Off-roading is more than just a pastime: It is a global community of Jeep and truck enthusiasts who love conquering nature in one of the coolest ways possible. However, it takes the extreme efforts of many individuals to allow that to happen on a daily basis. Many of these people do not get the credit they deserve, which is why a few organizations within the world of off-road driving take it upon themselves to hand out accolades.
Person of the Year
Each year, Off-road Magazine selects one individual from the off-roading community to be its Person of the Year. The honoree for 2013 is Mike Bishop, president of the Azusa Canyon Off-Road Association.
Bishop was selected as this year's winner because of his contributions to off-road drivers in and around the Azusa Canyon. He spent more than a decade formulating a plan for the creation of a rock crawling space and putting it into action, dealing with governmental restrictions, environmental regulations and other road blocks along the way. In the end, not only did he gain the ability to use off-road vehicles within a certain area, but he also set up one of the most challenging and alluring off-road obstacle courses in the U.S.
To top it all off, the course at Azusa Canyon benefits the environment. Prior to its construction, many regional drivers were off-roading near the San Gabriel River, which is home to an endangered species of fish. Bishop decided to undertake this massive project in an attempt to protect the precious environment in California while also providing drivers with a spot where they can indulge in their favorite pastime.
Off-roading at Azusa Canyon
The result of all of Bishop's efforts is the Azusa Canyon OHV area, which officially opened to the public in July 2012. Located in the Angeles National Forest, this course is a sprawling site that features plenty of natural and manmade obstacles that can pose a welcome challenge for even the most experienced drivers.
All fans of off-roading can enjoy the three-acre course at Azusa Canyon. This region offers all kinds of terrain waiting to be driven. Whether you swear by rock crawling, love to go mudding or want to drive up sand dunes, you can find the perfect environment on this site. Mud pits and steep rock-covered inclines allow drivers to test out their skills and their truck mods in a safe, controlled space.