This article is one in a series designed to feature NOHVCC State Partners and some of the successes they highlighted in their Partner Annual Reports. The first-ever round of Annual Reports was a huge success. As a result, the NOHVCC Board of Directors and staff are better able to understand the great things our Partners are up to and we wanted to share some examples with the broader NOHVCC community while introducing some of our Partners as well.
Introducing Alex Bub – Wisconsin NOHVCC State Partner
Alex Bub has been interested in motorcycles all his life. He got his first motorcycle at the age of 16 and went on to participate in all sorts of motorcycle racing – on road and off, and at the amateur and professional levels! Alex founded Wisconsin Off-Road Adventures which provides OHV training featuring the Motorcycle Safety Foundation DirtBike School. He is heavily involved in both motorcycle and 4X4 clubs and has been a NOHVCC State Partner for about 15 years. Despite his constant support and advocacy for OHV recreation he still finds time to kayak, fish, golf, ride mountain bikes be an amateur radio operator and restore old motorcycles! Alex was inducted into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame in 2017 and believes the most important thing an individual can do to create a positive future for OHV recreation is to get involved, speak up and volunteer. He is also a big believer in training – saying “Get NOHVCC training, if you are in Wisconsin get DNR “Building Sustainable Trails” training, get CPR certified – basically take advantage of any training you can, and it will help you speak eloquently and confidently about our sport to decisionmakers.”
Dual Sport Motorcycle and 4WD Groups Work Together in Wisconsin
A few years back 4X4 clubs in Wisconsin were having difficulty setting up riding events like their friends in the motorcycle community were hosting – luckily Alex had an idea! Alex’s motorcycle club hosts dual sport motorcycle rides with three different classes, including a regular dual-sport ride (with roads and trails), dual-sport 101 (entry level ride) and an adventure bike route (which included roads and forest roads open to street-legal vehicles). So, Alex asked the question, “Why can’t 4X4 enthusiasts use the same route as the Adventure bikes?”
Ultimately this led to 4X4 enthusiasts being invited to participate in a pilot program using the same routes as the motorcycle adventure bikes used. In all, seven 4X4ers came along for the ride. While they found that the 200-mile route was a bit too long for their preferred form of recreation – they were able to realize that they could utilize that route (and similar routes around the State) to organize events. Street-legal routes are even now being posted on Wisconsin 4X4 websites.
Alex pointed out that some in the 4X4 community are looking for more challenging opportunities than the types of routes that are being mapped but noted many would be happy to have events on the easier routes, and hosting events on these routes would attract new club members and offer a chance for camaraderie.
When asked if this type of relationship could be replicated in other areas, Alex was emphatic saying, “Definitely. Any area that has forest roads where you can take jeeps as well as dual-sport bikes there is no reason both recreational groups can’t organize group rides or share routes for separate events.”
This partnership was possible because off-highway motorcycle clubs and 4X4 clubs have a history of working together in the State. They have collaborated on attempts to secure State registration programs and Alex (and others) are active in both kinds of clubs. This kind of cross-collaboration is very beneficial to OHV recreation generally. It has been said that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” That is certainly true regarding motorcycles and full-sized Four-Wheel Drive vehicles in Wisconsin.
Moving forward, Alex hopes the groups can work together to identify additional routes, host more events, and to collaborate on designing, building and maintaining challenge features alongside forest roads.
If you would like to attempt to replicate what Alex and others have achieved in Wisconsin, or have any questions please contact NOHVCC at firstname.lastname@example.org. NOHVCC staff can offer advice, and maybe even get some help from Alex and his partners!