Albuquerque · hunting · New Mexico · Outdoors · relationships

The 4-Wheeler Mystique

Robin Hood brought home a 4-wheeler last weekend.

He’s been wanting one for a while, and he’s been casually shopping around for one for almost as long, so really, it wasn’t a surprise. But still. When he pulled up with that shiny red number sitting jauntily on its trailer, there was no denying it.

We are now a 4-wheeler family.

I don’t know what this means. Does it mean anything?

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. We rode 10-speed bicycles – as much as I like cruisers, I pity the kid who tries to ride a cruiser up those hills – or in cars, or took the Metro. We played youth club sports and went on hikes with our families. In the summer, we splashed around at local pools.

No one I knew had a 4-wheeler. Maybe there just wasn’t enough open space for them? At any rate, I had barely even heard of them before I moved to Florida. After that move, it was still just peripheral knowledge. Friends would mention in passing how they’d ridden 4-wheelers when they were younger, in rural parts of Georgia or the Panhandle. They made it sound fun, but I never gave it serious thought.

Then I moved to New Mexico.

Suddenly, the people I met didn’t just have childhood stories about 4-wheelers; they had 4-wheelers. Or their parents did. Or one of their friends did. And they used them regularly – not just recreationally, but to do work, like hauling firewood or bringing back the results of a successful hunt.

I listened and observed with interest, but still never gave the idea of owning one, or even riding on one, much consideration.

I’m not a 4-wheeler girl. I’m a big fan of leg power: running! Hiking! Riding cruiser bikes! Dancing like nobody’s watching! I’ve even been spotted inside a Zumba studio!

Well, this leg-power girl married a hunter. And hunters, at least the ones I know, are big fans of 4-wheelers. For practical reasons: it’s no fun schlepping a bull elk over a mile(s) of hilly, uneven ground. Nor is it fun to beat up your primary vehicle on a narrow, rutted, overgrown back road.

So when my hunter began telling me about this purchase he wanted to make, I listened, and I supported. He (we?) could afford it, and it would make his hunting more enjoyable. Case closed.

I should be thrilled that there is now a 4-wheeler in our garage. It’s new! It’s red! It’s sooo shiny! Robin Hood even took me for a little ride up and down our street the day he brought it home, and I will say that my first-ever ride on a 4-wheeler was…fun.

But it still startles me every time I see it, and the fact that I banged the bejeezus out of my knee on the trailer the other day doesn’t help.

I ask myself: Really?

And the answer is: Yes. Because of the look on Robin Hood’s face when he came home with it. Because, darn it, I want to be there when it gets dirty for the first time. And because life is all about learning to embrace new things.

Here’s to becoming a 4-wheeler girl.



2 thoughts on “The 4-Wheeler Mystique

  1. Can’t say I would never own an ATV if I move back to Colo. They are useful. Like you I love muscle powered sports. It’s just that after repairing so much trail damage, I would not want to be associated with one of the causes. Bet you don’t miss DC traffic…

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