November 2012 4xForward EditorialPosted in Ultimate Adventure: 2012 on November 1, 2012 0) (
I just returned from our Ultimate Adventure, and part 1 is included in this issue. While I can’t tell you about the end of the trip, I can tell you it was incredible, with the most awesome trails and people ever. It’s sometimes difficult for me to believe that each UA created in the last dozen years has been better than the last, but it’s true. It might have something to do with gaining more and more experience, or it just might be the luck of the draw. But the main reason boils down to one factor: the people on the ground. That means the clubs, land owners, individuals, and government agencies that all go into making the UA what it is. I depend on these guys for help in finding the locations, making sure they are safe and legal, and scheduling and organizing things while still keeping it confidential. In fact, most trails and groups we see have no idea where we have been or are going next, all in the name of adventure.
The start of any UA planning meeting is to ask, “Where do we go, and what do we build?” This year we revisited our 2001 routes since it had been so long. We talked to our local friends and wheelers familiar with the area. We also listen to our sponsors and other advertisers, as well as our readers, for ideas and information.
We keep the timing and location secret for two reasons. One is simple security and safety, as anywhere we go has to pass certain criteria of the UA, and one of those is a limited group of people. Many public trails are limited to group events of a certain number, and if we exceed that number we can’t use the trail. The other secret reason is so the participants have no idea where they are going or what they will be doing. Most are happy to sit back and follow along, and sometimes I make up the route as the days progress. There’s nothing like a gas station guy asking you where we are headed, and everyone just smiles and says, “I don’t know.” This sense of excitement and adventure is what keeps guys wanting to come back, the unknown challenges they will have and the ability to overcome them.
Do you have what it takes to go on the Ultimate Adventure? Or do you have a kick-tail legal wheeling area no one else knows about and you want the word to get out? All you have to do is send us an email and let us know. That’s the first step— like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play. We’ll put your ideas in the works and sort it out from there. That’s how I’ve found lots of other UA trails across the nation, and I know there are plenty more to go. Be a part of the trip and of the great wheeling regardless. Start your own Mini UA like some other folks, and we may even be there to cover that too.