It’s been a good, interesting week. Here are five things that I learned (or re-learned) during the past seven days.
1. The Right Track Clips Are Hard To Find — This is kind of a rant, but bear with me. I’m trying to help a friend replace worn track clips on a Polaris track he bought at a swap meet or Craigslist, but tracking down the right clips is more difficult than I expected. If I knew the year and model of the snowmobile this track was originally on — I’m guessing the track is about 10 years old — I could look up the clip part numbers by going to that machine’s parts fiche. But no. There is a part number embossed into the track, but the number is no longer valid, so I can’t trace it back to the sled it was on. I’ve made educated guesses and looked up clip part numbers on six or eight Polaris sleds from the past decade, but that’s revealed a few different clips. Who knows which ones are correct? A guy at one shop said to measure the clips that are on the track and report back to him. Wish me luck.
2. Community Involvement Is Fun — The town where I live hosted its annual festival last weekend. It’s a kickoff to summer that includes fireworks, a softball tournament, live music, carnival rides and games, a parade and a few thousand locals hanging out. You’ve probably been to an event just like it. As a volunteer who helps pull off the event, I work with a lot of great people in order to plan it, we work a few evenings leading up to it and then many hours over course of the weekend to hang banners on the softball field fences, set-up the beer garden and then help the snowmobile club pour beer during the concert. It all has to get torn down at the end of the event, too. Last weekend’s festival reminded me that working with great people isn’t work, it’s fun.
3. Lake Superior Is Deeper Than I Thought — Almost 100 years after the Henry B. Smith freighter sank in Lake Superior during the Great Lakes Storm, a group of shipwreck hunters believes it has found the ship — largely intact. It was found under about 530 feet of water, north of Marquette, Michigan. News of this discovery caused me to do some light research of the Great Lakes, and I learned that Lake Superior has a nearby maximum depth of 1,332 feet.
4. A New Clutch Is Coming, Soon — I learned that a drivetrain company is getting close to revealing a new CVT clutch for snowmobiles (and ATVs and UTVs). Claims are that it speeds up vehicle acceleration and it’s packaged smaller than conventional snowmobile clutches so it can fit into smaller cavities. Stay tuned about this technology.
5. Helmets Save Lives — While riding his motorcycle on a freeway near Minneapolis last Friday morning, Reed, my friend and fellow snowmobile club member, fell victim to a dumb deer. It tried to cross six lanes of 75 mph traffic, but instead was struck by a car. This caused Reed to run over the deer. Reed fell off of his Yamaha and slid down the freeway, only to be run over by not one, but two vehicles — one of which dragged him for a distance. Fortunately, it looks like Reed will be OK after months of recovery, but if not for the helmet that was on his head, a leather jacket and other protective gear he wouldn’t be this lucky after being so unlucky. If you won’t wear a motorcycle helmet for yourself, wear it for the people who care about you.