Riding it Right

The Canadian reno superstar brings his charity ride to an OFATV trail, and things get interesting.

The ATV Ride in Support of The Holmes Foundation gets better each year. For the sixth incarnation of this charity event, participants were treated to a whole new venue: this time on an official OFATV trail. With previous Holmes Rides held on Base Borden, this ride was a whole new challenge for over one hundred ATVs and side by sides.

The OFATV, working closely with the Township of Springwater, had their work cut out for them to have side by sides running this event as there were road sections to and from the bush trail, a privilege not normally permissible in Ontario.

The event began with Springwater Mayor Linda Collins presenting appreciation awards to Mike himself, the OFATV, and the host club Central Ontario ATV for all their efforts in making the event go off without a hitch. After numerous photos with Mike and a brief presentation about safe and respectable riding, the first group was away. Once again the host Bombardier Recreational Products provided a fleet of Can-Am Commanders (Side-by-Sides) and Can-Am Outlanders (ATVs) for the crew.

2012 Mike Holmes ATV Ride 01

The trail began as a wide sandy path through a tall pine forest. Riders were treated to perfect trail conditions due to the rainfall the previous day, and with little to no dust, the group made its way through the forest to the rail trail that connected the ride to the next off-road section. Upon entering the far section of forest it became increasingly technical, with sections of extremely tight turns and a truly challenging rock trail that the local club has dubbed the "Obstacle Course." This last bit of twisty and gnarly trail before lunch challenged the hungry riders with sharp corners, large rocks, deep holes, and numerous situations that require planning your approach and avoiding a multi-point turn.

2012 Mike Holmes ATV Ride 02

Lunch was a great time to mingle with the Holmes crew and get some hot BBQ served by the club volunteers. Many more autographs were signed and photos were taken, with Mike as obliging as ever.

With most riders assuming the trip was all but over, and only a tame return ride was left, the group was quite surprised to find the most challenging parts were yet to come. More rocks, water, stumps, a bulldozer (yes, right in the middle of the forest!) and one mighty mudhole that even Holmes himself couldn't manage without a winch, had every camera out and a few riders so dirty they were unrecognizable.

2012 Mike Holmes ATV Ride 03

When everyone finally returned to the parking area, the stories of who got stuck and who was dirtiest were quickly circulating. With more than $20,000 raised for the foundation, including a sizeable donation from BRP announced later in the eveing at the Horseshoe Valley Resort Reception, and exhilarating fun had by all, it was safe to say the event was a huge success.

Many were overheard making plans to join the OFATV, as the trails were surprisingly diverse for being so close to Barrie and Toronto, and almost everyone was eagerly anticipating next year's Holmes Ride.

About Mark Hamerton

Ontario facinates me; the farther I go in the bush, the more I feel at home. I love showing people new riding areas, and the countless stunning locations you can get to on an ATV.

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