Well you’ve got an ATV, helmet, riding gloves, riding gear, gas cans, loading ramps and of course the big truck you ‘had’ to buy to haul everything around in. NOW WHAT?
Often riders become extremely frustrated after the recent purchase of an ATV . Nowhere to Ride? Unless you or your family owns large tracts of land or a timber company you are in the same boat as thousands of ATV owners. Riding in the backyard is fun for a day or two then you will find yourself scowering the back roads, farm country and parks for places to ride. Unfortunately because of irresponsible riders in the past few landowners are willing to allow someone to ride on their land.
Unfortunately I am not here to give you all the answers. It is up to each individual rider to find places to ride and most importantly maintain permission to ride on a certain piece of property. But I will give you a few pointers that may allow you to ease into the hunt.
First of all there are scarce ‘Public’ tracts of land on which riding is either allowed or ‘tolerated’. A good idea is to do a little research. Find out if there are any local ATV or Dirt Bike clubs in your area. This can often be accomplished by a quick search from Google. If there are no riding clubs in your immediate area check in surrounding cities. Club members are usually more than willing to disclose ‘public’ riding areas but not as likely to invite you to any of the private lands they have permission to ride. The reason for this: People do not respect other people’s property! A club member is not going to risk getting banned from a tract of land just so you can cut donuts in a farmer’s wheat field. However if you do happen to get a private land invite follow these simple rules:
When In Rome Do As The Romans. This is self explanatory but I will elaborate. If you are the type of rider that does 100mph no matter what type of terrain, and the person that was nice enough to bring you is poking along. POKE ALONG! Don’t blow past him/her and sling mud in their face. Though a good laugh this will surely not get you invited back on the next trip.
Follow The Leader. The person who invited you is most likely the person who has permission to ride the land. They know the rules (usually) and they will follow them (usually). Often land owners set ground rules when allowing someone access to their land, i. e. Close all Gates, Don’t Cross Creeks, Don’t Drive Over Fences, Don’t throw empty Budweiser cans in my chicken pen…. and so on. You get the idea.
Offer To Help. Nothing is more effective at gaining access than doing a little manual labor. Offer to help cut trails, bushog, mow grass, milk the cow, sweep the floor, fix gates/fences, shovel poop (If you don’t have anywhere to ride you may get a little desperate). Don’t be afraid to offer a trade for labor for riding privileges.
Basically meeting the right people and making the right impression is the key to gaining access to ride on someone’s land. People are often more protective of their land than they are their daughters. Which brings me to my next point. Find a girl whose family owns a twenty-thousand acre ranch. Marry Her. And invite me to come riding with you.
Hope this Article Cleared up a few things for you knuckle heads out there. Until next time, Keep the Tank Full and The Ramps Ready!
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Avid Outdoorsman. If it can happen, It will happen to me.