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Frequently Asked Questions about the New Mexico 4 Wheelers

What are the requirements for membership in the NM4Ws?
We are a family-oriented group of responsible 4-wheelers and adhering to the Tread Lightly approach to off-roading. We prefer people who share these views to participate in our organization! The Points System below gives you a chance to check us out before you pay any dues. This also lets the Club check out prospective members!

Do I have to drive a Jeep to join the NM4Ws?
No, all street-legal 4WD vehicles are welcomed.

How much are the dues?
Regular (voting) members' dues are $45 per family, payable annually. Associate (out-of-town, non-voting) members' dues are $22.50 per family, payable annually. Dues for new members are prorated for the partial year in accordance with Article 1, Para C of our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Once a Member, do I have to attend a minimum number of meetings or rides?
No, you can participate as much or as little as you want to. As long as you are current on your dues, you are considered a "member in good standing".

Are there any financial advantages to being a member?
NM4W participates in selected vendor discount programs as a benefit to members. Participation in these vendor programs is optional, each member choosing to be in or out.  Presently, 4WD Hardware offers discounts to participating members.  NM4W has a general policy to not share any member information beyond roster information to our larger off-road advocacy organizations.  

When and where are the Club meetings held?
From Oct through Apr, meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday of each month at Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 8600 Academy Rd NE, just east of Wyoming Blvd at Moon. Meetings normally last less than one hour and are followed by refreshments and socializing. A typical meeting includes a brief report from each officer, information on upcoming events, and whatever anyone else wants to bring up for discussion.

From May through Sep, meetings are usually on the 2nd Saturday of each month (unless there's a conflict with another scheduled event), at various NM4W Members' houses. Potluck dinner begins around 5 p.m. and the meeting usually starts about 6pm. Bring your own plate, eating utensils, and a lawn chair.

I've already attended one club meeting, and someone was selling tickets. What is that about?
To supplement the Club Treasury, the Program Chairman sells "50/50 raffle tickets" at each meeting. At the end of the meeting, one ticket is randomly drawn. That person gets 50% of the money collected for ticket sales that evening. The other 50% goes into the Club Treasury.

Where do you go trail riding?
Day rides are usually somewhere in the Cibola or Santa Fe National Forests, or on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Overnight rides are usually in north or south New Mexico, as well as Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.

How tough are the trails? My vehicle is stock. Can I participate?
The trails we ride range from "very easy" (much of which can be driven in 2WD in a stock vehicle by a novice driver) to "extreme" (requiring highly-modified vehicles, experienced drivers, and spare parts). The majority are on the "easy" side! However, it's a good idea to contact the trail leader prior to the ride; tell him/her how your vehicle is equipped and what your experience is, and ask for their opinion on the relative difficulty of that trail.

What time do trail rides usually start, and how long do they last?
Day rides usually depart for the trailhead from a designated meeting location at 9 a.m. Please be gassed and ready to go at 9 a.m. They usually last until early afternoon, depending on trail length and number of vehicles.

What do I need to bring with me on trail rides?
Most importantly, adequate food and fluids (there ain't no McDonalds in the bush!). It is very important to bring lots of drinking water. Possible extreme temperatures (high and low), strong winds, and high altitudes will quickly dehydrate you. No alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed, of course. You will also enjoy the ride much more if you bring a good attitude, a sense of humor, and a smile!

Should I bring my significant other? How about the kids and the dog?
The NM4W is definitely a family-oriented organization! Spouses, kids, and pets regularly participate in many of the events. There are also numerous ladies in the Club who drive their own vehicles.

Hint: If your family only has one trail vehicle, allow (encourage) your significant other to drive part of the time!

What's the chance of my vehicle getting damaged on a trail ride?
Although this depends on the difficulty rating of the trail, and how experienced (and lucky) you are, the chance of your vehicle sustaining some form of damage on any particular trail is very likely! Even on trails rated as "Easy", you can expect scrapes, scratches, dings, dents, and possibly other stuff to happen to your vehicle. This is not intended to scare anyone off, but our members regularly get questions from guests who want to know how their vehicle will do on such and such trail. And then they get upset when their shiny new ride accidentally slips off of a rock, bumps a tree, and gets a dent! Off-highway driving (just like highway driving) is associated with a certain amount of risk and there is no way for anyone to determine whether or not you or your passengers will be hurt, and/or your vehicle damaged. You are solely responsible for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. If you do not feel comfortable with a particular obstacle on the trail, take the by-pass or turn around and go back! If you are totally adverse to any trail damage whatsoever, don't even bother showing up!

Does the club do anything other than have meetings and trail rides?
Yes, we do maintenance on our trails as needed. As part of the December club meeting, we have a Christmas Party with a gift exchange. We also are involved in various Community Service events thoughout the year.

Tread Lightly! Principles
The New Mexico 4-Wheelers proudly subscribes to the principles of Tread Lightly! If you do not share these following goals, we request that you ride with another group. For more information, visit Tread Lightly!
Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and areas. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. When possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.
Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.
Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.
Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.
Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.

If still interested in NM4W after reading, fill out a Membership Application Form.