On May 15 the 4 Lakes 4 Wheelers of Madison, Wisconsin held their annual 4 Wheel Drive Clinic. The Clinic is an opportunity for participants to learn about safe off-road vehicle operation, the technical aspects of their vehicle as well as winching and safe recovery of their vehicle.
Participation was limited to 28 vehicles with 14 in the morning session and 14 in the afternoon session. Both sessions began with a presentation and Q&A time on various aspects unique to four-wheel drive vehicles. The second presentation was a demonstration on winching techniques and safe vehicle recovery.
Next the participants hit the trail for a two-hour trail ride. The ride included a tight trail with alternate rock crawling opportunities. This gave the participants hands on opportunity to apply their newfound skills as a driver and vehicle capabilities, all at the direction of an experienced trail guide.
Many of those coming to this clinic were first timers and had very little or no off-roading experience. An experienced 4 Lakes 4 Wheeler was paired with each participant to assist the driver through the tight areas along the ride coaching and spotting them along the way to ensure each vehicle came away undamaged and all of the participants could gain confidence while having fun.
By the time the ride was over the majority of them had become brave enough to attempt a rock crawl or two. There was a lot of hand clapping went going on as someone who has never done this type of thing made it through a tough spot and it was especially satisfying when someone got through an obstacle, and you heard a yahoo coming from the driver!!
The most difficult part of the Clinic was telling the participants that the ride has come to an end!!
Out of the 27 registered participants, 8 were women and there were 5 no shows and about 1/3 of the vehicles were either 2020 or 2021 vehicles.
A big THANK YOU goes out to the workers and landowners that made it possible for this event to occur!
The 4 Lakes 4 Wheelers provides this clinic at no cost to the participants and believes there is a definite need for folks to learn about and safely use their vehicle and equipment and how to TREAD LIGHTLY!
For more information about the clinic or to become a member of the 4 Lakes 4 Wheelers, see their website at 4lakes4wheelers.com.