The History of SAER: The 21st Century

No longer having to make land payments led the club to consider backing off on the number of motocrosses we needed to run. It was difficult to get everyone to show up to work when everyone just wanted to ride. There was now, however, a sizable MX based membership, as well as the off-road people, so we didn’t want to stop doing races. And they were profitable. The club continued to do 3 or 4 a year, in March and April, with one in the late fall. In 2006 it was decided to add Saturday Practice to the race weekends, but by 2009 it was determined that this lost money, and denied members riding time.

Improvements continued to be made at the Grantsburg track. Storage sheds were built by Tim Kight and Roy Fleming (2000), the parking area was expanded to the East (2001), the second tunnel was added under the Parking Lot jump (2002), the front Gatehouse and a new Scoring shack (2004), a new watering system, fence and Hwy 70 gate (2005).

In 2007, a new Clubhouse is built! The old scoring trailer was falling apart, so in true Straight Arrow tradition, it was shot, burned, and put out of it’s misery. Tim Kight had a demo building each year at the State Fair, as a promotion for his business, which needed to be torn down at the end. In return for Straight Arrow help building, disassembling, moving to Grantsburg, and re-erecting it, he donated it to the club. The club then spent an additional $10,000 to roof it and finish the interior.

The club continues with the Holyoke Enduro, putting on a string of excellent events. But the route gradually changes, as a result of land use issues. In 1998 the East Wisconsin trail was dropped due to WI DNR concern over all the water crossings. A series of logging and ownership changes gradually reduced the West of Hwy 23 sections, until after 2005 they could no longer be used. Expansion of ATV use and ATV dedicated trails turned many former single tracks into 2-tracks or forest roads. Trail Boss Ken Fastner works hard to conteract this, by adding and restoring single track and working with the DNR to make them Off Highway Motorcycle Only trails, as part of the Forest Plan. The old Corduroy section was revived and re-routed, large sections of road were bypassed (the Harlis and Gandy Dancer Bypasses), and a whole new North section was added that connected to Wisconsin. A whole bunch of bridges are put in to harden the trail in the soggy Nemadji. In 2002 and 2003 Holyoke wins Enduro of the Year!

During this time, the club has been basing the enduro out of the Holyoke City Park and using the Holyoke City Hall for sign up and scoring. But the City Hall suffers water damage, and the road to Holyoke is closed in 2007 in order to rebuild the bridge into town. So in 2007 the enduro is moved to Duquette, which is a blessing in disguise. The Duquette Park is much bigger, allowing better camping, with the nearby Duquette General Store, gas station, and Tavern for supplies. With the new route, the club also starts using the National Start/Re-start method of scoring an enduro.

For 2008, the club hosts the 40th Annual Moose Run Enduro at Duquette as an AMA National! Began using MotoTally for computerized scoring of enduros.

In 2005, the Straight Arrows are approached by a Wisconsin club, the Midwest Off-road Trail Riders, about opening up a new riding area near Stone Lake, WI., on private Johnson Paper company land. They would like to put on an enduro, but lack the manpower to put in trails quickly and hold the race. The terrain is hilly, rocky, and heavily wooded, making for spectacular riding conditions. The club begins a multi-year commitment to Stone Lake, putting in 25 miles of gnarly trail, which along with MOTR’s 25 miles, gives a butt-kicking enduro course. SAER runs the enduro the first year, then turns it over to MOTR, continuing to provide support.

In 2009, after years of no hare scrambles, the club decides to do one at Stone Lake, separate from the enduro. Using some enduro trail and some new trail, this race is a great success, led by Trail Boss Mike Murphy!

The club continued to advance, making improvements in organization. Club meetings are changed to the last Wednesday of the month. In 2004 a constitution change makes the MX Chairman and Off Road Chairman elected club officers. Club elections are moved to November. Microsoft Excel is used for the club roster, and email for the club minutes, going paperless in 2007. Notable members include Ron Palm, Steve Long, Roy Fleming, Greg Nelson, John Otto, Ken King, Matt Leebens, Ken Fastner, Bob Chase, Mike Murphy, Paul Spears, Bill Corcoran, Tom Peterson, Mark Krey, Tim Kight, and Jessica Kight.