Riding ATVs — a woman’s perspective

Thursday , April 19, 2018 - 12:00 AM

LYNN R. BLAMIRES, Standard-Examiner columnist

Being a guy who loves to ride an ATV in the backcountry, it never crossed my mind that anyone else in the ATV community would have a different perspective. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from my good friend, Sherry Sheppard, from Fillmore offering just that — a different perspective.

I met Sherry and her husband, Bill, a long time ago when I attended my first National ATV Jamboree in Fillmore. We have kept in touch on trail information ever since.

The note read, “Women have an entirely different way of looking at riding ATVs.” Being a guy, she had my full attention.

She said, “Women have the recipe for cement — hair spray, trail dust, and rain.” Again she declared the speed limit on a trail is “as fast as you dare go.”

I was with Sherry on a jamboree ride known as the Gooseberry Trail. When we got out to the turn-around point, the group split into a ladies group with the men taking a different trail back.

When the dust settled, the men were gone and I was left to ride with the women. Now I don’t have a problem with that except that the fastest that they dared go was five miles per hour or less. It was the longest ride I have ever taken in my life.

Sherry continued her list, “If you get lost, cry big alligator tears — rescuers won’t lecture a damsel in distress. They will be kind and sympathetic." I am here to tell you that there is no way this will work for a guy unless he has a broken bone.

Sherry’s next point was, “Be sure to keep the most important items for lunch with you so that your husband will not leave you behind.” In the same vein she added, “A man will usually carry a sandwich and a soda for lunch, while a woman can pack a five-course meal in her ATV box.”

“Never ride a trail that has the word Devil or Hell in the name. There are reasons for those names and they are not good ones.”

“If a rider in front pops a wheel in the air because of the terrain, get off and let someone else negotiate that part for you.”

My wife verified these points. We were exploring some trails in the San Rafael Swell when we came across the Devil’s Race Track. I failed to pick up on that, but she didn’t.

It was the only time I have been on a trail that I had to ride twice, not consecutively, but concurrently. I would ride my machine up a ways and then I would go back to get hers.

There was no way she was going to ride that trail. She was just fine walking. I have to admit that is the kind of trail that when you come to the end, you feel like pounding your chest and making jungle noises.

Sherry made a point about women understanding the workings of an ATV. She related an incident that happened on a trail where a lady had rolled her ATV. After determining that the rider was alright, they were able to get the machine back on its wheels.

Noticing that the ATV might need oil, they took an inventory and found that the first lady in the group had an extra quart. It was 19 riders down the line before they found someone who knew the place on the machine to put the oil.

The women I know just want to turn the key and go. If it doesn’t, they want someone to fix it. Knowing where to put the oil, gas, and how to plug a tire could come in handy.

Her last point was negotiating 50-inch ATV gates. According to her, 90 percent of the women drive up to the gate and edge forward until it is clear that the wheels fit. They then close their eyes and drive through. Being a guy, I don’t get this. I like to watch.

So there you have it — whether you are a gal or a guy, when you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and enjoy the ride.

You can email Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

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