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Education

Responsible Riding

You’ll be safer and at the same time you’ll help keep our trails open

Basically, two of the worst-case scenarios for ATV riders are A) having an accident during a ride, or B) seeing your favorite riding areas get shut down. The first one leaves you at best with bumps and bruises on your body and machine, while the other results in your beloved quad on the front lawn with a big For Sale sign on the handlebars. Both of these sorry situations appear to be out of your control. Or are they?

Riding responsibly will dramatically decrease your chances of ever getting hurt or causing your favorite riding areas to close their gates. In many ways, responsible and ethical riders also have a higher quality riding experience knowing that other outdoor recreationalists are not bothered by your chosen activity.

OK, now that you’re convinced that this is the way to go, what does it really mean to be a responsible rider? Isn’t it simply a matter of using common sense and common courtesy? Well, yes, a lot of it is, but while we’re having fun tooling along the trails there are many things we don’t necessarily notice that could endanger ourselves and others, wildlife and the environment, or just plain tick off other outdoor recreationalists.  Responsible riding is three-fold. It means being responsible for:

  1. Your own safety
  2. The safety of other riders and trail users, and
  3. The environment

The Golden Rules of Safe Riding

TREAD Lightly!

The Golden Rules of Safe riding serve to protect yourself and other riders. However, when it comes to keeping trails and ride areas open, it’s the environment that needs protection. A common term and attitude in the outdoor recreation world is that of “tread lightly”. There is in fact an organization called TREAD Lightly! which serves to educate many outdoor recreation groups including ATV and dirt bike riders, 4x4 drivers, mountain bikers, boaters, snowmobilers, hikers, equestrians, and hunters. Their mission is to encourage recreationists to “tread lightly” in the outdoors, leaving as little evidence as possible that they were ever there. The reasons being are two-fold; to leave other outdoor recreationists and future generations with an unspoiled environment and to ensure that the great outdoors will continue to be accessible to a wide variety of users.

Leave No Trace

Sharing The Trails

Many public trails that allow OHV use also cater to horseback riders and hikers on the same trails. Serious conflicts between user groups usually result with the “motorized” recreationists getting closed out the next time the land managers meet. How the non-motorized public views us is of utmost importance when it comes to land access issues. There are a couple ways we, as OHV riders can put our best foot forward and avoid user group conflicts.