Our family grew up riding snowmobiles – only back then, they were called “Ski-Doos”. Going out for a Saturday afternoon ride over the local fields and along the frozen creek with our uncles, cousins and neighbours are some of my fondest memories growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. You know what they say – “the family that plays together, stays together”. Well, it must have worked because, heck, we even work together…….haha!
It’s been many years since those days and much has changed. Instead of sleds, our machines of choice are UTVs. We can ride year round rather than being relegated to the snow. Us “kids” are much older and now have kids of our own. And, Dad has mellowed in his old age, usually managing to keep his cool when things don’t go as expected on the trail.
However, it’s the things that haven’t changed that are the most important. Those include recreating together as a family, building memories, relationships and passing on a tradition of riding to the next generation.
Continuing our #ResponsibleRiding theme for August, we want to focus on how we can keep our kids riding memories on the positive side. (Because we all remember that time when little Johnny screamed for the whole friggin’ ride or heaven forbid, got hurt) I’ve put together a few tips, tricks, and products that will ensure the safety and comfort when riding the trails, whether it’s with your own kids, their friends, or your grandkids.
1. Keep them contained. No, I don’t mean wrap them up in straight jacket and and on a leash, but keep them in the engineered life space. One of the safest ways I know how to do that is to install a carseat. It keeps them safe, supported and raises them up so they can enjoy the view too. Our family has always kept older, but good condition car seats around for this purpose. That way, we didn’t have to get our good car seats all muddy or dusty.
2. Once you are past the car seat stage, get a youth sized harness for them. That way, the seat belt is not cutting them across the neck, face or abdomen. The youth harnesses from Dragon Fire Racing are simple to install, fully adjustable and they are on special until August 31, 2018.
3. As the family continues to grow and you don’t want to upgrade to a 4-seater, UTV Canada has several options for cage extensions that come with seats and harnesses. Get up to $300 off yours using the coupon code #RRkids. Click here to see all in-stock cage extension that qualify. Code expires August 31, 2018.
4. Use a helmet and goggles to protect their noggins and their eyes. No further explanation needed! They only get one melon and two peepers. You may also want to consider side nets, especially if the kiddos are sitting in the rear seats or cage extension.
5. Always be prepared and expect the unexpected. Be sure to pack extra snacks and water, as well as extra clothes and a blanket to ensure their comfort. You can keep all those items safe and dry in one of our many cargo box options found here.
6. Stop often to let them stretch their legs and run around. They love to explore as much as we do, so let them pick the wildflowers, run through the puddles or toss some rocks into the water.
Given today’s society, it is more important than ever to provide our kids with the opportunity to unplug from their devices, spend some quality time with those that are the most positive influence on the them (that’s you, parents!) and help them enjoy and explore our beautiful country.
When we are in the midst of raising our littles, the following could not be more true….
“The days are long but the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin
Take the time, make those memories but keep them safe. <3
Check out this video from Mark and Melissa Meyer and how they ride safely with their kiddos.