about this a few years ago, and figured the only way to get consistent  scoring, is to have a World Observers Team - who attend all the World Championships. - A pipe dream perhaps, but at the top “Professional” end of the sport. - it really would make sense.

Back in our small pond, we strive to make events fun for all, and sections that suit the newby as well as the Experts - it’s not easy to get it right, and in the UK, they appear to be in for a challenging year, - click onto the Trials Central Forums and watch the video clips of the Wallace Cup - then make up your own mind on the subject.

Monday February 20th 2012

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Today is “President’s Day” in the USA, so a very good morning to all our American friends - Up here North of the border, the weather is still wintery, but no snow last night.

In Trials news from Europe, Adam Raga (GG) won the first Spanish Outdoor Championship event, beating Toni Bou (Mon/Hon) by two points - Albert Cabestany (Sherco) was 3rd - I had to laugh when reading the translation on Todo Trial when it said ” Jeroni Fajardo (Beta) trusted and committed some idiot errors that in the end left him outside the drawer” - Alex Ferrer (Sherco) was next, then Pere Borrellas (GG) followed by  Pol Tarres in 7th spot on the JTG. - One interesting thing about this event, is that the Spanish have dropped their unpopular, “Open Free” scoring system, and have gone back to the traditional  “Stop allowed” plus I noticed they also now permit going backwards with feet up. - Todo Trial reported that Laia Sanz made her debut with Gas Gas, but did not have a good day.
At the first round of the S3 National Championship in the UK, on Sunday, a low scoring event, saw Sam Connor (Beta) and Dan Thorpe (GG) tie for first place, both losing just one point, while Alexz Wigg (GG) - finished 3rd with 2 points -  However, Wigg posted on facebook that he was robbed of the win by an inconsistent observer.


It appears the weather was really ugly in Alberta yesterday, with Hiway 2, a virtual white-out and lots of vehicles in the ditch. - Must say I’m not looking forward to driving this route next week.


Meanwhile back on this side of the Rockies, it was a TV day for me on Sunday - watched that great movie “As good as it gets” with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt - seen it before, but it is hilarious. - then later we took in the Hockey game from Edmonton, where the Cannucks beat the Oilers ( Sorry Taff)


In World Super bike news, Carlos Checa ( Ducati) topped the time sheets in the first official practice , in Australia - he was .185 of a second quicker than Max Biaggi (Aprilia) - with Marco Melandri (BMW) 3rd - a bad start to the season for Brit: Leon Haslam, who broke his leg in a fall.