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About Gullyrider

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  • Club
    Hill and Gully Riders (Québec Version"

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  • Location
    Mayo, Québec
  • Snowmobile
    2012 Ski-Doo MX-Z 800
  1. Moose killed

    We don't need the help of the granola's to kill our sport. We can do it all by ourselves .... by the way, we noticed last weekend that the trail from Mékoos to Ste-Anne-du-Lac had changed considerably. I heard from one source that the club had to .... too many off-trail riders pissing off farmers who then rescinded the right-of-ways. Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us ....
  2. Western Quebec

    West Québec is located in the Outaouais Region. The seven clubs are the Ours Blancs (Maniwaki), Pinqouins (Fort Coulonge), PSDA (Quyon, Shawville, etc), AMO (Gatineau area), Maraudeurs (Duhamel, La Minerve), AMVN (Montpelier, Cheneville, Montebello etc) and ourselves, the Hill & Gully Riders, covering area north of Buckngham/Thurso and north into the Reserve Papineau-Labelle. Yesterday, the 323 from Lac La Blanche northwards towards the TQ 53 was incredibly smooth (we dragged it Thursday) but hard as a rock. I was poking along looking for spots where I could get a cell signal so as to post appropriate signage later this year, and had to allow my 800 Etec to cool down at one point. A bunch of buddies had left the clubhouse earlier in the day heading for the Duhamel area and, as they were heavily studded, the trail was sufficiently shredded that, on a little trial run, my sled didn't heat at all. We attempted to groom that section last night, but the groomer wasn't accomplishing much, and then had to return to base with a broke brace on the front blade. Once again, the trail was very smooth as it hadn't received any traffic since last week's grooming. We're heading north from the clubhouse today for Mékoos, so hopefully today's snow/ice pellet mix will improve things a bit more. Anyway, I'll see if I can manage to post from my Blackberry this evening and let people know how the day went. By the way, the replacement transponder for our John Deere groomer parked at the clubhouse parked at Lac La Blanche still hasn't arrived, so, online, it looks like that machine hasn't budged all winter. We're not real happy with this new supplier, dammit!
  3. North of Buckingham, our trails are as good as they're going to get (although we're still recovering from Sunday's heavy snowfall!). Our trail from Lac La Blanche to the TQ 53 at Lac D'Argile was dragged Saturday evening, but we may wait until tomorrow's snowstorm is over to drag it again. The Clubhouse north to TQ 43 was dragged Thursday, Saturday evening, and yesterday morning. It was in mint condition for our gang as we returned from our "Club Trip" to Pourvoirie 100 Lacs Sud. Today, we're going to be out with the Pisten Bully (and a member armed with at chainsaw with a 20" bar!) as we check the ice across Lac La Blanche. If we can get the lake groomed, it will avoid any slush problems later in the winter. Speaking of winter, it was a bit late in starting, but I think we're in for a great one!
  4. GPS Mapping

    The iMotoneige/FCMQ interactive map saga continues with respect to groomer sorties. As I've noted elsewhere, this is a result of the transition from one vehicle tracking company to another, and the resultant problems withe GPS transponders. I'll be sure and post once we have this problem solved to our satisfaction. On a positive note, real time changes to the map itself happen relatively quickly. The re-route of the TQ 53, and our club's link to the re-routed TQ 43 happened pretty quickly.
  5. Montagne du Diable

    They are just super, and the lodge and chalets are comfortable and inviting. We're slated to arrive there this coming Friday as part of our annual "Club Trip". They'll be hosting over 50 Hill & Gully Riders as a group for the first time. The re-route of the TQ 53 through Papineau-Labelle shortens the ride from the clubhouse to a bit over 300 klicks, which makes it very do-able for a large group (though a number of our gang are trucking to Mont-Laurier and starting from there ....). Can't wait ... I feel like a kid before Christmas!
  6. We're lucky where I live (Mayo, Qc). 45 minutes from world class cardiac care in Ottawa (yes, they do take Québec patients!) and all the amenities of the nation's capital, but rustic enough that property values and land taxes are relatively low (relative to Ontario that is). There's a bit of cottage property turn-over in the neighbouring municipality (Mulgrave et Derry), as well as in Mayo, but seasonal cottage rentals are also available. Anyway, like I tell my friends, I sled a mile past my property to arrive at the club trail and, when I do, I can turn left and go to Manitoba or turn right and go to Cape Breton (in theory, anyway!).
  7. Question about Balbuzard

    In late March of '93, two buddies and myself were heading from Senneterre towards Clova for the first time and came across this little hut that looked like a trapper's shack in the middle of nowhere, and it had a sign advertising that hot chocolate and coffee were available. We thought "what the hell" and stopped in to warm up. The fellow inside spoke with a weird French accent (turned out to be Belgian) and, after pouring the hot chocolate, proceeded to unroll a set of blueprints that he was very excited about. The plans looked like a sort of mini, but not that mini, Chateau Montebello. We're thinking "yeah, right ...." and, after thanking him for the hospitality, pulled a kind of "back away slowly .. avoid unnecessary eye contact" manoeuvre. Much eye-rolling once we got outside of the shack. Apparently, by that October, the whole thing was up and running! We stayed there once in 2006. The hosts at the time, an older Belgian woman and her male sidekick, were correct, not overly gracious, and the food was very good, and the accommodation very good. I don't remember any "no boots edict". When the 'doo dealer in Val-D'or heard we had stayed there, he asked what the attitude at Balbuzard had been. We said it was ok. He said, that's because we're English speaking. Apparently, being European, they had little time for French Quebecers whom they looked down upon. Keep in mind, though, that this was all many years ago and I've heard a lot of good things recently.
  8. Duhamel and surrounding area

    Great news! Not only for the 53 re-route, but for the fact that the updated version no longer shows our local trail northwest of Montpelier as ending in the middle of nowhere. I can't wait to try out our new trail north!
  9. Season Opener 2018

    Actually, Loiselle's in Embrun, Ontario offered to do that very thing. I dropped by on a Thursday looking for a plastic rear suspension bushing (worth a couple of bucks) which, it turned out, they didn't have in stock. The fellow offered to pull the suspension from a floor model so I wouldn't be stuck for the weekend. I politely declined, as I wasn't going sledding that weekend anyway, but I sure appreciated the offer. Of course, as a dealership, they're renowned for going the extra mile for their clients, and rightly so.
  10. Actually, it was I who had mailed it out, as I was managing the online trail pass sales for our club. I would consistently track all of our mail-outs, but was told by our post office (Buckingham, QC) that they couldn't track it past the U.S./Canada border. I only knew there was a problem when I saw his complaint on hardcoresledder. I contacted him immediately, and he went round to his post office where the pass had been waiting for a couple of weeks. Apparently, they didn't notify him that it had arrived. Anyway, like I said, we got it all sorted out. On another occasion, a fellow's pass got held up at U.S. customs, which was weird. I have to say, it's a great relief to be done with that part of the job. While I miss being in contact with so many of our members from nearby provinces and states, I don't miss the completing, mailing and tracking of trail permits. Once you get past the hundred mark, it gets a bit daunting!
  11. The funny thing was, instead of the fellow contacting us, he went on Hardcore sledder and warned everyone about the Hill & Gully taking his money and never sending him his trail permit. Trouble was ... he didn't realize that there are several clubs so named, and he blamed it on the Ontario Hill & Gully Riders! (Phew .... dodged a bullet on that one!).
  12. Rt 3 Quebec City north

    The FCMQ is transitioning from one GPS tracker company (Sentinel FM) to another (Geolocalisation). All grooming machines should be equipped with one company's unit or the other. However, during this transition, a host of problems seems to have arisen, and a lot of grooming data is simply not making its way on the FCMQ Interactive map or the phone app iMotoneige. Yesterday, we received an email from the FCMQ Director-General acknowledging these problems, and assuring us that they're working on them. Our club, the Hill and Gully Riders, was sent a new unit for our Pisten Bully and, unfortunately, its working only intermittently. We've been advised to re position the transmitter and, if that doesn't work, to return the unit and obtain a replacement. Curiously, the older transmitter in our John Deere doesn't seem to be working at all. Encouragingly, emails to the FCMQ staff member responsible are quickly returned, and I'm confident we'll get this issued shortly. In the meantime, I would encourage folks to check out clubs' websites or facebook pages.
  13. Best weather forecast

    The facebook page "Mark Sirois - Southern Québec Severe Weather Network" has been nailing it pretty good the past couple of years. He's a part-time amateur meteorologist who's become a bit of a media star because of his success rates. You can "friend" his page and judge for yourself, but I always have a gander when I light up the laptop in the morning. In our area, north of Buckingham and Thurso, the snow from a couple of days ago finally had some substance to it. My buddy on our John Deere/Gilbert even had to keep the knives up, as the snow was a bit too sticky to flow through the drag (too bad he sprung a hydraulic leak. I had to rush in by sled with a five gallon pail in order to get him back to the clubhouse). Still, a couple of days of warmth, and maybe even a bit of rain, will definitely do some good when it comes to solidifying the base. Follow that up with Saturday's announced storm, and we'll be good to go for the rest of the winter.
  14. I wouldn't stress over it. Trail patrollers are just sledders like the rest of us, and it would be unusual to find one who was such a stickler for detail that he or she wouldn't accept your temporary pass, along with an FCMQ email explaining what was happening. No one wants to see you pay twice for a trail permit ... we're just happy that people pay once! When individual clubs mailed out trail passes, I once had an American fellow whose trail pass didn't show up, even though I had mailed it within hours of having received his request. Turns out it was being held up by the U.S. Postal service, and was sitting in a post office right around the corner from his home for weeks.
  15. There is usually a "gentleman's agreement" amongst clubs that, within the Province, we restrict our club's pass sales to vendors within our jurisdictions. We also generally agree that all "out of Province" sales points are fair game. Obviously, this could sometimes lead to issues in "border" areas. Ideally, these are resolved through discussion between clubs. Furthermore, some clubs are attempting to groom extensive trail networks despite having limited access to points of sale. For instance, Les Marauders of Duhamel, whose trails our club members use extensively, have very little access to points of sale. Consequently, our two Boards of Directors have worked together to agree that at least one vendor in our "area", Laperrière Motosports, should feel free to sell trail pass/memberships (it's regrettable that people no longer refer to them as membership cards, but that's another story) for both clubs, and we don't begrudge any such sales supporting our neighbours a couple of clubs over. That the new centralized trail pass system, hopefully fully implemented next season, should alleviate a lot of these problems. The paperwork, effort and running around that this system will save already overburdened volunteers has been covered extensively elsewhere, and needs no repeating here. Ditto the $7.00 processing fee to cover off the cost of the contractors engaged to process pass sales (when we did it ourselves - or more accurately, myself - the cost to the club, including registered mailing and PayPal fees, was roughly $20.00 per pass). The new system worked splendidly for us so far this season, and will work even better next year. Ontario, which shares a similar land mass and trail network (though not a revenue distribution model) has been usually this system exclusively for four years now and, excepting a hiccup this past fall when it became overloaded as their deadline approached, it has worked out very well. It minimizes conflict, and eliminates the sale of trail passes at "illegal" discounts which is still rampant. As president of a club that has always scrupulously abided by the FCMQ regulations agreed upon by everyone at annual AGM's, I can't wait!