Ryan Harden

Ryan Harden's blog posts.

For more than 20 years I have been helping motorsport clubs, tracks and facilities start, grow and maintain recreational opportunities across the US. I started with my involvement in the Lakeshore ATV club back in the 80’s. I then got picked to join the National OHV Youth Vision team for National 4H. From there, I started working at the...

For more than 20 years I have been helping motorsport clubs, tracks and facilities start, grow and maintain recreational opportunities across the US. I started with my involvement in the Lakeshore ATV club back in the 80’s. I then got picked to join the National OHV Youth Vision team for National 4H. From there, I started working at the National OHV Conservational Council (NOHVCC) and began teaching for the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America in the late 90’s beginning with the ATV Safety Institute and then also becoming a coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. In the early 2000’s, I was awarded for being a top Midwestern instructor, teaching hundreds of people a year about their vehicles and how to ride safely. During this time, I also became a Master Trainer for Tread Lightly to help build a stronger network of informed, ethical recreationalists. My college education consists of degrees in Marketing and Business to Business Marketing.

In 2002, I became a commercial lines insurance agent for National Motorsports Insurance Agency. It’s here where I help people across the country build insurable & sustainable tracks, trails, parks, and clubs to this day. I'm also heavily involved in the Wisconsin ATV / UTV Assoc. run by my father, Randy Harden, the international Trail Patrol Ambassador program run by my brother, Adam Harden, and is a board member of the National OHV Informational Services (NOHVIS) group. 

In 2016 My wife and I purchased our 2nd Wrangler JK and we began exploring ways to ride our Jeep on trails. After some research, however, we found that there weren't any public 4x4 trails or registration program in Wisconsin. 

In 2017 we began the Wrangler Riders as a non-profit club and gained access to two private riding parks. Our club ran like a private registration program and soon, we opened a 3rd riding area/park in 2018.  We host rides and training events every month and we quickly became one of the largest clubs in Wisconsin. 

In 2018 we changed the main organization to the Road Legal 4WD Association and made Wrangler Riders one of the primary chapters. This allowed us to aid in starting other chapters through our universal membership. The goal is to build a network of chapters, without the chapters having to fork out a ton of money to develop private and public trails. Furthermore, we began an initiative to reduce the bookwork for our chapters while also providing them with a portion of the membership funds. 

 

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The Resurgence of Real Clubs

I sometimes find myself angry at social media land where people are making fake groups or communities just to line their own pockets from sticker and t-shirt sales. I grow tired of the endless group adding on Facecrap just to see no rides, no trails, no events just cramp for sale, illegal raffles and nothing getting done. It seems this is the way o...
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2249 Hits

Trail Guide Update Sept 2018

As summer draws to a close we are excited to announce our first Trail Guide training as well as the development of the Trail Guide program within the chapters. 
  1224 Hits
1224 Hits

Slow Speed Trails Initiative

Best Crawling Trails
​The Universal Trail Rating System has been a huge step forward in identifying types of trails people want to take. Now, we have identified a way to classify trails that incorporate many obstacles or rough trails that require folks to crawl. We've deemed this as a Slow Speed Trail or SST.  So what defines a Slow Speed Trail? Having an entire t...
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6105 Hits

RL4WD Evolution, GeoCrawls, Trail Signs, Rating System, Elders

It has been a very busy season for the RL4WD chapters and members.Here's a VLOG I recorded the other day on the progress we're making. 
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1503 Hits

Universal Trail Rating System

The Road Legal 4WD Association has come up with a standard trail rating system for drivers and trail managers to use. It is based on the 10 scale setup that many clubs use, but our scale gives details to help identify more specifics that we can use to not only inform people with but also help design trails with. Low-level trails are easier, the hig...
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  4192 Hits
4192 Hits

More Wisconsin Progress 8/10/2018

 Over the course of year and a few months, we've set up 2 private riding parks and one that could possibly be a first WI public park by 2019. Our goal is to set up as many trails as possible, public, private, waypoints, you name it. If a RL4WD can do it, we want to make it happen.  We're starting to map public gravel roads, trails, a...
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1170 Hits

8/9/18 VLOG: Events, Fundraising, WI Trail Program, and Trail Mapping Examples

 As we continue to push ahead, this week's blog post provides updates on our events, some products being set up for chapter funding, and some images of the trail and way-point directory we're setting up for members.  Below are some samples of the mapping directory. It's turning out really nice! Let us know below if you think we need somet...
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911 Hits

WI Trail and Sticker Program Details

​I was talking to Brian Voss over on the Midwest Overlanding facebook page and it appeared that, since we're running at 150% right now, it's not entirely clear on what the end game is for RL4WDA and trails in Wisconsin. Since I've been doing work like this for most of my life, I sometimes forget that many folks who've never been in a club before ma...
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1083 Hits

State Trails Council Meeting Today 8.3.18

State Trails Council Meeting
Today the State Trails Council meets in Sturgeon Bay, WI. I've briefed Luana Schneider (an honorary member of RL4WD) our 4x4 rep of all our progress in 2018 and also sent the recap to DNR and some of the other Council members I have connections with. Our new club and member marketing materials will be on site and will be handed out. We're one of th...
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1008 Hits

Moving Ahead July Update 2018

Making Dreams Reality!
It's been a little while since I've last written a blog post. I've been very busy working on the site and we've had some really great events this past month. There are many great things yet to come with the RL4WD site and Wrangler Riders, it just takes a bunch of time and effort to get it al done. So far, we've accomplished a lot in a very lit...
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866 Hits