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I just finished riding 160 km (100 miles) on the coldest day in years. I decided I wouldn’t let cold weather, something we need, deter me from enjoying my favorite sport.

Luke was going to ride with me but ended up taking his kids swimming and promised to ride with me the next day when it warms up to minus 9 Celcius.

AJ was on a getaway with his wife and therefore had an excuse. Vern was in Minneapolis at the ISOC Canterbury race and I think he would have ridden with me. He’s into challenges.

However, it was pretty obvious a lot of riders in Central Ontario decided to stay indoors on January 6th 2018 even though the sun was bright, trails had been improving every day and the snow base was solid.

Yet, I probably met less than 20 sleds on a ride that would normally see a Saturday number of 200 to 300 sleds on the trails.

So here’s my point: We are northern people. I mean you and I, the people who ride snowmobiles in the US and Canadian snow belts.

We are built for cold weather and are blessed with the knowledge and equipment to conquer it. Today I rode at temperatures ranging from minus 30 Celcius to a daytime high of minus 22. Was I cold? A little. However I had the luxury of choosing a sled with an enormous windshield, a Polaris Titan Adventure.

This was without a doubt the most important component in allowing me a pleasurable ride. If I had picked a sled with any lower windshield I would not have been able to stay warm, particularly when I was running lakes at high speeds.

We are fortunate to have a sponsorship relationship with a quality clothing supplier. FXR makes quality snow-mo-clothing that’s innovative and exceptionally good looking.

They also produce a new item that made my cold weather ride pleasant. FXR’s new electric gloves are quite simply the best idea I’ve seen in years and this year, with over three weeks of record-breaking cold, they’ve proven 100-percent effective.

If you struggle with cold hands, get a pair of these quality fingered gloves. They are not cheap but one hour into a ride at minus 18 Celcius (zero Fahrenheit), all of sudden, they’re cheap.

This isn’t a commercial, it’s a statement about snowmobiling. I actually rode areas today at speeds generating wind chills close to what NASA astronauts on a space walk are subject to.

I remember a winter like this one with minus 30 Celcius temps. It was about 35 years ago and it was at a time when many sleds didn’t come with hot grips. We rode then, too.

One more thing: I did this ride because I can’t do this in July.

Mark Lester
Mark Lester
Mark Lester is Co-Publisher of SUPERTRAX Magazine and a regular Host on SNOWTRAX TV, which can be seen on Sportsman Channel across America and in Canada on OLN, Sportsman Channel Canada, Wild TV and REV TV and globally on our YouTube channel.

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