It’s official: I’m too soft on Swanson. While I’m sitting here in the office banging out stories, attending meetings and “minding the store,” Managing Editor Andy Swanson is out riding snowmobiles on a wonderful spring day. Again.
Yeah, I have to admit I took some time for a wonderful trip to the Bayfield Peninsula in Wisconsin last week. And yes, I’ll get out again very, very soon – my season isn’t done yet. But Swanson is out NOW, and I’m in the office NOW. That ain’t fair!
Why? Because spring riding can be the very best riding of all. When there’s snow within 200 miles (or even 300 miles) of home this time of year, you’ve just got to find a reason to load up some sleds and go. That’s why our topic for this week’s Friday Fast Five is simple: Why Spring Riding Rocks.
- Long Days – With bright skies well past 7 p.m. once the Daylight Savings Time adjustment has been made, you can get a full day of riding in and still get home before dark. Last Friday, in fact, weather kept us in the Twin Cities far too long and we didn’t get to the Bayfield Peninsula until almost 4 p.m. Yet we still had 70 miles on the sleds by sundown. We grabbed a quick meal, rode back to the cabin and the next day we were able to enjoy most of the 12 hours of sunlight from the seat of a sled. It was wonderful.
- Better Weather – Tied to those bright skies, the warm March sun can make even a single-digit-above-zero day feel wonderful to ride in, and sub zero temperatures are mostly a thing of the past. For Western riding, you actually have to worry about sunburns this time of year – trust me, some of the worst sunburns I’ve experienced weren’t acquired on the beach in July but rather on snow at altitude in March. Don’t forget the sun screen! The riding is more comfortable at these temperatures, and the trailside stops are so much more relaxing when you can peel off your helmet and jacket and just kick back on the seat.
- Low Traffic – In trail riding areas, late March rides are often done on immaculate trails, as the grooming continues but the traffic is significantly lower than during January and February. It almost seems like you’ve got the trails – and the restaurants, hotels, etc. – to yourself.
- It’s Better Than… — Spring snowmobiling is great because it’s better than pre-Easter celebrations with the in-laws; it’s better than sitting around watching college basketball; it’s better than watching your brown grass uncovered and worrying about yard work (or cleaning up dog crap), etc. It’s just better than just about anything, quite frankly.
- It’ll Anger Some Neighbors – You know all of those winter-haters that you have to deal with? The ones who starting whining on about January 3, “Gosh, when is spring going to arrive?” Well, just to spite them, it’s fun to load up the sleds, go for a rip, come back with snow in the suspension and a smile on your freshly tanned face. Yeah, some of us enjoy winter, a lot.
Go. Go now. You won’t be sorry.