Five Excellent Tips for Snowmobiling Safety
It’s almost winter! And of course, it’s another season of new wind-chapped adventures with your snowmobile!You sure don’t need another lecture on the risks of riding your winter cruiser — you know them already. So none of those obvious tips such as “never ride without a helmet” or “stay away from the dark,” etc.
What you can actually use, though, are snowmobile safety tips that may have never occurred to you at all. Here are 5:
1. Take care of snowmobile.
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Half your snowmobile safety is what you do before you ride it — and you’ve got to do more than just fill the gas and squeegee the windshield. As the riding season begins, you have to give your snowmobile a total check: battery should be clean and charged, spark plugs and filters must be replaced, and all fluids have to be topped off. As you ride, keep up with your basic snowmobile maintenance routines such as ski alignment, brake inspection and chassis lubrication every number of weeks.
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2. Remember: SPIDE.
SPIDE is an acronym that can save your life:
S – Scan your surroundings often and don’t stick to one field of vision for too long.
P – Predict the worst so you’re never off guard.
I – Identify risks ahead of time.
D – Decide on your actions before dangers can come near.
E – Execute your plans.
3. Let loose.
Riding tense will make you plow straight ahead.For your snowmobile to be more flexible, you must stay limber.When you make a turn, your entire head must turn in that direction. Also, shifting your lower body around the sled is something you can train yourself to do. Several riders tend to use their arms in changing course, but what can really dictate your snowmobile’s path best are your legs.
4. Keep away from frozen water.
Every little nasty riding condition is out there on the water — lack of traction, unpredictable behavior from other snowmobilers, cracking ice, and all the rest. Some riders still want to take the risk on the ice, but your safest bet is to turn around and go an alternative route.
5. Avoid riding by yourself or use a satellite system.
Ideally, you should always ride with at least one companion; if that is not possible for some reason, just plan your route well ahead and leave notes with your family and friends back home. Or buy a GPS messenger so you can stay connected with the world, even in remote areas. Best of all, a GPS messenger will send alerts to nearby rescue stations in the event that you crash, so that you and your loved ones can have peace of mind. This tool is not for free, but it can make a big difference as far as your safety is concerned.