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March 2012 4xForward

Posted in Features on March 1, 2012
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You all know that wheeling can be fun, and you do it mostly for that reason. Whether it’s the camaraderie of others, conquering the trail obstacles, or just exploring the backcountry, the objective is to enjoy yourself. Of course you may have to wheel as part of your job or to hunt and fish at your special spot, but it all involves going off the beaten track and asphalt to a place far better than downtown Metropolis.

The problem we all face is the constant pressure from government and quasi-environmental groups to close those trails and backroads we enjoy and limit access to where we want to go. Luckily we have help on our side to keep access open to the public instead of just to the elitist few who only allow foot traffic on our public lands.

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting the battle to allow motorized access on the trails. BRC includes all trail users in its fight, from snow machines and 4x4s to horses, hikers, and motorcycles. The coalition is at the forefront of maintaining what we have as well as preventing the closure of new areas. The support BRC gets from local 4x4 clubs is extremely important.

I have the same interests at heart, which is why I support BRC wholeheartedly. So much so that I joined representatives Del and Stacie Albright for their inaugural Trail Access Partnership (TAP) Tour. The TAP Tour is designed to bring attention to our sport in a positive light while four-wheeling across the country and discussing land use issues. Del and Stacie have been at this for quite a while and are well known for their hard work.

For me, it was also part of my resolution to wheel at least once a month, if not more. The tour played perfectly into this plan. Because the Ultimate Adventure F-150 needed to be at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in the Nitto Tire booth, I figured I would drive it from Vegas on the tour and then back home to Los Angeles. This way I could wheel, do work, wheel, show off the F-150, wheel, be part of the TAP Tour, wheel, camp, wheel, and wheel a bit more. What could be better than that?

Suffice it to say, a full week of this wonderful tour was pretty much a vacation for me, as we did indeed drive wheel camp drive wheel camp drive wheel camp and accomplished more than I anticipated. Del had set up impromptu tours with the Vegas Valley 4 Wheelers at the Hump & Bump event, the Bullhead 4-Wheelers and Havasu 4 Wheelers in Arizona, and the Parker 4-Wheelers at their Parker Splash event in Arizona. In between runs, Del met with the BLM and went to other meetings and activities, so it was truly a “wheeling for fun and profit” trip. And as for me, I was smiling all week, and that is about as profitable as it gets!

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