LAYTON -- Working with recreational vehicles on a daily basis may seem like a dream job for some, especially for sports enthusiasts who live and breathe life in the outdoors.
This is true for Curt Hyde, owner of Layton Cycle and Sports, who has been doing exactly that since he was 18 and starting as a motorcycle technician.
Owning a piece of the industry became a reality in 1988 when he became the owner of Layton Cycle and Sports, which sells a wide variety of power sport products.
Working each day with people interested in buying his products is like icing on the cake for Hyde.
"Typically, we're talking about people enthusiastic about being outside and the fact that there is an engine involved," said Hyde. "They all like power and can travel long distances within a day's period of time and see country no one is going to be able to see without doing the same thing."
Hyde said every day is different, especially as he tries to keep up with the technology. With tire and braking technology improvements, the size of engines changing drastically, carburation and air cooling a thing of the past and overall performance quality increasing, the recreational vehicle industry is constantly changing.
Some of the best snowmobiling spots are located throughout the Wasatch Front and into Idaho.
Sales manager Nick Faulkner enjoys snowmobiling because it can be done just about anywhere without killing the terrain, unlike ATVs, which are restricted to specific trails.
"They are just so dang addicting, with such freedom," said Faulkner, who had spent the morning of this interview snowmobiling up Farmington Canyon. "That is the beauty part of snowmobiling. Your tracks melt and you don't even know you were there."
In Utah, ATVs are more popular than snowmobiles, given the longer riding season from March until October, with the option of heading south during the winter for warmer weather.
Riders keep coming back for more because of the challenge involved, said Hyde, and to continue developing their riding skills.
With typically 15 employees at Layton Cycle and Sports, Hyde says they get to hear some of the best adventure stories when customers come in to buy products, which has made the business side of things even more rewarding over the years.
There is a hard reality, though, given that gravity is constantly at work, which can sometimes be detrimental to riders of snowmobiles and ATVs.
"Any time you add motion to the resistance of gravity, you have danger," said Hyde. "Yes, ATVs and snowmobiles are very stable products, but the terrain they will traverse is extraordinary. They can both crawl up the side of a mountain, but what happens to the rider is very much determined by the rider themself."
Riders have to assume some risk, especially since the sport presents hazardous conditions because of the extreme terrain and the possibility of avalanches or hidden obstacles in the snow.
Despite the dangers, enthusiasts come out in droves to participate in the sport, many of them getting started at Layton Cycle and Sport.
"It's been a very entertaining business for me and I hope we've made a few people happy over the years," said Hyde.
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