Sunday, December 31, 2017

QWR's 2017 Quotes on OHV Recreation, Various Reports/Events, and eBikes - HAPPY NEW YEAR

2017 was an important year for both summer and winter motorized recreation.  Also, eBike use on public lands has become a critical factor in the outdoor recreation equation.  As trail enthusiasts get ready to ride into 2018, QWR wanted to share some quotes from our various 2017 articles covering trail management for OSV/ SxS/ MC/ ATV/eBikes, outdoor recreation economic reports, agency studies, etc.

Feel free to send in comments on the following quotes or article and/or send in or post your own quotable quotes.  Send feedback to:

Dec. 11 - QWR continues to believe it is important for both the OHV and traditional mountain bike communities to work with eBike enthusiasts, legislators, regulators, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to try and find common ground on joint trail use where appropriate.

Nov. 17 - QWR believes that E-bike stakeholders should be proactive and work with trail managers to create a strong land-use ethic and regulatory platform that both protect the resource and the long-term viability of the sport.

Oct. 18 - I was proud to see the RBDC [SxS basic driver course] graduates use the skills they learned at class during the group trail ride the next day.  Several students told me the safe use of a SxS requires a healthy dose of common sense when out on the trail and to not be afraid to stop before attempting a challenging route segment that is beyond their comfort zone or ability.

Oct. 16 - QWR understands that Adaptive Management is the current term used by land agencies to describe how they look at new issues and challenges and include them in the decision-making process.  However, the term “Dynamic” infers a more energetic or enthusiast process that agencies can embrace as they engage with users, partners, and other stakeholders in collaborative efforts.

Aug. 6 - QWR believes that signs are the most effective (and often the only management tool the public sees) method by which a land agency communicates its commitment to the public and the resource.  And, the quality of an agency’s signing program is directly proportional to the level of user enjoyment, public compliance with regulations, and success of the unit’s mission, vision, and values.

July 26 - While OHV management certainly has its challenges, QWR believes it is important for agencies and partners to highlight success stories where new trail opportunities are being created and/or trails are being reopened after mitigation measures are completed that address important resource concerns.

May 16 - QWR believes successful OHV programs are the result of substantive collaboration between agency leadership and the user community.

May 9 - QWR believes there are three key components (3 Cs) to successfully managing a unit that offers mixed-use or shared-use trail-based opportunities for motorized and non-motorized recreation.  Those factors are commitment, communication, and collaboration.

May 2 - Managing sustainable OHV and other recreation programs on federal lands is a complex challenge in the 21st Century.  QWR believes the need for a trained professional volunteer workforce will continue to grow as federal agencies roll out new programs such as the Forest Service’s National Trail Strategy or face fiscal impacts such as budget cutbacks.

April 25 - LINK TO OIA 2017 REPORT

This report highlights and details the significant economic impact that both motorized and non-motorized recreation has in this country.

QWR believes this comprehensive and inclusive report indicates the growing collaboration and partnership between motorized and non-motorized user groups as they work with agency staff and elected officials to support sustainable and diverse recreation opportunities on public lands.
April 20 - One of those critical issues [in OSV subpart C planning] is related to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) which is a non-motorized trail that runs north-south through the western U.S. and along the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California.  It exists primarily on Forest Service lands including the Tahoe National Forest where the PCT crosses the current OSV route network.  QWR believes the agency should ensure that it designates PCT crossings that retain the current form and function of the OSV program.

April 11 - With that increased popularity [of SxS/UTVs] comes the responsibility for land agencies and their OHV partners to look for opportunities to designate and sign legal routes for SxS recreation in areas where that use is appropriate and sustainable.

March 1 - QWR believes that trails can provide an important link to our past.  For car enthusiasts, nowhere is that statement more relevant than on a short section of Historic Route 66 that has been designated by the BLM as an OHV trail near Needles, CA.

February 22 - Roberta Pickett, who currently serves as Assistant Governor for the Amador County clubs of Rotary’s District 5190, states, “I feel Don deserved this award for his integrity in the way he does business and collaborates even with those with whom he may have significant disagreements.  His work with land managers, elected officials, recreation clubs, conservation groups, and environmental organizations promotes peaceful resolution to difficult challenges.”

February 2 - QWR believes the [Forest Service] National Trails Strategy outlines a path for success that can be used by units that are in the process of creating and managing a sustainable trail network.  The report can also be used by ranger districts to help infuse new energy and ideas into their existing recreation program and partnerships.


The report states that between 1999 and 2009, nature-based outdoor recreation generally increased, although trends differ across individual activities. The number of U.S. participants1 in 50 nature-based outdoor recreation activities increased 7.1 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the number of activity days increased at least that much. Activities oriented toward viewing and photographing nature have been among the fastest growing activities, both in terms of number of participants and activity days of participation. Off-highway vehicle driving realized a 34-percent increase in participants. Several physically challenging activities, such as kayaking, snowboarding, and surfing also had relatively large increases in this timeframe.

January 3 - Second, many non-traditional  “off-road motorcycle” interests from the tech world, conservation movement, 4x4 community, and other stakeholder groups have found that Adventure riding is a great way to escape the city and experience the great outdoors.

QWR wants to thank you for your support over the past year and for being engaged in OHV recreation.

Happy New Year,

Don Amador/QWR

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Special Christmas Message from Trail Santa

Merry Christmas from Trail Santa

As my extended trail family gets ready to celebrate Christmas 2017, QWR wants to send its warmest wishes to you and yours during this very blessed and special season.

Many of you will be attending various holiday-related concerts, parties, church plays, donating to charities, helping feed the homeless, religious services, and family gatherings.   Some of you will be spending the holiday season with your family riding OHVs at your favorite state, federal, or private recreation site.   All of which is a very good thing!

Trail Santa Wearing RZ Mask in Dusty/Smokey Areas

QWR also wants you to know that we deeply appreciate the friendship, support, and advice that came over the course of 2017 from our colleagues, agency partners, clients, conservation representatives, powersports sponsors, elected officials, industry leaders, OHV clubs, recreation groups, and individual enthusiasts.

2018 will no doubt be filled with new challenges and opportunities.  But for the next week or two, let’s focus on our faith, family, and friends.   May you all have a very blessed Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Trail Santa  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Los Vaqueros MTB Trail Review - East Contra Costa County

Multi-Use Dirt Road/Trail Los Vaqueros Watershed

As many outdoor enthusiasts get ready for Christmas this year in the SF/East Bay Area, QWR wanted to continue its efforts to gear up for launching an eBike/Vehicle module in 2018 by visiting some of the local or regional parks that have multi-use trails or paths that are open to MTBs and potentially eBikes.

Enjoying The Fresh Air

One such facility is the Los Vaqueros Watershed located south of Brentwood and just below the newly reopened Diablo MX Ranch. 

Dirt Road/Trail Snaking Up Through the Canyon

The area is about 18,000acres of open space that surrounds the 1,900 acre Los Vaqueros Reservoir.  Most of the trails are hiking or horseback, but there are a number of fun MTB trails on the north end of the facility that stem out from the Walnut Staging Area.

The staging area has clean restrooms and a number of concrete picnic tables.  While there are no “no e-Bike” signs posted, I don’t want to encourage you to take your eBike there until I get formal acknowledgement from the agency that they are allowed.  *** Update, I heard back from the agency and  the MTB  dirt trails are not open to eBikes at this time.

At Your Service - Enjoy the Christmas Trail Season

The gravel and dirt MTB trails in the area are mostly pretty easy, but once you get up into the hilly area in the backcountry there are some pretty fun grades where you can get a workout.  Remember to close the fences when you go through them as the unit has an active cattle grazing program.  In fact, you may have to dodge a few cows if they are on the trail.

Solid and Dash Green Lines are Open for MTBs

If you live in the area, you may want to consider visiting these MTB trails.  There is some pretty scenery and you may see some wildlife like I did today when a coyote was running beside me in a nearby field.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Trail New Year!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Engaged Users and Agency Staff is Good "Sign" for eBike Recreation

eBike Decal from ROCKART

QWR continues its series of eBike articles based on efforts last month by the CA OHV Commission, staff, and electric vehicle manufacturers to present various vehicles and discuss the growing popularity of eBikes/motorcycles/UTVs and just where they fit into the land-use equation.

In addition, there have been a lot of trail-use related bicycle articles and discussions related to an ongoing campaign led by Ted Stroll and his Sustainable Bike Coalition to have Congress via H.R. 1349 end the blanket ban of bikes in Wilderness.

Multi-Use OHV/MTB (legal for eBike too) Single Track Trail - Eldorado NF

Meanwhile, QWR has been contacting various local and regional park agencies to ascertain their position and/or policy on allowing eBike (Type 1 and 2) use on paved paths and trails.

Although California and a number of other states and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have basically reclassified Type 1 and 2 eBikes as non-motorized vehicles, often local/regional/state agencies interpret those new definitions and make the final decision on where to allow eBike use on paths or trails.

Don Amador Taking non-eBike Ride on East Bay Regional Park Trail
(tracking speed on GPS)

Based on feedback from those agencies, QWR believes there are two important takeaways or action items for both users and the agencies.

One – It is vital for individuals and clubs interested in eBike access to contact their local agency and ask them to plan for enhanced access for eBike use on both pathways and appropriate trails.  Many agencies are in pre or early scoping periods where your input is highly valued.  Be assured, your input can show support for increased legal eBike recreation.  Your comments can help the decision-makers when they craft subsequent proposed actions and/or create management alternatives.

Two – It is also important for the agencies to identify legal eBike opportunities with a quality signing program.   QWR believes the quality of the signing (eBike in this case) program is directly proportional to the agency’s commitment to provide the public with a high quality recreation experience.

Just as there continues to be a healthy discussion on the merits or detractions of H.R. 1349, QWR believes there should be similar discussions on just where eBike (Type 1 and 2) use is appropriate on
public land mechanized trails that currently allow use of non-eBike MTBs.

QWR continues to believe it is important for both the OHV and traditional mountain bike communities to work with eBike enthusiasts, legislators, regulators, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to try and find common ground on joint trail use where appropriate.

Stay tuned for more updates.  Feedback is always welcome.  Either post feedback in the comment section or send them directly to:

Also, watch for an upcoming announcement about the launch of QWR’s e-vehicle module for 2018.