Archive for August, 2017

Friday August 18th 2017

Friday, August 18th, 2017

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This is a photo of the James Factory Team at the 1954 Scottish Six Days, not sure who they are, but the one in the middle looks like Johny Brittain, who usually rode a Royal Enfield. -It was in 54, that I was saving my money to buy a James 197, but a 55 model, which had the new, at the time, swing arm rear suspension. - The Trials James, had a solid rear end, like most of the Trials bikes of that era - it was thought that this improved traction !! - but of course this theory went out the window as soon as the new Royal Enfield appeared, with Johny Brittain winning a lot of events. - Notice the “Rubber band” around the flywheel cover to keep the water out  - something we all did back then.  - I think Brian Povey is one of these riders, he rode in a few of our local club trials.
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Take a look at this video of another of the Spanish Whiz Kids > - there appears to be no shortage of young talent  in either Spain or the UK at the moment.
One Day With Marc Riba || Tiendabiker.com

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And this is another “Blast from the past” - This was taken at McLean Creek near Calgary, around 1971 - it shows Pete Smith in the Bultaco shirt, a top Expert from Vancouver, ( Who now lives in the Okanagan) - Terry Porter is giving something to his little girl ( or maybe it’s my daughter Helen?) - I also see John Whitby, Wyatt Saboran, Bill Louie and others in the group. - This was  a great time to be involved in the Alberta Trials scene, with all events run on a long loop in the Forestry, and family camp-outs.

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I had a chat with Kev Smith last night, and he told me about the James Dabill, Jack Price School at Ioco - He said I would have liked the fact that, for the first day, James taught only “Basic” moves, with no “Hopping” allowed ( That must have been a bit of a shock to some of the younger riders)
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More news as it happens - I have to zip into town right now. >>

Thursday August 17th 2017

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

The weekend is almost here and the big vintage event down East - I actually thought this was last weekend - but sometimes get the dates screwed up.
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I do know that NEXT weekend, is the Cow Patty Trial at Rocky Mountain House, and the last thing I saw, reported that the Forest Fire hazard was low. - This will be rounds 3-4 of the Outlaw Series, and is a great venue to either ride or spectate - one of the few events, where you actually get to ride a creek section as it’s all on private land.

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As most people know, I love my Beta Evo 200’s - and have said so many times that “I’m keeping this one” - Well !  last week, I let one go to a young lad from Prince George, but was able to replace it with a quick phone call to Bob at Mountain MC - but this one has now also left the building, and is on it’s way to a new home in Wainright Alberta.  - Hopefully we will see both of these bikes show up at some of our events. - As far as I know, there are none of these left in Western Canada.
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Dan Chambers stopped by early yesterday for a coffee -and we had a good chat about cross country events from the past - I mentioned that it’s nice to be able to remember these great times, even though we are both getting pretty old. - There is no doubt that bikes keep both your body and your mind active. Dan hopes to join me on a ride sometime when the forestry is open again.

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Looking out of the office window today, I can see across Swan Lake, and the smoke haze appears to be fairly high - but boy oh boy, do we need rain, everything is still tinder dry.

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Most people in this part of the World, (including myself) have never seen a Speedway race except on videos - Like Trials, it’s a sport that is quite small, compared to other Motorcycle disciplines. - Here is a letter about one of the best.

August 2017

Statement from Mauger family: Ivan Mauger Speedway Collection

We have been incredibly touched by the support and good wishes which we have received from friends, fans and the entire speedway fraternity over the recent years since our father’s illness began. The messages and help are of great comfort to us, and it is heartening to see just how many people Dad’s career touched and inspired.

As almost all families will experience, we have reached a difficult crossroads and had to make some tough decisions with regards to the future. As our father’s condition is sadly not improving and our mother has moved from the family home, which previously housed the enormous number of trophies, awards and motorcycles amassed by our father, we have come to the decision to part with much of his collection.

Our father was arguably the most successful speedway rider of all time, and amassed the most astonishing number of trophies, awards and motorcycles. He kept fastidiously good care of each and every one, reflecting his passion and respect for the sport. We take great pride in the condition and variety of his collection, and know that it will bring joy to his fans, admirers and speedway enthusiasts alike when sold at auction in October at Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale.

Part of his collection is already on display for the benefit of the public in the Canterbury Museum in his home town of Christchurch, New Zealand. It brings us all great pleasure to think of the speedway community enjoying the jackets, bikes and memorabilia which were part of our daily lives for so long. Each and every item holds its own collection of memories, and we now feel that we have reached the right moment to share them with the world, having spent years being approached by interested parties keen to own a slice of speedway history and our father’s career.

Our father has always been grateful for his own good fortune, and did not take his successes for granted. He is a compassionate man, and one who never forgot those whose careers were cut short due to accidents or misfortune. As a tribute to our father’s generosity, we will be making a contribution to the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund in his name. Proceeds raised from the sale of several of the lots, including a signature chequered Bell helmet and his trophies from the 1975 season will be donated to the charity.

We look forward to sharing these cherished memories of our father’s career with his fans and enthusiasts around the world, and know that he would be both immensely proud and deeply humbled by the enthusiasm with which his collection is being met across the globe.
Julie, Kym and Debbie

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Wednesday August 16th 2017

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

What a great pic of a bunch of kids enjoying the Wulfsport sponsored Trial in the UK - We love the Wulf products and stock all their Trials gear.  - Helmets, boots, pants, shirts, jackets & gloves, we started dealing with them in 1995.  - Although I have never met the owner, Bill Brown is a long time enthusiast, with his business located in the Lake District of the UK. - He gets his clothing made in Scotland, so the quality is very good. - Bill has also been selling restored Maico MX bikes for many years, plus he caters to the Speedway racers.  Great people to deal with.
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Here is a great story about one of the best - courtesy Cycle News.

Larry Lawrence | August 15, 2017

JN Roberts was the leading desert racer of the late 1960s and early ‘70sIt seemed you couldn’t thumb through an issue of Cycle News in the 1970s without seeing a headline featuring J.N. Roberts. Roberts was so dominant in in desert motorcycle racing events that he became known as that era’s King of the Desert.

Just check out on YouTube the part of the documentary movie On Any Sunday that features Roberts flying across the desert on his beloved Husqvarna. Roberts and his Husky are in perfect harmony as he dances the bike across the high desert of Southern California avoiding rocks, ruts and big clumps of Greasewood bushes.
Roberts won just about all the major desert cross-country races of the 1960s and ‘70s including Barstow to Vegas four consecutive times (1968 to 1971). He also won the Mint 400 three times and the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 twice each. He teamed with Malcolm Smith to win the motorcycle division in the 1967 Mexican 1000, later to be known as the Baja 1000. Roberts also represented the United States at the 1971 and 1972 International Six Days Trial.

You would think a rider who attained Roberts’ level of skill on a motorcycle would have started as a kid, but that wasn’t the case for J.N. (which stands for James Nelson). Roberts grew up in Southern Indiana. “We were right on the border,” he said. “Step a foot in the river and you were in Kentucky.”

He only occasionally had the opportunity to ride a motorcycle around the back of a BSA motorcycle shop in Evansville where his cousin worked.

“We’d go down to the shop and they had a little track in the back and we’d beat around on a little 200, no helmet and that kind of thing,” Roberts explained. “Back in those days nobody had any money for one thing. We were poor. Plus, there were no dirt bikes really. You had to buy something and convert it.”

It wasn’t until Roberts came out of the Marines after four years and moved to California, that he began riding motorcycles on a regular basis.

It was an unusual path to racing.

“I got a ticket,” Roberts grins when asked how he got into racing. “I already had the idea I wanted to ride in the dirt and I had a Honda 250 Scrambler and had taken the lights off it to make it better to ride in the dirt. I got a ticket and hauled into court and I had to promise the judge I wouldn’t ride the bike on the street anymore and I didn’t. I don’t think I ever rode on the street again until I got in the movie business and had to ride a Harley from point A to point B or something.”

Roberts began riding at a gravel pit they called the Branford Wash, where he met Bob Harris and Tom Ryder who were both desert racers.  They talked Roberts into racing in his first event, a popular Southern California off-road race called the Moose Run in February of 1965. “I got lost and all screwed up,” Roberts said of his performance in his first event. “But I had fun and it was exciting.”

Between desert races Roberts honed his skills doing scrambles that were held all across Southern California. “You didn’t have to go very far to find a race in those days,” Roberts explained. “Then I turned my little 250 Scrambler into a 350, lightened it up a little bit and started doing real good, beating a lot of 500s in the Open class.”

Roberts raced his Honda with good success until Husqvarna came along in ‘66. He bought one from a dealership in Burbank. “They gave me a break on it, but at that time I think they were about 600 dollars,” Roberts remembers. “I got on the Husky and started winning right away. Next thing I know Edison (Dye) got ahold of me and gave me a new bike.”

With backing from Husqvarna, Roberts became one of the elite desert riders in the country. His training methods were definitely old school.
“I got into the movie business in ’65 building sets,” he explains. “After working all day, I’d get in my truck and drive home with the windows up and just sweat. That was my training until I got home to ride my bike. We didn’t have all the weights and bicycle training that the guys do today. I just rode my bike a lot.

“I knew when I went to the desert I was in shape and even if I didn’t get a real good start, because there were a lot of guys that were a lot quicker starters than me, I knew I’d eventually get ‘em. I’d usually get to the smoke bomb maybe somewhere from number five to 10, something like that. I think maybe a couple of times I got to the smoke bomb first, but not very often.”

Roberts was winning in the desert at a time when the sport was at an absolute peak. Check out the numbers Roberts talks about!

“The biggest race was always Barstow to Vegas,” he said. “The first time I raced that I think there were 2000 entries. The last time I raced it there were something like 4000 entries! But even with that many riders, just like to today in motocross and Supercross, there would usually only be four or five riders who could win the race and those were the guys you raced against.”

At his peak in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s Roberts was just about unbeatable in the desert. Tracy Husqvarna, the Burbank dealership which sponsored him, kept track of his wins. “I remember one year he had it up there that I’d won either 22 or 26 races,” Roberts recalls.
Roberts raced Husky professionally nearly his entire career. Only briefly did he park the bike.

“Once Edison thought he was paying me too much or something and didn’t want to renew my contract,” Roberts smiles. “I got on a Weslake BSA and won right away. When Edison saw that he wrote my contract back up.”

Roberts never got rich from desert racing, but was probably one of the few who made decent money at the sport.

“When I won a desert race Edison would pay me 250 dollars,” Roberts said. “When I won one of the big races I’d get my prize money, plus 500 dollars. I was making $3.27 an hour at a union job, so that was big money back in those days!”

Surprisingly in all of Roberts’ racing career he stayed mostly injury free, never suffering much more than a broken collarbone.

Eventually Roberts began working as a Hollywood stuntman and was traveling so much that he gradually backed away from his heavy racing schedule. But he never quit and still races veteran races to this day.

Roberts now owns a cattle ranch in Montana, where he has a 20-mile riding loop. He’s an inductee of Motorcycle Hall of Fame and is also in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Roberts stood atop the field in desert racing during a golden era and will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats of that form of motorcycle racing.

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Here is a nice collection of old Bultacos - I had  three different Sherpa T models before I joined Yamaha in 1973 - plus a Pursang. -  then much later another couple to ride in the vintage events. ( Taff still has a nice Sherpa T)

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Tuesday August 15th 2017

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Another smoky day in the valley !! I’m sure everybody is getting pretty fed up with this long dry spell, but at least we are better off than the hundreds of folk that are still out of their homes because of the Wild Fires.

This map of the fire in the Cariboo region shows just how big it is - and it’s still out of control.

Over in Alberta, the woods are also shut down in the South , but enthusiasts can still get to see some racing in Drumheller this weekend

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The accident in Vancouver that killed the stunt lady, has hit the head lines - very sad, of course a lot of Trials riders have been employed to do these type of scenes over the years, usually on thinly disguised  Trials bikes, Tom Farr from Ontario did a lot of this, and Lane Leavett and his wife Debbie (Evans) have been in the business for many years.

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Here is a nice pic of Ben Hemmingway, out with a couple youngsters - Ben posted a video of himself riding some pretty challenging stuff on the Beta Evo 300 4T Factory. - great to see so many young riders coming up in the UK.

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Monday August 14th 2017

Monday, August 14th, 2017

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Nice photo by Sandra of young Chris Stay, riding in the British Championship Trial at the weekend.  - Jack Shepard took the Expert win on the Beta.

This pic of Jack courtesy Trial Mag UK.

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They had rain in New Brunswick, for their WTC Sanctioned Trial ( Lucky buggers) results as soon as we hear.

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For me, it was a weekend watching a lot of the golf on  the box - I’ve never played the game, but can appreciate  that it’s a real  - “Head Game” similar to Trials - as with everything, the “Pro” players, make it look easy, but what I also like, is the fact that there are so many who can win on any given day.

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Sunday morning, I had to drive Momma Bear to the Kelowna Airport, as she is making her annual trip to see her Sister in Alberta - she called later to say it was raining in Calgary - lucky them. - So for the next two weeks, it’s just me and the cat. ( both of us might lose a bit of weight!)

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Results from the Xtreme Enduro last weekend - Webb beats Jarvis.

tennessee knockout 2017 results final

Sunday August 13th 2017

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

On this day, back in 1940 - the skies over Britain, were clear, but with   Herman Goering’s plan to destroy  the RAF - things were anything but casual - The huge formations of German bombers  were about to attack.  - For anybody that has read the story of the Battle of Britain - especially younger people, war stories might appear exciting. - but for the young pilots who flew the Spitfires and Hurricanes in that conflict - it was perhaps their last day on earth. As Winston Churchill said “This was their finest Hour”
So what has this to do with Trials riding ? Absolutely nothing - but it’s a well known fact that “Fly boys” of those days, loved motorcycles and often used them as transport to reach the local pub.  - I think it’s fair to say that Flying and Motorcycling attract the same sort of guys ( and girls)

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With so much happening on the World Stage - it’s hard to think that there might be any future at all - but hopefully some sanity will get things resolved - How quickly people seem to forget the horrors of War.

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Back to more local stuff - The skies have cleared a bit over Vernon - we had some thunder, and a few and I mean a few drops of rain - we are supposed to get another “sprinkling”  tonight.
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UPDATE  -   RESULTS FROM BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP TODAY

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: Another fire South of Vernon.

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This is a shot or Eddie Lejeune - on the Rothman’s Honda - He was nick named “Steady Eddie” because he seemed to conquer very steep climbs at a very slow pace - Eddie was one of the first to use the now common technique of the clutch to “Sling-shot” obstacles - this was because when he started riding in his home Country of Belgium, he was on a 125cc Honda 4 stroke, and it was the only way he could get up the big stuff.  I first saw him ride at Ioco back in 1986 - very impressive - but then again so was Steve Saunders on the other Factory Honda.  - Unlike Saunders, Lejeune never won the Scottish Six Days Trial, but he was a three time World Champion, where as Steve’s best result was 2nd ( Although there are some who think he was “Robbed” one year.)
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More later with results from the Moto GP in Austria - just watched a video clip what a battle between Marquez and the Factory Ducati’s talk about close racing - Lorenzo was leading with 17 laps to go - Rossi was in 4th.  UPDATE - Andrea Dovizioso wins for Ducati. !!

Not sure why all the results have not pasted ?

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 182.6 39′43.323
3 16 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 182.4 +2.661
5 11 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 182.0 +7.262
7 9 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 181.9 +8.995
9 7 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 181.1 +19.620
11 5 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 181.0 +20.101
13 3 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 180.6 +26.700
15 1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda 180.4 +28.09

Saturday August 12th 2017

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

This was supposed to be the first day of the WTC Trial at Revy - Well now we know just how fickle the weather can be  - dealing with both the weather and a schedule with other clubs can often be a nightmare..

As everybody knows, the fire situation in BC has been devastating -  Alberta has also shut down the Forestry to all Off Hiway vehicles

This is a pic from 2012 - the last time I did the Joss Mountain climb - it was just Stan and myself that day, on my 75th birthday. - It was a tough day for the old guy - this spot is about half way up, when you break out of the bush into the Alpine.
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We had a couple more bikes arrive yesterday - managed to snag an Evo 200 from Bob at Mountain MC - the last one in the Country, plus a very nice 2017 TRS 280 - Anybody looking, call us soon, as if you “Snooze you lose”

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We have heard from Ben Pospisil with the latest news on the upcoming Trial at Rocky Mountain House - because of the Fire situation, they have been holding off posting details, but info can now be seen on the ATRA site. - This will be rounds 3-4 of the Outlaw series - the last and final round, will go in October at the Victoria Club property. - ( shoot me an email if you have trouble accessing any of this info)
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The final Golf championship is on this weekend Stateside - we will likely check out some of this later, and I see there is another young Canadian Tennis star hitting the big time . Beating the top player yesterday in Ontario.

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The only Trials event happening this weekend that I know of - is the WTC event in New Brunswick - we will watch for results.

Trials New Brunswick

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Here is a pic from the TRS demo day at Llangollen North Wales - about 12 miles from my hometown - it is pronounced “THLANGOTHLEN  !!

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MOTO GP NEWS

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) blasted out the blocks to pole position at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, carrying forward his earlier pace on Saturday to stake a claim on victory at the Red Bull Ring. Expected key frontrunners Ducati were in close company, however, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) taking second on his final lap and teammate Jorge Lorenzo completing the front row as Spielberg once again proved a happy hunting ground for the Borgo Panigale factory.

That’s all for now from “Smoky Hollow”

Friday August 11th 2017

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Here is a pic of young Job Wylie ( yes his name is Job) from Prince George, who just bought the Evo 200 from us - I could see that the lad had some talent when he tried it out in our back yard - Hopefully we will see him at some events. - We chatted about McLeese Lake and the Trials we helped those guys host a few years ago.

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So now we have a Fire just North of our place - near the Mill - not much news coming out, but the smoke is pretty thick - It’s on “Our” side of the hiway and I saw that Silver Star posted a bit of news to keep folk updated. talk about scary times -   Hard to get to sleep when you don’t know what’s happening up the road.

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Then of course we have the war of words between Trump & the North Korean - I think both should be taken into a small room and shown the results of nuclear war - or any war.

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Practice news from the Moto GP in Austria.

Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) took to the top late on in FP1 after dueling for P1 throughout the session, ending up only 0.088 ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) after the number 4 had his fastest lap cancelled for exceeding track limits. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) also struck late to complete the top three.
With the weather in doubt, the top ten could well prove decisive for entry to Q2 on Saturday:
1. Hector Barbera - (Reale Avintia Racing) - 1:24.631
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) - +0.088
3. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) - +0.113
4. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) - +0.121
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) - +0.250
6. Johann Zarco - (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) - +0.264
7. Danilo Petrucci - (Octo Pramac Racing) - +0.341
8. Scott Redding - (Octo Pramac Racing) - +0.377
9. Jorge Lorenzo - (Dcuati Team) - +0.407
10. Cal Crutchlow - (LCR Honda) - +0.598============================================>

I guess a good caption for this pic would be “We’ve come a long way”

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This weekend is the big Ormstown Bonanza event and once again Mick & Jill Andrews will be there - will post some pics when we see some. This popular event features both “Scrambles” and Trials with Vintage bikes.

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Thursday August 10th 2017

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

So here we are on another smoky day in the valley - this pic, just popped up on FB of another smoky day back a few years, when Matt & myself went on a long ride at Summerland - although the fires that were burning at that time were South of the border.

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I noticed that I’ve got the number plate extra fuel tank on the Beta, plus hand guards, so this might have been the year I did the Joss Climb with Stan.
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New Date for the WTC National is Sunday October 1st ( One day only) - We are planning some other fun activities for the Saturday      ( more on this later)  We apologize for having to change the date, due to the Forest Fire situation.
plus we  have decided to add a Ladies class - give us a call if you need more info:

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There is no doubt that the scenery around Revelstoke , is absolutely stunning this is a photo of the back country by Victoria Haak -

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We just heard from Jimmy Corkle, that the Ryan Young Trials school that was supposed to happen at his place near Elko, on the September long weekend,  has been moved to Red Deer because of the Forest Fire issues

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It was in the summer of 1940, that the Battle of Britain was fought in the skies above England - Each year, they hold a ceremonial  flight over London, with the aircraft that remain from that dark time in History. - One of these Lancaster bombers is of Canadian Heritage and in another interesting bit of news, our friend Tony Down from the States flew one of these one year in the celebration. - Tony has some wild stories  from when he was in the RAF.

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Wednesday August 9th 2017

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

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We can now  confirm the new date for the Trial - this will be the last weekend of September, but the Trial will now be a one day only on Oct 1st - After discussions with the Revy Riders Club - We have some other activities planned for the Saturday - more on this in the coming weeks.

In view of the Fire Hazard this year, we have been asked about spark arrestors for the bikes we sell - while we not stock these, they are available from a US company called “Spanish Fly Spark Arrestors”  ( just Google ) not cheap at $89.95 US.
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Here is another sidecar pic from England - these top teams tackle some crazy stuff.

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This is a great photo of Jordi Tarres on the Beta - Nice to see many of the great World Champion riders giving back to the sport as they age.

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Another smokey day in the Valley - I took a drive to Kelowna yesterday to deliver some Opti - stopped by to see the boys at Kelowna Yamaha, as well as the new Power Equipment dealer, located on the North side near Valley Motorsports. - nice new shop run by old friends - so if you need Opti Oil Products, or anything for your chainsaw / lawn mower etc -  be sure to check them out.

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Saw this neat shot from 1977 at Imola Italy - Steve Baker #32, Barry Sheene #7 and Kenny Roberts #2 - looks like Stevie got the hole-shot.

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