Runnin' On Empty

I Win The Arctic Cat Award

Published in the October 2010 Issue Column

AwardI had no intention this year of writing about any of my latest snowmobiling escapades from last winter.

Those of you who follow this column on a regular basis know exactly what I mean when I say "escapade." For those of you who don't follow "Runnin' On Empty," well, let's just say I sometimes have "issues" with a snowmobile. I had one of those issues last season but, like I said, had no intention of bringing it up.


First, I really don't crash that often, except once in each of the past two years, but when I write about my unfortunate altering of a snowmobile, you guys seem to think I wreck all the time. "All the time" is a bit strong. "Some of the time" is a little better.

Second, I don't really have anything against Arctic Cat, even though it might seem that way because those two wrecks were both on Cats. I like Cat's mountain sleds. They're fun to ride and work well-sometimes even after I alter their stock look. I promise I don't have a personal vendetta against Arctic Cats. Honest.

Besides all that, it's getting a little monotonous continually writing about my untimely wrecks (by the way, when is a wreck "timely"?). I know when I crash that it's good for at least one column a season but I think I really need to branch out and cover other topics.

So, I was all set to write something tranquil this month, like how a bad day on a snowmobile is still better than a good day in the office. Oh wait, that's kind of what I'm doing now, writing about wrecking (the "bad day" part) and all. I'm not sure that was better than being in the office. I have yet to wreck a snowmobile in my office. I did, however, once spill water on my keyboard and fried it. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a pattern.

I know some folks (especially Arctic Cat) would like me to get a new hobby or passion but I just can't do it. I love to snowmobile. I can't give it up. I just need to think of how to break (literally and figuratively) my string of wrecks.

There's probably an addiction recovery program for those who chronically wreck. I think it's run by the American Cross Country Skiers (AXSC) group (and yes, that's a real organization).

I'm sure they can cure me of my semi-serious case of crashing. I'm willing to bet Arctic Cat would even pay for my treatment. Heck, it's only $15 a year to join the AXSC, which is a whole lot cheaper than an upper A-arm or a shock or a spring or, well, just about any snowmobile part.

Just as with any addiction program, you have to admit that you have a problem. That has been well documented with me. I have the pieces and parts to prove it. In fact, I need to ask Steve Janes for a bigger office because I seem to be running out of room in mine.

Okay, so I have a problem. I want to fix it. I'm a little skittish when it comes to facing certain Arctic Cat company officials after we tow in yet another sled after I altered the original look of the machine. This last time was particularly painful.

So I'm ready to break the streak. I'm open to any suggestions you might have. And I know I'm not the only one out there with this problem so you wouldn't be just helping me but perhaps a whole group of people (some of which I've ridden with-and you know who you are). So send your suggestions along.

I really don't want to go the AXSC route. About the only thing worse that seeing a Cat with bashed up A-arms would be seeing me in those really tight pant thingies cross country skiers wear. Trust me on that.

I'm beginning to feel better already. I can't wait for the snow to fly. Anyone got a sled I can borrow?

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