In a couple of previous blog posts, we talked about different kinds of protective gear you might want to wear when riding ATVs, such as a properly-fitted helmet, gloves and goggles. We also talked about the importance of choosing an ATV that is a good match for your body size and your specific needs and abilities. But in this post, we want to share a few more ATV tips for beginners about how to ride an ATV in a safe and comfortable manner.
Handling Bumps and Dips
During your first few trips riding around the desert on an ATV, one of the first things you’ll notice is that it can be a pretty bumpy ride. Sometimes it seems like you can feel every single bump, every dip and every rock on the trail.
One way to minimize the jarring sensation and smooth out your ride is to make sure that the tire pressure is properly set to the manufacturer’s specifications – or even just a tiny bit underinflated. When tires are overinflated, you tend to have a bouncier ride. But adjusting the air pressure allows the tires to mush into the trail and absorb more of the impact.
When taking a guided ATV tour in Las Vegas with Las Vegas ATVs, you don’t have to worry about that, though, because our ATV tour guides and instructors make sure that all our vehicles are properly maintained and set up to give you an enjoyable riding experience.
Basic Braking Techniques
When braking, your ATV handle brakes operate in the same way as those on a motorcycle or bicycle. The right hand brake is for the rear wheels, and the left hand brake is for the front wheels. Always begin braking with the right hand and then gradually add additional braking power with the left hand only when needed.
This is extremely important when riding downhill because applying the brakes to the front wheels on a downhill at high speed could shift the center of gravity too far forward, causing the vehicle to begin tipping forward. This is a very rare phenomenon and is unlikely to happen to you on our guided tours, but under the right circumstances it could be a concern. So always let off the gas and start braking with the right hand first, followed by the left hand as needed.
Distributing Your Weight
When turning or when riding across slanted terrain, it’s sometimes necessary to lean into those turns or to shift your bodyweight to the side to prevent tipping. One easy way to do this is to slightly raise your body up on your feet as you ride.
This gives you a little greater control and allows you to easily shift your weight from side to side to accommodate the changes in terrain while maintaining proper balance. Raising your body up off the seat slightly can also help you to absorb some of those bumps and vibrations that we talked about earlier.
Riding an ATV for the first time is a really fun experience for riders of all ages. By following these basic riding tips and the instructions from your guides, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable time and create many memories that will last a lifetime.