Seniors and ATVs

As I get older I notice its more difficult to do certain things then it use to be. I am lucky enough to have my father still with us and was curious if its a wise move to encourage him to ride a four wheeler. He loves motorcycles and as he gets older the risk also increases.

First I need to level set what riding an ATV is all about because most instantly think that driving a fourwheeler/ATV means hardcore offroad obstacles that may lead to death or serious injury.

If you watched the video, you can see hardcore obstacles and serious injury is a choice for some but others want to enjoy the trails, scenery and going to places vehicle can’t go.

For example the famous Hatfield and McCoy trail system is very family friendly and many would consider the trail system an easy to tackle by anyone to include Seniors.

Something else that is nice about the Hatfield and McCoy trail system is if you aren’t sure you will be able to ride an ATV you can rent one at WV ATV Resort and Rentals. This would give you a chance to enjoy some fairly easy, family friendly trails trying an ATV and if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you then maybe try a UTV/SxS which are also available for rent.

Now maybe you have already done the Hatfield and McCoy trail system or it doesn’t interest you. You may be wondering to yourself, how do you find more easy trails that won’t push you to hard.

The answer is easy now a days since has been born. This website will show you all trails in your area or another area and they include filters that help you narrow down to just the easy trails which looks like this at the moment. You see the filter is set for only Open trails and EASY level

So you select one of the trails on the left that interests you and you will get another screen like the one below that gives you tons of information about the trail to include the Hardest Part of the trail, how long the trail runs. I love that they allow you open the trail up in your app. I use Gaia GPS alot and they will even import the trail into Gaia GPS but if thats too complicated because it can be.. just use the TrailsOffoad app.

If you keep scrolling down in the details for the trail it gives you lots and lots of good information about that trail. You will also typically see reviews from others that enjoyed the trail.

So now we laid down what ATV riding can be about. Either hard and fast or slow and steady or somewhere in between. Its whatever you are comfortable with.

There are some great website that I would recommend checking out.

4 Reasons for the Elderly and Limited Mobility Individuals to Try ATV Riding

Top 5 Best ATVs for Seniors: Age is Just a Number

Some safety rules that you should be following include:

Just as with any outdoor sport, there are safety rules for seniors that you should follow:

  • Make sure a relative or friend knows where you will be and stick to that route. Many ATV trails are far off the beaten path so also give a time when you will return.
  • Bring safety supplies just in case your ATV breaks down. These would include a wind up flashlight/radio, waterproof matches, water and food. If possible also bring a light tent and safety blanket.
  • Take your cellphone. Bringing your phone is a good idea but don’t forget there are many areas where you may not have cell reception.

As with other vehicles, there are rules for ATV riding:

  • An ATV is a motorized vehicle and must be insured so bring your insurance papers.
  • Never allow a passenger on your ATV unless is it specifically built for more than one person.
  • A helmet must be worn at all times.
  • Stick to designated trails unless you have permission from a property owner to ride on their property.
  • A valid permit and a displayed plate are necessary to operate an ATV.

Now as we get older it gets more difficult to raise our leg up over the seat of an ATV to sit on it correctly so many sit on the seat sideway (otherwise know as side saddle). If this could be you then maybe look for a UTV/SxS. My recommendations are UTV/SxS with a bench seat so its easier to slide in and slide out but still have lots of fun. You could go for a UTV/SxS with bucket seats but then comes the issue of having to pull yourself out of the bucket you are in and I know that becomes difficult at almost any age.

My recommendation to my dad would be the Honda Pioneer since it has direct drive ( no belt to break like the can-am, polaris and kawasaki side by sides use )

This blog post is my opinions and thoughts to help any senior enjoy living life. Maybe its something you can do something like this with your family or meet other people.

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