Up And Coming
The four-wheeling season is gradually winding to a close, and in retrospect, it's been a pretty good year. Between a slew of extreme rockcrawling events and traditional trail rides, we managed to make a few new discoveries this year and brought many of these stories to our readers. Now I know we still have a month or two of fairly decent four-wheeling left in the year, but for those who refuse to let the snow and plummeting temperatures slow them down, the 'wheeling season may continue unabated year-round.
Though the year may be coming to a close, there are still a couple of events that dedicated four-wheelers should seriously consider attending. The first is Off Road Expo, which will be held at the Pomona Fairgrounds in Pomona, California, October 4-5. Although it is only a couple of years old, the Expo has quickly become a force in the off-road aftermarket, particularly for fans and manufacturers in the western-half of the States. Hundreds of vendors come out to showcase their newest products, meaning you can get a jump on prepping your rig for next season.
Perhaps the best thing about the Expo is that it is designed, first and foremost, for the enthusiasts; it is very low-key and a lot of fun. And because the entire show focuses exclusively on off-road parts, unlike other automotive shows, nearly every booth you pass is likely to have something that will catch your eye.
Looming larger on the national stage is the SEMA show, which will be held at the Hilton Convention Center in Las Vegas, November 4-7. This industry show encompasses all things automotive and covers virtually every niche in the aftermarket, from off-road parts to lowered trucks and racing equipment. Thousands of vendors from across the country descend on Vegas for this show, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. To see every booth, you need the endurance of a marathon runner and a certain predilection for pain. A report on last year's convention indicated that to see every vendor at the show you would have had to walk 13.2 miles.
Last year, SEMA gave the off-road aftermarket a nod of approval for its continued growth by moving all the off-road vendors into their own separate building. In years past, people interested in finding off-road booths had to pick through the entire show to see everyone on their list. Now they're all in one room. It's a very big room to be sure, but having it all in one place and so close together is a huge improvement.
Both of these shows are well worth your time, even if you have to drive from out of state to attend. Together, they are an off-road odyssey that will leave you with plenty to think about until the snow thaws and you are able to fire up the rig and hit the trails again - maybe with new parts.