By Geoff Chain, NOHVCC Project Coordinator
Hi there, I’m Geoff Chain, an OHV and outdoors enthusiast and the newest member of the NOHVCC team! They asked me to write a little blurb about myself so here’s what I came up with.
I was born and raised outside of Phoenix, Arizona when there used to still be farm fields and citrus groves. When I was around nine years old, my dad bought a basket case 1974 Yamaha TY-80 trials bike, which we rebuilt and thus begun a life-long passion for all things with a motor and wheels. I competed on the little TY before moving to England in 1999 where I graduated to a modern trials bike and began riding trials regularly on a farm we lived on. There’s a reason all the top trials riders are from the UK and Europe; there’s no traction to be found! Upon my return to Arizona, I once again began competing regularly in the Central Arizona Trials club eventually reaching the Expert level after a couple years.
After obtaining my general education credits at Yavapai College in Prescott AZ, I moved to Flagstaff AZ where I attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) and received a Bachelors degree in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) in 2012. During my time at NAU I also worked as an intern for the US Geological Survey (USGS) as GIS and Remote Sensing Technician performing research on the Colorado River. I stayed on in this capacity after graduating working full time for both for NAU and USGS.
When I moved to Flagstaff I also joined the local motorcycle singletrack club, the Coconino Trail Riders (CTR) and bought my first enduro bike, a 2006 KTM 400EXC. CTR had built a great relationship with the Coconino National Forest by working on new motorized trail proposals and building and maintaining existing motorized and non-motorized trails. This started another passion of mine; building trail and working with clubs, land managers, and the public to help promote positive OHV recreation. There’s something about riding a piece of trail that you helped build that makes the riding experience truly special. And the free pizza given out at the end of a volunteer work day sure doesn’t hurt either! I became more involved as the years went on by becoming a certified sawyer clearing trees from trails, attending NOHVCC Great Trails workshops, helping other clubs around the state with OHV projects, doing consulting work, and immersing myself in OHV Recreation.
I also discovered how much fun mountain bikes are several years ago and how good they are for my overall health. Much of my free time is spent pedaling or riding my dirt bike around our amazing landscape here in Flagstaff and all over the Southwest. OHV recreation and spending time outdoors in nature has not only lead me to some amazing landscapes but is also the basis for some of the best and longest lasting friendships I’ve had. I still know many of the same people from the trials club here in Arizona from when I started over 20 years ago. It’s not just a club, but family.
When I heard that NOHVCC was looking for a Project Coordinator, I jumped at the chance. Being able to do what you love and get paid for it is a dream come true. I’ve only been on the job for a week but the team here at NOHVCC has already made me feel at home. NOHVCC’s mission of creating a positive future for OHV Recreation aligns perfectly with my values and I look forward to working with the diverse range of users, clubs, and land managers to create new opportunities and strengthen existing ones.
Fun fact: I ran across that 1974 Yamaha TY-80 sitting in a one of the long-time trials club member’s side-yard several years ago as a basket-case project. It’s now back in my possession waiting to be reborn again!