NOHVCC Newsletter - August 2016 edition
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In this Issue:
There’s No “Powder Puffing” In Women’s Racing, Says Long-Time AMA Announcer
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
At the Rio Olympics this month, women’s teams from the U.S. took center stage -- and top podium spots holding gold medals -- in many events. Dirt bikes and ATVs aren’t racing at the Olympics, not yet anyway. But if you attend any of the pro and amateur races at the national level, you will see more and more girls and women racing with Olympic-sized athleticism and determination, and standing proud on podiums, holding their trophies high in the air.
To learn more about the trends in women racing in powersports, we talked with Kevin Bailey, a life-long dirt bike rider, and AMA (American Motorcyclists Association) referee and race announcer.
What are your responsibilities with the AMA?
“I’m a national referee for the AMA quad series in the amateur ranks. I’m also an announcer, which I started doing in 1992 after years of racing motocross and dirt track. And I’m an AMA Congress representative on the ATV side.”
What do you do when you’re not calling races?
“I’m a chief engineer on a Navy supply ship. And I live in South Jersey.”
And you still ride?
“I still have my motocross number with AMA District 7. But at 60 years of age, if I’m in a motocross track, it’s one with a lot of single jumps, few doubles and no triples. I enjoy riding in the woods.”
Are you seeing more girls and women racing ATVs and Motocross?
“Absolutely. The overall number of races has dropped a little since 2008, but I’m finding that there are many more women racers, and they’re intense competitors. There’s no “powder puffing” anymore. These girls are serious and they make us proud.
“Not only are they racing in the girl’s and women’s divisions, they are also crossing over into the amateur rankings. I’ve seen them crossing over into B Class, with some very respectable finishes. And they are racing the extreme dirt track, which is quad TT racing. Just incredible rides, and they have a big crossover in the TT classes also.”
What age groups do you see this growth?
“I see it in youth racing on up. On the 50s, the girls are equal with the boy riders. Once you get up to the 85s, then the muscle takes over for the boys. It’s not a detraction, it’s just a physical limitation. The fact that people are going out and buying 50s and doing a national series, it’s just incredible.
“The girls are phenomenal racers. They just don’t get all the credit they’re due. Someday, I would love to see a girl just blow the guys away in the pro class. Let’s face it, they’re not going to be the Jeremy Martins, but that doesn’t mean they’re not special enough that they shouldn’t have their own pro class.”
What age groups are we talking about?
“The WMX (Women’s Motocross), both in quad and motorcycles, you’re talking 16 years of age and up. They’re putting on WMX racing in motocross and giving them time at the pro venues at the pro weekends, but it’s very limited.”
When did the growth in women’s racing start?
“Historically, I would say in 2001 it started to become more prevalent. The original growth came from families, of course. The girls started on the 50s, when their big brother was probably racing. They’d say, ‘I’m as good as he is. Why can’t I go out and race?’ I’m in my third generation of announcing. Some of the girls are incredibly fast, because that’s all they’ve ever known. Motocross is such a great, family-based sport. Every weekend they go racing.”
Is there room for growth?
“Oh yes, absolutely. The girls are just fantastic. I watched Jordan Jarvis, Number 30, ride for the bLu cRU Yamaha team. Yamaha recognizes her ability and her potential sales ability by her results. She took wins in two categories and won five out of six motos. And, of course, the WMX national series, all the women racers are incredible riders.
“Now we have a lot of international riders that come here, because this is the world’s center of motocross racing. You have to come to America. European Australian, and a lot of South American riders are coming here now. It’s incredible to see. There are kids that live and ride here year-round.”
What are the hot spots in the U.S. for women’s racing?
“California has always been a hot spot for motocross. Suddenly, Florida is hot. And, of course, Texas is first. In the Carolinas, there are several training facilities. One is an SOBMX (South of the Border Motocross) facility, where a lot of girls train in the off season. Coaching is everything, especially at that level. All the teachers say about the same thing. It’s the ones that connect with the individual riders and get the message through to them, that’s what matters.”
When do they start getting coaching?
“Most parents will wait until their girls get into the 70 and 90 classes. In quads, they will wait longer. You’re spending a lot of money to get a racing quad out there, and to turn around and say you need coaching on top of that. Most of the parents are saying, ‘Oh my, I spent all this money just to get the quad going, now you’re telling me to spend more for coaching?”
It sounds like you really love being involved in racing.
“I’m giving back. I’m thrilled to death when I watch the girls race. And it’s fun to be able to walk up to the racers at the line or tech inspections. I say to them, ‘Look, this is it. The last race of the series. Forget all the worrying and cares. Go out and have fun, and if you have fun, the results will make themselves.’
“It’s a bunch of families, but it’s all one family. There is not one person there that wouldn’t turn around and offer a spare part to another one. I get people come up to me all the time and say something like, ‘Hey I need a rotor for my Apex 50.’ And I’ll say ‘Okay I’ll announce it.’ And within 15 minutes someone has taken apart one of their quads to give somebody a part.
“And the pros help them out and cheer them on at the line. They’ll come down and tell the girls where they should line up and give them a word of encouragement. It means the world to the young racers.”
And older women are coming back into the sport?
“Women and men are coming out again, and saying ‘I was happiest when I was racing, and I want to go back and do it again.’ I celebrate that. Coming back to what you love. We have a resurgence of the plus classes, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40 and up. And the biggest problem they have, is cleaning the bugs out of their teeth from smiling.”
Racing today is a little different than when you started?
“Yes, much different. The young riders of today seem much more focused and in shape than I was. They are much faster also than kids of comparable age back then. In 1978, we formed a motocross team, we were having a great time, and it was hilarious, because we were a bunch of loners. We were all motorcycle racers and we were unacceptable to most of the then “normal” people. People would say, ‘Wait a minute, you go away for an entire weekend. You pack 3 motorcycles and 5 people in a van, meet up with 4 or 5 other vans loaded similarly, drive away on Friday night to another state, race all day Saturday, drive to another track on Sunday morning race all day and then make it back for work on Monday. Isn’t that a little strange?’
“Not for us. I can’t think of a better weekend.”
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NOHVCC Reaches Out To Youth With One Million Adventure Trail Activity Books
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
One million Adventure Trail Activity Books.
With the latest print run, that’s how many of the 20-page booklet have been published by NOHVCC since it was first introduced in 2004. It’s the single, most popular educational “tool” distributed to families by NOHVCC, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs and organizations across the U.S. and Canada.
“It’s an inexpensive way to get the message out,” said Dana Bell in an interview last year prior to being inducted into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame. Bell was on the NOHVCC staff from 1999 to 2008. In her role as project coordinator, she was instrumental in the development of many NOHVCC educational materials, including the still very popular ‘Adventure Trail’ series, which includes the activity book and a dozen large posters. “A big part of the Adventure Trail materials was trying to reach the kids as early as we could with a very positive, fun message,” she said. “Once they are 14, it’s hard to get to them. But when you reach them at 4 or 5, they get the message and they accept it. And there’s not too many kids that will turn down a coloring book.”
Today, the Adventure Trail Activity Book is distributed in many ways. OHV clubs pass them out at safety training classes, and at their booths at county fairs and other community events. School teachers use them as educational coloring pages for their classes. The Activity Books have been requested by a children’s hospital, and NOHVCC has shipped many boxes to chambers of commerce located in towns near OHV trail systems. Trail Ambassadors in states that have trail monitoring programs pass them out to young riders and their parents they meet on the trails. Many OHV clubs also distribute them to local businesses, including restaurants, coffee shops and powersports dealerships, who pass them out to their customers.
Kids and their parents paging through the Activity Book read important messages about riding safely and responsibly, including: wearing the proper safety gear, riding the right size vehicle, and trail etiquette when meeting hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists while riding on multi-use trails. Four color crayons are also available, packaged in a specially designed, Adventure Trail box, and titled Trailhead Green, Stop Sign Red, Safety Gear Yellow, and Bridge Water Blue.
“There have been several renditions of the popular coloring book,” said Karen Umphress, NOHVCC IT and Project Manager. “The first printing was in 2004. There were three printings of that version, at 200,000 each. The second edition, which added coloring pages, a maze and puzzles, was created in 2011. We are in our second printing of this version, at 200,000 printed each. That’s a million Activity Books!”
The coloring pages of the Adventure Trail Activity Book can be downloaded and printed separately at this link: http://www.nohvcc.org/Education/AdventureTrail/ATColor.aspx.
The Activity Book is one of a series of Adventure Trail materials, which also includes posters which are displayed in the safety education trailers of NOHVCC and OHV clubs across the country, as well as schools and community centers.
Adventure Trail materials can be obtained for the cost of shipping, by contacting NOHVCC by phone at 800-348-6487, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the destination, the shipping charge is about $20 for a box of 275 Activity Books via media mail. The crayons are shipped separately via UPS, and varies by cost depending on the number sent and the destination.
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These Pennsylvania ATV Clubs Are Building Membership And Volunteerism
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
One ATV club in Pennsylvania helps maintain off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails on public land. Another builds and manages a 50-mile trail system on private property. Together, they have about 1,600 members, and do everything they can to encourage members to volunteer on trail work, and recognize those who do.
Central Mountains ATV Association, Inc., Lock Haven, PA
With 974 members, the Central Mountain ATV Association has no trouble getting riders to attend its twice monthly club rides and the annual charity rides it participates in. Two months ago, over 340 riders showed up for the “Cruise for Cancer,” benefitting the Bucktail Medical Center and donating nearly $10,000. “People from all over the State and surrounding States come to the ride,” said Henry Sorgen, club president. “Our Association has about 30 volunteers for that charity event. We set up the trail ride, and lead about seven different groups of ATVs and Side-by-Sides.”
Located in Lock Haven, PA, the Central Mountains club lists a full ride schedule on its website, including a number of rides for charity, and work days to help maintain public trails. Many of its members also belong to the Snow Shoe Rails To Trails Association (SSRTA) and volunteer on its work days. The SSRT is a 39-mile trail that includes 19 miles of an abandoned railroad bed open to motorized and non-motorized recreation, and 20 miles of OHV-legal roads in Snow Shoe Township. Open year-round, it’s maintained using membership dues from ATV and snowmobile riders, walkers, bikers and equestrians. It leads to the Bloody Skillet ATV Trail in the Sproul State Forest, located in Center and Clinton Counties, a 38-mile system managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The club assists the DCNR on work days on that trail as well. “It keeps us busy,” said Sorgen. “It’s usually the same group of members that do the majority of the legwork.
“We keep growing our membership, mainly because of what we’re doing, getting more riding in the area. That attracts new volunteers as well. Four new members recently asked to put signs up. A couple even took vacation days. I had a work crew last Tuesday that put up 200 signs on townships roads in municipalities that are open to ATVs.”
Showing appreciation to club members who volunteer at charity events and work days is a must, adds Sorgen. “When the volunteers do things, we show our appreciation on our Facebook page, and talk about it at our meetings, such as the one we had last night. The lead guy who worked getting all those signs up, he got two rounds of applause for everything he’s been doing.”
Keeping the club family oriented also builds membership and volunteer participation within the Central Mountain club. “We keep doing things in a family-type way. As a result, we have a lot of members in their teens and twenties. One of our biggest rides is our Tour Elk Ride, the first weekend in November. It’s also a toy drive for kids. We ride on township roads in northern Pennsylvania, looking for elk. We’ll have over 400 riders on that weekend. It’s a members-only ride, and takes a lot of people to pull it off. We get lots of volunteers for it.
“We also track the miles our members ride, and give out patches at the annual picnic. For every 250 miles you ride, you get a bar. It takes some members 3 years to get to 250 miles, and some ride 1,500 miles a year.”
Indian Creek Valley ATV Club, White, PA
Formed in 2000, the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club has 266 family memberships. Counting two people per family, that’s over 500 members who pay to belong to the club and ride 50 miles of trails it has built on private property in Fayette County.
“We have a private trail system,” said Al Sain, club president. “We lease land from private landowners. We pay them for use of their property. And we buy an insurance policy that protects them. Then we put the trails on there. We want to make the landowners happy. We have 10 different landowners that we lease from, and they all would tell you they love having us on their property.”
The club recently added a 250-acre parcel of land to its trail system. Leaving the trailhead, its members ride under a canopy of trees in forested lands along the southwest border of the state. They are allowed to ride sunup to sundown, year-round, except during hunting seasons. “We do all the work ourselves: design, layout, mapping, building and maintaining the trails. Everything is done by members as volunteers,” said Sain.
Wednesdays are workdays out on the trails. Weekends are for riding. One day a month, all members are invited to join in on the fun of a workday. The club owns a 32 horsepower Kubota tractor it uses to build bridges across streams, and water diversions to prevent erosion, and to maintain the parking area. Members use a long-handle hedge clipper to cut back the briars that grow out over the trails.
Club membership is based on a “tag” riders buy. The first tag for a family member is $95, the second tag is $25, and each tag after that is $10.
To encourage members to volunteer on trail work, the club offers a “working membership.” Said Sain, “We have a point program. If you work 10 times a year, you get a working membership for $40. That’s $55 off the $95 membership the next year. Even if we took that incentive away, most of our volunteers would still come out to work. They take pride in keeping a good trail system and building new trails.
‘“I’m trying something new this year. I’ve put some projects on the website, asking people to take a project. Don’t wait for a work day. You can grab it and go. A couple people took those opportunities already, so that felt good.”
Sain and other club leaders mentor members on the proper way to build and maintain the private trail system. He has attended a NOHVCC workshop on designing, building and maintaining OHV trails. He also recently downloaded the new “Great Trails” resource guide, released by NOHVCC last fall. “The book is a great teaching tool,” he said. “People are now really listening, and learning the proper way to harden trails, put in bridges, and maintain the private trails that our members really enjoy.”
The Central Mountains ATV Association, Inc., is working with local and state agencies on the Northcentral PA ATV Initiative Project, a proposed 1,200 mile system that incorporates township roads to connect the designated ATV Trails within the state. Learn more about it and the club at http://cmatva.org/newsite/. Get more details on the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club at http://www.icvatvclub.com/.
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You’ve Survived Off-Road Crashes. But What About Computer Crashes?
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Recently, I clicked on a link to a website for an off-highway vehicle (OHV) club, and what popped up on my computer was the home page for a water bottling company in China. How did this happen? Did I put my computer at risk?
“In today’s world of bad guys, it’s important to practice safe internet usage,” said Tom Umphress, NOHVCC secretary/treasurer and an IT professional in Minnesota. For many of us, rebuilding a motorcycle engine comes easy, but rebuilding or cleaning up a computer does not. With that in mind, the following is an article from “OUCH! The Monthly Security Newsletter for Everyone.” It is published by SANS Securing The Human, and is free to be shared with our readers. It is written by Lenny Zeltser, who writes a security blog at zeltser.com.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a special type of malware that is actively spreading across the Internet today, threatening to destroy victim’s documents and other files. Malware is software--a computer program--used to perform malicious actions. While ransomware is just one of many different types of malware, it has become very common because it is so profitable for criminals. Once ransomware infects your computer, it encrypts certain files or your entire hard drive. You are then locked out of the whole system or cannot access your important files, such as your documents or photos. The malware then informs you that the only way you can decrypt your files and recover your system is to pay the cyber criminal a ransom (thus the name ransomware). Most often, the ransoms must be paid in some form of digital currency, such as Bitcoin. Ransomware spreads like many other types of malware. The most common method involves emailing victims malicious emails, where cyber criminals trick you into opening an infected attachment or clicking on a link that takes you to the attacker’s website.
Should You Pay the Ransom?
That is a tough one. The problem is that the more often people pay these criminals when they are infected, the more motivated criminals are to infect others. On the other hand, you may have no other option to recover your files. Be warned though, even if you do pay the ransom, there is no guarantee you will get your files back. You are dealing with criminals; they may not decrypt the files, or even if they do provide you with a decryption method in exchange for payment, something may go wrong during the decryption process or your computer may be infected with additional malware.
Back Up Your Files
Perhaps the best way to recover from a ransomware infection and not pay a ransom is to recover your files from backups. This way, even if you get infected with ransomware, you have a way of recovering files after rebuilding or cleaning up your computer. Keep in mind that if your backup can be accessed from the infected system, ransomware might delete or encrypt your backup files. Therefore, it’s important to back up files to reputable cloud-based services or to store your backups on external drives that are not always connected to your system. In addition, a common mistake that many people make with backups is to assume that it works without testing whether they can actually recover files. Be sure to regularly test that your backups are working, and confirm that you can recover the files you need should your system become infected with ransomware. Backups are important, as they also help you recover when you accidentally delete files or your hard drive crashes.
Further Protective Measures
Moreover, you can protect yourself from ransomware infections the same way you would against other types of malware: don’t get infected. Start by making sure that you have up-to-date anti-virus software from a trusted vendor. Such tools, sometimes called anti-malware software, are designed to detect and stop malware. However, anti-virus cannot block or remove all malicious programs. Cyber criminals are constantly innovating, developing new and more sophisticated malware that can evade detection. In turn, anti-virus vendors are constantly updating their products with new capabilities to detect malware. In many ways, it has become an arms race, with both sides attempting to outwit the other. Unfortunately, the bad guys are usually one step ahead, which is why you need to ensure you back up your files and employ these additional steps to protect yourself:
- Cyber criminals often infect computers or devices by exploiting vulnerabilities in your software. The more current your software is, the fewer known vulnerabilities your systems have and the harder it is for cyber criminals to infect them. Therefore, make sure your operating systems, applications, and devices are enabled to automatically install updates.
- On computers, use a standard account that has limited privileges rather than privileged accounts such as “Administrator” or “root.” This provides additional protection by preventing many types of malware from being able to install themselves.
- Cyber criminals often trick people into installing malware for them. For instance, they might send you an email that looks legitimate and contains an attachment or a link. Perhaps the email appears to come from your bank or a friend. However, if you were to open the attached file or click on the link, you would activate malicious code that installs malware on your system. If a message creates a strong sense of urgency, is confusing, seems too good to be true, or has poor grammar, it could be an attack. Be suspicious, common sense is often your best defense.
- Protect yourself from ransomware by remaining vigilant when opening email attachments or clicking on links, ensuring that you have updated anti-virus software, and confirming that your files are regularly backed up and can be restored.
An Easier Way to Manage Your Security Awareness Program
SANS Institute’s new Advanced Cybersecurity Learning Platform (ACLP) makes deploying, maintaining, and measuring awareness programs easier and more effective. Learn more at https://securingthehuman.sans.org/u/jGf.
What Is Malware: https://securingthehuman.sans.org/ouch/2016#march2016
Microsoft Article: https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/mmpc/shared/ransomware.aspx
SANS FOR610 Course - Reverse Engineering Malware: https://sans.org/for610
To see this article in the SANS newsletter, click on this link: http://securingthehuman.sans.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201608_en.pdf
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Mixed Gear Bag
You know we have to be creative in our titles. Miscellaneous is too normal and
potpourri doesn't sound very rider like. Below are up-coming events and other
assorted items of interest.
The 2016 annual NOHVCC conference will be in Great Falls again this year, but at a new hotel and season. The conference will be located at the Best Western Heritage Inn Oct 11 - 16. Of course, we will still have the riding at the ranch.
Reminder!! The call for presentations, scholarships, and award nominations are due September 2nd. We are putting on our creativity caps to see if we can find something new and exciting. In the world of OHV recreation, that really isn't very hard to do. On-line registration and information will be added to the website very, very soon.
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