This was Steve Flach’s fifth “dual sport” article that was published in the CCC’s Great Lakes Trail Rider magazine back in 2002. It’s interesting to watch the “tone” change from year to year in the subsequent articles as things progress. Those of us with direct involvement can also look back on the history of our organization/sport and see things coming together (in hindsight, of course).
5th Annual Dual Sport Repot
By Steve ‘Dual Sport’ Flach (’46-’07)
Well Dual Sporters, it is time for my Annual Report on the past season’s dual sport happenings.
The 2001 riding season is now history and we experienced highs and lows in Dual Sport this past year. First, I’ll run thru the high points. After the first downturn in rider participation last year since dual sport first came on the scene at the c.c.c. at events in 1992, dual sport rider totals went up overall to 431 riders, up from 397 the year before. This increase came despite the fact there was one less weekend trail tour this year, Capitol Chapter’s Rites of Spring event in early May at Whiskey Creek was the high point in both dual sport ridership and overall signup totals, about 850 total riders showed up for the event, a total not seen at a C.C.C. weekend trail tour since the early 1970’s, dual sport riders contributed a hefty chunk of this by setting ridership records for one day with 117 signups and a two day total of 128, breaking the marks that had been set by TriCounty’s 1999 Color Tour. This total caused some problems for me as I had anticipated only 75-100 riders and had made up just 125 copies of paperwork. Sunday morning I was rationing what paperwork I had left along with asking dual sport riders who rode Saturday if they minded giving back route sheets so I could give them to Sunday signups, because of this. I anticipate an even larger turnout for the 2002 Rites of Spring event, I have put together the biggest dual sport course ever for this trail tour. It will consist of 5 loops, each from 50 to 70 miles in length. Total length will be around 325 miles. This should be enough to satisfy even the best dual sport riders, so I will have 150 copies made up for this dual sport extravaganza blockbuster.
Other dual sport highs: The Vintage Ride by the Capitol Chapter in late September saw the total signups increase from 181 in 2000 to 205 in 2001, dual sport signups increased dramatically from 37 to 54, – 31+% of total rider signups. The Tomahawk Chapter’s T.T., in late June was a big success with an event record 73 dual sporters out of 244 total signups, a 30% figure, and the Bulldog Chapter’s early September event north of Atlanta was its usual rock-steady self with 200+ signups and 50 dual sport riders. So much for the highs, for Dual Sport in 2001.
Now for the downers. The biggest disappointment came with the second event, the ORV Safety Patrol’s trail tour at South Branch, I had made up a 100+ mile long route to go with a shorter 60 mile short route, the long route was cancelled at the last minute because changes needed to be made in the route before it could be used and there was not enough time to do this. The one third of the course that was left was ridden by just 39 dual sport riders out of a good overall turnout of 219 riders.
A dismal 18% figure. As mentioned earlier, the Tomahawk Chapter’s T.T. in late June near Vanderbilt had an event high in dual sport riders, but this may be the last time dual sport is offered at this popular trail tour. Why? Seems the cost of obtaining the permit to stage the event and include dual sport in that area is prohibitive. After being told by that chapter’s members what the cost was to stage their event last June, I would not blame them if they dropped dual sport. TriCounty’s 5th year at Brevort in the U.P. did not produce a total rider increase, slipping one to 175 riders overall. Dual sport participation saw a large decrease going From 51 in 2000 to just 37 in 2001, the year-end Color Tour at Carrieville put on by the combined Pathfinders-West Michigan Chapters had a good overall turnout of 307 riders, but just 40 were dual sporters. Bad weather at the event and downstate probably accounted for this decrease.
Well Dual Sporters, this was Dual Sport in 2001, what about 2002? I Hope your continued participation keeps Dual Sport happening in the future at the weekend trail tours. I will commit to doing this for another year.
The following people need recognition for helping me with Dual Sport in 2001. Jim Carl was again at the top of the list, helping me with work weekends, sweep riding, and assisting me at signup.
Gary Purdy did the ‘roughing in’ work for the ‘Vintage Ride’ at Geels to save me the time and cost of traveling up to that area. Dave Brock continued his role as the first dual sport rider out of the chute at the T.T.’s, he has been recording the true course of my dual sport routes for the last 2 years with his high-tech 12 satellite draw G.P.S., this has been of great help to me plotting the true course of forest roads not listed on the maps I make up.
Shannon Ruthrauff and Bern Bidinger also deserve much thanks for helping me with sweep riding at the events. Others who contributed were Pete Jantschak, John Wardell, Norm Beyer, Dave Butcher, Lee Rodgers, Les Abbott, Scott Abbott, Larry Haas, Denny Haas, Jeremy Valley, and four members of the Valley Trail Riders Club Gene Bechtel, Rollie Bliesener, Steve Holtz, and RJ. Witte.
To any other c.c.c. members who helped with Dual Sport that I forget to mention, your assistance was appreciated.
Changes for the 2002 riding season will be few. Dual sport courses consisting of a long 100+ mile route and a shorter 50-70 mile route will be again offered. A second option will be 3, 50-60 mile loops. Sweep riding will continue on Sunday only. If any one wants to volunteer for this, just see me at signup Saturday.
Marking nbbons or arrows on the courses is now history, so pay close attentIon to your route sheet instructions and odometer. route sheet.
Holders for sale. Two sets of mileage on the route sheets, and larger print wIll continue. I may also add a little more single track trail to the routes.
A new small change \vill occur next vear. As mentioned earlier, Jeremy Valley helped me a lot starting last mid-summer. He seems quite interested in how I make up these dual sport instructions and I believe he may be the one to take over from me in the future. He recently got married and his new wife rides also.
Jeremy is a computer whiz and is close to coming up WIth a way to copy the route sheet strips 2 1/4 inches wide and replicate them in mass in far less time than I could do it by tapeing them together. When he perfects it, this will save me a ton of work at home and the print on route sheets will be bolder and easier to read. He told me he can also do color maps quicker than I could hand drawing them. The cost of doing this is yet to be detennined, but it looks like it will be cheaper and far less time-consuming. Again I print my annual appeal to those of you who are another year older, tired of the ‘whooped out’ single track trail that is making your bones and joints creak and pop, like to try a different riding option at the T.T’s, and C.C.c. members who have never come to the events.
Dual Sport is still waiting for you to try it.
The final part of my Dual Sport Report is always the most important.
All dual sport riders and their cycles must be road legal. Your cycle must have a working hom, at least one mirror, working head, tail, and brake lights, United States Forestry Approved muffler/spark arrestor with a 94db or lower sound rating, D.O.O. Approved off-road tires, license plate (current) and an ORV sticker (for the posted trail sections). You must have on you a Cycle Endorsement on your drivers license, copies of your cycle registration, and cycle insurance. If you have just an unlicensed two wheeler, quad, or three wheeler, then stay off the dual sport courses at the events.
This is against the law and if caught, can result in dual sport and the C.C.C. getting in more trouble with law enforcement authorities.
So for the 2002 riding season, I hope to see all of you dual sporters at the events again along with many new faces. This is something all of you old experienced dual sport riders can do to help bolster the ranks. Bring new people that have never tried this to an event or two. I have seen many of these new people get ‘hooked’ on dual sport, then they tell others to try it. For you married guys, get your wife a bike and have her try this type of riding. I would like to see more women ride dual sport. This easier form of riding compared to single track may be just what the socalled ‘weaker’ sex is looking for enjoyment.
Steve ‘Dual Sport’ Flach