Transcript for Riding Positions
Rob: All right. Before we get out there, we want to make sure you know the four basic riding positions. There are four basic riding positions: sitting, kneeling, standing, and posting. See if you know which position to use for the following scenarios.
Scenario 1: Looking over obstacles and at road crossings
Haley: Standing gives the most visibility for looking over obstacles and at road crossings.
Scenario 2: When you want stability or are carrying a passenger
Rob: With your feet on the running board and in the foot wells, sitting gives you the lowest center of gravity for the most stability. Plus, it’s a good position if you’re carrying a passenger. And that’s only if your machine is designed for two.
Scenario 3: Riding uphill and driving past obstacles at low speed
Haley: Right on! The kneeling position lets you lean forward going uphill and shift body positions easily.
Rob: It also helps you see when crossing roads or maneuvering past obstacles at low speed.
Scenario 4: Maneuvering steep hills, rough terrain, and other obstacles
Rob: You’re right. By posting, we can use our feet and legs to absorb the shocks of rough terrain. It’s really useful when going up steep hills, too, crossing creeks, or maneuvering over other challenges. The downside is that it’s the most tiring, so we limit it to when we really need it.
Haley: And now that we’ve got those down, there is one more thing before we take off, and that is speed.
Haley: Snowmobiles have no safety features in a crash, and speed is the major cause of snowmobile incidents. So, here are the main ways to keep yourself safe.
- Use controlled braking. Controlled braking is where you depress the brake until you feel the brakes engage. Then, you gradually increase the brake pressure until the sled stops.
- Avoid panic braking. Suddenly locking up the brakes and track in a panic can cause you to lose control and possibly roll your machine. Panic braking isn’t a solution.
- Understand your stopping distance. And most importantly, understand the distance it takes you to stop. Once you see an object, it takes a certain amount of time to identify that object as a hazard and decide how to react. That time is called reaction time, and for most people, it’s about three seconds. The distance you travel in that time is called reaction time distance. If you’re traveling 30 miles per hour, you just traveled 132 feet. If you were going 45 miles per hour, your reaction time distance would be almost 200 feet. And this is before you even factor in how far your sled would travel after you apply the brakes. Your reaction distance plus your braking distance gives you your total stopping distance. The faster you go, the longer it takes you to stop. As your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples. And on top of that, you have to consider drag.
Rob: The deeper the snow, the more drag, or stopping ability, your machine has. Glare ice has the least drag—deep snow the most. Plus, if you lean your body to the rear of the seat, it puts more pressure on the track and increases your drag. And be sure to keep a safe stopping distance between you and the person in front of you. Got it?
Haley: Now that you know the basics of starting your machine and stopping it, we’re going to head out here and give you a chance to show your stuff with some riding skills.