Archive for April, 2014

Wednesday April 30th 2014

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

As we head into the first week in May - there is really only one event on the mind of most Trials riders, and that is the Scottish Six Day Trial. - Unless you have actually been, to either compete or watch this magical event, you can’t come close to knowing why it’s still so very popular after over one hundred years.

I still have over 700 photographs from my last visit to Scotland in 1992 - a week that was rated as the wettest for 20 years, with the “Burns” (Creeks) becoming torrents, and the moor crossings bottomless bog holes. - Add to that the almost continuous rain, and you wonder why anyone would want to go back, - but they do year after year the fascination  for the Six Days is like a drug to many hard core Trials riders. - Here are a couple of my pics from that 1992 event - the top one shows - Harry McKay, Jim Fracy and the late Walt Healy taking a “tea break” on route between the sections. - the bottom one shows Steve Fracy on one of the hundreds of water sections that are used every year - even the names of these sections conjure up images of nostalgia.

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Heath will be in Scotland next week taking pics for Trials Mag: - Would not be surprised if a lot of the local traffic cones go missing, after he posted the pic of his great idea for washing his boots. !!!
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Here’s a neat shot of the French Beta Enduro Team - ready for the “Off”

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Picked up two boxes of flagging tape yesterday that had been sent by bus from Calgary - shipping cost $71.25 !!!!! plus they sent the #1 grade not the off cuts that I usually buy. - Total bill $426.00 - Ouch !

Also ordered the Trophies yesterday for the Outlaw - This year we are going with medals to try and keep the cost down, as there are so many classes  - the new Series Plaque should look good, and will be on display.

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In other news I see that the results are up on TC of last weekend’s Joe Brown Trial at Shawnigan  - looks like they had a reasonable turn out, and good weather for the event - Joe Brown was a great guy, so nice to see this Trial continue in his memory.

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Tuesday April 29th 2014

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

I’m a bit late posting the blog today, as the website was down - anyway here we are almost at the end of April and a beautiful morning in the Okanagan Valley..

UPDATE: - The CPTA Trial at Ioco results are now up on the club website - Alex Walton (Beta) took the win in Expert, with Steve Day (GG)  2nd & Bill Sparks (Beta) 3rd  -Here’s a great shot of Steve - not sure who took itSteve Day

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We now have the Poster made up for the Outlaw Trial, ( Thanks to Paul Throssel for this)

Image of outlaw trial poster

This is only the top part of the poster - to see the complete unit please click onto www.trialscanada.com.

Note: The nearest and best Motels are as follows>

Quaaout Lodge ph 1-800-663-4303 or Chase Country Inn ph 1-877-679-3333

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Yesterday was Beta wash day - after the muddy outings at Vernon Mountain and Scotch Creek - I even had to wear my spare clothing and boots on Sunday as my new Wulf stuff was filthy. - can’t help but think that Heath’s idea of using traffic cones for washing his boots is a real brain-wave.

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Only five more days before the start of the best Trial on the planet - The Scottish Six Days - Big John reported that snow was forecast for Friday & Saturday, when the Pre 65 Trial takes place. - Hopefully they will have got that wrong.

After a dismal performance in Japan at the World round -  James Dabill will be hoping for better things in Scotland - the Beta Factory rider has won the event on two previous occasions, and  was beaten in a tie break by Dougie Lampkin two years ago, before finishing 2nd again to Dougie last year.

We will be watching the daily progress of our Canadian riders, Guy Smeeth and Jon English. ( Guy will be using his Outlaw tool bag for about the 7th time at this event)

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The latest USA Trials Magazine is now up on the web - and I took time to read the report on the Trial Espania event which was won by Cody Webb,(Beta) -  I found both his and the Trials Master’s comments regarding the No stop scoring system that was used for the first time at this Trial, quite interesting. - Cody said that he liked the idea, as it fits more into his present riding style, which of course is mostly enduro these days, but the Organizer was not so sure - he said he had to revamp the sections a couple of times in order to make them possible, and also mentioned that while most riders had fun - none of them like the new rules, that are now used at FIM events.

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In Enduro news - I see that Jonny Aubert won both days at a race last weekend in Europe - the Factory Beta rider is obviously back on the pace after injuring his shoulder in a pre-season test.

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more news as it happens >>>

Monday April 28th 2014

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Sunday started with the usual showers, but by the time I reached Scotch Creek, it was improving and we had good weather for the rest of the day, until I was driving back home in the afternoon.

This is the first time for me up at the Outlaw venue, since last Fall, and I was there to check out the new stuff that Ross & his Team had cut in for the upcoming May long weekend “Three Day” - For the second time in as many days, I screwed up with my cameras - this time I took along my small water proof Olympus - only to find the battery was dead after just one shot. - However here are a couple of pics - this one taken by Martin, half way up a new fantastic section with a steep grade and water coming down - “Perfect”

Experts go up the left with no run up - much steeper than it looks on camera.
I have to say that I love the added loop as it features some really neat challenging trails but so much fun to ride - just what the “Outlaw” is all about. - We now have the poster ( Thanks to Paul Throssel) which should be up on the front page of Trials Canada later today.

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In other news - I see that Steve Doel posted a bunch of videos on Facebook of the Trial they held at Blackfoot yesterday - looks like they have another Expert rider in the area by the name of Tino Marin, who beat out Steve Foord for the win on the arena style sections - they had a total of ten riders out, including a kids class - pretty good considering they had a snow storm on Saturday.

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Looking back at the weekend action, the Saturday night Super Cross from New York proved to be the Ryan Villopoto show, when the Team Kawasaki rider completely dominated the main event, and in so doing took his 4th straight Title - tying the record set by Jeremy Magrath. - James Stewart pulled off after hurting his knee.

Ryan Villopoto celebrates after securing his fourth Monster Energy Supercross Championship. (Photo: Simon Cudby)

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The snow has gone from the Fort Mac riding area & Marris & his buddies have managed to get out for a couple of rides - they are a growing number of enthusiastic Trials riders. With more joining all the time.

Sunday April 27th 2014

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Here is the latest from the World Trials Championship - courtesy Heath at Trial Mag:

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Raga closes in on Bou with his second win at Japanese GP

Adam Raga – Gas Gas came from being behind on the first lap today to record his second win of the weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix held at Twin Ring, Motegi. Back to back wins for Raga at the second round of the 2014 FIM Trial World Championship sees the Gas Gas rider move within a single point of series leader Toni Bou – Repsol Honda, who had to be content with the runners-up spot for the second day in a row. The injured Bou led Raga by four marks after today’s initial tour, but his performance faded as his pain killing injection wore off. Fourth yesterday, Albert Cabestany – Sherco moved up into a podium position today, his first of the 2014 campaign.

Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda failed to repeat his top three placing of twenty-four hours earlier as he struggled with the effects of his twisted knee sustained during Saturday’s competition. Jeroni Fajardo – Beta matched the fifth position he recorded on day one on the second day of the Japanese event, but will not be satisfied with his weekend’s work after he twice placed on the podium in Australia. Japan’s Tomoyuki Ogawa – Honda was the sensation of the day as he took several scalps when he finished in a lofty sixth spot much to the delight of the large home crowd that had turned out in force on both days of the GP.

Jorge Casales – Gas Gas recorded his best ever result since moving up to the World Pro class at the start of this season, he took seventh spot well ahead of eighth placed Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco who equalled his opening day position. Fumitaka Nozaki – Yamaha made it three home riders in the top ten as he beat a very off form James Dabill – Beta by a single mark to claim ninth place in front of the detuned British challenger. Pol Tarres – Sherco, Eddie Karlsson – Montesa, Kenichi Kuroyama – Yamaha, Jack Sheppard – Beta and Tsuyoshi Ogawa – Beta were the last of the points scorers and rounded out the top fifteen on what proved to be a tough day of competition.

Toni Bou

This was much due to another day of sweltering heat and the fact that sections three, seven, eight and nine were all heavily modified for all three classes ahead of today’s Trial which brought increased severity in all cases and was directly reflected in the riders’ scores.

Jaime Busto – Beta has moved to the top of the FIM Trial World Cup general standings by a single point following his second win of the weekend at the Japanese GP. Busto traded blows throughout an enthralling day-long battle with Franz Kadlec – Beta to win by virtue of a most cleans tie break over his German rival. Second spot for Kadlec marked a better outing for the now deposed championship leader after he placed fourth yesterday. Steven Coquelin – Gas Gas followed up his runners-up spot on Saturday by claiming the last rostrum place today, whilst Thomas Kenny – Beta and Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta completed the top five on day two. The order at the head of the championship table reads Busto, Kadlec and Coquelin respectively, with just eight points separating the current top three in this highly competitive category.

Gael Chatagno – Sherco extended his winning run in the FIM 125 Trial Cup division as he notched up his fourth victory in as many counting days. However the young French rider had to work far harder for his win today after he suffered a poor opening lap by his high standards. Two much improved closing laps saw him come home thirteen marks in front of Teo Colairo – Gas Gas who was runner-up for the fourth time in a row. Noe Pretalli – JTG maintained his clean sweep of podium finishes when he claimed third place today, however only after Timmy Hippel – Beta lost out on a tie break for the second day in succession. Chatagno now heads the championship by twelve points from Colairo with the series set to resume in Europe next month.

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And here’s a pic of Heath’s set up for cleaning the mud from his JTG - but check out the boot idea - best I’ve seen yet & with one very muddy set of boots in my van, after Friday, I’ll be keeping an eye open for unwanted Traffic cones, while on route to Scotch Creek today

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Saturday April 26th 2014

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

I was surprised at how many people responded to my “Teaser” pic posted yesterday - all of you came up with the correct response, which was “Greeves” - The bike was being test ridden by our buddy Heath over in the UK, some years ago, when a wealthy enthusiast decided to build a modern version of the famous marque. - It turned out to be a dismal failure.

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My ride up on Vernon Mountain on Friday afternoon, turned out to be a real thrill. as after meeting new Trials guy Darin, we managed to find most of our old trails and sections, which remain pretty much the same, except for some fallen trees. - It was very muddy, with lots of water about on the top trails, but we had an absolute blast. - so the plan is to invite a bunch of guys out for a trip down memory lane at some point. - I was mad at myself for forgetting to take my camera, as it would have been nice to show some of the old sections in their “Raw” state.

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Over in the Land of the Rising Sun - it was Adam Raga, who pulled off a surprise win on day one of the World Trials Championship  - we haven’t seen any official news release yet, but it’s been reported that Raga won with 26 points, Bou finished 2nd with 42, Fujinami 3rd with 45, - then came Cabestany 56, Fajardo 62 and Dabill with 82. - more on this later.

UPDATE: - It seems that Toni Bou is riding with a cracked rib - no details on how this occurred  or if he will be able to ride tomorrow - The junior class was blitzed by the new Spanish sensation by the name of—–

Jaime Busto. (Beta)

Toni Bou
RACE: 2nd  -  CHAMPIONSHIP: 1st

I knew that it would be tough today, but I really suffered. My ribs gave me a lot of trouble all day in spite of pain-killers. At the beginning of the second lap the effects had practically worn off, and the hold-up affected me a lot, and it was hard to pick up the pace again. I was completely without strength by the end of the race. Taking all of this into consideration, the result is an excellent one, as I never expected to get onto the podium. So a second place is very positive. He fought very hard. I hope to be able to sleep tonight, and not suffer too much to finish the race tomorrow.
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Super-bikes are in Assen Holland this weekend - where they had rain for qualifying - here are the top three

http://images.cyclenews.com/photogalleries/xlarge/AssenWSBKfrontrow.jpg

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And in Argentina, the Moto GP boys are still trying to catch Marc Marquez>

Marc Marquez continues to lead the way in practice for Sundays Grand Prix of Argentina. Photography by Gold & Goose
The new Termas de Rio Honda circuit continues to get faster. And so does Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the World Champion again leading the way in Free Practice 3 to set himself up as the favorite once again to earn pole position for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina later today

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Friday April 25th 2014

Friday, April 25th, 2014

A bit of a cloudy morning, but with sunny breaks - so I’m looking forward to a ride this afternoon up on Vernon Mountain with Darren. - will take a camera as per usual, as I try to locate some of the great old sections from years ago, before a new Sub-division blocked access.

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heath riding the new greeves photo heathfronthigh.jpg

So here’s “Teaser” today - can anybody tell me what bike this is ? email your answer to daverhodes@shaw.ca.

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Things are already underway in Japan for the World Round this weekend ( they are about 13 hours ahead of us) - We will follow the event news and post results as we hear details.

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It seems that Honda/Montesa are sending their Factory Truck to the Scottish - along with new signing Eddie Karlson, who will make his debut at the  event. - The 19 year old Swede will be in contention for the “Best Newcomer’s award” and has his sights set on finishing in the top ten. - However, the SSDT is like no other Trial, and just finishing the grueling six days, is an achievement.

UPDATE:  Just received the Official Dougie Lampkin News Release regarding his entry in the Scottish, and while he refers to the bike as being branded a DL12 - the word through the grapevine is that it is in fact a Gas Gas, supplied by John Shirt. - - rumors say the new “Vertigo” machine is a long way from production.
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Other Trials events happening this weekend, are the CPTA Trial at Ioco, and the Shawnigan Trial. - Over in Alberta - they have an ATRA Trial planned for Sunday - but better check the weather as the last pic I saw posted on facebook showed more snow. CORRECTION : - The ATRA Trial is May 4th - the one at Blackfoot this weekend is SGC
Wet snow is in the forecast for Calgary - with precipitation expected to start falling on Saturday, April 26th.
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We had a visit from another new Trials rider yesterday, who stopped by to pick up some gear, and chat about the sport - Turns out his family are from the Isle of Man, so naturally a lot of our conversation was on the road racing - in fact he showed me a video of the sidecar race on his phone. - We both agreed that there is no way you can explain the sheer speed and danger of the TT races, even the videos don’t do it justice - you have to be there to get caught up in the magic. — Looking forward to getting him out riding with us.

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Thursday April 24th 2014

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

I thought we would start the day, with this “Blast from the Past” shot of Stan on the JCM 240 Europa -  we Imported back in 1990 - I had met up with the French Factory Team at the 89 Scottish, and it seemed like a good bike at the time, with a gas tank below the seat and the air-filter up high. - However, while Stan did have some success with it, the Factory only made the bikes for a few years and the communication and back-up service was horrible.

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The weather continues to be very unsettled in the Valley, in fact there was even a “Dusting” of snow up on the hills yesterday - today it’s all socked in and raining.  - My Wednesday chores saw me in Kelowna, delivering Opti Oil, and calling on Paul with the mock-up details for both the Outlaw and WTC National posters..

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SSDT-14

SSDT 2014, not just a man’s sport

Off road motorcycling is a male dominated sport but one female lady athlete from Great Britain is making a massive impact – That lady is Emma Bristow. Already crowned a world champion earlier in year at the final round of the SuperEnduro championship she is a full time professional riding for the Spanish Sherco brand.

Trials Media interrupted her as she was training for her next challenge, the Scottish Six Days Trial which runs from the 5th – 10thMay based around the Fort William area.

Article: Trials Media

Emma Bristow -Sherco

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What do you mean - Beta rear fenders are brittle!!!

Beta evo rear mudguard photo burnersmudguard.jpg

Wednesday April 23rd 2014

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Birthday greetings go out today to Taff, who turns the big “40″ - Here he is making it up to the top of the “Devi’s Staircase” last weekend - an Expert section that not many can say they have ridden.

“To be born Welsh, is to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, with music in your heart, and poetry in your soul”  - and in Taff’s case a passion to ride motorcycles.

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The weather in the Valley, continues to be typical April, with showers and sunny breaks - at least the cooler temperatures will help slow down the snow-melt and possible flooding.

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It’s now only just over a week, before riders will be making their way to Scotland, for what has often been called “The greatest Trial on Earth” - the Six Days in May - tests the stamina of all the entrants, with approx 100 miles per day on the bike, with about 30 observed hill sections per day. - Add to this the fact that it usually rains, and the creek sections can get extremely high, and the moor crossings similar to our “Muskeg” - To finish the event, not only takes perseverance, but the ability to fix your machine if something goes wrong. - We will be watching the progress of our Canadian riders during the week, with daily reports. - We wish them luck.

Thanks to Trial Mag: for this pic of Becky Cook
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I got a call from Brandon Wince yesterday, to say that he will be on the Canadian TDN Team this year - we will have more on this when we find out the details.

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Japan next stop on 2014 tour

With the teams and riders having hardly had time to regroup since the opening encounter in Australia ten days ago, the 2014 FIM Trial World Championship swiftly moves on to round two in Motegi, Japan this coming weekend. Not surprisingly Toni Bou – Repsol Honda heads the general standings after the initial two day event and takes a seven point lead with him to the land of the rising sun after his 2 – 1 showing at the first GP of the new season. Beaten by his teammate Takahisa Fujinami – Repsol Honda on day one, Toni typically bounced back on the second day of competition to re-stamp his authority on the championship. However Bou will be only too aware that if last season is anything to go by, he will have to be at his best if he is to be triumphant once again during this, the second year of the re-introduced no-stop rules.

Behind Bou, there are three riders all currently locked on thirty points apiece. Fujinami is the highest placed of the tied trio thanks to his opening day win in Australia, which he failed to follow up and had to endure a disappointing sixth place on day two. 2013 vice champion Adam Raga – Gas Gas will have left round one slightly frustrated, but also buoyed by his second day performance. Raga was kept off the podium on day one in Australia as he lost out on a tie-break to Jeroni Fajardo – Beta, although was back at his best twenty-four hours later as he was the only rider to even look like challenging Bou. Raga will be desperate to secure a win in Japan if he is to seriously challenge Toni to the title, as he did in 2013.

Jeroni Fajardo (Beta)  is the third and final rider in the three-way split, his two third places in Australia representing a solid and consistent start to his 2014 campaign, although he will need to find something extra if he is to fight with either Bou or Raga on a regular basis for the remainder of the year. Albert Cabestany – Sherco will be hoping for better things in Motegi after he failed to shine down under, his sixth and fourth places over the two days leaves him trailing Bou by fourteen points in the championship table after just one round. James Dabill – Beta was the last of the real front runners after round one, after his best ever finish in the FIM X-Trial World Championship earlier this year, the British rider is widely regarded as being the only protagonist who can break into the long established top five come the end of the outdoor campaign.

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Tuesday April 22nd 2014

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

This is a view that many have shared over the years, and I took this last Friday at the top of the Shale climb - it’s a “Zoomed” shot showing the beautiful landscape, and in fact you can make out the gravel pit machinery near where we park.

On this particular day - only Dean Seaman, and Chris Briggs joined me for a ride to the top, and I can tell you that even though we have used this section for over 20 years, it still takes points, as rocks move around.

For a number of  Vintage Outlaw events,-  I used this as the final section, and took  a back-pack full of beer to the top in the morning to hide under the bushes,- for when the guys finished. - Lots of times they had worked up a real sweat after both walking and riding up on the old twin-shocks. - I remember being at the top with my camera one year, on a very warm day, when Ady Brown came hiking up - “Where’s the Beer” was his comment, but I told him he had to clean the hill to get one - that he did -and won the event on my Ty 250.
At one such event, I lost out to Bob Clark for the win, when my Ossa bogged on the last corner before the steps, causing me to take a “Three” - Bob heard about the problem and used 1st on his Ossa to clean the hill and the Victory.

- There is certainly a lot of nostalgia about these old sections.

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Doug Nimmo stopped by yesterday to pick up one of the Wulf “Adventure” suits I brought in - although he couldn’t stay long, it was good to see him before he headed back to Calgary. - Doug used to ride a lot of our events when he lived in Vancouver.

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We didn’t get to see Ross & Martin at the weekend, because they were out cutting new trail at Scotch Creek, in readiness for the Outlaw, next month  - Martin reports that they have a bunch of new sections all roughed in, so it sounds like it will be another great event for the 27th edition.

- We plan on running the Modern bikes as a Two day, Saturday and Sunday, with the Classic event on the holiday Monday. - This format worked well last year.

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Steve Doel phoned yesterday from Airdrie, and we had a long chat about the sport, he has just picked himself up a new Sherco, and is looking forward to getting out to some of our events. Steve has just bought his daughter one of the neat little Oset Electric bikes, so we had a good chat about those.

- Another Sherco rider emailed from Alberta, asking if I still sell Sherco parts, and of course the answer to that is a resounding “Yes” - In fact we do our best to supply parts & accessories for all brands, as we only specialize in Trials, - unlike the mass merchants who are only looking to sell bikes & numbers.

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McCanney Heads BSEC Charge To Wales

McCanney Heads BSEC Charge To Wales

The Enduro21.com ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship, powered by Husqvarna Motorcycles heads to Saints Well, Wales for rounds three and four this weekend. - McCanney is favorite to win the series after posting dominant performances on his Factory Beta.

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Easter Monday - April 21st 2014

Monday, April 21st, 2014

What a great weekend we had at Summerland - now officially called the “Funtastic” - and will likely become an annual event - no set program or taped sections  - just ride with your buddies & have fun. - Naturally the daytime action, was followed by a campfire “Hoot” each night. and with the Okanagan weather perfect, it couldn’t have been better. -

Taff & Chris brought along their Beta RR Enduro bikes, and ripped all over the mountain, having a blast trying to follow the odd piece of flagging I had left up - then they fired up the Beta Trials bikes & joined the rest of the group - we had around 15 riders out, including a few brand new guys, but with no pressure everybody had a good time. - Watching Brandon ride some really tough Sections that I had planned for the aborted National last year, was exciting for everybody - he has certainly  taken to the Factory Beta, like a duck to water. - Here he is goofing about on the back side of the mountain, but I have posted a ton of pics of everyone on my gallery - click to enlarge and view as a slide show. - Ricky also entertained both out on the loop and around the camp fire !!

Here’s one of Taff on “The Devil’s Staircase”

Dean surprised us all by launching up the big wall at this section we used for the Expert line in the National a couple of years ago. - And he made it -

Ricky Styles “Splatting” another section I had planned last year - Only Adam Hague has also done this.


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So David Knight won the “Tough One” at Hawkstone Park - the burly Manxman, out muscled all the other regular Xtreme riders to finished ahead on the Factory Sherco. - 2nd was Jonny Walker (KTM) 3rd Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 4th Graham Jarvis (Husky) - Ben Hemmingway got 7th on the Beta, one position ahead of Dougie Lampkin (KTM) - The super fast MX track proved to be a real challenge for the more technical riders like Jarvis.

David Knight Wins The Tough One

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