To finish the article I am currently writing for Traction eRag Magazine I decided it was necessary to ride the ‘A Loop’ of the Fall Newbie Ride to give a more complete overview of the ride. I took my Gas Gas TXT 200 trials bike and was called a cheater by some of the DSBC members (LOL!!) for using such a light weight bike but I am glad I did as we hit snow. I know it would have been a handful and the thought of falling with rather heavy and expensive camera equipment on my back and my KTM 200 didn’t really appeal to me. After all, this is the A Loop and Tom Timmerman, president of the DSBC was quoted saying this was hard because it is the HARDEST. To see more photos please clickHERE.
As promised the A Loop did not disappoint. Buffalo Jump, Parish Hill…all trails that deserve a blog on their own. Six riders in total (7 by the end of the day) travelled together and knocked off one trail after another. One hill after another. One mud hole after another until our tires no longer travelled on dirty, wet leaves but left traces across fresh, wet snow. As we climbed the snow became deeper and wetter.
Riding along a narrow goat path, rocks hidden under a foot of snow the trail turned and opened to reveal a bowl. My jaw dropped and I had to stop to take photos. It was eye candy. Every turn was as beautiful as the last – snow covered pine trees absent of noise – it was a true winter wonderland. I stopped several times. I had to – the photographer inside me begged me to.
I had not ridden in snow in a long time and it was indeed a test of balance. I was called a cheater for using my trials bike but I don’t think I was. In fact, in my eyes the others were cheating as they sat and paddled their way through the deep stuff. I, on the other hand, have no seat. The difficulty came when the snow and ice would freeze creating a layer of ice on my pegs after crossing open creeks. My feet would slip off pushing me forward onto my bars and digging my front wheel into the soft snow. This was on the flats. The downhill was another story as my rear brake kept freezing up forcing me to use more front brake than wanting and again causing my front end to dig in. But, I survived and it was fun and I only fell once…of course, in front of everybody.
Thanks again to Tom Timmerman for leading the group and taking me out on an amazing ride. I’m still in awe at the scenery and the fun time riding in the snow along narrow goat paths. Next week Tom has a call out for DSBC members to help clean up and maintain the trails in the area. If you can lend a hand contact the club for more information – preserving trails and keeping them safe for our use is important to us all. Thanks for all the hard work!!
The 2 Day Algonquin Ride is best known for being a difficult trail ride and this year was no exception as the recent rains created numerous mud and water holes. Part of the KTM Trail Ride Series, The Algonquin, or The Madawaska Ride, features the best of Ontario from unforgiving Canadian Shield to flowy pine tree sections to endless water holes. A must-do ride that should be on everybody’s bucket list.
For event photos please click HERE and scroll down to the bottom to find the albums.
Beautiful blue skies prevailed Saturday treating the riders to spectacular views and stunning Ontario scenery as trails led past slabs of granite rick, lakes and rivers. Sunday was equally as beautiful. Sadly though, the rain began shortly after 6am and did not ease up until noon. I will admit to having thoughts of calling it a day and heading home early to celebrate Fathers Day but decided to stick it out. And, I am so glad that I did because some of my best photos were taken early Sunday morning. I thank all the riders for sticking it out on this cool, wet morning.
Haliburton Trail Riders put on an exceptional show. Typically Saturday is the hardest day with over 150 km of trail and access roads covered. Optional route lines allow beginner to expert riders to choose the trail of their choice with respect to their ability. Sunday is the easier of the two days with approximately 100 km of trails. Having said this, Sunday might be easier technically but it does not fall short on the beauty scale as riders are treated to quiet winding dirt roads and lush single track.
Offroad Ontario XC #2 held at MotoPark, Chatsworth, Ontario this past weekend is in the bag and all event photos can be found HERE.
I have fond memories of MotoPark having first visited back in the mid-90’s for the XC Mountain Bike Provincial Championships. I think I ‘podium-ed’ so was happy. However, my second visit last year dampered my spirits as the rock laden course broke my back (not quite literally but close enough). Unable to finish the race I was faced with the daunting task of walking back to my car, loading my bike and driving back home in excruciating pain. My downfall was from coming back too early from a previous injury, setting me back for another 3-4 months. A hard lesson learned. This is my type course – rocky, flowing and technical. But I remember all too well the pain, sleepless nights and not being able to chase after my then 2 year old that I turned to my camera instead of my bike this time around and made sure I had a full bottle of Advil in my car. Just in case.
Once again the folks at Halton Off Road Riders Association (HORRA) and Offroad Ontario (OO) put on another successful event. For complete results please log onto OO’s website (see link above) and enter their forum. Over 140 riders turned out for this years race and those who spent the time working out this winter were most likely rewarded with a podium finish. This is a punishing course! Don’t forget to release the air out of your suspension as they will have had a major workout.
Congratulations extended to Brian Wojnarowski for taking top honours in the Pro Mens Class. And as always, kudos to the numerous volunteers needed to run events such as these!
The 2013 Beagle Bash Enduro and Trail Ride is only a few days away. For many it will be the first ride of the season…especially after this unusually cold weather where Old Man Winter has not wanted to hand over the reigns to Spring.
Cecile Gambin Photography will be there, somewhere, in the trails. I’m heading out Saturday with hopes to find a few spots for photos. Thank you to Doug Kent of the Lynn Valley Dirt Riders for hooking me up with directions. I’ve ridden the Beagle Bash several times in the past and I can tell you that it will feel great to swing a leg over the bike and ripping up the trails.
New this year is the start line which will be held at The Langton Community Centre, 28 Albert St., Langton, Ontario. For more information and to pre-register for the trail ride or the enduro please clickhere. Thanks to the good people at LVDR for their making the 2013 years enduro and trail ride happening!!
Seems like it was only yesterday when I was working on my Georgian Bay photo art series for the 2012 annual Ojibway Art Show.
I once again visited ‘Empress Channel’ what is hands down my favourite place in Pointe-au-Baril this spring. A combination of the white washed rocks, rugged coastline, lonely pine trees, and the treacherous shoal laden clear blue waters give this area the most unique feel of northern portion of The Parry Sound Archipelago.
My hopes, through my photography and photo art, is to show the natural beauty of the area. Building on my previous years theme I take an original photo that I took the previous cottage season and manipulate it into a digital painting. Through painting I am able to add movement and depth into my photographs thus moving my two dimensional photo into a more vivid and dynamic one.
For this particular image, much like a painter with oils or acrylic, I took away a few bushes and pine trees to better isolate the tree. I took this photo in early spring when the leaves had just started coming out. The bright greens against the blue sky, cool blue waters and white rock remain a vivid memory. I feel I have captured ‘Empress Channel’ the way I remember it with the above image.
All my prints are for sale. They are Museum Quality, and Giclée printed on Hahnemühle Fine Art Papers. Prints are signed and sold in limited quantities. As always, please feel free to email me with comments or questions. Thank you for looking and taking the time to go through my website.