Just when you think your meetings with folks can't get much better, the partners you are meeting with step it to the next level.
On Wednesday night (August 29) I had the pleasure of attending a meeting with members of the Ohio Motorized Trail Association and the Buckeye Dualsporters in Carroll, Ohio that Bill Kaeppner had set up. Steve Kraft hosted the meeting in his awesome man cave full of memorabilia. The conversation was casual and informative and covered everything from the logistics of coming events to the dream of making connections between areas in Southeastern Ohio in "Hatfield-McCoy--ish" fashion and what good that would do for the rural economy of many towns.
There is a sense of frustration and concern over the trends that have been happening trails over the years, with closure after closure. Promises made by agencies that are not coming to fruition, managing areas to yesterday's standards instead of looking to the future of motorized recreation, and how much recreation can help struggling communities were just a few of the points of discussion. But that isn't deterring their resolve and the work they are doing--it is encouraging they have some very progressive plans. With people like Matthew Mesarchik (legislative) and Dennis Wylie Jr. (4 X 4 rep on the OMTA board) and the many others working together as the OMTA, I am betting you are going to see some big things from these organizations. I look forward to partnering efforts between the 65+ organizations that make up the OMTA and the BRC into the future. This is what this Tour is all about and these are the folks that are getting it done on the ground, in spite of the challenges they face.
I was also encouraging to have them step up at the end of the meeting and present donations to the BlueRibbon Coalition from both the OMTA and the Buckeye Dualsporters. Thank you all for the generosity!
After the meeting, I have to share that Mike Allen of MOTOHIO had this nasty, nasty Ducati Monster in the back of his truck set to deliver to a customer the next day. Drooling abounded.... that thing is like a Ferrari on 2 wheels and red to boot. Sweet! Even strapped down in the back of the truck, it looked like it was gonna get him a speeding ticket. Steve also shared some pretty cool stuff in his stable as well. I know it isn't fast like a Ducati, but the 50's era Massey-Ferguson tractor he just restored with the Buick vents on the side of the cowling is pretty darn spiffy!
Again, thanks for the generous support, for the input, the welcome mat and for everything you are doing for Ohio and for recreational access as a whole.