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Students receive first-hand training with off-road vehicles

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:25 PM EDT
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BATES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Some western U.P. students are ready to ride safely on trails this summer.

At Camp Nesbit, south of Sidnaw, students received hands-on training with vehicles from the non-profit MI-TRALE. President of MI-TRALE, Russ Diethert said the hardest part about the training is the first time a student drives.

“They’re not used to hand signals and following the same habits that you would if you’re driving a car. Looking left and right, using your turn signals or hand signals in this case. Proper braking and how to ride on a hill, how to turn the vehicle and sharp turns, things like that,” Diethert said.

Diethert said some of the students’ timid nature relaxed as they got more time on the vehicles. Students were from Dollar Bay and Lake Linden Middle and High schools. Diethert said it is important to teach young kids sooner rather than later.

“It’s important that they develop habits early, up here in the U.P. kids start riding machines at an early age. It’s important to learn safety and proper riding habits because a lot of things can happen when you’re out there in the woods,” Diethert said.

Students learned how to stop, use hand signals to turn and slalom at the camp. Throughout the course, they were guided by an instructor to ensure safety. Dollar Bay’s Middle and High School Principal, Jesse Kentala said a course like this has many benefits.

“Students get an opportunity to respect the ATV, to understand the different safety components. To just have fun and enjoy them as well, to get outside, to get out on the trails and experience all of the good that the U.P. summers provide,” Kentala said.

With students finished taking a class and now the hands-on training, they are now fully certified to ride this summer.

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