Good Morning and welcome to this week’s Monday Gate Drop. Am I the only person who really despises this time of year? The weather is wet and cold, the ground is wet, and everything looks dead. It almost makes you want it to snow so it covers up everything. I guess the good thing is that if you live near a sand track or a sand pit, it’s still possible to ride if you don’t mind your hands getting cold.
As we head into the second week of November, Canada gets ready to honour our fallen on Remembrance Day tomorrow. I had one Grandpa who fought in WW2; the other didn’t end up in Europe but rather spent the war building timers for bombs at the Westclox factory in Peterborough. Anyway, while I was growing up, Remembrance Day always played a big part in our lives and we’ve tried to pass that along to our son. It’s also nice to see the school system these days doing such a great job in making the kids aware of what this day represents. I actually saw on the news recently that this year, due to awful events that took place a few weeks ago in Ottawa, more and more people are buying and wearing poppies than ever before. It’s unfortunate but sometimes it takes tragic events to make people stop and think. I guess that’s just human nature.
Something pretty interesting happened to me last week as I was leaving our local grocery store. As I was walking out of the store I saw a gentlemen in uniform selling poppies. We’ve all seen these fine people and we’ve all, at one time or another, stopped and took the time to buy a poppy. However, have you ever actually spent a few minutes and spoke to these former warriors? Well, this time I did, and as I was admiring the numerous medals that were pinned to his blue uniform jacket, I told him how much I liked his medals and how shining they still were after all these years. He thanked me and told me that he was part of a bomber crew in WW2 that got shot down during a mission. Although this gentlemen was obviously older, he didn’t look that old so I can only imagine that in the 1940s he was just a wide eyed teenager. This veteran was pretty happy that I actually took the time to talk to him. Although he was extremely modest, you could see the pride in his eyes as he spoke about his medals … exactly how he should be.
I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years about men who lied about their age just so they could head overseas and fight for this country. My Grandpa was just 20 years old when he went to war and in four years he saw things that changed his life forever, in fact, he was never the same. Although he came home, raised a family and worked for CN Rail for many years, he drank heavily, never spoke about the war and eventually passed away in 1986, well before he should have. I guess it was like this for a lot of people when they returned from combat as they witnessed things that humans just aren’t supposed to see. For my Grandpa, the Veteran I spoke to in Shelburne and all of our soldiers past and present, I’d like to say thank you for your sacrifices!
Moving on respectively from Remembrance Day to what happened this past weekend on our west coast and rounds three and four of the Future West Canadian Arenacross Championships, like I did for the first weekend of the series, I’ll let Brent Worrall tell you exactly what happened in Cloverdale in his detailed report later today. However, by sounds of it, the dirt was extremely soft and rutted, which led to a messy and inconsistent weekend of racing. Whether it was Teddy Maier slicing his arm open and then coming back for the win, or Jake Anstett winning his very first main event, the Cloverdale AX was full of excitement. Even points leader Ross Johnson had a strange weekend and had to work to score points. When the conditions are like they were on Friday and Saturday night in Cloverdale, basically anything can happen. Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who survived the deep ruts on the weekend. The series now takes three weeks off before returning for the final two weekends in Chilliwack, the largest venue of the series. I think this is when we’ll see the best racing of the series as the riders will have much more room to battle. As always, James Lissimore was in the middle of all the action in Cloverdale; here are some of his shots from rounds 3 and 4.
That is it for me this week. We at MXP have a lot of work to do as we’re in the middle of putting together our Christmas issue. As I sign off for another week, make sure you take the time tomorrow to stop what you’re doing at 11am and pause to remember all the men and women who gave up their lives so we’re able to enjoy the freedom we do each and every day. Lest We Forget.
Photos by James Lissimore