I was a staff member and volunteer at Tri County Atv Recreation and Rescue association for about 10 years. At the time it was the largest private atv club on the east coast, on around 2 thousand acres. I started volunteering there as a wee child and was in my early 20's when I left. Ive got loads of fun stories about my time there so ask me anything.

Proof this was a spur of the moment thing and i neglected to hunt down good photots. So me in my blue staff in training shirt, and the couple of shirts I have left will have to suffice.

Comments: 370 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

Klooless_315 karma

What is the Catalina Wine Mixer of atvs?

Sajaho249 karma

At the time, on the east coast. Probably Quadfest.

CaptVaughnTrap183 karma

Volunteer? Like they didn’t pay you? Seems like a job ripe for injury/worker’s compensation claims.

Sajaho150 karma

Yeah, the way the club was setup was that everyone was a volunteer, even the higher up board members. I'm not really familiar with way our insurance was set up but we never had issues.

meateoryears26 karma

Lol. Volunteer? This is a tourist attraction and you worked for free? Ok.

Sajaho131 karma

I got benefits. My membership was discounted, I ate for free, occasionally id get free stuff.

SwissMyCheeseYet115 karma

What are your thoughts on the ATV: Off Road Fury videogames? Did they noticeably affect riders' behavior?

Sajaho157 karma

Back when I first got into riding I think those games might have contributed to a lot of the injuries. Unskilled folks and idiots with too much money would buy the biggest fastest sports bike then head to the motocross track. I lifeflighted a lot of those types off my track.

joeyisnotmyname32 karma


Sajaho80 karma

I'd say 98% of our serious crashes were lifeflighted. We were very out in the woods and the terrain made getting ambulances in pretty hard.

Drzerockis4 karma

Hey that's my hospitals helicopters!

Sajaho2 karma

You in Cambria County?

tuna_HP5 karma

I think he means they told 911 to send a helicopter?

Sajaho28 karma

Oh sorry, yeah. Helicopter would land and take out injured. I can only recall three times we used an ambulance. When 911 was called they just automatically called in a helicopter.

_JarthVader_12 karma

Hahaha, reading that title brought back some memories. I’m not OP but I was a young teenager heavily into the hobby of sport ATVs and PlayStation when the first ATV Off-road Fury game came out.

I don’t believe it affected my behavior in any way. I was always cautious and never rode above my skill level. I can’t think of any way in which the games may have influenced my real life behavior.

Sajaho20 karma

I can say atv games probably affected my dumb teenage ass.

alfredosantana30087 karma

Worst injury/accident you ever saw?

Sajaho271 karma

One of two come to mind. A young kid tried to slip past an RZR while driving up through the parking lot. The RZR driver didn't see him and turned up the hill. The kid got slammed into a concrete jersey barrier, the arm on his skin tore up to reveal bone.

Also had another kid, his first day on his new 450 dirtbike. He was speeding in the campground and had a head to head collision with an RZR. Totalled both machines. Broke his bikes frame in three places. Shattered femur, fractured forearms, and he didn't wake up till the hospital.

Both survived

Imadethis4things246 karma

Soooo...*both* arms broken, you say?

Sajaho207 karma

Oh god

Adren0chrome34 karma

So basically, RZR = maiming?

Sajaho73 karma

Big fast vehicle, blindspots, and usually less experienced drivers= danger.

itsdrummerjake2 karma

So it isn't just the west coast with the RZR issues! At the Oregon National Dunes Rec area there are soooo many people who just buy a RZR and go ride the same day without any experience....and then cause all types of problems. Three summers ago my buddy went head on with a rzr on a sand trail. Got a majority of it on the GoPro.

Sajaho4 karma

No its everywhere. It used to be the unskilled idiots would buy a banshee or raptor then Darwin would sort it out. But with an even lower skill barrier to entry with SXS and roll cages to protect them, the idiots have prospered. I'd say the vastvmajority of multi rider wrecks I encountered where the fault of an inexperienced SXS driver.


What was the least prepared/most naive you ever saw a person arrive to ride the trails, and how did it work out (assuming you let them do their thing)?

Sajaho170 karma

We had a fellow who was a staff member, he had a very custom and very scary Raptor 700. His brother who had never ridden a day in his life had come to visit and taken it for a ride. We all knew this was a bad idea.

He nosedived on the motocross track and broke his back in three places. I think he regained use of his legs but I honestly can't recall.

Shunnez39 karma

Jesus christ

Sajaho59 karma

I felt bad at the time but he refused to listen to reason.

theorial5 karma

Ive got a 2019 raptor 700. My answer to anyone asking to ride it is always no. It already broke my arm, im not gonna let someone die on my quad. Its still stock but it sometimes scares even me.

Sajaho2 karma

My fleet used to have a 700 Raptor. I loved that damn bike but yeah, definitely not a bike for everyone.

Ours went away when my old man took it off the side of a mountain in Hatfield McCoy.

Just4TodayIthink63 karma

U guys ever send those things over some dirt jumps ??

Sajaho62 karma

You know it baby

bradlees40 karma

Can you provide more information about the club and the 2000 acres?

What types were allowed?

Worst thing you had to do?

Best thing you had to do?

Sajaho87 karma

Atvs, dirt bikes, and side by sides were allowed. They didn't allow trucks but with side by sides getting bigger it was getting difficult to define what was allowed.

Worst thing I had to do was my main job when i was under 18, trash duty. Some of those trash drums could get downright toxic.

Best thing was leading rides. We did a lot of guided night rides and I usually led the fast group, and I lived for my night rides.

omegawolf100010 karma

How so you view shared trails for MTB? Is it possible to have dirt bikes and MTB co existing maybe not on the same trails but in the same park at least? Often both groups want to ride in the same areas and some participate in both sports.

Sajaho7 karma

I take it MTB stands for mountain bike? In Pennsylvania if you take state money for your park you have to set up trails for everyone Mountain bikes, hikers, dirt bikes, quads, trucks, and horses.

Tri County did not take state money so we didn't have to comply with this. We did however have a member who rode gis mountain bike on tbe trails during werk days when he viewed it as safer.

187ninjuh30 karma

What should I do if I roll my ATV?

Sajaho62 karma

Try not to land under it. If you can't roll it back ovet, hit the fuel cutoff and start walking.

Tim_Teboner29 karma

What's the most capable ATV and why is it a 2 stroke enduro bike?

Sajaho73 karma

What you wanna do is get a 2004 Suzuki Z400. The perfect woods bike. But since they're a bit unreliable when you ride hard, you want to get a second 2004 Z400 to ride when the first breaks.

It worked for me.

ParkieDude2 karma

Great advice.

My dirt bike was the Yamaha 360 (single)

My street bike was a Yamaha 350 (twin)

All my friends were into bigger, heavier bikes, but give me a tight twisty hilly ride and I just loved the twin.

Either bike could get to work (so two bikes, keep on running).

Sajaho3 karma

Yep. If i was out in the desert id want something much faster but western Pennsylvania is very hilly twisty terrain. Z400 has good all around torque in every gear.

YKRed28 karma

What’s a story from there that you get tired of telling?

Sajaho89 karma

Why we had stopped doing drag races and stopped maintenance on the strip. We ran monthly drag racescon our 1/8 mile strip. The grading and prep work for a night of racing took a couple of days and used up all our staff and vehicles. The drag races only had a very small number of regulars who didn't like spending money at the kitchen and just loved to complain. So we eventually canceled the races and it became a constant question i had to deal with.

MartianGunRunner24 karma

What was the worst interaction you had with a member?

Sajaho74 karma

People can get alarmingly aggressive when thier expensive toys are involved. I'm a pretty big guy so people only got rude with me when they were drunk. Worst it ever got was a drunk guy taking a swing at me because I caught him drinking on the trails. His friends stopped him before it got bad.

FlyingR619 karma

Thanks for volunteering! I know around me, land to ride on is becoming more scare by the year. I grew up riding at my dads house and going around to random farms or peoples property. It was a blast and I loved all of my time doing it, but its looking like I may not be able to provide that for my kids.

As for a question... do you see side by sides taking over as the main ATV of choice? I have a Yamaha Banshee and I feel like I'm a loner out there!

Sajaho40 karma

Yeah, side by sides are very much thr machine of choice of now. And personally I hate em. I understand the appeal, good for families and "safer". But honestly fuck side my sides, theyre slow, they take up too much space on the trail, the low barrier to entry brings in more idiots, etc etc.

Stay strong sports quad brother.

FlyingR615 karma

I dont get it either. People have to be financing those things like a car. I feel like you can get into the mid 20k range with the blink if an eye.

What do you like to ride?

Sajaho22 karma

I own 2 Z400s. For my area they're the perfect all rounder. But a nice unmolested Banshee is definitely on my list to find.

skorpiolt3 karma

Yes! A fellow z400 owner! I love how it is fun basically anywhere, from heavily twisted forest trails to open dirt roads, but every time I take it out as a 6'0" guy, I feel like it is too small for me..

Sajaho2 karma

I'm 6'3. My main bike was 3 inches wider than stock and that helped with that feel a lot.

irishpwr467 karma

You think you're a loner? I'm still tearing around on an 85 Honda ATC 350x 3 wheeler. Try finding people to ride those with

Sajaho6 karma

We had 2 brother who used to ride with us on trikes. They started converting friends and gathering other riders. Before long they had thierviwn little traveling group of like 30-40 riders. ATC Boys.

notthepig16 karma

Why is everyone working for free at a money making busi?

Sajaho30 karma

It was the family atmosphere our staff had. That and we all ate and drank for free.

Chill-n-Mellow12 karma

So where is this park located and how do you become a volunteer member?

Sajaho15 karma

Cambria county PA. You walk into the main building and find someone in a staff shirt and ask what you can do to help.

Most people we would just rope into helping with trail maintenance. If you kept coming around they'd eventually get you a staff shirt and give you a campsite in the permanent campsite area.

digeridooasaur42010 karma

What is your funnest story?

Sajaho44 karma

Oh thats a tough one. I think it probably the first Halloween event i worked with the two guy who were infamous for fire.

We did a yearly Halloween guided ride. Like miles of riding with static sets and ones with actors set up. Our scene, I can't even recall exactly what it was but it heavily featured fire. We had about a quarter mile of trail set up with little metal cans lining them and on fire.

Whilst waiting for the next group we neglected to notice a minor fire had started up the trail, because someone had started a different minor fire that we were dealing with.

So just before a group gets there, we fired up the music and got ready, then noticed the small, like half acre fire we had started.

So as this group of like 20 people roll through the final scene on the ride they just see three idiots running around stomping and trying to stop a forest fire from starting.

digeridooasaur42011 karma

HOLY CRAP!! That sounds like a fun volunteer gig, why did you stop?

Sajaho20 karma

Money mostly. At the height my family's little fleet was like 8 quads and 2 dirt bikes between 5 people. Maintenance on all of those, the camper, the fuel. It just adds up.

digeridooasaur4205 karma

Well best of luck to you in any future endeavors!

Sajaho13 karma

I have a yard full of broken quads, one day I'll get back to it. Thank you!

digeridooasaur4206 karma

I can take one off of you if you don't want it anymore ;)

Sajaho81 karma

No, I need to look as white trash as possible. And I need to have something to procrastinate over.

OmegaMountain9 karma

I work in mining and see a lot of large tracts of reclaimed mine lands. Why do so many ATV riders feel like it's their right to trespass on and tear up property that doesn't belong to them? I even had one guy try to justify his illegal activity to me at the gym once.

Sajaho4 karma

I don't get either. Chasing locals off our property was a daily struggle. They were offered half priced memberships but refused cause they'd ridden thecland before the club existed.

PRNmeds8 karma

What’s your take/opinion on the incoming Tesla ATV?

Sajaho19 karma

Honestly as a sport bike guy, I think its a gimmick for rich folk with a bit of land. There is simply no way it has the battery capacity to be a serious riding machine. And I assume it gonna be way too heavy.

PRNmeds4 karma

Do you think it will bring a large number of people into the sport?

Sajaho21 karma

Maybe a few, but not a large amount. The sport quad market is stagnated and shrinking and I just can't see the Cyberquad bringing in enough new riders.

rify0072 karma

I have zero knowledge on ATVs,, what kinda capacity are we talking about? Range,Power ??

Sajaho4 karma

On serious riding days its not uncommon to log in excess of 200 miles of riding. Thats encroaching on EV car range. I simply can't fathom a quad having the capacity to do even half of that.

But once the official specs come out we will see for sure.

disarmed892 karma

That seems like an awfully high number, you'd have to average 35mph for 6hrs with no stops and no dropping below 35mph from the time that 6 hrs starts. Is that actually realistic? I honestly don't know, I'm actually asking

Sajaho2 karma

I mean a day of riding can be more than six hours. When we would do our guys trips (read fast riders) to Hatfield McCoy we might be out for 12 hours and a handful of stops.

phoneorangutan8 karma

Why did you stop volunteering? What's the status of the club now? Is it still healthy?

Sajaho15 karma

Money mostly, just too expensive to maintain my fleet and camper.

I'm still in contact with a lot of the people there, i think they are doing well. They definitely have less staff than they used to but that always fluctuated

asdfmaster427 karma

What’s the most illegal thing that’s happened there?

Sajaho37 karma

Probably some of our explosive shenanigans. With a former EOD guy and a retired fireworks tech in our little family of dumb rednecks we probably broke atleast a few laws.

EverySingleMinute6 karma

I know you are ATV, but why on earth are motorcycle companies still making loud exhausts?

EDIT: the AMA is about ATVs and off road riding. I was not referring to street bikes, I was referring to dirt bikes.

Sajaho17 karma

They are quite stock, people make them loud.

Defqon1punk4 karma

I have a Honda shadow. Is there any way to make it quieter? Aftermarket exhaust?

Sajaho18 karma

I believe street bikes have silencer style slip on exhausts. But you'd be better off asking /r/motorcycles

wereblitzer5 karma

Have you ever had to rescue another volunteer who got into trouble/lost when they were also on the job helping someone else?

Sajaho14 karma

I wish I had a fun juicy story for this but since we only had a couple of events open to the public every year, we didn't really have a lot of situations where that kind of thing happened.

Though a story that does come to mind was when some of our guys working on trails managed to bury our skidloader so deep into the mud that it took like 3 days to dig out with everyone helping. Eventually we borrowed a neighbors dozer to yank it out.

krazikat5 karma

Any famous riders you encountered? Like celebs, not well known atv folks..

Sajaho7 karma

During Whitetail rifle hunting season we closed for 2 weeks for hunters. One of the founding members was a pretty famous hunting guide. I think it was one of his daughters was married to a former Pittsburgh Steelers player. So that family would bring up a couple Steelers players occasionally.

popemasta5 karma

I know nothing of ATVs and whatnot-

What are the best brands of vehicles?

How did the land come into the Association's hands?

Sajaho28 karma

Generally Honda and Yamaha are the most reliable brands, so of course i don't own either.

A group of like minded individuals bought 16 acres to start then started leasing the rest. Over the years buying more and more of the leased land.

Iverra4 karma

Did you encounter any injured riders and if so what was the worst?

Sajaho17 karma

Broken femur, torn up forearm, foot just hanging off the end off a leg, a broken back, its hard to call one the worst. But they all lived and most rode again.

Kami-Kahzy3 karma

Working there for as long as you did, you had to have encountered (or participated with) folks that were 'doing the deed'. What's the most memorable story you have of catching people with their pants down?

Sajaho12 karma

I honestly can't say I ever caught anyone. In the campground i try to be respectful and not intrude and on the trails i was too loud to sneak up on people.

RADical-muslim3 karma

How would you feel about an ATV with a 6.2l V8 making 700whp?

Sajaho5 karma

I'd try it.

Kbearforlife3 karma

How do you feel about the new Polaris RZR Turbos? I used to work in a Motorcycle Shop - and found them to be absolutely terrifying. I also found that the frames were really, really weak in comparison to their 4x4 XLT Models. I know that they decrease the weight overall - but I still can't wrap my head around how going 60mph in one of those doesn't feel like a deathtrap.

edit - oof - I meant RZR not Ranger! I think you picked up on that though lol

Sajaho5 karma

I've driven a Rhino that had a fancy turbo snowmobile engine swapped in. It was by far the fastest side by side ive encountered. Still really boring compared to my sport quads and dirt bikes.

To me atleast they will always just be farm vehicles.

pinkfroggie3 karma

how do we get ATVs to stay off our property? They steal signs and buzz our house.

Sajaho6 karma

Your best bet would be to identify the riders and get the law involved.

You could build barriers but thats a never ending fight. My most advanced barrier was a trench dug, a 3 foot wooden fence, and a firehouse filled with sand to block an illegal trail access onto the land. The locals took a chainsaw and cut in a new trail about 100 yards down the trail.

We've also had those giant cattle gates put in and they ripped them out with trucks.

A less honest way of dealing with them that i definitely dont reccomend and have definitely never done is to pound short pieces of rebar into the tread marks on the trails so only 2 or 3 inches sticks out. Destroys tires and shouldn't kill anyone, and is probably only midly illegal

Overclockworked2 karma

Ever seen or heard of someone die?

I flipped an ATV once and miraculously escaped scot-free. But another guy I know was ATVing in a really popular spot (Christmas Valley Oregon) and ended up dying in an accident because he was going so fast.

Super easy to be reckless and think its impossible to crash one of these things because they have 4 wheels instead of 2

Sajaho3 karma

At our club we've been lucky but I know people who died at the Hatfield McCoy trails.

King6of6the6retards2 karma

I read through your replies, and nobody has asked about the rescue portion of this association.

ATV rescue sounds awesome. How does it work? I'm imagining people call you guys and tell you about someone neglecting their scooter, then you get the cops to come and help you confiscate and rehab bikes. Kinda like that?

Sajaho3 karma

Omg that sounds awesome. Sadly its much more boring than that. We kept a group of first responders and a sick ass offroad rescue vehicle handy at all events.

Revloc Fire Company Offroad rescue vehicle thing

bt9992 karma

I've had a couple of somewhat disappointing outdoor group tours in Tahoe. One quadbike, the other ski-mobile. They both had long liability forms, but were rather strict on speed, and at least the ski-mobile banned what I discovered was 'slingshotting' where you hang back so you can get some speed up back to the group.

Is this for legal reasons? Because you care about idiots getting hurt? Bad publicity?

Sajaho3 karma

Probably for them. We only had speed limits in the parking lot. I refuse to ride anywhere with speed limits myself. Used to take two yearly trips to Hatfield McCoy in West Virginia.

sboycevt2 karma

Where I live stretches of land for trails I s hard to come by so the clubs are forced onto public dirt roads, which is a nightmare for residents and get petitioned, any thoughts?

Sajaho3 karma

Its just a sad reality we have to deal with. If someone isn't willing to step up and build something like tri county, then it just keeps getting worse.

frankelthepirate2 karma

I was going to make some smart ass reddit comment, but you seem like a cool guy. Instead, have you had any experience with electric ATV’s? If so, what’s your impression?

Sajaho2 karma

Not yet and my hopes aren't high but I'm very interested to give one a try whenever they become more common.

ebrious2 karma

How big of an issue is ATV theft?

Sajaho2 karma

At the club, the worst we ever had was a few stolen helmets.

But I actually had a quad stolen from my house a few years back. The kid stole in the winter and I found it in the summer through social media. He had done 6,600 usd in damages to a show quality machine. Judges made him pay blue book value of like 1,500 usd.

Higher_Math2 karma

Know of any good riding clubs/areas in Upstate New York. Where I live everyone is cop crazy/and lots of barriers we have to work through to get a good ride. The police are even worse because they impound ATVs if you stop,which creates the danger of having to outrun them! Any advice? The local riding club we have refuses to let me bring my YFZ450 riding there,because it's a "closed Circuit" ATV or something.

Sajaho3 karma

Sadly all I have is the same advice I use for anyone living in New York. Move.

DesertEagleFiveOh-68 karma

Was it as boring working there as it was reading this post?

Sajaho17 karma

Im sorry, im not the best story teller.