Five Excellent Tips for Snowmobiling Safety
Winter’s almost here. And with it comes the season to uncover your snowmobile for a whole new series of wind-chapped escapades!No, you don’t need another sermon on the hazards of riding your winter cruiser — you’ve heard it all alright. So none of those obvious tips such as “never ride without a helmet” or “stay away from the dark,” etc.
What can be really helpful, however, are snowmobile safety tips that you yourself may have never considered. Below are 5:
1. Take good care of your 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 be lifesaving:
S – Scan your field of vision constantly and don’t let your eyes fix on any point for too long.
P – Predict the worst so you’re never off guard.
I – Identify perils in advance.
D – Decide on your actions before dangers can come near.
E – Execute what you have planned.
If you ride so tense, your snowmobile will simply plow straight ahead.To be more flexible, you have to be 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. For a lot of riders, their natural tendency is to use their arms when changing course when it’s actually the legs that can dictate your snowmobile’s path best.
4. Stay away from frozen water.
There are so many nasty riding conditions waiting out there on the water — harsh falls, ice cracking, not-so-predictable snowmobilers, and the rest. Though some riders still decide to brave the ice, if you want to be safe, just turn around and move the other way.
5. Avoid riding by yourself or use a satellite system.
It’s always good to ride with at least one person so you can watch each other; if that’s not possible, map out your route and tell friends and family back home. Or invest in a GPS messenger that allows you to link with social networks, even in the farthest areas. Best of all, GPS messenger will send a direct signal to rescue centers near the area in case you crash, giving you and your loved ones peace of mind. This tool won’t be for free, but the difference it can make is huge in terms of your safety.