2020 was a gong show for sure, but it wasn’t all bad. Some ATV clubs were able to implement progressive steps and move towards a more hopeful future, like the Eastman ATV Association in southeast Manitoba. Last year saw the club secure 127 memberships, the most ever in a season. They also rebranded, which helped spice up the club’s logo and further bolster enthusiasm from new and existing club members.
“Rebranding allows a title sponsor to step up,” said Donald Eidse, President of the Eastman ATV Association. “There were challenges with both logos in many ways. The Ride For Mom logo had way too many versions of it and the two logos beside each other conflicted with each other. They are now designed to fit perfectly together or come apart and stand on their own, just like they do in real life.
“We sold T-shirts and hats at rides and everyone got what they wanted.”
“The Ride For Mom logo had way too many versions of it and the two logos beside each other conflicted with each other. They are now designed to fit perfectly together or come apart and stand on their own.” — Donald Eidse — Image courtesy Eastman ATV Association
The Eastman ATV Association’s trail system is vast and covers much of southeast Manitoba. For starters, the Eastman Trail connects to Sandhogs trail. In addition to the signed, maintained trails the clubs each have, there is much more unmaintained crown land to ride. Of the eight scheduled rides that the club did last year, they only scratched the surface of the land available to them. The most popular place to ride is Woodridge, which boasts 1,000s of kilometres of trails, along with lodges, camps, fuel services and restaurants.
“Some of our best rides go along an escarpment so lots of little hill climbs,” Eidse said. “For prairie people, that’s a blast.”
Then there are the events, such as poker derbys and the St. Jean mud get-togethers. Without a doubt, though, the Eastman ATV Association’s big event is the ATV Ride for Mom, a fundraising event for CancerCare Manitoba.
“I expect 800 machines this year—well over 1,000 people,” said Eidse. “This event drives people to volunteer, sit on the committee, and filter over to the Eastman ATV board.
“The Ride For Mom site is really in its infancy but, after our next ride, it will allow us to really develop it as a tool for attracting both riders and sponsors. We had a pro build the site. I’m getting professional media people to cover our next Ride For Mom event and that will all go on the website, making it look quite spectacular. It’s a long-term plan but it’s coming together. Eventually the site will generate thousands of dollars for CancerCare Manitoba.
“The Ride For Mom gives our membership purpose. The reason people are joining the board is because of this event. I think giving people the opportunity to help the greater community is attractive, and a great reflection on our club and ATV community.”