Welcome to the 59th edition of The Corduroy Enduro. For access to photo albums please clickHERE.
Over 150 + riders from across the country gathered September 21-23 to race the country’s hardest off-road event. This years race was made even more special as one of the worlds top ‘Extreme Enduro’ athlete Chris Birch from New Zealand suited up and raced his first event in Canada. The Cord, as this race is affectionately called, is touted as Canada’s toughest race as riders slash it out over the picturesque but harsh, rocky, hilly and rooty trails of the Haliburton Highlands in eastern Ontario.
This event would not be possible without the help of countless volunteers. Club members from across the province came to help – LVDR, HORRA, TNT, BMA, HHTR, OCMC, SCORRA, ODSC, OFTR. A HUGE thank you again to Dave Wrack, Ed Strohak, Blair Sharpless, Dennis Lever, Ken Hoeverman, Kevin, Scott & Sue and many others for pointing me in the right direction. We all know my map reading abilities are astounding!!
A HUGE shout-out is also extended to Tracey Evans, her mom and her sisters for keeping the riders, volunteers and others well fed and, for making fresh mashed potatoes. Do you have any idea how long it took these women (and Dave Wrack) to hand peel potatoes with love for over 50 hungry racers for Saturday nights dinner? I can assure you…they all had arm pump at the end of the peeling marathon.
I hope you enjoy the photos that I have selected for my photo report. Comments are always appreciated and thank you for those of you who take the time to do so. There are many more photos available (please see the link above or click on the ‘Gallery’ tab). Because there were so many riders and my computer has been very unstable lately I have only uploaded a few photos from each area I went to. This also helps keep the album down to a more manageable viewing size. Please email me with your minute number, side plate number, description of the bike and clothing would also help. And while I did my best to try and take photos of everyone please understand that chasing around over 150 riders is not easy and I apologise in advance if I was not able to get a photo of you.
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?
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!