Conversations with Big Rich

Intense, fun-lovin' Doug Bigelow on Episode 41 talks football, kids and competition

January 14, 2021 Guest Doug Bigelow Season 1 Episode 41
Conversations with Big Rich
Intense, fun-lovin' Doug Bigelow on Episode 41 talks football, kids and competition
Chapters
Conversations with Big Rich
Intense, fun-lovin' Doug Bigelow on Episode 41 talks football, kids and competition
Jan 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 41
Guest Doug Bigelow

Family life dominates this week’s guest, Doug Bigelow, as he raises boys to be as driven as he has always been. An intense competitor on the course, but fun-lovin’ round the campfire, Doug shares life in Maryland, football, future plans and life at home with us. 

4:34 – I thought I was king of the world

6:21 – Lessons from the field

9:29 –I thought criminology was going to be my path

10:36 – I met Kat by accident

14:25 – Frog Eye Mud Bog

21:22 –that first Jeep opened my eyes to a world of possibilities

28:30 – loaded up for the Badlands

33:23 – afterparties at Jellico 

37:22 –picking lines quick and fast

40:31 –“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”

52:25 –the coolest thing

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)

Show Notes Transcript

Family life dominates this week’s guest, Doug Bigelow, as he raises boys to be as driven as he has always been. An intense competitor on the course, but fun-lovin’ round the campfire, Doug shares life in Maryland, football, future plans and life at home with us. 

4:34 – I thought I was king of the world

6:21 – Lessons from the field

9:29 –I thought criminology was going to be my path

10:36 – I met Kat by accident

14:25 – Frog Eye Mud Bog

21:22 –that first Jeep opened my eyes to a world of possibilities

28:30 – loaded up for the Badlands

33:23 – afterparties at Jellico 

37:22 –picking lines quick and fast

40:31 –“Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”

52:25 –the coolest thing

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)

Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.

[00:00:29.500] 

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 [00:00:56.040] 

Why should you read 4Low magazine, because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the Four-Wheel Drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4Low on a newsstand rack.So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.

 00:01:21.450] - Big Rich Klein

Thank you for joining Conversations with Big Rich today. Our guest is Doug Bigelow. Doug is a past competitor in rock crawling and rock racing. And we will talk to Doug about his life experiences and what got him to where we're at today. So  Doug, it's great to hear your voice again and have you on with our listeners. I'd like to, you know, just ask first of all, you know, how you been?

 [00:01:50.220] - Doug Bigelow
I'm good, man. I've been real good. You know, family dominates a lot of what's going on these days. My boys are getting bigger. They're getting older. They got us running one hundred miles an hour and, you know, I've been good, wifes good, families good, little wheeling from time to time so that's real good. And it's good to hear everybody. It's good to hear your voice, Man

[00:02:12.150] - Big Rich Klein
Let's jump right in. And where did you grow up?


[00:02:16.100] - Doug Bigelow

So I actually grew up right outside of Washington, D.C., about 15 minutes. So I'm not what you would think. I don't live on the mountains or anything like that. My my dad was a cop. We lived I almost want to say a little bit of a little bit of a suburban/city type life. And then as I got older and got into the middle school time, high school time, we moved out to western Maryland, which a little more rural got out in that neck of the woods.

 


[00:02:47.490] 

And, you know, it was rather truck oriented, jeep oriented, a little bit more room to spread out. So I grew up the second part, I guess you could say, my, my high school years out in the western Maryland, Washington County, Hagerstown, Maryland areas. OK, yeah, I grew up down the road close to the city, so I got a lot of roots that way. But in the second part of my life, I've been out here in the in the in the western Maryland area.

 


[00:03:14.130] - Big Rich Klein

So I know that organized sports were a big part of your life. Yeah, yeah, so was that besides, were you besides being a good athlete as you were growing up, which obviously you were, we'll get into that here in a minute. How were you scholastically? Were you were you pretty solid or.

 


[00:03:38.540] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, I wouldn't say I was I wouldn't say I was the smartest kid in the class, but I, I wasn't at the end of the line either. I knew my parents by my mother always pushed me in the direction of knowing that. And I'll just preface this, neither one of my parents went to college or anything like that. But they knew, you know, an avenue for me was if I had, you know, pretty good grades and I seem to be a pretty good athlete, that there was going to be pretty good opportunities for me down the road.

 


[00:04:08.190] 

So, yeah, I mean, sports dominated my my life growing up. I had two younger brothers, so we we were, you know, very blessed to be able to run real fast and jump real high and just very athletically involved. So it helped tremendously.

 


[00:04:26.370] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. So when you were growing up before age of driving, were you into anything motorized as well?

 


[00:04:34.710] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, I did. I think I got my first little dirt bike. This is before I moved away from the city. We lived in a pretty good sized subdivision called Morrilton and off of 301 coming out of D.C. and there was a golf course there that was abandoned and run down. All the kids used to ride there. Their three wheelers down there and they're dirt bikes. And I think I was about seven or eight years old when I got my first Honda 50.

 


[00:05:04.050] 

I've thought I was king of the world. Dave O'Connor had a 70s and we ran that everywhere.

 


[00:05:10.890] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Let's jump into the whole organized sports. I know that's a big part of your life. Talking with Jeremy Hammer, he you know, he played college, he played ASU, didn't he? he played at Arizona State.

 


[00:05:25.950] 

Yeah. I remember having beers with him one time talking about it.

 


[00:05:28.980] 

Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead. And let's let's talk about the organized sports and.

 


[00:05:33.420] - Doug Bigelow

You bet, man. Yeah. You know, sports dominated my my life growing up. And I knew at a pretty early age I wanted to go to college and play football and doing all of that. I knew that we had you know, you have that certain small window of time where you can honestly pick up, you know, pick up, pick up that time to be able to do it. And with knowing that. Me and my brothers worked out daily.

 


[00:06:01.880] 

I mean, we worked out like there was no tomorrow, and I was fortunate enough to earn a full scholarship to a Division one school to play football. But the linebacker and the both my other brothers did, as well as a lot of fun.

 


[00:06:15.230] - Big Rich Klein

What did you take away from football that set you up for your life?

 


[00:06:21.710] - Doug Bigelow

Well, you know, I just had a conversation with a rep that I manage here, you know, I don't think I've learned anything in classes. I hate to say that, you know, five years of college, I don't feel like I've learned anything in college. But I do truly believe I've learned a lot on the on the football field. And biggest thing was get up early, get a bunch done, work hard, outwork the person that's next to you.

 


[00:06:47.810] 

And only good things are going to come. And, you know, I think to this day I've always been an early riser. I'm usually up at five o'clock every morning. You get a little bit of workout and get some blood moving and get a good breakfast. And I usually try and get myself up and go on and roll on by seven, seven thirty in the morning out the door to head in to work. And you know, there is a lot of other folks that go about it and are successful in their way.

 


[00:07:12.380] 

I think that's what's helped me be successful is, you know, perseverance. I know having that conversation with that rep the other day, they were like, well, how do you do it? I was like, well, it's not always easy. It's not always the funnest thing to do. But, you know, when it's three degrees outside, you got to go for a run and you got to go for a walk. That's the mental toughness that comes down to a sport, because it's not always the easiest path that gets you there.

 


[00:07:40.010] 

It's a lot of ups and downs

 


[00:07:41.660] - Big Rich Klein

right now. I agree totally with that.

 


[00:07:44.540] 

So your career outside of the football and playing playing ball you played at Maryland, was that correct?

 


[00:07:51.650] - Doug Bigelow

I played at James Madison. James Madison, OK. Yep, I played a James Madison we're, you know, we're an SCS school and, you know, 1AA for those that kind of know and we're top tier, you know, top five in the country every year, if not the national championship game. And, you know, I had a lot of full scholarship offers to major Division One schools. And when I really narrowed all of my opportunities down, JMU was phenomenal fit for me, had a ton of fun there.

 


[00:08:23.900] 

Met my wife there actually probably started my my real love for Four Wheeling when I was in college and maybe a little bit before that, when I was in high school. But, you know, it was a perfect fit for me and I'm glad I chose go there.

 


[00:08:39.650] - Big Rich Klein

Awesome. What career path did you take up to where you're at now?

 


[00:08:44.840] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, it's funny that I thought, you know, when you're in college and I was there to play football and, you know, I thought I was gonna play football for the rest of my life, worked out for every pro team on the planet and, you know, just wasn't in the cards for me. But one of my best friends in college Ed Perry. He played for the Miami Dolphins for nine years. So we used to talk a lot.

 


[00:09:06.590] 

And Ed was like, hey, man, you got to you got to you got to come check out these sociology class. There are a lot of girls here. So, you know, I ended up, you know, by default when I looked at my when I looked at my credits that I had already earned. You know, your first two years, you're pretty much just on your basics. And I was like, man, I'm like three quarters of the way to a criminology degree.

 


[00:09:29.720] 

So sociology just seemed like the perfect fit. Concentration and criminology was working on the criminal justice mind or two. At the same time, I was like, I thought that was going to be the route. My dad my dad was a cop. My my uncles were cops. My grandfather was in law enforcement, so it just seemed like the natural progression. I actually even went and took the Pennsylvania State Police exam when I got done with college. But, you know, looking back on it now and I don't think I would have been upset that I went into that route, but I I felt that there was different avenues for me.

 


[00:10:05.960] 

And a big part of that was being in management and being in sales. And I've always had the ability to be able to just, you know, strike up a conversation with somebody. So over the years, being able to kind of hone that craft in an avenue that made sense for me and I could make money for it, then, you know, that's how I ended up in management and sales. And it's been it served me well for the last twenty years now.

 


[00:10:33.290] - Big Rich Klein

And you said you met Kat at college as well?

 


[00:10:36.560] - Doug Bigelow

I did by accident, you know, it was crazy.  Yeah, literally by accident. I was not looking for a girlfriend. You know, for those that knew me back there in that day, I had a long time girlfriend and even did the long distance relationship thing. But I had seen Katrina. She was on the field hockey team, ten times better athlete than I will ever be.

 


[00:11:04.190] 

Two time all-American in field hockey just really, really good. But the field hockey team practiced right before the football team on or in our stadium. So I used to see her a lot, never really knew her, didn't know any of her friends. So we never really crossed paths. And it was one night I had actually just finished up my my my senior fall season. I went picked up my brother Troy. He was going to military school down in southern Virginia and went and picked him up, came back a buddy of ours, Danny Steve was having a big party, whole football team.

 


[00:11:36.560] 

Their whole field hockey team was probably about a thousand fifteen hundred people at this party, a huge college party, a met her that night at that party. And, you know, short of going to King of the Hammers or something, we haven't spent a day apart since since that day. So that was January 14th, 1998. So, you know, when when two people meet, I'm a firm believer that either you know or you don't know.

 


[00:12:01.700] 

And and I think we both knew right then and there, you know, that things were meant to be. So, yeah, a lot a lot of fun with that girl.

 


[00:12:09.200] - Big Rich Klein

I understand the when you meet and you know that it's the right thing. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's important. It is to you later, you know.

 


[00:12:20.780] 

Twenty three years later. Now that's you know that's proven it. Yeah it is.

 


[00:12:25.970] - Doug Bigelow

And you know she's from, she's from northeast Pennsylvania and you know from really small town little town called Benton. I think they have like one stop sign in their whole town. And, you know, I'm from Boonsboro. So it's, you know, it's not a good sized town, but it's not a metropolis by any means. But she's old fashioned road love, you know, simple things. Grew up on a farm and we met in college. You know, I was big in to fishing at at the time.

 


[00:12:56.570] 

I mean, absolutely big into fishing, love going trout fishing. And I don't think there was a day that went by that I didn't go fishing even when it was freezing. Outside and in Harrisonburg, Virginia, heart of the Shenandoah Valley, there's tons of forest trails to the west out between Virginia and West Virginia. So at the time, I used to just spend a lot of time out on, you know, little creeks here and there, go going trout fishing and walking them and had to have a little bit of, you know, some kind of vehicle to be able to get back into some of these spots that we were in.

 


[00:13:31.520] 

And I spent a lot of time out there just driving trails, looking for creeks and and hunting down trout. And it was a lot of fun. She used to do a lot of that with us back in the day.

 


[00:13:44.120] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome. I knew I knew that she was a great athlete just watching her spot you on the on the courses rockcrawling. Yeah.

 


[00:13:53.120] - Doug Bigelow

She you know, it's funny because back in the day I honestly didn't even get my first four wheel drive vehicle until, you know, I think it was my last year in college. I had a seventy eight Chevy Stepside and all my vehicles all through high school and even into college. I had two wheel drive trucks and when I turned 16, my I wanted I wanted a big lifted truck. There was a lot of guys locally in my high school that have big lifted trucks and there was a huge mud bog that used to run every year.

 


[00:14:25.880] 

It's called the Frog eye mud bog. And that was like the creme de la creme in the 80s and early 90s. That's what everybody was doing. And I think if you looked at 4wheeler magazine at that time, it was all about lifted. Big trucks with big engines show truck type deals. And I just wanted a big lifted truck and I got a two wheel drive, Ford Ranger with that piece of crap, A4LB transmission I replaced a million times.

 


[00:14:49.910] 

But, you know, my dad was like, don't do anything to it. Just leave it. Just be fine with it. I think the first time they went away, I think I might have had it six months and had some buddies come over. Brian Icis came over and we put we put some lift blocks in the rear and I had ordered some coils I'd seen out the back of a magazine and slammed those on and found some used tires down the road and ended up lifting that little ranger in a two and a half inches.

 


[00:15:18.380] 

And I thought I was on top of the world at that time. And, you know, lo and behold, you don't really know what you're doing at that time when you're in when you're younger. I didn't know anything about changing gears or doing anything different with transmissions or, you know, somebody suggested, hey, you know what, you can get both of them tires to turn together if you weld everything up in the rear. So, you know, I think I did my first six to 11 Lincoln back in.

 


[00:15:46.070] 

You know, I might have been 17, 18 years old. And, man, that truck went everywhere. I got it stuck more than I think I ever did. But I had a lot of fun with it, too, and broke a lot of stuff. And I think that's how I learned to learn to fix on stuff. And I learned to love laying underneath of a vehicle and on a hot day when it's nice and cool and putting something back together.

 


[00:16:08.960] 

It's definitely, definitely it agrees with me. I like doing that I don't like working on stuff all the time, but from time to time, it don't it doesn't hurt my feelings too much.

 


[00:16:20.540] - Big Rich Klein

I get it. I get it. I grew up working on cars all the time. Right. My dad drag raced and then bought a flat bottom drag boat and grew up.

 


[00:16:31.010] - Doug Bigelow

You always you always had something going on. And then I  started off with a Volkswagen bug because like. Yeah, well, that was that was the thing I'll never forget. You know, I had that vehicle my brother Troy had and an Izusu amigo, actually, I think maybe possibly one of the only two wheel drive Isusu amigos on the planet. And I had so many travel problems with this Ford Ranger in this this transmission. I think I must replace the SEALs and it probably about ten times.

 


[00:17:05.450] 

I got really good, I could pull the transmission in and out in my driveway in about, you know, probably less than an hour. I got so good at doing it with the right tools, pulled the seals out, put new seals in the front and rear of it and, you know, get it back on the road to go do what I was doing. But my brother wanted he knew he was going to get a better trade in from a ranger than his amigo.

 


[00:17:29.330] 

And he wanted to buy his first four wheel drive truck, which was I think it was a ninety four Dodge Ram at the time. They came out with a new body style. So he said, hey, I want to switch trucks. And we ended up doing that and I was like, man, four wheel drive. That's, that's pretty cool. That stuff goes pretty good. It was I think about a year or so later I'd saved up a bunch, enough money and ended up I think it was about a junior in college and I ended up buying this, this 78 Chevy Stepside was at one of our local auctions.

 


[00:18:02.990] 

Blue, nice Chevy Blue. I love that truck. I mean, Katrina. And I think we we drove a million miles in that thing down every back fire road and trail in Virginia and all over God's creation at the time is sitting on thirty eight's, little three fifty and it just a really fun truck. And we spent a lot of time running Second Mountain Trail and Dictums Ridge and all these little trails, which I thought was, you know, at the top of the world and, you know, had no idea what it really looked like.

 


[00:18:35.090] 

But we had a lot of fun exploring and, you know, before cell phones, we would get lost. And I was like, man, I'd have to, like, stop and walk up to somebody's farm to figure out where the heck we were. So, you know, we had a we had a lot of fun back in those days. And I think that the first four wheel drive truck, we were actually pulling out some some old pictures here the other day.

 


[00:18:56.150] 

And I was like, man, I should have never got rid of that truck. I should have never put it up for sale. But, you know, at the time, oh, there'll always be another truck. And I think I've searched for about fifteen years now and haven't haven't been able to find one again.

 


[00:19:09.770] - Big Rich Klein

I get it. I had an eighty six Chevy smooth side that right. Shortbed one ton that I used as that as my truck for my contracting company, my landscaping company. And man I loved that truck. Yeah, To this day, I wish I had it.

 


[00:19:28.030] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, you never think about it. I mean, I remember I went from I went from that stepside and then I ended up buying a Suburban, had that for a while and then I had a K five and just had a million or one little trucks.

 


[00:19:43.150] 

And I don't think I really got into the the big time like, you know what, we're going to trail ride all the time type of movement until I, until I you know, the rock crawling part I was always in to trail riding and we were always in to, you know, going to look for fishing spots. But it wasn't till I had just graduated from college. I bought a CJ5 and there was a local guy had one on like 34s.

 


[00:20:10.000] 

I was the skinny thirty four inch TSL and I ended up picking up this thing for next to nothing. And where Katrina and I were living at the time when we first got out of school across the road was a family of ours that we know they had seven hundred acres of mountain ground all up and down the mountain, and they because we knew each other, I used to go up there all the time and we would get into some pretty good stuff.

 


[00:20:34.730] 

Lot of trail riding, lot of rock crawling. I didn't really know it is rock crawling back it back in the day. It was just, you know, had to go over that patch of rocks to get to where we were going. And, you know, at the time there was a lot of jeeps that were I think, out and about running around. And that, T.J., I think really started to push that envelope in the late 90s and early 2000s.

 


[00:20:59.540] 

Seemed like you started to see more jeeps on the road. And as more jeeps got on the road, then, you know, there's more guys that were going out and going off road in Maryland. There's not a bazillion places to go wheel in like you're in in a Texas or Southern California or New Mexico or something like that. So, you know, there were few and far places that we ended up going that that that we could actually get to.

 


[00:21:22.840] 

I mean, I didn't have a ton of money at the time or trailers or anything like that, but that that first jeep opened up my eyes to a world of possibilities. And really, I was want to even say, like the Internet at the time to everybody started talking about what they were doing in the early days of Pirate, Paragon Adventure Park. Everybody was talking about their builds. And then next thing I know, this thing sitting on one ton axles with 42 said, you know, you started dreaming bigger and thinking more about what was possible of going out there.

 


[00:21:57.310] 

So the days of just, you know, bebopin' down a trail and enjoying the woods turned into, hey, maybe I can find something I could conquer a little bit more, hey, I can go ride something that's a little more gnarly or whatnot. I think that's that's kind of how it worked for us. But, man, back in the day, if I would ever thought that we would gone from, you know, doing some mud bogs back in the day to where we are now, getting ready to build a new race truck and and back into King of the Hammers and watching King of the Hammers.

 


[00:22:29.590] 

And even more importantly, you know, competitive rock crawling from then to there, I would have been like that. There's no way, that'll never happen. But it's it's progressed. It's been pretty cool to see.

 


[00:22:39.670] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. So I have to ask you, you're actually building another racer to to compete at KOH?

 


[00:22:46.450] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah. So probably four or five months ago started going down that going down that that route again and talked to all the guys down at Partially Committed racing. Like they actually approached me, like I had put some feelers out of, you know, what I want to get back into. I want to get back into racing. And Lee contacted me. It was like, hey, we love to work with an OG, an old guy that's get back into it.

 


[00:23:17.140] 

And I still have great relationships with many of the sponsors that I have that are out there and talk to many of them. And they were all about me coming back. So I said, you know what, I, I don't want to rush anything. I don't want to do it with some big, massive timetable. I'm going to be out racing this year. That's that's my goal. But I want to make sure that I do the vehicle the right way.

 


[00:23:39.760] 

And most important, I want to do it with I want to do it with somebody else. Now, all those years of running single seaters. Yeah, yeah. A lot of weird conversations with yourself while you're doing this stuff. So, you know, especially, you know, hey, it'd be nice, especially when it's dark. It gets mighty cold out there. Be nice to joke with somebody. So yeah, build a two seater this time and I'm looking forward to it with a chassis is done, gathered a ton of parts.

 


[00:24:13.000] 

You know, biggest thing right now is engine, transmission, transfer case, which I have those. But wow. Looking at how how fast everybody's going these days. I don't think I quite have enough motor. I think I need a little bit more motor. So that's that's kind of where we are right now. So I'm I'm excited to see this thing through and finish. And I'm hoping here in the next couple of months we have it done.

 


[00:24:38.640] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. I was going to ask if you're getting back into it if you had won the lottery or something.

 


[00:24:45.120] - Doug Bigelow

Well, good Lord. I mean, I was actually just I was watching some Instagram clips, here I was watching football. And I mean, I was watching some stuff from like Cody and Shannon and and some of these other guys. I'm like, I don't know what bank they rob, but good Lord, I mean, it's everybody's got multiple rigs and you got brand new stuff and, you know, and good for those. You know, I talked to Shannon here not too long ago.

 


[00:25:12.630] 

His programs always been top notch. And any time you can, you know, get a couple other vehicles going at the same time, that that helps tremendously. And, you know, I don't know Cody and those other guys, but there's a lot of money flowing through the sport right now. I mean, there is a ton of money running through that sport. And it's good. I'm glad because it's, you know, the trickle down effect for everybody that's out there too.

 


[00:25:37.080] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. Let's back up and go to the first competitive event that you were in.

 


[00:25:45.060] - Doug Bigelow

Let's not talk about that. That was horrible.  You know, when I when I first got into this, I really did. My wife, I said, was from northeast Pennsylvania and being on the Internet, kind of, you know, talking junk to people left and right, you kind of get to know some people. And, you know, Brian Whaley was one of the first guys I talked to. These were all guys from the Paragon Adventure Board.

 


[00:26:11.880] 

And I've never been to the park before. But knowing that the park was where it was, actually, remember being up there at my in-laws and telling my father-in-law, like, dude, we need to go find this place like I don't know where it is, but we got to go find it. We did. We it was like an hour and change away. And we ended up riding over there and this was maybe like 2002. And I had met Kyle and Stephanie.

 


[00:26:40.500] 

Knosp over there and nice people, super cool and had a lot of good conversations. Saw the park came up, I think, a couple of months later and jumped in, right seated with some people. So I got to know the area and talking to Kyle and just being on mine at that time, a lot they were looking for judges. So I, I said, you know what, I'm I want to be a part of this.

 


[00:27:06.080] 

I don't have something I can compete in quite yet. And I just I didn't know, you know, I think probably the biggest thing that I remember seeing back in the day of what competitive rockcrawling was all about was I remember this video, Brian Hamilton absolutely having his foot to the floor, destroying his vehicle. And then, you know, you had other clips of, like, you know, Chris Durham ripping the whole side of his bed off of his truck out west.

 


[00:27:32.340] 

And I'm like, man, I don't know if I'm ready for all that. I just I mean, I've always done some stuff, but nothing like this. And we got into it that next year I got to meet a lot of guys actually met Brian ended up meeting Charlie Melchner. You know, Brad Styles, Ken Shupe, all those guys. And they were all just really cool dudes. I approached Brian Whaley, at the time he had a shop open and said, hey, you know what?

 


[00:27:58.650] 

I want to I want to. I want to compete. And what would you you know, what would you be interested in building? And everybody was big on building single seaters at that time, good old Melchner duped me And ended up buying some Unimog rear ends off of the god awful axle's. I'll never buy them damn things ever again. We broke a bunch and that first event that we ended up going out to on Conna just we just got the buggy done.

 


[00:28:30.060] 

I driven it over a handful of gravel piles in Otter's lot at the time and we loaded that sucker on a trailer and Kat and I drove out to the Badlands in Indiana. And yeah, I think we might have completed one course, maybe, you know, I wasn't quite prepared for like I was OK with the big rocks. That was no no problem. But there were some pretty good hill climbs that were there. And yeah, I'll never forget watching John Boring roll over down purgatory that day.

 


[00:29:04.620] 

This enormous rock come through his steering column, just destroy his orbital valve, you know. So you've got a you got a rude awakening, you know, like what did you get yourself into? And, you know, we learned that that first year it was all about learning. And that first event was an eye opener. And I realized that. I point out like if I'm going to do this and be good at it, I need to go and practice more and with, you know, Kats, folks living that close to the Paragon Adventure Park.

 


[00:29:39.070] 

And this was before kids, too. I think we were there almost every weekend, if not every other weekend. So we were we kind of committed and went full bore to it and practice a lot and had a lot of fun with it, too.

 


[00:29:51.070] 

So from that first event at the Badlands, you competed at New Rock then as well? Yep, yep.

 


[00:29:58.720] 

We competed New Rock that year and the first single seater that we had 4.3 Powerglide atlas had great parts, you know, back in the day when after I'd gone through and judged, I remember talking to Kat and I actually was going to buy a Harley and my brother had a Harley at the time. I was like, you know, I don't buy Harley and we're just going to ride. And I was like, you know what?

 


[00:30:29.770] 

It seemed like everybody had a Harley at the time. I was like, I just I don't know. I was like, what about this rock crawling thing? Like, I got I got this money. Let's just like I really I want to try this. And Katrina is very competitive. I'm very, very competitive. And we wanted something that would kind of be an extension of what we did in college. But now we can kind of do it together, too, which was cool.

 


[00:30:53.200] 

I was like, man, we got it. We got to do this. Let's go, let's go and be competitive. That first year, man, it was just it was a real learning curve, had a lot of fun made gobs of relationships that I'll take to my grave with me, just like really good salt of the earth people that we ended up meeting and had a lot of fun like realize, man, we're ok at this. Like we're we're pretty good by the end of the year.

 


[00:31:17.560] 

I think we were we were doing OK. And I'll never forget I was like the end of the year, you know, Randy Torbett used to bring all of his guys to all the events. And Richard was kind of like it's kind of crew chief type deal. They're always used to keep a list of guys that were doing well. I remember by the end of the year, I was on Richard's list of guys he kept tabs on. I was like, the man we must be doing OK.

 


[00:31:42.040] 

And that first vehicle man we beat the crap out of. I think I busted probably a dozen Portal boxes in that in those axles, rolled it over, cut the top of the cage off once or twice and re-fixed it, but, you know, learned a lot and had a lot of fun doing it at the same time. And we knew that was something we were going to do for a while then.

 


[00:32:04.570] - Big Rich Klein

So in those early days, what was the favorite place that you wheeled in in competition?

 


[00:32:10.820] - Doug Bigelow

In the road and early in that first year, you know, that very first year, it wasn't until the manmade events started coming, I think it was the next year, but that first year had a lot of fun, I think is probably Paragon. I mean, I was just so comfortable with it, had a lot of fun. I'd always heard about the Badlands, never had been there.

 


[00:32:37.430] 

And then, you know, you hear about Jellico Tennessee, too. I mean, that's like kind of the old holy grail of East Coast Rock Crawlin. And I don't know that there was one specific I always love going to Paragon, that Jellico event that was down there that first year we went, man, there was a million people there. Just a lot of fun. And I love any time you can get out and get dirty. So, you know, I think I think if I had to put it on one, I'd probably say it was Jellico just because of the venue and the people that we met.

 


[00:33:14.030] 

And I don't think we finished the course down there. But I know I rolled a bunch and got some pretty cool pictures from that, which was fun and possibly Jellico Hotel.

 


[00:33:23.510] 

Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh, I thought we were going to talk about embarrassing stuff, but yeah, we don't get specific.

 


[00:33:31.340] 

Jellico, Jellico Hotel after parties. And you know, I love Rock crawling, I love Rock racing, love King of the Hammer's love, all of that. But honestly, at the end of the day, even from back in the Rock crawling days, XRRA times, even hell, I was just  talking to Dave Cole about a possible something that might end up happening one of these days at the Jellico Motel. It's the after parties and getting together and having a beer and chillin out and hanging out with people that we that we enjoy and we got common interests.

 


[00:34:06.200] 

And that's the fun part.

 


[00:34:07.710] 

Me, those Jellico Motel days and the Jellico Rodeo, those were they were something to be had

 


[00:34:13.430] - Big Rich Klein

absolutely amazed me that the the locals, the police would just sit in the edge of the parking lot and watch shenanigans.

 


[00:34:24.290] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah. You know, those guys were they were always cool. And I think the town always enjoyed when we came there because, yeah, we cut up at the motel and shoot fireworks and drink a lot of beer, but we always cleaned everything. We were always, you know, good stewards of what we were doing there. And we brought a lot of fun and money to the town, too. So I think they always treated us with good respect.

 


[00:34:47.510] - Big Rich Klein

I agree. I agree. So let's talk about the XRRAdays. Did you did you get in on that at the beginning or.

 


[00:34:55.550] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, it was it was the next year. So kind of how we got into XRRA was, you know, our first single seater that we had with Unimog axles. I was like, all right, I'll beat the tar out of this thing. This thing's kind of like the cage is crooked. Now, I knew what we wanted to be successful in and everybody's being successful with Moonbuggy. So I was like already got a bunch of good parts here.

 


[00:35:22.040] 

Let me talk to Brian again. Maybe we'll just build another Chassis, slam all these parts together. I knew I wanted something that sat down a little bit lower and that's where we built our first moonbuggy. And, you know, we're Rockcrawling back in the day, you know, with you guys, we rock and, you know, you rock and new rock. Just we if there was an event, we were off and going to it.

 


[00:35:45.560] 

But going back to just all the time that we spent at Paragon, used to meet up there on a Saturday morning with Melchner and just be me and him and we would just peel out and go ride around the park and never stop. We we'd ride three, four hours and never stop. Well, other than if we were, you know, going to cut up and laugh at each other and you get a Devin and Jay Rigs and all of those guys that were at the park all the time and before there was, you know, going fast through rocks, we were kinda already I always say kind of already doing that, but we were kind of doing it like the let's go run around the park and see how long this can take us to do.

 


[00:36:26.510] 

And I had. There was an event at the Badlands, the East finals, and I forget how I actually I left BF Goodrich and was with Maxxis at the time, and they asked me, hey, would you be interested in coming out to this event? And I was like, yeah, all right, OK. You know, that might that might make sense. And so we did. And we came out there, we we we won the damn thing.

 


[00:36:56.490] 

Like we we had a lot of fun. Like we went out there and and won the event. And I think the going fast it may and going fast over rocks. I was like, wow, this is a lot of fun. We're jumping the rig, we're slide sideways and we're having a lot of fun doing it side by side. Right. Said we're not banging doors off of each other, but this is pretty cool. And we're going to be OK with I remember me and Ken Blume.

 


[00:37:22.590] 

We were the first time we had ever rock raced and I was number one. He was number two. And guys were like, wow, like, these guys are fast. They know what they're doing and being able to pick a line quick and fast and make it through it. I enjoyed that. I had a lot of I had a lot of fun with XRRA. You know, it a shame, you know, went away. But I could see it may be coming back one of these days.

 


[00:37:46.500] 

I think what those guys are doing down there with the Southern Rock Racing series and rock bouncing and I see a lot of that. I see a lot of similarities. So it's pretty cool. Yeah.

 


[00:37:56.210] - Big Rich Klein

The rock bouncers have gone to instead of just being hill killers, they've they've gone into some more of a a short course race, more like. Yeah, kind of an in between of XRRA and what we were doing with Dirt Riot.

 


[00:38:11.340] - Doug Bigelow

So yeah. Yeah. A lot of a lot of cool. You know, I think the hard part for, you know, our, our sport in general and it doesn't matter if it's rock racing or rock crawling or whatever is just, you know, spectator engagement and having a cool venue for that all to happen. And, you know, having having and doing it within the confines of Mother Nature too, you know, that's it's not like we're just building something out there and throwing it down.

 


[00:38:39.060] 

This is you know, I think that's. I'm glad to see that it's weathered the storms that we've had over the years, and it's still here because it's it's it's really cool when people are starting to really take notice of it, too.

 


[00:38:52.650] - Big Rich Klein

Exactly. So getting away from the racing end of it. Let's talk a little family. I saw some pictures over the last couple of years of your your son or sons in football uniforms, so.

 


[00:39:06.510] 

Oh, man, you're they're playing you were at lacrosse today?

 


[00:39:11.610] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, we had we have workouts this morning. So both my boys, very athletic and I don't say chips, although hopefully they're ten times better than I ever have been. And my wife, they love playing football, basketball, lacrosse, and they're just active. They want to be on the go all the time. So this morning we were out and we have lacrosse workouts this morning on Sunday morning, Sunday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and we have a home gym.

 


[00:39:45.420] 

So the boys are lifting and doing box jumps, all types of other stuff in between. But they love they love sports. You know, I would say probably out of all of it. I think the youngest, Parker, he might love football a little bit more than the oldest hunter, but Hunters loves lacrosse. We're in the hot bed for lacrosse where we're at here in Maryland. And you know, those guys, they're their competitors say they're much like their mother and I.

 


[00:40:15.450] 

They don't like to lose either. So which is which is pretty cool.

 


[00:40:18.210] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, excellent. That's that's a good trait to have carried over into, you know, outside of the sports and carried into the rest of their life. It gives them a leg up. Yeah.

 


[00:40:31.770] - Doug Bigelow

My grandmother always said, you show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser. And I believe that. And I believe that  in life and you know, it was eight of us grand kids, seven of us went to college on athletic scholarships. And I think that's installed in you in an early age. And, yeah, there's nothing wrong with that now. You know, you don't have to be a complete jerk when you lose. You don't have to be an asshole either.

 


[00:40:58.980] 

But you I don't want you to like it. If I don't, you shouldn't, like, lose that at the end of the day.

 


[00:41:05.370] - Big Rich Klein

Correct. I hate to say this, but I think that the video game culture, you know, kind of accepts that. Yeah. Because you're never going to beat the game. Yeah. Yeah. So you're always you know, it always wants to want you to give you a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more. And you become obsessed with it to try to beat it and not necessarily ever really do. Yeah. And that's why I think athletics and sports in general are a better educational tool for dealing with it with regular life.

 


[00:41:39.730] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, most definitely. I mean, you know, one of the things that my my kids are normal kids and they got their video games and whatnot, but they know when it's time to put those things down. Hey, we're going outside. We're getting some stuff done. If they're not running a chainsaw or running a golf cart around here helping with, you know, we have goats and chickens and, you know, not not a big place, but we got stuff to do around here.

 


[00:42:04.050] 

So they're working and getting stuff done. You know, they're like normal kids. When it's time to play, they're going to play and they focus on their sports, which is which is cool. And there's like I've learned a lot of life lessons from the ball field, which is, you know, translated into the workforce. And just general, you know, being able to be a just good person, I think they'll learn those lessons to they're already starting to.

 


[00:42:28.920] 

Which is cool.

 


[00:42:29.910] 

Yeah, excellent. So how old are they? So my oldest Hunter is fourteen right now. My youngest Parker is twelve. So it's you know, it's amazing. It happens overnight. You know, Kat was my my spotter when when we first started all of this, you know, our first events with you guys and the other guys. I mean, that's that's who I trusted. I you know, I didn't trust anybody else other than my wife had known we had Hunter.

 


[00:43:02.490] 

She'd kind of step back, Brian Whaley spotted for me for a little while. And it was there. But there, Hunter might have been maybe about a year and a half old. And we went out. XRRA won that event. And, you know, couple nine months later, Parker pops out and she's got two. And I think that was probably right around the time where, you know, King of the Hammer started getting pretty, pretty exciting.

 


[00:43:29.400] 

And, you know, we've always, kids have kind of come to events and drug and events. But I think it was I would me not so much her that I was always afraid something was going to. Happen or I worry a lot as a as an early dad, you know, I think it was probably more the fear of the unknown. They don't give you owner's manuals for these things. So it's not you don't know necessarily what's going on. But, you know, it's it's a lot of fun being able now as they've gotten a little bit older.

 


[00:44:03.050] 

You know, we have a Suzuki Samurai stretched out. Thirty seven back-seat in it. And, you know, everybody will go wheelin for the day or the JK that we have we'll go wheeling for the day. So it's good to get them out on the trail now and have some fun. Excellent. Excellent.

 


[00:44:19.760] 

So 14. Wow, you have 14 going on like 23 and. Yeah, it does. It it really does, they eat me out of house and home. That's why I got to work my butt off every day. Like eat like men right now you know, a couple hundred bucks a week at Sam's Club just doesn't get it done some days. And you know, I just we went got them. oldest goes to private school because of his lacrosse. And so we had to get a, you know, uniform and clothes and yeah, kids were, you know, thirty four, thirty four pants right now.

 


[00:44:56.210] 

And he's starting to look me in the eye and it's like, man, am I going to be much longer and he's going to be taller than I am.

 


[00:45:01.700] 

So it's 14 and now thirty four. Thirty four. Wow. Yeah.

 


[00:45:05.900] 

He's a, he's a big kid. He's about one hundred and seventy five pounds right now and he's five, ten ish. Right, right. In that neighborhood. So he's you know, the good thing is he's, he's lifting and running and you know, we did cheese. I think we had 45 minutes of sprints, agility, some footwork on a Sunday morning. So, you know, they're starting to get these starting to get tuned in as a pretty good athlete right now.

 


[00:45:33.710] 

Great.

 


[00:45:34.640] - Big Rich Klein

So what's the future hold for Doug? I mean, the you just started a new job.

 


[00:45:42.410] 

I know that you were in title for a long time, I guess in title as well. Yeah, I remember that.

 


[00:45:49.220] - Doug Bigelow

I remember that that, you know, I honestly thought I'd be in real estate for the rest of my life. I thought I'd be in the title business for the rest of my life. I spent 17 years there majority of the time I was competing in rock crawling. And, you know, I was out and about I was fortunate. I was the director of sales for a company. And then I had my own settlement firm and small firm for about eight years there during kind of the biggest parts where I was competing.

 


[00:46:16.730] 

So fortunately for me, I was able to take that time to be able to do that. And, you know, a handful of years ago, kind of look back on it and said, you know what, time to shut the business down. You know, as much as I love it, real estate's not making me rich right now. I don't think it was making anybody rich at the time. And and it was just, you know, it's time to look at something else I always knew I could sell.

 


[00:46:43.230] 

And the biggest thing was like, what I want to do, where do I want to go? I came across a Fortune 500 corporation, gobble me up, and became the number one sales rep that they had with the company and worked my way up through management with that company and had a lot of fun doing it. Got tons of experience, especially at a at a high level with a big corporation like that that, you know, you start realize that I mean, I'm not 25 anymore.

 


[00:47:13.140] 

And and now, you know, almost 45. I'm looking at what, you know, what's the end game for me? Where where do I want to be? And realized then that you can make a bigger impact with a smaller company, that that matters. And when you start looking at where to ultimately want to look at, as far as you know, am I going to stay in Maryland for the remainder of my life? And yeah, I don't think so.

 


[00:47:40.350] 

You know, I grew up here. I've been raised here. I live here now. But, you know, my family, we love Tennessee. We love being outdoors. And unfortunately, Maryland's just. Not necessarily conducive to doing that all the time, so, you know, we're actually planning a trip as we speak down to Tennessee here in a couple of weeks, and fortunately, everybody's working remotely right now. So it doesn't impact me at all, doesn't impact Kat at all.

 


[00:48:07.380] 

And both the boys are learning virtually right now. So we're going to go down and enjoy some mountains and some Jeep trails and go down for a week or two and kind of enjoy what we're doing down there. And who knows, you know, something could change tomorrow. And, you know, I do know this. We we enjoy offroad a ton. My boys are at the point now where, you know, they're turning wrenches pretty good. And I can kind of I can rely on them to get stuff done, which is fun.

 


[00:48:40.380] 

So, you know, when we're when we're doing that and we're hanging out in the garage and I'm teaching them what to do and how to do it, it's it's fun. And being able to pass that on to the next the next generation of guys that are going to be out there being good stewards of the trails, you know, I want to do it in an area. I can do it all the time. So if it's a Tennessee or an Alabama or somewhere that's more offroad friendly, then that's probably what we'll end up doing, to be honest.

 


[00:49:09.030] - Big Rich Klein

So what what part of Tennessee do you enjoy?

 


[00:49:12.250] - Doug Bigelow

Well, our Kats, folks, I love the eastern part of Tennessee, eastern Tennessee is, you know, this Smokies through there, I could drive through that all day long. And we did hear a couple of weeks ago, went down for two weeks. And, you know, we're looking at property. Look, at some lake property down there. My family, we have some lake property in southern Virginia.

 


[00:49:36.370] 

And we were just looking at other comparable types of properties and of all people, I was talking to Ken Shupe, Ken bought some property in northern east Tennessee, bought a 100 acre farm out that way. And I was like, you know what damn, that Ken Shupe is a smart dude. We got to do the same thing they're not man. You know, I'm so used to and you guys probably see it there in California. Property is just so expensive, you know, acreage in my neck of the woods.

 


[00:50:06.610] 

It's like seventy five thousand dollars an acre. That's just, you know, you don't see that down there in Tennessee. So, like, cost of living is a lot cheaper. People are undoubtedly much nicer. And, you know, it's it's it's a really nice area for family and ability to get out and about. Get out on some trails, go, go. Fish in a stream. Go have some fun, I think. Just Tennessee alone, just from offroad Parks.

 


[00:50:35.320] 

I think there's like 15 or 16 offroad parks just in Tennessee. So there's there's a lotta there's a lot of opportunity to get out and about of all things you could imagine, I've gotten and I'm no Lance Clifford, but I've gotten into some some mountain biking here recently and gotten a pretty good bike. And so I get now about enjoyed, you know, enjoying some fresh air in our lungs whenever we can. Excellent.

 


[00:51:00.730] - Big Rich Klein

That's the future. Then move in, possibly move into the mountains of Tennessee. Yeah.

 


[00:51:05.920] - Doug Bigelow

You know, yeah, it is. You know what that looks like? I don't know. You know, I look at it now within the next handful of years, you know, both these boys are probably going to be on to college and going to be, you know, hopefully headed to big universities, do what they want to do. And, you know, at that point, Kat and I, we can kind of come back to center and do what we want to do as well.

 


[00:51:33.370] 

But, you know, I think we'll be East Coast based. And we flirted I was being recruited for some jobs that were out on the West Coast. And as much as I love the West Coast and I love going to California and Arizona, I could maybe see myself living in Arizona. But, you know, I think they're cool places to go visit. But I think my heart's on the East Coast, so Lord only knows what the future end up.

 


[00:51:59.350] 

I do know it. It's going to be more four wheeling and it's going to be more offroading and definitely more fishing, probably a little beer drinking in there at the same time. So it'll be it'll be interesting. It'll be interesting to see what the future ends up holding for us.

 


[00:52:15.610] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that's awesome. So we've we've run the gamut that I can think of. Is there anything else that we haven't touched on that you would like to share?

 


[00:52:25.660] - Doug Bigelow

Well, you know, I, I think probably the coolest thing, you know, in our sport, big and I think you can probably appreciate this as well, is just all of the really cool people that you end up meeting, you know, on these on these times that we do get together. Probably I laughed about this years ago. We were sitting having some drinks, Melchner and I, Ricky, my brother. And we were talking like, man is really glad that you shmucks live in New York and everybody else.

 


[00:52:55.540] 

You know, some of the best friends that we've come across are people, fortunately live in other states and sometimes the other side of the country. You know, guys, I would drop everything at the drop of a hat and if they needed something, go go handle what they they would need. So I think probably I like just the people you end up meetng throughout all this. Some of the coolest dudes that around, guys and girls that just have the same common interests at hand and just really nice people.

 


[00:53:27.040] 

A lot of fun times. Good Lord. A lot of fun times. Yeah, I was we're putting together this this Jeep ride here not too long ago and turned into like a phenomenal organization. No opportunity to raise a bunch of money for a kid that was diagnosed with cancer. I was talking to Gene Rose. He was helping with the day to day. And what we were trying to do, we organized this big ride and like five or six days and we got the tough news from another one of our club members that I don't remember.

 


[00:54:03.220] 

Stan Markovsky and Stan passed away. And, you know, it was tough deal. And I just remember Gene and I just kind of hugging it out right then and there, kind of kind of sucked, you know, a lot of good times with Stan. And he looked at me, I looked at him. You guys, you know, he was doing anything, you know, more than than hanging out with each other and having good times and making memories.

 


[00:54:28.630] 

So, you know, that's the thing. As long as you get a little older, you don't think about this in your 20s and maybe even in your 30s. You get in your 40s, start talking and thinking about every opportunity that we get to get together with people. It's fun and you're making memories and you're laughing and that's that's good and fun. And I want to do more of that. And I want to hang out more with people and enjoy people's times and do it with family as well.

 


[00:54:56.410] 

And that's that's what it's all about. I think that's why we all think that's why we all enjoy being in jeeps and rock crawlers buggies and hanging out with each is to enjoy each other's company.

 


[00:55:09.100] 

Yeah, it's that social aspect. It is. It is. And I you know, I think back in the day, the real commonality of everybody coming together through a handful of these different websites, you know, Pirate 4x4 being one of those biggest opportunities. There's no way in hell. And I know you were talking to Kevin Carey. There's no way in hell I would ever known a Kevin Carey. From the other side of the country, there's no way in hell if it wasn't for that website and because of, you know, who he was and where I was getting to at the time, you know, Kevin, drop the hat.

 


[00:55:46.340] 

I love that dude. I mean, you come when he was here on the East Coast, he'd stay in our house for a week, two weeks. You just hanging out like, you know, if it wasn't for, you know, if it wasn't for good people, I would have a whole lot less memories about offroad and a whole lot less memories in my life. If it if it wasn't for a lot of these things that we've had the blessing and been able to fortunately, you know, be able to do.

 


[00:56:13.340] 

So, it's it's the people that are out there, if anybody listen to this and listen to anything this meathead's saying and spend more time with people, because you you never know when it's when it's your time. So, you know, do more of that.

 


[00:56:26.030] - Big Rich Klein

I think this last year, really, that resonated with everybody with with being the lockdown's and social distancing and, you know, people worried about, you know, gatherings and that kind of thing. Yes. Once everything opens up again completely, which hopefully does here soon, we'll see. But it'll I think that I think you'll see a lot more people enjoying that. Social gatherings. Yeah.

 


[00:56:55.190] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, I, I, I concur with you. I mean. I think here the other day we had we had this this ride, and it really came together. And in a short amount of time, we have about 4000 jeeps that showed up just to put Christmas lights on, their vehicle and ride by this kid's house and blow the horns to show this kid a bunch of love. People were so sick and tired of being like just like in their house and just told they can't do anything.

 


[00:57:23.040] 

And and that's why I really love our offroad lifestyle, because, yeah, you can still go hang out with people, but you get some fresh lung, some fresh air in your lungs and go and have a good time. And I see more opportunities for the future for offroading. I think it's really going to grow and explode more here in the future. I really do. As people look for more opportunities to get out and about who knows what our new normal looks like in the future, I don't really give two craps what it looks like.

 


[00:57:57.030] 

It's probably going to be probably good for me. I know it's going to be more four wheeling and more good times with friends and buddies. And hopefully I get to do it around the country more more than I have in the last year or two. But it'll be fun. It'll be a lot of fun, more fun in our future.

 


[00:58:13.680] - Big Rich Klein

Cool. So is there anything that that you would like to ask me?

 


[00:58:20.860] - Doug Bigelow

Oh, man, big, probably, you know, probably one of the biggest questions that I've always had. What is the coolest place that you travel a ton? Yes, You and Shelley are out all over God's creation. And I thought like not long ago, I think you all were coming back. Maybe it was Mexico we're coming back from.

 


[00:58:41.210] 

And I remember seeing some pool, some really, really cool pool. What's probably the coolest place that you guys have ever visited?

 


[00:58:49.420] - Big Rich Klein

OK, when you put it that way, I'm going to say the coolest place that I ever visited. Was probably Japan. Oh, I forgot you guys went over there. Yeah, yeah, we went over there, Naozumi And so we're putting on a a rock crawl, the we rock event over there. And so we went over and we spent oh no. It was like two and a half weeks or something there. Wow. We we got to hang out with the Tsudas.

 


[00:59:22.610] 

We went all around Nara and one of the things that amazed me there was how old. Their societies and civilization, you know, we think here two hundred and two hundred and fifty years, yeah, that nation has been around and then this and, you know, and the buildings and I got wood buildings over there that are fifteen hundred years old.

 


[00:59:47.860] 

Yeah. Yeah. That it's just amazing how how they how they live with so many people in, such as, you know, truly a small the small footprint. Tokyo was amazing. I would love to be able to go back there and see more. We saw a lot of the Nara area and then we saw a lot around Tokyo. And it was it was very interesting, especially being in a country that. You know, doesn't have English as a primary language, yeah, or, you know, it's pretty much a secondary language there, right.

 


[01:00:27.310] 

But they're. There's their society is. Is so different from ours. When you travel and you and you see how people live and and how they go about their their daily life, that it's it's like watching a movie or reading a story book and being able to be part of it.

 


[01:00:52.060] - Doug Bigelow

That's pretty neat, isn't it, does it, does it you know, for the handful of years that we were racing, sidebysides,my brother and I are we got involved with the folks from Arason Tire and they had us out to Chicago for one of the  UTV conventions and just had the opportunity for a week just hang out and their culture is much different than ours, but very welcoming and very gracious folks that I enjoyed it and I enjoyed hanging out.

 


[01:01:24.610] 

I mean, they immersed us. I was like, you know, they took care of everything for us, which was in a really, really cool. Spent a lot of time in places I don't think I would have ever gone in Chicago and Chinatown. Then they had families that were out of Chicago that they graciously like, literally like made us dinner, like authentic type dinners, which was phenomenal. You know, you just, you know, those types of atmospheres.

 


[01:01:54.010] 

You don't ever think that you're ever going to get the opportunities to be. And so I couldn't imagine actually visited, you know, visiting Japan and being over there and and seeing that it just it just seemed are there do they have areas like tons of areas to go four wheelling in or is that prevalent or was that just specific in the cities?

 


[01:02:16.780] 

And there are avenues like where they have like an offroad to park over there, right?

 


[01:02:23.500] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, they their family are forester's. So for generations they've been providing wood products or the lumber for wood products. And they're they're very, very well organized with their methods. Right. You know, there is no what you would call, you know, old growth. Right. But everything is, you know, these just mountainsides full of forests that are being raised for wood products there in Japan. And that is so they're able to use part of that property.

 


[01:03:00.610] 

And it's really close to the house, the canyon that they use and they've created. You know, it doesn't have a lot of rock in that area, but they they've been able to create rock obstacles using concrete. But when I first drove up to it, as we were getting close to it, I was like, well, where's the concrete? This is all granite slab. But they did a really good job of making the granite or the concrete look like granite.

 


[01:03:29.230] 

It just totally amazed me. And right there, the events and the culture around the events, you know, like we do, you know, you draw a chip for or, you know, you have a ticket or something like that that, you know, numbers when you're doing like giveaways for product. Yeah. Or, you know, drawing your driving order, that kind of thing. They do everything with, you know, Rochambeau, rock, paper, scissors.

 


[01:03:56.960] 

Oh, that's pretty cool also.

 


[01:03:59.560] 

And they'll say, OK, you know, everybody gets up and they. Do the rock, paper, scissors, and then everybody that got rock say is the winner, and then everybody sits down, everybody else sits down and then they go, you know, and they keep doing this until there's like one person standing. And that's the person who won that prize. Right. So, I mean, it can take a while. You know, but one of the things that I saw is that looking watching everybody, nobody cheated, right?

 


[01:04:28.930] 

You know, you start with like five hundred people doing this and you're like, what you get you get all the way to, like, the last 20 people just by changing at the very last second what your thing is or until. But everybody was completely honest with it. That's cool. I was like, you know, I don't know if I could if I could pull that off at one of my events, you know, now I could see people cheat.

 


[01:04:54.940] - Doug Bigelow

I could totally see people.

 


[01:04:56.500] 

Do you you know, I was thinking about this when he said the concrete slabs, you see more like do you see opportunities for maybe more man made rock crawling events in the future?

 


[01:05:11.020] - Big Rich Klein

I do the if they're in the right areas, right, developing developing the natural properties, I think that have the rock formations on it is still the best way to go. Yeah, because to be honest, that bringing it into the cities, while it may be good for advertising, it's not necessarily we're not getting to the people that really enjoy the sport.

 


[01:05:39.430] 

Right. Right.

 


[01:05:40.390] 

So a mixture of natural and manmade would be great. But I don't think you'll find anybody but the owners of the property that will invest in that manmade stuff being done. Yeah. You know, like I myself, there's too many times where we invested in other people's properties to build things and then got shut out. Right. For whatever reason at the end of the year or two. Yeah. And so it's really difficult, you know, the situation to have to be absolutely perfect for us to invest in somebody else's property again.

 


[01:06:20.890] 

But, you know, I see that people out there that are that are investing in in properties to turn into Off-Road Parks. And if there's not a lot of rock in that area, I think it's you know, it makes sense. It makes sense to either haul it in or create it. You know, I hope I hope people do that more.

 


[01:06:39.490] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah. I mean, some of the most fun I think we ever had was, you know, being out at, like, you know, Columbus, Ohio, the manmade course out of the rock. I love that that places that was like a skateboard park for for buggies. I mean, just a lot of fun, cool climbs in a technical hard sort of stuff. You thought you were going to die on doing it. Just had a lot of fun, you know.

 


[01:07:06.910] 

But I can also see to like how difficult that is from from your perspective, I could I honestly couldn't imagine, you know, just the headaches and and whatnot. But, yeah, it's you know, this this avenue of rock crawling has come full circle. I mean, it's it's cool to see that it's it's still here. You know, when I remember seeing pictures of, you know, trail rides that were going or people were breaking open sledge and claw.

 


[01:07:40.210] 

And I was like, man, that's pretty cool. And, you know, more than magazines really started showing stuff is like it seems like more people wanted to go towards the harder of like, hey, we're going to get out and ride it and do more technical and difficult things. And, you know, I think the Internet really exploded thing. So it's, you know, things die off quick. You know, all types of fads die off quick.

 


[01:08:06.820] 

And I think the sheer availability of just still this is still an avenue where you can go and get your Jeep or get your Bronco or get in your truck or whatever you going to do and and still go do it. Yeah, we're always going to have competitions and people are always going to see who's the best of the best. But yeah, there was opportunities or maybe it was going in a direction that I don't know if we're going to come back for that.

 


[01:08:34.120] 

But to see that we're still got buggies that are out there doing this and King of the Hammers are big as it is, and rock crawling events are as big as they are. I mean, it's it's cool. I mean, it's it's really cool. I told Kat the other day, I was like, man, this back part of the garage. So got enough parts here. We put together Moonbuggy.

 


[01:08:52.810] 

She just looked at me and rolled her eyes and walked away from me. She's like, You don't even have the other vehicle done, much less. You know that you want to do this, JK.

 


[01:09:03.740] - Big Rich Klein

I get to get out of my face, like I can tell you that maintenance wise and even the first build is a lot cheaper to build a rock crawler than it is to go racing.

 


[01:09:15.460] - Doug Bigelow

It is, man that it is. I God, I enjoy the racing. I thoroughly do. I always will. I've always I've always been that type of guy. I even think I said in a video one time, I've always been that guy put everything on my back. I like I enjoy that part of it. But you're damn right. Like we go to rock crawl event and what the hell's Prep? But we got gas to put it.

 


[01:09:39.910] 

This thing you bought, you got some spare parts. Let's go. There was no prep, you know, to go to rock crawling event. Not I. I see some competitive rock crawling in our future. I see that come and say. I mean, the boys are at that point where I could see putting them in a  moonbuggy and let's go have some fun and see what we can do here. But I don't know, everybody's got portal axles and rear steer.

 


[01:10:04.240] 

I don't know what I do with another lever inside the vehicle with rear steer. I guarantee we'd all be upside down and. Sideways, real quick.

 


[01:10:13.640] - Big Rich Klein

You'd be right there with a bunch of guys.

 


[01:10:15.710] - Doug Bigelow

That's what I figure it out. And that's I could see that happening here in the future. Those are those are the good times, you know, so much good fun and, you know, avenues to be able to do it. Time to be able to go and spend it with, you know, family.

 


[01:10:35.600] 

That's what it's all about. So that's how I can see turning those parts into another vehicle here one of these days. And all I know is maybe we'll build this out this time as much as we've done. It had just other people build stuff for us. I told the boys here, I got the 64 Nova. I'm trying to get done and finished and wrapped up. And I just got this whole corner where it's just got nothing but benders and notchers.

 


[01:11:02.330] 

And I was like, you know what? I was built the next buggy. Who knows what that ends up looking like.

 


[01:11:07.730] - Big Rich Klein

There you go. Well, Doug, I'd like to say thank you so much and good luck in the future. And everything you do with the racing hope to see rock crawling and love to see you and Kat and the boys enjoy, you know, that part of the sport as well. And lifestyle. I hope you're able get out on the trail and get those kids kids broken in on the four wheel drive lifestyle and. Yes, right. Whatever happens, know that we miss you and hope to see you soon.

 


[01:11:36.530] - Doug Bigelow

Yeah, we will be.

 


[01:11:37.430] 

And we'll we'll catch you up soon because Lord only knows I need to get out west and do some more good fun ride out there. So I'm sure I'll paths will cross here sooner or later than, than, than later. Big guy. I appreciate it, man.

 


[01:11:52.700] - Big Rich Klein

All right. Thank you, Doug. Say hello to the family for me and we'll let you know. And this is going to air. Thank you. You bet.

 


[01:11:59.790] 

Appreciate it, brother. If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.