Riders tackle Hare Scramble to end season

The snarl of dirt bike engines filled the air at the Schirmer family ranch near Mount Lorne as 33 riders of all ages tested their skills in the Yukon Cross-Country Motorcycle Association’s second enduro-style race on Sunday.

The snarl of dirt bike engines filled the air at the Schirmer family ranch near Mount Lorne as 33 riders of all ages tested their skills in the Yukon Cross-Country Motorcycle Association’s second enduro-style race on Sunday.

Riders kicked off the Cowley Creek Hare Scramble on foot, sprinting about 50 metres through the woods before vaulting onto their bikes and roaring around the track.

The first race of the day was a 20-minute prologue, an intense event with the top riders charging around a short but very technical course.

Whitehorse’s Hans Gatt claimed the title in that event, earning him the top seed in the afternoon’s two-hour enduro trail race.

“It was really good, actually. The Schirmer family there, they really built some interesting obstacles,” he said.

As well as battling other riders, racers had to jump their bikes over a culvert and a steel trailer, maneuver a log pit, carve around tight corners and clear a rough-and-tumble boulder garden.

The boulder garden was the most difficult, Gatt said.

The local dog-mushing legend raced dirt bikes more than 30 years ago in Europe, before coming to Whitehorse and getting involved in the dogsled racing scene.

“I raced for nearly a decade, but then I came over here and got into dogs, and completely forgot about bikes until about four years ago when some friends got me back into it,” Gatt said.

Based on his performance in the prologue, Gatt got the best start in the two-hour enduro on Sunday afternoon, but he was quickly overtaken by Shawn McFarland, who won the category.

“I totally expected that to happen. Shawn is a much faster rider than I am,” Gatt said.

Gatt’s partner, Susie Rogan, was the only woman on the race course.

“There were some girls in the kids races, but I was the only woman. Doesn’t that suck?” Rogan said.

“The men seem to really like having me out there. They’re very, very nice to me. I feel actually like a special person out there. It’s not at all like, ‘Hey, this is a man’s sport.’”

Rogan rode the B-loop course, which was less technical than the Expert “A” course that Gatt rode. “The most difficult thing yesterday was the roots, because they’re slippery when they’re wet.”

Cole Beaman, 8, won the under-15 category.

“It was pretty exciting for my first time on the B-loop, to win,” Beaman said.

The B-loop is slightly shorter and a little less technical than the Expert “A” race course. Beaman said it was a challenge, even on his new Yamaha YZ 85.

“If you’re going really fast it’s kind of hard to stay on the bike. If you’re going an OK speed, it’s good. For me, it was pretty easy,” he said.

In the first and only other race of the season, Beaman was third. Claiming first place this time was a lot more fun, he said.

Mike Beaman, Cole’s father, was the race organizer for the day. He said watching his son win was great, but more than that he’s happy to see kids out enjoying the sport that they love.

The motorcycle association had to hold the race out of town on private land because of a city bylaw that classifies all trails as “highways” and thereby requires anyone riding a motorized vehicle to have a valid driver’s licence and insurance.

“It’s actually technically illegal for the kids to ride (on public land) right now, which is why we had it on private property. The Schirmer family really came to the rescue of the sport this summer, and really kept it alive,” Mike said.

While there were some minor crashes in the prologue race, the only injuries were a few banged shoulders, Mike said.

“It’s a real gentleman’s sport,” he said. “No one really tries to pass aggressively. If you come up on a rider, they just find a safe place to pull off and let you by.”



Prologue Race:

1. Hans Gatt

2. Sam Schirmer

3. Tony Watson



1. Cody Adams

2. Seth Adams

3. Landon Locke

4. Kya Larkin


Mini (one-hour B-loop):

1. Orin Gladwin

2. Seth Adams

3. Aurora Krause


Junior under-15 (one-hour B-loop):

1. Cole Beaman

2. Austin Larkin

3. Sawyer Adams

Junior over-15 (one-hour B-loop):

1. Brody Ryckman

2. Ethan Davy

3. Dylan Kindervater


Intermediate “B” (two-hour B-loop):

1. Chris Locke

2. Susan Rogan

Intermediate “A” (two-hour A-loop):

1. Travis Adams

2. Chris Lane

3. Jarrid Davy


Expert “A” (two-hour A-loop):

1. Shawn McFarland

2. Hans Gatt

3. Dale Panchychyn

Contact Jesse Winter at jessew@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read