Over the course of a number of months, all-terrain and utility vehicle enthusiasts showed up at council and board meetings all over Jones County to get ordinances changed to allow for the expanded use of the vehicles around the county.
After working with Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver to get a new county ordinance passed allowing the use of the vehicles on county roads in November, they got similar ordinances passed in many surrounding towns, including Anamosa, Monticello, Oxford Junction, Wyoming and Olin over the course of the spring. The county’s conservation board also approved allowing the vehicle on paved portions of county parks.
Dave Oldham, along his with wife Deb, is one of the board members along with Bobby Krum, Chad Rubner, Eileen Marsh, Karen DeLancey, Mandy Bieber and Clayton Paulson. The Oldhams helped get Anamosa’s initial ATV/UTV ordinance passed to allow for the use of the vehicles in town.
With the passage of new ordinances came a county club: The Blue Cut Trailblazers. The club had been tossed around as an idea during the process of getting county and city ordinances rewritten and the relationships developed over the process made the club a no-brainer.
“We started hanging out together. So, I think it just kind of developed from there,” Oldham said of the club.
Over the past number of weeks, the group has gone on a number of social outings.
The club kicked off last month with a membership drive in Central Park and ended June with a social ride that included stops in Scotch Grove, Hale, Wyoming and Olin and rode in Monticello’s Fourth of July Parade. In just a few short months, the club has already grown to 48 members. Oldham said they tried to mirror it off of similar groups they had seen develop locally and in Wisconsin.
As riders have begun to ride more as the weather’s improved, the continuity achieved with the various ordinances has made things simpler since riders don’t have to be worried about a compliant vehicle in one city being in violation somewhere else around the county.
“If everybody’s on the same page, it makes things easier,” Dave Oldham said.
The idea behind the group is to keep it busy with projects, and there are a few events already in the works. A map of Jones County showing where it is legal to ride will hopefully be finished by next month, there will be a poker run in August and the club will be in charge of organizing the annual Pumpkinfest parade.
“Deb and I have done it over the years, and we thought, ‘These people all have ATVs and UTVs, so it’s easy for us to get around,’” Dave Oldham said.
The club is constantly looking for ways to expand and to bring more people into the community through ATV and UTV use and hope to eventually get a trail system set up.
More information on the club, including how to become a member, can be found on the Blue Cut Trailblazer’s Facebook page and website.