•Toyota's new website Trail Tracker (trailtracker.com) allows four-wheelers to let others know all about their favorite trails. Users can add GPS info, photos, comments, difficulty, and more, and it's searchable by state.
•BlueRibbon Coalition, a protector of land use, has redesigned its website. Check out sharetrails.org.
•The California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Divison has given a grant to Tread Lightly! in order to provide Tread Trainer courses to recreationalists, land managers, and instructors in the Golden State. Those who take the course are then able to spread the message of responsible recreation to clubs, government employees, the community, and others. A key focus will be guidelines for minimizing recreational impact on the environment.
VW Wins Dakar Rally (Again)
In a repeat of last year, Volkswagen won the 2010 Dakar rally in South America with a Touareg. Actually, it was a one-two-three podium finish for TDI Touaregs. VW remains the only manufacturer to win the "car" category with a diesel engine.
Hummer racer Robby Gordon didn't fare as well. Despite winning an early stage (and, during another, having to bump eventual winner Carlos Sainz to let him pass), he finished Eighth in class, six hours behind Sainz, plagued during the rally by problems with his tire inflation system. He plans to compete again though, and "do whatever it takes" to win Dakar.
The Dakar Rally's South American course included the Atacama Desert and Nihuil in Argentina and Chile. There were 184 bikes/quads, 138 cars, and 50 trucks (the truck class included the Czech Tatra) competing in the race, which covered more than 5,000 miles in 14 days. Despite that distance, the winning VW beat teammates Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk by just 2 minutes 12 seconds.
You can now get a remote-controlled scale model of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The Ford-licensed toy is apparently selling like gangbusters, to the tune of 10,000 at last count. Check it out at fordmarket.com.
More Titans, for now
Remember that big plan from early 2008 for Chrysler and Nissan to swap wives or jobs or spit or something? Sure you do: Chrysler was going to provide Nissan with a fullsize pickup beginning in 2011. Cut to August 2009, when they decided to break up with each other. Nissan is now "pretty much going it alone," as spokesman Scott Vazin told USA Today. Alone means a lot of Ben & Jerry's and also a new truck in development. The Titan will stay in production until that one arrives.
•Mar. 27-Apr. 4: Easter Jeep Safari, Moab, UT, by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. Information: www.rr4w.com
•Mar. 29-Apr. 2: Easter Safari for First Timers, Moab, UT, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Information: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 3: California Series Mojave 250, Barstow, CA, by Mojave Desert Racing. Information: www.mdrracing.com
•Apr. 3-4: Schuss Mountain Snow Challenge, Bellaire, MI, by Griztek Auto Appearance & Offroad. Information: www.griztekusa.com
•Apr. 10- 11: Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Information: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 12-13: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Information: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 16-18: 6th Annual OHV Enthusiasts Workshops, Mole Lake, WI, by WOHVA. Information: 715.490.5463, www.wohva.com
•Apr. 16-18: Spring Run, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR, by Midsouth Jeep Club. Information: 501.625.3600, www.orvpark.com
•Apr. 16-18: Mojave Road Adventure, Needles to Barstow, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Information: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 17-18: Beginning 4x4 Training, Big Bear Lake area, CA, by Offroad Teach & Tour Adventures. Information: www.discoveroffroading.com
•Apr. 22-24: Tennessee Mountains Jeep Jamboree, Oak Ridge, TN, by Jeep Jamboree USA. Information: 530.333.4777, www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
•Apr. 22- 24: Cajun Jeep Jamboree, St. Francisville, LA, by Jeep Jamboree USA. Information: 530.333.4777, www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
•Apr. 23-25: Bilek Racing Silver State 300, Mesquite, NV, by Best in the Desert Racing Association. Information: 702.457.5775, www.bitd.com
•Apr. 23-25: 2nd Annual Michigan Only Extreme Truck Challenge, Copemish, MI, by Twisted Trails Off Road Park. Information: 231.651.9548, www.twistedtrailsoffroadpark.com
•Apr. 24: Superstition Series King of the Desert 250, Plaster City, CA, by Mojave Desert Racing. Information: www.mdrracing.com