I had words with some people on snowmobiles towing their kids up the toboggan hills behind Hillcrest Sunday afternoon, and wanted to express myself more civilly and clearly than I managed in that moment.
That moment was when a snowmobile crested the hill and began to descend toward my three-year-old daughter. I think the driver likely saw her about the same time I yelled, “Stop!”
In retrospect, I doubt that she was ever in any real danger, but the possibility got me going: “Why do you have to bring your snowmobiles here anyway!?” Neither of us were at our best in this exchange. I’m sure. His defence, that snowmobiles maintain the winter trails, is one I’ve heard before and, while I recognize that snowmobiles can quickly pack trails deep into the woods, there are also narrow footpaths through the woods in the greenbelt which are maintained by dedicated walkers. Moreover, we don’t need snowmachines to make toboggan runs—people have been doing this well before snowmobiles existed.
These families were having good fun and not driving recklessly. I don’t mean to suggest that they were mindless yahoos (the easy stereotype of snowmobilers). But a snowmobile IS an imposing machine.
To call them noisy is an understatement. And they stink. And if they hit you or your kids (unlikely, but always a possibility) they will cause serious injury or death.
In short, for everyone else they change the experience for the worse.
So why do people think this is OK?