It’s been years since Kitt Stringer travelled to Romania to take part in the world’s toughest Enduro race, but it’s an experience he’ll never forget.
“Back in 2013 when I went to Romania, I did pretty well and I attributed that to the riding terrain that I had in my backyard,” Stringer said. ”We went expecting really tough stuff and we found it was kind of like what we were used to at home on Vancouver Island.”
Kitt Stringer is doing his part to help with the Kirk on Vancouver Island. — Photo courtesy brapsnap (brapsnap.com)
The 42-year-old learned an important lesson about his home turf from the international event.
“We discovered our home stuff was just as challenging as some of the toughest races in the world,” Stringer said. “I wanted to put on a race this year that was the hardest Enduro race in Canada and that’s what we did.”
Stringer has been an active part of the Vancouver Island Dirt Riders Association. The group recently hosted the Kirk, their first race of the season.
“It was the largest stand-alone event turnout in our Island history,” Stringer said. “We had almost 150 riders and about 100 spectators, so it was a pretty good circuit. We had 150 lunatics come out that wanted to suffer and push themselves, so it was great.”
Nearly 150 riders took part in the Kirk through the Vancouver Island Dirt Riders Association. — Photo courtesy brapsnap (brapsnap.com)
Despite the large turnout, not many competitors were able to make it across the finish line.
“We had 11 finish the complete event, which was two and a half laps of the A course,” Stringer said. “Some of those numbers were B riders and the B riders had their own scaled-down sort of event—they didn’t go up and do the big hills in the mountains. But in terms of the pro course, 11 finished total.”
A surprising number of registrants in the Kirk were women, with 22 signing up. The women also got great support from the Canadian rep of Husqvarna, who sponsored the entry for all 22 racers.
Stringer feels efforts to get women and children involved in Vancouver Island’s riding scene have been coming along well.
“We’re in collaboration with a group called the Mudhunniez, which is a ladies riding group,” he said. “They’re big on getting the girls out into the woods and teaching them how to ride. They do a campout, different events and the regular Vancouver Island Hare Scramble series for the Island.”
Family fun on the Island
The Vancouver Island Dirt Riders Association (VIDRA) has several big events planned for the rest of the year.
“There’s something for everyone in our series, which is pretty cool, and I think that’s why it brings together this family vibe,” Stringer said. “You’ve got me, the crazy uncle who likes the hard stuff, and then you’ve got the other members of the family who like different terrain. There’s something for everybody.”
A rider finds himself in a perilous position during the Kirk on Vancouver Island. — Photo courtesy brapsnap (brapsnap.com)
Stringer has been enjoying the scene on Vancouver Island. Although he has raced all over British Columbia and internationally, he likes the Island the best.
“It’s got a really good vibe here,” said Stringer. “We kind of joke—we call it the dirt bike family and we all go to dirt church on Sunday and hang out with our dirt family.”
Stringer also praised how riders on the Island have been coming together to support their own.
“One of our members recently passed away from pancreatic cancer and everybody is stepping up to do a fundraiser for their family,” Stringer said. “We had another member who suffered a stroke right before Christmas. There is only a few hundred racers, but we raised $15,000 for his family so they could make it through Christmas and not struggle. Family is the vibe here.”
Only 11 riders finished the Kirk’s complete circuit on Vancouver Island this year. — Photo courtesy brapsnap (brapsnap.com)
VIDRA events in 2019
May 5: Hell’s Kitchen Hare Scramble, Cook Creek Rec Site
June 7: Mudhunniez Moto Campout and Moto Clinic, Whiskey Creek Recreational Trails
June 16: Katoom Hare Scramble, Campbell River Motocross
June 23: Tansky Titan Hare Scramble, Jordan River
September 8: VI EnduroX, Nanaimo Wastelands
September 15: Knockout Hare Scramble, Nanaimo Wastelands
October 6: Grind Hare Scramble, Victoria Motorcycle Club
October 27: Devil’s Den Hare Scramble, Devil’s Den Lake
November 3: Crown Royal Hare Scramble, Whiskey Creek Rec Site