Planning is vitally important for riders to stay safe. Lack of planning and execution can rob a rider of his or her focus and lead to serious situations. It is critically important that riders watch out for each other and recognize when someone may be in need of help. Being focused on the adventure means being prepared, identifying risks, and knowing what to do. It’s not enough to be focused on the ride; riders must be focused on their safety and the safety of everyone around them. It is important that riders be present and involved in all aspects of the ride.
Planning your route means asking the right questions in advance. What is the terrain like? Make sure that the skill level required is within your comfort zone. Are there any destination points? (you might want to bring a camera or a bathing suit). Are there amenities along the way? If not, do you have enough gasoline, food, sunscreen, etc.?
What about your ATV or side-by-side? Have you checked it recently? How are the tires and wheels? Controls and cables? Lights? Oil and fuel? Chain/driveshaft and chassis? If you’ve heard of T-CLOC, you know the acronym which can guide you through a full vehicle inspection? https://atvsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/tcloc.pdf
What should you take with you on your ride? Weather changes, and sometimes quickly, as you know. Prepare for all weather conditions. Sunscreen and bug repellant may need to be added to the list as well. You may not need it, but it’s better to have it if you do. Sure, a visor or goggles can deflect insects but what about when you stop to enjoy the scenery? Riding can also bring on an appetite. Be prepared with snacks and water.
Finally, let others know where you are going and when you can be expected to return. Ride with friends if you can. Plan well, be safe, and have fun.
Ask your members and ATV / ROV trainers these questions (through your posts, on your Facebook page, blogs, etc.) Possible answers are listed below each question.
What information about your route is important to know before setting out?
- Is the terrain hilly, rocky, wooded, a combination?
- Do you need a permit to ride here?
- How long is the route and typically, how long should it take to ride?
- What amenities, if any, are along the route?
Questions about checking your machine and possible answers:
- What is T-CLOC?
- Which fluids should you check?
- What spare items might you want to bring along for your ride?
- When was the last time you checked your machine?
Questions about planning what you need to take with you:
- What is the weather forecast? What kind of weather might you expect? What do you need to bring?
- What are some items for your vehicle that you might consider bringing along?
- Do you have a first aid kit, cell phone, bungee cords, and other emergency items?
- What kind of amenities are available on the route? How does that impact what you bring?
Questions about planning where you’re going:
- Who needs to know where you are going and when you expect to return?
- Will there be points within your planned trip that allow you to check-in, including long stretches or crossing through demanding terrain?