Posts ByMarty Anderson, Author at Mountain Sledder
It’s that exciting time of year again—no, not the first snowfall. That other exciting time. No, not snowcheck season either. Valentine’s Day!
However, there are some who practice brand bashing with sincerity. In perhaps a misguided attempt to be funny, or possibly in a jealous attempt to justify their own poor choices, some sledders will go to great lengths to find issues with competing brands. These issues are often then exaggerated into preposterousness.
You hit the ramp as fast as your sled will take you and immediately pull back on the bars, stretching to look around the rotation and spot your landing. At this point you realize that rider forward sleds with a centralized mass would rotate much easier than this nose-heavy tub you are riding.
Long before the magnificent mountain machines we ride today were produced, our roots were formed on frozen lakes and fields. There, weekend warriors would battle for supremacy on one of over 100 brands of new snowmobile. And while many did not directly contribute to the design of our current machines, they ALL contributed to the growth in popularity of our sport.
We demand better sleds, we demand that our brand of choice keeps up with its competition, and we demand that our sleds get faster, lighter and better handling every year. Is the downside to this a shortened development time in a race to get new ideas to market?
This time however, the silence is different. Instead of being enlightening, it is oppressive and crushing. This time you are alone without being alone. This silence is not peaceful and the reflection is focused on regret; regret that you didn’t make time for that avalanche training last year when you could have.
Time marches on and special people that teach us a little about life will continue to pass through our world. Some of these people we will forget and others will leave long-lasting impressions on us. It is up to us to recognize these people and their lessons, for they certainly have no way of knowing the impact that they may have on our lives. You may not even realize what you’ve learned from them until it’s too late to show them your appreciation—when you pull into a familiar old place with a fluorescent green estate sale sign in the driveway.
Your club has been out cutting trees off of the trails, checking bridges and installing culverts, repairing gates and cleaning parking lots. They’ve been brush cutting and clearing, making sure signs and trail markers are visible and safe. Even those outhouses—you know, the ones that save you from a truly embarrassing trailside accident after three gas station burritos—even those need to be cleaned, repaired and stocked by somebody.