Archive for the ‘motocross’ Category


Arbag – Fuel line burst, hot gas on the engine 10K into the bush (Tom’s picture – unknown photographer)

Aside from the hum of the mosquitoes under a grey, cloud-laden sky the northern forest is quiet. It is as though man had never touched this raw and rugged land. From somewhere there arises a faint revving sound, it intrudes into the otherwise pristine morning growing louder over a period of about 15 minutes. Bone jarring thumps reverberate through the trees and soon human voices can also be heard. Now visible, a convoy of several vehicles jolts into view. It looks like something out of a northern version of a Mad Max movie. Mud spattered vehicles with various oddments of human survival strapped atop. Whooping, shouting and cheering the off roaders do their stuff.

A green Neon is of particular interest, why is it out here? The convoy is several miles from the nearest passable road, this is dense bush, its crazy! Tom is the driver. Blond hair, pony tail and ragged beard, he is in his mid 20’s, dressed as per normal in his trademark color, “baby blue.” The sunroof is open, the road is crap and Tom is in his element. As he explained, “My intention is to do a few rock pitches, get the car dirty, I’m a bit of an off road groupie.” The vehicles enter a clearing, it is just a huge expanse of rock, polished by the glaciers, its deeper hollows filled by mud and bog grass.

As I’m sure you can imagine it can be very expensive. Tom has had his neon for two years and as he says, “It looks like xxxx” “I have been my cars own worst enemy.” He confesses. “All the damage is because of me,” he whispers. People say it looks like garbage and regrettably there are a few mechanical problems. I have no power steering and the ball joints are gone, it makes a horrible grinding noise when it goes around a corner, it has no starter so I put it in first and roll it along till the engine kicks in. The car always overheats and it has to be stopped sometimes on the way to work. If you ride in my car most people want to get out quickly because they think it is unsafe but it is not, there are just a lot of little things. (I will clarify this for the reader, it is Tom’s driving style that concerns his passengers.) I have tape on the lights, the mirror is missing, no hubcaps, some of the door handles are off and as Najeeb pointed out, “It smells like weed.” Tom corrects him, “most of that smell is the burning from the engine.”

Off roading is not for everyone, as you can see there are consequences but both Tom and Pablo say, it’s a great way to see the outdoors. They explore any little trail they can find and were most excited when I told them of the lost settlers roads that span the province, overgrown by trees and forgotten to all but the most aged historian. If you find a battered green neon far out in the forest you will know where it came from and you will know that Tom and Pablo have probably graduated to a farmer auto.

While on the topic of misfortunes and accidents, check out this incident when the rope broke in Dewdney’s Cave … Here

Or more to the point, the accident with the Leopard tank … Here

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Behave Yourself! – Rockwatching Blogging Protocal


scan0001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.

We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us  (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).

So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on

1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.

8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).

9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.

Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick

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Incredible tattoo, amazing tattoo – Walton 2010

Amazing tattoo.

What kind of mythical creature is this?

I was especially curious as to the meaning of this piece of artwork. Looks like there is some kind of clock that is melting like its made of wax. An elephant whose legs are stretched way out to stringy tendrils and a checkerboard that is crumbling in the background.

I took this picture at the Walton 2010 – Monster Energy CMRC Nationals, where tattoos are the norm – but this one was spectacular.

Any thoughts as to the symbolism?

Check out this tattoo of a schooner.

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Hully Gully Natural Double – Walton 2010

This is possibly my favorite part of the Walton track – “The Hully Gully Natural Double”. It consists of two hills with a depression in between. The riders take their most serious air between the peaks, apparently defying all natural laws by the distance that they travel and in the proximity to each other in which they do it.

As many as 30 riders are often packed together – many soaring across the gully at once. A wipe out in the landing zone would be catastrophic for the rider and those that follow him so closely.

You can position yourself in any one of three locations for viewing the hully gully. At the back end of the hill you watch the acceleration and lift off. here you are witness to this stream of screaming vehicles taking flight and then dropping out of view.

In the middle of the gully you glimpse short lived flashes of the competitors as they flash by – bikes sometimes sideways and splayed out at odd angles, and then there is my favorite spot, in front of the gully. This is where they land. In front you see the whole flight as they suddenly spring up from behind the first peak and then descend down like hornets in a most spectacular way.

I’m not so concerned about who wins. There’s something in the grace and daring of the riders that so impresses me. It’s like a ballet, but with nasty consequences for those who miss a catch or jump.

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P1030760, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Can you see yourself in this mob?

The MX1(Monster Energy CMRC Nationals) has just roared past, several riders are down and scrambling for cover as the pack tears over them.

Obviously this spectacle is of interest to those who’ve come to watch.

It’s as interesting to watch the people – that is people watch – as it is to watch the sport. Tattoos are in. Many go shirtless – suntanned, sunburned, fat thin and every shape and permutation in between. Beards, Mohawks and shaved bald, but not so often clean cut and preppy. As a rule the motocross enthusiast is younger and a little less coiffed than the slick pretty-boys you might see swaggering round a mall.

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Motocross – Walton 2010

Kind of looks like somebody just grabbed a bunch of bikers and threw them across the finish line. You’d be surprised at the many odd ways these fellows who are supposedly following a straight trajectory get to where they’re going.

By their numbers – black lettering on white – you can tell this is MX1. The MX1 one has less experienced riders than the MX2 and the race is somewhat unpredictable.

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MX2 – Walton 2010 – Monster Energy CMRC Nationals

These guys are riding in the MX2 class. You can tell that by their numbers and their bigger bikes. MX2 bikes are 450cc, MX1 bikes are only 250 cc.

MX2 numbers are either black on yellow background or white on a black background.

These riders are approaching the start gates and they often have a companion accompany them – their mechanic, their trainer or their coach. They’re not racing for peanuts, there’s money, reputation and prestige at stake and a rider puts it all on the line to come out on top.

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