This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
20 Years!!! That’s right – the OFTR is now 20 years


young and still “the voice of off road motor- cyclists in Ontario.” We took a look through our original in-


corporation handbook for some content in- spiration, and here is what we found: There were three director positions be-


fore incorporation, which was increased to 10 in 1992 but not officially adopted until 1998, and a year later it was reduced to five. Some of our notable past directors include Jim Kelly, Mark Hopper, Warren Thaxter, Rick Currah, Dennis Lever, Meg Thorburn and Blair Sharpless. If you are a past OFTR Director and would like to send us a few words about your vision at that time and how we are doing today, we will add them to these articles throughout 2012. Perhaps we will publish a complete list of all of the past directors for the September issue. Until 2005, the OFTR used to send out


quarterly printed newsletters using stamps and envelopes and most issues included club updates and ride reports. According to the meeting minutes in the


book, the first ten years focused on attract- ing chapter clubs and more effective com- munications using that newfangled “internet” thing. Our website was started, thanks to Bill Fitkowski, with a really long URL around 1997. The trail ride series, with the help of Blair


Sharpless, Warren Thaxter and Ed Strohak, was sponsored by Kawasaki and a winner was drawn each year to get the use of a KDX for a year. Somewhere along the trail, Honda Canada went from “not really inter- ested” to a major contributor to the OFTR and our volunteer program. OFTR annual general meetings and some board meetings used to be held at Suzuki Canada. In 2006, when we were trying to raise startup funds, Yamaha Canada gave us $9,000 – doubling our bank account – and got us rolling on addressing 12 land use issues. KTM/Hus- aberg Canada provided two motorcycles


1992


Adult 12-00001 Expi res Dec 31, 2012


last year and three of “The Big 5” are still Platinum sponsors. There are unfortunately no real records


from about 2001 to 2006 when Simcoe County announced that ORMs were the most offensive off-road vehicles imaginable. The county released the following state- ment that year:


“Information obtained has revealed


that these types of vehicles are rarely, if ever, sanctioned on any organized trails due to the extremely high risk and associ- ated liability. Dirt bikes are often blamed for causing much of the damage to County Forest trails. They frequently cause a greater nuisance than ATVs due to the noise and fumes of the two stroke en- gines and high rates of speed which are possible.” County of Simcoe, 2005


The statement was so ridiculous that it


motivated us to get organized and get ac- tive. Sure, we were ostracized from the be- ginning, but this was over the top. “Information obtained” and “research has proven” are still common tactics for remov- ing your right to ride. Nowadays we ask for a copy, which rarely ever appears. In fact, the OFTR has its own documented research into Economic Impact, Environmental Im- pact, Fitness Characteristics, Demographics,


  16 HOLIDAY BUYERS’ GUIDE 2011 


Member Statistics and a Feasibility Study about properly managed OHV recreation. We have most of the arguments covered, and even when we don’t, we are able to get what we need from other provinces and the USA. This past November we attended yet an-


other meeting regarding the Rail Trail in Haliburton County, but other than that, there are currently no real land use con- cerns. Our bank account is close to empty, although 2012 memberships will go on sale in a couple of weeks, which should get us over the winter financial hump. Industry tells us that sales are still low, so the COHV won’t be helping us as much in 2012. Struggling doesn’t mean floundering. We


are still advancing ORM recreation in On- tario with creative new approaches, as well as forming new strategic relationships with municipal governments and the province. There are several longer-term initiatives in the works that aren’t ready for this article. So in the meantime, renew, get others to renew and be sure to use the donation op- tion this year when you renew you OFTR membership if you can.


Annual General Meeting – Saturday,


January 7, 2012, 1pm Please send director nominations or expres- sions of interest in becoming an OFTR board member to us by December 31, 2011.


 2012


MEMBER


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