Sunday, October 21, 2007

Be Careful Out There!

Several years ago I went riding in the mountains with two of my sons. It was a gorgeous day and we had lots of fun until we had an accident and rolled one of the ATVs into the scrub oak. I was just glad that no one was hurt in the accident. Damage to the Yammy Big Bear was minor compared to what it could have been. We spent several hours of hard work recovering the bike. Our fun day of riding was ruined by a seemingly minor mistake that had bad consequences. Again, the damage was minor compared to what it could have been, and no one was seriously hurt. I was grateful for that more than anything else.

Earlier this year my youngest son Brad and his wife Jodi made a large investment in two Yamaha ATVs and a trailer so they could go camping and riding with their two young boys.

A couple of weeks ago Brad was riding with Jodi's younger brother Bucky when they came to a part of the trail that was, shall we say "technically challenging". Actually, I've seen this place, and I wouldn't have even attempted to go there, but I guess that's neither here nor there. At any rate, Jodi's ATV wound up taking a tumble about 250 yards or so down a steep ravine.

It took Brad several attempts and finally, with the help of 5 other people, some long rope and a pully, they were able to recover the ATV.
Here it is.

This is the front (in case you can't tell). Note that the front wheels are no longer aligned with each other, or the frame.

Well, I think you get the picture.

Having an enjoyable, safe, but fun experience while trail riding on an ATV requires a certain combination of good equipment, confidence and riding skill.

Good equipment isn't cheap. A lot of young people don't have a lot of disposable income to spend on recreational equipment.

If you have low confidence, you won't have much fun because you're always worried about having an accident.

For a lot of young people, lack of confidence is not a problem. Most the time, it's too much confidence that's the problem.

If you have more confidence than you do skill, the consequences could end up looking like these pictures. Or worse.

At least no one got hurt. Thank God for that.