Archive for November, 2013

Saturday November 30th 2013

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

The last day of the month - and a big winter storm forecast for Western Canada - anybody out on the roads needs to take extra care, we had a rash of accidents in the Valley yesterday due to freezing rain making the highways slick.

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I see that Ricky Styles has been on a cross Canada trip this past couple of weeks - Rick is into lots of different things, and was promoting his snowboards and other stuff on route to Toronto - he posted a bunch of pics on facebook, showing him helping make skateboard ramps in the basement for some friends, plus Danielle and Rick stopped off to do some winter wave boarding at one of the great lakes - they certainly packed a lot into a short time.

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Graham Jarvis will be hitting the big screen this next week, when his documentary of the Erzberg race will air in the UK -  The quiet man from Kent, who started his career as a very good Trials rider, has set the bar very high, when it comes to competing in Extreme Enduro events.

There is no doubt, that while still photographs are great for capturing that moment in time, there is no substitute for video or as it used to be called “Moving pictures”

The “Classic” motorcycle movie of all time, was of course “On Any Sunday” - the Bruce Brown master-piece that starred Steve McQueen, Mert Lawill, and Malcolm Smith. - This was when he referred to Trials riders, as “The Violin Players of Motorcycle Sport”
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We heard from Steve Saunders that the first batch of books has been shipped, so they should be here next week - with demand expected to be high, don’t be disappointed - email today if you want one.

Steve Saunders - I was lucky to see Steve ride a few different bikes, Beta, Fantic and Aprilia, plus the Factory Rothman’s Honda - Now the UK Distributor for Jotagas, he still rides extremely well, and won the Pre-65 Scottish a couple of years ago on a super-trick Triumph twin.
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Christmas is coming so we have decided to put all our WULF Trials gear on Sale - with a 20% discount while stock lasts.

email your order today.

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Friday, 29 November 2013 10:16

Graham Jarvis’ Erzberg The Hard Way Premiere

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Graham Jarvis hits the big screen on December 7 for the world premiere of his movie – Erzberg The Hard Way.
Playing host to a night of Hard Enduro, the Hebden Bridge Picture House in West Yorkshire will premiere ‘Erzberg The Hard Way’ that documents Jarvis’ road to victory in this year’s notoriously difficult Erzbergrodeo.With tickets available from www.wegottickets.com at £10, it’s a night of cinema with Jarvis that you won’t want to miss!Doors open on Saturday December 7th at 4pm.

For more details of the event or how to order your own DVD copy of Erzberg The Hard Way visit

http://www.adventure-spec.com/default/blog/2013/11/11/adventure-spec-film-night-mondo-sahara-and-graham-jarvis-erzberg-the-hard-way-world-premiere


FILM DESCRIPTION

Graham first came to prominence in the 80’s as a featured rider on the mighty ‘Junior Kickstart’. He started riding trials professionally as soon as he left school and had a successful career in the World, European and British Championships.

In 2007 Graham started competing in Extreme Enduro events and after switching to Husaberg in 2010 has become THE dominant rider in the sport, but for years the big one, The Redbull Harescramble at Erzberg, eluded him.

For 3 consecutive years Graham crossed the finish line first, but was subsequently disqualified. After such disappointment he had to make good in 2013 and went all out to make the perfect race

But, things don’t always go to plan in Extreme Enduro…

The movie follows the full build up to the event, plus all stages of this unique dirt bike party in Austria. With narration from enduro nut Ross Noble it’s a unique insider’s view into the world’s toughest race from its greatest rider!

- See more at: http://enduro21.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1489-graham-jarvis%E2%80%99-erzberg-the-hard-way-premiere#sthash.SrnSpfmi.dpuf

Friday November 29th 2013

Friday, November 29th, 2013

So now we have a “Black Friday” in Canada - Another American invention to try and stimulate retail sales - in my opinion, just another day to avoid going big box stores.

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Good news from our Importer that the 2014 Evos should arrive next week,  so some of our lucky customers will get their Christmas presents early ( including me) - The new model looks stunning and although changes are few after the big update in 2013, the demand is going to be high - In other Beta news, I see that Jeroni Fajardo beat Tony Bou at an indoor event in Pau - will post more details on this as they emerge.

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We’ve heard from our good buddy Steve Richardson, who says the Sprinter van he just bought seems to be working out well - he has been busy converting it into a camper unit, and plans on heading South in January to take in some Vintage Trials.

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We also got a call from Mark (ONeil) last night and chatted for a very long time about Trials, - He will be paying us a visit in the New Year, to go for a ride, as we can usually get out near Kelowna through the winter months. - Mark is looking for a used Beta 4T if anybody knows of any for sale - these are quite rare and he would like one to play with.

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Need to zip into town right now to take Momma Bears car in for winter service - will add more news when I get back. >>

It’s a battle of the best as Knight, Meo, Cervantes take on Pichon, Leob, Lowes and more in the Scorpion Masters at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France this weekend.
Scorpion Masters – is an annual event that see enduro, motocross, trials, road racing and even rally aces go head to head in a multitude of events.

This year will see from enduro David Knight (Sherco), Antoine Meo (KTM) Ivan Cervantes (KTM), Pela Renet (Husqvarna), Johnny Aubert (Beta) and Rodrig Thain (Gas Gas) compete against guys like Mickael Pichon, Fred Bolley, Yves Demaria, Sam Lowes, Loris Baz and Sebastien Leob.

- See more at: http://enduro21.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1491-preview-scorpion-masters#sthash.CplQywtq.dpuf

Thursday November 28th 2013

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Yesterday the valley was pretty much “Socked in” with low cloud - pretty gloomy first thing as I set off to meet Pete at Summerland - with snow forecast for the weekend, the plan was to ride the Outlaw loop one last time for this year.

The temperature was -2 when I arrived at our meeting spot by the gate of the gravel pit - some snow on the ground, but unbelievable bright sunshine. - With my Evo 200 sold, I was mounted on my 1999 Beta Alp - I sold this bike new , then bought it back  a couple of years ago as the customer had not hardly ridden it, and they are extremely rare - in fact I think I only sold about 5 of these from 1995 to 1999, which was the last year the factory made this model, with the 2 stroke Techno engine - the bike is still in the Beta line-up, but now has a 4 stroke engine and is more like a Japanese style duel purpose machine.

While the Alp is quite heavy, compared to the modern day Trials bikes, it works really well, and is a joy to ride on a day like yesterday, - I’ve fitted rear set Costa foot-pegs plus 6″ Renthal bars, and geared it down one tooth on the countershaft, which makes it much better for standing up to ride in the tight stuff. - The gear ratios are quite close together, which makes it fun to ride on the trail.

The lower forestry road up through the camp-site and on towards “Rowdy Flats” was covered with snow, packed down by hunter’s etc in their 4 wheel drive pick-ups - so care had to taken riding in the center, keeping out of the icy ruts. - In fact at this point we were wondering how far we would be able to go, but once we got over into the meadow, it was mostly clear, taking the trail over towards “Devil’s Staircase”  we stopped to take pics of the beautiful wild horses that roam this area, - I had to be quick with my Canon camera, shooting on full zoom, as they spook easily, and don’t allow you to get close.

The pic below is taken by the bleached white moose antler, that points the way to the Devil’s Staircase, one of the better sections that you will find anywhere, and hard to clean as we originally set it up for the Experts - Pete & myself spent two full days working on this back a few years, cutting trees, and raking all the loose brush and leaves from the rocky uphill.

Pressing on, we took the bottom horse trail over towards “Laggan Rocks” and stopped at Adrian’s Wall for a break - quite a bit of snow in this area - We followed a set of fresh deer tracks, but never actually saw it, although I’m sure he or she wasn’t too far ahead.  - - Riding through the woods in these conditions, has to be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a day, the sunshine filtering through the trees, the  blanket of white snow, and so very quiet. - What a great day.

Here’s a pic of Pete on the bottom road leading to “Rowdy Flats”

And here’s a pic of some of the wild horses, with Black Stallion keeping a close eye on us - he had about a dozen in his “Harem”

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Wednesday November 27th 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Here is a nice shot of Dylan Cartwright of Calgary on his Opti- lubed KTM at an Alberta event - Dylan and his son both won their respective classes at the 2013 Alberta Provincial Championships. - We have been happy to help Dylan over the years, but even I didn’t realize that this has now been going on for 22 years. - Amazing story, and our Congratulations.

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Today I will be heading down to Summerland, to meet up with Pete for a ride around the Outlaw Loop - with the weather supposed to turn a bit ugly at the weekend, getting out mid-week is one of the perks of being semi-retired. - I will be out on my Beta Alp again, and will take some pics to post on the gallery.

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We had a visit from Graeme Herman late yesterday, and his charming lady Katia - they were picking up parts for her 1999 Bultaco, and her Dads 93 Sherco - It was nice to chat about their recent visit to Japan. - I think the bike Katia has is only one of two in Western Canada - the other is in Calgary, and was the very first Bultaco (Sherco) to arrive in this Country. - Glad to say that we can still supply parts for all the older models.

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Steve Saunders emailed to say that my order of his Trials book, has been shipped - he said that he sent out over 100 copies out yesterday, so obviously this is going to sell out quickly. - I intend keeping one book for my collection, which includes, most of the Trials “Bibles” - Books by Bernie Schreiber, Don Smith, Sammy Miller and Wayne Leavet plus great issues on the Scottish Six Days, and the “Honda Trials Story” - nice to browse through during the long winter months.

( Don’t forget to contact me if you would like a copy of Steve’s book)
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Something else that came in the mail yesterday, was a really nice Ohlins shock, this is for Stan’s Sherco, but it will have to go on the shelf until next year, as he has already left for Mexico. - These shocks are quite reasonable, and can be ordered to suit the weight of the rider - we fitted these to the Beta Evo’s of Jake Cook and Adam Hague.

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Here’s a good pic of living legend Sammy Miller with his famous Ariel 500 - At 80 years old Sammy is a true inspiration to younger Trials riders, and I’m sure he can still teach them a few tricks on how to succeed at the sport.

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Tuesday November 26th 2013

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I couldn’t resist posting this pic of our good friends Tony Down and his charming wife Brenda, at their Halloween party - We were lucky to have these good folks make the long drive up from Colorado in 2012 for the 25th Outlaw Trial at Summerland .

Tony is of course a “Dyed in the Wool” Trials enthusiast, who promotes Vintage events in the USA, from his home base in Colorado. - Anyone who has had a close look at any of his machines, will know just how much love and care he goes to, in order to get them perfect. - At age 67, the retired ex RAF pilot, still shows lots of energy in hosting events and traveling huge distances to compete, usually on his immaculate Yamaha “Majesty”  or the beautiful Triumph Tiger Cub. - So today we say “Hail to King Tony” Good luck in 2014.

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Being an old codger myself, I sometimes get dates mixed up, and I noticed that I wrongly posted last week that the American Thanksgiving was - last weekend, however not so, it’s this weekend, so a Happy Thanksgiving to all our neighbors South of the border - including the Optimol crew at Interlube International.

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Yesterday, I did some final cleaning up of my 2013 Beta 200 Evo, before it gets shipped to it’s new owner in Ontario - without a doubt, this has been one of the best bikes I have ever owned, and I look forward to riding the 2014 version. - I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the new Beta shipment will arrive next week.
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With the weather looking to be quite warm for the next couple of days - I might just give Pete a call to go for one last ride on Wednesday, before everything gets snowed in on the “Outlaw Loop” - This time last year, we had already been shoveling the driveway, and as mentioned previously - our Ady Trial was run in -9 temperatures and white stuff on Remembrance day. - I recall that I was out on my trusty Beta Alp at that event, as I had sold my Factory 300 to Dean Seaman - although heavy compared to the modern day Trials bikes, I really enjoy riding this - of course it has a seat, but it really works very well for a 1999 model. ( As long as you are not too ambitious).

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Sanz To Race Dakar Rally With Honda © RedMoto
In collaboration with RedMoto Honda Italy, Laia Sanz will contest the 2014 Dakar Rally.
The Spaniard, together with RedMoto has received support from the HRC Rally Team to develop a CRF 450 bike for the 2014 Dakar Rally that will she her aim for her third victory in the Women’s category in next year’s race.The 2014 Dakar Rally begins on January 4th

- See more at: http://enduro21.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1477-sanz-to-race-dakar-rally-with-honda#sthash.FegREbSO.dpuf

More news as it happens >>>>

This is Lawrence Hacking accomplished racer, and co-founder of the WEC in Canada - I met Lawrence when we both worked for Yamaha Canada many years ago, he is true Motorcycle Enthusiast, and a super nice guy.

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Monday November 25th 2013

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Computer appears to be playing games - this cyber stuff is way over my head - I’ll just see if this first bit will post to the site today.

OK - Seems back to normal - Our ride at Silver Creek yesterday, was fantastic, with perfect weather, and we were able to find a ton of really good sections, by doing a fair bit of hiking - this is the only way, when checking out a new area. - We will need to do some clearing in the spring-time, but the potential is great.   - I posted a bunch of pics on the Silver Creek album - these show parts of the rocky creek-bed that goes on for miles, plus some shots of the frozen waterfall farther up. - check it out.

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Not much posted so far on Cody Webb’s great win at the Las Vegas Enduro-cross - just the report of how Taddy Blazsusiak managed to clinch the series by finishing 5th. - We will keep an eye open for more on this.

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Dean Seaman didn’t have a good day yesterday, crashing his demo snowmobile with lots of damage - says he nearly broke his leg - I emailed to say he should have come Trials riding with us.

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Chris Hrabb looks to be having lots of fun on his his Beta RR498 snowbike - he posted some pics on facebook high up in the mountains above Revelstoke.

Dave Sheridan from Calgary was also out riding in the snow at the weekend - but he was on his Beta Evo - not sure exactly where the pic was taken, that he also posted on facebook.

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Funny comment posted by our old buddy Helmut Clasen after the Grey cup loss by his home town Hamilton team  - says the flags are all flying at half mast - but beer sales are up !!

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Weather is mild today in the Valley - a good day to do some work in the shop >>

Sunday November 24th 2013

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Late with the blog today, as all the sites were down - Anyway here goes with the latest news. >

It was Matt Reading’s birthday today, so we decided to go out to Silver Creek to look for sections, - Our last visit revealed good potential in the Rocky Creek near the parking lot, but I wanted to explore farther up, and this is what we did - hiking most of the time up the rocky gulley that is all dry at the moment, but will likely have water running in the springtime, - I will add some pics on the Silver Creek Album, that I took - including some dramatic ones at another location, where the water has frozen. - so at the end of the day - I can report that not only was it absolutely fantastic to be out in the woods, but we have found great sections, which we should be able to link up by a short loop. - check out the pics:

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In F1 which I watched before going out - it was Sebastian Vettel who won - he has now tied Michael Schumacher with 13 wins in one season, plus 9 straight a record that has stood for decades, and was posted by Alberta Ascari. - The race from Brazil, was quite exciting, with lots of passing - Mark Webber, made it a Red Bull 1-2 finish in his last Formula One appearance.

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Cody Webb took the win at the Las Vegas enduro X - notching up another win for Beta - that makes three wins in four races. - A great ride by BC boy Cory Graffunder to finish 2nd - Taddy & rival Mike Brown finished back in the pack, with Taddy winning the series on points.

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I see that Sparky Bill (Beta) took the Expert win at Ioco last Sunday - Alex Walton (Sherco) finished 2nd, while Steve Day (GG) beat out Todd Nordin (Beta) in the tie-break for third.

Mitch Langell was out from Red Deer for the Trial, and finished a very respectable  3rd Intermediate.

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Saturday November 23rd 2013

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

It was a nice sunny day yesterday - in fact this has been the trend all week, although temperatures have hovered around -6 during the day - tomorrow is supposed to be -1, so we might go out to Silver Creek to map out some practice sections, with my Evo 200 all cleaned up for sale - I will take my nice Alp out for it’s annual spin - fired it up yesterday as it hadn’t been started for many months.

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There have been quite a lot of comments on the old pic I posted on facebook of me on the Yamaha IT 400, at the 1976 Moose Mountain, which I discovered while sorting out some files. - I know I’ve told this story before, but with little other news, maybe it’s worth repeating.

This was the first year of the IT Series, and also my first year of concentrating just on Cross Country events, as working for Yamaha Canada, and “On the Road” all the time left little time for Trials practice. - Although I can’t remember for sure, I think Moose Mountain, might have been my first race on the big blue bike.

That year the event was run at Waiparous Creek, with about 170 odd riders on the line in the riverbed, for the mass start, and for some reason I was late getting to the area, where we had to line up behind the bikes & run to start after the shotgun was fired. - Because of this tardiness, I was chatting to other riders in the line up, when the gun went off - didn’t even have my goggles down.

The first part of the course went across the dry riverbed through a series of ditches, before tackling a huge climb up the side of the hillside. - Now the best line was over to the left up a deer path, but about 90% of the riders were headed this way - and I was bringing up the rear after a bad start. - going through a ditch I looked ahead and saw Jeff Smith on a Can Am ahead of me, and he was following somebody on a YZ 400 - headed straight for the almost impossible hillclimb which would act as a short cut to the top.

Without a second thought, I tagged in behind and followed Smithy to the top, dodging a cartwheeling YZ on route - I seem to recall thinking that if Smithy can go up there on a 175 Can Am - so can I on a 400 Yam.

That particular year, the club had been forced by Forestry Officials to run the race as 4 laps of a 25 mile course on each of the two days, making for a total of 200 miles, they even had a helicopter flying around to check it all out.

While I can only remember a few things about that event, I do recall having a great race with Dean McFadden of Lethbridge  ( Owner of Lethbridge Honda) - Dean was on a 250 Husky, and I managed to keep ahead of him on the fast parts of the rocky riverbed roads, but couldn’t keep with him in the tight stuff - by this time Jeff Smith was long gone, as was eventual winner the late Danny Amor on his KTM 400 - in fact as happened at most mass start races back then, once you got away from the start, it’s was almost like you were racing on your own - steep uphills and downhills, river crossings, and muskeg were all part of Moose Mountain. - I remember getting the big heavy IT stuck one time in a muskeg which required help to pull out - but suffice to say that after two tiring days, I finished in 6th place overall, with a 3rd in the open class. - I remember that Danny Amor won on the KTM - which surprised the Can Am Team, who had former World MX champ Jeff Smith, as the “Ringer” - Tommy Gaetz was also on that team, but failed to finish.

I still have a pic someplace, of Jeff Smith coming to pick up his 2nd place trophy, complete with collar and tie - much to the amusement of the Cannucks. - I think Dean finished 3rd, and a Kamloops rider ( John ?) on another IT 400 finished 4th or 5th.

Looking back at these old pics, certainly brings back lots of memories. - These days I doubt I could even start an IT 400 let alone ride one - they were a big heavy brute, but could sure go up hills. - I later switched to the lighter IT 175, and later still, raced a YZ 125 fitted with an IT 175 engine - but that’s another story.

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Here’s some Beta News >>

Off-road racer Cory Buttrick has inked a deal with American Beta to race a Beta two-stroke in the AMA/Rekluse National Enduro Series in 2014.The 22-year-old Ohioan will ride a factory Beta 300 RR and will team with Justin Sode at the season opener in South Carolina on March 2. Buttrick will also take part in a few selected rounds of the GNCC series aboard a Beta 450 RR four-stroke.

“I’m very honored to have this opportunity to represent Beta and give them the recognition they deserve in the United States,” said former KTM factory rider Buttrick. “This is the first time I have been 100 percent healthy since the end of 2010, so I have my goals set on a championship.”

Buttrick’s race bikes will be built at the American Beta headquarters with the suspension being tuned by Stillwell Performance.

“We are super pumped to have Cory on our team,” said Beta’s Tim Pilg. “I have watched him for a few years and saw the potential for sure. He is hungry to win and that is what we need in the Enduro series. I feel with Cory on our 300 and Justin on the 250, we have a great chance of turning some heads out there. We have a very complete team, with Cody Webb and Max Gerston on the West coast, Ron Purvines and his team in the desert, and Justin and Cory in the East, it will help show our future customers that Beta is here to stay.”

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Don’t forget - We have some of these autographed copies on order  - email us if you want one >>

Friday November 22nd 2013

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Here’s an interesting email I received today from one of the Canadian “Great”  ISDE riders, who is still going strong - Turk reads my blog every morning  and shares some memories - he recently attended the ISDE reunion in the States,  - Turk (Harold)- rode in the 1971 event held in the Isle of Man,-  I was picked to go that year, but broke my leg in a Trial ( a really freak accident)
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Hi Dave, your blog today brought back some memories about Can Am.  I had several of them when the late Joe Brown was the dealer in Victoria, a 125 white tank, a 175 white tank.  The 125 gave me a good ride at Moose Mountain.  When the “Qualifier” was announced I had to have one.  These were the first red tank models with many improvements.  Joe could not get one so I called all over B.C.  Finally located one at the dealer in Vernon!  Can’t remember the dealers name.  I had him hold the bike for me and I jumped on the next plane.  I had with me a helmet and a licence plate of some bike I had at the time.  The dealer had the bike all ready, I paid him and jumped on, telling him I was riding it to Victoria.  He must have thought I was nuts, riding a knobby tired dirt bike that far on the highway.  I stayed off the main roads as much as I could, even took the gravel road from Summerland to Princeton, great road to break in a new bike.  I made it home just fine and the bike was one of the best I ever had, wish I had it today.  Someday Dave you should list your most favourite bike to your least favourite, this would be very interesting.  Of the 40 or so that I have had I would say,  78 Sherpa T best,  125 Saracen worst, but it was pretty.  best regards, Turk.  ps  dual sport ride tomorrow
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Maybe someday, I will do as Turk suggests and make that list -
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I see that the new Steve Saunders Trial books have arrived at his shop in the UK - I have some copies on order, which will be autographed by the great man himself, some of which are already spoken for - if you would like a copy of this latest collectors item, better email me asap as this first edition will sell out quickly - no I have no idea of the cost, but expect them to be here before Christmas.
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This is Thanksgiving long weekend in the USA, not sure why they have a different date than we do in Canada - maybe somebody can explain this to me via email ?  - It is also the Grey Cup in Regina - nearly always held in freezing conditions at this time of the year - something else that I don’t understand. - I guess it’s something to do with having a busy schedule.
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In the Valley, the weather is supposed to warm up to around zero for Sunday - so we MAY go out for a ride - Matt called yesterday and is keen - if we do go, I will take out my Alp for a blast - we might go back to Silver Creek to set up some sections in the Rocky gully- or maybe one last ride around the loop at Summerland.
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Tom Sagar is the grandson of Alan Sagar, the eldest of three brothers who all rode Trials when I got involved in the sport back in Oswestry in 1955 - The Sagar brothers were all very good riders, and all rode AJS machines. - In later years, I ran into Alan at first the ISDE in 1983 held in Wales, then in 1992 at the Scottish Six Days. -  Tom will be going for his 3rd British Championship this weekend in Wales.
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The final round of the 2013 British Enduro Championship heads to the Muntjac Enduro in the Thetford Forest this weekend where KTM UK’s Tom Sagar is poised for championship honours. Taking five wins during the first five days of the series, Sagar’s form has certainly been impressive this season. Holding a 10-point advantage over his closest rival, Manxman Jamie McCanney, the Colwyn Bay Motorcycles rider has his sights set on securing title #3 this weekend at the Diss MCC Muntjac Enduro

- See more at: http://enduro21.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1468-tom-sagar-%E2%80%93-aiming-for-bec-title-#3 have always been involved with Motorcycle sport, but Tom is by far the most successful. - He also rides the Scottish most years, when he can spare time from his Enduro commitments.

Thursday November 21st 2013

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

It was the coldest night of the year so far in the valley - sounds like the start of a novel doesn’t it? - Well anyway, at least I don’t think it went down to the -19 forecast, and I see that it’s a balmy -10 at present, but no snow predicted.

Not that I plan on going anywhere - I see some of the Alberta crew are heading to Las Vegas for the weekend Enduro-cross showdown - Steve Foord has been doing pretty good in the Vet class, while Lexi Pechout competes in the ladies event - thinking about Lexi, it doesn’t seem five minutes since I watched Siggi teaching her to ride in the back alley  on a Yamaha PW 50 with a long tether switch attached - she has certainly come a long way.

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I received an email from Janice Whitby, daughter of old friend John Whitby - she asked if I could remember who sold Can Ams in Calgary back in 1975. - It took a few minutes thinking, but if my memory serves me correctly, it was Renfrew Sports, who were also the Honda/Skidoo dealer. -

The Can Am was a real rocket ship, with the rotary valve Rotax engine , but the handling left a lot to be desired - Former World MX Champ Jeff Smith, came to Canada to help with the design, and while Jeff might have been past his prime, he was still god awful fast on a bike.

Ron Harvey worked at Renfrew, and the Can Am became quite popular both on the MX track in the hands of Tommy Gaetz and Ross Pederson ( Before I stole Ross over to Yamaha) - while nobody could beat Cochrane rider Craig Woods in Cross Country events - many thought they could - but Craig was super smooth and rarely made mistakes, and would just keep getting farther ahead, until you couldn’t see him anymore.

Another fast Can Am rider was Bob Sadownick - along with his brother Boris, they rode Bultacos in our Trials events, and in fact both Bob and myself competed in Cross Country races on Trials bikes in these early years of the brutal events, that would only see a handful of riders make it to the finish line. - Unfortunately, Bob’s racing career was cut short when a head on crash at a poorly marked out race at a place called Red Water, left him with a leg broken in seven places. - I was also a casualty at this one, when a junior rider coming the wrong way, ran into me, breaking my collar bone. - Not that it was really the fault of the riders - the first time organizers had the Experts and Juniors on a collision course.

Fast Eddie McDonald was with Can Am at that time - he worked for Alberta Cycle in Edmonton, and looked after the MX Team as well as racing himself in Cross Country events  - The Canadian built bikes were good, but plagued with poor electrical systems, and many riders switched to the Yamaha IT series, which later dominated in Cross Country.

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Yesterday, I spent some time sorting out one of my file cabinets -surprising what you hang onto for years, but it was time to get rid of lots of old catalogs and brochures etc - It’s always interesting looking back at old stuff - I found paper print-outs of my Outlaw Newsletters, and paste-ups that I did for catalogs when I had my own clothing line (made in the UK) - plus some old photographs which brought back memories.

Thinking about the old days, I’m not sure if anybody other than myself, still rides a Trials bike from the 1975 era in Alberta - in fact sadly many of my friends have since passed on.  - Others like Bob Sadownick spend much of their time in Arizona playing golf, while Murray Nutt now lives in Thailand. - As we grow older, we tend to lose touch with people, and in that respect the computer age has helped out, with the Social media readily available to most folk.

I wonder what happened to Terry Porter, a top Calgary Trials rider who moved to Toronto and Doug Jones from Cold Lake - he had the dogs that used to frighten our kids. - Most riders from this time just went into other things, but the hard core enthusiasts are still around - I see Helmut Klassen is still going strong down in Ontario, and Al Perret only quit riding the Baja last year, and he is only about six months younger than me.

Of course there is no turning back the clock - and looking through these old files I noticed that even back many years, there was still quite a bit of inter-club bickering going on. - It’s a fact of life that while some things change - many remain the same..

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