ARM PUMP EXPLAINED: DR. DAN SPEAKS
n o i t c a Tr
S BY RIDER S R E ID R FOR G E-RAG IN ID R D OFF-ROA
o r u d n E y o r u d r o c the YOU READY? E AR E
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IN THIS ISSUE STOCK
THE VIEW FROM HERE DIRT FROM THE PREZ OVER THE BARS DIRT & METTLE BMA CLUB EVENTS WHITE COAT, BLACK BOOTS RACING PERSONIFIED STILL KICKIN’ OO REPORT DESPITE BEING GRAY WIDE OPEN NORTHERN TW1ST OFTR NEWS EXHAUST NOTE THE FINISH LINE
BOOGIE DUAL SPORT CORD NUTRITION CORD INTERVIEW WITH BLAIR SHARPLESS GNCC INSIGHT REVIEW PRO MOTO BILLET REVIEW GPR DAMPER REVIEW REKLUSE EXP REVIEW TURNTECH BATTERY
OFF-ROAD RIDING FOR RIDERS BY RIDERS
3 6 10 14 19 20 30 42 44 48 52 56 74 76 78
8 24 32 60 64 66 68 72
QUOTE OF THE MONTH - “More Corn, Less Chop” This was unsolicited advice offered by Bryan “FLANNY” Flannigan to the OFTR’s Ken Hoeverman after it was discovered that BMA El Presidente Mike Hillier plugged Ken’s turlit and consequently blew up his septic system. Ken was kind enough to feed the BMA gang the night before. Well done Mr. Hillier! Traction
EDITOR Dallas Shannon COPY EDITOR Kaveri Gupta DESIGN The Stig CONTRIBUTORS Mike Hillier Bill Watson Lori Gray Blair Sharpless Melanie Dennie Larry Murray Cecile Gambin Kevin Eastman Terry Young Bryan “Flanny” Flannigan Glen Cooper Duncan Carpenter Dr. Dan Curran Ron Golden Veronica Martin Ken Hoeverman PHOTOGRAPHERS Christian Lacasse Cecile Gambin Terry Young Keith Hamilton Andrzej Jan Taramina @ Tarafrost Photography www.tarafrost.com David Smith of Race Day Pix at www.racedaypix.com We are always looking for story ideas, contributing writers & photographers. If you would like to have fun and participate in an off-road motorcycle rag just for the hell of it, please drop us a line. You don’t need to be a good writer to participate, just enthusiasm and a love of riding off-road. Reviews, interviews, mechanical questions & solutions, design, photography, ride reports and event coverage are just SOME of the things we are interested in. Anything outside these topics or a weird hybrid of these is welcome. We have NO rules and can do and say whatever we want! How’s that for freedom of expression! Send subscription requests and any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org Traction Disclamer: We in no way intend this to be a commercial publication. Views expressed here are our own and should be taken for what they are - valueless. A friend always says “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story” and we do our best to honor that statement. If you are looking to challenge what you read here - don’t bother, just assume you are right and we are wrong. This rag exists because we LOVE riding motorcycles offroad and we love publishing. Everything is done by volunteers and no money is generated. If you are unhappy with that and feel the need to send us money - donations are accepted, PAYPAL preferred! If you think your product or service should appear in this rag, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do. Written permission must be obtained to reproduce, or reprint all or portions of the content contained herein.
© 2011 TRACTION
The view from here
BY DALLAS SHANNON
Seventy-eight pages of off-road goodness? Birthday to you!
This issue is a great one. It is largely dedicated to this year’s Corduroy Enduro. Somehow, the Bytown Motorcycle Association slipped something into our Camelbacks and there are many BMA members committed to running “The Cord” this year. Many of us have been talking about and preparing for this race since the spring. The Cord is billed as Canada’s toughest race. Its rich history is unsurpassed. It has been running for 58 years. 58! Think about it: men were racing motorcycles in the Haliburton Highlands before most of us were even born. If you were thinking about trying the event, this is your year. It has been unseasonable dry in Cord Country (which is usually littered with water crossings and mudholes). You will still finish with wet feet, but if the weather holds, you can probably leave the water wings at home. Don’t feed the racehorse before the race. Ever hear that one? Do yourself some good and read Flanny’s Cord nutrition article which ponders modern sports nutrition. Apparently, beer is no longer considered a good postride meal - WHAT!!!??
Do you ever suffer from arm pump? The dreaded “Death Grip”? Dr. Dan explains how it happens and what you can do about it. We have four new female contributors. Earlier this season, I wanted to expose more women riders - then was quickly slapped by my wife. Oops. Cecile Gambin writes about riding the Ganny, Lori Gray writes about riding (and life) in SOCAL, Melanie Dennie admits to being twisted and Victoria Martin shares her experiences of racing inside the American GNCC off-road series. Enjoy this edition of the eRag.
A Calabogie afternoon Traction
dirt from the prez
BY BMA PRESIDENT MIKE HILLIER
THE STUPID FAIRY I have frequent run ins with this fairy. It seems that this fairy sticks around longer than the other fairies and mythical beings of our youth. It fact, it begins to dominate your life the older you get. Although I have never actually seen her, I know when she is close and I will bet you do too. Picture this (and I know this is reaching): having a few drinks the night before a ride, while in the garage prepping the bike, tunes cranked. Sometime between beer #6 (okay #8) and the sound of the alarm clock, the Stupid Fairy arrives. You wake to find self-incurred pinch flats from changing the tires, an air filter that is half assed, raw fruit and trail snacks stuffed carelessly into the back pack. “It’s 2am and I’m ready to ride” clearly written all over the mess in front of you. This mess is often blamed on “Night Guy”, because “Night Guy” always screws over “Morning Guy”. The only way for “Morning Guy” to screw over “Night Guy” is to start drinking first thing in the morning, and we all know that is counterproductive. Nope – this is about riding and the Stupid Fairy has definitely been involved.
See, the Stupid Fairy waits you out. She lurks in the shadows, waiting for you to put down your guard. You won’t see her coming but you will know she has been there. Here are more examples: • Bring 1 boot from 2 different pairs to a ride. The best you can hope for is a left and a right. • If it’s raining and your goggles are fogging up, remove the padding around the nose for better airflow. Then watch it get sunny and dusty in the afternoon. Better yet, take them off. That way, you can more easily take a stick in the face. • Thinking that aftermarket parts will make you a better rider. • If you are a standup rider and get tired, just sit down. Enjoy the high-side crash when hitting trail junk. • Assume that your brakes pads are fine. Then burn through those, plus another set you have borrowed on day 2 of the 3-day ride, then get home to find out that those are roached too. (The less than stellar braking on day 3 can be attributed to metal on metal contact). • Wanna make the 3rd day even better? Ride a trail with the word “mountain” in it rather than taking it easy. Loop your bike and lose your license plate in the process. I did all this and more at the Corduroy Enduro Pre-Ride. A group of us rode many of the trails normally used in the Cord and a couple of us rode for 3 days and 300km. Despite my frequent run ins with the Fairy, I had a great time. One of the best rides ever. (That said – I did fight off the Fairy and get to the top of Green Mountain, and down the other side!) Many thanks to our superb hosts (Ken and Tracy from the OFTR) and guides (Ken and Scott Creighton). They showed us a great time, and made all of us feel welcome. They prepared some fantastic food for us. Regarding the messy plumbing incident the following morning, my only excuse is yet another visit from the Stupid Fairy, but that’s a chapter we will call “More Corn, Less Chop” and leave it for another day. (Editor: For a more in-depth description of the “plumbing incident” please see the Quote of the Month on page 2.)
? y r i a f d i p u t S A e e s Do you Traction
E D I R T R O P S L A U D E I G O O B E I G O B CALA
The BMA Calabogie Boogie once again is offering awesome GPS Dual Sport rides. Anyone with a blue plated bike is invited to enjoy these carefully prepared routes that offer less aggressive alternatives to the trail rides. The D-S rides start at the same places as the trail rides and we will meet up with the trail riders at lunch and after the ride to swap stories. This year, we are offering two types of Dual Sport routes:
ADVENTURE TOURS For more aggressive Dual Sport riders who prefer to concentrate on the ground in front of them rather than the scenery around them, we recommend the adventure tours. These routes share much of the twisty, fun paved and dirt roads with the scenic tours but have some power line and ATV trails thrown in to make it just a bit more challenging.
ABOUT THE GPS FILES SCENIC TOURS These routes take you through picturesque farmland in the highlands where the roads are seldom straight. Scenic tours are ideal for riders who want to stop and take a few pictures along the way. Since these routes are also appealing to some of the faster riders on big bikes, we have added extension options to the scenic tours to keep the fun from ending too soon. Traction
The Dual Sport ride organizers will provide detailed â&#x20AC;&#x153;track logsâ&#x20AC;? representing the various Dual Sport rides. Track logs offer a more detailed indication of where to go and cannot be misinterpreted by GPS units running different maps. Important points of interest such as gas stops and lunch are indicated by waypoints. Following a track is easy, but you will not get turn-by-turn instructions from your GPS receiver.
t r o f f e = E D I R CORD
over the bars RESPECT Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity of being invited to Ken Hoeverman’s house. We were there for a weekend of riding the trails close to where the Corduroy Enduro is held. Ken felt pity for the Bytown Motorcycle Association crew, and figured we could use some help leading up to the Cord. Ken is a connoisseur of meat, a maker of specialty sausages, a maestro on the BBQ, a fast rider, and a really funny guy. He is also the tireless Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders. He knows a few trails. Among all the things that go on during a riding weekend (needlessly wrenching on bikes, waking up way too late, riding too fast and telling tall tales) the one thing that stood out in my mind was watching a simple DVD video that Ken suggested we watch. “Hey, have you seen Two Days in September?” Ken asked me. “No,” I replied. “What is it?” He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and in classic Ken-style said “Qu’est-ce que’ fuck? It’s a documentary about the Cord, moron!” “Well put it in the player then stubby!” I replied. I was immediately drawn into the film. It’s a well-made documentary leaning heavily on a bunch of CBC footage from the late 50’s and early 60’s, juxtaposed onto a bunch of current interviews of folks who have run the Cord. As with others who watched the film, I was struck with the heritage and longevity of the event, and amazed at the street-turned-dirt-bikes they used to ride with back then. But more importantly, as various people were being interviewed, I was struck with wave after wave of realization at the many contributions people have made not only to the Cord, but also to riding here in Ontario. As if my head was just lifted out of the sand, I realized the depth of involvement that many people that I have known for years have had in the sport. It’s not that I didn’t know that “so-and-so” used to ride enduro “back in the day”. Of course many of us know those sorts of things. It’s more that I was suddenly able to piece together more of the nuances about how all of these fine people fit together in the history of riding in Ontario, Traction
BY BRYAN (FLANNY) FLANNIGAN
and the many on-going contributions they have made to the sport. Take John Penton for example; I knew in some recess of my mind that he was tied into KTM. I figured he must have been a decent rider to have created a bike brand. Little did I know that he was a 12-time ISDE competitor, winning numerous gold metals, and few silvers and a bronze or two. Turns out, he used to ride the Cord pretty much every year, and usually won overall whenever he did. He was not just “somehow tied-into” KTM. He approached KTM (who at the time used to build bicycles and mopeds) and asked them to develop a proper enduro machine – the Penton. As a fellow who bleeds orange, I suddenly realized that I should probably learn a bit more about the inventor of my brand. I also wondered why it took me ten years to come to this realization.
“QU’EST-CE QUE’ F$CK? IT’S A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE CORD, MORON!” Next to be interviewed was Blair Sharpless. About 20 years ago, I attended an event called the “Blair Sharpless Trail School” because some buddies and I wanted to rent some bikes and goof-off for a day of off-road fun (back then I only had street bikes). I recall this Blair guy riding pretty fast around the Gannaraska Forest. I didn’t know Blair from Adam. Of course, since then, I have come to know that Blair is a very winning enduro rider, and has contributed immensely to the sport in Ontario. What was striking me in the film, is that he not only rode the Cord (and many, many other enduros) he quite literally grew-up riding enduros following in his father Bill’s footsteps. Blair was just a boy when his dad Bill was racing against John Penton at the Cord! What a story! No wonder Blair took to it so well. He went on to win the Cord 7 times (the most by anyone). He even “zeroed” the whole event once and last year was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Holy shit! To think how talented you would have to be to do that. Why hadn’t I put all of this together sooner? Beat’s me, but I am sure glad I know it now.
“THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO OUR SPORT ARE NOT THE STEREOTYPED BOISTEROUS BRAGGARTS THAT TALK ABOUT RIDING FAST AND WHO FISH FOR RESPECT” This past weekend I attended the Rock Hound Rally, an endurance and navigational event put on by Rally Connex lead Kevin Burnett. One of the guests was Patrick Beaule, representing KTM. He was invited to try his hand at some navigation and some night stages. I know Patrick from working with KTM a few years back, and it was nice to chat and catch up with him. He is such a humble and down-to earth fellow. A friend of mine asked me who he was. I replied “Patrick Beaule – ISDE medalist, won the Cord Enduro 4 times (third place for most victories behind Jack Penton [John’s son] and Blair Sharpless). The guy can ride!” We rode several stages as fast as we could, and were amazed that Patrick could put 10 minutes into us on a 25-minute stage. Unbelievable. How could someone so accomplished and so crazy-fast be so humble, normal and down to earth? Anyway, back to “Two Days in September”. At one point in the film, Allan Lachapelle is moved to tears recounting how he was awarded a custom-made 5th place trophy given to him after the fact for having tried so hard at a particularly difficult Cord. Many of us use Lachapelle Racing Products (LRP) stuff, but how many know that a persisting Enduro and Harescramble champion could be so humbled and moved. A number of years back, Allan was gracious enough to offer me some sponsorship swag, and I had the opportunity once to help him with setting up for a KTM public relations event. What a nice guy to encourage me when I was just some newbie to the sport. Did I offer Allan the respect he deserved?
At the time, I thought I was as respectful as a product vendor merits, but in retrospect, I wish I had know how accomplished he was when I was dealing with him. About halfway through the film, the screen turns to a very familiar image and an instantly recognizable voice. Warren Thaxter is on screen talking about how he first ran the Cord in 1976, and that the event had never seen a greener rider. What a coincidence; we were just out riding that very day with Scott Crichton, and he was explaining how two years ago he, Warren and Blair had
“WHO WAS THAT DIMINUTIVE MAN HELPING US SORT AND FIT OUR RENTAL GEAR?” cut this amazing new 14km section of trail for the Cord. Holy shit! Warren first rode the Cord in 1976, and in 2009, 33 years later, he was still out there cutting trails for the event! What’s more, every time I turn around, Warren or some trace of Warren is nearby. Take that Rally Connex Event. Who was Rally Connex founded by? You guessed it. Warren Thaxter, with Predi Medina, Ed Strohack, and Mike Hahn. Before Rally Connex, nobody was riding with GPS’s on their bikes. Warren was out on the thin edge of the wedge promoting the use of GPS before anyone else had a clue. He was convinced it would be good for the sport if people knew how to find
the trails. Amazing. I pick-up Inside Motorcycles, and who do I have the pleasure of reading? Warren Thaxter. Who was that diminutive man helping us sort and fit our rental gear and whose wife was serving sandwiches way back when, some 20 years ago when I attended that day at the “Blair Sharpless Trail School”? None other than Warren Thaxter!! When I did that KTM event with Alan Lachapelle, who was there laying out the grass track? You guessed it.
are major contributors to our trails and to our sport are not the stereotyped boisterous braggarts that talk about riding fast and who fish for respect. Rather they are most humble individuals who do what they do, expecting nothing. The onus is on us to get to know them a bit (or in my case, even a bit more) in order to truly understand how their contributions fit together to provide us with the wonderful riding community that we have today. So here’s to you Warren, Blair, Patrick, Allen, Ken, Kevin, Ed, Predi, Woody, Larry, Barry, Scott, Brian and all of the many, many others who like you have contributed so much, and perhaps have never fully known the respect and gratitude that you are all due. Respect. ∆
“I PICK-UP INSIDE MOTORCYCLES, AND WHO DO I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF READING? WARREN THAXTER” Now I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Warren, and I thought that I knew how to respect such a man. I realize now just how much I must have come up short. After seeing this film, and over the past two weekends of learning about the Cord, and then attending a Rally Connex event of his legacy, I realize that another level of respect is due. I guess what I have realized over these last few weekends is that despite the popular image that those who are fast, talented, have impressive pedigree or who
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Dirt & Mettle BY RON GOLDEN
“A PERSON’S ABILITY TO COPE WELL WITH DIFFICULTIES OR TO FACE A DEMANDING SITUATION IN A SPIRITED AND RESILIENT WAY.” I can’t think of a better word to describe the attitude of most dirt bikers. Some of you might have read the title “Dirt and Mettle” and concluded that yours truly is such a bad speller he messed up a simple word like metal. Well, you would be partially correct because my spelling is atrocious, but the two words do in fact share a common lineage. Back in the 1600’s “metal” and “mettle” were both used to describe hardened steel. However, phrases like “he showed his mettle in battle” meant brandishing a sword as much as it meant that he showed his courage and character in battle. Eventually two separate definitions arose for the words. Swords were steeled into metal by the blacksmith as warriors steeled in battle exhibited mettle. Continued...
I suppose one reason that most dirt bikers display mettle is because the sport imposes a sort of Darwinian natural selection process on those who lack it. Learning to ride a dirt bike is not easy for most people. The process comes with its challenges as well as the inevitable bumps and bruises along the way. Having mastered the machine under somewhat ideal conditions (like a big, flat field of grass) you are then faced with rocks, water, hills, sand and a host of other nasty things nature can throw at you. Now add to that the prospect of getting a flat tire far from civilization, getting lost, exhausted, and maybe even injured. Well, there are a lot of things that can potentially go wrong when you are out riding. If you do not have the personality that takes these things in stride, viewing them as adventures and challenges to overcome; you will soon face extinction in the dirt biker gene pool.
pride. I used to know a guy like that; he drives quads now.
Most of us have probably known people who got into and out of dirt bikes pretty quickly. These were usually the guys who complained about their bike being junk, the trail being too tough, event organizers being incompetent, the weather being too badâ&#x20AC;Śjust an endless stream of excuses to cover up their own inexperience or wounded
The arrowed trail came up to a beaver dam that blocked off a rock gully, creating a large lake to its left. The enduroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s route ran along the top of this dam, simply because there was no other reasonable passage through the area. It would have been quite the tranquil hinterland scene to come across had it not been for the guy
Think of all the rides you have done or events that you have raced. Which ones stand out in your mind the most? The epic rides. I will wager that they all contain challenges you had to overcome. Admittedly, when these types of rides are in progress you might not exactly be having the time of your life. In 2003, they held the 50th anniversary edition of the Corduroy Enduro. Now the Cord already had a well-earned reputation as a tough event, but for the anniversary they decided to make it particularly punishing. It was not the best event to be riding a heavy beast of a machine, but there I was, sitting on my X440 Cannondale taking in a scene situated part way through Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s route.
currently stuck on the far end of the beaver’s crumbling structure. With screaming engine, spinning tire and adrenaline fueled pushing, the rider finally made it off the deteriorating dam, but not before dislodging some of its key structural components. In a display worthy of a National Geographic documentary, the dam burst, vomiting a watery mix of wood chunks and sediment from the lake’s belly.
air about five feet above the lake bed. Before anybody could catch him he toppled over, still straddling the running Yamaha as they both completely disappeared beneath the surface of the clear black water. Somebody scrambled to lift his head up and pull him free of the sunken bike. Sputtering and coughing, he was fine; having probably sucked in less water than his drowned bike. I did not finish that edition of the Cord (crashing out hard later that day) but when I think of all my Cord experiences, the beaver dam certainly stands out for me. I did not know any of the other riders who I teamed up with that day, but to me that makes it all the more memorable. Strangers planning and working together in the midst of a race to accomplish what none of us could have done by ourselves. This is by no means unique in riding. Yanking someone out of a bog, towing a dead bike out of the bush, helping a struggling or injured rider; all are quite common occurrences. All of them are unplanned adventures, which build character and create lasting memories.
The dam’s breach quickly widened over the next few minutes then stabilized at about ten feet wide. Soon about a dozen riders had accumulated there on the trail, trying to figure out what the heck to do next. One guy boldly charged into the raging stream to the right where he got hung up in boulders hidden beneath the rapids. The water rushed over the bike’s head and snuffed it out like a candle. Scratch that idea. Four of us walked out on the dam to survey the situation. Trying to launch off the edge into the rushing water would be foolish; there was no way to jump the gap and the water was far too deep and fast to ride through. We hastily agreed to join forces and physically carry our bikes across. One-by-one we rode on top of the dam to the edge of the breach then dismounted to join the other three waiting in the waist-deep flow. Two per side we would then hoist the bike on our shoulders and struggle against the force of the current to deliver it to the other side. I probably got the best part of the deal with three guys helping me carry the portly Cannondale across.
Charles Darwin once wrote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” As a dirt bike rider, you will face numerous difficulties that you must adapt to if you are to survive in the sport. You need mettle. A rider lacking mettle is like a sword lacking metal; both are ill suited to the task at hand and are soon defeated. ∆
Annie Seel crashed into this excavation tomb in the 2010 Dakar Rally
The last of our impromptu team to cross was on a brand new WR250. As we waited in the water he rode up to the edge, stopped and promptly lost his balance on the jumble of slippery wet sticks. He frantically thrust out his left foot to steady himself but it was little more than a wishful gesture as it ever so briefly hovered in thin Traction
m a e r D R E M MID-SUM Traction
B.M.A. 2011 Club Events
(See forum and website bulletins for directions and additional information as events approach) Steve Garnsey Trail Ride
The club’s guided spring trail ride in Calabogie…now named in honour of our late friend. Lots of scenery, great trails and varied terrain, suitable for most skill levels. For information call Doug McNeil email@example.com or Heather Seeler firstname.lastname@example.org (for the dualsport ride)
2 Hour Harescramble, Woody’s
This year’s event is again part of the Oﬀ-Road Ontario crosscountry provincial championship, www.oﬀroadontario.ca. For info call Carolin or Woody 613 267 6861 or email@example.com
Limerick Forest Kid’s Ride
The Limerick Forest Family Ride near Roebuck Ontario is part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series, for kids of all ages, non- competitive, and focused on fun. Trails are always well marked for diﬀerent riding levels. Bikes must be quiet, plated and legal. Sign in 9-10, start time 10:30. Contact Dave Phifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Corduroy Enduro Pre-Ride
Aug 13 -14th
An expert level ride covering the trails of the famous Corduroy Enduro (run in September) for those members interested in entering the fall classic. Rider limit. Contact Larry Murray email@example.com or 613926-2522
BMA Family Fun Day
This is the BMA’s Family Fun day at Woody’s. Fun for all ages, with field games, prizes for kids. For info call Carolin or Woody 613 267 6861 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Calabogie Boogie Trail Ride
Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series, this is our club’s premier
event of the year, with two days of prime oﬀ road riding and arrowed routes to suit everyone from newbie to pro. Trailheads are marked for mileage and diﬃculty. Dualsport route oﬀered as well. One and two-day packages, pre-registration is advisable. See flyer at this website and watch for updates and info. Contact: Trevor Bylsma 613-271-6217 or email@example.com
CVMG Trials, Lanark
Near Watson’s Corners, this is the fall round of the local CVMG series for vintage and other observed trials enthusiasts. Contact Doug Hunter (613) 826-3748 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
BMA Fall Trail Ride
The club’s fall trail ride in Calabogie for members is a great way to have fun and learn the trails. Contact Larry Murray treasurer@bytownmotorcycle-assoc. ca 613-926-2522 or Heather Seeler email@example.com
white coat, black boots THE DARK ART OF TRAILSIDE MEDICINE - BY DR. DAN CURRAN
I swore loudly inside my helmet, sweat running down my forehead, washing rivulets of dust and grit into my eyes. I struggled to get my KTM upright as it lay sideways across a steep, loose, rocky hill-climb. It was pitch black in the forest and almost midnight, and Flanny (“Over the Bars”) and I were battling to take back the lead in last weekend’s Rockhound Rally during the final night stage. To make matters worse, my helmet-light wire, attached to the battery on the bike, was short and poorly positioned, making it almost impossible to swing my leg over the seat from this awkward angle on the hillside. Seconds and minutes were elapsing and the win was getting ever more distant.
Rockhound Rally, I was struck once again that in medicine and physiology, there is almost never one simple explanation, common experience, or “magic bullet” cure. Every individual and his/her physiologic response is highly unique, and importantly, our physiology is just as strongly influenced by our psychological state as well as our physical health.
Finally I wrestled the KTM upright, only to lose control again a few meters later and start the whole process over again. I could hardly breathe. I’m not sure which was worse - the physical effort and exhaustion, or the mental anxiety and frustration (a theme which we’ll come back to later on). On the third attempt, I managed to claw the bike up the hillside and we were back on the trail, chasing (unsuccessfully) the leading team. As I crested the hillside and prepared to ride as hard as I could through the final section of trail, I faltered, missed a line, clipped a rock and almost crashed again. I then tried to wheelie the bike up a steep rocky ledge and didn’t have the strength to hold on to the bars, again almost losing control. I had hardly any strength or control left. It was as if someone had taken a roll of duct tape and wrapped it tightly around my forearms as I was struggling back there on the hill. I shook my hands to no avail. I couldn’t stand up and ride, and it was all I could do to awkwardly bounce my way along the rocky trails, forearms throbbing, ashamed at my costly errors on the hill, and so frustrated I could hardly think. BREATHE, I said to myself. TAKE YOUR OWN PULSE, I yelled internally. It dawned on me, though it seems obvious in retrospect, that I was incapacitated by arm pump. I have been plenty sore and tired on rides before, with wrists and hands aching and trouble hanging on to the grips, but this was a different thing entirely. As the trail wound on, I starting taking deep, slow breaths and trying to settle myself down both mentally and physically. Gradually my arms loosened up, and we finished the stage without any more incidents.
Arm pump is something I have heard and read about for a while, and I took some time after Rockhound to read up and put my experience in context. Essentially, it’s a form of what physicians call “compartment syndrome”. Muscles, nerves, arteries, and veins are confined in distinct compartments in the legs and arms (usually several in each limb), bordered by a tough, nonelastic connective tissue called “fascia”. Compartment
Reflecting on what happened to me that night at the
“BREATHE, I SAID TO MYSELF. TAKE YOUR OWN PULSE, I YELLED INTERNALLY”
syndrome refers to an increase in pressure in one or more of these closed spaces. This can be caused acutely by trauma (i.e. bleeding after a fracture or crush injury), which is usually a condition that will not resolve with rest, and requires emergency surgery to relieve the pressure. In the case of arm pump, compartment syndrome develops more slowly, and occurs because of a combination of factors that starts with muscle overuse. This demand for increase in blood flow causes the muscle body to swell and become engorged with blood, and as you continue to demand more and more, the metabolism switches from aerobic to anaerobic, and lactic acid waste product begins to accumulate, causing further pain, swelling, and blood vessel constriction due
“I’M NOT SURE WHICH WAS WORSE - THE PHYSICAL EFFORT AND EXHAUSTION, OR THE MENTAL ANXIETY AND FRUSTRATION” to a dropping pH level. Eventually, if these stresses continue, the pressure in the compartment rises above the OUTFLOW pressure of the veins (a relatively low-pressure system, compared to the high-pressure arteries), which are responsible for carrying away all the extra blood and waste lactic acid. When the outflow is choked like this, compartment syndrome really gets going, as your system cannot keep up with what your muscles are demanding. The increased pressure compresses the local nerves, muscle fibers, and causes numbness and weakness.
All of this begs the question “how do I avoid arm pump?” There are countless so-called remedies on dirt-bike forums (including some kind of arm spray, which is just comically implausible), steering dampers, handlebar damping systems, suspension setup, aspirin before a ride, vitamin supplements, alterations in riding
Unlike acute traumatic compartment syndrome, arm pump (“exertional compartment syndrome”) will slowly settle down with rest, giving your circulation a chance to catch up. For motorcyclists/mountain bikers in particular, arm pump is a unique phenomenon caused mainly by the nature of gripping a handlebar and keeping your wrist straight at the same time - an isometric movement that requires contraction of both sides of the forearm, which predisposes us to this problem. Remember, however, to make sure that your symptoms match the condition. There are a few other problems that can be confused with arm pump (eg. carpal tunnel syndrome), which are treated differently.
technique, and even surgery. I won’t spend much time on the surgical approach as I would never recommend it, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The procedure is the same one used in acute traumatic compartment syndrome - a simple cut-and-release of the fascial planes that normally confine our muscles. At least half of the MotoGP grid has had this surgery within the last
white coat, black boots... few years (including Lorenzo, Hayden, Crutchlow, and others). This may be necessary for someone in the very highest level of competition at the extremes of stress, but those situations just do not apply to the rest of us. If we think about the cause of arm pump, the solutions become a bit more clear. The most important factor is physical conditioning. The longer you can use aerobic metabolism before having to convert to anaerobic, the less chance of lactic acid buildup and pH drops in your muscle tissue, and the more fit you are, the more efficiently blood flows and drains in your system. This kind of conditioning is pure cardiovascular fitness, and I would bet that weightlifting/muscle bulking in your arms would make you more susceptible to arm pump, whereas working on cardiovascular fitness would reap benefits. It’s not your arms that need to be stronger, it’s your heart! Equally important is to relax the grip on the bars. “Death grip” is a major factor, and the more you can ride with your legs, just letting your hands rest on the bars for
gentle guidance, the less you’ll struggle with arm pump. Therefore leg, core strength, and staying balanced on the bike is critically important. Suspension and bike setup is a factor as well, but less so than the first two. If your bike is running well and soaking up the bumps, it will help to ride more relaxed, but if you’re out of shape and hanging on to the bars for dear life, it won’t matter if you’re on David Knight’s factory ride. A final preventative approach that is definitely worth mentioning is a pre-race/pre-ride warmup. Going for a 15 minute run to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing to get your system “primed” for physical exertion will definitely reduce the chances of disabling arm pump. We make sure our bikes are warmed up and ready before a race – we should do the same with our bodies. Why was I struggling with arm pump last weekend? Generally speaking I’m in decent physical fitness, and I
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work hard on riding relaxed and not hanging on to the bars, yet I found myself in a situation where I could hardly ride. This is where we need to consider the other, more “philosophical” side of arm pump. There are countless stories of riders that can run near race-pace all day long on a trail ride, but 10 minutes into a hare scramble or moto, they DNF due to arm pump. What is the difference? Undoubtedly there is a huge psychological component at play. In a situation where adrenalin is coursing through your bloodstream, you’re hyperventilating (or indeed forgetting to breathe at all!), and your anxiety level is through the roof, it’s not surprising that your circulation clamps down, CO2 and lactic acid build up, and your arms begin to throb and weaken, even if you’ve ridden that same trail at the same pace in a non-race scenario.
“THE MORE YOU CAN RIDE WITH YOUR LEGS, JUST LETTING YOUR HANDS REST ON THE BARS FOR GENTLE GUIDANCE, THE LESS YOU’LL STRUGGLE WITH ARM PUMP” Like most sports, motorcycling has an enormous mental component. Mastering a hill climb, clearing a technical section, or completing a race without succumbing to arm pump all require a level of psychological control that cannot be overestimated. Trust in your abilities, and you will clear the hill or rock garden. Slow down your breathing, keep your adrenalin in check, stay cool during a race, and your arms will be more likely to survive as well. Keep your expectations realistic; if you expect to win and put that kind of psychological pressure onyourself during a race, it will weigh you down (and slow you down). If we can work hard on improving our cardiovascular fitness, take a pre-ride warmup jog, use our legs and core strength to balance and control the bike, and master our nerves and expectations, I will bet that it won’t take long before arm pump was a distant memory. ∆
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CORD NUTRITION BY FLANNY
HE PRET H G U O TH UGGLED S ABOUT R T S A M UR EB ALK AFTER TH KEND, FLANNY T ELY LACKING IN O AN E R C CORD WE - WHICH WAS SO PLE RULES YOU N IM UR NUTRITIO H ONLY A FEW S DY, TURNING YO T IT O OU GROUP. W R TAXING YOUR B G YOUR BRAINS E IN AVOID OV USH AND CRASH M MIND TO
SPORTS NUTRITION FOR THE CORD I have built-up some knowledge through my years of mountain bike racing. Getting nutrition right can make the difference between finishing well or bonking hard and having a terrible day. The best thing I can suggest is to Google “recovery drinks”, “sports hydration”, “carb loading”, “electrolyte replacement”, and “maltodextrin for sports nutrition”. You could also look up some of the specific products such as Cytomax, Hammer Nutrition, Carboom, Whey Protein, and Soy Protein. Sports nutrition is very person-specific, but basically, what I have learned over the years is summarized here. Traction
“REMEMBER, THE SPORTS-NUTRITION INDUSTRY IS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR RACKET AND WAY OVER-HYPED” IN THE DAYS BEFORE YOUR BIG RIDE: 1) Be hydrated. That usually means hydrating all day before the ride. You should be peeing clear and every two hours or so. If not, drink-up! The best thing is to carry a bottle of water everywhere you go on the day before a big ride. You will not be able to catch-up if you start your ride dehydrated.
for 5, plus I drank 3 or 4 1-litres bottles of water, plus my 1 litre of recovery drink). Beer and coffee do not count, as they have a diuretic effect which negates the fluid intake.
2) You should have your muscle-glycogen stores full. That means eat a little less protein and fat in your diet in the two days before the ride, and have more carbohydrate (think pasta, rice, corn, potatoes etc.). THE MORNING OF YOUR BIG RIDE: 1) A breakfast that will provide a slow-burn of calories is best, and should be eaten 2-3 hours before the ride starts so that your stomach is not full, and you have a chance to clear your bowel. Oatmeal is probably the best food, but bagels, french toast, and fruit are pretty good too. Bacon and eggs are not great, because right before the ride, your body needs carbs, not fat/protein (also, they are harder to digest). 2) Half-an-hour before the ride, you need to top-up your liver glycogen, and be sure you are fully hydrated. That means eating a Cliff bar before well before you hit the trails, and downing more water/Gatorade. Having some caffeine is also good to sharpen your focus/attention, and has apparently been shown to improve physical performance. Coke, Red-Bull, Coffee/Tea, Espresso etc. are great. ON YOUR BIG RIDE, ESPECIALLY FOR A 5 HOUR PLUS DAY 1) You need to consume about 0.7 – 1 litre of fluid for every hour depending on temperature and intensity - the hotter and more intense the more you need. If you are not drinking that much fluid, you are probably dehydrating and your brain and body will turn to mush (it’s actually dangerous in terms of being able to read lines and react well). You will also have a higher likelihood of muscle cramping. To put things in perspective, on Saturday of the Pre-Cord weekend, I probably drank about 10 litres of fluid (I have a 3 litre and a 2 litre bladder in my pack
2) You need calories. You will burn about 800 calories per hour during hard riding, so in a 5 hour ride, you will burn about 4500 calories give or take. Your muscles can store 2000 calories which you have at the start, this means that during the ride, you need to consume about 4500-2000 = 2500 extra calories, otherwise your body will need to metabolizing fat stores which it can only do very slowly, and your performance will suffer. This means you need about 500 extra calories per hour of riding.
“YOU NEED TO CONTINUE HYDRATING. YOU SHOULD BE A PISS MACHINE ALL EVENING” 3) To get those extra calories, you should probably be eating about the equivalent of one and a half, to two cliff bars per hour (about 250 calories each). That means stuffing your face with a piece of Cliff bar pretty much any time there is a stop in the action. To get even more calories (or to get them easier/quicker), products such Traction
as Carboom gel can be consumed, or Cytomax can be put in your camelback bladder. This will make it easier for you to get 400-500 calories per hour if you drink your 0.7L of water every hour. This is where the Maltodextrin comes in. You can supplement your Gatorade with a few scoops of Maltodextrin to increase the caloric value without having to spend a fortune on Cytomax, which is basically just Maltodextrin powder with added soy lethecin to make it more granular and clump less. 4) You should have your trail snack somewhere where you can get to them quickly and easily, like a leg pocket, or a bar-pack. Otherwise, if it is in your day-pack, you won’t eat anything until a bigger stop, which is not enough. 5) You need salt. Gatorade has some salt (sodium), but not enough. I usually add about two teaspoons to 3 litres of Gatorade to keep electrolytes up. Do this to taste. Note that other products such as Cytomax have more salt than Gatorade. AFTER YOUR BIG RIDE: 1) You need to continue hydrating. You should be a piss machine all evening. Keep a water bottle handy. 2) You need to replenish muscle glycogen as soon as possible after the ride so that you charge-up for day two. Your body needs about 0.8 to 1.1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of your body weight in recovery mode. You can get this from any source, but you should avoid simple sugars (glucose/fructose), since they can cause an insulin spike, which apparently messes with your immune system possibly opening you up for a cold or flu. Again Cytomax or Carboom are good since they contain complex sugars (maltodextrin or brown rice syrup basically) as opposed to simple sugars that your body can absorb more slowly. In a pinch, chocolate milk is great. There is a concept in physiology called the “glycogen window” where your muscles reabsorb glycogen 30 times faster right after an effort – so it’s important to refill as soon as possible after your ride. After 3 hours, the glycogen window is closed. If you don’t get your muscles the sugar they need, they will get it by catabolizing muscle tissue, which makes you even more achy and sore the next day!!! Traction
3) Alcohol actually inhibits glycogen re-absorption, so it’s really, really bad right after a ride. 4) You need about 0.4 g of protein per kilogram of body weight to help you to re-build torn muscle tissue for the next day. Whey protein is best for recovery. It is available in many grocery stores. So the best thing after a ride is a protein/carbohydrate smoothy or shake. This gives you fluids, carbs and protein. GENERAL THOUGHTS: 1) I am NOT an expert or a doctor, and this could all be total bullshit. All I know is that many Internet sources seem to corroborate this, as does my own personal experience over the years. Your results may vary. 2) Most of this is not so important for a one-day ride, but is super important for a two-day event when you have to do it all over again on day two. But, even for a one day ride, it helps, since you probably will not be a waste case for the evening of ride-day. 3) If you have a heart rate monitor, you can get an accurate tally of the calories you burn while riding to get a better handle on your nutritional needs. 4) It’s VERY important to experiment with this stuff, since everyone is different and will digest/react to the various products differently. You DON’T want to try ANYTHING
new on race day, since it would really suck to be puking on the trail due to bad digestion of a new product, which definitely happens. 5) It is also important to try the product during hard effort, since many are engineered to taste good when you are panting and dying of thirst, not when you are standing in your kitchen sipping it. This is especially true of saltier drinks.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SPORTS NUTRITION Flanny
www.racerxvt.com/article/pre-race-nutrition-for-off-road-racing www.arniebakercycling.com/pubs/Free/Maltodextrin%20Nutrition%20 ABC.pdf www.livestrong.com/article/209191-fructose-vs-maltodextrin www.hammernutrition.ca www.cytomax.com
6) Note that you can get all of the benefits of the above with regular food if you pay attention. Cliff bars can be replaced with trail-mix with dried fruit, dates, raisins etc., protein can be replaced with nuts and chicken/fish etc, etc. Carbohydrate products can be replaced with Rice Syrup, Maltodextrin, molasses, honey etc. The key is to experiment with what works for you and what fits your budget. 7) Remember, the sports-nutrition industry is a multibillion dollar racket, and a lot of the products are totally overpriced, and way over-hyped. Are they worth it? Probably not given that you can get all of the benefits just by eating the right stuff. The advantage with the powers/potions is that they are really convenient. Just two scoops of whey protein powder is more convenient to me after a ride than having some cooked chicken breast available for example. Anyway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there you have it. An anal-retentive look at sports nutrition in a nutshell, all to be taken with a grain of salt! Enjoy the Corduroy Enduro! â&#x2C6;&#x2020;
5 2 Y L R A N G S A W E D I R D R O C THE PRE
Y R T N U O C D R O C T S E N I F E H T F O S M K 0 5 Traction
racing personified BY DUNCAN CARPENTER
OO-XC: SEASON’S GOING GREAT, LET’S CHANGE SOMETHING When the eRag told me I was going to get to write about my experience in the OO XC series, they suggested a couple of topics to cover - diet, fitness, bike prep and mods. Those first two concepts are not in my vocabulary. I change my oil and air filter regularly and lube all moving parts. I have a few mods, but they are pretty boring - skid plate, handguards, rad guards and pivot pegs, so I have decided to talk about strategy. So far my only goal at each race is to finish. I don’t plan on changing that, but now that I have got some races under my belt, my confidence is growing and I think I am ready to start adding some secondary goals for each race. My first new goal will be to get a holeshot. The first few races of this season I would intentionally pace myself off the start. My intentions were to avoid any traffic jams, then I could catch some people or pass them if they pitted for fuel (gotta love KTMs with their big tanks). There are two reasons for my new goal: 1) if I can get out front early I will not have to worry about making passes in tight trails; 2) there is no other place on the track to make 20 passes in 10 seconds. I have not come out first yet, but I can guarantee that you will not catch me sitting back eating roost while the others fight for the lead – they are going to have to earn it. Despite giving it my all, I still ended up eating roost off the start during round 5 at Woody’s KTM acres. If there was one race where you needed a good start it was Woody’s. The week leading up to the race was hot and dry resulting in an extremely dusty first minute of every lap. Unfortunately, I was mid-pack off the line and got swallowed by a sandstorm more severe than any of “The Mummy” movies. I survived the storm only to be met by miles of tight and rough single track. Just when you think the single track will never end there is a clearing, which gives you a chance to take a breath. But don’t relax just yet, it’s a trap! Before finishing your breath you are faceto-face with Woody’s endurocross section which can save you a few seconds or cost you minutes and a lot of energy. Woody has a reputation for liking rough trails and he did not disappoint. Despite being rough and dusty, round 5 of the OO XC series at Woody’s KTM acres was Traction
THE OO DIARIES
an enjoyable challenge. Round 6 was at the Burnt River Off-Road Vehicle Facility, which is just north of Peterborough. There were three of us in the truck and we had two sets of paper directions, a GPS and no two routes were the same. Somehow we managed to find the entrance. Little did we know, that is only the halfway point of the journey. I am exaggerating, but not by much. The driveway is just over two kilometers long and it gave us a chance to preview some of the course. According to the arrows, it looked like the course went through a tiny stream. This turned out to be the smallest water crossing of the day. There were water sections where you literally could not see the end. Thanks to the information given at riders meeting I was confident that there were no submerged obstacles waiting to grab me. Burnt River also had a pretty intimidating endurocross section. I was relieved to learn that the morning class did not have to ride that section. However, I fully intend to go back later this summer and give it a try. If you get a chance, take a trip to Burnt River Off-Road and see one of the best all-around facilities I have ever seen – there is something for everyone. Check out their website at www.burntriveroffroad.com for hours, directions and other information. I could go on and on about Burnt River, but it’s nice out so I am going riding. Catch you next issue! ∆
“DESPITE GIVING IT MY ALL, I STILL ENDED UP EATING ROOST”
Y O R U CORD O R U D N E N O I T A R A P E PR H T I W W E I INTERV S S E L P R A BLAIR SH NON SHAN S A L L A D BY
E TO C N A H C THE D A H I AN , H M T E N H O T M , S THIS PLES R A H S R EARLIER URO I A D L N B E H Y T I O W TH CORDUR 8 SIT DOWN 5 F THE O E G R A IN CH -25). 4 2 R E B (SEPTEM OT TO N , Y U G OOD G D N U LL OF O A R H A E L L L C A AN TORCY O M N BLAIR IS A I ANAD C A N O I MENT EE. T C U D N I HAT W D N FAME A ’ CORD S ’ R A E Y THIS ECT. T P U X E O B N A A IM EC I ASKED H Y ENDURO ROOKI RO A CORDU Traction Traction
eRag: This is the 58th Corduroy Enduro, has anything been changed or updated for 2011?
the Cord? Maybe a favorite from each aspect (participant versus organizer)?
BS: Yes, we try to add new trail every year. So far we have eliminated 30km of the rail trail and we are working on several new trails but the course is not finalized yet. Everyone will ride a timed lap of the Endurocross test on Saturday. At the end of Saturday’s ride the pros and experts will do 4 lap motos just like in past years. The motos will be optional for all the other classes. On the non-riding side of things, we have two-time world MX champion Jeff Smith as our guest speaker at the Saturday night dinner. We have also changed our caterer to address the problems that occurred last year New this year is the GP Bikes “Ride to the Cord”, which is an organized road ride from GP’s Whitby location to the Cord start finish area on Saturday - in time to see the Endrocross test. The ride includes lunch, prizes and a t-shirt. Another change is that Rally Connex will be organizing the Saturday trail ride in addition to the Sunday dual sport ride – which they have done in the past.
BS: As a rider, the most memorable was my first Cord. I was 16 and had been looking forward to riding the Cord for as long as I could remember. I did a lot of crashing on Saturday trying to go too fast. By Sunday I was riding a little smarter, probably because I was so beat up and worn out from the first day. This was also the first and only time the Cord used the Powderhorn and Nesbitt trails. I was never so happy to see gravel road as that Sunday afternoon when I came out of those trails. Between the two trails was a checkpoint on the beach. The check crew came in by boat and when I got to the check I thought I had made it. Then I saw the boat and realized I had to do another 15 miles of the same sh$t to get out. The sweepers didn’t get out of the trail until ten at night and only 30 or so riders finished that year. I ended up winning the White Trophy for top novice and was around tenth overall. I went into the event set on winning the White Trophy but half way through the Powderhorn on Sunday afternoon all I was hoping to do was get out of that trail before it got dark.
eRag: As a past participant and the current event organizer, do you have a favorite year at
I do not have a favourite event as an organizer, however, I do enjoy the finish on Sunday every year. A few years ago I started shaking everyone’s hand at the finish and giving them their finisher’s medal. Even though the rider’s are very tired and their bodies and bikes are beat up, they are very appreciative of all the work everyone put into organizing the event. eRag: This event must be a huge undertaking, and therefore require many volunteers. We’ve had many Bytown Motorcycle Association people mention that they wanted to volunteer to help out at the Cord. If volunteers wanted to participate, vwho could they contact to help? BS: Bytown members Dave Wrack and Mike O’Reilly play a big role in making the Cord happen but if anyone else wants to help send us an email. They can contact us on the website: www.corduroyenduro.ca eRag: Because of the massive volunteer requirements, time and logistical demands, has there ever been a year that there was talk of not continuing? Were there ever “dark years” in the Cord history? BS: I believe in the early eighties it was iffy because the BEMC (British Empire Motorcycle Club) members who started the event and who had been doing it for 30 years were getting too old to do all the layout. The Steele City Riders stepped in and ran it until the current group started doing it. The Cord is still BEMC’s event and they even trade marked the name after the CMA tried to take it. The Haliburton Trail Riders put the event on for BEMC but really it is Ontario’s enduro. We have volunteers from clubs all over the province who come and help out. The support the event gets is fantastic. eRag: What were some of the biggest challenges faced? BS: The biggest challenge is always getting permission and permits. We have to deal with five municipalities and also the rail trail committee. We are also up to around 20 private landowners that we have to get permission from. The private landowners are great and I enjoy dealing with them. eRag: I see that Cliffshore Adventures is preparing the Endurocross section. Endurocross has really taken off, both for the riders and the fans. Is this section going to be possible for mere mortals Traction
or will it be limited to the advanced classes of rider? Who can try it and will there be a practice session or free ride for people who are interested in trying? BS: Barry does a great job on the Endurocross and he always puts in longer by-passes at any of the obstacles that are intimidating. There is no practice on the course but there will a sighting lap before anyone has to ride it on the clock. eRag: There has been a lot of talk among race event organizers on how to get a new crop of riders to try racing. What would you say to newer riders who are interested in trying the cord but too intimidated to give it a go? BS: We use course splits to tailor the event to the different rider levels. It is not easy but it is not impossible as long a rider uses his/her head and doesn’t give up too easily. eRag: What level of rider do you need to be to give the Cord a try? BS: Like all the Offroad Ontario events there is a class for everyone. I would use the Calabogie Boogie as a yard stick. If you can ride it you can ride the Cord. eRag: Is there a particular class that you would suggest for a newer person? BS: If a rider has never competed in anything before I suggest the Beginner class. If the rider has no competition experience but considers himself a better than average trail rider then the novice class might be a better fit. If the rider has some competition experience but has not ridden an Enduro he will have a good idea what class to ride. eRag: What advice would you give on how to mentally prepare? BS: The Cord is not won in the first test or even the first day. Ride smart and only go fast when you can do so with out hurting yourself or bike. Take it easy in the transit sections and rest up for the tests. If it rains and gets really tough remember everybody else in your class is having trouble too. Ride your pace and do not try and keep up to the guys on your minute, they are probably in the Expert or Pro class. If this is your first Cord the goal is to finish. If you and your bike are in good shape on Saturday night and the results show you Traction
are in striking distance of the podium you can wick it up a bit on Sunday to try and get a trophy. eRag: Physically? BS: I don’t feel it is as physically demanding as riding XC’s because the tests are not 2 to 3 hours long like an XC. But it is a long day and you will be happy to get off your bike at the end of it. The better shape you are in, the faster you will be able to ride at the end of the longer tests. eRag: Mechanically? BS: There is always deep water at the Cord so you need to make sure your air box is only getting it’s air from the top and tape up any vents in the sides. Also you need to take one of the carb vent lines and run it up under the tank so that your bike doesn’t stall in long water crossings. If all the vent tubes are in the water the carb will either suck water up one of the tubes or it will create a vacuum in the float bowl and not allow any gas to go up through the jets. Either way you will be pushing your bike out of the river. Suspension settings should be on the soft side because of all the rocks. MX suspension does not work very well at the Cord unless it is re-valved and softer springs are used. Put in new brake pads, front and rear. The half used ones can be used up at a shorter ride. Install a new rear tire and replace the front if it is more than half way through its life span. Make sure to run heavy-duty tubes and 15psi to help prevent flats. If your chain and sprockets are past half way in use, replace them. You can always use them up trail riding. The Cord is probably two of the longest rides you will do and they are back to back with only the 15 minute work period to do maintenance. The bikes are impounded Saturday night and no one is allowed to touch them until 15 minutes before their start time Sunday morning. When prepping a bike for the Cord nothing can be left until the next ride because it is the same weekend. eRag: Except for preparing for a normal day on the trail, is there anything special that a rider would needs to bring? Gas cans, transponder for example? BS: Two gas cans are a good idea and a must if using our gas trucks and not your own crew. If you have a transponder, bring it, but we will have them for sale or rent if you don’t. A spare air filter, oiled and ready to go,
is a good idea. Any other spares like the brake pads and tubes you replaced when prepping the bike for the event. It’s not fun putting on dirty, wet gear so a spare set would be nice if you have it. eRag: Now I want to talk a bit more philosophically, about the future of the Cord and the future of riding off-road in Ontario which are intrinsically tied together. With recent attacks on riding areas and politics becoming more and more a part of riding, are these issues affecting the Cord in any way? BS: Definitely, the more people that move into rural areas or buy vacation properties, the harder it is to hold an event like the Cord. However I am very optimistic because every year we add more private landowners to our list that we run the course through. Also we have not had any public lands closed to us yet and we were able to get permission from all 5 municipalities again this year. eRag: The Cord takes place in a rural area and the tradition and history of this event most likely has a positive affect on the communities it touches. Have those communities embraced the Cord? Do you anticipate any future problems? Can you talk about that aspect a bit? BS: Anywhere I go when doing layout I run into someone who used to ride the Cord, or their dad rode the Cord, or it used to go through their hunt camp. The event is very well known to the communities in the area so the politicians and municipal workers are generally very receptive since it brings money into the area. If we run
into difficulties it is from people who don’t care for offroad motorcycles and have time to go to town council meetings, write letters to the editor, etc. These noisy few usually kick up enough of a stink that the politicians have to make us jump through some hoops to make sure they get elected next time. eRag: What are some of the key ideas for developing and maintaining relationships with municipalities in regards to off-road riding? What are some of the hurdles? BS: Follow through on agreements, make sure the bikes are quiet, go slowly on the roads and put money into local organizations. The riders play as big a role as the organizer does in this aspect because the overall idea is to treat everyone in the community like we are guests at their house for the weekend. If they enjoy having us visit they will invite us back. eRag: Final Question - I’ve never raced before but after watching the “Two Days of September” video, I was considering turning pro this summer and running the Cord. What do you think the chances are of bringing home some hardware? BS: I don’t believe the movie is sufficient prep for riding the pro class. If you do decide to run pro your ride will probably end 15km from the start on the back side of Green’s Mountain as the other pro’s use you and your bike for traction. It is the first extreme test of the weekend and only the pros ride it. You go for it though – I can always put you to work on Sunday after you DNF on Saturday. ∆
HNER G U O B R JENNIFE
d e y e y r a e l B = E D I R CORD
STILL KICKIN’ BY GLEN (COOP) COOPER
REMEMBERING KEN This year, it will have been 10 years since the September 11th disaster in New York City. You may be asking yourself why this article would appear in an off-road motorcycle publication. Well, the long and the short of it is that it means a lot to me. I wrote a piece about this 9 years ago and never did anything with it. I wrote it because there was no other way for me to express what I was feeling at the time. I am not a very confident public speaker (although those of you that know me know I can talk a blue streak, or so I have heard). I was actually driving to Woody’s Cycle on the morning of September 11th and heard on the news that a plane had hit the Twin Towers in New York City. I wondered to myself if anyone on the ground would have been injured as I thought at the time it must have been a traffic plane or a small commuter plane. It was not until later in the day on the way home that I heard another plane had hit the Towers. How could two planes hit the towers on the same day? It must have been in a storm or heavy fog. Later I came to learn, as did the rest of the world, what had happened. As I am sure many were, I was glued to my TV for several days. This disaster is right up there with other disasters such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Lockerbie Bombing and several other disasters in recent history that were caused by other humans. All of them were premeditated events designed to take the lives of innocent people to make a statement. It can never be rationalized why someone would do that. As I watched the news coverage of 9/11, there were horror stories as well as hero stories. As time passes, we tend to file these stories in the back of our minds and we are reminded of them from time to time as the anniversary of these events come around. In one of the news articles I read, a mother of one of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing was interviewed about how she had coped with her loss and if she could give any insight to the families of the victims from the Twin Towers bombing. What she said was earth shattering to me and it has stayed with me since. She said that everyone would remember the names of who caused all the horrible losses but few would remember the names of the victims. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. How profound the mother was.
“EVERYONE WOULD REMEMBER THE NAMES OF WHO CAUSED ALL THE HORRIBLE LOSSES BUT FEW WOULD REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE VICTIMS” Two weeks later I was at work and someone had brought in a McLean’s magazine. In it was an article listing the 24 Canadians lost accompanied by a picture. One of the victim’s names was Ken Basniki and in his picture he was sitting against his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. I asked the person who brought in the magazine if I could cut out Ken’s picture and place it in my locker. I promised myself that I would remember at least one person who had lost their life in that event. Not to say that the other 23 Canadians are not worthy of remembering. It was the fact that Ken was with his motorcycle that I instantly felt a need to Remember Ken. Here is a link to the 24 Canadians who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/cdnwtc.html
I am not a person that watches the news on a regular basis. I find the stories a tragic reminder of how some people have no concept of the value of life. I realize how fragile we all are and how short a stay we actually have here. So, if you are reading this on your own and you were able to feed and dress yourself without assistance,
you should count yourself fortunate. Now get out there, ride your motorcycle and enjoy your day. I know I will, I hope to see you on the trails, and remember, Ride Safe, Ride Smart. Coop out. Mumble, mumble, mumble... ∆
The 00 report BY BILL WATSON
KTM/OO 2011 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 7 • ANTHILL CLASSIC PRESENTED BY K-W CYCLESPORT. The late July weather was hot and sticky, the K-W club made their course on the long side at 26kms - that’s marathon territory. The Course was an even mix of grass track and tight woods specially designed to keep you on your toes. A good contingent of Ontario racers braved the heat and the anthills to race the Conestoga conservation area course. Morning races were once again pretty exciting events, in Mini Sr. Ryder Heacock gave up his lead on the last lap when he pounded on one of those famous anthills, he finished 2nd to Clark Roylance who up to that point had been all over Heacock’s rear fender, with Hunter Allison taking 3rd. In Mini Jr. Noah Bearss took all the glory of the victory with Andrei Cojocaru in 2nd and John Hruda came home with another podium finish in 3rd. Elizabeth Holloway ran away with the Ladies B class, Delaney Brogan put up a good fight for 2nd and Brandi Powel came home in 3rd. In the Pro Class Josh Long continued his winning ways slowly pulling away from Kevin Cockayne in 2nd, both riders laps times barely slowed down over 2 1/2hrs , talk about being in shape. Mike Jonker followed home in 3rd. It was deja vu in the Expert class as Braydon Jones and Mike McCaw charged through the pack to finish 1st and 2nd with Kevin Burley hanging on for a close 3rd. Vet Expert class saw Jon Head take 1st from Jamie Jones with Darren Marsiske taking the 3rd step on the podium. Intermediate was a killer race from the start to the checkers with Curtis Holmes edging Jed Franko for the win as Ian Otten charged through the pack after a poor start to take 3rd. Rick Day took the Masters Class victory, and Mel Head the Ladies A class win. The Super Vet class saw a gaggle of very fast old-guys battle it out with Elmo Rutnik taking the top spot followed closely by Brian Holloway and Rick Hone in 3rd. In the pretty fast and pretty old guy Vet Class, Dennis Imeson took the win from Steve Oomen and Al Strong who were right on his heels - in fact the top five were practically on top of each other at the checkered flag. Another busy Novice race saw Jake Tustin take the win from John Ledbrook who edeged out Al Snively in 3rd. In the Beginner Class a close race saw Jim Tyas take 1st followed by Lukas Smith in 2nd and Devon Cooke in 3rd. Overall, another great day of racing, thanks to our
title sponsor KTM Canada and our series sponsors, Apex Cycle, GP BIkes, Machine Racing, Woody’s Cycle, Stadium Suspension, Lachapelle Racing Products, Ross Rocher Sales, Orange Motorsports and Hone Printing. Final round of the OO series takes place Sept 4th in Codrington.
THE SIMCOE COUNTY OFF ROAD RIDERS HOSTED ROUND EIGHT OF THE KTM / OO CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEBRIGHT. It was SCORRA’s first ever XC event on a brand new course and they did a terrific job. The course was tough with huge rock climbs, super tricky sections and fast winding grass track sections where riders could use all their gears. Josh Long took the lead early in the pro class and never let up for two and a half hours, putting some distance between himself and second place Mike Vandenhoek in second, Eric Langford came home in third. In the expert class it was once again the Jones show, where after 2-1/2 hours Braydon managed to put 6 seconds on 2nd place Riley while Mike McCaw survived to take 3rd place. The large, fast Intermediate class once again saw Ian Otten take the checkers over Jake Loube in 2nd. Jed Franko clawing his way up to third after a bad first lap that had him in 13th place. In the Vet Expert class Randy Zuest and Jamie Jones pounded out fast laps to finish 1 -2 with Jon Head just behind in 3rd. In the morning race the Super Vet class was once again super fast with “Mr, Agro” John Nelson taking the win followed by Elmo Rutnick in 2nd and cartwheeling Rick Hone in 3rd. In the Vet class Todd Topper took 1st with Chris Zanelli in hot pursuit only 13 seconds behind with Steve Coverley taking 3rd place. Rick Day once again took the Masters honours and in Ladies A Melissa Head took 1st, Dana Zuest took 2nd and Jill Carney was 3rd. The massive Novice Class was won Traction
The 00 report by Josh Phillips who put over a minute on Jake Tustin who barely held off Ben Cubitt two seconds behind in 3rd place. In Beginner Devin Cooke took the win followed by Brian Kingshott in 2nd and Eric Olar in 3rd. Another super tight race in the Mini Sr. class between Ryder Heacock and Clark Roylance saw Heacock, who kept it on two wheels, take the win literally by a wheel with Kenton Dearing placing 3rd. In Mini JR Jordan Fisher put some distance on young “Mr. Podium”- John Hruda who took 2nd over Carter Martin in 3rd. In Ladies B Elizabeth Holloway took another victory over Porsche Reynolds in 2nd and Jacqueline Legere in 3rd, honourable mention to Tracy Evans who toughed it out with the young girls to place 4th.
Once again another great day of racing in the KTM/OO XC series, many thanks to SCORRA for running a great show and to all our sponsors, KTM our title sponsor and Hone Printing, Stadium Suspension, Lachapelle Racing Products, Machine Racing, Apex Cycle Sports, GP BIke, Woody’s Cycle, Orange Motorsports and Ross Rocher Sales for all their support this year. The series takes a summer break and wraps up on September 4th in Codrington for the Labour Day Classic! Check the OO website for all the scoring details, lots of great photos and the schedule of events. Photo Credit: Andrzej Taramina - tarafrost.com ∆
HT XC Traction
DESPITE BEING GRAY
BY LORI GRAY
LORI GRAY IS A RIDER FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THAT WE MET AND WE WERE INSPIRED BY HER STORY. LORI IS GOING TO BE LETTING US KNOW WHAT’S IT‘S LIKE TO GROW UP, LIVE AND RIDE IN “SOCAL”. NEXT YEAR LORI’S GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO CANADA AND EXPERIENCE “REAL” OFF-ROAD RIDING - CALABOGIE DREAMIN’ - ED
THE P U M T K T MY E G D L U H IT T IF I CO I W P E E ’D SL I , S R I A T S
When the eRag editor said that I needed to submit a headshot, I almost changed my mind about submitting an article! I have always been athletic, truly an all-around gym rat. But, menopause has not been kind to me. I used to be one of those women that I now despise: the ones that bounce around the gym in their little tights and sports bra. If I were to venture to the gym these days, you would see me in baggy shorts, an even baggier shirt that covered my baggy shorts and a mask so no one would recognize me and mourn my fall from grace. Actually I am not even sure how it happened. As the “change” progressed, sleep became more appealing than working out. Sitting in a recliner eating candy, cookies and potato chips became more appetizing then tuna and broccoli. Getting up at 4:00 am to go to the gym lost its allure. Slowly the pounds crept on until one day, not that long ago, I looked in the mirror and thought “holy crap, who is that fat person in my bathroom?” The tipping point came last riding season when I realized that I was so out of shape that it was affecting my riding, and not in a good way. So now, as the start of new riding season is only weeks away (the California riding season is from October to June), I am on a do-or-die mission to get back in shape because
THE ONE THING THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN JUNK FOOD IS RIDING.
I was born and raised in a small city outside of Los Angeles called Santa Clarita. I am blessed to have grown up riding. I have always been a tom boy; the son my father never had. Sadly though, in my early 30’s, I lost perspective on life and got caught up in the whole career / climbing the corporate ladder thing and quit riding. Fortunately, in my late 40’s, sanity returned and I realized that the whole corporate ladder climb was for the birds. So I refocused on the things that were truly important to me: my kitties (Bam-Bam, Pebbles & MiLeah), my family, my friends and riding. In 2006, I bought a quad (Suzuki Z400). An F250 and a toy hauler soon followed. Somewhere in there a friend convinced me to get back on a 2-wheeler and once I did, there was no looking back. I was in love again. I went through a 1998 CR80, a 2002 RM125 and ended up with my pride and joy: a new 2008 KTM 300 XCW with e-start (yahoo!). It’s the love of my life. Honestly, if I could get it up the stairs, I would sleep with it.
MY LIFE HAS GONE FULL CIRCLE I now work to live rather than live to work. As soon as I get home from a riding trip, I start counting down the days until the next riding trip. Most of my riding is desert terrain, but I do get a forest ride in from time to time.
And so that is a quick picture of me. I am excited about the opportunity to share some of my riding thoughts and adventures with all of you. As the start of another riding season is just around the corner for me (finally), I should have plenty to write about. And if all goes well, hopefully you will be seeing a new, skinnier headshot of me one of these days. ∆
m a e R D s â&#x20AC;&#x2122; r e m m u Mid-s
BY CÉCILE GAMBIN
MID-SUMMERS DREAM TRAIL RIDE REPORT When my husband mentioned that he would take the kids to the cottage for the weekend, I decided that it was a good time to cash in on some “mommy time” and spend the entire weekend doing the things that I used to do before having a family. So Saturday I headed up to Kelso Conservation and spent the afternoon mountain bike riding and Sunday, I took my KTM 200 to the Ganaraska Forest for some of Ontario’s finest single track. The crew from the Great Pine Trail Riders (GPTR) put on a well-organised event. Registration and sound check were both done quickly and quietly. GPTR once again chose the best of the Ganaraska (affectionately called “the Ganny”) linking the West Forest with the East forest. Double track, single track – both available in abundance. Although it had rained heavily throughout the week the soil was pristine aside for a few slippery roots and baby heads in the morning. There were more downed trees than I remember in the Ganny but the GPTR guys took care of them accordingly. I especially liked the manmade “wooden” ladders built to help riders over. I tried them all and I am sure it didn’t look pretty but, with the exception of one, I made it over. It’s easy to get lost in the Ganny. However, the route was well laid out. The longest option, rideable after lunch, was a 30km section of sweet endless single track. In my opinion, following arrows so you can focus on riding makes for a very pleasurable day. I cannot say enough about the Ganaraska Forest. It’s 10,000 acres of fluid single track with plenty of pine trees and sandy soil. You will also find lots of deciduous forests with loamy soil. It may not be the most technical ride but the fun-factor is undeniably high. I just love getting in the rhythm, linking up one turn after another, letting the rear end slide around and flicking the bike from side to side. That’s bliss. That’s why I ride. Being in control of a 250lb machine, carving through the Ganny’s fast-paced trails, powering up the hills avoiding the endless army of baby heads and gracefully descending with speed and ease. I’m still smiling! I’m also smiling because it seems that somehow I managed to escape getting covered getting poison ivy that grows in abundance throughout Traction
the forest. I have to admit, my stomach was in knots driving along the 401 the morning of the event. I was nervous!! Yet, I was also excited. I have not ridden my bike much over the past five years due to two pregnancies, and being the principal caregiver. My husband and I have taken the kids to the Ganny a few times over the past two years. He would ride for an hour and I would baby sit and then we would trade. And that’s about the extent of my time in the saddle post-partum. As for David, NO WAY was he going to ride without me. If I couldn’t ride neither could he. Is that unfair? Oh well...
“THE SOIL WAS PRISTINE ASIDE FOR A FEW SLIPPERY ROOTS AND BABY HEADS” It was great to see my old off-road buddies again. That’s what I love about the off-road community - people are tight. The camaraderie is unparalleled. I have essentially been away for the last five years and everyone understood having been there themselves. I was treated with respect and enthusiasm and it was clear they were happy to see me out. I am going to have to ask David to take the kids to the cottage more often! Thank you to the GPTR and to the Pontypool firefighters for a great event and a great BBQ. Over $800 was raised by the firefighters through lunch. The money from the event itself will help with the numerous GPTR trail maintenance projects within the Ganaraska Forest. Knowing this makes riding this event even better. The Ganaraska is an extensive forest network currently used by hikers, snowmobilers, cyclists, skiers and horse back riders. Having the GPTR present will insure that I will have a safe and fun place to ride off-road bikes in the future. If you are interested in riding the Ganaraska on your own my suggestion is to bring a GPS!! You will have to check in at the Forest Centre to buy a day pass, or a seasonal pass. They will also provide you with directions to the different forest parking areas. For more information please visit the Ganaraska Forest Centre website www. grca.on.ca. ∆
“I JUST LOVE LETTING THE REAR END SLIDE AROUND AND FLICKING THE BIKE FROM SIDE TO SIDE” D THE DERSTAN N U ’T N NY S TOO MA BIN DOE E M V A A G H E CAN’T CÉCIL WN AT HOULD O OF ‘YOU S E G N IN O N D Y A ME KS EVER OFF-ROA IN N H A T D D N N A A BIKE BIKES’ BLES, MOUNTAIN ED HARE SCRAM E N O T E S LEA AS RAC OSS SINC H R E C O IL T C O É AL DD M BIKE. C A NATION D THE O N N O A D S E T O E R P ENDU NHILL COM IN DOW HAS ALSO E L H E S V . E R 9 L 9 L 19 LEAVE HE O NATIONA T R E E T E R IN EEL F .COM AND BIKING. F W.CECILEGAMBIN IN A T N U MO WW THROUGH COMMENTS! IL A M E N A OR STIONS, WITH QUE
A K S A R A N A G L U F I . . . K BEAUT C A R T E L G N I S T S E R O F
m a e R D s â&#x20AC;&#x2122; r e m m Mid-su Traction
northern tw1st BY MÉLANIE DENNIE
ARE YOU GIRLS TW1STED?! Rose and I sit at the kitchen table and sew the heads on our dolls. We laugh and giggle like the teenagers we once were. “This is going to turn some heads!” We had considered strapping headless Barbies on our front fenders and immediately dismissed the idea. “They would get ripped off in the first single-track section, we need something that can survive an encounter with a tree”. Customizing our bikes is serious business, if you consider hand-sewn demented dolls an after-market part. The dolls are our official mascots. Rose Lantaigne and myself are team TW1STED. We live in Sudbury, Ontario. We have been called crazy, feisty, masochist and just plain mental. But most of all, we have been called twisted, and that we are. In the spring WEC series, our team was represented on the podium at every race, and we brought home the 1st and 2nd place of the series. At the Parry Sound X-Sprint, Rose and I topped the podium in the lady’s class. Okay, so we were the only women twisted enough to even attempt this event, but victory was no less sweet. Our short-term goal is to complete the Paris to Dacre Rally in 2012 run by Rally Connex (a bi-annual event that is meant to mimic one day in the actual Paris to Dakar race). Our long-term goals are of completing all of the major events in Ontario: the Corduroy Enduro, the Rockhound Rally, the Terra Nova, and the Anthill Classic. Can we ride? We can and we do. Are we “just one of the guys”? No sir. We don’t randomly wheelie as we take off. We don’t jump a ditch without seeing what is on the other side. We do not check out our own roost. We don’t burp in our helmet and tell our friends. And, of course, we routinely have sleepovers with our girlfriends. And have pillow fights in our undies. Uh huh. Silly boys. What’s next for team TW1STED? We expand and find a third member. We must be a minimum of 3 riders to participate in the P2D. A simple task proving to be quite difficult. Why? Seems that women who ride big 4-stroke enduro bikes in gnarly terrain over 15 hours are rare. Hmmm, I guess that makes us 2 of a kind. Three of a kind would be better. Any takers? ∆ (ED: Mel, check out Wide Open, that may just be the ticket. The very fast ticket) Traction
“WE DO NOT CHECK OUT OUR OWN ROOST. WE DON’T BURP IN OUR HELMET AND TELL OUR FRIENDS.”
PLET M O C O T OAL IS G M R E T RT ALLY R OUR SHO E R C A S TO D I R A P E H T Traction
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g n i c a r s n e m o w c c gn Traction
VERONICA MARTIN IS IN HER SECOND SEASON OF RACING THE GNCC SERIES ON FOR HALLS HUSQVARNA. WE GOT TO SIT DOWN WITH VERONICA AND DISCUSS HOW SHE ENDED UP RACING OFF-ROAD AND HOW SHE GOT INTO GNCC RACING.
well-known woman to be sponsored. Companies know that women typically tell the truth, they wear what works, and they talk about it. It isn’t always free product, but most of us settle for half-off retail. Every little bit helps.
eRag: Where are you from, how did you get started?
VM: I travel on an average of 8 hours to a race. But we get to [go to] states we have never been to before. It’s a lot of hours of driving, but we do it for the experience and the chance to say “I raced there.”
VM: I live in Illinois. I started riding when I was 20 years old. My boyfriend, who was a midwest enduro and hare scramble pro at the time, put me on a Honda 50 in the front yard. Then I moved up to a CRF 100 and then to a KTM 125, which I only rode six times for the first three years I owned it. In 2008, I sold the 125 and purchased a 2007 KTM 250 XC-F four-stroke. I decided to race it that year and have never looked back. I am now 26 and ride for Halls Husqvarna on a TXC 250 FI. This is my 3rd year of racing and 2nd season in the nationally ranked series. eRag: What is it like to race in the GNCC? VM: In 2009, I raced my first season of local hare scrambles in the women’s class. We raced for an hour with the mini bikes and kids. Jumping to the GNCC series was quite a leap for me. It was not an easy transition. The courses get rutted out, full of braking and acceleration bumps, and everything in between. There are sections that are wonderful - challenging yes, but awesome. We race all around the East coast and Midwest. eRag: What kind of sponsorship opportunities exist for women and GNCC in the USA? VM: The sponsorship opportunities are great for women in the USA. Not just the GNCC series but all across the board. We have women in our series that have had factory sponsors for a very long time. Women like Mandi Mastin, Maria Forsberg, Ashlee Crouch, Jessica Patterson, Ashley Fiolek, and some others. I will say this, only a select few get the factory ride option (paid bikes, gear, etc.), and most of those women are pro moto crossers. The way I look at it is that sponsorships are just like any other part of your racing program - if you work hard at it the hard work pays off. Right now in the US, the largest growing market in the road/off-road motorcycle industry is women. Because of this, companies have figured out that it helps to have a gal racing the local series to push their product. You don’t have to be the fastest, or most
eRag: How much travel is involved?
eRag: What do you do in between races? I work full time (shift work) which consists of 84 hours every two weeks. Sometimes it’s hard to get in training. You cannot race without working, and you cannot work if you are traveling and racing all the time. So we have to try and balance it out. I try to work out at least an hour a day. I try to ride at least once a week in between race weekends, but sometimes that does not fit in. eRag: Who wrenches your bike? My boyfriend, Nolan Whitesell, is the mechanic for my race bike. He has been wrenching and racing off-road race bikes for 18 years. He is KTM certified and has worked with the brand for many years. I switched to Husqvarna this season. I can do all of my own bike maintenance and most of the motor work, but sometimes I run out of time. Fuel injection is a new book in my chapter but he is an old pro at the fuel injection and programming from working on race cars when he was younger. eRag: What does your sponsorship package look like? VM: I have a good sponsor list this season. Hall’s Husqvarna of Springfield, IL, Team Off Camber Racing, The Mastin Family, Maxxis, Leatt Brace, Sidi Boots, Fly gear, Bell Helmets, Scott Goggles, Sunstar sprockets, Austin MX graphics, Pro Moto, Motion Pro, Rekluse Clutches, IMS Tanks, Fluidyne, CV4, FMF, Spider Grips, My Mechanic, and my family! With these companies I get a very big discount, or lots of help track-side. I also get the opportunity to work with these companies to make my program stronger and to make their products better.
eRag: How many women on average race in a GNCC race? VM: In our class we have roughly 15 racers. In the women’s junior class we have about 4 every weekend. I am hoping to see this change into a women’s pro/am next season. eRag: How many classes? VM: We currently have only two women’s classes in the GNCC series and only one women’s class in the national enduro series.
eRag: Worst injury? How do you view injuries? VM: I have had everything from poison ivy, to heat related illnesses. I hyper-extended my knee in a slick creek bottom in 2009 and ever since then, I have ridden with top of the line knee braces. I believe that if they make preventative protective equipment, a rider should use it. I need to be able to go to work Monday morning. eRag: Are you a country girl, suburb or city? VM: I was born and raised in the country. I actually showed horses on the national circuit as a youth. I took
a scholarship to Saint Mary-of-the Woods College for their IHSA nationals team, (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association). I have bred, raised, trained, and shown horses all my life on the “GNCC” type level all across the country. I still show a lot and I have to remind myself that horses don’t have a twisty throttle and bikes don’t have their own “auto pilot.” eRag: Does your family race too? VM: Just about everyone in my boyfriend’s family races off-road or motocross, but not many of them come to the nationals. eRag: How do you mentally prepare to race? VM: For me, it’s music. I don’t get nervous and never really have because I’m used to pressure and butterflies when it comes to stuff like this. I just remind myself to breath and eat. Usually, it’s just the process of drinking fluids and eating that mentally prepares me. It’s a pattern that my body just knows. And the iPod takes care of the rest. eRag: Do you have a group of women you ride with or is it mostly guys? VM: Very seldom do I have other girls around to ride with at home. Usually it’s guys and their buddies. I’m kind of a lone wolf where I live, not many women ride off-road. I have some girl friends that have side by sides though. We ride together in those a good bit. Keep an eye out for more about Veronica and here experiences while GNCC racing! ∆
REVIEW BY DALLAS SHANNON
PRO MOTO BILLET
BY THE GUY THAT WROTE IT
On a ride in Calabogie earlier this season I noticed something was going on with my Fastway footpegs. I stopped and upon quick inspection it looked like they were bent. The peg was angled forward toward the handlebars. I could not remember hitting anything with enough force to bend my peg, but, because I was riding with a few faster guys, I figured I would have to deal with it for the remainder of the ride.
box” area in relation to the brake and shifter. If you have big feet or generally find that area of the bike cramped, these pegs may be for you. Also, they are very wide and have a variety of “cleats” – from small screws to medieval looking spikes. Your foot will seldom slip off of these pegs, even in gnarly conditions. I was disappointed that this bolt was sheared off and I felt that this should not have happened. With very low expectations, I emailed Pro Moto Billet, the company that makes Fastway pegs. To my surprise, and only one day later, Justin emailed me back. He told me that they
When I got home and had a chance to inspect my pegs, I realized that the camber bolt was snapped off. This bolt is on the inside of the peg (towards the frame) and depending on how far out you have the bolt turned, it affects the angle of the peg towards the bike. Most people have the pegs at 90 degrees, perpendicular to the frame but the Fastway pegs have a lot of adjustment options available and this bolt allows for that. My problem was that this bolt was somehow sheared off and now my right peg was angled sharply towards the handlebars.
have seen this type of break before but typically when the bolt becomes loose or backs out a bit without the rider knowing. After a bit of Pro Moto Billet hype, Justin told me that they would replace the right side peg AND throw in a new set of cleats – no charge! Wow. Typically, when I email dirtbike companies, I never hear anything back from them, let alone have them replace the part at no charge. As promised, a week later there was a new peg and cleats in my mailbox, courtesy of Justin at Pro Moto Billet.
Let me give you my background with Fastway. I love these pegs for several reasons. They are adjustable in a variety of ways and I like them set down and back. This gives me additional legroom and also increases the “toe
The Fastway pegs are a great product and knowing that the customer service level is so high, I will be sure to give Pro Moto Billet’s other products a second glance. Thanks Justin. ∆
WITH G N I D I R ORD C E R P E... S S A E E L D D N N A H STYLE A FLANNY Traction
REVIEW BY DALLAS SHANNON
If you ask a group of off-road riders their opinions of steering dampers, you will get a variety of response. Some people are of the opinion that steering dampers are specifically designed to get you to open your wallet while others think that dampers exert a placebo effect – you spend $500 and you are sure that it has made you a better rider. However, many people won’t ride without them. I have never owned a steering damper. I have been riding off-road for the last 5 years and when I ask riding buddies about them, I always hear two things – “They help with steering deflection” or “When you get one you won’t notice it but it will save your butt without you realizing it saved your butt”. What the hell is that supposed to mean? In the meantime, “steering deflection” was not a high priority for me and I could not justify needing a $500 part that I did not know was there. For those reasons, I went without. In my opinion, a damper isn’t going to do anything if you are a new or inexperienced rider. I know from my own experience of going from a new rider to my current level, I did not appreciate the nuances of how the bike handles. Sure, a damper looks nice and you can brag to your friends about how much you paid for your latest bling, but at the end of the day, I cannot see how a new rider would be able to notice the difference a damper makes. Dampers help with “steering deflection”. There’s that term again. Steering deflection occurs when your front tire deflects off a hard obstacle, a rock, root, log or other trail debris and, in turn, twists the handlebars violently. Serious steering deflection does not happen until you are riding fast through some nasty shit. New riders do not notice deflection because the speeds are not high enough to induce serious deflection. Being an intermediate is a level where a rider can start to appreciate a steering damper. You need to have a really good feeling as to what the bike is doing and how it reacts before you get a damper. If you cannot feel the bike before a damper what’s going to change when you get one? Let’s talk about dampers. A steering damper, in principle, is very simple. Rotary dampers (the type of damper found on most off-road bikes) are enclosed case of hydraulic fluid Tractionthat is connected to the steering head. Without a
STEERING DAMPER damper, when a rider’s front wheel deflects at speed, this usually results in a violent twisting of the handlebars and creates a crash, or, at best, twists the handlebars and forces the rider to expend energy to avoid a crash. With a damper, the deflection and resulting twist of the bars is slowed down and absorbed by the hydraulic oil in the damper case. Because the hydraulic oil slows down and softens the effect of the deflection, this allows the front wheel to track straight in rough conditions and will not tire the rider as quickly because they do not have to expend extra energy to control the bars. Modern steering dampers are much more complex and they have many adjustments for various riding conditions but the basic principles are the same. I have been curious about steering dampers for some time so I asked Allan Lachapelle at LRP to send me a GPR V1 steering damper to try with my KTM 450. He mailed me the “kit” which includes the damper and the mounting hardware. This mount replaces my current setup (risers on risers) and replaces it with an underbar mount kit. The kit contained complete hardware and except for my blundering inexperience in regards to the triple clamps and steering stem, I got it installed in about 1.5 hours of messing around. The fit and finish were good and I had little trouble piecing it all together. Playing with it in the garage, I turned it up to the highest settings and I could clearly feel the steering fight through the hydraulic fluid. It works!
Larry Murray, a local riding legend, was leading our group on what was to be a nasty Calabogie single-track ride. Perfect. Larry didn’t know that I was testing a steering damper but right out of the gates we went up a trail called Stony Lonesome. It’s a long double-track climb that is littered with rock and looks more like a dry creek bed than a trail. With the elevation change, the ledges and loose rock this was a perfect place to first ride my newly dampened bike. I started with the GPR on the lowest setting and I immediately noticed the difference in the front end of my bike. Absolutely different. Normally on a trail like this, I’m fighting the front end and I have to be very
careful with my line selection so I’m not getting bounced (deflected) all over the place. In the first 300 metres of the trail, I noticed that I was not working very hard and I was not getting large amounts of negative feedback through the handlebars. I mentally relaxed and tried to focus on what was happening with the front end. There are two ways to describe it. First, it felt like it smoothed out the trail. Trail debris that I used to focus on I could now ignore. In fact, later in the day, I was purposely hitting things that I would normally try and avoid, just to see the effect. The front wheel would hit the debris and slightly deflect but not enough to destabilize the bike or cause me to react. After a while, I stopped being concerned with this debris. Another way to describe it would be to compare it to driving your car. If you have ever had the pleasure of owning a clapped-out 10 year-old daily driver you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you suddenly drive a brand new car, the front end of the new car seems so together. Rock solid, smooth, and firm. This is the feeling the damper has given me with the front end of my bike. Rock solid. With this feeling comes confidence, and slightly faster, subtle speed. In the hacked out sections, I could keep my speed up and although I was still getting beat up, it was nothing like it used to be. For this type of riding, I could have dialed up the damper settings but I did not want to mess with a good thing.
Towards the end of the day I was slowly losing the sensation of the damper. Obviously, the damper was still there and still doing its job but I was getting used to it and was riding without thinking about it. At one point during the afternoon, we were traveling at a good clip when my front wheel hit a rock that was hidden in the grass in the centre of the two track. The rock was quite large and it moved when I hit it. The front rim made a sickening sound as the front wheel stepped to the left and I though for sure I pinched my tube. As the bike was wildly pitched to the right, my body was thrown off-balance and I had that slow motion moment where I thought I was going down. Somehow, the bike recovered upright and I stayed on it. Was it the damper that saved me? Would this have been a nasty crash as speed if I didn’t have a damper installed? This may have been one of those moments where it saved my butt but I didn’t even notice.
In my opinion, using a steering damper is a good idea. If you have sufficient experience, have a good feel for your bike and are starting to become a faster rider then a damper will be a worthwhile investment. Thanks to Lachappelle Racing Products for supplying a test damper. The GPR V1 Fat Bar damper with mount retails for MSRP of $516.95. You can contact Allan directly at 450-292-3170 or www.lachapelleracingproducts.com. ∆
BY KEVIN EASTMAN & DUNCAN CARPENTER
KTMKEVIN’S COMMENTS Every five years or so, a revolutionary piece of technology appears in our two-wheeled pastime, from either the OEMs or the aftermarket. I believe that we are now on the cusp of the next revolution. I am, of course, referring to auto-clutches or anti-stall clutches as the manufacturers prefer to call them. If you keep abreast of developments in the off-road world, you are aware of these devices. Magazines are spilling lots of ink praising the auto-clutches for their ability to help tame difficult conditions. Editor Big D asked me to pass along my observations on the suitability of these newfangled contraptions when riding in our Eastern Ontario primordial ooze. I do have some previous experience with the clutches. I stole a ride many years ago on Dave Wrack’s KTM, which was equipped with the first generation of auto clutches. I was not impressed. The clutch engaged itself at fairly high rpm and in a very harsh manner that led to “coasting” through slower corners - very unnerving. But this year, Big D revealed that our riding partner Chris Lacasse had purchased one and was field testing it in Nevada. Upon his return I picked his brain a bit and then decided to order one for myself. Here is where things get a little complicated. At that time, both RevLock and Rekluse were manufacturing competing versions of the same idea. I have heard rumours that RevLock is now out of the business but I have been unable to confirm that. Each company was constructing two different versions. The first product was complete clutch assembly, including a new clutch basket, plates and pressure plate along with a few other proprietary pieces ($900US). The other product; a smaller, simpler, drop-in assembly really caught my eye at only $399US.
Chris was adamant that the Revlock was the way to go but I was leaning towards the Rekluse. So I picked up the phone and talked to both companies before deciding to go with the Rekluse – mostly due to greater adjustability potential. Here is what I got for my hard earned money. The Rekluse EXP looks like a super fat friction plate with six quarter turn fasteners in it. The instructions were very good and I set about installing the little devil. First step was to check the internal springs that were hiding under those aforementioned fasteners. These coloured springs (red for soft or blue for stiff) control how fast the internal wedges are “expanded” due to centrifugal force. I knew that I would want the clutch to start gripping at low rpms so in went all six red springs. Total time on this step was less than ten minutes. Next, I was laying my bike on the garage floor clutch side up, then removing the clutch cover. Once inside,
the instructions directed my to remove the stock clutch springs followed by the pressure plate along with the top three fiber plates and two metal plates from the stack. The Rekluse was retrieved from its oil soaking and dropped in to replace the clutch plates that had been removed. The provided Rekluse clutch throwout bearing assembly replaced the stock throwout bearing on the end of the clutch pushrod. The stock pressure plate was reinstalled using the provided new clutch springs that are stiffer than stock. Although this procedure might sound complicated, it was quite simple in practice and put no strain on my limited mechanical abilities while only absorbing about half an hour of my time. Alas, my good fortune did not continue. The next step was the critical baseline setup using the proprietary throwout bearing assembly. Seems I was missing a critical setscrew. After much cussing, I phoned Rekluse and they promptly shipped me the missing setscrew. They covered the $18 shipping charges for a $0.25 setscrew. But this snafu meant that my bike had to go back to stock configuration to go riding the next day. Damn! One week later, with the missing setscrew in hand, I dove back in to redo the install. I adjusted the new throwout bearing assembly as instructed, but as I gave the clutch its break-in and first test on the lawn it was apparent that it wasn’t working properly. So, once again, I phoned Rekluse to see if they could set me straight. Seems that my problem was quite common; I was not “bottoming” the clutch slave cylinder. The blame for this problem lies entirely with me as the instructions were very clear on this procedure. After more testing on the lawn, the clutch cover came off two more times for throwout bearing adjustments but most riders would probably nail this adjustment thing the first time. So, after all that, how does it work? “Magical” is the word that best describes my experience. I now have three rides with the Rekluse under my belt including a truly nasty expedition led by wheelie master Larry Murray. The more difficult the conditions the more the clutch shines. How so? Well, I have not stalled once. Think about that for a moment. I am sure that I am not the only rider who flames out in nasty conditions due to lack of momentum. Even if I drop a wheel in a hole between rocks that stops me cold, I just step off and walk the bike out without ever touching the clutch lever. The bike can be left in any gear and will not start to move until a touch of throttle is applied.
The beauty of the Rekluse is that it can slip the clutch for itself much more effectively than you can do it with your left hand. So now I just pick a gear appropriate for the trail and never touch the left lever until the next stop to collect stragglers (and usually that’s me). Imagine riding in Limerick for an hour on the tight singl-track without
“BIG D ASKED ME TO PASS ALONG MY OBSERVATIONS ON THE SUITABILITY OF THESE NEWFANGLED CONTRAPTIONS WHEN RIDING IN OUR EASTERN ONTARIO PRIMORDIAL OOZE” ever clutching or stalling. I was very surprised by how much better I can ride when I can concentrate on other aspects of proper riding form. The Rekluse does make me a better rider although, unfortunately, no faster; no miracles forthcoming. Another huge benefit I have discovered is in hillclimbing. A botched climb can be rescued by backing off the throttle
to get your rear wheel collected, and then getting back on the gas, never touching the clutch lever. The effort saved on this facet alone is priceless. There are some downsides to the autoclutch that perspective buyers should keep in mind. First, compression braking pretty much disappears on downhills unless you are brave enough to feed in some throttle. I don’t find this a problem as I ride a two stroke with minimal compression braking at the best of times. Also, proper gear selection is still important. Although it would be possible to climb an extreme hill in fourth gear, the wear on the clutch plates could eventually make that kind of behavior expensive. And bump starting is out of the question; I now check to make sure the bolt holding my kick-starter is tight before every ride. If your scooter has the e-button that problem is negated. By now, it should be obvious that I am thrilled with the performance of the Rekluse EXP. After ergonomic improvements, I would rate this as the most successful addition to my scoot. Almost every intermediate or expert rider would benefit from an autoclutch if they venture into ugly terrain – especially where traction is tricky. Think Calabogie on a wet day! I would not recommend the auto clutch for beginners and novices. Although this may sound counterintuitive, I feel that newer riders need to learn proper clutch manipulation before they let the auto clutch do all the work for them. Learning the art of riding should include learning all the intricacies.
DUNCAN’S COMMENTS Would you rather take the elevator or the stairs? Before you answer, consider this: you are wearing about 50lb of riding gear and you are going non-stop for hours. If you would still rather take the stairs, then I have two things to say to you: first, you are a liar and second, the Rekluse EXP clutch may not be for you. The topic of auto-clutches came up while I was with some riding buddies. One of them was very vocal about how he will never use one and they are only for sissies. If auto-clutches are only for sissies then I am wearing the wrong underwear. My auto-clutch is legit. It puts the power to the ground better than you ever will. However, if you insist on manually fanning the clutch up hills or in corners then you still can. That’s right, you can still use your clutch like a regular manual clutch if you really want to, but I guarantee you will slowly begin forgetting that Traction
lever is there. I suggest you do not completely forget about it because if you inadvertently twist the throttle during a get off the bike won’t stall out. The rear wheel will spin until you kill it or catch it. Trust me on this. That is the only negative I can think of for the EXP, and crashing is generally pretty negative already. The Rekluse EXP essentially replaces a couple drive and friction plates and was a breeze to install thanks to the detailed instructions included. While the bike is off, or idling, the EXP expands and disengages the clutch. Once the rpms begin to increase, small internal wedges slide toward the edges allowing the EXP to compress and the clutch to engage. My degree is in psychology so that is about as “science-y” as I’m going to get. The EXP comes with different internal springs to adjust the engagement characteristics (soft, medium, and strong). I have been running the medium which allows me to run a gear high and lug my way through the rough stuff while still having plenty of power when I need it. Rekluse is continually developing their products for new and old machines so it’s likely they have a product for you. The EXP is a great product which retails for just under $400 and is slowly revolutionizing the dirt bike world. In twenty years we’ll all be riding hover bikes and I bet Rekluse will be involved. Do not be left in the past, get yourself a Rekluse EXP. ∆
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REVIEW BY DALLAS SHANNON & FLANNY
TURN TECH LITHIUM BATTERY
I first heard of Lithium Ion batteries a few years ago when the technology first started showing up in laptop batteries. They lasted longer during use and greatly extended battery life (number of charge cycles) compared to a standard battery. The introduction of this power source changed the laptop industry as it turned laptops into a practical option when choosing a primary computer. It wasn’t long before most laptops were using a LI-ION battery. Only a few months ago, I heard of LI-ION batteries that were available for off-road bikes. Wow. What a great idea! Smaller, more powerful and long lasting - what more could you want in a battery? In the past three years, I had used up two traditional batteries and I was frustrated with the short life and how quickly these would fade, especially when you needed them most. A friend told me about TurnTech batteries. These batteries are considered LI- ION technology but a different chemistry than a laptop or cell phone battery – they are lithium IRON phosphate (LFP) batteries. What does this mean to you? Buy it, plug it in and forget about it – for a long time. All I have read about these batteries was that they are strong, they remain strong, and last for a long time with ZERO maintenance. No trickle chargers in the winter. In fact, these batteries do not do well with a trickle charger and using one is not advised. The chart available on the TurnTech website says that your battery should be able to crank 6000 times with an average cranking time of 18 seconds. Now I do not know about you, but the only time I have ever cranked for 18 seconds straight was shortly after my bike decided to go for a swim in the local beaver pond. A normal Traction
start takes less than two seconds. If you are cranking your battery for 18 seconds on a regular basis, it’s time you looked into another sport. For those of you who fret and worry about the weight of your bike or gear, this is an effective way to shed weight while gaining noticeable advantages. The TurnTech 2.5Ah battery weighs only 0.9lb. Less than a pound! Most motorcycle batteries weigh between 5.5 and 6.5 pounds. You would be shedding 5 pounds off your subframe with 10 minutes work. It’s not easy to shed 5 pounds off ad 250lb bike.
TurnTech list the MSRP at $99 for the 2.5Ah and $159 for the 5Ah. That may initially seem expensive but if you amortize this over the life of the battery (which should be 4 years or more) it is suddenly cheaper than using traditional batteries. What I personally like about these batteries is that you are also purchasing free time and peace of mind. You no longer have to worry about batteries and the inconveniences they inevitably present – something every rider has experienced. I am busy enough without having to deal with the extra hassles of buying batteries.
I have had the 5Ah battery in my bike for about 10 rides. It took 10 minutes to install and every since then I have forgotten about it. I waited to write this review, thinking I may have more to say, but the truth is, it’s been uneventful. When my bike needs to be started, I press the magic button and it starts, everytime. I have had no hiccups, no weird starts or strange sounds. I wish I had something more dramatic to tell you but it works – no fuss, no muss.
WARRANTY TurnTech offers a 6 month warranty on its battery – essentially one season depending on where you live. Joe, who runs TurnTech, is rumored to be a very helpful guy and I personally know of one case where he worked with a former customer to figure out why their 2-yearold battery was not operating correctly. I know that he did not replace the entire battery, but I do know that he repaired it for only the cost of the parts (which was minimal).
BRYAN FLANNIGAN’S COMMENTS It’s a battery. A very light battery. When I push the magic button on my bike, it cranks. I just wish I would have seen that the polarity terminals on this unit were reversed before I installed it and blew three starter relay fuses. I am an idiot.
WHAT BATTERY DO I NEED?
The TurnTech website states that if you have a small bore four stroke (up to 400cc) you can use the 2.5Ah battery. If you have a 250 – 300 smoker or a big bore stroker, they suggest the 5.0Ah. TurnTech will also do custom batteries and state that they often have 7.5 or 10Ah batteries in stock. I have a friend that had TurnTech make up a 7.5Ah battery for his 450 EXC (with a big bore kit - now a 520cc) and he has been very happy with its performance.
For trail riders and weekend warriors, these batteries are a quick, simple solution for someone who does not want to spend extra time wrenching. For hardcore racers, these batteries will shave pounds off your bike and should not let you down. Everyone can benefit from a battery that simply works. For more information, contact Joe at TurnTech or visit their website: www.turntechbattery.com Joe routinely ships batteries to Canada and knows the in’s and out’s of dealing with international shipping and those nasty brokerage fees. ∆
If elected will you address this? If you are undecided about your vote on October 6, perhaps you should ask your MPP candidate what they think about your sport and how they might address our concerns with the Ontario government if they are elected. We have tried to get their attention since 2005 and have been stalled. Here are some sample topics you may want to cover at a town hall meeting, blog post, twitter, Facebook or in a letter. Pick a statement from the list below and then ask the candidate what they will do for you and your choice of recreation if they are elected. Print this article and keep it beside your front door for when they come knocking, then walk them out your garage and show them your ORM, tell them what you have invested financially and emotionally and what your sport means to you. If you have suggestions for more topics, send them to us at the OFTR and we will add them to this list. If they make you a promise, document it in the form of a formal letter thanking them for their campaign promise to you and copy the OFTR on it. Box 257, Gooderham ON K0M 1R0 SAMPLE TOPICS In 2000, the Red Tape Reduction act created Section 316 of the Highway Traffic Act that allowed ATV user groups to apply for access to municipal roads and then specifically denied OPMs by insisting that Off Road Vehicles have 4 wheels and a parking brake while the Off Road Vehicles Act states they may have 2 wheels. When we asked why in 2000, Transportation Minister Traction
Turnbull advised the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders (OFTR) that we since were able to convert an ORM to an on-road status we did not need to be included. Yet in 2007, the MTO, without consultation with the OFTR and without any changes to legislation or regulation, sent a memorandum to MTO licensing offices to no longer allow conversion and will not entertain a OFTR proposal on linkage to trails on the same back roads used by
ATVs and Snowmobiles unless our economic impact is sufficient. If elected will you address this? The OFTR attended the MTO consultation on September 23, 2008, and the participants overwhelming agreed on two important concepts: 1. That Off Road Motorcycles are a distinct type of Off Road Vehicle separate from ATVs and other ORVs. 2. That Off Road Motorcycles should be allowed access to municipal roads similar to ATVs (HTA 316) and Snowmobiles (MSVA). During the opening remarks of this consultation it was made clear that Off Road Motorcycles have an excellent safety record according to MTO statistics on injuries and fatalities and there was no discernable trend to indicate an increase in incidents despite the increased popularity of ORMs while the reason giving for the memo in 2007 was ‘perceived safety problems’. The MTO did not publish the report from this important consultation. If elected will you address this?
“PERHAPS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR MPP CANDIDATE WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT YOUR SPORT AND HOW THEY MIGHT ADDRESS OUR CONCERNS WITH THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT IF THEY ARE ELECTED” The Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport is the lead ministry for trails in Ontario and has refused to hear our application for recognition as a ‘sport’ while most countries and the International Olympic Committee do. This ministry will not accept grant applications without sport recognition. From 2005 to 2010 we submitted several grant application to ACTIVE 2010 and were denied while this ministry recognized our Fitness as part of the ACTIVE 2010 report as a success. If elected will you address this? The Ministry of Tourism has provided the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs $3 million and will not entertain the same transfer payment to other OHV organizations. This ministry continues to promote ATVs, snowmobiles, personal watercraft and on road motorcycles, they do nothing to help our provincial federation. If elected will you address this? WE NEED YOU TO GET INVOLVED MAKE THIS AN ISSUE AND GET PROMISES FROM YOUR CANDIDATES. Feel free to copy us. firstname.lastname@example.org ∆ Traction
exhaust note BY LARRY MURRAY
Andrzej Jan Taramina @ Tarafrost Photography www.tarafrost.com
YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF Every off-road rider owes it to themselves to ride the Corduroy Enduro (aka “the Cord” or “two days in September”). It is one of the oldest off-road motorcycle events in North America and attracts top riders from all over the continent. While allowing all level riders to ride together, the event is split into sections where different classes split off the main course and come back together later, allowing everyone a safe and challenging ride. The Cord is a two-day event modeled after the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE, or ISDT for us old guys). Like the ISDE, the bikes are put into a compound at night (parc ferme) and the riders will not have access to them till the next day. Fifteen minutes before your start time, you get to access your bike and do any work needed for that day. Only you get to work on your bike, nobody else, just you! The pro class riders will do two tires, maybe brakes, and an air filter. They do a whole Saturday afternoons work on their bike in just 15 minutes, definitely a sight to see. How much can you do in 15 minutes? At last year’s tire change
contest, Patrick Boule and Allen Lachappelle did their changes in under three minutes and I hear rumors that this year Blair Sharpless is going to come out of retirement to challenge them. The only thing I can say about this is watch and learn. Small changes in the way they do things make for big time savings. My first Cord was in 1973 and I road with Burt Irwin (Tom Irwin’s dad of Irwin Cycles) from Cornwall. Burt was an expert rider and took me under his wing assuring me that everything would be all right. His advice? Ride the event to the finish, don’t give up and to remember that whatever happened to me, ever other rider was going through the same thing. Ride the bike, keep it running, and stay on the course. And that is what I did. At the end of two days, 230 miles, I was at the finish line. I had finished my first Cord. There were at least 250 riders and only 80 finishers that year. No trophy (log) for me but I was the very proud owner of a finisher’s badge. I still have it along with several Cord Logs from future enduros. The Corduroy is a place to experience great moments in your riding life, and when you stop riding, you will have great memories. Have you ever seen an old dirtbiker in a hospital bed knowing he is about to die? With that silly grin on his face, some would say he has lost his mind. Corduroy riders know what he is thinking: great memories come from great moments of struggle. Ask any rider who has attempted the Cord. If you watch closely, the silly grin always appears before they answer. Is this your year to start your Cord memories (or add to them?) Just for fun, Larry
OT AFTER SH D N A E R BEFO OFTR’S E H T THIS IS A , N A OEVERM R OF KEN H US LEADE IO T N IE C S CON IS SLY, KEN U IO V B O BEFORE = ELY CLEARING THE AT CONSIDER LETTING THE ‘BERG ILE TRAIL WH T NAP IR D A E K TA Y, TING MAN C E P S IN OSELY OSSINGS, R C R AFTER CL E T A D AND W N NOW A C MANY, MU D N A , TISFIED USABURG H E H KEN IS SA T H FOR TLY WAS CONFIDEN E TRAILS ARE SAFE TH KNOWING BERS OFTR MEM
e n i l h s i n the fi Traction