MI-TRALE strongly supports and encourages the training of all ATV/UTV riders so they are familiar with the rules and laws in Michigan as well as understand the basics of safe ATV/UTV use. MI-TRALE recently had the opportunity to sponsor ATV training classes for over 90 6th grade students from the Ontonagon, Ewen Trout Creek, Watersmeet and Baraga Schools. The training covered all of the rules contained in the “Handbook of Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Laws”, the importance of protecting our resources as well as information necessary for safe ATV/UTV use. The instructor for the classes was Conservation Officer Ethen Mapes. He was assisted by Conservation Officers Dave Miller and Brian Lasanen.
On May 3rd, MI-TRALE sponsored a riding course at Camp Nesbit, located in the Ottawa National Forest. Mr. Dale Rantala, Director of Camp Nesbit not only helped sponsor the ATV portion of the camp, but was involved in the training of many other important subjects while at the camp such as shooting and archery.
Students were divided into two groups and each group spent three hours riding on a course set up to develop and practice skills learned in the classrooms. This involved becoming familiar with the ATV, stopping, crossing roadways, traveling up and down hills, turning through a series of cones as well as becoming comfortable riding the machines. It was remarkable how the students, some of which were somewhat apprehensive to ride, became so proficient by the end of the course. Their smiles made it a great day for all.
MI-TRALE wishes to thank Polaris Industries for selecting MI-TRALE to receive a $10,000.00 T.R.A.I.L.S grant which allowed MI-TRALE to purchase two new youth ATVs as well as other equipment for the safety classes. In addition, we would like to thank Headwaters Polaris in Watersmeet and Pat’s Motorsports in Greenland for their contribution to making the program a success. MI-TRALE volunteers supported the classroom portion of the training as well as the driving portion. They were: Don Helsel, Marv Westerdahl, Dave Bishop, Linda Schulz, Khris and Brenda Kennedy and Jim Fooce. It should be noted all of the MI-TRALE volunteers are just that, volunteers who give freely of their time and at their own expense in not only assisting with similar events, but maintaining the 585 miles of trails within the western U.P. If you should see them on the trail, please stop and say hi as they enjoy speaking with and assisting those they meet.
Students who passed the class room exam and the riding test will be issued an official State of Michigan ATV training certificate and a decal to place on their ATV that recognizes them as a “Certified to Ride” graduate. This certificate is required by law for anyone less than 16 years of age to have in their possession while riding an ATV/UTV on public property and be under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
MI-TRALE President Don Helsel stated “MI-TRALE believes it is very important for the future of our sport to teach our youth the importance of not only riding safely and to obey the rules, but to extend a personal effort to protect the resources that we ride on to ensure our trails remain open and can be expanded upon in the future”.
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