Down Time, Off-Season, Go Karts & Hucking Tires: Off-Days with 509
It’s July, one of the least favorite months for an avid sledder like me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to rip on my dirt bike and hit the lake in my shorts and tank top just as much as the next guy, but I always find myself thinking about the incredible times I was able to have on the snow, and the ones that will come with the following winter.
509 puts on an annual film shoot in beautiful BC, Canada, where the top athletes come together and have a spring send-off dubbed the “509 Heli-Shoot” (watch the vid). I got my taste of the action in 2013, which was my first time in Canada. Revelstoke is where we were. Ever since then I counted down the days until it was time to load up with the American crew of Stephen Darcy and Stephen Clark and make our way up to what I call the “Snowmobile Playground”.
This year the shoot was held in Sicamous, BC. A small town nestled in the mountains that offer a sweet lake, amazing riding, and a family owned and operated go-cart track where we ended up having a killer tournament that got a little rowdy to say the least! As all of you know, weather doesn’t always cooperate with a snowmobiler’s schedule and that proved to be true when we were rained out for about three days straight while in Sicamous. But when you have 20 of the worlds’ best snowmobile riders in one spot, they always find a source of entertainment on days off with 509. When I say entertainment, I mean something that is potentially dangerous, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and leaves you out of breath from endless laughter. Such as our visit to the go cart track…
We started with heats of six or so with the top two qualifying for the main.
Needless to say, whoever didn’t qualify surely didn’t cut their losses and sit the bench. Oh no, it wasn’t too long before we had Chris Brown operating the hose in which he would totally soak the riders as they passed (as if the rain wasn’t enough)!
All the other “slowpokes” were merely placing tires in strategic places on the track, making it a risky obstacle course. Did I mention the tires were also hucked at the drivers Yeah, never seen that before.
By the time the main event rolled around we had what I call “quick kickers” setup to where we could throw down a tire or three followed by a piece of plywood just in time for the drivers to rail the corner and launch into the finish line…which were garbage cans filled with miscellaneous whatever. If we can’t jump sleds, we will find something to get off the ground.
As soon as the winner was decided, the track crew rounded up the carts and quickly began the repairs, which was no big deal because if it was broke, they just welded it! To all of our surprise they said that we were one of the more professional groups that they’ve had and that they enjoyed our company.
I know that all of you can relate to this; your riding buddies are usually your best friends so whenever you go on a trip it tends to be some of the best times, which is why I look forward to the spring heli-shoot! This was just one of many awesome memories made while on that trip, and of course there are a few more details about this day that I left out.
My point is to always enjoy the journey and make the most of it because it ends so quickly! Winter is coming! Cheers!