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.
Have you ever had a race, or a day, when you realise you should have just stayed in bed? Well that’s how I felt Saturday night as I was driving back home from the 2012 edition of BMA’s Calabogie Boogie trail ride. I stopped at the local Tim Hortons in Perth, picked up my BLT toasted on white with no sauce, and contemplated the day and my lack of photos. I sat in my still wet clothes inside my car for a good half hour, closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind. I called home, explained the day and my husband David told me to book a room and go back to the Boogie tomorrow. Bless his heart.
This event was important for me to shoot for several reasons. First, to document the ride and hopefully nail some shots so riders could have a few sweet pictures of themselves riding a classic event in difficult terrain and show their friends and family what they do when they ride off-road. Second, ‘Romaniac’ team mates Rome Haloftis, Barry Armstrong, Paul Phillip and Mike Pflug managed to talk pro Red Bull/Comsol Bell Racing enduro athlete Chris Birch from New Zealand to come to Canada and ride our trails. How cool is that? A world class enduro rider hitting our homegrown trails!
I arrived Friday night around 7pm with dark brooding clouds covering the Calabogie Highlands. It was great to meet up with people I had not seen in a while and I chatted up a storm. Nearing mid-night it was time to check into Hotel GMC and as I watched lightening strike across the lake I visualised the type of photo I wanted. Having ridden the Boogie several times in the past I knew how devastatingly difficult yet beautiful the terrain could be and I had envisioned the perfect shot…I just had no idea where in the 170+ km day I needed to go. Thankfully, Dave Wrack gave me some pointers and a map of Saturday’s trail ride.
Enter Saturday. Rain, thunder and more rain before the riders meeting should have given me a clue as to how this day was going to turn out. I headed out well in advance of the riders and checked out a few spots. And the rain continued. I thought about doing some ‘drive by shooting’ where I literally took pictures from the inside of my car but decided that the only place I could do that really did not make for exciting pictures. I realised I could not drive too far into the trail with my 2WD and so opted for hiding underneath a huge maple tree and hoped for the best. Soon enough, the rain got the better of my flash and I made the decision to pack up my gear and leave before I destroyed everything. Artistically I would have prefered to stand out in the open to allow the viewer to see the length, steepness and technicality of the trail but I decided to not risk damaging my camera gear. Electronics and water rarely mix well.
The rain continued heavily throughout the lunch hour. I had found the lunch stop and took refuge, along with the riders, under the two tents. I decided to change my game plan and chose to take photos for a project I am currently working on. Little did I know that was going to be my style of shooting for Sunday as well. Many riders opted out of riding the afternoon as the cold settled into their bones and chose to end the ride via the K&P Trail heading for the comfort of their hotel room, tent, or trailer. I decided to try one last area before I called it quits in my attempt to salvage my day. Kudos to the BMA pre-riders and volunteers continually upkeeping the trails the day of as high winds and rain knocked over larges branches.
During the lunch break I took shelter under the two tents, along with the other riders. It was getting crowded and this was honestly the only opportunity for me to take photos in a relatively dry area. I took advantage of it.
Sunday – blue skies and cool temps greeted the region today. Back at base camp riders were eagerly prepping themselves for another great day in the saddle. Sadly though, the MNR decided to kibosh the killer trails on the north side and along with it the beautiful scenery. And, unfortunately, I mis-read the map and realised that most of the riders were on a trail to my far left thus resulting in me missing the pretty much everybody in the morning. At that point, I decided to change my game plan, again, and just take pictures to satisfy my creative itch.
Despite the foul weather and land issues BMA ran a top-notch event and riders came away happy. As for myself…my misfortunes on Sunday were all of my own doing. Serves me right for always following David and not paying attention to map reading 101. Overall, I may not have been able to get the photos I had envisioned but I am quite happy with the pictures I did take. Kudos are extended again to all the help the BMA crew gave me and for creating a great and unforgetable weekend.