Riders crank the throttle to close out season

The Mosquito Harescramble 2 was an adventure. It seemed no rider dismounted from his or her bike without tales to share after the race on Sunday.

The Mosquito Harescramble 2 was an adventure. It seemed no rider dismounted from his or her bike without tales to share after the race on Sunday.

There were stories of lost leads, small accidents and many of riders helping follow racers in times of need. It’s “gentlemen racing,” after all.

In one tale, three riders worked together to transfer gasoline from one bike’s tank into the tank of another that had run dry on the trail.

“It’s part of the racing, part of the adventure,” said Mike Beaman, president of the Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association (YCCMA). “If you stop and help a guy out, they get to continue racing, have a fun time … Anything can happen. Someone can have their bike hanging upside-down in a tree.”

Sometimes it’s possible to tell someone has a story before you even speak to them.

Tim Schirmer stood near the finish line, chatting with other riders, one foot in its bulky protective boot, the other bare on the grass and dirt. He took off one of his boots after the race when his ankle started to swell.

“I got my foot stuck between a tree and a rock,” said Schirmer. “I was going in about fourth gear and I came to a complete stop, so it just kind of ripped me off my bike. I think I kind of dislocated it and it popped back in place. Nothing too bad.”

The mishap didn’t mess up his race much. The 17-year-old took first in the challenging expert AA event. It was the second event in a row the YCCMA offered a AA course – the most difficult courses the organization has ever offered. Logs, mud, steep hills – even navigating was a challenge.

Expert riders did one lap of the 15-kilometre AA course and then as many as they could of the 10-kilometre A course in two hours.

“You definitely have to have technical proficiency on the bike so you don’t wear yourself out,” said Beaman. “You have to ride for two hours – it’s an endurance event – so you have to be physically fit to do that.”

Schirmer, a member of the family who hosts the races on their 160-acre ranch off the South Klondike Highway, took first in the previous YCCMA event on the expert course. Home turf doesn’t provide as much of an advantage as some might think, he said.

“I haven’t rode it since the last race and there are new sections to it,” said Schirmer.

“It was a fun race. We had eight guys doing the AA loop, which was fantastic,” he added. “Right off the bat people were cheating a little – a little anxious on the throttle …

From the first turn, me and Mike Scott from Fort Nelson were battling it out for the whole race.”

Second place’s Scott and Schirmer traded the lead spot a few times in the race. Scott, who is in Yukon on a family vacation, was racing in his first YCCMA event – and his first race in a decade.

“We wanted to see Whitehorse and thought we’d hit the race while we’re up here,” said Scott. “I used to race in the lower mainland, in the Vancouver area. I haven’t really been racing or riding much in the last 10 years.

“I brought a bike with me – a (Yamaha) YZ450 – and actually traded it at Yukon Yamaha for a new 2015 250FX.

“The event was great, the trails were great, it was good fun. The bike worked awesome.”

The YCCMA has always prided itself on providing family-friendly events. More than half of the 32 riders who took part on Sunday were under 15 years old.

One race was a family event in itself. The novice race featured mother on one bike, father and toddler son on another.

“We had our own family class,” said momma Emma Barr. “I thought it was really special. It was sunny today, so lovely – all the leaves on the trail. I was just chillin’, racing with my family on the trails.

“I tried to stick close to make it extra fun for Aiden. He’s only three and a half, but he spotted who I was and what colour I was wearing.

“I was able to pass them on certain things and then they’d pass me on certain things.”

Barr squeaked out a win over husband Mike Murphy and son Aiden. Little Aiden was propped up on the fuel tank with little foot-pegs made from a broom handle.

“I was thinking about it today while we were riding. There’s no other way we could have done that,” said Barr. “To have this organization and to have it such a family-friendly event, to be OK with what we’re doing. It’s one of those special memories you’re always going to remember.”

Sunday’s event was the YCCMA’s third and final event of the season and its second haresramble – completing as many laps of a course in a set amount of time – of the season. The season opener was a an endurocross – a series of smaller races in which riders earn points that go towards their final standing.

“I think we’re going to keep with this format of doing one endurocross and two harescrambles again next year,” said Beaman. “I think everybody has been pretty happy with it.

“The whole object of the club is that everybody has input and we all put this together and have some fun. Especially the kids. They have a sport they can look forward to competing in and it’s good physical exercise.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Results

Peewee

1st Ben Macpherson (Yamaha)

2nd Kya Larkin (Yamaha)

3rd Sam Adams (Yamaha)

Mini

1st Kya Larkin (KTM)

2nd Ben Macpherson (Yamaha)

Junior under 15

1st Sawyer Adams (Yamaha)

2nd Austin Larkin (Yamaha)

3rd Aurora Krause (Yamaha)

Novice

1st Emma Barr (Honda)

2nd Mike & Aiden Murphy (Yamaha)

Intermediate “B”

1st Shane Orban (KTM)

2nd Ethan Davy (Yamaha)

3rd Broden Cull (Yamaha)

Intermediate “A”

1st Kevin Smit (Kawasaki)

2nd Sam Schirmer (Husqvarna)

3rd Frank Smith (KTM)

Expert “AA”

1st Tim Schirmer (KTM)

2nd Mike Scott (Yamaha)

3rd Travis Adams (Yamaha)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read