Today I could not ignore the sheer beauty of the 4th installment of Offroad Ontario’s XC race at Albalea. To view or purchase event photos please click HERE and, if you are on FaceBook please feel free to visit my page at Cecile Gambin Photography for updates.
A little bit of mud was found among spectacular scenery. The raw beauty, lush vivid green plants, majestic trees, moss covered rocks and slabs of Canadian Shield that graciously lined this property reminded me of the infamous ‘North Shore’, BC and I was giddy at having this wonderful opportunity to photograph here. Everywhere it was eye candy – I didn’t know where to begin and realised that another trip here in the future is a must.
This race was both good and bad for racers and myself alike. Good news – if you raced and finished this puppy you’ll end up a stronger and better rider. Bad news – many riders succumbed to the physically punishing mud pits that grew in size as the races progressed. For me the good news was the action and the shooting in a photogs dreamscape. Bad news – I had a equipment malfunctions as my big flash did not want to talk to my small flash which resulted in several misfires and a few flashy pics in the morning class. I suspect there is more than just ‘anger’ issues with my equipment.
I also apologise in advance on the handful of photos I was able to take of the afternoon race as time slipped faster than expected…I got lost while taking a shortcut back to the start line which took me in the wrong direction resulting in much wasted time.
I was lucky enough to pre-ride most of the course as Andrew Ralph and his wife Kelly graciously lent me ‘Lucy’ – her KTM 105. I eagerly jumped on wearing my bicycle helmet and rubber boots as that was all I had with me. With flailing feet I came back grinning ear to ear with what has to be one of my most memorable rides in a long time. Despite the 105 bogging down a bit at lower revs, it was nimble, light, easy to handle and at the perfect height for me. On the pipe the bike sang. If I had a million dollars I would have a few bikes and this one would find a home in my stable quite easily.
Another huge shout out to all the volunteers, BMA, Woodys and OO for another successful race. Alabalea has the reputation of being the hardest race on the circuit and the 2013 edition did not disappoint. In fact, I think it will remain one of the hardest races for a long time as riders at all levels endured fatigue at all stages of the race. A big thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Seniors (grandma and grandpa), their son, and his son Andrew for graciously inviting us to race on their gorgeous property.
Finally, congratulations are extended to all racers for having endured this tough as nails race. Good luck to everyone tomorrow at Free Flow MX – I will not be there as I will be busy prepping for my sons birthday party later that day.
Offroad Ontario XC #3 is in the books as racers tackled the course looking to build points towards the 2013 provincial series. Event photos can be foundHERE.
The 16 km track led the riders through fast, open straights, flowing single track, pine trees, sticky mud and the motocross track. Because of the course length the morning class completed an average of 4 laps while the pros on a slightly altered course logged in 6 laps. This made for a very scheduled and organised photo session as I knew I was not going to see the riders often. So, to maximise time and run an efficient shoot I decided to stay of the trails and take advantage of the track. Not only was it a treat to work the track but it was real nice not getting attacked by trail side mosquitos and poison ivy which I know runs rampant at RJ’s.!
Once again, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and if you are purchasing, or thinking of purchasing photos, please know that before I approve any photo I make sure its ready to go by making final adjustments to crops, colours etc. In particular, for the PM riders please note that the photos taken on the downhill side of the table top can be cropped either vertical or horizontal. I cropped them horizontal as I liked the look but they can be reverted back to normal.
On a different note, I really appreciate those people who take the time to acquire a photo through the proper channels. Just saying that when I upload photos for my photo reports it does not give you the right to lift them. I wouldn’t dream of helping myself to your stuff that’s left out in the open. Thanks for your understanding.
Thanks to the OCMC and the OO crews for another fine event!! Already looking forward to next weeks double header. BTW, don’t forget to follow me on my Facebook page under Cecile Gambin Photography for current updates.
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!
As always, I thank you very much for stopping by my blog and hopefully reading it, saying hello on the trails and for your support. Your purchase allows me to service my photography equipment – nothing is impervious to dust and rain – as well as to help me get to the next race. I take my photography very seriously and I strive to capture the essence of riding and racing while showcasing our beautiful province. Photography to me is an art form and riding is just plain fun!
As always, kudos to all the OO, NTR and countless other volunteers for having made this race a reality. Rider feedback was very positive with quite a few saying this was their favourite race venue!
It was a busy day at the Ganaraska Forest as OCMC, ODSC and Trail Tours held three different schools on May 11, 2013. CGP was on hand to catch the action for all three groups.
All event photos can be foundHERE. Click on the 2013 album and find the appropriate album according to your instructor.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to ride a bike and don’t have the equipment you owe it to yourself to check out Trail Tours. Steve Weycamp, owner, and his staff offer excellent instruction catered to the beginner right up to the seasoned rider looking for tips on how to become a more efficient and faster rider. This weekend, Trail Tours hosted ODSC as well as their own group for on-hand riding clinics.
OCMC also offered a clinic geared towards the enduro rider. Brian Wojonarowski, John Head and Blair Sharpless led riders through various skills teaching the finer points of riding enduros with the ultimate goal of becoming a faster competitor. This was a perfect lead into Sundays Mini Pine, an 85 km enduro and second race of Offroad Ontario’s Provincial Championship Enduro Series.
As for CGP, well I ended up racing the Mini-Pine as I realised I forgot a key component to my flash as I was driving along the 401 Sunday morning. In reality I could have taken photos without the flash but I knew we’d be deep in the woods and really wanted the colours to pop. And, frankly, I don’t do half-a$$ jobs so if I’m going to do something I do it right. Making my decision to race an easy one. And boy, did I have fun!! Plus, my friends, and fellow off-road instructors Jamie Kowitz, Tammie Wilson and Allison Grummet were there in full action. These ladies can shred!
Kudos to the Offroad Ontario and OCMC crew for putting together a great race. I believe over 200 riders came out regardless of the wacky weather and were greeted by lots of rocks, roots and whoops. Fun stuff! Although I will admit that my triceps are sore from the deep whoops.
Next up is the first XC race of the season in Colborne, Ontario. Check out NTR’s website for more race information. CGP will be on hand with camera this time so clean that bike and gear and smile for the camera!
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!!
The 2013 Ontario Off-road riding season is soon upon us and personally I cannot wait! An opportunity to share good times with friends, ride a new trail and become one with the bike. I am also looking forward to riding the trails with my camera gear in tow searching for those perfect action shots. I have many plans this summer and, hopefully, some good news to share in a few weeks. In the meantime, Cecile Gambin Photography will be out in full force this season at most of the off road and cycling events throughout our great province. So, don’t forget to ham it up when you see my lens and say ‘hello’!
With the year rapidly coming to a close my thoughts turn to how much fun I had this season. Fun riding, fun photographing, fun talking, fun being with friends and fun making lots of new ones. And, as always, fun promoting our sport because we all know riding woods is just too much fun not to share.
CGP would like to thank you for your support. As a reminder, all 2012 photos will be removed from my gallery via my website on Dec. 31, 2012. By purchasing photos it has covered my costs for travel to events, and allowed me to keep my equipment in good working order (dust, rain and photographic equipment don’t mix well). I look forward to attending most trail rides and races next year and will post photos as they become available.
Thank you also to Offroad-Ontario, the KTM Trail series, the CMRC Trans Canada, Substance Projects, Sasquatch Vintage Racing, the CMX, and to all the countless volunteers for a superb year.
Finally, I am hoping that my next post in the New Year will have some fantastic news. But, for the moment I must keep my mouth closed. In the meantime, please have a safe and happy holiday season. See you out on the trails with either my camera, my bike or both.
For quick access to the Codrington photo gallery please click here. Please note that I have at least 2-3 pictures of each rider so scroll down or give me a shout and I’ll help you out.
Just north of the 401 at exit 509 lies a small community called Codrington. I had never been there before and all I knew was that it was close to the Northumberland Forest. ‘Fair enough’ I thought to myself, ‘there’s has got to be some excellent riding with some fun hills thrown in.’ I arrived at the farm around 7:30 just in time to get the last bit of sweet sunlight. I had planned on being there earlier but the Tim Hortons at Port Hope took over 15 minutes to prep my toasted sesame seed bagel with regular cream cheese.
I grabbed my camera and began recording the last Off Road Ontario XC race of the year. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was fighting hard to burn off the mist left over from the cool night. It was strangely quiet as campers lay dormant and only a handful of people were busying themselves with morning chores. At the base of the campsite stood a drumlin majestic in its own solitaire way – uniquely Canadian and typical of this area. I was captivated by the beauty of the farm and its surrounding fields decorated in fading yellows, delicate whites, and crimson flowers. A wonderful course layed out by the TNT crew and a perfect place to end the XC season.
I would also like to take this time and say thank you to the riders for allowing me to take your pictures and to the race organisers and volunteers for pointing me in the right direction. Photography for me is an art and I love spending my time in the woods looking for that perfect shot. Thank you also to my supporters – your comments and enthusiasm towards my work does not go unnoticed and it is a strong driving force – one that I often reflect upon when sitting in the woods getting regularly eaten by black flies, deer flies and mosquitoes. And than there’s the poison ivy…but that’s another story. See you all at the enduros or on the local trails and don’t forget to style it when you see my camera.
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?