Open Letter to Polaris Escape Magazine

About a year ago I wrote this letter to the editors of the Polaris ATV magazine. I included this short movie about Brent and his ATV with the letter. As you can tell from the movie – this all means a lot to me.

I did a little more research and sadly Polaris is just not interested in encouraging handicapped riders of ATV’s because of liability issues. I 100% understand their position – the whole ATV businees is horribly lawsuit prone – stupid people buy machines that are way too fast and floor it and aim at the nearest tree and then want to be paid off for their stupidity the rest of their life. Makes it all the much harder for the majority of ATV riders who are responsible.

Since the letter will never see the light of day, I figured I would blog it – It is a cute bit of writing.

October 16, 2005

Dear Escape Magazine,

My son Brent has Cerebral Palsey and has reduced ability in his legs. He walks with arm crutches. In February, Brent needed hip surgery. We decided that after he recovered from the surgery we would purchase him an ATV. The Polaris Predator 90 was the only choice because of its hand operated transmission. We purchased his new Predator in May and have been riding it all summer. By the end of summer, Brent and I were having so much fun that mom wanted her own, so we added a 2005 Phoenix to the family.

Riding his Polaris is about the only physical activity where Brent does not have to compromise because of his disability. Riding, leaning, and standing up on his Polaris is some of the best exercise that Brent can do. Riding his ATV has improved his strength, flexibility, and balance.

On his Polaris he can go as fast as he wants and do donuts like any other fourteen year old kid. Riding with Brent deep in a forest and chasing him power-sliding through sweep turns makes me think about “escape” in a whole new way.

I really would give my most heartfelt thanks to whomever inside of Polaris made the decision to build a hand-shifted 90 CC quad with reverse in 2005. For us the timing was perfect.

Charles Severance
Lansing, Michigan


You are welcome to edit my letter in any way you like. I know that it is too long for the format of the letters page. You are welcome to use the pictures in any way you like.

Brent’s Predator was purchased at Full Throttle MotorSports in Lansing, MI. They have been so wonderful to work with. The Phoenix 2005 was purchased on eBay from a really great guy – it was in wonderful shape and a great deal. It was originally purchased at Spicer’s Boat City in Houghton Michigan. I have added Full Throttle and Spicers to this message.

I have many other photos and video about Brent if you are interested (as you might expect) including what I call “donut practice”. Escape, Full Throttle and Spicers are welcome to use the pictures and letter in any way they like as well.