Gas and Granola

By: Matt Lester

Earlier this year All-Terrain Vehicle magazine was invited to an exciting event hosted by an unlikely mix of manufacturers.

Polaris ATV, General Motors Saturn Automotive Division and, Marin, a company that makes world class mountain bikes, requested the presence of editors from select ATV and mountain bike publications at South Carolina’s newest off-road park, Carolina Adventure World.

This beautiful and huge off-road park opened April 28th of this year and caters to all things motorized. It has first class facilities for virtually any off-road enthusiast, including 100 miles of groomed ATV trails and a championship motocross track.

During the one hour drive from the Charlotte airport to the ride site in an all-new Saturn Outlook, a very impressive all-wheel drive, mid-size SUV, we wondered what to expect at an event where gas would meet granola in such a big way.

After a brief introduction we soon realized the non-motorized mountain bike editors might not completely understand the capabilities of a 4-wheel drive 800cc Polaris X2, but they sure looked anxious to find out.

During our short time with these folks we realized a few important things. First, mountain bikers are in way better physical condition than ATV riders. Second, mountain bikers really do possess a sizable dose of ATV genetics. It was like prying a 3-year old off a coin operated monster truck at the mall when we finally had to pack up and call it a day.

For those of you who enjoy the odd non-motorized escapade on a mountain bike, do yourself a favor and make sure you do it on a full suspension Marin mountain bike. You’ll be surprised how good these things work. Marin bikes deliver unbelievable performance and quality for a vehicle lacking pistons and an exhaust pipe.

Those of us in the ATV media were tuckered out and ready to jump in a 265 horsepower Saturn Sky Redline roadster with the top down while the mountain bike crew were covered head to toe in thick Carolina mud, laughing and carrying on like kids.

It wasn’t just about the mud. These pedal pushers got hooked on power sliding the 800 X2 on Carolina Adventure World’s wide, groomed trails.

This new-to-the-ATV Press crossover event was an eye opener for all of us and proved both motorized and non-motorized enthusiasts can not only get along and work together but really enjoy what each has to offer.



  • The next episode of DirtTrax airs December 14 at 8:00 AM EST on OLN across Canada.

  • The next episode of DirtTrax airs December 15 at 3:00 PM EST on Outdoor Channel (USA).