This past year for me and my family has been absolutely incredible. Between becoming a father, the switch to Polaris, winning another medal at the X Games and riding even more than I did the year before, you could say things have been a bit crazy around here.
Here are some thoughts and fun things I've had stuck in my head over the past few hot summer months.
Changing Diapers-Well, after I got over my wife repeatedly telling me, "No you're not building your son a turbo anything until he's at least one," I agreed that was fair and started working on his cow calling skills for archery season and replacing the 6-volt battery that came in his Power Wheels 4-wheeler with an H.O. 12-volt battery instead.
The wife didn't even know until she saw me doing wheelies with the thing down the hallway. Busted! My son Stryder just turned one this August and his smile makes me think how insignificant all the things I have done in my life up until now have been. How cool.
A Year With Polaris-For those of you who laughed at my decision to leave Arctic Cat to ride a Dragon (and I know who you are, LOL), don't worry, I will still stop to get you unstuck no matter what sled you are riding. And when you ask, "How do you like that new sled?" it will be my turn to have a little chuckle as I'm pulling on your ski to get you unstuck . again. The folks at Polaris have been awesome; I get to work hand in hand with the engineering and marketing teams where my voice is heard. Oh and by the way, the answer to your question about how good the sled is .when I'm riding the new Pro RMK I have the very same look on my face that my one year old has on his when he opens the pantry and finds the cookies. It's that good.
Turning Over A New Leaf At X Games-For once I wasn't nervous about my event at the Winter X Games this past year. Even though I showed having never ridden the sled I was competing with, fought an electrical gremlin during practice and had to jump a 100-foot death gap that had some pretty major consequences, all that seemed pretty manageable and something that wasn't out of the norm for me.
Where my nervousness and uncertainty came from was my new role at Winter X as a live commentator for ESPN. Going into it I thought, "How hard could it be?" My job was to talk snowmobiles. That shouldn't be too hard, right? What they didn't tell me was that I would have headphones on in order to hear the producer talking to me in one ear while I'm listening to my co-host in the other and all this while I was trying to form a sensible thought in order not to sound like a complete idiot in front of millions of people. How funny is that? I was more nervous about simply telling the world how gnarly our sport of snowmobiling is than hoping my sled that was having some technical issues would clear a pretty sketchy 100-foot gap. Luckily for me, both turned out great. I ended up getting the Silver medal in Snowmobile Knockout and announced Freestyle, Best Trick and Sno-X without getting booed out of the booth. I am so excited about my new role as an announcer for ESPN and I can't wait to see the craziness of X from a nice heated announcer's booth.
Time To Explore-To wrap up this crazy year of changes for me I come back to my true passion of backcountry snowmobiling. I feel so very fortunate to be able not only to make a living doing what I love but also to be able to share this love I have for snowmobiling with people from all over the world. New for our guests for the 2010-11 season, we will be offering an exclusive riding area for you and you alone. Burandt's Back Country Adventure has gained 100 percent private access to 10,000-plus acres of some of the gnarliest terrain the Colorado Rockies have to offer. I have driven by this riding area hundreds of times always thinking how insane it would be to put some fresh tracks in this zone. Well, we've pulled some strings and now have the ONLY access to this incredible area. Not that we have ever had a problem finding fresh snow in the past, but Burandt Back Country Adventure clients will literally be exploring this zone with me in an area where snowmobiles may never have been before. We will also be utilizing a new "Ride-in-Ride-out" facility where the clients will be able to stay in a beautiful four-bedroom lodge and I should be able to get the entire group stuck in about oh . 45 seconds after leaving the lodge. Sweet, huh?
Not sure how this year can get any better-oh wait: new sleds, new riding area, more sledding with my son . yep, sounds better already.
See you next month.