May Not Subscribe
I found your website and was going to subscribe tonight but after reading the truth about ethanol I don't think I will.
Do you guys know that OPEC profits $1.75 trillion annually? Did you know the total value of all fortune 500 companies before the market collapse was $17 trillion and is now between $9-12 trillion? One day when OPEC controls majority ownership of all U.S. companies you will sing a different tune in relation to ethanol.
It may not be good for our engines, but it is good for our economy.
(ED-Here is my response to Wiesenburger's e-mail: "Thanks for your note. If that story concerns you then you might want to pass on subscribing to SnoWest. We are following the ethanol issue very closely and the entire snowmobile industry is worried about it because of the damage it causes small engines [and the loss of horsepower in big engines for that matter]. You may want to read the May 12 news update on SnoWest.com.
Regardless of how you feel about foreign oil, the facts are pretty clear about the loss of horsepower and engine damage to small engines with ethanol. It has the potential to wipe out an entire industry--and that's just snowmobiles.
I say let's drill in Alaska and off the coast to tap into America's own oil reserves.)
Be Very Careful
I recently rented two snowmobiles from a prominent Portland, OR, Ski-Doo dealer. We had an absolutely wonderful day of snowmobiling. I am not new to snowmobiling-I began snowmobiling at a very young age. My father is a Snowmobile Hall of Famer and snowmobiling runs in our family blood.
I was so glad to have a great day of riding and was able to introduce people who had never ridden to the sport. I was appalled when I returned the sleds to be charged almost $400 in repairs for a bent handlebar and dented bumper-both of which did not occur during my time with the sleds. Even if they had, I would think that the $225 per day the dealer charged me to rent the sleds would cover normal wear and tear.
I never considered any of this prior to renting and wanted to warn anyone considering renting a snowmobile to be aware of dealers subsidizing their shops during a slow economy and make sure to be very clear about the terms of the rental agreement. I had rented snowmobiles a few times before in my travels and had never experienced anything like this. Probably 90 percent of dealers are legitimate, but one needs to be very careful of those that are not, because they could cost you.
Port Angeles, WA
P.S. Having grown up with snowmobiles, I never needed to rent one, that is, until I moved out West. This is an issue that never occurred to me when I went to rent these, but after it happened and talking with a few other snowmobilers, I found out that it seemed to happen more than one would expect. Hopefully people can avoid this-no need to subject newcomers who might take up the sport to predatory renting like this.
Who Is Deceiving Whom?
Anyone who races anything understands the benefits of alcohol fuels. The IRL cars that compete at the Indy 500 run exclusively on ethanol. Pure ethanol has an octane rating of 113.
In 2008, ethanol kept gas prices at the pump 30 to 45 cents per gallon lower than they otherwise would have been while only raising food costs 80/100ths of 1 percent.
In a recent article published on www.snowest.com, Neil Parker called ethanol a scam. Scam . to deprive of by deceit. He stated ethanol was responsible for "significant" food inflation and that it takes more energy to produce than it creates.
In a study for the U.S. government, the Argonne National Laboratory stated in Ag Economic Report No. 813, "Corn ethanol is energy efficient. For every BTU dedicated to producing ethanol there is a 34 percent energy gain. Only about 17 percent of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from liquid fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel. For every 1 BTU of liquid fuel used to produce ethanol, there is a 6.34 BTU gain."
Mr. Parker, who is trying to deceive whom? Ethanol creates American jobs, reduces the American consumers' cost at the pump and cleans America's air. To the best of my knowledge no American soldier has died defending a corn field.
Rick A. Schwarck
Absolute Energy LLC
(ED-Here is my response to Schwarck's letter: "Ethanol is a big concern in our industry-snowmobiling. Could you please address the claims of a loss of horsepower when ethanol is used and also the effect ethanol has on small, i.e., powersports-snowmobiles, etc.- engines. I think that would be interesting and helpful to include in your response to Mr. Parker's claims." Unfortunately, I never received a response.)
More About Enjoyable Rides
Could you please write more articles about an enjoyable ride as often as your boondocking/tree bashing/lost most of the riders way back/parts breaking rides?
When I take groups out, they do return next year and do buy sleds. Then I have to answer questions about your magazine.
Via SnoWest subscription card
I took this picture of Denton Klingler on his 2007 Ski-Doo 800. Denton is always "rearing" to go.
More Readers' Photo
Just another day in north Idaho.