Offroad racing in an urban city just became reality. On August 26, 2012 Motomotions inaugural XC event took place at Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort, in Kitchener, Ontario. Fielding Offroad Ontario’s largest race turnout the event (over 200) was both challenging yet fun for racers and spectators alike.
Under another blazing hot sunny day, the newly layed out course held up well under dry, dusty conditions. With lots of switchbacks, off camber climbs, near vertical ups and downs – the course can be crowned as one of the most difficult on the Offroad Ontario XC circuit. Not impossible…but challenging. And in my opinion…challenge is good. I don’t know about you but that’s how I learn and how I get better. There were a few bottle necks in the morning races but don’t forget…this is a brand new course. Hiccups are bound to happen and I am sure these will be dealt with appropriately next year.
I had a blast taking pictures for this event. Taking photos in a new facility always amps up my creative juices. The most difficult part of the day (besides becoming ‘crispy’ from too much sun) was the dust. Like most of the race season this summer the dust has been relentless. I decided to stay with one lens as I did not want to change it out in the open. I just spent good money cleaning my sensor and, quite frankly, I cannot afford to part with my camera for a few days while it sits on some white lab table at Nikon HQ.
Not only was this a spectacular event Chicopee had a their restaurant/bar open and lots of beers were sold during and after the races for spectators and racers alike. Entrance money from over 400+ people was also collected in support of the Rick Hanson Foundation. Killer award plaques – sporting a huge 10×15″ size – found their way into the hands of podium recipients. Pro autograph session, free posters, vendors, exhibitors and tons of activities for the entire family. Need I say more?
To see all pictures of Sundays MX1 & MX2 races please click on this link: order.cecilegambin.com/riders. Or, go to the Gallery tab above and the ‘For Riders’ tab.
Early Saturday morning I received an email from the editor of Inside MotoX & Offroad letting me know that my credentials were waiting at Gate B ready for me to pick up in time for the 2012 Parts Canada CMRC TransCan Canadian MX Nationals held in Walton, Ontario, August 19.
A few hours later I was in my car driving back to Toronto (I had just gotten to the cottage only a few hours before) to pick up the rest of my camera gear, buy another memory card, charge my batteries and get about 4.5 hours sleep. David and the kids stayed up north so I would have to drive back on Monday to pick them up as I had taken the car.
Despite the lack of sleep and heavy driving duty it was not an issue as I loved every moment shooting the big race. Don’t get me wrong…I love offroad but I will admit that shooting a 2-3 km MX loop is much easier than a 100km enduro event. Really the only similiarities between the two sports, aside from the bikes having two wheels, is the poison ivy that grows rampant in sandy soil. And, somewhere on the Walton farm there is a crop of it and it found me!
I have assembled a few photos that I hope you will enjoy. They have been specifically chosen to represent my day watching athletes and volunteers hard at work, and spectators enjoying the show while encompassing the beautiful Walton farm landscape where the colours and textures inspired me to take the photos the way I did.
Thanks to Jeff Morgan of IMX for giving me this opportunity!