Jump to content

Where were you in the late 80's? Central MA?


Recommended Posts

The number of kids that had dirt bikes back then was mind boggling! I started riding mostly BMX but never raced professionally and got my first dirt bike in my late teens. The trails that were connected all over the surrounding Wachusett regional area were pretty sweet back then (Holden, Paxton, Rutland, Princeton, Sterling). Just wondering if any TT members grew up in this area and had any memories?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't ride in your area but had some great spots out my way.Back then we could ride with little to no fear of EPO's. Back then it was the registry cops that would look for you. A buddy of mine had a 26 mile loop out our way that had very little tar road ( less than a mile). We had a great time riding that. Now it is patrolled so heavily that no one dare try to ride it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a little older I had the privilege of riding out in Hubbardston because my buddy's family business was a trucking and excavation company and we have permission to ride the sand pits and trails out there also in Barre. Used to ride every weekend, we used to just bring a grill and cook up some burgers and dogs and we had a blast. The good thing about the sand pit was that it was changing every week because of what they hauled out of it. Another good area was Leominster, a place called "Monster Land", it had trails all over and sand pits. Man, I miss those days!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

What happened to monsterland??? I remember when i was about 4 my dad drove to this huge sand pit, right where the Walmart is now on Jungle Rd. There were lots of guys on quads and dirt bikes just rippin it:ride:. Then like a week or month later everything changed! This big yellow sign was scribbled by hand to say "no dirt bikes" "no atvs" etc. What did that sign say before that??? I NEED TO KNOW its been bothering me for over 15 &%$#@!ing years! I assume it got closed because someone else bought the land or there was a lawsuit?

Also me and my dad rode the powerline area close to there around 4-5 years ago a few times (Did not cross any roads). Back when i had a TTR90. Not long afterwards i realized how &%$#@!ing lucky we were we did not get caught by the EP! NEVER going there again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Central southern ma. was also a great place to ride in 70's Not so much now!!! We could ride from Rhode Island line thru Douglas State Forest,thru webster,dudley,southbridge,then Sturbridge with the Breakneck woods tract which enduros ran thru. That connected to CT. riding including Bigelow Hollow state Park. We would cross thru tunnel under route 84 into holland and make our way to Brimfield Stata forest and beyond. We did use some short runs on road,but was USUALLY no problem.Now those forests are closed to motorized vehicles,many open for walking trails. I didnt ride from late 70's thru late 80's for life issues etc. When i bought an xr500 in 88 or so I was shocked at trail loss! I would go to my old areas,and it was built up or closed to motorized vehicles. Sometimes I would get on an old familiar trail and get to other end and find out by signs no motorized vehicles allowed,oh crap! Now Mass. has continued this trend,taking away most of State lands we once rode on. They are also focusing on and fining out of state riders on private,closed course competition events. They can even come into your yard and fine you or worse if your child is riding on your property with a minibike. It's a challenge for me to find many places to ride close by with my plated [on and off road] xr trail bike,pretty sad to me. This state continues to take money for sales tax,title,registration fees etc. even for off road riding,and yet take more land away from us. If I was younger I would get out and move to a more rider friendly area,but such is not the case. Good luck to you young guys that live here,you'll need it! Maybe you could join NETRA and help push for some justice,they could use your help i'm sure!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brimfield State Forest was open and so was Conant Brook Dam another army corp flood control like Hodges. In a time before mountain bikes and the Quad we road every place. Once the Mtn bikes became a thing all we heard was "your ruining our trails". Trails that were skid roads or abandoned town roads or snowmobile trails now belonged to another used group who didn't even know the landowners who's land they were on.  Quad guys shredded everything from farm fields to golf courses made new trails and opened every wet spot the found.
By the latter part of the 80's posted land became more common, sorry for the rant.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in Holden in the 70's. We could take trails to Rutland State park and all over the place. I remember the "prison camps" in Rutland. We had a great sand pit in the park with a practice track. There was also a great practice track near great brook valley I used to ride in after school regularly. I remember Johnny Gurga testing the prototype Bolger suspended Ossa Phantom there. I worked at the Honda shop in Holden (Sportsman Cycles). There was an old trail we called the trolley car path behind the shop. We could use it to get to the power lines and all over central MA. It's now called the rail trail for walking only. The old timers at the Honda shop told stories of when the Europeans (Joel Robert and others) came over to race here (at Pepperell)  and worked on their bikes at the shop. The bike shop is long gone and the only place legal to ride in the area is HVD in Oxford.

Lou01212017_0010.jpg

Lou01212017_0001.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rode in Western MA in the mid 1980s.  I lived in Longmeadow and we'd ride powerlines out into CT and out towards Munson.  It was really mostly limited by what time you had to be home for dinner.  We also rode in Brimfield MA when I could talk my dad into driving us out there. I can remember long days and being miles from home and having no end in sight on trails.

I do think that Quads helped ruin it. You need some amount of skill to ride a dirt bike but pretty much anyone at any level of drunkenness can ride a quad. Later on the mass appeal of mountain bikes also drew a lot of people out into the same woods. With dirt bikes you never really wind up with critical mass because you need both the skill set and the money to get involved.  That overlap means there will never be a huge number of real off road motorcyclists.

Development was probably the big killer though. Where I live, Springfield MA was the big city.  During the 70s and 80s it totally collapsed and became a run down dump. All those people moved out to Monson, Palmer and the like.  Most of the places I rode are now developed housing.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/11/2017 at 10:29 AM, Adam N. said:

I rode in Western MA in the mid 1980s.  I lived in Longmeadow and we'd ride powerlines out into CT and out towards Munson.  It was really mostly limited by what time you had to be home for dinner.  We also rode in Brimfield MA when I could talk my dad into driving us out there. I can remember long days and being miles from home and having no end in sight on trails.

I do think that Quads helped ruin it. You need some amount of skill to ride a dirt bike but pretty much anyone at any level of drunkenness can ride a quad. Later on the mass appeal of mountain bikes also drew a lot of people out into the same woods. With dirt bikes you never really wind up with critical mass because you need both the skill set and the money to get involved.  That overlap means there will never be a huge number of real off road motorcyclists.

Development was probably the big killer though. Where I live, Springfield MA was the big city.  During the 70s and 80s it totally collapsed and became a run down dump. All those people moved out to Monson, Palmer and the like.  Most of the places I rode are now developed housing.

 

Right now it really doesn't matter where in Ma. you live as the rules and laws regarding riding make it near impossible to legally ride. There was a meeting last night at the Sheraton in Sturbridge regarding amending the laws to allow no registration for competition or on personal property. Haven't heard how it went ( I couldn't make it) but hopefully it will at least get some people thinking about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, katoom64 said:

Right now it really doesn't matter where in Ma. you live as the rules and laws regarding riding make it near impossible to legally ride. There was a meeting last night at the Sheraton in Sturbridge regarding amending the laws to allow no registration for competition or on personal property. Haven't heard how it went ( I couldn't make it) but hopefully it will at least get some people thinking about it.

The AMA hosted a public meeting last night. NETRA, JDAY , Sturbridge Ice Races, WVRC, NESC, 508 int ect were all at the table at the request  of the AMA. They are going to have  call to action for a change to CH90b to allow for no registration of your OHRV for races.
No much for rider support about 30 or so rider racers in the room.  Some off topic about OHRV registration on private land and lack of trails but mostly about how they will need everyone to support a "call to action" once the lobbyist decides how to submit a bill.

These guy were from D.C and it what they do and they need our support. This could be the first time promoters and track owners were on the same page.

I did learn the National almost didn't get a waiver for OHRV registration, it almost didn't run. EPO's can inforce the currant law and they are so for now register you bike or risk tickets and fines. Its the law and not much can be done as of right now. Some promotors do have a waiver for registration like the Ice Races and PSTR but most have not done anything.

I will post the AMA link on how to get involved latter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very frustrated by DEP requiring an ST-6 form from to get an off road sticker for a street registered bike.   An ST-6 is a sales tax exempt form, but I'd already paid sales tax my bike is not exempt.  There were a lot of other reasons I didn't like having to apply for an ST-6, not the least it being convoluted. 

I tried to talk to people at DEP about this and nobody wanted to hear it.  I wound up going to MA state Senate via Senator Rosenberg's office.  I worked a lot with his chief of staff who really did listen.  They wound up adding a line in the MA state budget saying that a registration would suffice as proof of tax paid.  I thought this had gone through but it turns out that line got stuck in executive session. 

I finally went to the MA Secretary of state's consumer advocates office and explained the situation.  After a lot of wrangling, they changed the requirements.  It took three years. Here's the rub.  The DEP has not and shows no sign that it will update their website or forms to say a registration can be used as proof of tax paid. The other thing that irks me is the fact that they almost always refer to ATVs and not motorcycles so it is incredibly confusing.  

I went through the law point by point and he's the crazy thing.  Let's say you have an unimproved dirt road and you drive your Toyota Corolla on it.  If you went back to that same road and drove your also street registered KLX250s on it that could be considered illegal.   There's may things about this law like this.  It's just a very poorly written law.   In a lot of ways I don't actually have a problem with registering a bike for off road use but this law is crazy. 

I called teh DEP today and I was on hold for 45 minutes.  During the three years long process I have described above I spent many hundreds of minutes on hold at the DEP.  It's the worst run agency I have ever encountered. 

I am very, very far from an anti-government zealot.  I am a librarian at a public library and have worked for years in the public sector but the DEP and this law in particular has so much wrong with it. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

×
×
  • Create New...