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Dirtbike clubs are you a member?

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I have been a member of PANTRA off and on for the last 12 years or so. When we first joined we lived in Spokane, had no kids, and no riding buddies. We joined PANTRA to meet new people and RIDE! We were close enough to attend meetings and did so, but we also drove with a group of other members to a lot of land use meetings and built great connections. Over time there became this big push to increase numbers and take on more and more CSAs to increase finances. The same people were showing up to work days, membership numbers were high, but active involvement was low. Soon, people lost interest, and a lot of the active people moved off in their own direction, but still do hang out here and there. I think numbers falsify power. A cohesive group that rides together and works together is a lot more meaningful than huge numbers. People want to be part of a strong, fun group. People don't value surface level groups so much. When a person can join an organization, then move into presidency in a year or two it is not a healthy state. This is what PANTRA has struggled with for a good seven or eight years now. Don't get me wrong, there have been some great people involved, but it is just not a healthy scenario. We are not Seattle, don't worry about quantity, worry about quality! If I knew there were gonna be quality people showing up to ride, I would show up more often. There for a while you did not know who/what was gonna show up and ruin the day. Might not be what everyone wants to hear, but it is what I have observed. At one point PANTRA was handing out free memberships with every new dirt bike purchased, that was definitely not the answer!

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No doubt that part of PANTRA is to meet new people and ride.  I joined to meet new people and to be shown new places to ride.  However, I quickly discovered the huge disparity in riding abilities within the club and quickly figured out that most everybody develops a core group of riders/friends that somewhat match their riding level and ride with them most of the time.  I've met a couple of friends in the club I ride with fairly often but for the most part, the people I ride with most often are the same ones I rode with before I joined.

 

If I joined PANTRA solely to meet new people and ride, I would probably quit right now because I have my network of riders/friends built.  After being the President of PANTRA for a year and having the opportunity to work with Government agencies, I've seen first hand how much effort it takes to preserve and protect our trails from the people that want to close them.  Just in the CDA N.F., we recently lost the Chilco and Iron Creek trail and they are currently looking at closing a couple of other trails in the Horse Haven drainage.  Most people don't know they were planning on closing Hell's Canyon and Nettleton Gulch with the only trail access going up trail 10 on the Fernan side of Canfield.  We weren't the only ones that prevented that from happening but PANTRA had a large part in getting the compromise reroute trail of Hell's Canyon built and keeping open Nettleton Gulch.  Because I love to ride, and want to pass my passion on to my kids, is why I want to do my part in maintaining and protecting our trails.  That's the reason I'll stay in PANTRA.  Meeting new people to ride with is just a bonus. 

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No doubt that part of PANTRA is to meet new people and ride.  I joined to meet new people and to be shown new places to ride.  However, I quickly discovered the huge disparity in riding abilities within the club and quickly figured out that most everybody develops a core group of riders/friends that somewhat match their riding level and ride with them most of the time.  I've met a couple of friends in the club I ride with fairly often but for the most part, the people I ride with most often are the same ones I rode with before I joined.

 

If I joined PANTRA solely to meet new people and ride, I would probably quit right now because I have my network of riders/friends built.  After being the President of PANTRA for a year and having the opportunity to work with Government agencies, I've seen first hand how much effort it takes to preserve and protect our trails from the people that want to close them.  Just in the CDA N.F., we recently lost the Chilco and Iron Creek trail and they are currently looking at closing a couple of other trails in the Horse Haven drainage.  Most people don't know they were planning on closing Hell's Canyon and Nettleton Gulch with the only trail access going up trail 10 on the Fernan side of Canfield.  We weren't the only ones that prevented that from happening but PANTRA had a large part in getting the compromise reroute trail of Hell's Canyon built and keeping open Nettleton Gulch.  Because I love to ride, and want to pass my passion on to my kids, is why I want to do my part in maintaining and protecting our trails.  That's the reason I'll stay in PANTRA.  Meeting new people to ride with is just a bonus. 

 

Have you thought about re-engaging with ITMA?

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what's ITMA?

 The "Idaho Trail Machine Association."  Its the statewide organization of all of the Idaho clubs -- IFTMA [idaho Falls]; HMTMA [Grangeville]; MVTMA [Twin Falls]; and TVTMA [boise/Nampa].

 

My understanding is that PANTRA or some other club up there was a member but dropped out a while back.  Something to consider.

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The "Idaho Trail Machine Association." Its the statewide organization of all of the Idaho clubs -- IFTMA [idaho Falls]; HMTMA [Grangeville]; MVTMA [Twin Falls]; and TVTMA [boise/Nampa].

My understanding is that PANTRA or some other club up there was a member but dropped out a while back. Something to consider.

and what does a club gain by joining an organization like the ITMA?

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"Dirtbike clubs are you a member?"

I'm not. Political activism aside (which obviously has its benefits), I have an issue with paying for the opportunity to (1) go ride trails that I can ride any time, and (2) with people that I'm stuck with just because we're in the same club. My preferred riding preference (90% trail finding/clearing/maintenance, 10% just riding) doesn't lend itself to a club scene.

My local club is PANTRA, and 10 years ago when I considered joining, I remember it being riddled with corruption and scandal. That put a bad taste in my mouth, and I've never considered it since.

Edited by ITLKSEZ

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and what does a club gain by joining an organization like the ITMA?

 

 

Hard to say -- I am not in the business of promoting them but it seems to me that if you are looking to strengthen your club you might want to consider what other clubs are doing.  Joining ITMA puts you in touch with other clubs to get ideas from and to do things with.  This is just intuitively obvious -- you are part of a larger network.  On the other hand, what would PANTRA do to support ITMA?  I don't have the time to tell you all things my local club does.  My advice is to take a leadership role from your club and look into this a little bit -- maybe contact some of the club officers and get in touch with them.  You know -- do a little legwork.

 

My experience with volunteers is that getting people to do things above what they are willing to do is very difficult.  My club has many members that clear trail -- because they enjoy it and it provides a valuable service.  It isn't hard to generate numbers to clear trail.  There isn't much work in putting this sort of thing together.  Now, try and get people together to organize some other fundraising type thing and its like pulling teeth.  Point is -- nobody is going to do it for you. 

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"Dirtbike clubs are you a member?"

I'm not. Political activism aside (which obviously has its benefits), I have an issue with paying for the opportunity to (1) go ride trails that I can ride any time, and (2) with people that I'm stuck with just because we're in the same club. My preferred riding preference (90% trail finding/clearing/maintenance, 10% just riding) doesn't lend itself to a club scene.

My local club is PANTRA, and 10 years ago when I considered joining, I remember it being riddled with corruption and scandal. That put a bad taste in my mouth, and I've never considered it since.

 

if you are all about getting something out of a club, rather than giving something back to the sport and the trails, being part of a club is probably not right for you.

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if you are all about getting something out of a club, rather than giving something back to the sport and the trails, being part of a club is probably not right for you.

You're right. I don't feel I belong in a club. There's a big difference between belonging to a club and giving to the sport. I hardly do anything BUT give back to the sport and the trails. Check with anyone on here who has ridden with me. Don't imply something without knowing.

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You're right. I don't feel I belong in a club. There's a big difference between belonging to a club and giving to the sport. I hardly do anything BUT give back to the sport and the trails. Check with anyone on here who has ridden with me. Don't imply something without knowing.

good for you and all that benefit.

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When we were youngsters (early 20's) riding Cle-Elum (aka Plum Creek, aka Coal Hills, aka over there by Sportland Yamaha) we came up with an informal club one night whilst winding down a good day riding, hanging by the big fire downing a few beers - Riders Against Pushy Environmentalists. :devil:  We thought it was pretty dang clever because of the perception of dirt bikers by the ninny crowd. We did not pursue expanding the club though so it only has a handful of riders. 

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When we were youngsters (early 20's) riding Cle-Elum (aka Plum Creek, aka Coal Hills, aka over there by Sportland Yamaha) we came up with an informal club one night whilst winding down a good day riding, hanging by the big fire downing a few beers - Riders Against Pushy Environmentalists. :devil: We thought it was pretty dang clever because of the perception of dirt bikers by the ninny crowd. We did not pursue expanding the club though so it only has a handful of riders.

Lol what's the initiation....?

That's about as close to a club as I've ever been in. Same scenario but ours was the Ventura county squids, came to fruition in the mid 90's In honor of my my buddy's dad who had a club with his friends in the 70's called the sylmar squids. I've been kinda interested in pursuing a club the last few years just to network in the sport more, participate in some events, work parties ect.

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I'm a member of #thertf...........People know us and our track has many leather bound service manuals and groves of rich mahogany.......

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