Most people know that Colorado has a rich and expansive outdoor and recreation community, one of which being off-roading. Whether with an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), dirt bike, or a 4-wheel drive jeep, there are several places to get out and enjoy a wilder side that Colorado has to offer. ATVing and Jeeping offers a different type of challenge for the outdoorsman, and that means there are more things to think about before hopping on an ATV and heading to the mountains. Before riding, you should know about what vehicle you’re on, the terrain, and how to be safe. Listed below are some things to remember about off-roading.
- Don’t ride alone – Even if you’re an experienced rider, it’s always a good idea to have some backup. Being by yourself can be cathartic, but it can also be troublesome if you run out of gas, get a flat tire, or a dead battery. Having someone with you can make things more enjoyable and even save your life. Remember that riding is a community sport, so look out for local clubs of riders.
- Always be prepared – you should always expect the unexpected when out on the trail. Remember to pack the essentials such as water, a compass, a map or GPS, extra fuel and anything else to make sure your ride is safe and comfortable. Extra gear can come in handy as well such as straps and a shovel, and for larger vehicles, a winch and hi-lift jack. Be sure to let a friend or family member know about your plans as well because failing to plan is planning to fail.
- Dress for the occasion – Just because you’re on 4 wheels doesn’t mean you won’t feel the fury of Mother Nature. Colorado weather can change in an instant so do your best to plan ahead. Check out the weather report so you know what you’re in for and always wear protective gear. More importantly on an ATV, wear a helmet, goggles, gloves, a jacket, pants, and boots that provide good ankle protection.
- Know the law – Starting this year, all Colorado residents are required to register their Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) before taking them out. Residents must provide acceptable proof of ownership (bill of sale, previous registration certificate, certificate of title) and all OHV’s owned and operated in Colorado must display current Colorado OHV registration stickers. You can find more information here.
- Read the terrain – Don’t be caught off guard by sudden changes in terrain so do your research. Check out the trail ahead of time or if you encounter a particularly rough patch and you’re not sure, do some scouting on foot so you know what’s up ahead. Since four-wheeling is about driving, remember to reduce speeds in some areas to gain a better understanding of what you’re up against and if you can, look ahead to see how the trail changes so you can react accordingly and avoid mishaps.
The more you know about off-roading, the more prepared you’ll be to have a fun and exciting time. Check out more information about off-roading here to make sure you’re prepared. You can also check out this handy map of trails in Colorado to find a spot near you. Remember if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident; call Franklin D. Azar & Associates today for a free consultation. We’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.