Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - Why Join an ATV Club?
By Bob Humphrey
Do you belong to a local or state ATV club? If not, you may want to give the idea some strong consideration. Sure, money is tight these days. If you’re an avid outdoorsman, you’re likely already a member of Ducks Unlimited or one of the many other dedicated conservation groups that support our outdoor endeavors. And you’re probably thinking, “the last thing I need is to be shelling out more money to yet another group.” But the fact of the matter is, there are some very good reasons for joining an ATV club. Below are three of the best.
First and perhaps foremost, ATV clubs and associations are a great one-stop source for all kinds of information. Some of the most useful is the location and status of trails, including maps and updated info on localized closures and openings. Many states restrict off-road riding to recognized trails, and access to designated trailheads. This information can be invaluable when planning a trip. Also, local conditions can change. Trails wash out. Property and access change hands. You wouldn’t want to get halfway to your intended destination only to find the way is blocked or impassable.
Clubs can also provide you with all kinds of information on local events and demos. They can alert you if there’s a group ride or a rally this weekend. Perhaps the club is holding a fundraising event, or just a group picnic. Or maybe the folks from Yamaha are hosting a demo.
For a full listing of Yamaha ATV demo and display events click here.
2. Support and Assistance
There is strength in numbers. As a club member, you know you have the full membership body behind you, whether you’re broken down on the trail or fighting for your collective rights and privileges. Every individual will be acknowledged, but a strong, unified front will gain far more attention and respect when legislators are considering ATV legislation.
Creating and maintaining trails is both costly and labor intensive. But many hands make for short work, and pooled resources go a lot farther. Furthermore, clubs are far more likely to have access to supportive funding. Through the OHV Access Initiative, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., provides GRANTs (Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nations Trails) to deserving organizations to help further the program’s goal. For more details click here.
3. Friendship and Fun
Riding is fun, but riding with friends and family is more fun. And there seems to be a direct correlation between the number of riders in a group and the amount of fun you have. Riding with a club you get to meet new people and make new friendships that may extend well beyond mere trail riding. When you consider the costs of joining a local ATV club, typically under $30 a year, and the benefits derived, it really is a huge return on your investment.