Motorsports Expo is OPEN!

Doors opened at 11am. And open every day at 11am through Sunday.


This year I got a corner booth spot and room to bring the Rubicon Trail Foundation’s (RTF) trailer. It’s one of six for trail maintenance.

I’ve got help from the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s who are promoting their (our) Gambler’s Poker Run, coming this August 17th.

Scot Hansen volunteered to place his rig in the show. This is one of the more built, if not the most built rig, in the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s.

There is a good turn out of Off-Road groups and organizations. As well as a boat show, home show and pet show.

Of course, I’m set up to talk about the Tahoe Side of the world famous Rubicon Trail…

Come out and visit us. Thu 11-5, Fri 11-5, Sat 11-9, Sun 11-5.

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Rubicon Ronin


Breaking Sparks’ Code

I’ve probably mentioned it before but the City of Sparks has a code in place that makes it illegal to work on your own car on your own property.

You can change fluids and brake components but not swap carburetors, engines or axles.

Well, I needed to break the rules…

You see, I locked up the rear diff three months ago and the Jeep’s been parked in front of my house that whole time. My neighbors love me so it didn’t get ticketed.

Rather than just doing the diff work, I decided to swap springs and axle all together.

In less than three hours, I had the old axle/spring combo out and the in unit installed. Okay, it doesn’t have brakes and the spring perches are not welded to the axles. But everything was tight enough for me to back it in to the driveway.

Keep Jeepin’

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Rubicon Ronin


Motorsports Expo – Reno March 14-17

Coming up in a few weeks is the Lockett Motorsports Expo. At the same time as the Boat Show, Pet Show and Home Show will be going on in the same building.

I will again have a booth to promote OHV on and around the Rubicon Trail. The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s will be sharing the booth with me in order to promote their (our) club and our upcoming Gambler’s Poker Run in August.

This year I hope to have a TV, DVD player and laptop so we can show Rubicon videos and pull up TheOtherRubicon.com and the Hi-Lo’s website live.

Last year Jeepers Jamboree had an RC course set up for the kids. Yes, for the KIDS! They use it to teach proper trail etiquette and to Tread Lightly!

All the local 4wd clubs turn out and put their rigs on display.

We’re hoping to find room to put the Rubicon Trail Foundation’s work trailer on display as well. Here it is in action dropping the new granite mile marker at the intersection of the Rubicon Trail and Forest Road 03-04.

Hope to see you there,

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow Gatekeeper versus newbie access

Recently, the four foot plus berm was removed from the entrance to the Rubicon. Let’s ignore the fact that most of that snow was dumped there illegally. Was it right to remove the ‘gatekeeper’ to allow easy access for those not prepared/equipped to go snow wheeling?

Over the years, some have commented that ‘gatekeepers’ keeps the unprepared out and that only well-built rigs will proceed. This has been said over many trails and conditions. Others say there should be unfiltered access to our OHV opportunities.

Personally, I think a ramped increase in difficulty is the best way to go. The newbie needs to be able to get out there a little bit to get a taste of what wheeling is all about. They should only go as far as is safe or their rig and driving ability is able, but they sometimes go a little too far. It’s up to those of us with more experience to educate those newer to the sport with what it takes to go out in those conditions.

Once, we were that beginner. I remember driving my 1947 CJ2A, completely stock up the Rubicon. I got as far as the Potato Patch and I said “nope”, and turned around to go home and build a better rig. But if every trail were like Barrett, every wheeler would have to build quite a rig to go wheeling for the very first time.

Getting specific about snow wheeling on the Tahoe side, what better place to start? Early in the season, there is minimal snow and the trail is over asphalt for the first 1.5 miles. Even with more snowfall, it’s near a residential area (and help), there are plenty of trees to winch from (unlike the Bowl on the Eldorado side). It’s a gentle grade offering a slowly increasing challenge for newbies and honestly, it’s the only legal snow wheeling for ‘wheeled’ vehicles I know of in the Lake Tahoe area. There is a decent grade further in with turns for more of a challenge. If they do make the staging area, the newbies aren’t going much further as the climb out of the staging area to the entrance to the Buck Lake Trail is an honest gatekeeper in the snow. And the entire area is covered by a ham radio repeater system.

Sure, the newbies might get stuck and we (meaning those of you who snow wheel) might have to go around them (without going off trail) or help them get unstuck. I’d love to educate everyone who goes out on any OHV trail as to what they should take every time they go out. That’s one reason I built this website.

Back to the berm; the berm itself will only stop the less driven. A beginner with huge motivation to get on the Rubicon will take down the berm and drive in. On the other hand, a group with well-built rigs might get to the trailhead, see the berm and decide they don’t want to work that hard for a day on snow wheeling.

It’s a topic that will be discussed forever. Both sides have good points. Let’s just get out there and enjoy our public lands.

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow Berm Gone!

“This is the Trail. Tahoma, CA. I work here…I’m a volunteer. The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changes to protect the innocent.

On January 27th, me, Wheeler “A” and Wheeler “B”, arrived at the entrance to the Rubicon Trail. Wheeler “A” had brought a piece of commercial snow removal equipment. The objective: Remove The Berm.

The berm was about 4-5 feet tall when we got there.

The berm had gone up over the course of the winter season. It’s appeared every season for years. Dumping snow anywhere but from the lot it came from is illegal. The berm is illegal.

We thought Placer was doing it. I’d heard several second hand accounts from witnesses who saw Placer dump and pushing snow at the trailhead. Nothing first hand.

Placer denies dump or pushing snow at the entrance. We’re now thinking it’s a local snow removal contractor. We don’t need to catch him and charge him, we just want the dumping to stop. But if it doesn’t stop, we will catch him and get the county to fine him.

It was time to take action in to our own hands.

Wheeler “A” unloaded his rig and got to work. I stood on the berm, off to the side, and made sure anyone coming off the trail didn’t get a snow shower. Wheeler “B” stood in the street and talked with anyone walking by.

Wheeler “B” approached one neighbor who came out and took pictures but she ignored him and went back inside. Later, a Placer County sheriff stopped by after a complaint had been filed by someone in the area.


The sheriff had no issue about what we were doing after we explained that Placer County had given us permission to clear the entrance.

It didn’t take long before Wheeler “A” had cleared the entrance to the Rubicon Trail. We figured three hours, including travel time.

Not five minutes after heading to our rigs to leave, a stock Toyota Tacoma and F150 pulled up to the entrance. It was in 2wd and didn’t make the small rolling dip left at the entrance.

That gave me time to walk up and talk to him. I encouraged him not to try the trail without a winch and a better equipped rig. He said he wouldn’t go too far. I gave him two of my trail brochures with a map and wished him well. He put it in 4wd and headed in.

Please remember that there is no street parking this time of year.

Happy wheeling.

Rubicon Ronin

For those of you too young to catch the wording of the intro, it’s from Dragnet, an old cop show from the 60’s. You Tube the opening scene for every show.