Archive for December, 2016

Saturday December 31st 2016 “NEW YEAR”S EVE”

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

So here we are on the last day of the year, and time to reflect on what has transpired over the last twelve months. - I did a report earlier, on the great Trials events we attended, a HUGE Thanks to everybody that either helped or rode our WTC Trials Series this year - Lets do it all again next year .

With the help of Andrew Christiansen of the Vernon Off Road Club, we were able to meet up with the good folks at Silver Star Mountain in Vernon, in September, for the first ever Motorcycle event at that location.

Although that event was a Hare Scramble  and Endurocross, we arranged for Sammy to put on his Stunt Show, and what a great job he did - we were able to show off the Trials bikes to people who had never seen them before, and the outcome of all this, is the Signing of an agreement, with the Mountain, to host a Round of the WTC National Trials Series in 2017.

To say that we are excited about this, would be an understatement, as it’s the first time that a Major Trials Event will be held at a World Class Ski Resort in Canada. -  Not that it will be easy to set up, as the time frame will be short to mark out the sections, but the fact that spectators will be able to use the chair-lift to access the top of the mountain at 6200 feet, will be awesome.

Over the year, we met a bunch of really good guys at the Vernon Off Road Club, we attended their big event, early in the year, and have to say they know how to organize races, many of these riders, also have Trials bikes, so we are planning on hosting a Fun day in the Spring.

We went to Revelstoke to meet up with Flo and the rest of the crew, and also took in the “Ladies Weekend” which saw a massive turn out or lady riders, ( lots of these would be better on Trials bikes)

The ATRA Trial at Blackfoot Park in Calgary, in April, went well, with unusually warm weather, and I loaned Tino my Evo 200, to take the Expert win. ( This was the first step in arranging for him to ride Beta for the rest of the year)

Next up was the Outlaw at Scotch Creek, and as always the Shuswap crew did a fantastic job - Brandon took the win once again, on a wet weekend, with Sam & Sean battling it out for the other podium positions in the Expert Class.  - A unique part of this weekend, is the “Opening of the Flood Gates” to the pond, which lets the water run down the bottom gully, making superb  “English” style sections.

Shane Bridden  from Kelowna, joined our group, and after a short stint on a Repsol Honda, bought a new TRS 300, which seems to suit him just right - Shane proved to be my main man for Section Set up during the year, doing a ton of work with the Revy National in August ( Another wet weekend) - Along with Florian and Chris, we managed to pull off another excellent Two Day Trial, with riders coming from as far away as Winnipeg and the NWT.

We also had our sad time in 2016, when we lost our good friend Peter Brown  after a short battle with Cancer - Pete was a founding member of the CPTA in Vancouver, before settling in the Okanagan, - We had some great times, exploring and setting up the Outlaw at Summerland for a lot of years. We all miss you buddy.

Yes, it’s been a fantastic year, in lots of ways, - we enjoyed our annual trip to the ATRA Trial at Rocky Mountain House and enjoyed some really good rides out with Graeme at Summerland, in fact there were not too many weekends when we were not out on the bike.

We will end the blog this year with this shot of local lads riding on Vernon Mountain in the snow.>

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

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Friday December 30th 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016

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We finally got our first 2017 Beta shipment  late yesterday - fortunately the snow didn’t amount to much so the roads were good through the Mountains. But that was the past couple of days - not so Thursday - check this out 100’s vehicles stranded on the Coch.

Coquihalla highway snow snowfall

The new bike certainly looks good, and while there are only small changes -( more on the 300)  the new tank shroud is much nicer, with no sharp bits sticking out.  - Not sure if and when we will get a test ride, as the forecast is for another cold snap starting on  Monday.  - We will post more on this when we get a chance to have a closer look at the bike today.
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Naturally, things are a bit slow at this time of the year, but with the Motorcycle Shows starting next week, no doubt the phone will soon be ringing steady - we have a number of bikes ordered for the spring, both Beta and TRS, and with the economy maybe turning around a bit, we hope to have a good year.

The Sheffield World Indoor also goes next week, the first round of what they now refer to X trials. - ( Funny how certain words get “Over-used” as they become popular  - the “Pro” is a good example of this, everything is “Pro” - but of course the younger generation, now appear to have a language all of their own, -  us old folks sometimes have a hard time figuring out what the hell they are talking about !.

At the 2016 Sheffield Indoor, Adam Raga pulled off a surprise win on the brand new TRS - beating Toni Bou, on the Factory Honda,  which was a “Shocker” for most fans - not that this made any difference come the end of the Series, as Bou took yet another title. -  But it certainly showed that the new fledgling Spanish bike designed by Jordi Tarres, was very good.  ( As they say “winning on Sunday - brings Sales on Monday)
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Here’s a nice selection of Fantics posted by Heath in the UK - no snow visible anywhere - the “Classic” bikes are in huge demand over in Europe, and any good bike, brings a high price. - It seems that sales of new models are sluggish by comparison, perhaps due to the fact that older riders ( who are the main buyers) prefer to ride “Old fashioned” sections, rather than the latest “Hop & Bop” style.

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Take a look at this old Beamish Suzuki - updated with all the latest bling - there are quite a number of business’s that cater only to the vintage crowd.

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Of course the biggest improvement for any old bike, is to fit new soft compound tires - that alone, will get you grip where old 4 ply rubber just spins.

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Irish rider Andy Perry, just bought a TRS 300 from Steve Saunders, and is “Over the moon” to also get the news that his entry was accepted for the Scottish - Here is a great shot of him at the Scottish last year.

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Thursday December 29th 2016

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

SES (1)

These pics of Steve Saunders, were posted in the Cotswold Newspaper - along with an article on Steve’s amazing career in Trials.  - The bottom right, shows him as a young lad on a bike built by his Dad, on the left he is seen on his Scottish Pre 65 winning Triumph twin, while the top right, he jumps one of the new TRS bikes, which he now Imports into the UK.

In 1986, Saunders was at the top of his game, riding for the Honda Rothmans Team, and if not for a controversial decision by the organizers of one event - he would have been crowned World Champion - instead he finished 2nd.  - At age 52, Steve is still very much involved with the sport, and both his children compete, he runs a successful parts/accessory business for Trials ( Outlaw buy from him) -also the new TRS bike by Jordi Tarres, is selling like hot cakes in the UK and keeping him really busy, supplying his dealer network.

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In other UK Trials news, we have heard that Lonny Hallsted has entered the Scottish Six Days Trial for 2017 - Lonny moved from the the Portland area, to live first in Cyprus, then to the UK many years ago, where he now resides in a small scenic town in Wales, called Betws-y-Coed  - ( I rode a lot of Trials in that area in the 1950’s)  -  He says it was Dennis Sweeten who encouraged him to enter the Scottish again - after a lapse of 21 years. - No doubt Dennis, Stan and Lonny, will have a great reunion.

Check out this video from the SSDT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkL-mMzK5Rw

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After a nice clear day on Wednesday, it appears that we are back to the snow today - not good, as I’m expecting the Truck with my Beta shipment later. - It seems it got as far as Calgary last Friday, but then sat there over the holiday.

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Here’s a nice photo of young UK rider Harry Fellows, who has just joined the Jitsie supported Trial team he is riding a Beta Evo 80 ( Note the one finger on the clutch)

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Every so often the weather man decides to dump snow on an event - we’ve had to put up with this a number of times in Canada, but it also happens in the UK. Here is a great shot of Sammy Miller being watched by a bunch of other riders - Sammy is of course on his classic Ariel 500. GOV 132.
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Wednesday December 28th 2016

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

As the year winds down, we are hearing of more people who will not be with us for the New Year - some famous, and some closer to home. - Steve Troupes younger brother passed away on Boxing Day, from heart failure. - Chris Troupe rode Trials in the 70’s and was also an avid fisherman, our condolences to the family, and to his Ontario Trials friends. - Here is a pic of Chris riding at an Waterdown National Trial.

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Seeing the picture of Chris on the Sherpa T, brought back memories of the early 1970’s, when the Bultaco was my favorite bike, ( before I joined Yamaha Canada.) - I think sometimes, certain bikes seem  to ‘click” with the rider, more than others, and this was certainly the case for me, especially the 1973 Sherpa T 325cc model. - The Alberta Trials always had some big hill climbs, and the 325 was perfect for these. - Even today, the bikes that are designed to Transfer the power to the ground, without a lot of wheel-spin, usually end up at the top of the results.

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The 2017 Dakar Rally starts next week, and Laia Sanz will once again compete in the ladies class - rumor has it that the event will be more difficult, more technical, and more physically demanding. - We will keep an eye on the daily results. - Image may contain: 1 person, standing, mountain, outdoor and nature

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Here’s a couple of videos to check out>

Tredegar Twinshocks Ride Again !

KOTH2017. SUNDAY 3H RACE TRACK PREVIEW

F-18 Low Level

Motocross

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This old memory pic just showed up on facebook - I think it was taken at a Trial held at Dave Griffin’s place near Fruitvale BC.  - We don’t see much of those guys anymore, but some still have bikes - I’m sitting in the Center with the blue shirt.

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Young Blake Manning, who is in front of me, is now a City Cop in Vancouver, married with a child. - At least everybody in the pic is still alive & kicking.

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Finally - Here is a pic for all you VW fans - Shane with his TRS hooked up ready to head out - but not today !!

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Tuesday December 27th 2016

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

The CPTA Boxing day FUN Trial, went off, in spite of the very snowy conditions, with a bunch of hardy club members tackling a selection of innovative challenges, all set up by Ted Blow. - Looks like everybody had a “Hoot”

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Here’s a rare pic of Brett Clark on one of the new TRS bikes - looks slippery out there. - pics thanks to Ron Walsh.

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Here is Guy Smeeth trying to do some kind of one handed trick with a long string overhead - maybe they had to ring a bell or something - Nice to see a bit of lighthearted  fun like this.

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Over in the Okanagan, the snow started around noon, and didn’t quit until sometime late in the night - I was out around nine o clock shoveling  the front, but nothing is going to move today, until the plowing gets done. - The big question is “Will my Beta shipment arrive today”?

Update : Answer to that is “NO” - trucking outfit closed  & it’s snowing again. - Lovely !!
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While my wife spent most of the day contacting family & friends via Skype - I just kicked back & watched TV - the Junior Hockey  was on so I took in first the USA/Latvia game, then later the Canada/Russia one - Good to see the Canadian lads get on the board with a win, although if tradition holds true, the Russian Team will improve as the series goes on. - The one thing I noticed was how much quicker the Canada/Russia game was, compared to the Yanks playing Latvia.

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So now it’s time to grab some breakfast, before getting out the shovel again - buddy Heath in the UK, says he loves the snow - bet he would change his mind if he lived over here for a couple of winters !!!

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More news as it happens >>
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Boxing Day 2016

Monday, December 26th, 2016

We hope that all our readers had a very nice enjoyable Christmas - This is a pic of our Family dinner, so much work for the cooks, but another one to remember.

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We started our day, with a number of phone calls from friends and family, but one very special call, was from our good buddy Harry McKay from Aviemore Scotland.  - We must have chatted for at least an hour catching up on all the news.  Harry told me that he now takes time from his very busy and demanding building business, to travel to the local Trials with his young family, who are competing on a couple of Oset electric bikes, and after getting a ride on a friend’s Beta Evo 250 - I think it has sparked his enthusiasm to maybe get another bike himself.

Harry told me that the new committee who will be running the Scottish Six Days, plan on easing up on the sections, after complaints from club riders, who form the backbone of the entry. I told him that Stan has entered for 2017, so he will look forward to meeting him again. - Harry and a bunch of his mates, will be going to the World Indoor Trial at Sheffield next week - he says they are flying down from Scotland, as it’s a six hour drive from the highlands to Yorkshire.
Soon it was time to  drive over to our daughter’s home, for the annual Christmas dinner, but we also contacted  family members via Skype - My eldest brother is in New York, visiting his son Robbie, so it was nice chatting to him, as we haven’t seen him for about nine years. - We also talked to my wife’s brother and his family, who are in Ireland for a holiday wedding.

Christmas is all about the family, and while we are very fortunate, others are not so, my brother in law, had a heart attack a few days ago, and is in Hospital in Olds Alberta.  Some of our  friends  are spending their first Christmas without a family member, ( this includes my brother Don who is in New York)  - Carol Brown, lost not only Pete this year, but also two other family members - a very tough year.  So while we celebrate, and look forward to 2017, we also share a tear, for those who didn’t make it through 2016. Bless them all.

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Boxing day, is always about getting out and working off the Christmas Turkey, which for many Trials riders this means riding a local Trial.  While chatting to my brother on Skype - we talked about how we used to ride the Trial back in Wales, which started from the Selattyn village pub.  -

We would do one loop, usually quite long in those days, then grab a quick pint, before setting off again ( I think some guys might have  stayed in the pub)   - Over this side of the pond - the CPTA host a boxing day event at Ioco, which is all about having fun - and this year they could be riding in some snow.

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Christmas Day 2016

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Christmas Eve has come and gone - we had the usual nice family gathering, with a wonderful food selection made by Mrs Claus !!!

Taking the day off now - Have yourselves a great day - enjoy the season - normal service will resume tomorrow >

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Saturday December 24th 2016

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

This was the scene at our place early Friday - I had already been out shoveling the front near the van      ( which wasn’t going anywhere yesterday) - It snowed all day, and it was likely good that the truck with my Beta shipment didn’t show up, as my driveway is quite steep.

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We have seen a lot of pics and messages of good will, posted this past week, and we hope that everybody has a safe & happy holiday.  - Glad to say that Momma Bear, is in much better shape than last year, when she fell and broke her wrist a few days before Christmas.  - Tonight we will have the family over, then tomorrow we all gather at our daughter’s home.

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Here’s your video clip for today>

Toni Bou v James Dabill Sheffield 2011 Indoor Trial

Here is a more Christmas like video >

# made2ride

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Friday December 23rd 2016

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

“Oh !  The weather outside is frightful” - and that children sums things up this morning - I’ve already been out shoveling, but the forecast is for snow all day, so not looking good for last minute shoppers.

Favorite  word today “Humbug”

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This old pic just showed up on face-book memories, - it was taken at the Scottish in 1992, and shows me standing by the prototype Yamaha TYZ, that was ridden by a Japanese test rider. - Mick Andrews had put one of my Outlaw cross-bar pads on it for laughs - wonder what they thought of that back at the factory?  - Although we were quite excited about the new bike, the changes needed were never done on the production model, which was disappointing.

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Thursday December 22nd 2016

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

The Information bulletin that I posted late yesterday, has obviously got a lot of people in the UK concerned for the future of Motorsport in that Country - whether this all goes through, remains to be seen, but it’s a reminder of why Motorcycle racing moved to the Isle of Man back in the day, when racing on public roads was banned in England.

In our neck of the woods, the insurance aspect, has always been something of an issue - now required when riding on any Crown Land, but really, if you think about it,  -  this  only makes sense, because unfortunately, accidents do happen, and any injury to a third party out on the trail, could prove to be a financial disaster.

When you consider that the bikes are now in the ten grand range, and other ATV’s, sleds etc at least double this amount, a couple of hundred extra dollars for insurance, would seem to be  a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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Here’s a nice pic, of an old Norton Trials bike, for sale in the UK - I remember a local lad  had one of these back in my youth, and used to put on an impressive display roaring down our narrow country road - sounded neat though.

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We’ve received the tracking number for our shipment of Betas, they may arrive tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath ( unless they get a ride on Santa’s sleigh)  - The holiday weather looks to be pretty yukky anyway, so a Boxing day ride would appear unlikely at the moment.

For people on the West Coast, the snow may melt at Ioco for their annual Boxing Day Trial - and chatting to Harlow Rankin yesterday, he says while he has a foot of snow at his place in Nanaimo, there is none in Victoria, where he was visiting Dave Fair.

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Another World Trials rider has decided to call it quits, citing a lack of motivation - Oriol Noguera, is seen here being watched by Fuji-gas and Toni Bou.

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It’s not really a surprise that more of these lads are pulling away from World Trials, with obstacles like this now the norm. - This is Jack Challoner from a few years ago - he is now married with a family, and after numerous injuries, called it a day, although he still does stunt shows (where he makes some money)

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A reminder that Sam King is putting  on a school at Ioco next week - (weather permitting) details on his poster here>

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