By: Motorhead Mark Lester
Okay, we know there’s often angst over the cost of Trail permits. There are two sides to this story. The people who build and maintain the trails we love to ride tell us it’s been years since there’s been a trail permit price increase.
However, for the tens of thousands of snowmobilers who purchase Snowmobile Trail Permits, a fee increase is a thorny topic.
Where’s the middle ground? This year trail permit prices are staying the same as they’ve been the past four years. Go ahead, do a back flip and feel good about this. For the clubs and volunteers who work hard to deliver the trails we ride, this isn’t necessarily great news. Why? The price of diesel fuel is particularly problematic right now.
Given the current economic climate, we think history will record that stable trail permit pricing in this particular season as a good thing for snowmobiling in Ontario.
We’ve come off what generally is thought to be one of the best winters ever for snowmobiling in Ontario. Most clubs delivered groomed trails for more than 12 weeks last season and some as high as 16 weeks.
This will clearly set the stage for increased permit sales this fall. Unfortunately, 2008 will be remembered as the year of record fuel price increases across North America.
Maybe it’s time to take a look at the added value that comes as part of signing up for OFSC benefits when you purchase your Snowmobile Trail Permit; benefits beyond the trails we ride.
Being involved with the OFSC again this year after a six year hiatus, I’m impressed with the scope and magnitude of the extras I get along with my trail permit purchase from the OFSC. It isn’t just sizzle either; it’s steak.
In this issue you’ll find information on Sledders Choice insurance for your snowmobiles and just about everything else you own. The savings extended to permit buyers are significant and real.
If you haven’t called the people at Sledders Choice, you’re not getting everything from your trail permit. Take a good look at what you’re paying for insurance; these folks are saving you real money.
If you’ve been looking for a way to introduce a friend to snowmobiling, check out the Give It A Try Tour dates and locations. The Give It A Try Tour is an amazing tool that has proven all you have to do is put the uninitiated onto a snowmobile for a safe, supervised experience and, presto, you’ll make new snowmobilers.
In fact, last year, some Give It A Try Tour participants actually went out and bought snowmobiles as a result of their experience.
All of us at Supertrax Go Snowmobiling Magazine are really pumped about the potential for OFSC trail permit purchasers to win great prizes through the Take a Friend Snowmobiling (TAFS) Contest.
Yamaha Canada and the OFSC, working in conjunction with Supertrax will be awarding tons of great prizes to OFSC members and their non-permit holding friends who they expose to snowmobiling this winter.
When you enter the TAFS contest, your friend could win a new Yamaha Phazer, a NorthTrail trailer and snowmobile gear. You could even win an amazing snowmobile vacation package from Algoma Country Tourism.
You have to be a permit purchaser to get in on the TAFS contest, so make sure you click off a few digital pics of you and your friends enjoying a ride this winter.
There’s another way you can be rewarded for your trail permit purchase. This reward is not about money, it’s about contributing to something you really care about.
Think about getting involved with an OFSC club as a volunteer. Even if you only give a day or two helping out with trail maintenance, brushing, bridge building, fund raising or a social activity, you’ll find, like I did many years ago, there’s something very special about contributing to the trails you ride every winter.
Often, hooking up with a club’s trail maintenance crew for a day can be the beginning of great friendships and a lifetime of satisfaction as an OFSC club volunteer.
This winter our OFSC clubs have a formidable challenge. With high fuel costs, it will be tough to keep budgets in line. Grooming equipment is already being made ready for this winter’s work.
However, the hours logged on OFSC groomers were up from 210 per unit in 2007 to 349 per unit (average) in 2008. This means repairs and maintenance will be at an all-time high.
Here’s how we see it. We can all roll up our sleeves and make sure everyone we ride with buys a trail permit. We can all think about doing something extra this fall to help our local clubs with trail preparation.
We can all do something that’ll help lessen the burden and lighten the load on the people we depend on. When you’re thinking about all you can get when you purchase your trail permit from the OFSC this year, take a moment and think about all you can give.
The rewards go beyond dollars and cents.