Beta Day Revelstoke

© Cecile Gambin Photography

Beta Motorcycles Canada has been calling BC and Alberta home for the past few weeks as Canadian distributor Stephen Howland took the 2017 line-up for demo days across select riding areas. First stop was in beautiful Revelstoke, BC. Travelling across the country the bikes needed to be prepped and ready to hit singletrack that you and I would ride in a heartbeat.

Speaking to media and other VIP Stephen Howland gives the low-down on the 2017 line-up.
Speaking to media and other VIP Stephen Howland gives the low-down on the 2017 line-up.
Early morning and working hard prepping bikes for some serious use.
Early morning and working hard prepping bikes for some serious use.
Beta Canada travelling in style across the country.
Beta Canada travelling in style across the country.
The Canadian Beta Factory Team - Foord, Marin, Howland, King
The Canadian Beta Factory Team – Foord, Marin, Howland, King
Revelstoke knows how to eat. The BEST mobile burritos ever. Yum.
This food truck may not look pretty but The Taco Club, hands-down, have the BEST mobile burritos ever. Yum.
The RR390 a favourite among the riders - fast, sleek, responsive.
The RR390 a favourite among the riders – fast, sleek, responsive.
Beta controls are intuitive and easy to use and read.
Beta controls are intuitive and easy to use and read.
My steed for the weekend helping me get around the trails with a 40lb backpack of camera gear. With a light front end it, and smooth power delivery it was easy to put the front wheel where I wanted it...and that was usually up and over the mega roots and rocks.
My steed for the weekend helping me get around the trails with a 40lb backpack full of camera gear. With a light front end and smooth power delivery it was easy to put the front wheel where I wanted it…and that was usually up and over the mega roots and rocks.
Bob Clarke of Mountain Motorcycles having fun riding high and styling it with his open face trials helmet.
Bob Clarke of Mountain Motorcycles having fun riding high and styling it with his open face trials helmet.
Steve Foord finishing off a stellar 2016 race year abroad a Beta.
Steve Foord finishing off a stellar 2016 race year abroad a Beta.
The Revy Riders Dirt Bike Club created trails abundant in views, rock, trees, and roots. Awesome-sauce.
Negotiating a steep, punchy loosey-goosey downhill with ease. The Revy Riders Dirt Bike Club created trails abundant in views, rock, trees, and roots. Awesome-sauce.

A huge shout-out to Stephen Howland for the day, the bikes, and the food. There’s a reason Beta bikes are sitting on the top step of the podium around the world. If you get a chance test ride one and you won’t be disappointed. Check with Beta Canada for the nearest demo day near you.

 

WTC Canadian Trials Championship 2016

© Cecile Gambin Photography

In a roundabout way CGP was on-hand catching the action at this years championship round held in beautiful Revelstoke, BC.

In between scouting areas and taking photos of Beta’s new line-up I was able to catch a bit of the action zooming around on a sweet 250 EVO for the weekend courtesy of Stephen Howland of Beta Canada. And, holy crow, what a sweet bike it is! A heck of a lot more ‘oumpf’, and smooth power delivery over my Gas Gas 200 TXT. Took me a while to get used to the extra power and the ergonomics it but by the end of the weekend I was becoming more comfortable on it. Maybe if I stopped buying camera gear I could afford a few new bikes!!

Kudos to all the competitors for a great sportsmanship as well as to all the volunteers it takes to run a two-day event. David Rhodes of Outlaw Beta and the folks with the Revy Riders Dirt Bike Club – a stellar job as always. Enjoy the photos and as always please feel free to leave a comment.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography
Riding for Beta Tino Marin of Spain negotiating a loosey-goosey steep uphill with ease. Congrats to Tino for taking home the pro win.
Sam King of Australia, Beta Canada, in a very difficult rocky section of the course.
Sam King of Australia, Beta Canada, in a very difficult rocky section of the course.
Steve Day, riding for Gas Gas, picking his line.
Steve Day, riding for Gas Gas, picking his line.
Stephen Foord talking with his minder Dean Thompson of Black Foot Direct.
Tino Marin talking with minder Taff Parfitt of Sherwood, Alberta.
With his line dialed in it was Steve Days turn.
With his line dialed in it was Steve Days turn.
Junior Riders competing both Saturday and Sunday for a shot at the title.
Junior Riders competing both Saturday and Sunday for a shot at the title.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography

Starting them young. This little guy could probably clean quite a few sections.
Starting them young. This little guy could probably clean quite a few sections.
It was a hot, dry, dusty Sunday making the climbs that much more difficult as shale and other loose debris moved underneath the tires.
It was a hot, dry, dusty Sunday making the climbs that much more difficult as shale and other loose debris moved underneath the tires.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
My steed for the weekend courtesy of Beta Canada – an EVO250. It’s an all-in-one smooth and and badass bike.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Brandon Schmidt riding for Electric Motion concentrating before his leap. Congrats to Brandon for taking home the win in the advanced division.
Stephen Foord on his way to winning the Advanced category.
Stephen Foord on his way to winning the Advanced category.

 

 

Strength in Women – an environmental portrait study

© Cecile Gambin Photography

One of my favourite types of photography is environmental portraits. What attracts me to this genre is capturing my client in their element, surrounded by where they live or what they do for work. I love the freedom, and the creativity of showcasing my subject in an area they feel the most comfortable in and getting away from a typical pose or smile.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people over the last few months and up front I need to thank them for their time and their confidence in me to show them in a not-so-typical photograph.

Many of these photos were recently published in the February 2016 issue of Traction eRag which happened to be the first All-Women’s issue for the magazine itself and, I believe, in the dirt bike world period. The issue is nothing short of awesomeness as it represents women from all ages and skills getting down to the barebones and exposing their fears, success, excitement, bravery, skills, hardwork and dedication that it took to get them where they are today. Click Traction eRag Women’s Issue 2016 for the issue…it’s FREE but I do encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future awesomeness. I am extremely pround and humbled to have been able to be a part of this special issue.CGP Website-2

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography

 

Trials Fun at the 2015 Vancouver Motorcycle Show

© Cecile Gambin Photography

Rain, rain go away …

What? Hell no!

The talented riders representing the Canada Trials Pacific Association put on an awesome show despite inclement weather this past Saturday at the 2015 Vancouver Motorcycle Show. Ok…so I might have been the only person enjoying the subtle rain. Thanks to the CPTA for organizing a fun event and for getting the word out that trials riding is fun, and beneficial for riders of all abilities and ages.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
What ever he just did on a motorcycle this guy could do it too.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Melissa Andrist on the A frame making it look easy.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Waiting, waiting…
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Alex Walton flying high over Christy Richards and Melissa Andrist.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Riding for Beta Tanner Nordin hops off the skinny.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Next year Tanner will try for 2 thumbs up!!
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Don Doerkson of Cascades Motorsports – an all around good guy and CPTA event sponsor – schooling the younger riders with a sweet wheelie.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
My artsy fartsy photo of the day.

Thanks to all the riders, and volunteers who made this show a success. It was great to see you out riding and wish I had brought my bike as well. A huge thank you as well to the riders for letting me in the cage and allowing me to photograph you 🙂

If you live in the BC area the CPTA will be hosting a demo day on March 22. Bring your friends, kids and try a trials bike to see what all the hoopla is about. Guaranteed for some fun and it’ll make you a better rider!

Cecile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids and Bikes

©Cecile Gambin PhotographyIt’s not always about food when it comes to kids it’s also about the fun they can have on bikes.

Here are a few photos of these two young boys enjoying their time around bikes. Spending a day at Popkum MotorPark the boys thoroughly enjoyed learning how to ride on a 16″ OSET and a Honda 50cc. So much fun that I know the eldest wants a red bike for Christmas!

©Cecile Gambin Photography
Daaaaady…come back with my bike!

Blog-4 Blog-3 Blog-2

‘Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky’ near Lytton, BC by Cecile Gambin

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away -- unknown
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away — unknown

A little bit of heaven shimmered to my left as we rounded a corner. Where vibrant colours, and unforgiving trees playfully grow taunting the dry, and arid climate. Unlike the west coast the hills in these mountains are frequently scorched as summer heat waves often put Lytton as the hottest spot in Canada. Surrounded by pine forests, steep grassy hills give way to rockier paths and flowing single track. Welcome to the trails near Lytton, BC, a town where the mighty Fraser and Thompson Rivers converge, nestled below far from our reaches during my ride with my good friend Jon Mutiger.

https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Lytton,+BC/@50.4824389,-121.6263786,2624m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x548104def8a97acb:0x3c5d348aebaad428

Surrounded by pine forests steep grassy hills gave way to rocky paths and sweet, flowing single track.
I use this quote from Neil Armstrong because it perfectly described how I felt seeing the world open up in front of me – ‘I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.’
© Cecile Gambin Photography
The most challenging trail was a very long and steep, grassy, sandy hill about 50 metres from the car that promised to flip you backwards as the front end of the bike kept popping up. I blew it at the 1/4 mark and decided to turn around to restart the climb. My bike gathered (lots of) speed with my rear wheel locked up fishtailing unable to get my foot off my rear brake pedal. A few hairy moments later I was staring upwards at the hill again, I gave the bike more gas and was determined to climb taking breaks where the terrain leveled off a bit to catch my breath and let my arms relax. The hill is shy of one kilometre. Jon told me if I wanted to reach the good stuff I had to tackle this climb. Topped out in 3rd gear I pinned it and was determined to reach the top. I did not want my day to end within the first 5 minutes of our ride.

 

Two Gas Gas trials bike equipped with a front mount Hebo 1.1 litre auxiliary fuel tank gave us more than our share of fun in addition to being quiet and with next to little or no environmental impact.
Two Gas Gas trials bike equipped with a front mount Hebo 1.1 litre auxiliary fuel tank gave us more than our share of fun in addition to being quiet and with next to little or no environmental impact.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Jon Mutiger on his 2011 Gas Gas 280 TXT Pro carefully riding along one of the many ridgelines.
Jon watering the plant life...again.
Jon watering the dry, arid desert-like conditions…again.
Cecile Gambin stupidly pulls up the front end on a sketchy path with a steep drop on the right. And by stupid I mean this lovingly as her wheelie skills are not to be desired.
I stupidly pull up the front end on a sketchy path with a steep drop on the right. And by stupid I mean this lovingly as my wheelie skills are not to be desired. Photo by Jon Mutiger.
Topped out at 2702 metres (6800 feet) the authors 2007 Gas Gas 200 TXT faltered a bit as the carb had not been adjusted for such heights. The road ended here as the snow became too deep and too soft to ride through.
Topped out at 2702 metres (6800 feet) my 2007 Gas Gas 200 TXT Pro faltered a bit as the carb had not been adjusted for such heights. Jon swapped out the Dellorto carb on his gasser for a Keihin carb. He needed a new reed block and throttle cable – the bike ran beautifully at all altitudes. The road ended here when the snow became too deep and soft to ride through and a clap of thunder and rain shattered the silence.

 

Squinting from the sun reflecting off the snow Jon's backpack not only carried food, water, a marine radio, tools but also a 5 litre jerry can. The authors orange backpack carried water, a few energy bars, camera equipment and spare levers. Because civilisation is so far, and cell phones have no signals  riders need to be self-sufficient and equipped with appropriate safety equipment.
Jon’s backpack carried food, water, a VHF radio, toilet paper, tools and a 5 litre jerry can. My orange Lowepro camera backpack carried water, a few energy bars, camera equipment, a rain jacket, extra gloves, spare levers and a shifter. Because civilisation is so far, and cell phones have no signals riders need to be self-sufficient and equipped with appropriate safety equipment.

 

Despite a fake left hip Jon can still bust out no-footers.
Despite a fake left hip Jon can still bust out no-footers.

 

We opted not to stay in this fine establishment but would welcome it should an emergency occur. It also doubles as a primo party place judging from the empty beer and vodka coolers, and shell casings we found lying around.
We opted not to stay in this fine establishment but would have welcomed it should an emergency have occurred. It also doubles as a primo party place judging from the empty beer, vodka coolers, and shell casings we found lying around.

As always a huge thank you to the hard working clubs that maintain the trails for our safety and enjoyment. The members of The West Coast Dirt Riders (www.westcoastdirtriders.com) are doing an excellent job. They currently maintain over 300 km of trails in the Laluwissin Creek area near Lytton. They are a small club and they take great pride in the trails they have created and maintained for years. The club also holds a popular national off-road XC race called the Monkey Wrench 100. This year there is a double header which includes a HS the day before the XC race on June 28 & 29.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
By the end of the day total travelling distance was approximately 60 km. We both started with 2 full tanks and 2 full auxiliary tanks. We topped up the bikes mid-way through our ride and probably had an extra 10 km or less of gas time left. The sights and the sheer vastness of the area are mind-boggling. The single track is fast and flowy while the technical hill climbs can hang-up an expert rider. I admit to not wanting to stop to take photos as I was having too much fun riding. A superb day with lots of arm-pumping action and a healthy dose of adrenaline but one that deserves to wait for a perfect blue-bird day for the vistas alone. I cannot wait for my next ride there.

 

 

Demystifying Moto-GymKhana & Honda’s Rock the Red Program

© Cecile Gambin PhotographyPartnered with Honda Canada instructor Yoshi Nakatani was Rockin’ the Red for another wildly successful Moto-GymKhana event in beautiful BC. Held on May 11th, 2014 the second annual MGK event saw a host of activities including Honda’s Junior Red Riders program, scooters and ATV demonstrations, and an action packed day.

MGK is an event consisting of speed pattern racing where the rider follows a new course ‘layout’, reacting by driving the bike into turns, braking, and accelerating in a closed loop. The goal is simply to complete the course in the fastest time with the fewest errors.

© Cecile Gambin PhotographyCecile Gambin Photography was on hand and capturing all the excitement including one from atop the Honda Trailer. Thanks guys for helping me up!! Check out the course that Yoshi put together from a birds eye view. The circular pattern of cones named ‘The Vortex’ was a highlight for riders. Instructors Yoshi and Reagan are out in the field teaching their students the layout.

Never been to or heard of Moto-Gymkhana? Check out my picture book below to help you understand!

© Cecile Gambin Photography
Mandatory walk around the enclosed loop to help prepare and learn the course. Actual MGK events require riders to go in blind relying heavily on their knowledge of the ‘cone code’ where the colour of a cone defines a rule. For example, red cones are for right hand turns. The Rock the Red program is user friendly and designed to help a rider understand and learn MGK.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
A set of wireless timing system insures quick and accurate timing results. The bike must be within the yellow rectangle at the start and must end inside a similar box at another point in the course. The tire must not go past the yellow tape at the finish line.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Lead Instructor Yoshi Nakatani and Regan help noobie MGK riders learn the course with a little help from yellow arrows pointing the way.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Teaching course marshalls the rules of MGK. Yoshi hates this part of his job :p
Yoshi checking the course layout and warming up the tires before the event begins.
Yoshi checking the course layout and warming up the tires before the event begins.
Honda's CB500F and the 125 Grom were used for the events. Riders could choose between one of the two categories (CBF or Grom) for the competition.
Honda’s CB500F and the 125 Grom were used for the events. Riders could choose between one of the two categories (CBF or Grom) for the competition.
Fail! Although fast and showing lots of promise this Grom rider went past the Yellow tape at the finish line.
Fail! Although fast and showing lots of promise this Grom rider went past the Yellow tape at the finish line.
While MGK might look easy falls can happen. Usually the rider and the bike are unharmed as speed isn't a factor. Most riders barely get out of second gear again reinforcing the fact that this is an event not based on speed but rather on technical skills.
While MGK might look easy falls can happen. Usually the rider and the bike are unharmed as speed isn’t a factor. Most riders barely get out of second gear again reinforcing the fact that this is an event not based on speed but rather on technical skills.
Motorcycle riders and spectators are always up for a good laugh!
Motorcycle riders and spectators are always up for a good laugh!
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Working with Honda’s Junior Red Riders the good folks at Popkum Motorpark are all thumbs up!
A CB500F on course and on deck a fleet of Groms patiently waiting their turn.
A CB500F on course and on deck a fleet of Groms patiently waiting their turn.
First place Grom Class Trophy. Pretty sweet plate!!
First place Grom Class Trophy. Pretty sweet plate!!
Honda's Junior Red Rocket Riders are at all MGK events. Bring your child and they'll come back with smiles!
Honda’s Junior Red Riders are at all MGK events. Bring your child and they’ll come back with smiles!
Even the little tykes get to play while Mommy and Daddy get to ride big bikes of their own.
Even the little tykes get to play while Mommy and Daddy get to ride big bikes of their own.
Want to try an ATV, or a scooter? Honda demo programs are also on hand at all MGK events.
Want to try an ATV, or a scooter? Honda demo programs are also on hand at all MGK events.
A great job by Yoshi Nakatani, as well as Honda Canada and all the volunteers for a successful 2014 event.

If you are interested in trying an MGK event the next stops are in Boucherville, Quebec (May 24) and in Markham, Ontario (August 10).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traction eRag May 2014 Issue

10257461_663515443684648_2937589541480216865_oYes! It’s that time of the month again when Traction eRag comes out. Stoked to have one of my photos grace the cover of the May 2014 issue. If you are into riding (offroad, Dual Sport and Trials) be sure to check out this on line magazine. It’s free and it’s chock full of goodies. Tons of graphics, relevant stories and articles and it’s even interactive!  Click on the link below to subscribe so you can automatically receive the magazine in your inbox (and don’t forget to include the address into your address book so it doesn’t go to your Spam folder). www.tractionerag.ca

TRACTION Off-Road & Dual Sport eRag – December 2013 Issue

TRACTION Dec. 2013 Cover

The latest issue of Traction Off-Road & Dual Sport Magazine is out!

I am very proud of this issue for a few reasons. But it’s not just because two of my articles and photos are featured in this months magazine but simply because I made a great friend in the process. I had the opportunity to interview Robert Perkins for the ‘Riding with MS’ article at the end of August and in that short time a life long friendship blossomed. I am very proud of the article but my success could not have been without my amazing editor Aija Marshall. She has a way with words.

I hope you take the time to check out the December issue. It’s chock full of goodies, editorial content and crazy pictures.

Don’t forget to share the link with your friends as well and if you haven’t already please sign up to receive Traction directly to your inbox. The magazine is FREE.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!!

Cecile

Dirt Bikes + Snowmobiles = Snow-Biking

© Cecile Gambin Photography

The geniuses at The Hershey Company figured out that if you put peanut butter and chocolate together you get something good. Now I’m not quite sure who created the snow-bike but the same concept holds true: take a dirt bike, remove the wheels, slap on a single ski up front and a track similar to that of a snowmobile behind and you get a snow-bike all of which doesn’t melt in your hands and makes you just as giddy as scarfing down a Peanut Butter cup.

Food aside, my good friend Jon Mutiger called up fellow snow-bikers to meet at Britton Creek Rest Area, just off the Coquihalla Highway this past Saturday. We met up with Kevin, Euc, and Dave all eager beaver to hit the snow but kinda spooked by the weather. They weren’t the only ones…according to everybody in the lower mainland, BC just hit record lows and the complaints I heard about the cold were hilarious. But before all you Vancouverites and other fine BC folks get all bent out of shape and call me an ‘Onterrible’ I need to let you know that I hate the cold. I don’t do well in it. My feet and hands have been frostbitten before and really dislike temps below 5C. So, it seemed fitting to try snow-biking for the first time under blue bird skies and morning temps hovering around -25C. The thought of trying my hand at riding in the deep, fluffy snow and photographing riders where a backdrop of crisp, clean whites and deep blues was too alluring to be bothered by the cold. To view all photos please click HERE.

Jon finished working on his bike installing a long track ‘Timbersled’ late Friday night. The plan was to ride 2-UP and I cannot thank Jon enough for agreeing to take me onboard. He smartly adapted BMX foot pegs to the rear of the bike so that I would have somewhere to place my feet. Because of the track the left peg was displaced further back when compared to the right peg which made for an interesting riding position. I couldn’t see myself travelling far distances with one leg stretched out well behind me while the other was in a more normal 90 degree bent position. As it was, Jon’s GPS recorded a 47 km trip. From time to time I did need to stretch and extend my left leg. This however wasn’t a big concern and I adapted quickly. The hardest part was trying to stay on the seat as my snowboard pants slipped on the rock (frozen) solid KTM seat. The steep verticals were a challenge as Jon needed to punch the throttle a few times to get us up and over. Funny enough while I was gripping the seat with my legs…my thoughts wandered back to when I was 15 and at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto where I rode a mechanical bull. I used my legs to hold on and allowed my upper body to relax and go with the flow. I’m a day dreamer – thinking of weird things while I should be concentrating – I’m odd like that!

Far from being on a mechanical bull though the ride on the snow-bike was relatively smooth. Until we hit a stump. Jon gasped and squawked milliseconds before we hit and I automatically braced myself gripping tighter with the legs and arms tightening around Jon’s waist. No worries…Jon’s a great rider and he expertly handled the stump – just a bump in the snow.

We did fall a few times though and the landing was soft. Actually, they weren’t ‘true’ falls but more of a slow-motion tip over. Please don’t think that these bikes tip easily. They don’t and are in fact very stable…I think. Alas, I can’t really write about how to ride them, or how they handle as I don’t have the experience and I failed miserably attempting to pilot Jon’s machine later in the day. Apparently, the trick is to give the bike lots of gas off the start. On my first two attempts I barely got the bike in motion and fell over. By the third time I realised how much more gas I needed to give it and happily rode about 10 metres before I had to turn (there were trees in front of me). I made it partially through my turn before I fell over. Jon looked at me patiently as I tried with all my might to lift the 350lb + machine in knee deep snow. I batted my eye lids and reduced myself to a princess by throwing up my hands in the air and yelled ‘I can’t lift it…it’s TOO heavy’.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography

I’m determined to learn how to ride one of these machines and will rent one in the future. There are several outfits that rent snow-bikes around the BC area. Geoff Kyle of Geoff Kyle’s Freeriding offer both rentals and guiding in the Whistler area. After spending a day as a passenger soaking in unreal sites I am ready to learn. Snow-bikes have the ability to go where sleds cannot – easily traversing slopes and riding steep verticals. The allure of fresh powder, and (wo)man-handling a bike through un-touched, rarely travelled terrain is appealing. Plus, I love the feeling of the bikes power when climbing and cutting through deep snow on tight turns. The feeling of floating across the powder is unmatched by dirt … not to mention there is no cleaning afterwards. No mud and always squeaky clean!

Cecile

PS…you can laugh at me as this recent Ontario transplant may not have been afraid of the cold but I did manage to get frostbite on the end of my fingers. Serves me right for holding my camera and lens sans gloves. At least I got some killer photos!