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.
- Turn into ravines or large depressions at a 45-degree angle.
- 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.
When riding on trails:
- Use caution when riding from sunny to shaded areas on a trail. Your eyes may not adjust quickly enough to see rocks or ruts in the shade.
- Ride within your limits. Avoid trails that are beyond the capabilities of your machine or your skill level. One difficult section on an otherwise easy trail makes it beyond your limits.
- For maximum safety, keep your headlight on so that oncoming riders can see you easily.