Troy Lorencz has been an avid dirt biker, snowmobiler and ATVer since he was just a young boy. This 45-year-old from Grimshaw, Alberta, still loves the thrill of the ride even after all these years.
ATVing for Lorencz now means getting out with friends but, above all, getting out with his wife and two sons, ages 11 and 16.
"I love just getting out," said Lorencz. "I've been doing it since I was a little kid. My dad was a big outdoorsman, so ever since I was a baby we always had snowmobiles and quads. My two boys now love it and it's so much fun getting out as a family."
Lorencz has four or five quads, including a Bombardier Outlander and a Pan Am Commander 1000. He also has ones for the kids. Besides riding with his family, the also has about a dozen friends he can ride with. They ideally like to go every weekend, but life sometimes gets in the way.
The Peace River Country area is where Lorencz loves to ride locally.
"There's lots of Crown land here and a river running right by," he said. "We like to get some friends together, take out the family and camp and ride along the river valley. There are big hills, with about a 1000-foot elevation drop from the top of the hill to the river itself. There are all kinds of trails that run along the river, through muskeg and through the trees."
Lorencz said it's a great time whether you wants to stay up higher on top of the hills or go down and play in the mud with the quads near the river.
"There's always something new and different," he said. "It's always a good time."
Lorencz and his family also like to take trips as a family to go riding. Every year, they go to Grande Cache, Alberta. A very memorable ride happened here a couple years ago.
"I'll never forget when my youngest had to ride back in a hail storm," said Lorencz. "We were coming down a mountain and at first it was just raining and then it started hailing. He was riding his little dirt bike while my friend and I were in a side-by-side quad. The hail was about the size of peas. He kept on going through the hail. It was so cold, I couldn't believe it.
"We got to a hill and all of a sudden he stopped and looked down. The chain had popped off his bike. He jumped off and he was crying his hands were so cold. I asked him why he didn't just stop, and he told me he didn't want his dad to think he was a baby. He was only nine years old at the time. I told him he just rode through five miles of the worst weather I'd ever seen. He jumped in the side-by-side and we went back to camp."
Lorencz said all the other boys his age had stopped the moment the hail started. He couldn't believe what a trooper his little boy was and how he had endured the storm.
"Whenever the whole family rides together, we always have fun," he said. "We love stopping to build a fire and cook smokies. It's so amazing getting out and enjoying everything together. Every time we go is memorable for me. I hope it's the same for them."