Looking For Places To Ride? Join An OHV Club
Clubs offer opportunities to learn new trails and promote safe, responsible riding.
December 1, 2015
One question inevitably befalls most of Arizona's off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts at one time or another: Where can I and/or my family ride safely? Rather than running the risk of heading down an uncharted and potentially dangerous trail, consider joining an OHV riding club.
"OHV clubs are one of the best ways riders can meet new people while learning how to ride safely and responsibly," said Matt Eberhart, Arizona Game and Fish Department OHV Safety Education coordinator. "Members can participate in organized rides around the state and can experience new trails."
In addition to visiting some of Arizona's most scenic areas, many clubs partner with state agencies and organizations to help build, maintain and clean up trails, assuring they remain open and accessible to all users.
"It's never fun by yourself, no matter what you're driving," said Apache County ATV Club President Mel Schweigert. "It's the [camaraderie] and riding with like-minded people. Our goal is to have some fun out there and not to tear up the world and get hurt."
Riding within a club is also safer. Should you run into a problem in a remote location, whether it's an accident, medical emergency or your machine breaks down, others are present to help.
"When you're out in the woods riding, you need to be prepared and have someone with you because things can happen that you don't expect," said former Eagar Police Chief Mike Hogan, an avid OHV rider. "In the city, a hospital could be minutes away. If you're in the middle of nowhere it could be hours. If you're lost - it could be days."
With more than 120,000 registered OHVs within the state, chances are there's a club nearby willing to share their favorite rides and fantastic views with new riders.
Those interested in joining an OHV riding club can find a comprehensive list and contact information on the Arizona State Parks Web page at http://www.azstateparks.com/OHV/clubs. For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish OHV program and on safety courses, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/ohv.
Riding clubs wishing to partner with the Department's Safety Education Program for an outreach event can contact coordinator Matt Eberhart at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (623) 236-7384. For a video on why riders join riding clubs, visit https://youtu.be/LnlTjp5MxHo.