Acadiana Dirt Riders is a family-oriented dirtbike club established for the purpose of promoting off-road motorcycle racing, and hosting an annual AMA-sanctioned enduro. ADR’s current membership spans three generations.
Club meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month, with the exception of July, at Deano’s Pizza in Lafayette.
Many thanks to Bob Cornell, Bruce Comeaux and Lucas Comeaux for compiling the following history.
The club was chartered by the American Motorcyclist Association in 1978. We could not find enough AMA members to get the charter, the AMA required something like 20 AMA members to grant a club charter, so a member signed up and paid the dues of some of his employees to reach the required minimum.
Early members were Bob and John Cornell, Jerry Walton, Charles Avery, Mark Galyean, Patty Stuart, Dean Richard, Duffy Harris, Jimmy Peckinpaugh, Gordon Ryder, Tracy Barstow Sr.
Shortly thereafter membership grew rapidly when the Comeaux family joined. Bruce and Donna have been very active and contributed greatly to the continuity and standards of the Acadiana Dirt Riders. Bruce was our Trail Boss for the first few enduro’s and was instrumental in laying out the designated trail system used today.
From the very beginning the club has been oriented and dedicated to off-road motorcycle racing, especially enduros.
Our first attempts to get a Forest Service permit to hold an enduro were met with refusal by the Kisatchie National Forest supervisor. After numerous attempts we decided to apply pressure from contacts we had in Washington. Tracy Barstow, Sr. knew Gillis Long, then a U.S. Congressman and Bob Cornell knew John Breaux, at the time a U.S. Senator. They contacted their offices and explained the situation. Shortly thereafter Bob got a call from Breaux’s office saying that he and Long were having a lunch meeting with the Secretary of Agriculture and wanted to know if there was anything new in our situation. A few days after that lunch Bob had a call from the Forest Service wanting to know when we wanted to hold that motorcycle race. The first ADR Enduro was in 1982 and we have had an Enduro every year since. These are under a permit granted by the Forest Service and we’ve had a great working relationship with them since that time.
Video footage of our first Enduro in 1982:
Eight of our enduros have been on the AMA National Enduros schedule. The first National was in 1988. Here is the Cycle News article about the event:
|Click on the images above to zoom in|
In 1983 we held a Hare Scramble on private property at Turkey Creek, Louisiana. This was an event in the old Louisiana Hare Scrambles series and the only Hare Scramble ADR ever held.
In 1999 we held an ISDE Two Day qualifier which also counted as two National Enduros. Conflicts with the AMA over the impound rules being unfair to those riding the endures but not LOI 2-day riders, the AMA feeling that the Motocross track was too difficult, the length of our special tests and other issues left us with no desire to hold another. The riders loved the event though because it was all trail, no roads from test to test.
Except for the hare scramble at Turkey Creek, and a 2004 hare scramble at Livingston, every event has been held in the Claiborne area of Kisatchie National Forest. The area encompasses the remains of Camp Claiborne, a U.S. Army post during World War II. Camp Claiborne was the largest military installation in the United States and the third largest city in Louisiana. Today, part of the old camp is used as a U.S. Air Force bombing range.
Our enduros were always 100 miles long until the rules changed to shorten the events. Because our terrain offers few challenges of a technical nature, we make our enduros long and fast. At the end of our events, few riders want more.
Here is some video footage of our 1987 Cajun Classic Enduro:
In 1987 the club leased 66 acres of private land adjoining the forest. That has become our club campground and a base of operations. An old home on the property was salvaged, electric and water hookups for campers were installed on the grounds. This property has become our center of work and social activity.
Acadiana Dirt Riders has a long history of working closely with the Forest Service. This effort has certainly been a “Win-Win” for riders and the Forest Service. Trails have been established and maintained by ADR relieving the Forest Service these tasks as well as funding for the projects. The Designated Trails system in the Claiborne area was proposed by the club in the early 1990s.
On August 3, 1993, John DuBose, as president of ADR, submitted an application to the State of Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Transportation, for funding under the Federal Highway Administration Recreation Trails Fund(a/k/a Symms National Recreation Trails Act of 1991).
On June 1, 1994, the State of Louisiana, Louisiana and the Forest Service entered into an agreement pertaining to the Interstate Surface Transportation Enhancement Act, National recreation Trails Fund Act, funding the construction and/or improvement of the multiple use trails and support facilities on the Claiborne Multiple Use Trail on the Evangeline Ranger District and the Enduro Trail and Camp on the Vernon Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest. Total funding for both projects was $87,000.00 or $43,500.00 for each project.
On November 5, 2003, Tracy Barstow, as president of ADR, submitted an application to the Governor’s Office of Community Programs, Recreational Trails Grants Section, for funding under the Louisiana Recreational Trails Program which is also funded by the Symms National Recreation Trails Fund Act of 1991.
On October 28, 2005, the Governor’s Office of Community Programs, Recreational Trails Grants Section, as administrative agency of the Louisiana Recreational Trails Program, agreed to fund the Claiborne Multi-Use Trails Restoration Project in the amount of $21,250.00. By the time this was granted, Darin LaFleur had been elected president of ADR. Authorization to begin working on the project was granted by a letter dated November 28, 2005 from the Louisiana Recreational Trails Director. This grant covered trail work from that date until April 31, 2010.
Under these grants the club mapped and marked the 90 miles of trails originating from the Loran Site campground. We have maintained the trails south of LA Hwy 112 since then. In 2005 working with Ranger Glen Coleman and forest supervisor James Burton, the 75 mile Boy Scout trail south of LA 112 was dedicated as a single track trail. This system has become the trail system used for our enduros and recreation.
Glen Coleman is the forest service ranger with whom we have had the longest working relationship. Glen was a “by the book” ranger who kept us in line while always protecting the best interest of the forest. Glen has been a friend of ours and our families for many years now and no history of the club would be complete without credit to Glen. He retired in 2009 and we miss his ready smile.
Our working relationship with the USFS in Kisatchie has been a great one for some 35 years. Not that we have not had our “issues”, but by both sides understanding the other’s concerns, we’ve always been able to find a solution.
Tracy Barstow Jr.
Tracy Barstow Jr.
AMERICAN TEAM ISDE RIDERS:
David Bragg, Australia, 1992
Blake Plonsky, Portugal 1999
Kevin Hutchinson, Chile 2007 & Greece, 2008
Lucas Comeaux, Chile,2007