Friday, August 5, 2016

All In

 When we bought our first ATV – the very old, very small, very cheap one with the Queen’s chair – we did so deliberately with the idea that we would try it and see if we liked it before we invested any real money into the sport.

Or so we thought.  The downside of buying anything used is that you know something’s wrong with it.  What it is and when it will surface is a crap shoot, but something will break.  We put lots of hours and lots of miles on this used ATV – and lots of money on maintenance that never really got it working as well as we would have liked.

All the while, in the back of my mind, I started my list of requirements for the next one:

1. Power – it had to be able to go faster than 30 mph.

2. Foot rests for the passenger – the makeshift stirrups we used so I could brace myself riding downhill just weren’t the best solution.
2A. OK – we really needed a machine that was factory built for two.  The industry term is “two-up.”

3.  Built this century.  When I said the first ATV was “very old,” I meant “very old.”

When we brought the old ATV back from Hurricane, we immediately sold it for parts.  Then we spent a good deal of time deciding whether or not we really wanted to buy another ATV.  Were we ready to put both the time and money into the sport – for the next several years?

The decision was “yes.”  Last April we bought a brand-new, 2015 Polaris 570 Touring model.  It was a base model without power steering and without a built-in winch.  We bought a gun rack to hold fishing poles and walking sticks and pouches to hold whatever else.

We took it out in the west desert for its trial run and learned that I can drive with my husband riding as passenger.  (I would have never attempted this on the old ATV.)  We took it to the mountains and learned that it gets stuck in a foot of snow.  Thankfully we had another vehicle to pull us out.  We bought and installed a winch.  We took it camping and learned we could bungee chairs to the back, pack lunches and snacks in the pouches, and put fishing poles in the gun rack and go on all day adventures. 

It’s official!   We’re all in on this ATV thing!  Now if we only had a GPS…

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