Snowmobiling with the BESST (Basic Essential Snowmobile
This year, as with the previous 4 years, snowmobiling
has gained the dubious honor of being the most dangerous
Winter Sport. Ten tips to help put safety and fun into
your snowmobile rides.
The increased awareness and education on Snowmobile
Safety by Snowmobile Clubs and Governments has emphasized
a greater respect for riding safety, wide use of hand
signals and overall snowmobiling etiquette. As an advocate
of 'safety first' when is comes to motorized vehicles,
especially snowmobiles, respect for this winter activity
is key to snowmobiling enjoyment. Experience as a snowmobile
rider has made me even more vigilant about safety.
Here are 10 tips for snowmobiling safety that will
put the fun into your next ride:
1)Wear a helmet. Always. Even if you are just making
a quick 2 minute trip to get supplies from your vehicle.
No exceptions accepted.
2)Emergency 'OFF' button. The most important feature
on the snowmobile is the emergency OFF button located
next to the throttle. Make sure the rider knows where
it is. Hitting the emergency OFF button instantly shuts
off the engine.
3)No alcohol. You need to be at your peak of attention
and alertness. With both the thrill of the run, and
the sled exercising ('sledder-cise') you will sweat,
and you will become dehydrated. Take water, or other
non-alcoholic beverages along with you for drinking
on the trails. Save the alcohol for when you stop for
the day (no more driving of any kind) and just want
to sit around and talk about the day's ride.
4)Check your rear view mirrors. Like driving an automobile,
look ahead and check behind every 15-45 seconds. I consider
rear view mirrors a must have on snowmobiles. Watch
for more aggressive riders that speed up behind you.
Let them pass pull over, slow down, stop
let them pass.
5)Don't override your lights, or your comfort level.
Ride your sled to your level of comfort and ability.
There will always be other riders who speed ahead of
you. What you will find is that you will catch up to
them at the next intersection, juncture, or rest stop.
Remember: It's how you pace yourself, not how
you race your sled.
6)Use the buddy system. Watch for other riders in your
group. Your sleddin' group is like any effective team:
the group lead-dog and trailing sledder
must ensure everyone is together, accounted for, and
7)Never kick your foot toward the ground. Keep your
feet and legs safe. Never use your feet or legs to counter
a tipping sled. Putting your foot down to the ground,
or your leg out to stop a tip, is a good way to twist
your ankle, or have your leg yanked back or grabbed
by snowmobile track. Painful!
8)Never place anything between you and the throttle.
Not a person or a thing (sleeping bag, bag of groceries).
Nothing. Persons or things between you and the throttle
can make situations happen where the throttle gets jammed
down hard and the snowmobile quickly accelerates (uncontrolled)
9) Sit down when reversing your machine. Don't stand
up. Remember the laws of physics and inertia
if you stand, the reverse motion will cause your unstable
standing body to lurch forward, likely jamming your
body against the throttle.
10) Stop often. Enjoy the scenery, nature and the wildlife.
Ride for 30-60 minute segments with 5 minute breaks.
Ride with sledders that like to stop and smell
the flowers not just pound on the
miles. Sleddin' gives you access to locations,
sights, and scenery only afforded you in winter, when
waters are frozen and landowners grant access to their
properties. Stay on the trails. Respect the signs.
For every snowmobile trip you take It's all about
the smiles, not the number of miles.
Copyright Carl Chesal, Bizfare Enterprise Inc
& Foursight Marketing
Carl Chesal is a business development consultant, trainer,
photographer, and avid snowmobiler. He owns Bizfare
and Foursight Marketing and Consulting (http://www.foursight.on.ca)providing
business, marketing, and internet marketing consulting
services. He also owns a number of e-commerce web-sites,
CoolComfortWear and PewterExpressions, which sell apparel
and pewter collectibles.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com