About Rick Russell
Rick Russell is
considered to be one of the top Off Road Experts in the country. Rick's off
road skills have been utilized by Honda, Goodyear, Jeep, Nissan, VW, Ramsey,
Warn Winch, and professional photographers. Honda has utilized Rick's
experience to build off road courses in California, North Carolina, New
Mexico, California and Canada for the introductions of the Acura MDX, Honda
Pilot and the Ridgeline vehicles. In addition, Rick has organized ride &
drive programs for Goodyear, Rancho, and 4-Wheel Parts Performance Centers.
Other companies have utilized Rick's experience to support their
professional photographers. Rick has also taught land management personnel
about Driving Safely in the Backcountry. Rick has given seminars at Outdoor
Shows, Annual Four Wheel Drive Association Conventions and is a popular
guest speaker in the off road industry.
Articles written by Rick or featuring Sidekick
Rick writes about 6-8 articles a year describing specific
trails, building 4x4 vehicles and other issues surrounding backcountry
travel for Off-Road Magazine, 4WD & Sport Utility Magazine, 4 Wheel
Parts' Off Road Adventure Magazine and many websites. One article
even described how he successfully challenged the California Highway Patrol
in court regarding the proper definition of "driving lights" vs. "off road
lights" -- 4-wheelers were being unfairly ticketed. (click
here for info)
Accomplishments in the Off Highway Industry
Sidekick Off Road, was established in 1988. Since then the company has
produced 23 maps for the motorcycle and 4-wheel drive enthusiast. He has
also published Off Road Event Calendars every year since 1990, produced an
Off Highway Adventure Video Series (which now has
21 videos) and has produced 13 TV shows which were broadcast on The
Outdoor Channel. Selected shows have been run on local TV stations across
the country. Rick has also produced a 4-Wheeling Basics Video and a
Learning to Weld Video. The 4-Wheeling Basics video has been
used by clubs, off road groups, fire departments and Forest Service
volunteer groups to improve safety of backcountry travel. Rick’s maps,
calendars and videos are sold at off road stores and specialty shops
nationwide. Rick's accomplishments have earned him a
place as one of the top 4-wheel drive experts in America.
promotes proper use of off road vehicles. For example, he worked with both
the US Forest Service and the BLM to create Volunteer Programs that provide
an opportunity for industry, off highway enthusiasts and land managers to
work together with common goals. One such volunteer program is in the San
Bernardino National Forest. The SBNF contracted Rick to design and develop
an Off Road Volunteer Program for their 800,000 acre forest. The process
took 24 months and grew to over 80 volunteers during its first few years of
operation. The volunteers attend a series of training classes including:
First Aid, Forest Service Policy & Procedure, ATV Safety, 4-Wheeling Basics,
volunteer procedures and radio training. Unlike other programs, the SBNF
program included motorcyclers, ATV riders and 4-wheelers.
later he started another volunteer program to bring inner-city kids onto
public lands and give them an out-of-city experience. The program involves
businesses, local law enforcement, public land managers and off highway
volunteers. With more than 100 volunteers in the 2006 Kids On Public Lands (KOPL)
program, they provided an opportunity for one hundred inner-city kids to
experience a National Forest.
Rick is a
member of the California Association of 4WD Clubs, CORVA, Tread Lightly!,
and the Blue Ribbon Coalition. He has served as a Commissioner for Joshua
Tree National Monument. Rick says he will always work to heighten the
public's awareness to the thousands of miles of existing roads on public
lands which are constantly under scrutiny for closure.
more than 120 days a year on the trail, taping videos, attending events,
making maps, researching articles, scouting locations/trails and consulting
with corporate clients. Like the saying goes, "It's a tough job, but
somebody's got to do it!"
his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science Rick began designing computer
systems for small businesses. His career in the computer industry stretched
for ten years and included three years as an IBM Sales Representative. Rick
leveraged his business experience and Masters Degree in Business, which he
earned by attending night school, to advance into upper level management.
His first high level position was as Vice President of Finance. That
position allowed him to move up the ladder to Division General Manager, VP
Operations and finally a CEO position before turning his hobby into a
Rick has been
married 30 years to his business partner, Marilyn, who manages the office
and handles graphic design. They have four grown children who have always
been involved with camping and off roading.
Many people ask if they can appear in
Rick's next video. The
answer is maybe. Just email/send your vehicle specifications (no pictures necessary)
along with the trails you have driven in your area and how far you are willing to drive.
Each driver should be capable of being the chief mechanic on their vehicle. But most of all, there can be no whining about body damage.
Events Rick is planning to attend