Story and Photos | David Bouthillier
Sitting in a restaurant and covered in dirt, we started talking about where to ride next. We were only half way through our first club ATV run of the season, but we couldn’t contain our excitement thinking about what trail system we could run for our next club event. Out came the maps as we waited for our meal to be served!
“We need something with much less road tracks and dust!”
“How about this one over here?”
“Yeah, that looks good. I’ve always wanted to run that trail.”
“But where can we all park?”
“I’ll contact one of our sponsors. I’m sure they’ll let us use their parking lot.”
“What should we call this run? I like giving them interesting names.”
“How about B101a or BUST? It’s a pretty rough trail.”
“Sounds great to me!”
And so it began - the “B101a or BUST” event was scheduled for July 11th and we would start our rally at the Sands on Golden Lake restaurant.
Club volunteers arrived early to hoist the Renfrew County ATV Club banner, direct people into parking locations, hand out door prize draw tickets, and sell day passes to non-club members. Our local sponsors really stepped up and we had a nice collection of prizes to be won. To increase the odds of winning, we also setup a scavenger hunt along the trail. Each “out-of-place” item you spotted along the trail earned you an additional ticket for the draw. The competitive spirit sure shined bright for some riders!
With just over 40 riders in attendance, we decided to split into two groups with a staggered starting time so that we could relieve some congestion on the trail. Ten minutes after the first group left, the second group fired up their machines and headed north on the B101a trail.
The B101a trail was created by the Ministry of Natural Resources back in the ‘70’s as a “make-work” project. Originally called the “Pakotina”, it winds north from HWY 60 up to HWY 62. The trail passes many scenic lakes and the terrain varies from smooth hard packed dirt, to areas with large boulders to crawl over, and some steep hills to challenge the skill of the rider. Those with high ground clearance spared their skid plates from the torture of the many rocks protruding from the ground.
Where the trail meets HWY 62, there is an old snowmobile warm-up shack that the club has access to in the summer months, and this was the location of the BBQ lunch. Club volunteers cooked up hot dogs, sliced fresh watermelons, and handed out chips and beverages. The lunch was donation based - and idea we borrowed from another club and we raised just enough money to cover our food costs.
“Everyone gather around - it’s time for the draw!” Well over half the riders went home with a nice door price thanks to our generous donors. Those that didn’t win a prize received a Renfrew County ATV Club decal that they could proudly display on their ATV or tow trailer.
With full stomachs, it was time to hit the trails once again. We split off into two groups, one group taking the “dry” trail back, the other opting for the extreme 122 “mud runner” trail. The mud runner group was warned in advance that the 122 was well known for swallowing machines whole and crushing the spirit of even the most experienced rider. Heeding not the warning, the group blazed off into the bush with a hand up in the air determined to claim victory! The 122 did not disappoint and lived up to it’s reputation - one ATV would need to be towed back after ingesting dirty swamp water. After sucking water into the engine, one of the riders donated the Yamalube oil door prize they had just won to help this fellow out. They drained the water out of the engine, changed the oil, and were up and riding again.
The second group exchanged the mud for dust, and there was no shortage of the vision-blinding material on the rail bed that connected the group to the 102 trail. Exiting the rail bed, riders were greeted with two massive hill climbs, each approximately 100 metres in length. Big bore and V-Twin ATV’s powered up the hills, throwing a roost of rock and dirt in their wake - those with smaller machines dropped it into low and slowly crawled up.
After six hours of being out on the trail, the second group returned back to the parking lot. The mud runner group wouldn’t arrive for another four hours as they winched and pulled themselves out of the mud. Exhausted and satis.ed, we loaded our ATV’s back onto our trucks and trailers and socialized with our new found friends. Everyone had a story to tell, and everyone knew what “hill” or “mud hole” everyone else was talking about, as these memories would be vivid and long lasting. We said our good-byes and headed off. A few of us wandered over to the restaurant for a bite to eat. At a table with a trail map spread over it, the excitement started to brew again...
“So where should we go next?”
About the author:
David Bouthillier is an avid ATV enthusiast and volunteers his time with the Renfrew County ATV Club as the Communication Coordinator. When he’s not saving the world with his superhuman computer programming skills, he can usually be found in his metalworking garage building something.
About Renfrew County ATV Club:
The RCATV Club is a member of the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance and offers over 400+ km’s of trail. Located in the Ottawa Valley, the trails are open from May 1st to Dec 1st.
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