January 2020 Newsletter
January 2020 Newsletter
A Message from Alan Butler, President
Finally we are getting some snow and clubs are now starting to open trails. To those concerned that trails are not opening quick enough, please remember that the clubs have your safety in mind, and are not going to open trails unit it is safe to do so. Please be patient.
If you are going off trail, please stay off farmers’ fields. There are at least 400,000 acres of unharvested crops in the province, and the last thing farmers need is snowmobilers damaging their unharvested crops. Please RESPECT OUR LANDOWNERS.
Tragically there have already been three snowmobile incidents that resulted in two fatalities and STARS airlifting another with serious injuries. Approximately 95 percent of all snowmobile fatalities can be attributed to excess speed and/or alcohol. Please remember to slow down, and don't drink and drive. Be sure you get home to your family.
Snowmobiling is a great recreational activity; it is good for your health, it can be a great time spent with the family, and it is just fun, so get out and enjoy our winter season! Hope to see you on the trail.
Snoman is encouraging snowmobile clubs to submit stories to be published in our monthly e-newsletters. We wish to thank the Log Cabin Riders and Lee River Snow Riders for their contributions to the January newsletter! We're confident you'll enjoy reading about what our snowmobile clubs have been up to!
Log Cabin Riders
By Jason Nickel
All things are well here, but they sure were not a month and a half ago. I want to take this opportunity to tell our club’s story. It started Thanksgiving weekend with the craziest storm we have ever seen. We were without power for ten days and sustained a pile of damage to all of our trails from broken and bent trees. Assessing the damage after the storm, it appeared as though we would never get some of our trails reopened! However, being the determined bunch that we are, we managed to pull it off. We rented 2 skid steers, bought 2 new chain saws and hired 2 dozers as well. One member also used his backhoe, and a couple places were done with farm tractors. It’s pretty amazing what a group can accomplish if they put their minds to it. There were times I was ready to give up, as I am sure other members were too, but the group kept everyone motivated. Our club has 220 km of trail of which only 40 km were okay, and the rest ranged from terrible to not so bad, the bulk of which was in the terrible category. I would like to thank everyone that helped; you know who you are. You are the real true snowmobilers because if we hadn’t done this we would have nowhere to ride. Hoping for snow now, happy trails!
Grooming skills a priority with Lee River Snow Riders
By Brian Ross
With safety of both operator and machine a priority, Lee River Snow Riders recently held its annual groomer workshop. Grooming Director Theo Vanderzwan put the operators through their paces, covering all aspects of operating a groomer and drag.
“You just don’t jump in the cab, turn the key and go,” Vanderzwan said with a laugh. “There’s skill involved. Expertise in running the machine. Knowing what to do if the machinery breaks down. Grooming is a very, undervalued skill.”
Vanderzwan, who was recently named 2019 Groomer of the Year by SNOMAN, said the one-day workshop was a refresher for many of the operators, but it was also a valuable eye opener for the newcomers, who were shown many procedures, including how to re-couple a hydraulic hose if such an event took place on the trails. Groomer operators were also shown the finer aspects of putting down a flat, nicely groomed trail.
“Safety is strongly emphasized,” said Vanderzwan. “I’ve broken down on the trail when it was minus 30. You have to know what to do. Proper preparation can prevent a potentially fatal situation. Operators are shown how to stow their winter clothing, in addition to other life-saving tips.”
With many of the Lee River Snow Riders’ trails on ice, operators must recognize when ice conditions are dangerous, i.e. hanging ice at a beaver dam.
Join a Club, Make a Difference
Are you interested in volunteering? Our snowmobile clubs are ALWAYS looking for volunteers. Whether it be trail grooming or signing, shelter or machinery maintenance, planning events or fundraising, everyone has a skill that could help out a snowmobile club. Gain experience, make some new friends, get out and enjoy your community. If you enjoy snowmobiling, we encourage you to get involved. Contact the Snoman office and we can connect you with a club, or contact a club directly. Join a club, make a difference!
“Snowmobilers expect safe, well groomed trails,” said Vanderzwan. “That can only be accomplished by properly trained operators.”
National Snowmobile Environment Month
February is National Snowmobiling Environment Month, which is the perfect opportunity to remind riders to keep nature beautiful, and to take personal responsibility for decisions and actions on the snow this winter.
Remember to always stay on the designated trail and respect sensitive areas, protect wildlife and don't trespass on private property. Enjoy the scenery but leave nothing behind but your tracks.
Embrace new technologies. Snowmobiles are continuously improving, thanks to oil injection, sound reduction measures, variable height exhaust valves, direct injection, on-board computers, and new 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine technologies that comply with EPA requirements. Snoman discourages the installation of after market pipes that increase noise and annoy others.
Keeping nature beautiful during each and every ride depends primarily on the personal decisions and actions of each rider, so choose to Snowmobile Responsibly this winter.
Always Check Local Ice Conditions
On January 9th, STARS Air Ambulance, the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba, and Snoman held a joint media conference focusing on snowmobile safety, particularly when you're out on the ice. It's recommended that snowmobilers take proper precautions and wear a floater coat, a flotation snowmobile suit, or wear your lifejacket when you’re on the ice. Always know the ice conditions. Here's a helpful guide to assist you in determining when it's safe to venture onto ice.
Enjoy the Trails Safe & Sober
Snoman has collaborated with MADD Canada to get our zero tolerance message out to riders. Together we encourage snowmobilers to be safe and sober while enjoying the trails. Posters reminding riders to enjoy the trails sober will be displayed at shelters across the province.
Impaired driving of a snowmobile is the same as impaired driving in a car, with the same charges and sanctions. If you see someone that might be impaired riding a sled, get all the info and Report Impaired Driving, Call 911. We want to ensure that every rider returns home to their loved ones.
Before You Ride
Safety tips to ensure a great snowmobiling season
Article provided by One Insurance.
Riding a snowmobile can be an amazing outdoor experience, but before you hit the trails, make sure safety is part of the plan. Off-road vehicles (ORV) should be operated using proper techniques to prevent serious injury or death. For fun and safe recreation on an ORV, be sure to follow these safety tips:
Drivers should be over the age of 16.
It’s strongly recommended that children under the age of 16 should not operate an ORV. Younger children are usually injured on ORVs because of their size and inexperience operating vehicles. Even once a child is 16 and able to operate an ORV, adult supervision should be present at all times.
Only one rider per vehicle.
Unless you’re riding an ORV equipped for two people, only one person should ride at any time. No piggy-backing or side riding on vehicles only designed for one. The ORV may be unable to successfully hold the combined weight of two riders, making it less stable and more prone to roll over.
Do not speed.
ORVs are designed to go a certain speed safely. Increasing the speed – especially through certain terrains – decreases your control and the vehicle’s stability, making you more prone to have an accident.
Do not operate an ORV impaired.
Just like drinking and driving, alcohol and ORV driving does not mix.
Use common sense.
The final safety tip is by far the easiest to remember. Your common sense can carry you a long way, especially when your safety is involved.
Underwritten by Red River Mutual.
REMINDER: Free Ride Weekend: Sled Without Borders©
Snoman Inc. wishes to remind you that Sled without Borders© takes place February 15 to 17, 2020. Sled without Borders - sponsored by One Insurance and BSI Insurance Brokers, representing Red River Mutual - is a Free Ride Weekend, focusing on riders new to our trail network, and visitors from neighbouring jurisdictions. Snoman’s member clubs will be holding special events during the weekend to welcome visitors. If you have extra sleds, this is a great opportunity to invite a non-snowmobile friend to come along for a ride!
You can register for the event by visiting https://snoman.mb.ca/. After you register, your pass will be accessible. Once you print your temporary weekend pass it must be affixed to your snowmobile, or downloaded to your mobile device. It is important to note that there are minimum insurance requirements for riders entering Manitoba.
THANK YOU to our Corporate Rider Partners!
As we begin another great riding season, we wish to thank our Corporate Partners: