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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snow Machine rules and some blizzard advice.

Recently, going out to the Iditarod and watching the mushers here as well as thinking “what if” something happened. I noticed that there was overflow on some of the lakes. I also noticed some branches broken and if I would have hit them with my leg on my snow machine I would have been in a world of hurt. I also noticed how fast people were going (as I put put around) and thought what would happen if I would have gotten hit by an obviously more powerful machine then the one I was on. Also, I hit a blizzard coming back in from Willow, so that was another challenge. So I thought I would take a few moments for those to keep aware if you ride snow machines.

1. Overflow is bad! On Lakes and River overflow can be a killer due to flooding of your machine, the possibility of the machine sinking into the water and disappearing all together and the fact you can become overly wet and it can become hypothermia. What happens if you hit an overflow area is accelerate! Don’t wait around and hope nothing happens or someone is going to be there to help you. Never Assume! Accelerate as fast as you can to get out of the water. After you are out of the water, make sure to get into some powder to lube up your tracks.

2. Hidden branches, logs, etc. You never know when you are going to smack into one of these lovely hidden items. I always go slow when I am in a area that I don’t know. Word for the wiser folk to the others. Trails in wooded areas can be just as bad as going fast on flat land. You could hit a nice mogul (bump) and ram your knee or some part of your leg into a branch hidden by snow. If that happen, you should always make sure you have a small first aid kit handy as well as a belt just in case you can’t stop any bleeding. I saw someone do it this weekend. Goot thing it was just a nasty scrape… as it could have been worse.

3. Just because you have a nice, new machine that can go 80 mph on the snow doesn’t mean you have to go that fast! I understand the adrenaline rush for going that fast, but if you aren’t experienced enough nor have the right gear on, all you are doing in endangering yourself and others. You can hurt yourself just as bad on a machine going 60 as you can in a car going that fast since snow and ice are not your friend if something happens and you go flying off. Taking sharp turns and going in front of others who are slower or do not have a supped up machine is impolite and can endanger them as well. Large crowds are also a huge problem for those who like to speed around. Always remember to keep an eye out for those who are out to enjoy the day and the ride, as these people will more than likely be the ones who help you when you are down and

4. Always be a courteous rider. Going over hills that are known to have roads, people walking areas, and anything that is normally not machine acceptable in most cases doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk. When in a group (two or more people) one person should be the spotter and everyone should take turns to watch especially when it comes to riding across streets or run ways to go across. This also go with hills and trails around homes and cabins.

As for blizzards, well we seem to be getting quite a few snow storms as of late. Today was pretty nasty. Yesterday it was white out as soon as you got over the Knik Bridge going towards Anchorage. All you can do is slow down, put your lights on and make sure to listen to the sound of the snow and the difference in thickness of snow. You will notice as it sound kind of like someone making a low balloon squeak or when you sit on a leather seat and try to move. If you hear that get out of it. You are about to go into no mans land and ditch dive. And in a bad storm, no one will want to help get you out. Always make sure you have a B.O.B of your choice and a shovel. You may be your only hope.

I hope these little tid bits can help you. If not, just remember….. never assume!

1 comment:

APN said...

Ok....I knew I would do this eventually moderating the spam from the posts, I accidentally hit the delete button on Gen's comments, but did catch myself soon enough to copy them...so here's this one:

Boy, those pictures look COLD!! Wouldn't want my sled to end up in the ice-cold drink! I can't even imagine!

That road is totally lost to the snow. It looks crazy!

Good information for folks to remember (Gen-IL Homesteader)

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