It’s been a while since we checked in with Gary Hora, the President of the Woodridge Sandhogs ATV Club for the last 14 years. 2021 was an eventful year for Hora, installing signage, repairing trails and becoming the President of ATVMB, too!
We caught up with Hora to find out about the latest developments across Manitoba as well as in his own backyard in the Woodridge area.
There’s always work to be done. “What could really benefit all clubs and riders would be sustainable funding so we can grow and maintain our trail systems. Like so many groups, we rely on donations and volunteers to keep our trails open.” — Gary Hora — Photo courtesy Gary Hora
What are the latest happenings in ATV riding in Manitoba?
In the last two years, we have seen a large increase in new ATV riders due to the pandemic as many other provinces have experienced as well. This is great for the sport and hopefully we will see new people join local clubs and the provincial association of ATVMB.
What are some projects your club is currently working on?
Our club is looking at adding some additional trails to our designated loop and installing two new day-use areas for riders to stop and take a lunch break or just stretch their legs.
What challenges have you faced in the past year?
The two biggest challenges have been the Covid restrictions and the backcountry travel restrictions due to the extremely dry conditions we saw. Like everyone else, we try to work with the Covid restrictions to still have and host club rides, however we did cancel several rides last year. The travel restrictions we had last year saw a total of nine weeks of lost riding time. We are hoping for a better 2022 season for sure.
Before and after: Wet stretch on the left, sandy trail after repairs. “A lot of gravel—four semi loads—all donated by a local contractor including his time and the machine.” — Gary Hora — Photo courtesy Gary Hora
What changes could benefit your club and its riders?
We have a lot of crown land that we get to access in Manitoba, which is great, but what could really benefit all clubs and riders would be sustainable funding so we can grow and maintain our trail systems. Like so many groups, we rely on donations and volunteers to keep our trails open.
What is your favourite thing about ATVs?
My favourite thing about ATVs and side-by-sides is getting out in the backcountry and enjoying the beauty we have in Manitoba, and the friendships I have made over the years quadding with our members.
What advantages are there to riding in Manitoba that riders can’t get anywhere else?
We have a lot of crown land to access and these trails are open to the public with no trail passes to worry about. We encourage riders to take the time and inform themselves of the area they plan to ride so as not to end up on private or restricted lands while out riding.
What is your favourite place to ride in Manitoba?
My favorite place to ride is my back yard as I live in the Sandilands Provincial Forest in Southeast Manitoba.
How can people get involved with ATVMB?
Go to the ATVMB website and contact us there or check out the clubs list to see if there is a club in the area that folks would like to join.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I would like to thank all the effort our clubs have done in 2021. We have seen some new clubs join the association and we have added new designated systems in the province as well. None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our members and volunteers. Hopefully 2022 will see additional growth like 2021 has.