As an ATV rider, you know how important it is to think ahead to the conditions in which you'll be riding. Safety is no joke, and riding in adverse conditions can be dangerous. Whether it's winter with snow and ice or an extra rainy summer day, knowing how to change your riding for the conditions you're in can make a huge difference, not just in safety, but in how you enjoy your ride.
The first thing to do is simply pay attention. Be aware of your surroundings, of the condition of the trail, and for that matter your own condition. If it starts to rain while your already out, be prepared to back off on your style as necessary. Hitting a large puddle or an ice patch at high speeds is a great way to have an accident.
Prepare yourself for riding in less than perfect conditions. Practice in a controlled environment so you know how your quad handles in mud, ice, or other terrains you may find yourself in. That way you will never get caught with your pants down by bad weather. It can be challenging to ride in slick conditions, but if you are unprepared, the challenge isn't so fun as it is stressful.
Cold very often comes with the territory when it's wet, so be prepared for that as well. Gloves are crucial to good riding. If your hands get numb or slippery, you can lose a lot of control fast. Aside from just being more comfortable, staying warm means you have better muscle control and reaction, so the added dangers you're in will be easier to handle.
Part of slippery roads is longer stopping times. When you do stop, apply your brake gradually. Sudden stops can seize up your wheels and send you sliding out of control. Always assume you need at least twice as much stopping distance if the ground is wet or icy. Do your best to avoid larger puddles and ice patches when you are just riding. If your going for the splash, just don't take it faster than you can handle safely.
Expanding your riding to various conditions makes for a much better riding experience, but never do it haphazardly. Plan ahead, know what to do in any situation you may find yourself in, and by all means be prepared enough that you can have fun without stress or worry.
Riding in Adverse Conditions
Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10:00:00 PM America/Denver
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