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#283354 - 03/14/07 10:01 PM Tread Lightly!
tracetrimble Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 311
Loc: Austin
I want to generate some discussion on protecting our access to Emma Long City Park. I personally have been mountain biking and offroading at CP for over 12 years. With the recent construction right next to the parking lot, we are that much closer to losing this gem of an ORV park, and we should do everything we can to protect it. I have heard that this is also an endangered species habitat, which is the only reason needed to close it to ALL human activity.

I will first admit that I am guilty myself of riding a loud bike a few times, and taking some of the cutarounds on my dirtbike at the most difficult spots (I've cleaned the whole loop on a couple good days lately, though). Taking two or three cutarounds is practically unavoidable for the majority of riders in a few spots, and really, having an easy way up helps preserve the tough lines.

Still, it seems that the trails have been getting torn up and sanitized much more recently than in the past. I think some of this came from all the ice storm damage, but there is more to it than that.

I also read bikemojo (AFAIK the biggest local mountain bike forum), and here's a recent discussion over there of the same topic. Please don't register over there just to throw rocks, so to speak. We all need to work together on this.

http://www.bikemojo.com/speak/showthread.php?t=59654

Although some people on the thread are pretty combative, I think there are some great points made, like nobody is maliciously trying to tear up the trails - most of it is just due to ignorance. I think a good positive start would be just coming up with ways to educate other / new riders. I really just wanted to get some kind of discussion going on the topic, because I think it's very important.
_________________________
Trace
TORCS #598 Open A, KTM 300XC
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#283355 - 03/15/07 06:08 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: tracetrimble]
Kingham Moderator Offline
Gang Veteran

Registered: 02/01/02
Posts: 812
Loc: Austin
I posted my thoughts on that board. it just pisses me off that the MTB think they have more right to be there than the MC.

I really think that everyone needs to work together to solve the problem.
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#283356 - 03/15/07 08:13 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Kingham]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
Let's plan a weekend to go out there and reverse the loop (if it has not been done yet). I think that would go a long way to cure a lot of the problems with novices cutting bypasses of the really tough ledges on the loop. We definately all need to work together to take care of a real gem of a moto riding area. I love to ride CP on my "motocross" bike and can make it up the ledges without much trouble or the need to bushwack to get around them but used to ride there all the time and practiced my rock ledge skills alot while there. I haven't been to CP in a while due to my other commitments with the club but I will make it a point to do so very soon. I will get with the park manager and get some feedback from him and post it hear if we can organize a work day/weekend. AMSA and many of it's long time members have done more work out there than most folks know about over the years, long before mountian biking became popular. Heck, several our founding members layed out that trail 25 - 30 years ago. Just about two or three years ago we organized a big work crew to help the City improve the parking lot when no other clubs showed up help. But, there is no need to bash each other. Anyway, we got it done and were proud to help out. We must ban together to keep this place open for the future riders and I am willing to do my part. As we all know, a few bad apples can spoil it for the whole bunch. Stay on the trial, DON'T BUSHWACK - Tread Lightly at City Park!!
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283357 - 03/15/07 08:28 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
Update: I just spoke with the park manager and unfortunately, we cannot reverse the trail for 2 more years. It's on a 5 year plan. 3 down, 2 to go. Anyway, we had a good conversation and I reminded him that we are hear to help in anyway we can to maintain the motorcycle trails at CP. He has plans for some upcoming work projects as we get closer to summer and will call on us then. I am looking forward to it. We will talk about this and the current issues at our next club meeting.
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283358 - 03/16/07 12:03 AM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
The trials club did a lot of work there after the ice storm. There were a lot of large limbs and whole trees laying across the loop. That was right before we had an AMA-sanctioned, state championship two-day trials event there. It was raining and/or muddy the last month before the event, which included that ice storm. Then about 80 riders descended on the park for two days of competition. On Saturday, every rider made three laps of the four miles we used on the main loop. That's about 240 laps on Saturday. We only used a short part of the loop on Sunday before we ducked up the creek bed for the sections there.

About 1/4th of the riders found the four miles of the loop to have ledges that were harder than what they faced in their sections. I haven't been back since we cleaned up the loop markings that weekend, but I would not be surprised to find that some people went around ledges. They might not be from around here and could probably be forgiven considering the wet conditions.

I saw that post on Bike Mojo. I thought about responding to that post twice. I decided against it since the tone was really quite cool. I've been to ridge riders meetings where they were more annoyed about cp than that. The posters seemed to understand that it's a motorcycle park and they have to take it in the condition they get it in. I think they are just as worried about losing it as we are. It is a fantastic place that few can ride without getting hurt. Just like dirt bikers, the majority of mountain bikers won't ride there. The ones that do ride there know how great it is. I really think we have more in common than we know. They just don't like having to stop all the time to block off bypasses. They rightly feel that those bypasses would leave the impression that unapproved trail cutting is being done and they don't want that to cause everybody to lose it.

I'd spend a day out there fixing go-arounds. I was already planning to do it the next time I went, and that is going to be this Sunday. No cutting, just a warm-up loop with some stops along the way to block bypasses.

Dave, if you can schedule a trail work day with Albert and get some dirt bikers out there, I'll bring some trials riders to pitch in. Try for April. We'll all be competing in another trials event at Rio Bravo on 3/24-3/25.

Greg

PS. Trace - you're an animal! And those dual-sport maniacs I've seen out there too!


Edited by Greg (03/16/07 02:46 PM)

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#283359 - 03/16/07 02:53 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Greg]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
I'll be there Sunday.

One thing mentioned in that thread was the creation of "pansy lines" at a few of the multi-step ledges. Just a few rocks in the right place would make all the difference in allowing someone to get up. The flip side is that it is, in fact, an advanced trail. Trying to make it easier would invite more traffic consisting of people who probably shouldn't even be there. In reality, blocking off the bypasses is a better idea.

I liked when the trail went the other way and the sign at the first ledge right out of the parking lot said something like "If you don't like the looks of this ledge, you won't like the rest of the loop". That was probably the best thing to have - turn the beginners back before they get a mile out and realize they're in trouble.

Greg

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#283360 - 03/16/07 03:05 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Greg]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
I totally agree, Greg. The current direction is what it causing newbies to create new lines around the bigger ledges. The sign you are referring to goes a long way to let riders know what to expect on the loop. The current direction has you missing that sign all together. The other direction is no doubt easier for the average rider. 5 years per direction change is too long, in my opinion. I wonder who decided on that time frame?? I will ask Albert when I talk with him.
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283361 - 03/16/07 05:11 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
MXerDude Offline
Veteran Lunatic

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 3007
Loc: Almost there.. 8)
yea it does seem a bit long winded, i wonder if this is what the standard is for trail reversal?
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#283362 - 03/18/07 03:22 AM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: MXerDude]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
Ok, I went out today and I have to retract one thing I said. It was not trials riders at the last event who made the bypasses. And it wasn't people who were bushwhacking in a desperate attempt to get around the ledges at that moment. Whoever did it had saws and spent some time on it. Worse, the lines would have been bad mountain bike lines. So dirt bikers - stop with the trail alterations. Read the rules on sign in the parking lot.

That said, the two houses that are being built with direct visibility into the City Park parking lot, and the way the construction company cut down all the foliage that would have served as a buffer between the park and the houses, is much worse for our future use of the park than the bypasses. I actually felt sick when I saw how many houses will be built right next to the park and how close they are.

Greg

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#283363 - 03/18/07 06:20 AM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Greg]
MXerDude Offline
Veteran Lunatic

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 3007
Loc: Almost there.. 8)
In reply to:

That said, the two houses that are being built with direct visibility into the City Park parking lot, and the way the construction company cut down all the foliage that would have served as a buffer between the park and the houses, is much worse for our future use of the park than the bypasses. I actually felt sick when I saw how many houses will be built right next to the park and how close they are.




with that said ... thumpers get you a 94 decibel muffler!!!! , if not it wont be long until they DO take the park away from the dirt bike riders, heck maybe even for everybody...
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#283364 - 03/19/07 04:08 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: MXerDude]
tracetrimble Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 311
Loc: Austin
Those homes also have a very good chance of being occupied by a lot of self-righteous people with friends in high places.

Maybe we could get permission to reopen that parking area at the top (where the makeshift BMX track is), on the road to Greenshores? That would move some of the parking lot noise away from the homes. I have actually always hated where the main parking lot is located anyway - you practically have to drive a complete circle around the whole property to get to it.
_________________________
Trace
TORCS #598 Open A, KTM 300XC
www.powersportparts.net #iridedunlop #lucaslegion #twinair #leatt #spyoptic #hookit

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#283365 - 03/19/07 04:20 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: MXerDude]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
I can tell you for a fact that if the motorcycle trails get closed to motorcycles, they will be closed for good to all users.
The problem here is that the goobers who are cutting limbs and modifying the trails are clueless and more than likely do not know or even care about the rules, much less read this forum. Sad but true.

Help spread the word....talk with other riders when you see them out there. Make sure they know the rules and have the TPWD sticker on their bike. We need to do all we can or risk loosing one of the coolest public urban trail riding spots in the country!



_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283366 - 03/19/07 05:13 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
On Saturday, the two park employees who come around to clean up the parking area stopped their truck facing the houses and stayed parked there for about 15 minutes. From where I was, I hadn't seen the houses yet or I would have talked to them about it. I'm sure that's what they were talking about.

I'm hoping that a high, stone wall is planned between the neighborhood and the parking lot. If the subdivision developers won't do it, then the parks department should build it on the park property with the help of the park users.

At the trials event in January we were allowed to have camping at the site of the event. Right in the parking lot. I honestly don't see that happening again next year with the houses that close.

This is not a good thing. Soon, when you look down the parking lot, there will be big, two-story houses. They'll sell the first one to someone on a nice, quiet weekday afternoon when nobody is riding the trails. And the first weekend after they move in, some overpaid jerk will be in the back yard cooking bbq on a pit the size of my kitchen, and the complaints will start.

Whatever we can do, we need to do it soon. Build a wall for the sound? Make sure buyers know what's next door before they buy? Any ideas?

Greg

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#283367 - 03/19/07 05:39 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Greg]
tracetrimble Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 311
Loc: Austin
Hopefully they will notice the big sign right next to their driveway that says MOTORCYCLE PARK. Then again, there are people that buy houses near an airport, and then complain about noise. Funny thing is the airport is moved outside of town in a few years.

Anyone seen the big houses popping up around Devil's Cove in the last couple years? Same thing will be happening there, too.
_________________________
Trace
TORCS #598 Open A, KTM 300XC
www.powersportparts.net #iridedunlop #lucaslegion #twinair #leatt #spyoptic #hookit

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#283368 - 03/19/07 07:49 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: tracetrimble]
DavidP Offline
TON Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 50
Loc: Austin, Texas
I moved here from Colorado and found Emma Long - what a great place. It is one of the toughest trail systems out there and should be marked and maintained as such. I found out it is one of the only city parks in the country that allows motorcycles. We absolutely need to fight for this continued access.

The reason I moved was to run operations for Woods Fun Center on I-35 and Braker Lane. I can rally a large group to help with any clean ups or fund raisers to keep the park open. Please let me know how I can help.

Thanks,

David Pearson
GM - Woods Fun Center
512-459-3311
_________________________
David WR450 450X 1150GS

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#283369 - 03/19/07 08:02 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: DavidP]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
Same here...we will talk about these issues at tomorrow nights AMSA meeting. The way I understand it is that the US Fish and Wildlife Dept gives funds to the City of Austin to maintain the motorcycle trails at CP. This is a closely watched project that flies in the face of most environmental projects. CP is a well known habitat for the Golden Cheeked Warblers and Black Capped Vireos (local endangered birds) and it has been studied and proven that endangered birds and motorized recreation can co-exist on the same land. It is in the best interest of the City to see that this place is well taken care of so they can keep the fed $$ coming. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I know some of the guys who built this trail loop and I have always been told that the original deal was that if it is not made accessable for motorcycle riders, the land reverts back to the original land owner, Ms. Emma Long, who dontated all that land to the City in the first place. Evidently Ms. Long is a long time offroad motorcycle enthusiast who is still alive and well today, here in Austin. One of our clubs members knows her personally. It sure would be cool if we could get her to one of our meetings to talk about the park land.

Still, we need all user groups to work together to make sure newbies know and follow the simple rules about riding at CP. Education is the first place to start. Getting volunteer help to maintain the trails is the easy part! The park manager will notify me when we get closer to a couple of projects he needs help with and I will post it here. Stay tuned...
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283370 - 03/20/07 05:45 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
chrison600 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 226
Loc: Austin
Wow. Just got finished reading the BikeMojo topic. This is a really heated issue. Is there a representative from the local MTB community who could participate in an AMSA meeting or get together with a representative of the local offroad MC community for an "alignment" session? It will be one thing to get the MC and MTB groups to work together. I think the biggest threat is from the adjacent development.

The most interesting take away from me is that the groups in conflict about the care and feeding of CP are those that have the most to lose and the most passion for keeping things accessible. The developers and new homeowners will want to break the status quo.

Action Item 1 would be to join all of the groups together who want to maintain access to CP. Effort spent pointing fingers at one another is effort not spent on protecting access. Follow that with short term plans for policing the trail integrity (signage, handouts, education, repair). Then get some long term commitment from park management to put infrastructure in place to protect usage of the park (soundwalls, alternative parking, trail planning, grandfather clauses...).

I don't even ride CP and I want to see it preserved on premise alone.

Chris
_________________________
Chris
www.forwardgear.biz

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#283371 - 03/20/07 06:13 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: chrison600]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
I know for sure we have AMSA members that are mountian bikers as well but I do not know any of the MTB only guys. I am willing to work with them for the common goal of preserving the City Park Motorcycle Trails for future generations. Our club meeting is tonight (3/20/07) at Fuddruckers on South Lamar...we officially start the meeting at 7:30pm but most folks are showing up around 7:00. We have a lot of things on the agenda tonight and City Park will be a topic so we can get everybody up to speed on what is happening out there. Any of the MTB community riders that want to attend this meeting (or future meetings) to work together with us would definately be welcome. I know there are a whole lot of riders of all types (MC, MTB, Trials, etc.) that are passionate about the park and we need to do all we can to work together, or risk loosing a very special riding area.
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283372 - 03/20/07 07:56 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
chrison600 Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 226
Loc: Austin
I hope I didn't overstep my bounds, but I just posted the following to the BikeMojo board and sent a heads up to the admin to see if they would bump visibility:

Hi all,

This is my first post, and I make it in an effort to combine the common interests of the MTB and motorcycle community to fight to maintain access to City Park. Although we may never see exactly eye-to-eye, we share a common desire to retain currently accessible trails and perhaps increase access over time. In this case, the threat to close City Park is a negative for both groups.

The AMSA's (Austin MotoSports Association) monthly meeting is tonight at Fuddruckers on South Lamar. I would encourage someone, anyone from the MTB community to attend as a conduit to the additional resources that both groups can leverage against those who would close the trails, namely the adjacent developers and homeowners as well as park personnel who might make rash decisions in light of the recent trail modifications.

If you need more detail about the meeting time or place, visit: http://www.amsaclub.org.

If you attend, sit down and chat with David Denmon, the current AMSA Vice President. Super great guy who shares your concerns about trail maintenance, abuse, and philosophy.

Chris
_________________________
Chris
www.forwardgear.biz

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#283373 - 03/20/07 08:09 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: chrison600]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
Thanks Chris, I really appreciate it. I had a great conversation with one of the original designers/trail cutters of the City Park MC trails, Cliff Turner. Cliff is a wealth of historical information about the park, the rules, and the original gang of Capitol Cats Motorcycle Club (predecessor to the AMSA). I took over for Cliff when I got really involved with the club and I promised Cliff years ago that we would work closely with the City in keeping this place open to the public. Cliff will try to make the meeting tonight if he can and will for sure be at our next one. Cliff can really shed light on the subject and is a super neat guy to talk to.

I also just spoke with Albert, the park manager to invite him to our meetings. He is a super busy guy but will try hard to make them. Albert want me to look at the calendar to come up with a date to get a group out to do some repairs on the trail. I assured him that I would and we are ready and willing to help in any way we can. Albert assured me that these current issues can be delt with and for us not to worry.

Cliff tells me that we are quickly approaching the 40 year anniversary of the CP motorcycle trails and that we will have to organise a celebration ride out there as we get closer. He also reminded me that we get to re-open a section of trail that has been closed for nearly 10 years! The signs read that the section in question will re-open in 2009. That's great news and will add mileage to the current loop.

After talking with Albert and Cliff, I feel alot better about the current situation. More to come. Stay tuned!
_________________________
Dave
Austin MotoSports Association


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#283374 - 03/21/07 10:52 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Dave]
Chris_S Offline
Veteran Lunatic

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 2226
Loc: North Richland Hills, TX
I haven't read everything here, but re: sound I've never seen or heard loud motorcycles @ CP. That's not to say they never go there, but the vast majority are quiet trials bikes. (inc. me, I've never ridden a non-trials bike there - anyone want to volunteer to let me do a loop w/ their dirt bike? LOL)
_________________________
'11 KTM 250 XC
'14 Triumph Street Triple R

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#283375 - 03/22/07 03:55 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Chris_S]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
A couple of young fellers showed up once with an RM-125 that must not have had a silencer. Wearing tennis shoes they blasted up and down the parking lot, taking turns and sharing the same helmet. At least they wore a helmet! I think the bike finally died because they loaded up and left. It was funny and made your ears hurt all at the same time.

Greg

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#283376 - 09/04/08 10:23 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Greg]
Ryan_V Offline
New Boot

Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 17
I can't believe there isn't more to this thread? It seemed to be going in the right direvtion, then just stopped.

So what's the deal with Emma Long as of late for us that might not be in the know?

and..how can I measure my bikes sound output? It has FMF powerbomb into a powercore4 and it seem's pretty darned loud..last thing I want to do is piss off or contribute to the closing of Emma Long.


Thanks,
Ryan
_________________________
2001 DRZ400S......for a bit of bark! 2005 KDX220R......when I want the wingy dingy!

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#283377 - 09/09/08 03:49 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: Ryan_V]
motopail Offline
Gang Daddy

Registered: 05/07/01
Posts: 532
Loc: Austin
How's old Cliff..... he's truly one of the godfather's of CP.....

I was out there when he cut the last "new " sections....that was a while back.

just a note....my farther in law...was a Capital Cat(along with a few others that are close us)

I was at the 25 year party for CP....Me and Carlos(remember him?)

anyway....on the mojo thing, you can see who stirred the pot first.. don't complain about the motorcycles at a motorcycle park....!!!!

Glad to see Cliff's name come up...he's done so much.

tootles..

moto
_________________________
Ride Hard, or Ride Home Alone

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#283378 - 10/31/08 05:04 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: MXerDude]
stmichaels Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 6
Loc: Georgetown, Texas
If you have seen the Mother of All McMansions at the top of the hill, then you have seen Jeff Kodosky's new pad. He is a co-founder of NI and has more money than God. Let's hope he doesn't hear any bikes from his back plaza.

The new neighborhood construction is clearly responsible for the first recorded decline in GC Warblers in the park area. This park has been operating with motorcycles for over 30 years, and numerous bird counts have shown zero impact. When the new houses popped up, bird numbers dropped.

All the bicyclists I talk to are just glad to have trail, any trail, to ride, and said they would be willing to pitch in on a work day.

There are no plans to shut down the park right now, but it wouldn't take much attention from the outside to end 30+ years of enjoyment.

Someone said this is the only municipal-run cycle park in the country. That is untrue. There are numerous off-road parks operated by cities. In Texas, a municipal park has the advantage of being immune to lawsuit (same as a skatepark).

Bottom line: Keep the machines quiet. Call out idiots when you see them. Work with mountain bikers, they are under attack too. And maybe it is time to think about approaching the city to find a replacement park.

This area was cedar wasteland 20 years ago. Now it is covered with fancy houses. That just isn't going to work out for long.javascript:void(0)

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#283379 - 10/31/08 08:58 PM Re: Tread Lightly! [Re: stmichaels]
Greg Offline
Vet AMSA Director

Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 1277
Loc: Austin, TX
Last winter, when we had our two-day trials event there, the owner of the house closest to the parking lot came over to watch. He was not bothered and suggested he was a rider in the past. That was a good sign.

I agree - the quieter the better for the bikes at that place. The rumor I heard was that the terms under which the city gets the land are such that if the MC trails close, the park ownership reverts back to the family. I have not seen this in writing, though.

Where can we get the GCW statistics? Not that I don't believe you because that makes sense. Last I heard was they were doing fine and even increasing. They were actually found to prefer nesting near trails for some reason - possibly because those are good flyways and the open ground is easier to hunt food on. The GCW deal seems to be really important until $omebody want$ to move in and build hou$e$ or apartment$ and pay taxe$. Then I suppose the birds can always just find someplace else - no big deal!

Thanks for trying to minimize the trouble there. Every bit helps.

Greg

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