In 1948, Trev Deeley seized his Harley 45 racing the National at Daytona Beach. The damaged piston and rod were mounted on a shield to form the perpetual Piston Run trophy. There is, on the clubhouse wall, a small Piston Run trophy, engraved 1942. This suggests the event has an even longer history, but in any case, the perpetual trophy dates consecutively from 1949.
The event was originally an enduro, where riders had to average given speeds to arrive at checkpoints by a certain time. There were no dirt bikes before the 1960ís, and riders often took the saddlebags and lights off their daily transportation (few riders were rich enough to afford a car), rode the event, then washed the bike and bolted the lights and bags back on for the ride home. The course was traditionally challenging, with riders on 400 to 600 pound bikes charging into mudholes, logs and streambeds. Many riders of heavier bikes took a passenger along to help push.
By the early 1980ís, timekeeping had fallen out of favour, so the format was changed to a hare scrambles race. It was one of the original five events when the PNWMA started the Off-Road Series in 1984. In 1985, the first of the souvenir beer mugs was given out to finishers. This started a new tradition of collecting beer mugs, which continues today.
Current Information On The Piston Run
66th Annual Piston Run Hare Scrambles presented by GVMC
Mark this date June 8th, 2014 on your calendar for a great off road adventure.
PNWMA Off Road Championship Event
Fun New Trails and Old Favourites Spectator Friendly New 25 Unit Campsite near start area ($13.00 fee)
Food Concession on site. Pancake breakfast this year. Burgers, hotdogs, pop, etc. after breakfast.
Start Area: Chipmunk Creek/Foley Creek Area. Directions: Take the Vedder Road exit (#119) off Hwy 1 at Chilliwack. Drive south thru Sardis and turn left at the steel bridge towards Chilliwack Lake. After 25km, you will pass the Ford Mountain Correction Center. Turn left immediately after crossing the bridge towards Chipmunk Creek/Foley Lake. Follow the arrows to the staging area, parking, camping and signup about 6km from blacktop. Lots of motels, restaurnats, and bike shops in Chilliwack. Allow an hour travel time from the freeway.
Signup Opens: 8:30am
Rider's Meeting: 10:30am
Race Starts: 11:00am
Entry Fee: With BCORMA Trail Pass $35.00 Without BCORMA Trail Pass $45.00
PNWMA Licence required which is available at signup for a $30.00 fee which gives you a yearly membership in the PNWMA.
Transponders are required for the Race which are available for a $10.00 deposit which will be refunded upon return of the transponder.
Sound test 96db limit and spark arrestors required.
Souvenir Mugs: First 100 signups get Souvenir Beer Mugs sponsored by Daytona Motorsports.
**To view pictures of this event please check it out in the Past Events section of this website or the Photo Gallery.
2014 - 66th Annual GVMC Piston Run
It was sunny with cloudy periods all week, which had the organizers wondering, should we cancel the race? Without the traditional rain, the roots and rocks wouldn't be slippery, riders wouldn't have to squint through the mud on their goggles, there would be great traction on the clay hills, and what kind of a Piston Run was that? Well, they decided to run it anyways, and 136 riders took on the best trails Chipmunk Creek had to offer, meticulously prepared by the course crew, and under optimum weather conditions. They came from all over the province, from Victoria and Parksville, Vernon and Salmon Arm, Nelson and Nakusp. If we had a Long Distance Trophy, though, it would have to go to Jordan Eubanks from San Diego, California.
This year's event was dedicated to Ralph Weinstein, a GVMC club member who recently passed away. Ralph won the event in 1941, and again in 1949, getting his name on the perpetual trophy. His son Rocky handed out trophies at the awards presentations. The Piston Run is among the longest running motorcycle events in Canada, and the names on the perpetual trophy tell the history of off-road racing in southwestern B.C.
In the Masters Class, ISDE two-time Silver Medalist Geoff Nelson took an early lead, finishing 3 minutes ahead of Ryan Graffunder after nearly 3 hours of flat out racing. Geoff gets his name engraved on the perpetual trophy for the second time. Some of the tightest racing was in the Expert Class, where the top 5 racers took turns with the lead, yelling encouragement to each other and banging handlebars for 3 hours. At the finish, the spread from 1st to 5th was only two minutes, with Kurt Mortensen emerging as the winner.
In the Junior, Womens, and Super Senior Class, it was often just a case of trying to finish, never mind winning a trophy. One old age pensioner, Errol Borsky, is an off-road legend in B.C., and founder of the Monkey Wrench Cross Country. He rode the Piston Run once again, for old times sake, and beat two guys in the over 50 class.
And how did our California desert rider do? A respectable mid-pack finish in the competitive Vet Expert Class. He said he passed lots of guys on the deactivated road sections, leaping water bars in the dust with confidence, but kept losing the front end in the tight single track and crashing. If a local rider had let him in on the secrets of tuning the suspension for our kind of trails, it might have been tough to keep him off the podium.
Everyone had a tale worthy of print, and it was fun to walk through the parking area after the race and talk to the riders about their experiences. There was almost universal praise for the course and the new staging site at the Rapids, and most of the racers planned to return next year. Hopefully it will rain. Again, thanks to Daytona Motorsports and Yamaha for sponsoring the mugs; to Andrea and the PNWMA timekeeping crew; and to the many volunteers who make this event possible. Complete results will be posted on the PNWMA website, with lots of pictures on the GVMC website and a dozen Facebooks. For a rider's view, check out www.victoriahettracing.com Wally Klammer