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?
Offroad Ontario’s cross-country #3 is officially in the bag and it will be remembered either as a nightmare or a dream. For myself and for a select few others it was a dream. But for many, the mud proved relentless and challenging and even created a ‘horror’ show for a few.
The morning began with the mini-class winding their way through trails, MX track and wide open roads with spectacular traction. After the start of the race, I immediately hit the first set of pine trees which eventually lead the riders into RJ’s intricate network of trails. I knew the riders went through this area as I remember that from having raced several times here a few years ago. Where ever I looked I found beauty created by the early morning rain as leaves, needles and forest floor glowed with saturated greens and browns.
No sooner had the mini race finished the morning class took the reigns as two-strokes buzzed and four-strokes thumped their way through the loop. Instead of walking back to the start I decided to continue my trek along the race course and settled upon a beautiful open grassy area. The riders would be tackling a steep, short uphill, bursting onto a field of green, and descend just as quickly and back into the darkness of the trail as they had come up.
Partway through the race the skies opened and rained. First a drizzle and finally a steady downpour leaving heavy droplets. As Ted Dirstein, Masters class, aptly put it ‘I wasn’t sure if someone had thrown some WD-40 on the course it was so slick’. Lucky for me, I was somewhat sheltered underneath a canopy of trees but decided to leave my flash in my camera bag. I knew my D3S would handle some rain but still I covered it under my rain jacket…just in case. My husband would really not be impressed with me ruining yet another camera (Nikon D80, D90 – poor souls they had no chance).
By the end of the morning the rain had stopped and replaced with thick gooey mud. And then, just like that the sun came out just in time for the afternoon race. The mud became tacky and did not shed from the tires easily. A deep groove had already been created in a marshy area of the course by the morning class. This is where I decided to set up for the afternoon race. I certainly did not want to miss any entertainment and action that would be provided in the first two laps of the race.
Some tackled the area with ease…ok…only Josh Long did while the others hit the tree before the mud and paddled their way through the deep rut. Some fell, some got stuck and others swerved left and right in a controlled fashion.
As always it was a pleasure being back at the races and meeting people I had not seen in a while. Thank you to the numerous volunteers, OCMC, RJ’s and Ontario Offroad for a great race. Too see more pictures of all classes please click here.
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Cecile Gambin Photography is open, taking bookings and is practicing COVID-19 safety measures during this unprecedented time.