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!!
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.
Welcome to the 55th edition of the Terra Nova Enduro 2012 which was largely set in beautiful Mulmur Hills, Ontario and surrounding area. For event photos please clickHERE.
The crew at The Halton Off Road Riders Association (HORRA) put on yet another stunning and well run event. Despite the rather gloomy forecast rain was only evident in the morning and replaced by warm winds and cloudy skies by early afternoon. All the typical Terra Nova tracks one comes to expect were used including single track from various Simcoe County Forests, and private tracks from Lance’s, Neils, and Lee’s farms. Shame on those who stayed in bed – the weather man got it all wrong and you missed a fun yet challenging event.
Following the new style of enduros HORRA wasted no time in created a super cool enduroX. Lee Martin and Kevin Burnett (Rally Connex) worked hard, moved land, and re-sculpted the old MX track at Primose campground. Considering the size of the track I am sure others helped out and hats off to you. The EnduroX was definitely a Terra Nova highlight and created quite the level of awesomeness!
It takes a lot of work to put together an enduro of this length (190km+) and, again, without the help of the countless volunteers events like this would not be possible. A huge thank you to all you unsung heroes.
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.
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.
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!
Recently, I have had a few opportunities to take action portraits of people doing what they love best. In this case … offroad riding. I had no idea that I would enjoy this type of photography and always thought of it as very complex, time consuming and technical. But I was wrong and I pleasantly found that action, or sport if you prefer, portraits challenges both my creativity and technical skills as a photographer allowing me to show my subject at their best in their element.
I had a sneak preview of the upcoming XC race held at Chicopee, in Kitchener, Ontario and was invited by Ron Golden of Motomotion to ride with a group of established riders. I not only jumped at the chance to ride my KTM 200 but I also wanted to stake out some cool areas to take action shots of racers next weekend. I have been wanting to have a sport portrait photo session for a while and this was the perfect opportunity.
Overall, I am stoked with the pictures I took but not so stoked at the way I rode the technical sections of the course. I have not been able to do a lot of riding over the last five years (I can count them on both hands) and I believe I have been spoiled by both the Ganaraska and Simcoe Country Forests for their sweet flowing singletrack. I am a whiz on that but had an eye opening, and embarassing (yes…I have an ego) technical faux pas in the uphill sections of the course reserved for the pros.
Sizzle! Hot off the press – Ron Golden of Motomotion, in collaboration with KTM Canada, have chosen my photo of XC number one plate holder Josh Long as a background picture to this uber cool award plaque. This is one sweet looking award which if I were racing I know I would work extra hard to be able to land one and proudly hang on my wall. Congrats to Motomotion and their graphic artist for the creation of the award and poster. Job well done!
A few weeks ago after the Burnt River XC race KTM and APEX backed rider Josh and myself headed out for a photoshoot session. Riding with blistered hands and broken toes Josh was a complete pro and was super easy to work with. Josh busted out some sick riding moves, and even caught me off guard a few times as he litterally flew over my head. Knowing ahead of time what the photos were going to be used for helped me in directing Josh. Forty-five minutes later, the photoshoot was a wrap and Josh hurried back to the awards ceremony for his podium finish. Not bad day for a guy riding with a few broken toes.
It was a treat to shoot a gifted rider and a bigger treat for me to see my work on this 12×15″ award plaque and promotional poster approved by KTM Canada. Shooting one on one really taps into one’s creativity and I relished at this opportunity. At the end, I was very happy with the shoot and showed my potential photos with confidence.
Mark Sunday, August 26th down on your calendars for a XC race that you won’t want to miss. Bring your family and kids as there will be a host of activities for every age group – think bouncy castles for the wee ones, peewee races and more. My husband will be bringing our two young children and I am excited to show them how family orientated the wonderful world of offroad racing is. Plus, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Rick Hanson Foundation – another uber cool detail about this event.
I look forward to being the Chicopee official photographer. A huge title and I am honoured to be able to wear it. See you in a few weeks at the races and don’t forget to smile and style it for the camera! Thanks to Ron Golden and his hard working crew for putting this entire event and idea together.
Cecile Gambin Photography is open, taking bookings and is practicing COVID-19 safety measures during this unprecedented time.