Snow can be a great time but if there’s snow, there’s cold weather and that means being prepared for colder temperatures, adverse weather conditions and an entirely different type of terrain. Got the right cold weather and survival gear for winter riding? Is your machine in good enough shape to get you to your destination before the sun goes down and it starts to get really cold? If you answered yes to all of the above, then follow these safety tips for riding in the white stuff:
- Check the weather before you go. If the forecast says it will be too cold or too snowy for you to have good visibility, you should reschedule and ride another day.
- Ride with extra care when it starts to warm up – when the frozen landscape starts to thaw, it will be extra slippery… everywhere.
- Avoid and look out for any soft snow. Stick to groomed trails if you can. They’re always the best and safest for riding on.
- Understand that not all snowmobile trails allow OHV access. Check with local law enforcement to know before you go.
- Wear extra layers to stay warm and dry and add a windproof top layer that will help offset the wind chill. The wind chill will make the temperature feel much colder than it is.
- Make sure you’ve got GREAT gloves and tinted or polarized goggles that will help reduce the blinding glare of the bright sun on white snow.
RIDER SAFETY TIP: DICEY ICE
Think of ice like pavement that’s been covered in oil. It’s just as hard as pavement but twice as slippery. You should always avoid riding on frozen waterways but if you come across ice on your path, here are some safety tips that will help you cross it safely:
- Drive slowly and leave a wide stopping distance. You won’t be able to stop quickly on ice. Guaranteed.
- Only drive across a frozen lake or river if you’re 100% sure it’s frozen solid. On second thought, make that 110%.