Reading and Traversing Terrain
To ride safely, you must assess the terrain ahead of you and decide how best to handle that terrain. You need to pick the safest route around obstacles or hazards.
- Stay on existing trails. Avoid dangerous terrain such as steep slopes or marshes.
- Travel at speeds appropriate for the terrain and your ability.
- Scan the path far ahead of you, not just immediately in front of you. You need to see obstacles far enough in advance to take appropriate action.
- Be careful when approaching obstacles you can’t see around, such as hills or turns.
- Ride around obstacles when you can—some obstacles may damage the bottom of your ORV. If an obstacle is small enough, you may be able cross over it safely.
- As you approach the obstacle, keep the front tires at a 90-degree angle to the obstacle.
- As the front tires touch the obstacle, apply a short burst of throttle. This will unweight the tires, allowing them to pop over the obstacle.
- After your front tires go over the obstacle, release the throttle and let the ORV’s momentum carry the rear tires over the obstacle.
- On ATVs or other 4-wheel ORVs:
- Cross obstacles at an angle, one wheel at a time.
- Go around large rocks. Straddling a large rock could damage the bottom of the vehicle.
- Straddle ruts to keep the vehicle level.
- Avoid mud on a trail if you can do so and stay on the trail.
- Be alert when riding over unfamiliar terrain.