Wheeling with Feeling

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The Jeeping community is filled with many different kinds of people from all walks of life. No matter how different we all are, we share a common interest…an interest in that “Jeep thing” which many folks will never understand.

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That Jeep thing is what makes us dream of what our rig will look like with different tires and wheels, or new bumpers and a lift kit. It makes us wonder how much better a winch or locked axles will help it perform on the trail. It makes us yearn for our next chance to get out on the trail with family or friends. It’s a crazy and maybe inexplicable feeling that draws us all together.

Those feelings are the focus of this issue’s Freek Technique. Take a moment, close your eyes, and think about the fun you have with your Jeep. Picture in your mind the places you’ve been and the things you have done. In your mind’s eye, look at the smiles on people’s faces, and listen to the sound of their laughter. Think about your worst stuck or break experience, and that sense of accomplishment when you got yourself and your rig home. If you’re like most of us, you’ve got a big grin on your face right now that is hard to wipe off. Be honest…as human beings we do things that we enjoy, and Jeeping is one of the things that gives us pleasure. We keep coming back for more because it thrills us, it gives us a natural high, and we make our lives fit around it…we truly enjoy it that much.

So I have to ask the question: what are you doing to protect this way of life? If the sport of Jeeping gives something to you, do you give something back? It’s not a tough question, but the answers can sometimes be a challenge to find. Let me start the ball rolling.

Are you a member of a local club? A few minutes with Google can light up dozens of potential clubs, and most will welcome new members at an upcoming meeting or trail ride. Get out there and join one. You’ll be glad you did because you will have the support and resources of dozens of club members, and years of experience on which to draw from. Need to borrow a trailer? Got a welding project beyond your skill set? Call a club member for a helping hand installing that new winch. And be ready to help when you’re called upon…because that’s part of what clubs are for.

Many clubs belong to larger statewide or national organizations that provide opportunities for us to meet others with similar interests, wheel together at regional or national events, and organize local trail maintenance days. United Four Wheel Drive Association ( focuses on land access planning and activities affecting motorized recreation. UFWDA is busy promoting, developing, and coordinating educational programs pertaining to safe and responsible 4-wheeling, and informing
members of pending and/or proposed legislation or other activity affecting motorized recreation. This kind of awareness and communication helps members maintain a proactive position on political issues affecting the sport and projects a positive image in the community.

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