What a Winter! Already!

Considering recent years when we’ve been happy to be out at all by mid-January, the past month has certainly been a roller coaster of a season. Plenty of snow in mid-December then the crush of the ice storm, followed by numbing cold – crazy good. I’m still on the fence about this whole Polar Vortex thing, but I’m leaning towards liking it. It certainly made short work of what little damage was done to the trails by the rain this week. Most clubs had the foresight to groom the night before the rain, and the result is a base that is now like granite. Throw the regular snowfall on top of it, and we have the makings of a long happy season.
Speaking of the ice storm though, the damage to many trails was considerable and clubs within the affected area have been in high gear trying to clean up the mess the ice left behind. This is laborious and dangerous work and in spite of the fine job they’re doing, they’re a long way from being done. A few words of common sense for folks riding in those affected areas. 1) Bring along a hand saw. If you see some branches hanging in the trail, take a minute and trim them. It only takes a moment, and improves the trails for everyone. 2) If you encounter a work party clearing trails, DO NOT ask them how long they’re going to be because you’re trying to get somewhere. This is on the list of most uncool things you can do out there. And finally 3) Be careful! These conditions more than ever underscore the importance of being aware of your surroundings and what may be around the next corner.
Trail conditions are updated every weekday on our web site and the reports always include a lot of useful info from the folks that are on the ground doing the work that makes it all happen. There’s also links to the NOAA Snowpack map and other useful links for riders. http://www.mesnow.com/WherestheSnow.html
What really struck me in looking at the snowpack map in the beginning of the month was that there was almost uniform abundant snow statewide. This is always a good sign any time during the season – Enjoy!
It is still a little early in the season, but some great events are starting to cue up to add to the fun of a ride. Here’s a few picks coming up in the weeks ahead:
January 18, Greenville: B-52 Commemorative Ride hosted by the Moosehead Riders. Spaghetti lunch at noon, ride begins at 1:00 pm. http://www.mooseheadriders.com/events/
January 18, Bangor: 5th Annual Vintage Snowmobile Ride hosted by the Paul Bunyan SC. https://www.facebook.com/events/1377418562515887/
January 19, Portage: Kyle Daniel Rogers Memorial Radar Runs on Portage Lake, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. How fast is your sled? Find out safely! http://portagelakerssnowmobileclub.org/event/annual-kyle-daniel-rogers-memorial-radar-runs-on-portage-lake/

Riders gather at the B-52 Crash Site for the Annual Memorial Service

Riders gather at the B-52 Crash Site for the Annual Memorial Service

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