— Competition improves riding satisfaction —
By D. West
What are the most vivid childhood memories you have? For me, they tend to focus on the fun times, so that would involve sports. I remember learning how to throw and catch a football with the other kids in the neighborhood. From there, it just naturally progressed to us playing football games together in our front yards. This competition provided us with the ability to prove our skills and gain full satisfaction from the sport.
That same philosophy was etched into my mind when I later moved on to another sport I discovered known as off-road riding. Once I felt confident in my riding skills, I just naturally wanted to measure myself against others in organized competition. To me, it felt good to be in a place where the group of guys had the same passion for riding as me. I enjoyed the sensation of roosting down cross-country trails at a swift pace with them, but I also looked forward to sharing stories and info before and after the actual riding.
This form of off-road ATV fellowship is not limited to only cross-country, motocross and TT racing. The spirit of competition also shows up in 4×4 mud riding events. It’s fun to watch your buddies tackle a mud hole and then for you to take a turn as well. This type of competition fun occurs at ATV festivals and jamborees, too. They regularly have staged drag races between the attendees and timed obstacle courses to measure your riding skills.
For me, I never thought of ATV racing as that much different from what I’d normally be doing on a quad anyway. On trail rides I was already used to covering ground at a good clip and while doing laps on a riding park track, I was always trying to pass my buddies. The idea of paying an entry fee didn’t bother me, because it meant I’d be riding with more friends and maybe even go home with a trophy.
There are many Dirt Wheels readers who have the same attitude as me when it comes to ATV competition involvement. These readers typically have the highest level of enthusiasm for our sport. They have the most passion for riding and are more likely to send us an e-mail with photos. In fact, I’m going to pick out a few now to illustrate this column.