The All Terrain Vehicle Association of Manitoba (ATVMB) was formed in 2009 to address the rapidly growing sport of ATV riding in Manitoba. Its mandate is to promote safe, respectful and environmentally conscious ATV use; to represent the interests of the ATV community in Manitoba; and to develop a designated ATV trail system in the province. Armando Brambilla is president of the ATVMB. He shared some information about what the association has accomplished and is currently working on, as well as what’s next.
What are the latest happenings in ATV riding in Manitoba?
ATVMB is pleased to report that we are seeing success in trail development, with two newly designated trails in southeastern Manitoba and additional projects in the works.
What are some projects your association is currently working on?
ATVMB will be submitting an application for funding that will cover trail projects in southeastern Manitoba managed by the Eastman ATV Association and the Woodridge ATV Sandhogs. Another project will be in the Interlake area, managed by the South Interlake ATV Club, and the Belair ATV Club will manage a trail project in the Belair Forest.
What challenges have you faced in the past year?
Lack of sufficient funding has been a major challenge. We are fortunate to receive an annual grant from the Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, which is how we manage to stay afloat. We have accomplished quite a lot with very limited revenue and are looking into various options for sustainable funding that will allow us to grow the organization, support ATVMB clubs and continue to develop designated trails across Manitoba.
We also struggle with club formation and low member numbers. There are over 34,000 registered machines in Manitoba; however, it seems that the majority of owners may not see the value in being organized. ATVMB is working hard to turn this around and is confident that as our designated trail system progresses, riders will see the value in membership.
On a positive note, we have a great working relationship with the Manitoba Government, and ATVMB is recognized as the “voice” of recreational ATVers in Manitoba.
Brambilla recommends riding the Interlake Pioneer Trail, which runs through the heart of the Interlake region. — Photo courtesy Armando Brambilla
What changes could benefit your association?
We believe young riders should be required to take an ATV rider safety course to ensure that they have a clear understanding of how to operate their machine, wear the proper riding gear and ride a size/weight appropriate machine. As much as people like to refer to them as such, ATVs are not toys.
Mandatory safety training would require a legislation change, which we believe will happen at some point in the future.
What is your favourite thing about ATVs?
Manitoba has beautiful and varied landscapes which are a pleasure to explore. There is something I find extremely relaxing about cruising down a trail with friends and family, seeing the outdoors and stopping to enjoy a snack or lunch while socializing. These all have a very positive impact on my mental well-being.
What advantages are there to riding in Manitoba that riders can’t get anywhere else?
A 45-minute drive east of Winnipeg has you on trails that allow you to experience the lifecycle of a forest. The trail begins in an area of low shrubbery, progresses to tall Jack pines and touches the shores of ancient Lake Agassiz, which is a wonderful scenic viewpoint.
If you head north of Winnipeg on Highway 59, you can ride in the Belair Forest among majestic Jack pines on miles of sandy trails. For a great destination ride, hit the Interlake Pioneer Trail, which runs through the heart of the Interlake region. This trail was once a rail line and is over 100 years old, thus giving the rider the experience of traveling the path of our ancestors. The 106-kilometre trail runs from Gross Isle to Fisher Branch and is a multi-use trail, enjoyed by motorized and non-motorized trail users in the summer and snowmobilers in the winter.
How can people get involved with ATVMB?
The best way to get involved is to join an ATVMB affiliated club or to form one in your own area of the province.