Snowmobile Online Editor

Sep. 01, 1999 By Brad Canfield

This month we introduce another section of Snowmobile Online, we call it ?Thinkin? Snow?. From this time forward, this section will house our thoughts about current hot topics (as defined by the Staff) concerning snowmobiling. We wish that everything could simply be riding and machines, but we realize that stud-bans, trail closures, noise ordinances and land access issues significantly impact our enjoyment of the sport, and, since we have this soap box we have decided to use it. Off-Road.Com (ORC) has taken the position of off-road advocate, and recently we have spun up some radical environmentalists with our stance. We at Snowmobile Online believe more of the folks who enjoy sledding should speak up for their rights before they are gone.The Blue Ribbon Coalition Toward this end, we host the Blue Ribbon Coalition on ORC, we recommend that every sledder join a local club and their state association and practice Tread Lightly principles when they are enjoying the Outdoors. Most of us would rather ride than talk about land use, so joining an organization such as the Blue Ribbon Coalition and supporting their advocacy efforts gives us a united voice in land access issues. Please take time to visit their site as well.

A year ago this month we launched Snowmobile Online here at Off-Road.Com, and now seems to be a good time to take stock of where we are and where we want to go. Our initial plans were to develop a site which met the needs of sledders from newcomers to crusty old timers by hosting content which ran the gamut from new sleds to vintage machines, from basic operations to detailed technical procedures and from accessories to destinations all presented in as unbiased of an environment as possible. The staff here at Snowmobile Online have a very extensive background with sleds and with the Internet; Doug and Dan were instrumental in creating Rec.Sport.Snowmobiles in the Usenet world, and most of us have been active in alt.snowmobiles for years (see the Bios at the left for more details). Being from different parts of the country allows us to provide content pertinent to the various styles of sledding available in North America and other snow-blessed areas of the world. This combined with our view that the Internet would allow us to provide sledding information in a timely manner, prodded us to start this sight. All of us love sledding, and we wanted to share our knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

By virtue of publishing a monthly magazine online, we can respond quickly to changes and breaking news as well as provide information regarding for example, new model performance, without having to predict it 3 or more months in advance to meet our printing deadlines. We are also providing events publicity, how-to articles on all sorts of sled related topics, groomer information, and free classified ads and bulletin board services. New topic specific lists are coming online soon, and we are pulling together databases of sled specifications and snowmobile related products and services. We are happy to date with our site?s development, and we think within the next few months it will become even better. Another advantage we have is contributions from our reader?s. Our format accommodates reviews and submissions from all areas, and, if a new area comes to our attention, we can add a place for it easily. Take a moment to look around, and you will see material from many sources. If you are so inclined, submit something yourself.

As we move into our second year, we plan to keep focused on providing the best sledding information available (online or printed). Some folks complain that the print magazines are too kind to manufacturers as a result of their dependence on advertising dollars. We think that a digital magazine limits this dependence and allows us to be more candid in our reviews. We have established ourselves with the major manufacturers, and we plan to be even-handed with our presentations. We trust that truthful reports are appreciated by all.

We hope you enjoy our work, and we invite you to become a regular here at Snowmobile Online. We are always open to suggestions and hope you will take time to let us know how we can improve our magazine.

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