8 New Year’s Resolutions for Sledders
If the last year has taught us anything it’s that…well let’s be honest, we haven’t really learned much in the past 12 months except that pandemics suck and our supply chains are apparently as reliable as a 1973 Dodge.
But since parts and component shortages have left some sledders with extra time on their hands this season, what better way to spend that time than on a little self-improvement?
We could easily fill up pages with real advice on topics like healthy eating, safe riding, avalanche course training, and the importance of joining a snowmobile club.
Instead, we have decided to delve into the oft overlooked area of sledder etiquette. This code of conduct is especially important when you’re out riding with a new or unfamiliar group of riders this winter.
Here are eight New Year’s Resolutions for sledders that will refine your social behaviour and help ensure you get invited back when the powder gets deep again in the new year.
1) Brush Up on Basic Math
I know, math is hard. Sometimes it is totally necessary though, especially at the gas station. For example: when the buddy who you’re riding with fuels up his truck. In this case, you’ll need to work out your fair share of the expense.
Here’s how it works. If there are two of you in the truck, that means your share is half. If I’ve lost you already, that means that for every $100 in fuel, you need to put in $50. Small trades don’t count either. The argument, “Well, you got the fuel but I got the coffee,” does not add up. $4 is not greater than or equal to $50. Sorry.
If you’re ever unsure of your exact total, round UP.
2) Double Check Your Gear
Put your gear out and check it over the night before your ride. Make 100% sure that you have everything that you will need. Make a list if you must, there’s no shame in that.
You know what is shameful? Spoiling everyone’s morning while you dick around in the parking lot wrapping your New Balance in duct tape and plastic bags from 7-11 because you forgot your riding boots.
Forget your safety or avalanche gear and you will seriously impact your standing with the group!
3) Get Out of Bed on Time
Set an alarm. Set three alarms. Stay up all night. Whatever you have to do, if you have someone picking you up or meeting you at 5:30 am, then be ready to go at 5:30 am.
Probably the most sure-fire way to void your next invitation is to hold everyone up on the way to the mountains. They want to ride as much as you should!
4) Practice Not Looking
I know this one sounds a little strange, but trust me. SOMETIMES, when your riding buddy or someone you don’t know well gets stuck in an embarrassing (but safe) way, they might not actually want your help. On these occasions, the most supportive thing you can do for their ego is pretend you don’t notice that they have dug a trench deeper than Marianas.
Learn to recognize the situation and look the other way. Maybe check out that pretty bird in the tree. Or perhaps pop open your hood and check the temperature of your grilled cheese and baloney sandwich in the muffpot.
Whatever you do, do not acknowledge their dilemma. Later on at the pub you can claim plausible deniability—if they bring it up at all.
5) Don’t Try to Talk Like Your Teenage Kids
Every generation has new words and phrases. And every other generation thinks those words are ridiculous.
If the group you are riding with is decidedly the “All that and a bag of chips” generation (‘90s), then please avoid the tragic temptation to talk like your teenage kids (aughts) do today.
No one wants to hear how “lit” your “fire” move was, bruh. Depending on your group, words like ‘yeet’ and ‘fleek’ might even get you thrown right out of the truck. You have to know your audience.
6) Be Mindful of Your Pre-Ride Diet
Depending on where you are riding, you could be spending between one and six hours trapped inside of maybe three cubic meters of airspace with your riding partners.
This is not the time for them to find out that you survive on a diet of gas station burritos and draft beer. Unless of course they do too, in which case it’s a free-for-all. Just remember that the driver has parental controls and can lock out your window control.
7) Fuel up the night before
Unless the rest of the group members need sled fuel in the morning anyway, you should plan to have your sled full and ready.
If you fail to do this and utter the dreaded “Oh can we stop, I’ve just got to fill my sled,” on the way out of town, you will be remembered as a giant pain in the posterior region, for good reason. Same goes for oil. Or a spare belt. Or lunch. You get the idea.
8) Bring Beer
There is really nothing on this list that can’t be resolved with free beer. If you bring enough beer to the post-ride gathering you will almost guarantee yourself a spot on the next trip. This is science.
New Year’s Resolutions for Sledders 2022
While these resolutions should be carefully adhered to when riding with new groups of people, keep in mind that you can be a little less diligent about it when riding with your normal crew. This is especially true for Resolution #6.
Whatever your situation, remember that Resolution #8 (Anheuser-Busch’s First Law of Popularity) is the best way to make new friends and bring your old ones back for more.
Happy New Year.