Ride the Crappy Snow
There’s always tomorrow.
How many times has this simple assumption impacted our decision making? We humans excel at procrastinating and we have gotten very comfortable in thinking that there is always another day coming. Have you ever cancelled a ride with your buddies because the weather wasn’t the greatest? Perhaps you stayed home because the snow conditions were “crappy”. Or maybe you simply didn’t feel like getting loaded up for anything less than a perfect day. The excuses come easily. The weather, the snow conditions, the temperature—the decision to stay home until next time is easily validated. There’s always tomorrow.
But what happens when the whole concept of “tomorrow” is suddenly called into question? Not too long ago, we had our world turned upside down with the onset of a pandemic. As governments and snowmobile clubs struggled to formulate the correct response, some snowmobiling was shut down completely. Trips were cancelled, lodges and warm-up shelters shuttered, even borders closed. Suddenly, the “wait until next weekend” people found out there was no next weekend. Some found that they had procrastinated themselves right out of time.
Can we take any lessons from the past few years? So much in our privileged lives has been taken for granted for a long time and it has caused many of us to live life complacently. But some of life’s best moments come when we rise to challenges, even small ones. If the temperature is a few degrees below our comfort zone, can’t we just put on an extra layer? If it’s going to be snowing and the visibility is not great, isn’t there somewhere we can play in the trees? Some of our best rides and greatest memories have been had during less-than-ideal weather or snow conditions.
But getting out there is the first step. Hopefully the experiences of the past few years can direct us towards a new appreciation and understanding of what is actually important to us and a realignment of priorities. We can’t take it for granted that there will be another day to ride. Health, friends, family, the economy—everything and anything can change in the blink of an eye.
So why not plan some goals for this winter and stick to them. Have a new skill that you want to develop? Do it! Been meaning to get out for a ride with an old friend? Now is the time! Considering taking a newbie out and showing them what mountain riding is all about? Perfect opportunity! Thinking of joining your local club? They have never needed you more! Wanting to upgrade your avalanche knowledge? There is a ton of online information coming, making learning easier than ever.
We all get settled into our own comfort zones and it is too easy to put plans off into a seemingly infinite future. It’s time to break that habit and use this year as a reason to do things better.
Let’s be honest. Right now we live at a time when we can’t even be certain there will be toilet paper on the shelves. So get out there and ride the crappy snow.