Monday Morning with Bigwave

Welcome to a short Christmas Eve Monday Morning Coffee. Hopefully, everyone will get a chance to relax and enjoy the day with family and friends, and the only reason you have to venture out will be to meet for a coffee somewhere, people watch, and visit with family and friends.

Ever since I was a baby, we’ve made the trek north on Highway 11, 3 hours straight north of North Bay, ON to the small, gold mining town called Kirkland Lake.

It’s -17 degrees Celsius as I sit here typing. It was down around -25 overnight. As a kid, I used to be fascinated with snowmobiles as they drove the streets of the town. In fact, one just rumbled down the frozen street past my aunt’s house now. The rule is that it’s legal to be on the streets as long as you are “on your way” to the forest trails that surround this place…and go all the way to the north pole, uninterrupted, actually! That’s the loophole.

To me, Kirkland Lake is Christmas. Emily has only made the trip to this northern Ontario town once, and it was the only time in anyone’s memory when there wasn’t any snow. Nobody I’ve asked (and I’ve asked an 85-year-old) remembers another year when there wasn’t snow at Christmas. It was weird and didn’t give Em the real taste of this place.

When I was racing motocross, I used to love coming up here in summers with my tricked out 80 and riding with the local kids aver at “The Slimes.” I always felt like a big shot coming up to the north from over-populated Southwestern Ontario to show these riders what’s up.

Of course, there was always a local kid who absolutely killed me on the familiar grounds of the then closed Kirkland Lake gold mine slimes.

I can still remember the kids all coming up to our pit to check out who the “new kid” was on his trick bike. I wasn’t really fast, and I was only racing 80’s at the time, but it still caused a stir. And as a little kid, it was a pretty cool experience.

Anyway, whatever your Christmas traditions are, I hope everyone is getting the chance to enjoy them again this year. Most of my relatives in my generation have packed up and left this place, so it’s not quite the same as it was when I was growing up, but this is still Christmas to me.

Nobody has a snowmobile anymore and the closest ski hill — Raven Mountain — has long since closed. The next closest hill is in the Province of Quebec at a place called Mont Kanasuta. Again, nobody makes the drive to ski anymore, so we don’t even bring our gear.

Times change.

Anyone want to buy an old Kirkland Lake tavern? I’m sure it’s going cheap!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Thank you for another great year here at Direct Motocross.

2019 Monster Energy Supercross Preview

If you missed it on NBC Saturday, you can watch it here on this Daily Motion link:

It’s almost time for Emily and I to hop into the DMX Van and make the drive west to California for a few rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Emily has never done this drive (she flies like most normal people) so I’m looking forward to showing her some of the interesting things that can be found on these extended road trips if you take the time to look.

She’ll stay for A1 and then fly home while I stay for Phoenix and A2, before pointing the van east again and heading to Aspen, Colorado, for the Winter X Games.

We’ll have #160 Jess Pettis to cheer for in the 250 West SX and then Tyler Gibbs from BC to cheer for in the Supercross Futures. Hopefully, Bjorn Viney‘s collarbone injury heals quickly so he can join in the amateur action by A2. He’s hoping for Phoenix, but that seems like a bit of a longshot. Truthfully, A2 is going to be tough enough!

Canadian Team PRMX will be there with a full slate of riders, so we’ll be sure to check in with them and keep everyone posted on how they’re progressing.

Also, our old friend Kyle Swanson is planning to race the entire series in the 450 class, so we’ll check in with him too.

In Snow BikeCross, the first two gold medals have gone to Canadians. Brock Hoyer won the first one and then Cody Matechuk won in 2018. Yanick Boucher will also make a return this year.

There’s lots coming up. We’re just solidifying support for the 2019 season, so if you would like to see how you can be involved, please contact me at billy@directmotocross.com. We’ll try to make 2019 the strongest year ever.

Thanks for reading. We’ll keep it short this week. It’s time for us to drive out to Crystal Lake and visit my dad’s last remaining relative.

Merry Christmas, everyone. It’s almost time for our annual DMX Awards, so watch for those coming up soon here on the site.

Some people just can’t handle the Holidays. See you at the races…