Learning to plan a ride to fit the riders has been a challenge. Having ridden with families with young children, people who have never ridden before, and guys who you have trouble keeping up with, it is important to know what will make everyone happy by the end of the ride.
The first thing you have to remember is that this is not your ride. It is your ride to plan, but you are not planning it for yourself. If you were, you wouldn’t be going with them in the first place.
I was on a ride with my son’s family a few years ago. They have four children – two of them were old enough to ride their own machines and the younger ones rode in the UTV with me and grandma.
We chose Green River, Utah, as a place to set up a base camp. There are a lot of ATV trails in the area of Green River and there is a beautiful campground right in the middle of town.
We began our ride on the Buckmaster Road west of town. We explored some of the old mines that abound along this trail.
Taking a side trail to a dinosaur skeleton exposed in a large rock, we stopped to let the kids out. We sat down by the dinosaur bones and watched while they climbed a pile of rocks. We have learned that frequent stops and chances to do some exploring work best. It turned out to be a ride that everyone enjoyed.
Another of my sons is an avid rider. We had a chance to ride together from Mantua to Eden earlier this year. When we ride together, we see a little of a lot of scenery.
Recently, we set up a ride with his family to ride parts of this same trail. He still has two children living at home. He and his son like to ride while his wife and daughter were more interested in where we were going to dinner at the end of the ride.
We started from Mantua with Inspiration Point being the goal to reach. It was a pretty fall day when we started, but the higher we climbed, the colder it got.
If you have ridden the trail to Inspiration Point, you will remember that the trail climbs to about 9,000 feet where a sign explains the work done by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in the late 1930s. A short hiking trail goes to a point with a noteworthy view of Willard Bay.
The cold was taking the fun out of the ride. While I may have tried to reach Inspiration Point, the view would not be as impressive as it would be on a balmy summer day.
We headed back and as things warmed up in the lower elevations, we reached the turn off that goes toward the trail to Eden. They took my suggestion to ride that trail for a little distance to take a look at the beaver activity along that trail.
It was something they all enjoyed. However, being in the lead and enjoying the trail, I forgot to check my mirrors. I had gone some distance when I realized that no one was following.
Turning around, I went back until I found them all waiting at a junction. “We wondered how far you would go without us,” they said. They were ready for the ride to be over and to go to dinner. Again, this is a ride that was short, but it was enjoyed by everyone in the group.
Recently, I wrote two articles about rides between Kanab and Bryce Canyon. The rides were led by my friend, Willis Little of Fruit Heights.
He has a 2015 Polaris Sportsman 1000 XP with 7,800 miles on it. He didn’t put that many miles on it in four years by taking short leisurely rides.
Each of the rides between Kanab and Bryce Canyon was over 90 miles. If you decided that after 70 miles you were done, well, that doesn’t work. You just keep going. We knew when we signed up for that ride that we weren’t going to quit until we reached our destination.
The point is that the ride can be just as fun in any of these kinds of situations. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and remember, if you are planning a ride for a group, it is not about you.