This Just In
•Michigan's Drummond Island is the latest off-roading area to be named one of the 2010 Outstanding Trails by BFGoodrich, Tread Lightly!, and UFWDA. BFG presented a $4,000 grant to the president of the Drummond Island Off-Road Club, to be used to preserve the off-highway trail system and continue conservation efforts in the area.
•Carl Renezeder pulled double duty at the 11th round of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Race in Surprise, Arizona. The General Tire-sponsored racer competed in both Pro 4 and Pro 2 classes and won both races on Saturday, earning his 90th and 91st career victories.
•In other racing news, Jesse Jones and his F-150 Trophy Truck scored a come-from-behind win in the 15th Annual SCORE Las Vegas Terrible's Primm 300 desert race. This was Jones's second SCORE win of the 2010 season; he finished the 274-mile race in 4 hours 46 minutes 39 seconds, averaging 57.44 mph over the dusty, rock-strewn course.
•The annual new product roundup by Automotive News netted this interesting tidbit about Nissan. Apparently the maker has yet to determine when it will replace the Titan fullsize pickup with a new product, but most likely not until after 2012. Nissan and Chrysler had inked an agreement for new Titans to be built on an upcoming Ram platform. When that deal went south, Nissan had to go back to the drawing board-literally.
•More new product news, this time about Toyota: The Tacoma is slated for a redesign in 2012, and it will be styled much like the current 4Runner. A new Tundra won't appear until 2014, in an evolutionary step that will see lots of attention paid to interior design and a likely reduction in engine choices to just one.
•The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) has a new e-course available to help users understand safety measures that should be taken when operating recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). The e-course is available at rohva.org and is free.
•In today's tight economy, it's great to hear that some dollars are going to the off-road community. Mike Bishop of the Azusa Canyon Off Road Association reports that Robert Ettleman of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation presented his group with a check to build an ATV "kiddie" training center and OHV obstacle course in the San Gabriel Canyon OHV Use Area. The ATV course has received additional funding from the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative. If you'd like to chip in too, or want to track the project's progress, visit www.acorausa.com.
•Automakers are already facing fuel economy regulations that will push mileage averages to 35 mpg by 2016. Automotive News reports the EPA is now looking ahead and considering CAFE requirements of 47-62 mpg by 2025, more than double the current CAFE average of 27.3 mpg. The EPA figures that "advanced technologies" will deliver these gas-sipping numbers.
Free Big Bear Trail Map
Who says nothing is free these days? Backcountry 4x4's new Big Bear Area 4x4 Trail Map is free thanks to the generosity of Southern California Jeep dealers, off-road companies, and businesses in and around Big Bear, California. The full-color map measures 22 by 34 inches and depicts more than 600 miles of trails and roads accessible from this community in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Trails are color-coded by difficulty, and the back of the map has a complete trail inventory, including the GPS coordinates of trailheads.
Printed maps are available at Jeep and other 4x4 vehicle and equipment dealers, local Chambers of Commerce and businesses, Adopt-A-Trail clubs, and from OHV volunteers at expos and information kiosks at trailheads. The map is also available online as a PDF at www.backcountry4x4.com and www.socal4x4trails.com. The PDF version includes links to more information about the trails and advertisers.
According to Backcountry's Don Alexander, there are more maps to come, featuring off-roading areas in Arrowhead/San Bernardino, San Jacinto, Mojave Desert, Anza Borrego, and Death Valley.
The Most Active Man In 4-wheeling
Sounds like a takeoff of the Dos Equis beer commercial, but Karl Knoll was recently given a trophy for being "the most active person in four-wheeling." How active? In addition to staying up-to-date on land use issues, Knoll attends most of Southern California's truck shows and off-road events, was a mud racer for eight years, and rescues or fixes vehicles that are broken on trail rides he is attending. He has worked with us building Ultimate Adventure project trucks (where Fred Williams snapped this photo), and he has helped the Four Wheeler guys on Top Truck Challenge. Nice work!