I've got an idea. Since we've been bending over backwards (or pushed over backwards, depending on your viewpoint) to please so many people outside our sport for so long, how about a little something in return? Here are a few things people (mostly non-sledders, coincidentally) can do to make our lives as snowmobilers better. And don't feel left out because you want to help, too. If your neighbor fits in here anywhere, kindly tell him to get off his butt and pitch in for the cause.
Weathermen (oops, Weatherpersons):
Truckers: Please note, this doesn't apply to every trucker (I know some truck drivers and they carry big bats with them). This mainly goes for the big rigs you see on snowy mountain passes with Georgia plates: speed up or move over if there are more than 52 vehicles drafting behind you. Even better-take a tip from some of our local western drivers who drive like bats out of hell on ice-covered highways (I've been passed, while rolling along at 70 on snowpack, by an 18-wheeler more than once. Funny thing is, though, most of those trucks had "Crapo" painted on the door.)
Gas station attendants in mountain locations: Save us the time of having to constantly call and bother for a snow report every time a storm rolls through town. Maybe you've heard of reverse-911, where an automated call goes out from dispatch to local residents on a calling list to warn of a flood or tornado or hurricane or something. Get the idea yet? Storm comes through, you hit a button, my phone rings: "This is a snow-alert. This is not a test. Two feet of snowfall in the last 24 hours. Riding is great. Please buy your gas at Larry's Gas `n Grub."
Capital One: What's in my wallet? Not much, thanks to you. How about a special, no-interest, no-payments `til July winter rewards Visa?
People in Subarus: See Truckers, minus the baseball bat reference.
Snowmobile factory assembly line workers: This is Steve's idea. As the snowmobiles are being assembled on the line, have someone mark all the crap that is going on the sled for EPA regulations and the other stuff that doesn't need to be on the machine. That way, when we open the hoods on our 2006s, we can start ripping stuff out that's restricting air flow or weighing the sled down. All the parts that are in there for EPA sound requirements can be marked "EPA-J" for EPA Junk. Unnecessary parts, like idler wheels, radiators and bulky plastic taillight mounts can be marked "PW" for Penalty Weight. Just think how much easier gutting an airbox would be.
McDonald's (or other drive-thru joint): Did you plan on only serving to people in compact cars? Come on. We're excited, we're on our way to ride, we're starving, but we're parking down the street and walking in because we can't fit our trailers through your slot-car course of a drive-thru.
I hope this results in some sort of action taken to rectify the current situation. I have to run, though. The Weather Channel just said Island Park is socked in, but the roof is only 8,000 feet.