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Winter 2016 29 Trails Report This schematic of an old school snowmobile drag was provided by Leon Woodie Woods from the Cavendish Green Mountain Snow Fleas. The club used these drags to maintain their trail system between 1969 until around 1976 when Jack Koponen from Tyson Vermont designed a steel drag that didnt break when you hit something hard According to Woodie the wooden drags as shown in this schematic were very adaptable. You could screw a couple of door hinges to the side rail on two drags and groom double the width and then fold one on top of the other to get through the narrow sections of trail If you want to take a trip back to the golden years of snowmobiling feel free to use this design to build your own drag Thanks to Leon Woodie Woods for providing this for me to use and for all of the years of service he and his wife Gail have provided to VAST as volunteers. When you meet a groomer on the trail... Maintain a safe distance between your machine and the front of the groomer or the back of the drag. Even though the groomer is slow it may need to stop or make a maneuver suddenly. Dim your HIGH beam lights to LOW The glare in the numerous and enlarged mirrors make it difficult for the operator to see. Wait for the groomer operator to give you a sign that they see you and allow them to stop or pull over to the side of the trail so you can safely pass by them. It is often much easier for the rider to pull off the trail so that the groomer can pass by especially if you are meeting them head on in a narrow section of woods. On a fresh groomed trail try to take it a bit easy up hills in and out of corners and when accelerating.The operator has just spent hours laying down a smooth trail for everyone to enjoy not just you and your buddies Always keep to the right of the trail for obvious reasons. It also allows the drag to leave a smoother trail behind the groomer. Riding in the center of the trail created a groove and the side rails on the drag ride up on the outside making the groove difficult to cut and fill back in again. If you see the groomer lights go by it does not mean you need to get on your gear fire up the sled and head out and ride around behind the groomer all night undoing the work they have just done. Wait for the trail to set and ride it a few hours later. It will be a much more enjoyable riding experience for you and everyone else. If your snowmobile breaks down while you are out enjoying the trails be courteous enough to put it to the side of the trail so the groomer can pass by if it happens along while you are out chasing parts gasoline or a buddys sled to tow it. Last but not least please stop and help. You are VAST too While you are out riding you may come across a groomer stopped along the trail. If they are out cutting trees or maintaining the trail or are working on the machine please stop and offer your assistance. A mere minute of help holding a flashlight or removing a limb from the trail may be all that is needed to get that groomer operator home safely that night with a smooth trail behind them. Old School Smooth larger Class 1 pieces of equipment are paid 12 per traveled mile to groom. We are a service based organization where members purchase a pass that goes 100 back into the maintenance and management of the trails you ride on and enjoy. The trails are only as good as the funding source behind them When you see the groomer out there please remember to treat them with respect. Take the time to read through this list of basic practices you should follow that can make your ride more enjoyable and make the groomer operators job a bit easier. See you on the trails