Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for August 27, 2013

Dirt bike enthusiasts battle in ‘gentlemen’s race’

The territory’s dirt bike community gathered Sunday for the first race of their 2013 season.

The territory’s dirt bike community gathered Sunday for the first race of their 2013 season.

The Cowley Creek Hare Scramble was held on Urs and Rebecca Schirmer’s property near Kookatsoon Lake on the Klondike Highway.

It marks the third straight season of racing for the Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association.

Shawn McFarland won the expert division, while Frank Smith and Steven Pearson took their respective intermediate divisions in the off-road motorcycle event.

Winning a hare scramble takes equal measures of talent and luck, race marshal Mike Beaman told the Star.

“It gets mixed up because anything can happen on the trail,” Beaman explained. “It’s a race of physical endurance and technical ability on the motorcycle. If you run into a tree or something you can easily get passed.

“It’s a gentlemen’s race, so if you end up having a guy on your tail for a bit, you pull over safely and you let them by. That’s how the whole race is, whether you’re a kid or an expert racer.”

The hare scramble began with a 20-minute prologue race to determine racers’ start positions for the main event. The prologue was a short course with a variety of obstacles.

That race was followed by the peewee race, a 15-min short course through single track and open trail, won by Cody Adams.

Then came the main event, which featured racers in six different classes, ranging from mini to expert. Each class raced a different variation of the trails, including single track and open trail (B Loop) or the more difficult, technical route with obstacles including logs, rocks and hill climbs (A Loop).

“It’s a fun race,” said Beaman. “It’s very safe. We’ve had very few injuries over the past three years.”

Beaman said the hare scramble was moved to the Schirmer’s private land to allow the younger generation a chance to race.

“It’s a family sport,” he said. “It’s a great physical activity for the family, and city bylaw has outlawed anyone under 16 years of age (from riding).”

Beaman said “antiquated” territorial government legislation restricts riding because a trail is defined as a highway.

“They’ve certainly outlawed our kids from enjoying the sport they love, and as you probably saw, there’s a lot of kids competing,” he said.

The second and final race of the season is set for Sunday, Sept. 22 at the same location. Start time is 9 a.m.

More information is available through Facebook groups Yukon Dirt Bike Riders and Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association.

“We’re expecting a bit more of a turnout,” said Beaman. “This one was kind of a last minute event, but the next one, we’ll have a bit more word out there.”



1. Steve Thomas (Montessa)

2. Shawn McFarland (KTM)

3. Tim Schirmer (Suzuki)


1. Cody Adams (Yamaha)

2. Seth Adams (Yamaha)

3. Kya Larkin (Yamaha)

Mini (B Loop, 2 laps)

1. Seth Adams (Yamaha)

2. Orin Gladwin (Yamaha)

3. Aurora Krause (Kawasaki)

Junior (Under-15 – B Loop, 1 hour)

1. Austin Larkin (Yamaha)

2. Sawyer Adams (Kawasaki)

3. Cole Beaman (Yamaha)

Junior (Over-15 – B Loop, 1 hour)

1. Brody Ryckman (Kawasaki)

2. Justin McDougall (Yamaha)

3. Shane Orban (Yamaha)

Intermediate B (B Loop, 1.5 hours)

1. Steven Pearson (Yamaha)

2. Steven Mach (Yamaha)

3. Susan Rogan (Yamaha)

Intermediate A (A Loop, 2 hours)

1. Frank Smith (Husaberg)

2. Chris Lane (KTM)

3. Aiden Allen (Kawasaki)

Expert (A Loop, 2 hours)

1. Shawn McFarland (KTM)

2. Dale Panchychyn (KTM)

3. Hans Gatt (KTM)

CommentsAdd a comment

south of town

Aug 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Great photos and story!

There were about 30 riders altogether, and another 20 or so people watching and helping out.  All really nice people, little kids, teenagers, men, women, girls, boys riding together and hanging out together having a great day.  On the riding was on trails, and the trails which were not on existing driveways were about 2 feet wide.

This event shows how the City of Whitehorse has successfully thrown respectful, community oriented riders out of their boundaries.  No more community events at the Coal Lake road gravel pit, or out at the sewage lagoon.  But I wonder how much effect their new laws have had on the riders who were the problem in the first place?  Those would be the riders that did not respect the old existing rules, and who were not pursued regardless.

Your city dollars hard at work, making Whitehorse a better place?  Well, we had a really good time anyway.

Chris Wilson

Sep 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

Just wondering how I go about checking this out??...my son and I both love to ride I would love to get him into racing of some sort..if someone could help me find a site or a ph num to contact that would be great thank you

south of town

Sep 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Chris, if you are on facebook, go to the Yukon Dirt Bike Riders group and click on the thing to join the group.  There are always people calling each other to go for rides.  We got a call from a friend today.

south of town

Sep 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Chris, aside from facebook, there are many names posted in this article and I would guess that any one of them would be able to take your call and answer your questions if you look them up in the phone book.

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