There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to ride a quad bike, with regards to your balance of fun and personal safety, and so I wanted to accompany this month's feature with a few words about quad bike safety. I ride regularly with my wife and eleven-year-old daughter, and I've ridden more than 1,000km around the UAE with no mishaps but tonnes of fun. Quads are fast on sand; much faster than your ability to keep control over the terrain, so going full throttle is asking for trouble. The throttle on a quad is a thumb lever, so learning to grip the right handle under duress without using the thumb takes some practice.
Also, you never know what's on the other side of the dune, so you should ride with that in mind, and perhaps not crest over at the first attempt but swing around to take a peak before committing. And bumps and bushes are best avoided, as they can throw a rider. The worst accident scenario on a quad in dunes is not rolling over, but taking air and landing with the front against a ledge or step. This happens when cresting too fast. The quad comes to an abrupt stop as the front end buries itself into the sand and the rider is flung forward with force. A rider must also realise that, no matter how tall a dune is, the speed required to cross over to the other side safely is exactly the same for every dune.
And as a last note, protective gear is an absolute must. Strap- on boots and a chest protector, and always wear a helmet - not a balaclava. Get a real brain bucket and ride like you don't need one. email@example.com