The Canadian Rider Safety Fund, dedicated to supporting motorcycle riders and racers at road courses across Canada, is updating their Board of Directors and getting ready for a new era of trackside protection.
The CRSF has supported the long serving, now retired Alpina Air Fence system, the Bottle Bag initiative, and other forms of trackside protective devices.
Founded in 2008, the registered non-profit CRSF has provided a range of installation solutions at a variety of venues, including Atlantic Motorsport Park in Nova Scotia, the now closed Autodrome St-Eustache in Quebec, facilities in the Province of Ontario including Shannonville Motorsport Park, Calabogie Motorsports Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Grand Bend Motorplex, as well as tracks in Alberta.
Since it’s inception, the CRSF has been headed by Chair John Bickle, a former Pro racer and proprietor of aftermarket motorcycle equipment company Bickle Racing. In September of 2021, Bickle confirmed his decision to resign from the Board for personal reasons, and vice-chair Chris Chapelle will now take over as Acting Chair.
Chapelle is a former Pro racer, longtime Manager of RACE Events at Shannonville Motorsport Park, and a senior staffer for the Canadian National Superbike Championship, CSBK. Chris currently serves as the Race Director and risk manager for the Vintage Road Racing Association (VRRA) and is Race Director for the Calabogie Motorsports Park-based Pro 6 GP race series.
Additionally, Chapelle serves on the Board with the Canadian Race Communications Association, CRCA, the trackside marshaling group. Hands on with all the various devices used at trackside, Chris is ideally suited to head the next era of trackside support for riders and racers.
“Everyone involved with the CRSF would like to thank John Bickle for his years of dedicated effort and toil, involving all sorts of trackside projects at venues across Canada,” explained Chapelle from his base in Belleville, ON.
“John has put his heart into the Fund’s various projects, and his efforts have certainly made him Motorcycle Hall of Fame material. John has set a high standard for our important ongoing efforts and lead our projects to help raise funds to provide this gear.
“We are now looking to focus on some new equipment for the CRSF, to take over the role formerly held by the Air Fence system. We will have some exciting plans to announce soon, and the CRSF will continue to support our existing Bottle Bag program as well. So, we will be looking for everyone’s ongoing assistance to improve the inventory of these protective solutions.”
As well, we plan to revamp the Board of Directors, and we will shortly be looking for suggestions regarding new members who can help lead the CRSF during the new phase of expansion.
“We would also like to offer a special thanks to Rob Egan and the entire Brooklin Cycle Racing group for keeping the 28-foot section Alpina Air Fence inventory going for so long. Now it’s time to start on a replacement plan.”
The Bottle Bags are large, rectangular resin containers that are filled with empty plastic water bottles and other, similar crushable containers, with their screw-on lids attached. The initial development of the Bottle Bags took place at Atlantic Motorsport Park with the Society of the Atlantic Racing League, starting in 2013.
The CRSF aim to highlight pending equipment upgrades during the off-season Canadian Motorcycle Consumer shows, with more details to follow. Update will be available on the CRSF Facebook page.