Up North … Deep Snow | Snowmobile News
April 14, 2013

Up North … Deep Snow

Steve Janes

I don’t know what the rest of you guys are doing, but Patrick Wilson and I are
north of the border in two feet of powder snow.

Patrick was the winner of 12 Days of SnoWest and not only did he win a new
Ski-Doo Summit 800, he’s up at and undisclosed location near Sicamous, B.C., riding snowmobiles with Carl Kuster.

I’m now sure if he’s having a good time, though. It’s hard to understand him
while he’s whooping and hollering and laying his snowmobile on its side, jumping
cornices and basically trying to put tracks all over Canada.

On Friday we spent the day riding with Darrell Trouton, mayor of Sicamous. He
wanted to show us the great trail system out of Sicamous … but there was just too much to show. It didn’t matter. All we could see was powder so we really didn’t care much to look around at all the other scenery.

I was unaware that April 12 is a holiday in British Columbia. It had to be …
because about everyone in the province was at the trailhead unloading sleds.

But what is unique about the area is that once you get out on the mountain, you
don’t see anybody. There’s more mountain than there are riders. So we spent the entire day busting through fresh snow. It was so fresh it was still being delivered from Heaven.

For Patrick, the snow was just a little deeper than where he calls home (McCall,
ID … where the snow is plenty deep for most people) and the mountain was a little
bigger. We kept climbing and climbing but we never did make it to the top.

Well, got to go. Still working out of our undisclosed location. Three days of
serious riding. Wow, Patrick’s thinking this might even be better than winning the


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Six Months Changes Attitudes | Snowmobile News
April 07, 2013

Six Months Changes Attitudes

Steve Janes Blog Apr. 7, 2013

            Six months really isn’t a very long time … but when it comes to attitude, it can seem like a lifetime.

            We all remember back to last October when everyone was religiously studying the SnoTel site on the Natural Resources Conservation Page website to see how much snow was accumulating at the higher elevations.

            We browsed various chat rooms and social pages to see who was riding and where. We posted the comments like “lucky dog” or “I wish my riding area could get that kind of snow” and we expressed our jealousies and vowed that when the first flake of snow fell, we were calling in sick and hitting the mountain.

            That was all six months ago. The most important thing in our life was snow. We wanted it, we searched for it, and we vowed that when it came we were going to be all over it.

            Well it came. We rode. We enjoyed. And then we did something very interesting: We quit riding.

            So what happened in those six months? What turned us from diehard sledders to lawnmower pushers?

            Did we just get sick of snowmobiling? Impossible. Did we ride so much that, like after a Thanksgiving feast, we just couldn’t stand another scoop of the mash potatoes? Improbable.

            Did we just forget about the snow once the roads in the valley dried up and the lingering drifts melted? More than likely.

            But if you take the time to go to those coveted SnoTel sites to check out the snow depths, you may find there is still more snow in the high country than there was in January during the heart of winter.

            So what’s the difference?

            Attitude. With weather getting warmer, you tend to forget about what you love to do during the winter and start looking at what you love to do during the summer … although you can’t quite do that because it’s not quite summer.

            And while we sit around waiting for summer, we’re wasting a lot of time that we could still be enjoying winter. And yet, in six months, we’ll likely be back to the routine of checking out SnoTel and searching out the social media to see who’s riding where.

            Hey, it’s April. There’s at least four more weeks of winter somewhere within a two hour drive (if you live in the West).  Let’s lose the attitude and find some altitude. After all, we really only need five months of summer.

Let’s ride.       


Views 928
Way Up High | Snowmobile News
March 31, 2013

Way Up High

Steve Janes Blog

With this past week of pleasant weather, it appears if you want to find winter you’re
going to have to look up high … like on the tops of the mountains.

Pretty much everything lower than 6,000 feet in our part of the country is brown turning
green. You have to get above 7,500 feet elevation to find the snow depth. And then you find that  the snow is actually quite good.

The trouble with this time of year is that it’s hard to get the desire to go looking for snow,
especially when you’re just starting to walk around without a jacket. Although one still sees a sled in the back of a pickup or on a trailer around town, many times it’s in the process of being traded in to the dealer or to be placed into storage. But there are a few diehards still out there keeping winter alive.

This past week I was traveling by automobile through western Montana and it was hard
to keep my eyes focused on the road while there were so many snow-covered mountains all around. I couldn’t help but wonder how a person accessed the snow since most of the lower elevation was dry.

But as I drove, I found myself picking my route up a distant snowy ridge and working my
way back into some of the visible bowls. I was longing for a few extra hours in my day and a good snowmobile so I could do some exploring.

But like most during the spring, I had places to go and things to do. So I could only look
at the snow and dream. But one thing is for certain: I haven’t had my last ride of the season yet. I just need to prioritize my time a little better and get a few more days out on the snow. After all … that’s what I’m paid to do.


Views 507
Best Year Ever … Not | Snowmobile News
March 24, 2013

Best Year Ever … Not

Steve Janes Blog

            There’ve been better winters. No, this one wasn’t necessarily a bad one … it just wasn’t necessarily a good one either. On one hand, I was riding the best snowmobiles ever. But on the other hand, the snow was mostly less than average.

            Now, I’m not one to complain. I’m grateful for every opportunity I have to snowmobile. But over the past 30-plus years one tends to recognize good snow from not so good snow. And this year it was the latter.

            Some may point toward global warming. I don’t accept that premise because I believe in natural climate change—the kind that isn’t affected by what man does, but tends to follow natural cycles. And the natural cycle for the past few years has been somewhat dry.

            This year it was dry when it was cold, and wet when it was warm. In other words, the moisture we got came often in liquid form rather than the nice white fluffy form that can be measured in feet.

            The good news was that there were a few more days with blue skies and sunshine for snowmobiling. The bad news was that the snow wasn’t very deep and sometimes it took a couple of weeks just to cover up the tracks from a day’s ride. For some of us, there is something urgent in riding on clean untracked snow. Tracks leave you with the impression that you’re bellying up to a buffet after the fat people have already eaten—it’s slim pickings and the best stuff is gone.

            Now this time of year there usually are a few great rides just waiting to happen. But after a long winter of searching for snow, it’s kind of hard to create the desire to leave the warmth in the valleys to go up to the mountains looking for winter.

            But as long as Mother Nature keeps refreshing the higher elevations with a layer of snow, some of us will just leave our lawn mowers in winter storage and continue to do our best to beat the fat people to the buffet.

            There’ve been better winters. But we’ll still try to make the most out of the one we still have.


Views 551
Model Year 2014 | Snowmobile News
March 10, 2013

Model Year 2014

Steve Janes Blog 031013

            This past week the staff at SnoWest Magazine (and every other snowmobile publication, website or other various media) had a chance to get our first look at the 2014 model year snowmobiles.

            Well, technically, these are prototypes of what the 2014s will be … and this year there wasn’t a big effort (at least with the mountain sleds) to fabricate the new models. Basically, the 2014 mountain sleds are extremely similar to the 2013 production sleds with just a few simple variations.

            That isn’t necessarily saying that the snowmobile manufacturers took this year off. But rather, with all the changes over the past couple of years, we’re not yet due to new body styles or major changes. And to be honest, the 2013s were pretty solid units built from the latest technology.

            I’m not sure there are too many things that I would have expected to see changed. Both Polaris and Ski-Doo have focused on refining their product line. Cat went the extra mile for 2014 in an effort to shave more weight of the sled. Yamaha is still standing pat with its mountain line. So the only real noticeable change will be BMG—bold new graphics.

            On a side note, as I was driving up to West Yellowstone to ride the new models, I couldn’t help noticing as I drove past the Arctic Cat R&D facility that there was a Yamaha engineering trailer parked out back. For those who don’t know, Cat and Yamaha are working on some joint ventures that have brought Cat suspensions to some of Yamaha’s trail sleds and Yamaha engines to some of Cat’s trail sleds. This may be something interesting to watch to see how things unfold.

            With our three days of riding the 2014s, we must say we were impressed on how well they all performed and on how class the 800 mountain sleds are with their performance. We were also delighted to see Ski-Doo throwing out a 600 to compete with the Pro RMK 600. That’s an intriguing market that really should be getting more attention to many mountain riders.

            Thanks to Ski-Doo, we have a 2014 Summit 6 to ride for the rest of the season. You can bet there will be a lot more head-to-head comparisons with our RMK 6 as the season winds down.

            If you want to see all the 2014 mountain sleds, be sure to attend the World Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone March 14-16.


Views 3569
February 24, 2013

Preparing To Be Impressed

Steve Janes Blog

About the time you get around to reading this, the SnoWest staff will be heading
to an undisclosed location (which looks very similar to those undisclosed locations we’ve gone to in years past) to test ride the 2014 model year snowmobiles.

This is our first and only time to get on all of next year’s sleds for comparison
purposes. It won’t be until we do our Deep Powder Challenge next winter before we see the difference from what the manufacturers promised to what they actually delivered. So the few days we have to ride become very precious.

Naturally, we try to cram as much technical riding in as possible in a very short
time and with some significant stipulations. For example: We cannot use any measuring device (such as a radar gun) in head-to-head comparisons. Also, since these snowmobiles are prototypes with the main intent for photographic purposes, we must refrain from any style of riding which could alter their appearances (read: avoid hitting trees and rocks).

All we can do is ride them hard enough to get a feel for their design while
recognizing that in the 3-5 months prior to the actual manufacturing of these models
there will still be several dozen significant changes made to the sleds—engine
calibrations, shock calibrations, types of metals uses, etc.

Sometimes we wonder if the manufacturers aren’t using us for one final focus
group to figure out last minute changes or problems. Throughout our rides the factory reps are checking constantly with us about the performance of their products and making whatever adjustments possible to create the best ride for us. The difficulty for a rider is that every snowmobile has multiple adjustable features that can change the handling characteristics of the sled. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the adjustments are incorrect or whether the sled merely has design flaws that create a certain type of ride. In other words, can a bad handling sled be adjusted into a good handling sled, or is just plain bad.

So for the next few days, we’ll be riding, comparing, note-taking, photo-taking
and doing all we can to acquire enough information to write about the 2014 model year sleds next fall. It’s during this week we acquire the information we will share with you next fall in SnoWest Magazine.

Obviously, there is a lot of work involved … but bottom line is we’re riding next
year’s sleds—how much fun is that?


Views 154
February 17, 2013

Mid-winter Blues

Steve Janes Blog

It’s the middle of February and by all accounts we should be in the prime of the winter season. Every blue-bird day should be a riding day. That’s how it works; snowmobiling at its finest.

So how come I’m sitting at my desk pounding away on the computer instead of out busting power? The answer is simple—the snow sucks.

We are presently going through a weather pattern which has brought little or no snow to the higher elevations during the past two weeks. The little snow in the mountains, particularly at elevations lower than 8,000 feet, has become dehydrated, crusty or hard … not the snow you really relate with busting powder.

Temperatures have gone up and down—cold, warm, cold—which leads to deteriorating snow conditions. Basically, riding conditions are just not good.

So that means there has been no real desire to go out and fight with nature. And with the lack of fresh snow along with the already low snow depths, there’s just not that much ground cover to protect your sled from rocks and stumps. (This is speaking from experience—I’ve already replaced three A-arms this season.)

Don’t get me wrong—I’d rather be riding in bad snow than sitting at my office fingering a keyboard and watching winter slip away. But now I’m just content biding my time and watching every storm front move across the radar maps. 

The snowmobiles are all fueled and ready to go. I’m working ahead on assignments to free up my schedule. All it will take is one fat-looking snowflake to float down from heaven to get me up out of my chair and heading for the mountains.

After all, winter is half over … but I hope I’m just getting started with the riding season.


Views 150
February 09, 2013

Sex And The Single Snowmobiler

Steve Janes Blog

Let’s be perfectly clear … sometimes people can be just shameless when it comes to promoting their product.

For example, when I write a blog, I do it out of love for the sport. However, if I were to do it for, let’s say, trying to increase web traffic, I would use certain words that would generate more interest on search engines. WARNING: Material of sexual nature.

Instead of writing about stock sleds and mountain riding, I would use code words. For example, a stock sled could be referred as a NUDE or even NAKED “love machine” which would capture a lot of search hits. Instead of project sleds, we say XXX “no one under 18 years of age allowed” stuff. “We’d call stuff SLEAZY and refer to ASIAN or HOT CANADIAN WOMEN when talking about our snowmobiles. Touring sleds could be described in French terms and cylinders could be called BIG JUGS. And I won’t even go where two strokes and big bores could take us.

But all of this would naturally cast a bigger net in attracting people to this blog.

So all you sexy snowmobilers who are lonely and want some company for some steamy action … aren’t you glad I don’t stoop that low?


Views 374
February 02, 2013

X-Games Equals Roman Gladiators

Steve Janes Blog

            After attending the very first snowmobile event at the Winter X Games years ago it was obvious that we were witnessing the resurgence of Roman gladiators in the great ESPN coliseum. This was an event designed to offer sacrifices to the ratings gods of television.

            And after years of near misses, we have finally witnessed a prime time fatality. Caleb Moore died Thursday from the injuries received during the event. Caleb was 25. His brother basically shared an ambulance ride with him to the emergency room that fateful night, although Colten’s injuries only left him on crutches.

            Our hearts and prayers go out to the Moore family who will be ever altered by this tragedy. Meanwhile, at least for ESPN, the ratings go on.

            Throughout the years of the X Games, several contestants have been carried off in stretchers. The event is designed to put the participants at risk—big jumps, fast speeds, artificial lights—you name it, whatever could improve the ratings were part of the event.

            As for the participants, well, a week being treated like a rock star and a chance to capture an endorsement or sponsorship from an energy drink seemed to be all it took to not think through the consequences of the damage wreaked on their bodies.

            I realize these are professional athletes, whether they be snowmobilers, snowboarders or whatever. They are thrill seekers who live to do the daring and dangerous. But as I watched the X Games from my easy chair on my big screen television, I couldn’t help notice the near misses that kept occurring on the big jump that eventually claimed Caleb, and then his brother Colten.

            I don’t know if it was a bad execution of a trick or a poorly designed jump that led to the tragedy. But I do know that from the first time I saw a course designed for snowmobile competition at the X Games, I knew it wasn’t designed for rider safety; it was designed for big crashes and viewership.

            I admit there was something about snowmobiles featured in prime time on major television networks that intrigued me, much like it intrigued most snowmobilers. And for a young racer, doing well meant more sponsorships. But as a snowmobile community, we basically held our breath each year hoping that our top racers could survive the course.

            Now, as we bury one of our own, it’s going to be a little bit harder to justify exposure at the expense of a lack of safety. But I’m sure that before the Games begin next year, we will forget the price one of our racers paid and will be cheering on the next crop of gladiators.

            So I guess the question is: Who is to blame?


Views 211
January 27, 2013

Invitation To Fun

Steve Janes Blog

          I just received a postcard in the mail inviting me to three annual events in the Island Park area that have always provided a fun diversion during the season—the Women’s Rally on Jan. 26, Co-Ed Rally on Feb. 9, and Ol’ Man’s Rendezvous on Feb. 23.

            These are sort of  like organized trail rides where the speed restrictions on the groomed trails have been removed to allow the competitive juices to flow. Some folks call them races … but other than the 100 mph straightaways across the flats, for the most part they are just fun trail rides where longtime friends get together for some bragging rights.

            But this wasn’t what actually captured my attention. The postcard mentioned that longtime event director Bill Smith was retiring after this season. For those who don’t recognize the name Bill Smith, this is someone who has been involved in eastern Idaho racing for about five decades. He was the first announcer at the World Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone and has either announced, promoted or raced in events for as long as snowmobiles have been around.

            My friendship with Bill goes back about 30 years. Bill and I actually raced together as a two-man team in the now defunct Rocky Mountain Cross Country Racing Circuit … and we both still wear our first-place belt buckles that we captured for a full season of racing.

            Bill would admit that we really weren’t fast … but we were consistent and made a solid team week in and week out. Even now we have found memories of our days racing … as well as lingering back pains from riding the sleds of the 80s through four-foot moguls from race venues like Cooke City, Georgetown, Ashton, St. Anthony and Bellevue.

            Bill is one of those guys who always has been committed, devoted and loyal to the sport. He has been the perfect volunteer—always willing to work and assist, never seeking personal glory and as honest as the day is long. And after all these years of service, it’s about time he takes a well-deserved vacation.

            So if you’re in the Island Park area during these three race dates, be sure to stop in and shake his hand and tell him “good job.” He truly is one of the good guys.

            And now with all of his spare time, I wonder if he’s about ready to get back into racing? I could use a new belt buckle.


Views 146
January 20, 2013

Set My Ponies Free

Steve Janes Blog

            This past week a startling truth was presented that caused the entire foundation of my snowmobiling knowledge to become discombobulated. There are no tiny ponies powering my snowmobile; i.e. horsepower does not mean actual horses.

            That’s right, horsepower doesn’t literally mean the power of horses. It’s a mathematical formulation that consists of “work over time equals force times distance over time which equals 180 lbf and 2.4 times 2 pie symbol times 12 feet over one minute equals 32,572 feet/lbf/minute” … or something sort of scientific/mathematical like that.

            Okay, some maybe the original formula for horsepower was based on how much power is required to equal the pulling power of a horse. But at no time did these great minds figure out how to actually put a tiny horse inside a combustion engine to turn the power wheel. (They did figure out how to put hamsters in a cage to turn a wheel … but then the hamsters union got involved and required so many breaks per hour plus benefits and made this advancement in technology cost prohibitive.)

            So now, rather than little tiny horses causing our snowmobile to climb tall mountains, we actually have math geeks powering our sleds. This mere knowledge in itself has caused me to second-think the next time I look at a death-defying vertical climb. What would happen if I’m nearing the peak of the mountain only to have one of my math geeks lose his inhaler? This is definitely a formula for disaster.

            This has also caused me significant concern when I ponder the fact that those engineers who are designing snowmobile engine technology actually rely on this horsepower formulation to determine the power output of any given engine.

            Now it makes some sense why snowmobile manufacturers for years have tried to keep horsepower ratings out of print. They don’t want their customers cracking open a cylinder only to find that all their tiny ponies have escaped … when in reality those ponies were never actually there to begin with.

            So now, the next time you hear someone boasting about having a 300-horsepower turbo, you can simply smile and pat them on the head and say “that’s nice.” Likely, if they still believe this horsepower myth, they also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.


Views 148
January 13, 2013

Naked Truth About Winter

Steve Janes blog

           I just can’t decide if Old Man Winter is just cranky or if Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind. Whatever the case, so far this season has been as inconsistent as any in recent years

            We’ve had rain. We’ve had cold. When the snow comes, it comes in short bursts and storms seem to fizzle out early.  When the temperatures rise, the rain knocks down whatever snow collected in the lower elevations and creates a crust on the snow in the higher elevations. When the temperatures drop, you freeze your butt off to get to the snow; then you almost need to strip naked to keep from steaming up the you get stuck in the crusty snow.

            The ideal conditions are when the temperatures are in the mid 20s consistently throughout the day. This is a great temperature to make that nice crunchy snow (perfect for making snowballs) that creates a good base for snowmobiling.

            But when temperatures are in the single digits … you pretty much freeze your single digit off.

            Although all of this sounds like my snowmobiling experiences have been miserable this season, that’s not the case. Once you leave the trailhead and climb in elevation, the temperatures tend to moderate and the riding has been outstanding—regardless the shortcomings in snow depth and quality.

            We have had good rides … even one or two outstanding rides. But we’re always hoping for those great rides—when the snow is deep, the sky is blue and there’s not a track in front of you (sounds like the makings of a country song).

            So hopefully, Old Man Winter and Mother Nature will work out their differences soon so we can get back to normal. It’s always nice when there’s peace in the family.


Views 197
January 06, 2013

Making Tracks

Steve Janes Blog

           There are two types of people—those who stay on the beaten path, and those who blaze their own path. Most people like the comfort of knowing where tracks will take them, while others relish the thought of an unknown course or destination.

            Thus it is with snowmobilers. Many ride trails, carry maps and embrace a certainty of a desired destination. They need the reassurance that the tracks they follow lead somewhere they want to go. And let’s face it, if there are tracks, it pretty much establishes that others have safely gone there before … and others will likely be going there sometime in the near future.

            Tracks represent a record or history of travel. The more tracks, the more confident the history. Even when following tracks that lead off a beaten trail, there is a level of confidence that whoever made those tracks most certainly know where they were going.

            So there is nothing wrong with following tracks or staying on a trail. In this there is safety, in this there is peace.

            However, there are a small segment of snowmobilers who gladly sacrifice a level of security for freedom and adventure; those who constantly stray from the trails and establish a new set of tracks. Often the course taken for those who set their own tracks are more difficult and challenging. But isn’t that part of the price of freedom—you give up easy and common for unique and difficult.

            Naturally, an activity like snowmobiling is something that should be respected for the challenge and element of danger that it holds. You are recreating during a time of season that can be cold, harsh and unpredictable. A bad decision can often lead to a life-threatening situation.

            Spending a night out in December through April is a lot different than spending a night out in May through September. And walking out of the backcountry during winter may not be an option.

            So before you wander off a beaten path or trail, you better have a pretty good level of confidence that you know where you are at and what to expect. Each winter various search and rescue groups perform multiple rescues of stranded snowmobilers who found themselves in situations that provided greater challenges then they were capable of overcoming. Seldom if ever do search and rescue groups save snowmobilers on groomed trails.


Views 105
December 30, 2012

Tis The Season (Part 2)

Steve Janes Blog

 Tis The Season (Part 2)

            It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … or in other words, winter has finally settled in and the cold weather caught up with the moisture, turning what has been a wet fall into a white winter.

            According to the National  Weather Service, the Northern Rockies is now experiencing a 99.9 percent snow coverage (I’d be pretty hot if I were in that .1 percent area … pun intended). The Central Rockies is at 99.6 percent coverage and The Intermountains are at 97.4 percent (not bad considering all the lower elevations included).

            Although the snow depth charts aren’t overly impressive except in the elevations over 8,000 feet in the northern portion of the West, the good news is the snow is starting to stack up.

            Even the Midwest got slammed with a snowy Christmas storm that perhaps delivered a little more punch with some high winds. But hey, as long as the white stuff sticks, we can deal with a few drifts.

            This past year has offered a lot of disappointments and heartbreaks. It has been a tough year for many, both financially and mentally … lots of stress. And for some, these harsh winter storms don’t offer any relief. But for those of us who are fortunate to enjoy the sport of snowmobiling, perhaps these storms will provide the foundation for some better times this winter.

            We can only pray for those who are less fortunate … and do our parts whenever possible, to offer a little relief to the stress of life. Who knows, maybe this winter we can introduce someone to the joys of snowmobiling and help them find some relief and diversion from the troubles of life.


Views 101
December 22, 2012

The Fight For Jefferson

Steve Janes Blog

The Fight For Jefferson


            It’s called the “Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.” It’s a piece of Wilderness legislation introduced by Montana Senator Jon Tester which is basically destined to reduce jobs and restrict recreation (I wonder if this is how he came up with the name.)

            Well, technically, this legislation is dealing with a lot of forest service land in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. But what has the ire of Idaho snowmobilers is how this piece of legislation sucks in less than 5,000 acres of land tucked into the Hellroaring drainage with Idaho wrapped on three sides.

            This small parcel of land can’t stand on its own for Wilderness designation due to its size. It can’t provide the “true” wilderness experience due to its location tucked in the Targhee National Forest which is actually “open” for public use.

            Environmental arguments for Wilderness designation are even conflicting—on one hand they complain about the excessive use by snowmobilers, while on the other hand they claim the area is rich in wildlife. (Apparently the only animal known to man that has a conflict with snowmobiles is the environmentalist … a modern species that commonly dwells in big cities and tends to roam on the National Geographic channel.)

            Environmentalists use fancy “feel-good” language like this area is the “fountain of the Missouri River.” And yet, even though snowmobilers have been recreating in this area for nearly a half century, without the federal government coming in to protect the area environmentalists fear the fountain will surely go dry.

            The basic environment argument is this: Snowmobilers should not be so greedy and stick to the groomed trails in the Targhee (they actually called them “taxpayer funded trails … but that’s for a different rant.) Yet environmentalists believe they are not only entitled to of the entire world, but they should be able to control everyone’s access. Some of us would like to provide them access to hell … but they would likely demand control of that place too.

            The BlueRibbon Coalition is doing a good job leading the fight and providing information to the progress of the bill. It’s worth your time to stay informed in this one. We would all hate to lose our access to Jefferson.


Views 126
December 15, 2012

Sorry I Missed Your Call (Part 2)

Steve Janes Blog

           If you did indeed try to reach me at word during these last few days, you most likely got my answering machine. And to be totally honest, I really wasn’t that sorry to miss your call. I was riding.

            I’ve managed to be on the snow four times in the last seven days (soon to be six times in 10 days). So I’m doing my best to get back in riding condition. (Getting out of bed has certainly gotten a lot more difficult in the morning.)

            The first day I only went over the handle bars once. Day two saw me going over the bars twice. Day three I went over three times. Talk about your crash course in getting into riding shape.

On the fourth day I decided to spend some quality “seat” time.  We kept the ride confined to some trail miles to check on snow conditions in a lower elevation area. (I’m getting too old and too bruised to keep up the pace of the first three days.)


Views 91
December 07, 2012

Sorry I Missed Your Call

Steve Janes Blog

           Over the past six weeks I’ve been buried at work with the three snow shows that SnoWest Magazine sponsors. And during that time most of the staff has been on the dead run putting out fires and tending to deadlines.

            I have to admit, for many who have tried to reach me in the office, all they have gotten was a voice message on the phone saying “sorry I missed your call ….”

But now the shows are over, most of the deadlines have passed and my calendar is looking pretty open. So for any of you who feel it’s necessary to contact me can feel free to call. However, you will likely receive a voice message on the phone saying “sorry I missed your call … .”

            If you’re wondering what’s the deal with the answering machine … then apparently you haven’t paid attention to what I just wrote. The shows are over, the deadlines past and my calendar is pretty clear.

Translation—I’m going snowmobiling. Catch me back in the office sometime in June.


Views 119
November 29, 2012

Weight A Minute

Steve Janes Blog

           The first thing I tried to do when I pick up a new snowmobile is to fill it full of fuel, oil and a spare belt (ready to ride), and put the sled up on my scales to see the actual weight. After all, I want to know just exactly what I’m getting into once I bury it in bottomless powder.

            Weight is important to me. If one snowmobile is considerably heavier than another, it dictates how big of a riding group I need to have—the heavier the sled, the more friends I need around me.

            Of the five sleds I’ve had a chance to put on the scales, two sled weights were of particular interest to me. First, the Polaris ProRMK 600 tipped in at 505 pounds (I think that was seven pounds lighter than the 800). Second, the Ski-Doo Summit 163 came in at 578 … but that did include the electric start, but still a little heavier than I would have liked.

            Now, if we can just get some snow so I can “go stuck myself.”


Views 119
November 24, 2012

Sex And The Single Snowmobiler

Steve Janes Blog

           Let’s be perfectly clear … sometimes people can be just shameless when it comes to promoting their product.

            For example, when I write a blog, I do it out of love for the sport. However, if I were to do it for, let’s say, trying to increase web traffic, I would use certain words that would generate more interest on search engines. WARNING: Material of sexual nature.

            Instead of writing about stock sleds and mountain riding, I would use code words. For example, a stock sled could be referred as a NUDE or even NAKED “love machine” which would capture a lot of search hits. Instead of project sleds, we say XXX “no one under 18 years of age allowed” stuff. “We’d call stuff SLEAZY and refer to ASIAN or HOT CANADIAN WOMEN when talking about our snowmobiles. Touring sleds could be described in French terms and cylinders could be called BIG JUGS. And I won’t even go where two strokes and big bores could take us.

            But all of this would naturally cast a bigger net in attracting people to this blog.

So all you sexy singe snowmobilers who are lonely and want some company for some steamy action … aren’t you glad I don’t stoop that low?



Views 231
November 17, 2012

Pretty Sled

Steve Janes Blog

            The other day I noticed a very pretty sled sitting in my neighbor’s driveway. It looked pearl white and as shiny as they come.

            Knowing my neighbor, who is also my riding buddy, I didn’t think he would pick out something so clean and pure that would restrict his riding in the trees. So I asked him the story about why the sled was in his driveway.

            “It’s not mine,” he explained. “It belongs to a friend who ordered the special edition package.”

            So I asked why he had it in his driveway.

            “My friend asked to keep it at my place. He thinks if it’s here, we will take him riding with us.”

            The thoughts just exploded in my mind. A pretty white sled in perfect condition; a wannabe snowmobiler who has likely never left a groomed trail; and an early season ride into bottomless slow down steep rugged terrain inhabited by trees. This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

            So I asked: “Does he know the most people who have ridden with us don’t like to ride with us?”

            “Oh, he thinks it would be fun to try it once.” And that’s usually all it takes.

            I do sort of feel bad for the guy. A pretty white sled in perfect condition just naturally has a built-in tree magnet. I’ll be sure to bring a camera.


Views 88

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