Mudfest Part 3: A Can-Am Can Where Others Can’t

At Okeechobee’s MudFest, people sacrifice a lot of things: hygiene, clean clothing, running water. But if you want to have fun, to truly get the most out of Mudfest, there’s no compromising on your ride.

Braaap! The sound of four angry Rotax® engines stops everyone in their tracks.

Florida’s Ben Teaford, rides a Can-Am Outlander™ 800R X™ mr and leads a group of four Can-Am riders to the mud pits. Heads are turning as former riders turn into spectators.

For the most part, MudFest is a free-for-all. The majority of riders slowly circle around each other, laughing as they get stuck in the mud, which is often. They get bored and head back to their campsite. That’s one approach you could take at Mudfest. The other option is to ride hard.

That’s what Ben’s group is here to do. That’s why they’re on Can-Am ATVs.

As two Can-Am Outlander 800R X mr ATVs and two Can-Am Renegade™ ATVs blast into the mud, everything changes. Riders at the cleaning station crane their necks for a view. Monster trucks stop and stare. All other ATVs clear out of the area.

“Everywhere we go, it happens like that,” Ben explains. “Everyone is dilly-dallying around, and we’ve got the big, loud bikes. There’s nothing bigger than the X mr.”

It’s true, the Can-Am ATVs create an intimidating sound. And deafening silence around them. The throaty engines are powerful, fierce and they mean business.

Back-and-forth, four Can-Am ATVs hit the pit. Nothing stops them. The world slows down. The ATVs speed up.

Sure, anyone can come to Mudfest, Ben says. But to truly get the most out of it, you need power and handling. Mud is all about control and hitting the right spots, Ben says.

After wowing the spectators in the mud pits, the Floridians visit what’s considered Mudfest’s Grand Central Station. It’s an area that lets riders access the food vendors, get to the cleaning station and enter various campsites.

At this moment in time, on a hot and cloudy Okeechobee Saturday afternoon, it’s crawling with activity. It’s also a place where other ATV riders have been getting stuck all day.

Enter the Can-Am riders.

Ben and his friends, Jim Carmen, who’s riding a Can-Am Renegade™ 1000 X™ xc and Troy Carmen, on a Can-Am Renegade™ 800R X™ xc, play the role of tow truck.

Just call them the Can-Am Rescue Rangers. They easily pull out overconfident riders trying to get through the muck. It doesn’t matter what brand it is – they go in, they get stuck, a Can-Am ATV pulls them out.

And when one particularly hapless soul goes in a couple feet deep, Ben and Jim hook both of their Can-Am ATVs up.

“The fun is to watch the other bikes get stuck and then go around them,” says Jim. “But then you start feeling guilty. That’s why you start backing up and hooking up to pull them out.” 

Throughout the day, Jim is approached by other bike owners about his Can-Am Renegade. The questions start coming: “Where did you get it?” “How much power does it have?” “How many bikes have you pulled out with that thing?”

And the most common: “Can I try that?”

“A couple people I’ve let try it, and they’re just amazed by the power difference in their bike to my Renegade,” Jim says. “Especially when you get in the mud and they’re bogged down, while my Renegade powers right through it.”

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