On the heels of last year’s topped-up membership, successful fundraiser and well attended club rides, the Eastman ATV Association Inc is ready to get riding and moving ahead. The topic of designated multi-use trails is front and centre for this club, which is located in southeastern Manitoba.
Citing a number of benefits including expanding ridership as well as boosting tourism and the local economy, the Eastman ATV Association's president, Dave Lee, said multi-use trails are the only way to go.
“Our membership is intertwined with other user groups and we see the value in becoming united,” he said. “Generally the tone is changing and we all realize we have to work together. A designated multi-use trail system can be marketed, which will help bring people here and generate business so ATVing will benefit the summer economy.”
Lee has been riding most of his life. He started out on dirt bikes and in 2000 bought a three-wheeler and then changed it up for a quad. Lee said the assocation hopes to tap into federal and provincial funding and to have a multi-use trail completed next year.
Founded in 2000, the Eastman ATV Association is the longest running club in Manitoba with strong numbers that continue to grow—membership topped 100 last year. Members offer their time educating other clubs, spreading awareness and mentoring new riders.
“There’s nothing more exciting than a green rider, new to the club,” Lee said, laughing. “They have no idea when they first start out, wide-eyed and apprehensive as they set out on the ATV. Then they come around a corner, see the majestic beauty we have here and are blown away. People tell me they didn’t realize what we have right here.”
The Eastman ATV club has a busy season planned with monthly rides into Ontario and the ATV Ride for Dad—a fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation—in September. As well, the club is organizing a new event, the Eastman Express Ride, a two-day camp and trip from Lac du Bonnet to Woodridge in June. Riders of all levels are welcome.