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Alberta

“A Really Special Place” – Why the Wild Rose Motocross Track is One of a Kind

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This summer, as you wander between the breweries and activity centers located in southeast Calgary, pause for a moment – if you listen closely, you may hear the distant rumble of motocross engines as bikes of all sizes careen over jumps and around corners at the Wild Rose Motocross Track.

Located just off Blackfoot Trail in Southeast Calgary, the 88-acre park is backed by the Calgary skyline, a prime piece of land located just minutes from downtown. Founded in the 1960’s as the Blackfoot Motorcycle Park, the track has deep roots in the city of Calgary, and according to WRMA board member David Pinkman, “Few sagas can compete with the wild west history of Calgary’s Wild Rose Motocross Association and its hard-core motocross lovers.” 


Photo Credit Eden Schell 

In 1984, The Wild Rose Motocross Association (WRMA) was officially formed, and the Blackfoot Motorcycle Park became the Wild Rose. Acting as a major host for a number of national motocross events since the 70’s and nurturing some of Canada’s best professional riders to date, Pinkman argues the “course of Canadian motocross history may not have been the same but for this unique piece of dirt and hills.”

With 7 tracks available including the full-sized Main, East and Hill Tracks, as well as the Extreme Beginner, Mini, Pee Wee, and Enduro Tracks, Wild Rose welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. “This is the only track of its kind in Canada,” says Michelle McCarthy, newest member of the WRMA board, “It’s right in the centre of the city; it’s got 3 big bike tracks, the smaller tracks and the enduro park. This is a really special place.”
Whether it be your first time on a bike or the day you’re finally going to clear that 15-foot tabletop, the track encourages everyone to come out and ride. “People want to see new riders,” says McCarthy, “they want to see the community flourish. Plus, dirt biking is really, really fun,” she laughs.  


Photo Credit Eden Schell 

Like countless other Canadian businesses, the Wild Rose Track has taken a hit due to COVID-19, with day pass riders and memberships being significantly down. Open year round – weather permitting – the track normally sees up to 30,000 visits per year. However, due to the pandemic, numbers are currently far lower as the park operates within capacity limits. 

As a recreational park on city property, track management wanted to set an example for taking action to reduce the spread of COVID-19, responding rapidly to Alberta Government guidelines by implementing a number of new precautions and preventative measures. This includes constructing wash stations at every track, implementing paperless transactions and COVID-19 symptom screening upon entry to the park, as well as establishing an online scheduling system to limit the number of riders at the track at one time.  

In the midst of the new normal, the park remains committed to growing and supporting the motocross community in Calgary and beyond, staying on top of updates that will allow them to return to racing and regular operation as soon as possible. While all spring and summer race series have been cancelled by COVID-19, the WRMA is actively monitoring pandemic updates with the goal of hosting a successful race series this coming fall. 

To learn more about the Wild Rose Motocross Association, visit https://www.wildrosemx.com.

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Ontario, Alberta follow Manitoba, B.C. in giving AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 and up

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Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting today, those aged 40 and over in Ontario and Alberta can get the shot.

Previously, the minimum age to receive AstraZeneca was 55 because of a slightly elevated risk of an extremely rare blood clot disorder.

British Columbia and Manitoba also dropped the age requirement to 40, starting yesterday.

Quebec says it will be lowering the age for AstraZeneca, although it’s not clear what that age will be.

Quebec’s director of public health says a recommendation from the province’s immunization committee is expected soon and could be put into effect this week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

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CALGARY — The Ottawa Senators may dwell in the bottom of the NHL’s North Division, but the club continued to be a headache for the Flames with a 4-2 win Monday over Calgary.

Connor Brown scored a short-handed goal and also into an empty net for Ottawa (16-26-4), which won a second straight on the road.

Josh Norris had a goal and an assist and Brady Tkachuk also scored for the Sens. Ottawa goaltender Matt Murray made 26 save for the win.

“We’re not looking at the standings right now,” Norris said. “It’s just take it game by game.”

Ottawa leads the season series with the Flames 6-2-0 with a game remaining.

“I think we just match up well against them,” Norris said. “We have a lot of guys who can really fly up and down the ice.

“We’ve gotten really good goaltending against them this year. That obviously helps.”

Elias Lindholm and Michael Stone countered for the Flames (19-23-3), whose window for a playoff berth is closing. Jacob Markstrom stopped 16-of-19 shots in the loss.

The Montreal Canadiens hold down the fourth and final playoff berth in the North Division. Montreal lost 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, but remained six points ahead of Calgary.

“Montreal lost I think I saw, so a little bit of hope,” Flames forward Milan Lucic said. “But we’ve got to stop hoping and start winning some games.”

The Flames have 11 games remaining in the regular season, but three games in four days against the visiting Habs starting Friday will likely determine if Calgary sees the post-season or plays out the string.

Calgary was careless with the puck Monday with 18 giveaways to Ottawa’s nine.

“There was three or four guys who were good players who turned the puck over several times tonight,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said.

“I think their defence was a lot quicker than ours, but our defence played a really slow game.”

Stone pulled the Flames within a goal at 10:47 of the third with a slapshot through traffic from the point.

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk fell and lost the puck skating the puck out of Calgary’s zone for Brown to corral and produce the empty-net goal.

Norris converted an Ottawa man advantage wiring the puck over Markstrom’s glove at 7:52 for a 3-1 lead. 

Calgary didn’t score on a power play late in the second period, nor did it during consecutive Ottawa minors early in the third.

“The power play was too slow,” Sutter said. “Passed the puck too slow.”

The Flames gave up a short-handed goal to the visitors with 56 seconds remaining in the second period to trail 2-1.

Brown scored his third short-handed goal of the season backhanding in a rebound on a 2-on-1 with Nick Paul. Brown had intercepted a Noah Hanifin pass in the defensive zone to start the rush.

Lindholm pulled the hosts even at 11:23 of the first period for his fourth goal and eighth point in his last six games. 

Murray made the initial stop on the Swede, but the puck trickled between the goaltender’s pads for Lindholm to shovel in on a second effort.

A Flames turnover on the offensive blue-line and another along the boards in their own end led to Tkachuk’s goal at 9:50. 

The Senator caged an errant Juuso Valimaki pass and roofed a wrist shot over Markstrom.

Calgary’s Brett Ritchie and Ottawa’s Josh Brown fought at the end of the first period.

Notes: A pre-game ceremony at the Saddledome celebrated Lucic reaching a career 1,000 games April 13 while the Flames were on a road trip. The Flames all wore Lucic’s name and No. 17 in warmup . . . . . Ottawa’s Norris has three goals and five assists in his last five games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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