A Letter from Co-Founder Bill Buckman, circa 1990:
Thanks for asking about our club. We are all very proud of it and its accomplishments so we are always ready to boast about it. The Jones Creek Trail Riders Association, Inc. (JCTRA) was formed in October of 1990 when the Jones Creek riding area came under attack by its neighbors. They had many complaints but mostly it boiled down to garbage dumping and vandalism. At a public meeting that was being held to disclose a plan to enlarge the Jones Creek parking lot they, the neighbors, had made a pretty good case for closing the area. Ross Sicilia and I decided that if someone didn’t officially represent the motorcycle riders of the area that we would lose it.
Ross and I put together a campaign, organized a few public meetings of our own, and proceeded to put together the Jones Creek Trail Riders Association, Inc. The initial response at the first meeting was overwhelming and it was easy to see that there were a lot of concerned riders out there. It was in April of 1991 that JCTRA incorporated officially in Washington State as a non-profit organization. Now that we were organized, our goal was to make our presence be known.
First, we set out to prove that motorcycle riders didn’t carry appliances and garbage in their trucks because there was not any room left in the pick up after loading up the bike and gear. Then we set out to prove that we were responsible people by cleaning up the area around Jones Creek. It didn’t take long to gain credibility with the neighbors. We haven’t had any complaints from the neighbors in several years so we think that we accomplished what we originally set out to do.
Now that we had a club we needed to find a way to fund it so we decided to have a poker run. This annual event, the Rock ‘n’ Roll poker run, has grown in popularity so much that last year over 300 riders signed up. Its success has been overwhelming. We also sponsor the Hangover Scrambles. This event has been going on for over 25 years at Jones Creek. Originally it was sponsored by the Lobos but when we organized in the Jones Creek area they turned it over to us.
So, that’s how we came about and keep ourselves financially fit but there’s more. We have adopted the Jones Creek area. There is a 13 mile trail loop that is designated for motorcycles by the Department of Natural Resources. Together, through a partnership agreement, we both take care of the 13 miles. In addition to the 13 mile loop there is about 60-70 more miles of other ridable trails. The DNR will not do anything to maintain them so it is up to us to get the job done. It takes a real effort by many to accomplish this so we tackle this task by having our club members adopt their own section of trail and it is up to them to maintain it. About once a month we organize what we call a cut ‘n’ ride. We meet at the parking lot, ride out to a section that needs some help, work on it for a while, and then ride some more. There are some days when the work is greater than the riding but mostly it’s the other way around.
Keeping up the trails is only part of what we do in the Jones Creek area. We also are working towards getting more trails designated and enlarging the system. This is a long term project as the DNR moves in mysterious ways, but mostly slowly. In the summer months we, as a club, do a couple of camp ‘n’ rides. Usually we do one ride that is fairly close, like McCubbins Gulch on Mt. Hood, and one that takes 3 or 4 hours to drive to, like the Naches National Forest East of Mt. Rainier. These are weekend trips where we camp and ride for the weekend. Both of these are great for the whole family as we normally barbecue at one of them and it is a good opportunity to get to know the club members in a relaxed atmosphere.
We encourage people, like yourself, to join a club. Of course we prefer that you join our club but any club is better than none at all. By belonging to a club you are standing up and being counted. It is numbers that the dignitaries are listening to. Proof of that is that as unorganized individuals we just about lost Jones Creek, but as an organized group we have ensured its life for many years to come. Come and join us, help us and be a part of what we do.
Co-Founder of the Jones Creek Trail Riders Association
A lot has changed since the early days of JCTRA, but one thing that hasn’t is our devotion to keeping Jones Creek open and ridable for ourselves and the riding public. The Rock ‘n Roll Poker Run ended when the unsanctioned trails were declared off-limits, but we recently hosted our first “Season Opening” event which had great attendance and gave folks a chance to meet us. We still hold cut-n-ride work parties too, and if you check the calendar of events, you’ll see places and events you might catch us at as a group, having fun around dirt bikes and barbeques. And the Hangover! The Hangover is in its 47th year now, and we are both proud and thrilled we get to host this awesome event for a thousand of our best friends.
We’ve been through periods when things are booming, and also barely moving. However, in all that time, the dedicated individuals of JCTRA have continued to fight for your motorized rights in the Yacolt Burn forest, and we’ll never stop doing so. Won’t you join with us?