After a six-year absence from editor's duties, I'm baaaaaaaack.
Some of you may remember me from my days as editor of our sister publication, 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility. The '80s and '90s were fun decades for the sport of off-roading, with fantastic leaps in technology that allowed us to go farther, faster (or slower, in the rocks) and with more ease than we ever had before. It was great fun to be involved in the industry then, and it's even better to be involved now. Technology continues to evolve faster than anyone would have ever imagined, and trucks are the largest-selling vehicle segment in the United States and Canada today.
Off-Road is known for its dedication to prerunners and off-road racing, and we'll continue that dedication. A recent survey, though, showed us that the largest segment of our readership (you) was into trail riding. So, guess what? Since that's what I'm into, too, we're going to get back to bringing you some of the best trail coverage in North America, as well as purpose-built trucks tough enough to take on those trails. If your truck is engineered from the ground up, with a great suspension, gears, locking differentials, and so on, we're interested. To put it succinctly, whether your passion is going very fast or crawling, Off-Road will have you covered. You're going to love the things we have lined up for this coming year.
Now, with that said, I have to mention something else. A monthly magazine takes about four weeks to produce. I'm writing this editorial two days before the closing deadline, which shows that I had nothing to do with this issue and can't take credit for its production. Big thanks need to be extended to Gary Blount for stepping into the breach and acting as OR's editor, writer, and photographer. While Gary will be contributing often to our publication, he's going to be spending most of his time at Sport Truck magazine. Kevin Blumer, a former freelancer and our new staff editor, also helped out with this issue and brings with him a wealth of prerunner and racing passion.
Finally, I'd like to change the subject one more time. A short time ago, a very good friend of mine went off-roading on the Canaan Mountain trail in southern Utah. Ron Duncan (TJ Ron) and a friend decided to take a couple of days to explore this extraordinary area south of Zion National Park. On the second day, Ron climbed a difficult obstacle in his TJ Wrangler, turned around, and was coming down to help his friend drive up it when his Jeep dropped a front tire off a ledge and went over. Ron was killed. The off-roading community lost a great friend and advocate when Ron left us, and he'll be sorely missed. Incidentally, he stopped by my home in Hurricane, Utah, to say hello on his way out to the trail. I didn't know it would be good-bye. Vaya con dios, Ron.