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Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Fundy Adventure Rally 2015 In All It's Wet, and Muddy Glory Part One

I'm staring down a steep, rocky ATV path that is part of the last "C" route in this years Fundy Rally. One rider ahead of me is making a valiant effort to pick up her bike, while being assisted by another rider. These two are my partners in crime for the afternoon, the media team for this years Fundy Adventure Rally.

Photo by Tammy Perry

 Tammy Perry, the official photographer, Eric Russell, owner of Twisted Throttle Canada, and myself, the official videographer have somehow found ourselves going backwards on the last difficult section of the day. It's a rather long steep, rock strewn path through the forest as it makes it's descent down from the high ground into the town of Alma on the Fundy coast. Who says we won't go above and beyond the call of duty to get the best footage and pics. Wrestling a 238kg 1200GS down a boulder filled path is no easy task. Good thing I took the Clinton Smout BMW riding school two days prior. Clinton's voice echoing in my head, front brake only on the steep descents. Which does work amazingly well.

Photo by Tammy Perry

Once again, Rob Harris, Courtney Hay, their merry band of organizers, and volunteers have put off the Fundy Adventure Rally for 2015, hosted at Adair's Wilderness Lodge outside of Sussex, New Brunswick. Ninety-nine riders arrived from all over eastern Canada and the US for the four day event.

I showed up Thursday morning just in time for the Clinton Smout BMW rider training session. Clinton runs a riding school outside of Barrie, Ontario and is a BMW certified instructor. If anyone has seen me ride, they know that I certainly need some instruction. Plus I'll be riding a 1200GS for the rally, and I need all the practise I can get.

Photo Tammy Perry

Clinton is quite a character, a happy, laid back guy, that makes you feel really at ease, with a great teaching style and a dash of a comedy routine.

Photo by Tammy Perry

 The course was held in the gravel pit behind the lodge. Most of it was dedicated to slow speed manoeuvres, which thanks to the great handling nature of the big BMW, was made much easier for me. The rest of the course consisted of climbing and descending, riding over logs, ruts, mud, skids, picking up dropped bikes, towing disabled bikes,  and then culminating with a short, group trail ride.

If any of you didn't do it this year I highly recommend doing next time. If you would like to go visit Clinton's school click on the link here  http://www.bmwhorseshoe.com The school also does kids training, dirt bike and trials riding.

That evening I attended a very interesting presentation by Warren Milner. Warren is the former president, yes that's right, el presidente, of Honda Canada Motorcycles. Warren has since traded in his pinstripe suit for a KLIM one and rides over 50000km a year. He is also not your average corporate executive, he started as a bike mechanic, became a tech rep for Honda Canada and quickly rose through the ranks to become "the" guy at Honda. In other words........he knows his shit, and a whole lot more.

Warren's insightful presentation was about why and how manufacturers do what they do when producing a bike. The never ending battle between engineering, marketing, and what the riding public think they want.

Mr. Milner impressed the hell out of me, not only his vast knowledge on everything motorcycle, but his quiet demeanour, and approachability. I had the opportunity to talk to him for quite sometime at the Saturday night bonfire.

Friday was when the fun began, Henri stopped by for a visit and the bastard dumped 70mm of rain on the area. Henri was a tropical storm, and which had weakened to a tropical depression, but never the less soaked the whole area and turned the afternoon into a write off.

Luckily we had a short five hour window of half decent weather and team BMW was able to get some of the riders out on demo bike rides. Think about this for a moment.......what other manufacturer lets you take a demo bike off road? None, except BMW. I mean it's awesome.

Registration continued on Friday and throughout the day rain soaked riders showed up having traveled from various parts of eastern Canada and the US.

Tammy Perry, the lovely lass who is from Saint John, but now living in St. John's, Newfoundland gave an interesting presentation on her travels throughout North and Central America on her KLR650. Tammy is such a diehard rider she divorced her husband because he thought motorcycles were dangerous. Duh.

The day wrapped up with a buffet dinner, followed by the mandatory riders meeting. The Rally Master, as he is like to be known, Rob Harris went over the route leg by leg, and then the rules for the rally. The heavy rain we had all day was weighing on the organizers minds. Concern over what it would do to the course and the dreaded water crossings.

That was followed up by Courtney's team captain's meeting on how to properly use the SPOT device.

The next day was an early start, first teams left at 0700, so most people turned in early or were busy making last minute preparations to their bikes and gear.

Next post.........the big rally, 500km in 12HR. Woohoo time to get dirty!

1 comment:

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