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Just wanted to share last night's experience!

Some guy stopped his sled in the middle of the trail. So it was either hit him or dump the sled! I wasn't driving, but all i knew is that I was going face first in the snow! Luckily the sled was ok, we're lucky that it didn't go into a tree or into the river!

My man did a good job of keeping it off of us!
 

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The last post was edited.That is why we have moderators.If a person does something stupid on the trail,it is not the brand of sleds fault,it is the dork in the seat.Jilly,I guess you really like your brand.
 

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jilly,
 if you check the guy that was in the middle of the trail his kid probably drops his bicycle anywhere and takes up more room with it than a tractor trailer does. that's the way he taught the kid.
 i tell the kids in our group never stop in a corner, make sure you can see for a mile in both directions if you do stop and both skies on virgin snow.
 

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So this reminds me of something that happened to our group last weekend. We were a group of four, all very well seasoned (I'm talking about more than a hundred years experience, combined, among us), on very high performance trail machines. We had maybe a hundred miles under our belt for the day and had run into an area I know very well. Conditions were right for a very fast run the last 10 miles of the day, mostly through a long series of twisties, one of my favorite sections. It was Super Bowl Sunday, traffic had been very light. So we decided to take full advantage of the bright day and good conditions, so rare in our area this year. We were running very fast, at the top of our capabilities. Corners were being taken in a long series of slides, big roost from the rear of our sleds. 2 big Polaris triples in the lead and 2 big Skidoo twins in back of those. We had to have been very easy to hear coming for miles with all of our machines running up on their pipes. We came flying around a corner maybe a sled length apart and entered a straight section. Parked off to the side of the trail were several older sleds, all people well off to the side of the trail. But something just wasn't right. Then there she was, a woman kneeling in the trail, not far from dead center, adjusting a toddlers coat, HER BACK TO US!  HOLY COW! I couldn't believe it.

We easily avoided them by braking hard to a reasonable speed and passing with several feet between us and them (caused quite a commotion among us to though, locked up tracks, sliding, and near misses among our own), not even a threat actually, but the thought still haunts me. I'm sure she felt threatened. I'm sure she believes I was being a reckless lunatic and the incident was entirely my fault. Even though somebody else coming through there may have been passing, may have been drinking, may not have had the forsight to be driving defensively, whatever, the list of possibilities could go on for a while. Scary, VERY scary.

I keep thinking to myself, what was on her mind? Was SHE drunk? Why didn't she act on the noise she must have heard well in advance of our arrival? Why didn't the others in her group (probably 8 or 10 people) warn her? Were THEY drinking? Was it that they were that inexperienced that they didn't realize the potential danger roaring down on them?  WHAT?

You figure they will next time? I sure hope so.

AL
 

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[/b][/quote]"We came flying around a corner maybe a sled length apart and entered a straight section. Parked off to the side of the trail were several older sleds, all people well off to the side of the trail. But something just wasn't right. Then there she was, a woman kneeling in the trail, not far from dead center, adjusting a toddlers coat, HER BACK TO US!  HOLY COW! I couldn't believe it. "<table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">

I am sure they had more reason to be suprised then you did. Travelling along a trail like you were is ten-fold more dangerous then what they were doing.
 

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"We came flying around a corner maybe a sled length apart "

Glad you don't ride around my area.
 

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Thanks for the warning Paul.

But I think that maybe the point of my note has been missed. The machines were being driven in a completely responsible  manner, by experienced drivers, with a clear view of the trail ahead. I thought I had made that clear in my note. We were driving fast, no denying that. We were not driving in a manner that would endanger anyone else on the trail system. Period. What we do amongst ourselves is our own business. (If one of us had felt challenged, for whatever reason, he would have dropped back). I was not extending an invitaion to ride with me, only being completely honest and describing the situation as I saw it. The toddler could have walked in front of any one of our sleds in safety by time we had come close enough. We passed them at a walking speed under complete control. I had been spooked well within safe stopping distance.

I was just completely taken aback by someone so oblivious to the fact that they were in danger and were not doing anything about it, even with so much warning. I was concerned thinking about what could have happened if the
if the situation had been different...

The purpose for the note was to generate thought. I'm not looking to assign blame on anyone. I'm quite honestly wanting people to examine their own habits and to put themselves in my shoes at the point I had been as I exited that corner and honestly say that they are in control of the situation.

Not looking for any self rightous writers looking to tell me how wrong I was/am. It's too easy to point fingers at others rather than looking in a mirror. What you think of me or the way I drive isn't even relevant. If you are of the notion that a sled cannot be driven fast, and safely within the capabilities of the driver, my apologies. I will not try to change your mind here. It's not what this is about. I'm talking to the people that are comfortable with that idea and asking if they are ready for a situation like the one I've described. Always ready...

Still spooked,
AL
 

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al - you may be right that they were in the wrong.

But let me ask you this:  when cruising down the highway, do you tailgate?  right on someone's bumper?
 

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Al, I agree with you. The way some trails are built there is no way to see around every corner no matter what the speed. People should not camp in the middle of the trail period.
The distance you are from your buddies is of no concern because you obviosly trust each other. You're welcome to ride in our area any time.
 

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last year about 20 miles form where i live, 3 guys were riding "maybe a sled length apart", because they "trusted each other".  The lead guy hit an unexpected large bump and fell off.  Being so close, the guy right behind ran over him.  I didn't see it, but I hear that it wasn't a pretty sight, after 192 Woody's studs got through with him.  If you wanna ride like that, like I said in a previous post, please don't do it around my area.  I don't wanna have to scoop you up.  Or someone else because of your carelessness and inattention to safety.

No matter how good you are, or who you are riding with, what you are doing just lacks common sense.

Just my opinion, of course, but I am sure there are others who feel the same way.

Thundercatzr
 

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Thundrcatzr,
Please reread the last paragraph in my note. I'm not going to try and change your mind about something you aren't comfortable with. That's something that you have to decide. I'm not going to downplay the risks involved. I've accepted them. The same as I do when climbing into an acrobatic airplane or onto a street bike. You want to get all rightous about something? How about a guy who is driving on a revoked drivers license (DUI), pulls out of a side street in front of a mototcycle causing a fatality in front of witnesses, and receives 90 days probation? The bike had 3 halogen headlights turned on and the 73 year old judge handed down the sentence with the comment that "bikes are hard to see".  A guy on a sled was killed in an open field by hitting the only tree stump in sight. Does that mean that you will never go play in an open field? Point being that there are risk levels involved in a lot of things. Only you can decide how far you want to go. To sit there and condemn others for their decision?

But this is getting off the topic, I'd be happy to debate this in a dedicated area. I would also find it hard to draw similarities between a 4500 lb vehicle tailgating in traffic behind someone they've never met, and the situation I've described over familiar turf.

AL
 

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Try telling the Sheriff's patrol or the local Conservation Officer how experienced and responsible you are after they observe your antics.  I'm sure that they'll take that into consideration while writing and issuing you a "coupon" for Operating in an Unsafe Manner.  A couple of years ago, I watched three such experts run a C.O. off the trail in a curve; took seven miles to catch them but that gave the officer a little more time to admire their "abilities".  Oh, at the end of the encounter they went on their way a whole lot humbler and and soon to be somewhat poorer.
 

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Trail cop,
Get your facts straight bud. Start at the top. Sliding around a corner is not wreckless until the centerline is crossed. There are no speed limits on the trails in Michigan. I've endangered nobody. What you say regarding the situation doesn't even make sense. I've told the complete truth here and would put any part of what I've done on tape and show it to any expert for their examination if I were able. There was nothing illegal or wreckless. You've managed to completly miss what's going on.

People, I'm trying to steer this conversation to be about responsibility, and the question is: Assuming you are comfortable at speed, have you considered, and are you willing to accept, the consequences of your actions? Completely?

This is something that I am working on myself, and it would appear that I am not able to bring others in to discuss this
without confusing the issue. I'd like it to be known that I would not/have not put myself in a position to harm others by my actions. The machine and I would be out in the woods if that occasion were to arise. It's that simple. Please don't try to read anything otherwise into it.
AL
 

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Whew!!!   You got yourself in a pickle with that post .   MY .02  is speed has a lot of risks.  I always look at the risks when  I am the one operating.  car snowmobile or bike.  and I like to think I ride in control of what I am operating I can understand very well ;your position  and the conditions you describe.   The problem is we are in the minority.    Your riding skill and your reflexes were able to prevent a tragidy.  This time anyway.  and you desereve credit for it.
but be aware that most people are not operators they are only holding handlebars or a steering wheel  and never get to operate a piece of equipment to its limits.  and know they are still in control.    I base this observation being a crane operator and forklift instructor.   and the many hours I have operating equipment at its limit.  You apparently learned from this experiance and know to be aware of around the next corner or when you top a hill.  and also what you post.  I hope trail cop can retain his good sense of being a human and does not turn into a dudley doright when he wears his uniform.   unfornunatly we do need policemen in our society,   The hard part for them is the training that teaches them to look at things in only one way.  There are always varibles to anything.   common sense and good judgement go alot farther than any law.
 

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Al, I guess we will agree to disagree.  I do not agree with your style of riding and never will.  I ride bikes, boats, and also fly airplanes, and feel that safety is always of the utmost importance, not just for others, but for myself.  And my family.  I hope you are never coming towards me on that corner.

Ride safe.
 

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I think I can see where everyone is coming from on this topic. Some would say that if your going to ride that fast keep it to a race track, I would hope then that they can honestly say that they ride the maximum speed limit posted and never go over it all the time.
At any speed, a person in the middle of the trail is a hazard. It all depends on where in the corner they are. If a person is in the middle of a corner and you don't see them, 55 or 100 is not going to make difference. You as a rider has to make up his mind as to what speed you want to ride at.
Like Al said, they should have heard the sleds coming, no matter how fast they were going. Unless the wind is howling or all your sleds arerunning, you should be able to hear a sled along way off.
I know when we stop along a trail quite often we hear sleds coming long before we see them. Don't even know where they will come from, but we make sure the trail is clear for them.
Lets face it everyone will have a different opinion on how fast they can/should/would/do ride. As long as nobody gets hurt its safe.
 

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Thundercatzr,
Sir, how can I convince you that if there is going to be a problem in a corner as we approach each other, with my current riding style, that it will not be because  I am on the wrong side of the trail?

Why is it that you assume because I am going fast that I am some out of control lunatic?

You are failing to understand the concept that running fast while under control is a possibility. That is where we differ.
If you are firm on this, then yes, I will agree to disagree.

alindazip, you sir, understand. Thank you.

AL
 

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Al, I have no problem with running fast and under control - I love the speed myself - the problem I have is doing it "maybe a sled length apart".  To my mind, there is just not enough of a safety factor built into this.  The slightest little error can have disastrous consequences.

"We came flying around a corner maybe a sled length apart."  What if the lead guy touched his brake.  The guy behind would hit him, creating at least 2 out of control sleds.  Now what if someone were coming the other way into that corner?

"You are failing to understand the concept that running fast while under control is a possibility." - No, I am not.  I am running a T-Cat and regularly run well over 100 mph.  But I do it in a safe fashion.  Riding on a trail "maybe a sled length apart"  has no inherent safety factor whatsoever.
 

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Ok  Time for one more reply  Then I am going riding.   I do like the posts.  it helps keep in persective  and fresh in my mind  what can happen when you ride areas where there are a lot of sleds on the trails.  It is refreshing to see intelligent people civily disscussing touchy subjects  It is a good thing I have to leave right now or I will get longwinded again.  have fun and safe riding if you have snow to ride.
 
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