The Passion of the Sled
Winter is a time of year where the masses divide into two groups: those who love and embrace winter and those who simply want nothing to do with it. Some people chose to be haters and no matter how much they complain, winter in one form or another always arrives and lingers for a significant portion of the year. “It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s depressing”, they say, ”the roads are bad, I hate shovelling snow, I can’t go outside…blah, blah, blah”. If they hate winter that much, why not move somewhere where they don’t hate living for a significant portion of the year and save us all from the agony of listening to their snivelling and whining?!
I CHOOSE to live in a place where the winter brings snow and I embrace and celebrate the season when it arrives - although given the snow this year, moving somewhere that gets more snow has crossed my mind! What feeds this passion is the love of snowmobiling. Carving through open fields and alpine meadows of fresh, deep powder; away from the complications of life outside in the elements, spending time with family and friends out having adventures - this is what winter should be about! I surf the web for snowmobile videos all year round and search Kijiji for used sleds and sled parts even though I have more sleds than I can ride and I really don’t need any parts. Why? Because I love anything related to snowmobiling – vintage or new, mountain or trail; doesn’t matter to me, I like them all. I am somewhat obsessed with the sport and seem to love any machine with a motor that rides on snow.
A few years ago, my wife and I were on our way to the airport in a taxi headed to Mexico for an exciting group vacation. It was mid-December and we were caught in a major snowstorm. I sat in that taxi upset at having to leave for a sunny warm beachside vacation and missing out on a perfect opportunity to carve some fresh powder. The people in our group kept bringing up how wonderful it was to get away from “all that snow and cold”; however, I was not nearly as enthusiastic about the departure. I definitely enjoyed the trip but was relieved to return home and get out in the snow and ride – and I did just that!
I can’t imagine dreading the winter season as so many seem to do on an annual basis. I anticipate the snow and when it comes, I am like a kid on Christmas morning. The first trip out is always exhilarating for me - opening the trailer door, hearing my big Yamaha roar to life at the turn of a key and riding out, I am tingling with excitement and am giddy like a little girl – I have even been known to scream like a little girl when the snow is perfect! Some of the guys I ride with thought that was weird, but they are used to it now! They know I am a “little” off.
What really draws me to the sport is the ability to break free, get outside and go to places many others don’t go. It is the freedom to leave the real world behind and ride without boundaries and without limits. It’s my drug of choice. I put that helmet on and all the noise from the outside world goes away…no work, no Facebook, no phone calls, no appointment reminders; just myself and my sled braving the elements, exploring and pushing the limits. I am completely alone with myself and am able to have the purest feelings unaffected by outside influences. My “in-helmet-experience” coupled with riding with my family and great friends, makes for the best times. We do family rides and also “big boy trips” where the content is less general audience friendly. It’s kinda like Vegas…what happens on “big boy trips”, stays on “big boy trips!” The “big boy trips” are usual the ones where I end up hurting myself and that doesn’t always mean I crashed my snowmobile!
My wife has even bestowed upon me the title of “Chief Snowmobile Evangelist” which I have carried over into the SledZEROS project. I love to convert non-believers to the sport and have been successful on many occasions. To me snowmobiling is a religion that should be practiced and worshiped daily. To celebrate this passion and share it with others who love snowmobiling as I do, SledZEROS was created as a way to connect with everyone who shares this passion. We don’t care if you are a beginner, an expert or somewhere in between, if you have an interest in the sport, we share a common bond and want to hear from you. We don’t care what brand you ride or how new your machine is, we welcome you to our community. We are always striving to learn more, do more and be more involved in the sport. Welcome to the SledZEROS community! Thanks for your involvement and for your passion to the sport!
Chief Snowmobile Evangelist