Matthew Lourey State Trail update. Help Needed!

February 27, 2012

The DNR issued a news release today with an update on the pending Matthew Lourey OHM state trail.  I have posted about this before and Minnesota Adventure Riders has written to the DNR commenting on how valuable this trail would be.  In today’s news release the DNR states that they are moving forward with this trail and would like to get more feedback from the public on its use (Thrusday, March 8th in Rutledge).  I encourage everyone to attend this meeting if you can.  The state and local officials, as well as local members of the community need to know that riders like us bring economic benefit to their areas when they create great trails like this. If you cannot attend the meeting the press release gives the email addresses of two DNR employees to give your feedback to in written form.

PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING OR EMAIL THESE DNR EMPLOYEES! This is how the DNR knows we exist and what our needs are.  Most of them do not even know what an “Adventure Bike” is.  So help them understand how much we appreciate their work, the access to trails, and ask how you can help.  Specifically, you can tell them you would ALSO like to see a OHM trail connection between Chengwatana trail system and the Nemadji trail system.  This would help cross country state travel IMMENSELY.

Today the TMAT travels through this part of the state on the Gandy Dancer trail and we are very thankful for that.  However, the Matthew Lourey trail  (47 miles) would be a more interesting trail for most riders as it is in a denser part of the forest and contains a much wider variety of terrain.  As soon as the Matthew Lourey trail is opened officially the TMAT GPS files will be updated to use it instead of the Gander Dancy.

More information on the trail including a map can be found here.  Word has it that during this calendar year a few other state trails may be opened up to OHM use which I am very excited about. Stay tuned for more info!

Arena Cross in Minnesota

February 27, 2012

Yesterday the AMA Arena Cross series had its finale here in Minneapolis.  I attended with my family and found it was a great way to break the cabin fever with some moto-entertainment.  The track was very small, but that just made the action that much faster.  Here is a short video and a few pics in case you missed it. Congrats to the promoters for filling most the seats and putting on a good show.

Registering off-highway motorcycles for highway use

February 16, 2012

Some of you know that due to some hard word by ARMCA D23 in our state last year that legislation was passed to make it easier to register off-highway motorcycles (dirtbikes) for highway use.  The State was given some time to get their ducks in a row and figure out how to process the applications.  Now, as of January 15th, the DMV should know how to do this if you bring in the right information.  The state has the following two helpful documents online:

Frequently asked questions:

Print and fill out this form:

It is important to note that you don’t get a title for your bike with this process.  Just a plate and special plate sticker.

Some of you have written in saying how easy the process was.  This is very good to hear! Hopefully this means more riders enjoying the trails in Minnesota this year.

A Shout Out to Winter Riders

February 16, 2012

I was up on the North Shore on vacation yesterday and decided to drive along the proposed TMAT Gunflint Loop early in the morning to check out some of the roads.  About 8:30 in the morning on Cty Rd 11 coming into Two Harbors I see a guy on a dual sport come flying by me.  Wow, February 14th on the North Shore and guys are still riding?  This winter has been one of the mildest on record, and that means a golden opportunity for riders to invest in heated gloves, insulated jackets, and other winter riding gear in order to extend the riding season way past what it normally should be.  For those of you toughing it out and still riding this time of year you have earned our respect. Here is a shout out to all the hard core winter riders out there.  Stay safe and stay of the ice.

Where do you want to ride?

February 10, 2012

The DNR is looking for your input. If you attended the motorcycle show this last weekend you may have noticed that the DNR was asking people to draw on a map where they wanted to ride.  Well, I have scanned that map and put it online below. The map shows the state of MN and the current scenic byway roads.  You can print the map, draw your routes, and mail it to the DNR.  If you don’t know what to ask for, I would encourage you to ask for OHM access to the the following areas:

Soo Line Trail North and South
Blue Ox Trail
Lake County ATV Trail
A new OHM Trail between Chengwatana and St Croix State Forests

Click here for DNR Map

Mail it to this address:

Mary Straka
Off-Highway Vehicle Program
MN DNR Parks and Trails
1601 Minnesota Drive
Brainerd, MN

Or if it is easier to just describe your route in an email you can send it to the DNR here.  We are lucky to have a state government organization that solicits our feedback.  Please take advantage of this!

Non-resident use of OHM trails

February 8, 2012

Public service announcement…

There was recently a news update from the DNR stating that non-residents now need to buy Minnesota trail passes for “ORVs”.  Just an FYI for everyone; I checked with the DNR and this rule change does not affect OHMs.  If your bike has a trail registration from another state then the DNR will recognize that registration.  You can ride state trails in MN without having to “double register”.  This is how it has been and there is no change.

Save the Trails

February 7, 2012

Its caucus time here in Minnesota.  But if you attend your local caucus you will likely NOT hear much about wilderness and trail access from the candidates.  Its not exactly at the top of the list of hot button issues!  So I encourage you all to get involved with these issues by signing up for AMA alerts or joining one of the many national organizations committed to helping keep trails accessible.

One such organization is “Save the Trails”.  Click on the link below to send your “Two Minute letter” demanding more motorized and mechanized trails for you, your children and the public

It really does take only 2 minutes and is worth your time.