The “Other” Fall Tradition: Snowmobile Clubs Prepare for Season
The sense of excitement this time of year is almost palpable. Snowchecks start arriving, the showrooms have switched over from summer to winter sports, the leaves are turning colour and the air has that crispness that can only mean the snow is not far off. Perhaps you are getting your sled ready to run, maybe adding some new parts or simply cleaning the cobwebs off… before trading it in for a new one. This time of year is ripe with ritual and tradition: finding your gear, planning trips, upgrading equipment, we all do it. But there is another ritual going on right now that you may not often think about: the other fall tradition. Your local snowmobile club is hard at work to help ensure that you may continue to enjoy your favourite sport.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Snowmobile Club, Putting in Time
When you are traveling down the trail to your favourite riding spot it’s easy to overlook the work that has gone on in the background to get to this point. Long before the snow flies, your club has been attending meetings and conferences, working diligently to keep land accessible to all. They’ve been planning events and social gatherings. They’ve been drumming up the volunteer support and sponsorship necessary to put together a successful season.
Snowmobile Club Fall Tradition: not all Meetings and Paperwork
Your club has been out cutting trees off 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.
The cabins need readying too, ensuring they are in clean and safe condition: damages from weather and animals have to be fixed, firewood cut and stacked, emergency supplies stocked. There are beacon-check stations to be tested and readied for the trailheads. Weather stations and snow gauges that are crucial to helping with accurate avalanche and snow condition forecasts need to be prepared and installed.
The groomer crews are busy as well, changing oil and winterizing their trusty steeds. As with any mechanical device, there are bearings to change, leaks to fix and cracks to weld. Windshields to replace, seat covers to clean and batteries to top up.
All of these things are going on quietly with very little fanfare, but they are as much a part of the fall preseason ritual as watching a new sled DVD; it’s something that just has to be done.
Your New Fall Tradition
So this year, start (or renew) a new tradition for yourself and be sure to buy a membership and support your local club. It is truly the best way to help ensure that you have a fun, enjoyable and safe place to ride for this season and in future years. It’s also a great way to show your thanks and appreciation for the hard work they do for us all.