Green Lake site of first annual memorial ride

Some of North America’s best motorcycle riders ‘twist their wrists' for fallen friend

Fifteen of North America's top professional motorcycle racers 'twisted their wrists' during five days of racing commemorating the life of a fallen comrade. JR MacRae lost his life during a qualifying session of the National Superbike Series

Fifteen of North America's top professional motorcycle racers 'twisted their wrists' during five days of racing commemorating the life of a fallen comrade. JR MacRae lost his life during a qualifying session of the National Superbike Series

On some very cold Cariboo winter days (Jan. 30-Feb. 3), 22 men gathered at South Green Lake to remember a fallen comrade, John-Ross (JR) MacRae, and to videotape the First Annual JR MacRae Ice Racing Invitational.

John-Ross died in August 2013 after a crash during the XR1200 Harley-Davidson qualifying session in the final round of the National Superbike Series. He was 24 years old and the youngest rider for the Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada Ruthless Racing Inc. Team.

Riders from as far away as Georgia, California and Toronto flew in to join the pros with the AMA Superbike Series at Green Lake. They included Steve Crevier, Jodi Christie, Kenny Reidmen, Michael Barnes, Darren James (Green Lake) Dave Sedowski, Matt Sedowski and Josh Chisum.

Darren and his longtime friend and crew chief, Thomas Morin, came up the week before the ice races and built the race course in two days. The course had a mini oval inside a super oval.

The berms remain, but were flagged to warn snowmobilers about the change in the ice surface.

The entire event was videotaped from a helicopter to mark the first year of these races. A tape will be given to Canadian Honda dealers and various retailers to promote the ice racing event.

The riders will also keep a copy for personal use.

“The family expects to get back together each year to celebrate the life of a wonderful young man, John-Ross MacRae,” Darren says, adding they chose to ride the Honda 100 cc dirt bikes, so the noise would be kept minimal.

“We need to give a big shout out to Jim Kirby at Performance All Terrain in 100 Mile House for pulling a front end off a demo Honda CRF to get Jodi Christie back on the track.

We had 15 of North America’s best racers in the ‘Twist Their Wrist’ for a fallen friend. The event went on for five days and couldn’t have gone better.”

The James Family has owned property on South Green Lake since 1940, and Darren says they were delighted to give all those riders the experience of the Cariboo.

Darren’s father Don James and Trev Deeley (Darren’s godfather) were partners for more than 45 years. They started in 1917, making the Harley motorcycle dealership in Vancouver one of the oldest in the world.