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Respect on the Quad Trail

For the vast majority of ATV enthusiasts, the practice of ATVing is an activity of rejuvenation and relaxation. The time spent aboard our machines allows us to create many memories that we will keep for a long time.

However, riding on a federated quad trail requires a certain line of conduct to ensure a harmonious union between the landowners and the users. Otherwise, we would be confronted with anarchy. These rules impose a respect and allow a perenniality of our sport.

Nevertheless, a minority is harming our activity by gestures and attitudes that we want to denounce. Even if these people are only a tiny percentage, they are doing damage and an outrage to those who are working to develop the quad activity.

Stay on the trail!

It seems to me that this is very evocative and not open to interpretation. Stay on the marked trail, as this is the portion of land that is allowed to be used. Why use a shortcut to save time? Isn’t this an activity where we want to stay as long as possible on our vehicles? For my part, offer me a choice between two routes, and I will choose the longer one.

It is also our duty to check the IQUAD application and the Facebook page of the club(s) we want to visit beforehand to make sure the trails are open. And above all, stay within the established markers to keep our rights of way intact. If you don’t, the majority of the riders will suffer the consequences.

Also, imagine the headaches and costs of relocating a portion of trail lost by the removal of a right offered by a landowner. In this case, don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

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Do you have your right of access?

Ooooohhhhh, that’s a question that needs to be pondered, because it seems that some enthusiasts are…. forgetting. And yes, some quad riders are using the federated trails without having purchased their right of access online from the FQCQ. You are probably aware that it is essential, mandatory and primordial to have one, whether it is annual, summer, short-term (3 consecutive days) or daily.

“Well, it’s really expensive!” Perhaps some people make this comment when they see the cost associated with the privilege of riding a federated trail. Dear naysayers, there is a cost for trail maintenance and signage. Thousands of volunteers carry this pride of Quebec at arm’s length and ensure that our trails are safe and well maintained. However, there are fixed costs that quad clubs cannot avoid.

In addition, it goes without saying that they must have a valid right of access. I don’t understand why most people are inclined to pay for such expensive vehicles and then grimace when it comes to having the right to ride on our beautiful network that is the envy of thousands of people around the world. Please note that if you are intercepted on the trail and do not have your valid right of access, you will have to pay $500 to acquire it on site.

In order to ride legally on the trails, ATV enthusiasts must not only obtain a right of access, but they must also carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in liability insurance, as required by the Off-Road Vehicle Act.

Respect for trail officers and Sûreté du Québec police officers.

In my job as an off-road vehicle journalist, I have the opportunity to work with many people in the field. During events or when I ride my quad, I hear a lot of confidences about the exaggerated reaction of some riders who are intercepted at checkpoints.

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To tell the truth, some of these actions disappoint me and make me wonder about human nature. Why do we have such odious behaviour and hostility towards those who work to enforce the laws and regulations of off-road vehicles?

These regulations are simply implemented for the harmonious use of our vehicles. These men and women are only there to verify their application. As for me, I prefer to show up at a checkpoint with a good attitude and my valid documents in hand. This way, I can be sure that I will be received in a courteous manner and that I can leave as quickly as I arrived. Isn’t that the right attitude to adopt?

If not, they can also return the favor. A moribund attitude on your part could get you a more thorough inspection that could stretch out in time. I, for one, prefer to exempt myself from such a scrutiny.

Is it the newcomers who have not understood the general operation? Has the pandemic created an anxiety that does not dissipate even when practicing a relaxing activity in correlation with nature? Does “Gerard” want to be more arrogant in the presence of his “friends”? All in all, we don’t have the real answer, but there is one fact that persists: some enthusiasts don’t understand the term “RESPECT”.

We must put into perspective the benefits of such a presence on our agents’ trails. In addition to verifying the validity of the rights of access and the necessary documents, they ensure that the imposed speed limits are respected. Imagine the scenario where “Gerard”, with his brand new turbocharged side-by-side, is speeding with the pedal to the floor, “like there’s no tomorrow”. He would be a danger to everyone, including himself. A small family wanting to have a good quality time would not want to meet this individual on a curve. The presence of trail agents is there to discourage this type of behavior.

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Imagine once again our handsome “Gerard” who has brought himself a few alcoholic beverages and who abuses this explosive liquid when combined with the use of a quad. The presence of a police roadblock and officers will soon remove this threat from our trails.

In conclusion, let’s be respectful when practicing our activity. Let’s be examples for our friends and family. And finally, let’s be civil to the people who make our sport possible.