Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Worst Place in the World

The Worst Place in the World
SmeltzerNation, 2/15/2011

First, I want to apologize for taking down yet another post.  While it was all good-natured sport making fun of my English colleagues, it turns out that they have this thing in England called “the internet” which allows people there to read what I write as easily as people here in my own little corner of my own little town.  Whoops! 

But don’t worry; I’ll put that bit back into my next book.  It will be safe there.  Because absolutely no one reads my books. 

Anyway, after making fun of the English I made a shocking and ironic discovery much closer to home.  It turns out that I live in possibly the only state in the entire United States of America that does not allow the most fun thing to do in the entire world:  quad bike riding.  In fact—and here is the deep irony—I was in England of all places when I discovered that quadding is the most fun thing a married man my age is allowed to do in the entire world.  Only to then come home and discover that this most fun and exciting of all things to do is not allowed in, yes... Connecticut.

Now, I want to make sure that you know what quad bikes are:  they are those four-wheeled, outdoors, ride-in-the-mud thingies with big tires.  They are different from off-road motorcycles in several significant ways.  First, when you ride a dirt bike into a mud hole, the front tire stops and you are flung over the handlebars like a rag doll.  The quad bike wallows through the mud and pulls you out the other side, producing an enormous grin on your face. 

When you go into a corner in the woods on a dirt bike, and you hit a rock or a root, the front tire goes one way and you go the other, flung over the handlebars like a rag doll.  When you go into a corner on a quad bike and you hit a rock or a root, the quad bike goes over the root or the rock and you keep going, producing an enormous grin on your face. 

Since I have reached the age when I prefer grinning to being flung over the handlebars like a rag doll, I greatly prefer the quad bike.  Only, they are not allowed.  Not in Connecticut.

According to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection:

“Effective January 1, 2006, except where specifically allowed, riding an ATV on state or municipal property may result in charges of criminal trespass. (Public Act 05-234)
At the current time, Connecticut does not have any public areas open to quads.  Additionally, there are no State managed areas open to dirt bikes although the Army Corps of Engineers facility at Thomaston Dam is available for two wheeled trail bike riding.”

So, dirt bikes aren’t allowed at Thomaston but trail bikes are?  Hmm…  So what about quads?  Are they allowed at Thomaston or not?  According to the US Army Corp of Engineers:

Thomaston Dam has designated trails for two wheeled trailbikes, open May 1st through October 14th CONDITIONS PERMITTING. Three and four wheel vehicles are not permitted.

So they are not allowed in Connecticut, period, not even if CONDITIONS PERMIT.   Which leads me to wonder, why would I, or anyone else for that matter, live in Connecticut?  Our roads are jammed, our state is in debt, our taxes are rising and our schools are struggling.  We pay the highest amount per gallon of gasoline in the entire country.  And we aren't allowed to go quadding. 

I have heard it said that Connecticut has the most highly educated populace of any state in the union but really, if we knew anything, we would know that quadding is fun.  A lot of fun.  More fun, say, than spending two and half hours driving the thirty miles from Stamford to Fairfield on Interstate 95.  More fun than plugging our 3.7 billion dollar budget gap.  More fun than driving our SUVs into gigantic potholes, which would be fun if we were driving, say, quads.  And much more fun than being throw over the handlebars like a rag doll, which, however, is allowed at Thomaston Dam. 

Thanks, Connecticut.


  1. Well, I must say, I'm curious about the entry you took down regarding England and the English.

    As for that quadding thing... I think you could combine that with info from an earlier post of yours regarding snow removal at Heathrow airport... Just put some plough blades on the front of those quads and run 'em across the tarmac. Voila! Snow removed.

    Didn't know CT was against quads. Guess you'll be lobbying for another trip to England soon then, eh?

  2. Absolutely. And don't worry about post you missed. I used most of the good lines on you myself this past Sunday. Cheers!

  3. Maybe it's not legal but that doesn't stop the kids in my neighborhood from quadding after a snowstorm. So come quad over here.

  4. Great! Just have to cut through fifty or sixty front lawns and scoot down a couple of public roads to get there. Should be no problem here in CT.