Sledding The County: New Rider Safety

By  | 

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine - The snowmobile season is in full swing, with many riders filling the trails of Aroostook County. Local snowmobile clubs also see it as a time to bring attention to safety.

(Chris) The biggest thing I want people to remember is to just slow down. You know, there's all kinds of different skill leveled riders out there, you've got new families, beginners, and then you have these advanced guys who might be riding a little bit faster, who know where they're going.

Chris Carroll is a board member with the Presque Isle Snowmobile Club. Because there is no offical speed limit in Maine, Carroll says the disparity in rider experience can be noticeable.

(Chris) Just use caution if you're an inexperienced rider, slow down, you know ride right and if you see a group that comes up behind you, maybe pull over and let them by, that way they don't try and pass you.

Bringing new riders to the sport is an important focus, and Carroll says there are ways to incorporate less experienced snowmobilers among veterans.

(Chris) Ride as fast as the slowest person can ride. So, you know, you want to watch out for those beginners in your group, and you always want to make sure they're sandwiched in the middle. That way, they're not trying to over ride their skill level. That's where you get into trouble.

Considering many snowmobile trails will take you far from the beaten path, Carroll stresses the importance of being prepared.

(Chris) I always carry a thermal bivy, it's a safety blanket, things like that, something to keep you warm, and extra article of clothing, extra gloves, maybe some socks, and a hat to keep you warm.

Items that may never see use, but could be handy in the right spot.