CONSTANCE BAY – For the first time in a month, there wasn’t a
snowflake in the sky – it was the perfect day for Constance Bay’s 13th annual
Old Sled Run.
The annual event is a tour of the West Carleton snowmobile
trails, a hop across the river to Gavan’s Hotel and then back to where it all
began at the West Carleton Royal Canadian Legion for chili and prizes.
This year’s turnout
was huge with 83 sleds, many vintage, and 114 riders aged from 13 to 81.
from near and far to participate including Bruce Schoblaska who travelled all
the way from Wisconsin.
“I have some good
Canadian friends,” Schoblaska told West Carleton Online before the procession
of snowmobiles hit the trail. “I’m mixing a visit in with them along with this
include Roy Taske of Buckingham and 81-year-old Randy Heinle, a retired surgeon
The three friends
have two things in common – they love snowmobiling and they love their Diablo
Rouges. The 1967 Bolens Diablo Rouge is a tractor-powered sled in two parts.
It is an articulated
sled with an engine and treads up front, pulling the seat and passenger behind.
It has a top speed of about 40 miles per hour. According the friends, the
Diablo Rouge was popular with the trappers because of its tight turning radius.
“They are fairly
rare,” Schoblaska said, adding he thinks there are maybe 800 in North America
Taske says they’re
“These guys usually
make it back,” Taske said. “We did 100 kilometres last weekend. This is my baby.
I like going through the bush a bit slower. I like to look around.”
Taske says he has
brought his Red Diablo to 12 of the 13 Constance Bay Old Sled Runs and enjoys
it every year.
“Our wives call it a
disease, we call this our therapy,” he said.
Event organizer Mike
O’Reilly called the Old Sled Run another huge success.
“Everyone was a winner,” he
told West Carleton Online today (Feb. 19). “It was a beautiful day in the
Ottawa Valley, we raised some money for the Legion, and we filled Gavan’s Hotel
in Quyon. Both are central to what we do to contribute to the local
communities, here and in the Pontiac. We have an incredible team of volunteers
at Branch 616 that make this all happen. The breakfast is hugely popular and we
had approximately 130 that morning. Our chili crew ensured that everyone was
fed and warmed up on their return. I would particularly like to mention Jeff
Campbell and Alain Goulet from Quyon who are the point people on that side of
El-Chantiry is one of the co-hosts of the Old Sled Run – a fundraiser for
In the morning he
helped serve breakfast to more than 100 people at the Legion during
registration, and then, a snowmobiling enthusiast himself, hit the trails with
West Carleton Online
caught up with Coun. El-Chantiry today (Feb. 18) at his annual skating party at
the Cavanagh Sensplex.
“There were a few
breakdowns,” El-Chantiry said. “We don’t want to go too far. We have to take it
easy on the older sleds.”
around five sleds didn’t make it to Gavan’s. But the sleds are left behind for
later retrieval and their riders simply hitch a ride on another participant’s
“The sun was
shining, it was a good day,” El-Chantiry said. “The trails were busy. They’re
in great shape. They’re well-groomed and hard packed. There was more traffic on
the trails then I’ve seen in a while. I’m hoping after the skate to go for
“As you will see, we had
103 entries,” O’REilly said. “These ranged from as far east as Halifax, NS and
as far west as Calgary, AB. We had a couple of special guests from Ohio and
Wisconsin as well. All in all it was an amazing day.”
This Ski-doo Elite 450 LC by Bombardier, built in 1978 and owned by Kyle Graham,
was a popular conversation piece. This one even has power steering. Photo by Jake Davies
Following the return
to the Legion, awards are distributed in a variety of categories, including
oldest and youngest rider, long distance award and best vintage suit.
Some of the award
·Oldest machine: Dan Cousineau of Shilo, MB’s 1964
·Best rare iron: Les Carswell of Elginburg, ON’s 1969
·Best rat sled: Ray Ouelett of Arnprior’s 1964 Skidoo.
·Best resto-mod: Kyle Graham of Kars’ 1978 Skidoo