Archive for August, 2018

Friday August 31st 2018

Friday, August 31st, 2018

The last day of August - hard to believe with the “Summer from Hell” that we have had - mind you, I always think the best time of the year to ride in the woods is the Fall, so we are looking forward to that.  In fact we are planning on going to Summerland on Sunday - give us a shout if you want to join us. - This will be a guided tour with me showing some old sections but nothing too tough as I just can’t do this anymore. If you would like to try either a  Beta Evo 200 or a TRS 300 let me know.
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Here is a neat poster advert from many years ago - old timers will remember these great riders I saw them both race at Hawkstone Park in the UK - That was when big four-strokes ruled. - Although Brian Stonebridge  was one of the first to show the potential of small two-strokes, racing a BSA Bantam fitted with a special exhaust expansion chamber similar to what the Europeans were using on their road race bikes - I also saw him on this at Hawkstone and could not believe how he went up the huge hill on that 150cc BSA Bantam -  that is a  key part of the Shropshire track.

Stonebridge later went on to develop the Greeves competition bikes, which took over the Scrambles scene for a few years - a young Dave Bickers was guided by the gifted Brian Stonebridge, who sadly  died in a traffic accident. - A huge loss to the motorcycle world.

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Before the invention of “Hop & bop” in Trials competition, a young Bernie Schreiber  practiced his “Full Floater” turns to navigate around tight turns in the sections. - Of course a lot of riders copied this technique, one of the best being Stan Bakgaard, who is pictured doing one of these in Bernie’s book on Trials. ( This pic is of Bernie)
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I have no idea who these guys are - I just thought it was a neat shot of guys in Alberta out having fun, when there is so much BS going on over there regarding Crown Land - Of course they have an event going this weekend called “The Maze runner” - not sure what it’s all about, but Mitch Brown and his team have been scouting and showing pics of some really neat (and tough) parts of the course -  not sure if any BC riders are going to this. - ( I just love the enthusiasm these Alberta guys have)
I remember racing Cross Countries   in Alberta so well - and I remember how many of the routes would sometimes  be through large flat meadows - which were filled with narrow hidden creek beds - overgrown with the brush. - I recall one time Hall of Fame guy  Steen Hanson passed me because he thought he had a better line through this Muskeg Valley  - but out of the corner of my eye - I saw him disappear into one of these traps - and I mean completely disappear !! - I looked back to make sure that he was OK.

As I’ve mentioned many times, in the early 70’s, we used to race our Trials bikes in Cross Country events ( until they made them more like Hare Scrambles)  - Looking at Mitch’s pics - I think a good Trials rider could do well at the event this weekend. ( Of course, everybody knows that - ” All” of the hard Enduro races have been dominated by Ex Trials riders in recent times)
However - Trials bikes only work well for the most part  at low speeds  but  if you plan on doing any fire- roads - PLEASE keep the revs down  - It’s always a good idea to reach down and pull up the choke lever a tad at these times. ( Sorry not easy on the latest Beta Evo models)
-(But I do remember that my 74 TY250  would do at least 60mph in 6th gear - that’s exactly the speed I was doing when I crashed at the first ever Elkford Cross Country - I was leading the race which  had us going for a long way down an old railroad bed - it was really  fast - trouble was they took out one of the bridges over a creek - end of my race - cracked ribs and concussion - !!   - The TY was pretty much toast.
And a note here to PLEASE  check the level of anti-freeze in your radiator !! - We have recently had a couple of Beta’s burn down because of this not being looked after. ( they were being used on Fire-roads)
Also one of our buddies had a friend out for a ride last weekend and they had an issue with the Evo 200 - turned out it was the kill switch connection - but also the air filter was plugged !! - I offer no comment on this except it’s a good idea to wrap some electrical tape around the kill switch  connection.
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This from the last WTC Trial in Quebec
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This pic just popped up on FB - one I took of Tino Marin at the WTC National in Revelstoke a couple of years ago.  - Tino has now moved to Toronto to pursue is ambition to fly helicopters - and I think may eventually return to Spain.

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Thursday August 30th 2018

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Anybody that has been to the Scottish Six Days Trial, will recognize this section as “Laggan Locks” - a long uphill gully filled with boulders. - This is American World Champion Bernie Schrieber - cleaning it on the Factory Bultaco  - the year he won.

Interesting that this section has not changed, but in spite of the huge improvements in the bikes, there are still only about 30% of the Entry that “Clean” it each year.
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Yesterday must have been “Revy Day” - as I got calls from both Florian and Chris - nice to chat about things after quite a long time - Unfortunately Flo said he had a bad crash on his Mountain bike at the weekend - resulting in cracked ribs and maybe a broken wrist. - Glad to say Chris has no injuries to report - he is on a break from the Forest Fires for this week.

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This is a pic of Jamie McGregor with Jordan Szoke - The bike is the ex Josef TRRS 300 that we shipped down to Ontario ( Josef bought the Goldy)

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RESULTS FROM  the WTC TRIAL IN QUEBEC

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Wednesday August 29th 2018

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

What a great shot this is of Jordi making a return to Trials after 25 years - and winning both days on a bike he designed - what a thrill that must have been.
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And here’s Sammy, doing what he does best - Sit down wheelies !! Tiki loves to be part of the show. Sam will be doing his thing on the Sept 8-9th weekend in Salmon Arm.
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As some people may know - They have been hosting an over 50 World Trials Championship Series in Europe,  for the past couple of years, based on points at various events ( including the SSDT) - The popular winner this year is Carlos Casas - the likable Spanish Banker, who has done so much to encourage Spanish riders to compete at the Scottish.

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In spite of all the land restrictions in Alberta, there is a Tough Enduro   coming up this weekend - Mitch Brown is the main man behind this and from looking at some of the pre-ride pics - I would say that the top guys need to be on their game. - great to see all this still happening in Alberta. Keep up the good work . ( And keep lobbying the Politicians.)
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More news as it happens >>>

Tuesday August 28th 2018

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

This is a shot of Iron Mountain near Mission BC - where Mike Crumley has been putting in a ton of hours cutting trail and making some very “Big” sections. - The Iron Mountain Trial goes Sept 16th and comes under the CPTA banner. - Should be a great event.
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The crazy weather continues, with snow in Some parts of Alberta - Then the pic below shows the huge fire still burning close to Castlegar BC
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With the Fire season really cutting back on everybody’s riding time  - we are a bit overstocked with accessories, so as of this weekend - we will be giving super deals on everything - Call us if you are in the market for anything.

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Gotta love this pic of Helmut and Mick - sharing a joke at one of the Ormstown Vintage events.

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My Tuesday will start with a visit to the Hospital for more tests - never a dull moment when you get on in years - However, I have always found the staff at our local hospital to be very kind and efficient. -  Then I need to go renew my driving license - something else that is a bit more of a hassle when you are old.

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Momma Bear phoned from Alberta last night, to say the weather had been quite cold and rainy - but they had a nice blue sky yesterday, just like in Vernon - Surprising how much this does to “Perk you up”

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This is what I call a “Proper” section - Pipeline at the Scottish Six Days - has not changed for decades, but still a challenge even on the modern bikes.  The rider is young Andy Perry on the Steve Saunders sponsored TRS.
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This is Nate Hirt from Michigan - who was the top (and only) Pro rider at the Sleeping Giant club Trial in Ontario last Sunday - This was only the second event that the new club had hosted, so nice to see them attract some riders from the USA.  - It was sanctioned by the WTC. and put on by David McLuckie.
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And here is your Vintage pic for today   >

Monday August 27th 2018

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Well we finally have clear blue skies today in Vernon - not sure how long this will last, but the overnight rain obviously helped get rid of some of the smoke from the Wild Fires.

Yesterday, I just played couch potato - watched the early morning Formula One from Belgium - then the PGA Golf. -

Decided against going to Kelowna to grab a coffee with Kevin, as I felt kinda lazy.
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Looking back at the cancellation of the Moto GP race at Silverstone because of the weather - I can only imagine the issues coming down the pipe, with spectator refunds, not to mention the huge expense to the Teams.  - I feel sorry for the organizers, as it’s never an easy decision - but rider safety comes first.

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Colin Bennett posted this pic of a climb they found yesterday in Alberta, while scouting for an upcoming Cross Country race !!

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The Sleeping Giant trials Club showed off this neat sign at their WTC event at the weekend in Ontario.

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Local Vernon rider Malcolm Hett had a bad crash at an Arizona Enduro X - on the last lap, while in 2nd place - ended up with a broken ankle, but got up and finished 5th - Tough guy - Get well soon mate.

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As we head into the Labor Day long weekend - not sure of anything happening, although obviously we would like to get out for a ride.

- The World Trials Circus will be in Yorkshire - so it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the English weather, which is always unpredictable.

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This kinda sums up TT Road racing in the Isle of Man.
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Sunday August 26th 2018

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

With the air quality at a high 10 - I have stayed indoors this weekend - apart from a visit with Travis today, when he stopped by to pick up some Beta parts. - The Golf was on TV, and I decided to check out some old CD’s that were laying on the desk in the office.

This is a pic from 10 years ago, when I did the Joss Climb on my 71st birthday - not sure who took this shot of me approaching the summit on my Beta Rev 3, but it looks more like a painting than a photograph. - I recall we had 12 riders out that day, including Jimmy and Steve Richardson, Terry Bainbridge, Taff, Bobby, Big Jerry from PG - Paul Throssell and I think Steve Wilson -plus John Dearie and a couple more. -   I went up a few more times after that - the last being with Stan on my 75th birthday.

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The forecast was for a rain shower today in the Valley, but nothing so far in Vernon. - However, heavy rain in the UK has caused a delay in starting the Moto GP race at Silverstone - Jorge Lorenzo  (Ducati) is on pole. - UPDATE:  Race cancelled due to bad weather.

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Not a lot to report  this Sunday - I will be driving down to Kelowna later to meet up with Kev Smith for a coffee, before he heads back to Vancouver . - More news later >>>

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Dabill remains unbeaten in British Championship.

Results from the British Championship today.

Saturday August 25th 2018

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

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Michel Belanger has been invited to an Urban Trial in Mexico on the Sept 8-9th -  Michel is sponsored by Beta Canada. -  We wish him luck.

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This was posted today.
The B.C. government said in a news release they are considering harsher punishments for careless people who start wildfires, including impounding cars for tossing cigarette butts out of the window.

“We must send a clear message to those that carelessly start wildfires that their behaviour will not be tolerated,” states the release.

“Should we double the fine for failing to extinguish a campfire? Should we ban those who break campfire bans from using our provincial parks? Should we impound the vehicles of those who flick lit cigarette butts from their car windows?”

Firefighter crews in B.C. have responded to 1,083 forest fires this summer, compared to 523 at this time last year. Of those, one-third are human caused, which amounts to 375 fires and more than 48,000 hectares in flames.

“It’s often said that you can’t legislate against stupidity, but if exploring the idea of harsher penalties for careless acts means more people get the message, we must do it.”

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And this >>

Burns Lake fire is so out of control there is nothing they can do to stop it.

As we live out of town on a narrow rural road, it’s always a concern that somebody will be stupid enough to toss a butt out into the  long dry grass that borders this very busy road that runs up above Swan Lake. - The traffic on this has increased big time since we moved out here about 8 years ago, and why there is not more policing of the large Trucks that use it to by-pass the scale on the main Hiway is a mystery. - It is simply like an old English Country road, very narrow, full of pot holes, and although it’s posted at 50km - every day the traffic goes flying by our driveway likely doing 90-100km. - It’s always used by cyclists on the weekends - which also causes congestion ( it’s a bit like the Tour de France at times)  and I’m amazed that there have not been more serious accidents.

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I saw this posted today by a concerned Albertan - and I totally agree with him -  I have traveled the David Thompson Hiway, many, many times over the years, including just a couple of weeks ago, and it is huge - even though a lot of people use the  area for weekend camping, especially on the shores of the Big Lake ( which rivals the Okanagan in sheer size)  - the traffic is always very sparse.  ( Most of the Tourists head up the Jasper Hiway from Lake Louise)

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Ryan Brown to Save Alberta’s Eastern Slopes For Multiuse

Save the Bighorn. Just west of nordegg lies the beautiful area known as big horn. Every weekend people from all over the province camp and ride OHV’S there. Environmentalists say it needs to be shut down, but they are short sighted, and uninformed. There is no better place for hundreds of people ( family’s ) to meet and ride. The whole area is dry, and mostly rock. None of the trails cross streams, hardly any mud holes, and the trails are easy ( great place for people that have new riders, or kids with them ). Big horn absorbs large amounts of people and just shrugs it off. These are people that will go other places, and the other places are sure to be more environmentally sensitive. The whole trail system is less than 100 km, and never goes further than 18 km into the bush. The whole trail system is a small network of trails that go round in circles. I’ve been riding in the area for 25 years, and can tell you that the trails are exactly the same as they were 25 years ago. Instead of shutting down such an iconic riding area, the government should be embracing it as an OHV park. Built on old industrial land, with dry bed rock making up 95% of the trail system, bighorn is the perfect place to absorb Albertans love for the out doors.

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Friday August 24th 2018

Friday, August 24th, 2018

If you live in Alberta and are looking for something to do this weekend - why not take a trip to Drumheller to check out the Flat Track races ?  Just like Trials - Flat Track has a very small following - but the action is fast and the riders are great people.
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WEC News >>> These events have proven to be super popular with a  zillion entrees

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The Classic TT Races are on right now in the Isle of Man - This is a pic of John McGuiness, back in action, after a long lay-off due to a crash in Ireland. - We have not heard if Stevie Baker will attend this year - but we know quite a few of the really “Great” riders show up to support this event. - Agostini for one.
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The ATA held a successful Trial recently, which has been reported on Trials Canada - Interesting to note that the largest class, by far, was the over 45 - a trend that seems to be quite common at many events. ( Also a bit troubling for the future of the sport)
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I saw this pic posted by Peter Issler from Alberta - and thought it really portrays what riding and racing in the woods is all about.
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Put Mama on the plane to Calgary late yesterday - she is paying her yearly visit to see her sister - It’s been many years since I flew anywhere, and I have no desire to go anyplace at my age. - It’s not easy for old folk and I was surprised to learn that they do not take cash at the check in counter for baggage. -  !!

Glad to report that the skies were quite clear in Kelowna, and I even saw some blue, as I headed back up the Valley - Looking at the forecast, it appears that Babsy will see some rain in Alberta.

I stopped by to see old buddy Steve Wilson in Kelowna, before I headed back to Vernon - he is just back from a wonderful trip to Alaska with his kids and has a zillion pics from the vacation - we talked about how nice it is to see the actual prints in a scrap book - rather than on the electronic devises. -

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Here is a great poster from the lads down East - They are doing a super job promoting the sport.
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Thursday August 23rd 2018

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the big Vintage in the Valley event in Chilliwack last Sunday, but Randy McBee kindly got Stevie Baker to sign a couple of posters for me - Thanks Stevie.  - He also showed me this original T shirt from the 1975 FIM World Round that I set up in Calgary  ( No I didn’t get to keep it) I don’t think I ever got one of those.
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With all the smoke in the Valley, not a lot happening, but I did enjoy a nice lunch with Randy yesterday , catching up on the latest news,  later today Babsy  flies out to Alberta to visit her sister, so I will be “Batching” for a while.

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Taff emailed to tell me that Thanksgiving is not on Sept 30th - which is the date of our WTC National   at Malakwa. - but is one week later ( guess I must have been looking at an old Calendar)

The Silver Star group are still looking for Trials riders to compete in a Trials bike only class at their Rev Limiter Enduro X on Sept 22nd - let me know if you are interested.

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The Moto GP Teams are at Silverstone, England this weekend - a favorite track for home town hero Cal Crutchlow, and one that Valentino Rossi likes - Rossi has reported that he still feels very fit and plans on racing for at least two more years. ( He also says that  the Yamaha bikes need improvements)

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Wednesday August 22nd 2018

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

This was erected in Manning Park many years ago after a tossed out cigarette butt caused a huge fire - maybe it should be put back up with replicas all over BC.
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Well I had a funny phone call from my life insurance company, after I queried  a charge - they told me that my premiums will be free after I reach the age of 90 !!!  “Whoopy-doo”  -  Now that is really something to look forward to.
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Trials enthusiast Eric Lejeune  - and his wife are vacationing in the US and have been posting lots of photos of their travels
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Yesterday we had a visit with Bruce Baker - he stopped by to pick up some parts for his Beta Evo -  ( naturally we had them in stock !!)  - Unfortunately he had a “Get-off” on his big bike  a while back - which left his arm in a cast and a badly damaged thumb. ( shades of my background)

Bruce now lives in West Kelowna, although his work job keeps him in camp north of Revelstoke for much of the time. - However - we look forward to him being able to hook up with Shane for some Trials rides ( Yup he is looking at either a new Beta or TRS- Once he heals up)
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In weather news - still smokey in the Valley, but not so bad as it was - everybody do a rain dance.!!

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We have heard from Sammy - and he is in Regina today putting on Trials and Enduro schools  - his next stop is Manitoba, before returning to BC in time to put on Round #2 of our WTC National Trials series at Malakwa on September 30th (Thanksgiving)

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Saw this neat poster on FB - reminded me that some of the best times you can have on your Trials bike, are, simply hooking up with your buddies to explore the mountains.

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