Bob Dalot, 58, of Jay has been president of the Western Maine ATV Club for more than 20 years.

Bob Dalot, the president of the Western Maine ATV Club for over 20 years, enjoys being out on the trails and getting back to nature.

“Being on a wheeler, you actually see stuff people never see. We’ve been out riding in rural areas. It’s just getting back to nature. It’s very peaceful,” he said.

Dalot, 58, bought an ATV designed for two riders. He and his wife, Karen, go out and enjoy the outdoors

He is one of the youngest people in the club who goes out to maintain the trails and the bridges. There are people in their 60s, 70s and 80s who do maintenance, he said.

“We could use some volunteers,” he said.

Karen Dalot, left, of Jay holds an injured osprey on a Western Maine ATV Club outing. She is standing next to her husband, Bob, center, Karen’s sister, Diane Levesque of Jay, right, and Diane’s husband, Gerry, behind her, along with other club members. A game warden was present when the osprey was held. Submitted photo

He taught his wife to drive an ATV but 95% of the time, she rides with him.

Dalot grew up in Jay and graduated from Jay High School in 1983.

The couple has two adult children, Brian and Samantha, and are raising a grandson, Carson, 9.

As a club member, Dalot said he gets satisfaction by keeping a safe trail system for others to enjoy.

“We also get the benefit of using the trail system,” he said.

He believes it is a privilege to ride on other people’s property, not a right, and it should be treated that way.

When did you get interested in riding an ATV? In the late 90s I was at of the Whistle Stop in Farmington and I met a couple of members of the club and they told me where the meetings were held and I attended one. At that time it was at Kineowatha Park in Wilton.

Bob Dalot of Jay enjoys some outdoor time with his grandson, Carson, 9, also of Jay. Submitted photo

How did you become president of Western Maine ATV Club? I became president around 1998. I took over the club when Danny Fonsica had to step down.

What are your responsibilities? As a club president it is my responsibility to run the meetings. We have a board of directors on the club and a trail master to help maintain the trail system. As a small club, a lot of these overlap each other at times to make ends meet. I do the grants each year and my wife runs the computer side of it. We have a Facebook page as well as a website. I maintain relationships with landowners, riders and the state to keep trails safe. I also work with local officials within neighboring towns, firemen/policemen/game wardens.

How many hours do you and your club members spend grooming trails and building bridges? On a normal year we put in 60 hours of trail maintenance. We have about eight people who come out and do trail work. This year I have had to take a step back due to health issues related to COVID-19. Hopefully next year will be better.

What is the most difficult part of being a club leader? Dealing with multiple personalities. Let’s face it, not everyone can get along. I have had several hours of training on trails and one of our greatest assets has been Brian Milligan (state trail coordinator). He works for the ATV program helping to teach us (best management) practices.

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