Milt Forsberg (miltf@UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Thu, 5 Feb 1998 21:58:58 -0600
I agree with most of your points. However, I never said snowmobiling was
as safe as a bike. I believe, if you will check the notes, the comment was
made about "leave no trace". My comment was that bikes can make ruts. As
far as danger, yes, I agree. I hope everyone will get the proper training
before riding. I am a certified State of Illinois Volunteer Snowmobile
Safety Instructor. I have been taking Scouts in my troop riding for over
25 years. I am very fussy about safety. We have used the hospital once
during this time. That was for a bruised knee when someone put their foot
out in some bushes before stopping. I expect the boys to respect the
machines or they don't ride. Training is important, just as with any
other activity. I do require boys to pass the safety course prior to
As for danger, I would much prefer to lead youth on snowmobiles rather
than run a rifle range. Rifles can be so much more dangerous, yet we have
a range in almost every Scout camp. Any dangerous activity needs to have
very tight control. All motor vehicles included. I am not into killing,
so I would perfer we ban guns from activities, but others seem to have a
"good" use for them, so I don't complain much.
When you mention damage to trees, this is a people problem, and please
don't blame it on the vehicle. It is due to stupidity and lack of concern
by the drivers, not the vehicle itself. Should we blame autos for all the
accidents on the highways? Or is it the drivers?
Anyway, don't be too harsh on the vehicle. Push for more and better
training of people. Maybe if it was more a part of our program, more
people would be trained properly!
I can't rember seeing an avalanche in Wisconsin or Illinois.
SM, Troop 7
On Thu, 5 Feb 1998, JHMoss wrote:
> Snowmobiling is not as safe as riding a bike. Snowmobiling is closer to
> riding a motorcycle. 99.9% of the parents in the world would not allow
> their kid to drive a motorcycle that can go 50 miles an hour. Yet it
> happens all the time out here. 70% of our avalanche deaths are
> snowmobilers. Most accidents happen because people are following to close
> (in Colorado) and the snowmobile in front turns and the 2nd one hits a tree
> or goes over a cliff. Granted the physical environmental impact on snow
> without hitting trees is minimal. But I guaranty you I can walk out into
> any 3-5 year growth of trees here and tell you if people have been
> Snowmobiling. The tops are all gone.
> However, they smell and are noisy. I do not want them barred from the
> woods, I just am tired of slogging into to dig them out.
> Bikes are human powered. You speed is limited to your ability to pedal.
> Your breaking distance is based on your ability to pedal. The number of
> deaths per year from cyclists hitting trees is no where near what it is for
> snowmobiles hitting trees.
> Youth should not be allowed on snowmobiles until they know what they are
> doing. Three years ago I hauled out to a crash site where I watched a 14
> yr. old kid eventually die from a ruptured spleen. His mother has partial
> paralysis on one side. The kid had talked her into letting him drive. He
> buried it in deep snow on the side of the trail. To get out he gunned it
> and went over an embankment on the other side.
> If you bike runs off the bike path you pick it up or shove it back on.
> Most people can't do that with a snowmobile. They do not provide any
> anaerobic activity that I can determine except to occasionally dig them
> Some communities are extremely dependent upon them. A lot of search &
> rescue operations are dependent upon them. They save lives. Like guns,
> cars, and motorcycles, in the right hands they are fun and beneficial.
> Those hands need to be mature before they should be entrusted with a
> dangerous weapon.
> Yours in Scouting
> Jim Moss
> 12340 W. Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80228-2841
> Eagle Class of 69, Vigil, Denver Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City