About OFTR

Life is a journey best taken off-road on two wheels

The Ontario Federation of Trail Riders provides resources and advocacy for Ontarians who love trail riding and exploring the great outdoors. In partnership with our member clubs we source, create, and maintain a trail network for the responsible use by off-road motorcyclists. We provide a strong voice supported by a substantial membership to represent off-road riders to ensure these trails continue to be accessible.

OFTR History

The OFTR was established in 1992 by four avid off-road riders that had the foresight to recognize the need for a common voice among riders. This was a totally volunteer organization that became the voice of off-road riders in the province. The OFTR remained a volunteer organization until 2004. At that time government and industry funding allowed OFTR to hire its first employee. With a full time employee the organization gained tremendous credibility with government bodies and was able to establish land use agreements throughout the province. The OFTR Trail Ride Series was established and the OFTR continues to ensure off-road riders have access to some of the best riding areas in the world.

Board of Directors

Art Ash

Art Ash

President

Hometown
Guelph

What do you ride and how long you have been riding?
Dirt riding is on a 2011 GasGas EC250 and street riding is on a 2016 Suzuki DRZ400SM. I have been riding since I was a teen but took a very long break and started riding again in my forties.

How do you volunteer with OFTR and our member clubs?
I am a past member of the ODSC board of directors and I am currently the president of the OFTR. I have been a board member with OFTR for five years and the president for four of those.

Why do you volunteer?
I started volunteering when my son was younger and riding with me on a regular basis. I was volunteering to help ensure that there would be places for him to ride when he is older and for his kids to ride when he has them. I have since made some great friendships through riding and volunteering and get a sense of reward from knowing I am helping to grow a sport that I truly love.

What do you love about off-road riding?
The fact that it helps keep me in shape and is so much more fun than running or going to the gym. I love the outdoors and this combines some of my favourite elements of the forest and some adrenaline to make a day of riding one of my favourite ways to spend a day off.

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

Vice President

Hometown
Garden Hill

What do you ride and how long you have been riding?
I ride both street and dirt on an ever changing variety of motorcycles. At present a 430 Beta, a Gas Gas trials bike, an ST1300 and just picked up an R1150 GS adv.

How do you volunteer with OFTR and our member clubs?
I started helping at the races when I started racing again with my son about 20 years ago. I got more and more involved until I was putting on the races. After travelling south to race I found that organizationally we could do better so a number of us got together and started Off-Road Ontario 10 years ago. I still have some involvement putting on a couple Enduros in the Ganaraska. I have been the President of the Great Pine Trail Riders for a number of years which lead me to OFTR where I am now the Vice President.

Why do you volunteer?
I love off-road riding, and every kind of riding. It makes up a big part of my life. I want our sport to have great events, have great places to ride and provide opportunities long into the future for people to enjoy our sport here in Ontario.

What do you love about off-road riding?
It appeals to so many different aspects of life. It’s technical, both riding and dealing with motorcycles. It’s physically challenging and great exercise. It lets you get to places and experience nature in a truly unique way and it is a solvent for all of life's trials and tribulations since when you are chasing someone down a sweet section of single track there is just no way you can worry about anything else.

Jamie Kowitz

Jaime Kowitz

Treasurer

Hometown
Waterloo

What do you ride and how long you have been riding?
I ride a 2018 GasGas ec250, and have been riding motorcycles for 20 years (off-road for the past 11 of those).

How do you volunteer with OFTR and our member clubs?
I am the Treasurer of the OFTR, plus I help out with other OFTR committees, and in the booth at the motorcycle shows.

Why do you volunteer?
I want to continue off-road riding for the foreseeable future. We need people to contribute where they can to keep riding areas open and maintained as well as work to open new areas. I volunteer so that I can continue doing what I love to do.

What do you love about off-road riding?
I love the physical and mental challenge of off-road riding. I love the variety of terrain you can experience by riding different places. I love the views I get to experience that wouldn't happen with other sports. I love spending time outdoors. I love the camaraderie with others who also love the sport. I love spending time riding with my husband and friends. I love everything about it!

Mark Ayles

Mark Ayles

Director

Hometown
I live in North York. Our cottage is in Wilberforce just north of Gooderham. This is my favorite place on Earth (well Paris is Paris). I built it 20 years ago. My family get to spend all summer up there and I spend every weekend there.

What do you ride and how long you have been riding
My son and I got into riding about nine years ago when he was seven. We started on some bullet proof Hondas, now he rides a Sherco 300 and I have a Husky 350. I'm truly addicted to trail riding. Good single track with some mud and I couldn't be happier. Unfortunately my daughter doesn't like to dress in the gear. She likes sledding better.

How you volunteer – OFTR and other clubs
I am on the board for Haliburton Trail Riders (HTR) and was on the board for Paudash Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club.

Why do you volunteer
I joined HTR to help keep and increase the amount of trails around Wilberforce. My love is to see young riders out enjoying the trails. Some of my best times have been riding to some small lake for a sandwich with my son and just talk about the ride.

What do you love about off-road riding
The great part of our sport is we can get to a lot of places that most can not. Just a trail our handlebars can squeeze thru. The sport’s future looks great and as more people fall in love with riding we will just keep getting stronger and gaining more access to trails. Happy riding!

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

OFTR Board of Directors

Hometown
Orangeville, Ontario

What do you ride and how long you have been riding
I ride a Beta 390 and KTM 690. I have been riding on and off since I was 10-years-old, and got back into off-road riding in 2008.

How do you volunteer with OFTR and our member clubs?
I volunteer at OFTR shows and rides. I also volunteer on the Ontario Dual Sport Club (ODSC) executive and am a ride organizer. Occasionally I’m a race volunteer with Off-Road Ontario.

Why do you volunteer
To give back to the community.

What do you love about off-road riding
Love of motorcycles, spending time with friends, fitness and the focus required, and stress release.

Alan Young

Alan E. Young

Director

Hometown
Barrie, Ontario

What do you ride and how long you have been riding
I ride a Honda CRF250 Rally, and have been riding for five years.

How you volunteer – OFTR and other clubs
I’m a Board Member of SCORRA and am in charge of partnerships and sponsorships.

Why do you volunteer
Why not? But seriously, if we had more volunteers in every facet of our lives, our world would be in much better shape.

What do you love about off-road riding
The friendships that are made, the stories that are told and the bruises that always heal.

Ian Peters

Ian Peters

Director

Hometown
Toronto, Ontario

What do you ride and how long you have been riding
I started riding when I was 10. As a kid I was fortunate enough to have a friend that got me into riding. We rode as much as we could at the Pickering pits during the summer. I started racing in 1987 on a CanAm 400. I am now riding a KTM XCWs and still love it!

How do you volunteer with OFTR and our member clubs?
For the last 20 plus years I have worked on the Cord. I first had the section around the famous tunnel of love and put a lot of the original trails in that area, and then worked the trails South of Gooderham.

Why do you volunteer
As a former OCMC member I got an understanding of how much fun it is to work on events (another reason to go riding). I worked on many events including club enduros, motocross, and cross countries.

What do you love about off-road riding
Off-road riding is the absolute best sport or activity there is. You have the thrill of the ride, the accomplishments of new skills and personal challenges. You are outdoors and will see more of our beautiful forests than most people. The off-road community is very welcoming.

Bill Fulton

Bill Fulton

Director

Hometown
Minto, NB

Bill started trail riding in 1978. Shortly thereafter he began racing motocross in the Atlantic and Quebec regions where he advanced to the expert category while achieving modest success. As a young officer in the Canadian Forces he was transferred to several locations around the world where he could no longer afford the time or money to race. As his family grew and his career progressed, he stopped riding for several years until joining the Bytown Motorcycle Association in 2007 where he has been a director for the last eight years. He currently rides enduro recreationally with family and friends, primarily on the Calabogie and Limerick Forest trails. He has also survived the GRIZBAIT ride and enjoyed riding adventures in Moab, Utah. His fleet includes a 2009 KTM 300, 2013 KTM 300, 2016 KTM 500, 2017 Husky FX 350 and several mini bikes for the grandchildren. Beyond the dirt bike community he is also a director for several military boards and associations. With a passion for riding and a desire to protect and expand the sport, he regularly organizes and leads BMA rides and supports training for novice and intermediate riders.

Get Involved

Get Involved

OFTR needs your ideas, insights, connections, time, and your passion for the sport. Get involved with OFTR! OFTR is proud to provide access to new riding areas and attract families and women riders. OFTR and our Member Clubs across the province are driven by volunteers dedicated to maintaining great riding areas, and developing new riding areas and trails for today and future generations. Share your skills with a dynamic team. OFTR is looking for volunteers with marketing and communication, advocacy, and project management experience to join our committees:

  • Communication
  • Off-Road Advocacy
  • Trail Ride Series
  • Trail Inventory

Help out in your local community! Our Members Clubs are always looking for volunteers to help for a day or even a few hours. Please contact your local club.

Please consider getting involved with OFTR and Member Clubs in 2019….in a small way or in a big way, whatever works for you. We’re only as strong and can do as much as our collective involvement allows.

Advocacy

The OFTR is a provincial organization that provides off-road motorcycle riders a unified voice in the province of Ontario. The OFTR focuses on educating government, riders, landowners and the non-riding public on the sport of off-road motorcycle riding. The OFTR works in collaboration with stakeholders, local, regional, provincial and federal governments to preserve existing riding areas and gain access to new areas.

Advocacy

Sponsors & Partners

With support from

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