I want to, now what?
by Angela Hinkley
You just bought your dream vehicle and cannot wait to hit the trails. Or maybe your vehicle is capable, and you have always wanted to take it off-highway, but have no idea how or where to begin. You are not alone, and we would love to support you on your journey!
Research the Trail and Event.
You have decided to join and participate. AWESOME! Now what?
1.) Ask questions, all of them, no matter how “dumb” you think the question is. We can guarantee there are ten other people that have the same question or did at one point in time. How are you ever going to know if you don’t ask?
2.) Stalk us on Facebook! Yep, you heard us right! We offer live videos and posts to help prepare you for every event. Be sure to tune in and learn more about what to expect so that you are prepared.
3.) Go to the event venue website or social media platforms and check out photos and videos to see what the terrain is like.
We ALWAYS recommend to anyone that is new to the sport and never taken their own vehicle off-highway, to be a passenger first. Get into the passenger seat and ride along on the trails in someone else’s vehicle. Experience the feeling, the sounds and the risks of being on the trails, to ensure that this is something you are ready for and willing to take your own vehicle through.
You can join us for an event, and park your vehicle in the parking lot. Ride along for the morning and then after lunch get into your vehicle if you are ready. If you are not ready, ride along the entire day or for several events. You may find that you do this at every new venue you attend as well. Go at your own speed.
When attending the event as a passenger, use this time for learning. Shadow the driver as they are preparing their vehicle for the trails. Go through Tech Inspection. Ask them a ton of questions about their rig and modifications, their driving skills and techniques, and their experience. Everyone’s journey is different.
You may find that you never want to take your own vehicle off-highway. That is okay! You are part of our community as a passenger too!
Get Your Recovery Gear and Tools.
You are hooked and cannot wait to take your own rig on the trails. Let’s set you up for success!
1.) Ensure you are a Minnesota 4 Wheel Drive Association Member (MN4WDA). If you are on the trails, you should support the organization that created and maintains the trails. In addition, you are covered under their insurance. If you are a paid LROC Member, then you are a MN4WDA Member too! (You also need insurance on your own personal vehicle)
2.) Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) sticker. Your new OHV sticker will cost $68.50 and is good for three years. You will need this sticker for any public off-highway trail in Minnesota.
3.) Recovery Gear Requirements. Be sure you are prepared for the Tech Inspection and to support yourself in the event you need to be recovered.
4.) Tools Never to Leave Home With. It is likely you will need some of these tools to prepare your vehicle for the trails and possibly you may need them to make a trail repair.
Be sure you are familiar with the LROC Mobile Club House too!
Modifications to your vehicle will enhance the performance and help protect it against damage. You DO NOT need to make any modifications to your vehicle ever if you do not want to, or cannot afford to. This is a personal preference and we will support you and your decision.
We highly recommend that you wheel’ your stock vehicle before you make any modifications. This will help you become a better driver as you will need to learn technical skills not depending on modifications to make the experience easier. In addition, you will learn what types of modifications you need by experiencing the trails without them.
This path is not for everyone. For some, they want to complete all the modifications before hitting the trails as if gives them the confidence and peace of mind. We respect that and will support you on your journey.
Please see our list of Modifications to see our recommendations on what modifications you should consider first. When you are ready to buy parts, would like to consult a professional or are looking for a shop to do the installation, please see our guidance on Mechanics – What YOU Need to Know! and our list of Partners.
We also have the LROC Club House where you can install your parts with the community!
As you grow and learn, some of you may hit ceilings. Some ideas to continue to challenge yourself:
1.) Diversity! wheel with a diverse group of people, mix up your group or wheel with different groups. You will learn something new from every person you wheel with.
2.) Spotting. Get out and walk your line, show your spotter your line, and watch another person spot. Next, give spotting others a shot!
3.) Challenging Obstacles. Start taking on more challenging trails or obstacles.
4.) Different Terrains. Wheel out of state on different terrains.
5.) More Modifications. Wheeling on different modifications can give you different challenges.
6.) Trail Guide. Push yourself to lead others on the trails.
7.) Mentor. Coaching and support oth
We look forward to being part of this adventure with you. Please reach out and let us know what you need and how we can better support you. See you on the trails!