TVTMA Early Years


   Jim McDonald and Les Burnam ( I think are the longest continuous members of the club) thought that it might be interesting to share some of the early history of the club. The dates and facts are to the best of our (mainly Jim’s) memory and should be pretty correct.
     The club originated and organized early in the 1960’s as a tote goat club. If you don’t know what a tote goat was, ask one of the members with gray hair and they will fill you in. A couple of the members were Bill Kelly and Fred Hackney. The club disbanded at some time in the 1970’s because of the advent of motorcycles that actually would work in the dirt. Imagine that.

     In the winter of 1981 the current club was reorganized by Wally Sterling, Wayne Larsen, and 3-4 others. They advertised for new members in the outdoor page of the newspaper. The first 5 years directors meetings were held at Wally Sterling’s home. Wally was the president, and also typed and mailed out the newsletter every month. As the club grew Wally delegated this duty.
The club met at the Idaho Fish and Game headquarters meeting room on Walnut Street for many years. When that room became unavailable the club met at Ft. Boise Community Center.

Chile Ride
    Wally Sterling came up with the idea for the Chili Ride. It was a meet and greet event, that followed the February Idaho Sportsman and RV show at the fairgrounds. The club had a booth there every year and members volunteered to man the booth and sign up new members. Usually the first weekend of March, the Chili Ride happened near Murphy. Most of the time it snowed, rained and the wind blew. Wally had a special recipe for chili that the volunteers made and was reheated at the ride. Ride leaders assembled and took out groups of riders on 30 to 40 mile rides. When the Honda XR line of bikes came out, the majority of riders came on Honda's with only a few Yamaha's and Suzuki's. Many people in the valley called us the Honda Club.
State Ride
   The State Ride started up in1982. The first one for the current club was at Sawmill Canyon, North and East of Howe, Idaho. The sponsoring club had ride leaders who would take riders from other clubs through their riding area. As the years went by, the subject of insurance came up. AMA insurance was too expensive, so it was decided that the sponsoring club would develop an event map and unofficial rides would take place.
Service and Trail Work
   Wally Sterling was approached by the Fairfield Ranger District to have the club help them. Forty Seven volunteers met and camped at Baumgartner camp ground on the South Fork of the Boise River for the first time. The trails in the area had been mostly abandoned since the late 1960’s. The Kelly Creek trail was an old road that was gone. We had to reestablish it. Also, the Blue Ridge Trail and Lime Creek trails had faded away. We reworked them over a period of 2 to 3 weekends to cover the trails of Baumgartner, just to get them open. Major repairs and water bars came later.
    Pat Aguilor, the Lowman Ranger District Ranger, heard about our volunteer work on the Sawtooth and asked for some of the same assistance. The current district employees had no one that knew about the condition of the trails. We partially repaired a huge blowout on the Deadwood River road. We also cleared the Deadwood Ridge trail and Julie Creek trail, officially for the first time. After that we struck up an agreement with the Lowman District for annual maintenance, which we still honor today.
   We did trail clearing for the Cascade Ranger District, out of Stolle Meadows area, and put in the bridge abutments for 3 trail bridges across the South Fork of the Salmon River at Stolle Meadows. The Blacks Creek work weekend came along next.
Why do we do trail work.
   It was asked recently why we do volunteer work. Because of our early and continuing volunteer work, we were known by the land managers of the Boise, Sawtooth and Payette National Forests. Our many interactions with them gave us some clout.
  When the official travel plan maps were required to be drawn up, our presence was felt on all the districts. Most of the trails that we have been using and repairing since the 1980’s , were officially declared open to motorized use. Without our years of work, and riding these trails, many of them would have been contested by the enviros. We would have lost a lot of connector trails loop opportunities. 
   So today we still continue with all the same work contracts with the National Forest Service and have also sparked work contracts with Idaho Parks and Recreation.  In addition we have done a Annual Fun Raiser for 12 years that helps promote safe riding, and donate our proceeds from the Fun Run back to organizations that support our dirt bike community.