Rippin’ & Stylin’ in Grand Bend

You can hear them, smell them and see them. Old bikes are back and becoming increasingly popular on the MX track and on the trail for a variety of reasons. They will not replace the newer bikes and cannot compete at the same level. But, it would be a mistake to dismiss their competiveness and killer good looks.

On the other end of the spectrum are the modern bikes with spiffy suspension, and spot-on braking. Not only are these bikes super fast they can pack a punch so hard you wouldn’t even have time to duck. It is always a treat to see these bad boys flying gracefully through the air and throwing a ten foot roost.

This past weekend I travelled to Grand Bend not far from the beautiful sandy shores of Lake Huron. It was a welcomed day shooting motorcross and definetely something I can easily get used to. No fancy flash setups, no tripods, no loosely detailed trail maps and no poison ivy. From a photography point of view it was a dream. It was easier than shooting enduros. So I thought. Turns out the Grand Bend track did have its quirks and finding good angles with clean backgrounds and good lighting was not as easy I had thought. I had to work the track and by late morning I started to figure things out.  At the end of the day I was happy with my photos and got all giddy as I managed to get a few sweet keepers.

Although the bigger bikes rocked the track the 85cc class was the clear winner IMO. Mind boggling how these tweens can pin it with no regard for their safety. Love the courage, determination, competitiveness, big ‘cojones’ and ‘heuvos’ all rolled into one. They make tail whips look easy. Dang it. I wish I could do that.

The picture below has got to be one of my favourites. This is Edward Sexsmith – not only does he have a cool last name he just looks plain good on his bike and he rocks it with the yellow T on his Suzuki RM125. I think perhaps why I am drawn to this photo the most is because it reminds me of the ‘fore fathers’ of mountain biking: Gary Fisher, Jo Breeze and Tom Ritchey to name a few. Sexsmith’s stance, work boots, and laid back style are reminiscent of the 80’s era where nylon and spandex were non-existent and mountain biking in Marin County, California was almost an underground culture. You rode what you had and you wore what was on your back that day. No fancy bikes…just good fun with friends on countless backcountry trails.

By the end of the day the dust was relentless but I thanked the dry conditions and wind because I saw art. I happily took pictures despite my gritty teeth. To see my photo album please click on Gallery. There are two albums to choose from: CMX regular classes and Vintage/Heritage Class. Thanks to CMX, Sasquatch Vintage Racing and all the riders ripping it out on the track. It was a great day.