How are ATV clubs handling COVID-19 and social distancing?

“Being on an ATV in the outdoors makes for easy separation.” — Hartley Pokrant

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Hartley Pokrant stands next to his side-by-side ATV on a travel trailer.

Hartley Pokrant is the president of Manitoba’s Belair ATV Club. — Photo courtesy Hartley Pokrant

ATV clubs are having to adjust how and what they do amidst COVID-19. The limitations of social distancing can put a lot of stress on the average ATV club. It’s easy to get perplexed betwixt the ever-changing pandemic situation. Fortunately, Hartley Pokrant, president of Manitoba’s Belair ATV Club, has some pointers to help other clubs power through this uncertainty.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your club?

We have cancelled planned club rides and group volunteer trail brushing events.

How is your club adjusting to social distancing?

Using member Facebook and email updates.

Are you able to get out and ride?

Yes, riding trails is not really affected too much other than under Provincial guidelines. People are expected not to be in groups of more than five. We have over 600 kilometres of backcountry trails so any riders out there present minimal interaction situations. Being on an ATV in the outdoors makes for easy separation. When riders stop, they are sitting and chatting on their ATV seat several metres apart so social distancing should be easy.

Our riders have experienced many occasions of total backcountry ORV travel bans issued by the government during times of extreme fire hazards. We have experienced several of these over the last five years with some lasting well into June. Therefore, the COVID-19 virus is having minimal impact on individual rider access. It basically just shut down all group events.

What are you doing to pass the time? Fixing machines? Tinkering?

I can't speak for the riders, but it's a very busy time for me. I’m conducting administrative duties, signing, and kiosk planning/building for the club.

Are you still having club meetings? How are they being conducted?

A lot of our club meetings are done via direct contact and/or email discussions with fellow board members.

Are you able to work on trails?

Yes.

What advice do you have for avid ATVers who are anxious to get out on the trails and go for a ride?

Ride safe and keep your distance as we have heard hundreds of times.


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