February 2012 --- Okay, this year is got to be one of the strangest weather wise in a very long time. Yet, that hasn't stopped many of us from venturing out and getting dirty. Indiana OHV parks have seen more activity in the last few weeks then most winters.
Some things to remember:
Weather like this means the trails are saturated and soft, which results in ruts. I would recommend staying to the dryer areas. If the trail seems soft and wet, find another trail to ride so that you’re not the one creating the ruts.
Lower tire pressure helps with traction in wet conditions. Lower tire pressure is in the range of 5 to 10psi. Don’t spin those tires! If you find yourself in a situation where the trial is getting worse, get off the trail just a bit so you can get traction and go find another trail that isn’t so saturated.
With the warmer weather it is tempting to load up and go riding, yet keep an eye on the weather forecast. If your planning on riding on Saturday, ask yourself “Has it been raining recently where I plan on riding?”. If it’s rained in the days leading up and you know the soil is already saturated at your favorite riding area, try out a new one that may have a sandier soil. Wet sand is a lot more enjoyable to ride then a swamp and save those wet trails for warmer temps.
If you do venture out and find yourself on trails that you believe to be degrading due to weather or soil saturation, let those who work the property know about the trails conditions. Those who work the property, know those who maintain the trails and can get the word out so that things can be corrected. We all like to ride nice trails and we are all custodians of the trail.
On that same note; if you see someone riding off trail or blazing new trails at your favorite riding area, step up and say something to them. If you know the property and know where the good trails are, ask them if they’d like to follow you and you can show them some really challenging trails. This way you don’t have to come across as being a trail boss or something else.
This type of winter is a challenge, we all want to get out and ride and keep our skills up. The challenge is making wise decisions in regards to timing and trail choices. If we can make the smart choices, our trails will last much longer.
After meeting several individuals from Europe at the 2011 Meeting of the minds, and hearing some of the issues they face (we all know our officials don’t copy any legislation from other states and abroad). I reach out to them (FEMA and others) and asked for OHV advocacy groups that they may know of.
The response was overwhelming.
I’m going to broaden the DIRT section a bit and try to keep you informed on what is happening abroad. WARNING, I do not know any foreign languages and I will be relying on GOOGLE translation of the articles and I will also do my best to read though them to make sure they are clean.
I had a conversation with one group in Finland and it surprised us both how much me had in common… So please keep your eyes out.
This past fall our website was taken over by some malicious individuals and basically destroyed the site. I worked with Marc Falsetti to come up with a new site and I think we’re back in the game again. The new site is basically a blogging site and it contains a lot of information. The site contains the following information and layout:
Calendar -- DIRT Events
Indiana OHV -- Focused on Indiana and everything from historical HNF documents to the latest Indiana OHV rules and regs.
Library -- This is a collection of items from grant and fund raisers, sound measuring information, to trail building educational references from states and federal resources.
OHV Abroad -- This area was just added and will continue to grow with informational resources from all over.
The main or front page is an area where we will do our best to keep you informed on the latest information that is available regarding anything off-road.
Please frequent the site, if you have any suggestions or recommendations of things you’d like to see added, throw me a line.