First off a trail update.  We’ve had a little bit of snow and, like everywhere else, extremely cold temperatures.  The clubs have been out grooming to gear up for the weekend and the trails are in about as good of shape as we have ever seen them. We expect a lot of sleds to be out this weekend.

     Snowmobilers are created in many ways.  Many of us got our first taste of snowmobiling as kids, either riding with the family or putzing around the woods on an old Ski-Doo Olympique.  We fell in love with the sense of freedom and adventure and have been hooked ever since.  Others of us were more hesitant.  One of my co-workers used to wonder why anyone would voluntarily go out in the freezing cold and ride around on a snowmobile- she thought it was insane.  Then one day she was invited to go on a snowmobile ride with some friends and she begrudgingly went, not wanting to be a party pooper- the following Monday she came into work and siad, “I went snowmobiling this weeend and it was a lot of fun!”  And I’m sure you know what happened next- a trip to the dealer for some better snowmobile clothes and a used sled parked in her garage.  All of the pieces fell into place to make her first experience a positive one.  To convert someone that hasn’t been on a sled before you need 3 things: Good Weather, Good trails and a halfway decent sled.

    This past weekend I had the opportunity to take one of my friends out on a snowmobile for the first time.  He had an extensive background in motorsports being an avid four wheeler enthusiast and spending a few years on the superbike racing circuit, so hopping on a snowmobile seemed the next logical thing. The opportunity arose for him to borrow a sled from a close friend for a weekend and I was shocked to see him pull into my driveway with a newer Ski-Doo MXZ 600 E- Tech.  One of my three criteria had already been met- not just a good sled but an awesome sled.  I hooked him up with all the necessary gear and we departed.  It was a early Saturday morning and the weather was a perfect ten degrees- Lets face it no one enjoys 20 below zero temps on a sled- especially your first tme out-criteria #2 fullfilled.  And then once we got on the trail I crossed my fingers for the most important part of the puzzle- a trail in good condition.  I know plenty of people who gave up on snowmobiling after one ride because they rearanged half of their internal organs on a washboard trail.  When we pulled onto the trail we found that it had just been groomed the night before- Bingo.  Needless to say after a ride like that he was hooked. He went out and bought himself some new riding gear and is trying to work out a deal with his friend to buy the MXZ.

     It is crucial as snowobilers that we add more to our ranks to keep the sport healthy.  More snowmobilers means more registrations, more registrations means more money to maintain and expand the trail system and more snowmobilers in clubs means more people maintaining and building trails and more representation to protect our sport and trail system politically.  It’s always fun to get someone out the first time and it can add another chapter to your long list of great snowmobile memories.  See you on the trails!