Haslett, MI - The Take a Friend Snowmobiling Week proved to be a great success. Clubs, groups and associations across North America held fun rides, military rides, political rides and just had fun snowmobiling with friends. Following the designated week, many individuals are planning additional rides with new and old friends alike. There is still a good bit of winter ahead of us and the trails and riding areas in many areas are in phenomenal shape. Remember too that this time of year, the daylight is getting little longer and provides slightly warmer temperatures for our riding comfort.
The Take a Friend ride that I participated in highlighted again for me the WOW factor and the pure enjoyment that people have on a snowmobile. I rode with a number of first time snowmobilers and they couldn’t quit talking about how much fun it was and how they couldn’t wait to do it again. Thankfully I was well prepared for the ride and made sure that my guests were well dressed and comfortable.
I have been fortunate to have snowmobiled with the Intrepid Snowmobiler Craig Nicholson. Nicholson recently wrote an article on “how to shape your friends’ experience to help determine if snowmobiling wins over another convert.” His article hit the nail on the head when he stated that the first thing to remember is, “Your friend is not experienced. Keep the ride slow, short and simple. Chances are that your normal ride would seem like a marathon to an uninitiated friend.” A few well put words from Nicholson go a long way when introducing your friends to snowmobiling. As Nicholson highlights to me, “Don’t show off or push the envelope or challenge your friend beyond their capabilities or comfort zone. Remember, you’re the one that snowmobiles and understands his/her machine. Let your friend enjoy the day. Go slow, make it short, make it simple, and by the way ... it always helps to feed them well.”
The Go Snowmobiling/Take a Friend Snowmobiling campaign continues to expand with new additions to the Go Snowmobiling website. The Safe Riders! 22-minute safety video is now available on YouTube and can be accessed through the Go Snowmobiling website at http://www.gosnowmobiling.org/snowmobiling-resources.html#InstructionalVideo, or the ISMA website at http://www.snowmobile.org/snowmobilesafety.asp. This is a great tool when introducing a friend to snowmobiling to help make your ride more enjoyable.
If you “LIKE” our Facebook page www.facebook.com/GoSnowmobiling, you may notice that more snowmobilers are posting their pictures and their experiences to our page. We have more than 7,500 friends who visit our page regularly and it is common for our fun and informative posts to be forwarded to thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts. A new addition to the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GoSnowmobiling/app_190322544333196) and Go Snowmobiling website (www.gosnowmobiling.org/snowmobiler-survey.html) is a short general survey through Survey Monkey. We ask that everyone visiting our Facebook page take this short 10 question survey (and if you haven’t done so yet, “LIKE” our page www.facebook.com/GoSnowmobiling). This survey helps us to better understand the needs of snowmobilers, enabling us to develop programs that will benefit all of us and help us expand the trail systems and riding areas.
Remember that the Take a Friend Snowmobiling contest runs until March 31, 2015. Applications to win the contest are available on the website. Contest applications are due by April 30, 2015.
We look forward to many more late winter rides this year as it appears the ground hog was correct and winter will be with us for a while longer.