Snowmobiling Madness

Alright, I like winter as much as anyone else in Duluth and don’t want to spoil people’s fun. That being said, I have a neighbor who is a bit of a snowmobile enthusiest. He likes to ride his snowmobile around his yard ad nauseum at all hours of the night. He also likes to ride up and down the street and all over the schoolyard accross the street, especially when parents and kids are sledding. I have talked to him about this but he isn’t what you would call neighborly. Is this even legal to do? It seems a trail or a lake would be a better spot than a small yard or public space to ride around. Do I have a legitimate complaint or am I being the old guy shaking his fist at everyone?

20 Comments

TimK

about 10 years ago

There was a post back on Feb. 10 about snowmobile ethics that raised similar issues. Worth a read for ideas and a little commiseration.

DaVe

about 10 years ago

As a snowmobiler once told a friend of mine, "Dinks gotta have fun, too." Some small towns allow snowmobiles on public streets, but I doubt that Duluth does. That school yard should be out of bounds, too.

annefluke

about 10 years ago

In related news, snowmobiles wrecked half of the freshly-groomed Lester cross-country ski trail yesterday. It takes hours to groom those trails, and the groomer had been working since 2am. The City is aware of this ongoing problem on the Lester, Peidmont, and Spirit/Magney XC trails. As much as I "dis" snowmobiling as an activity, it is legal and I think most snowmobilers respect trail signs...but it only takes one inconsiderate jerk to wipe out a ski trail. Thanks to the snowmobilers who helped push my car out at Jay Cooke yesterday when I was out there skiing : )

quirtep

about 10 years ago

That's a tough one.  It must be immense fun to drive around the neighborhood on a snowmobile, but I guess fun isn't a sufficient rational.  You have to treat your neighbors with respect no matter what hobbies you engage in.  He should take his noisy contraption out of city limits.

andrew

about 10 years ago

Here is a PDF of the relevant municipal codes.

Good luck trying to get the police or anyone else to enforce anything.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

Have any of you priced out underground cable lately, or have any idea how much it cost(s) for the lights at Lester?  Tens of thousands I'm guessing. So how much would it cost for the city, in todays dollars,  to add a security camera to catch these bastards?  Fifty bucks?  The lack of response and effort along these lines is breathtaking.  But as I've stated before, I really doubt the mayor/etc are aware Lakeside/Lester even exists.  It would explain why the road is blocked where it is, where there is obviously no problems to the road going up to where the usual trailhead parking is.

Even though it's nice having Skyline permanently closed, it would also partially explain why 'youths' can enter at any time, poach as many deer as they want, break the law in whatever way they see fit, and fear nothing from the law.  Criminals, if you rob a bank, I would simply hide at any of the 'Mo' Lester parking lots.  They'll never find you there.  It's also a great place to drink Colt 45 and smoke marijuana in public.

kerc

about 10 years ago

I suspect the road is blocked where it is because about halfway up the straight section of the road to where you used to park to ski there's a huge section of the road that's super likely to slide in a small landslide/slump.  The road is cracking and there are small scars from previous such events.

But I'm with you on the video camera Herzog. Cheap, IMO.

And finally, in the spirit of not everyone who snowmobiles is a dink: I skied Lester today and a guy on a snowmobile had a Minnesota standoff with me over who was supposed to go first in crossing the ski trail. I was finally convinced that he was not going to run me over and crossed the snowmobile trail. Clearly he was one of the three dudes in his group not interested in hitting a skier.

bluenewt

about 10 years ago

A pal of mine had a very ugly run-in with a snowmobiler on Amity Trail last week. He nearly killed her, going way too fast, and then stopped to threaten her and cuss her out for being on the trail at all. Amity Trail is marked multi use, not snowmobile trail, on city maps. It makes me wonder if the same person wrecked the ski trail. There's no way that could have been an accident. It's clearly marked ski trail, with multiple signs, where the snowmobiler got on.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

I understand a young man's disregard for the rules.  I was him. Doing it for the sheer lawlessness of the thing.  I still get that feeling every now and then.  If it's a stupid law,  I'll still ignore it. The Keep Off the Grass sign in my kitchen reminds me of this. I understand how some of these fairies don't see the harm, what's a ski trail right?  I was always the guy yelling out the window at road bikers hogging the road, 'You're not Lance Armstrong!'  But road biking is stupid, yet skiing, now that's glorious. 

Sure I'll probably inherit the four stroke my dad just spent his retirement on, but instead of riding it around Lester like some human jackass, I'm gonna take that dirty whore to Moscow, and whip shitties around the Kremlin.

digit3

about 10 years ago

Amity Trail, if you're talking about the one along Amity Creek between Seven Bridges and Amity Road, is clearly marked No XC skiing.

bluenewt

about 10 years ago

My friend wasn't skiing.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

At Lester tonight, there was a beel-stank all through the lower laying valleys.  The strange part is I didn't hear a machine all the way, but there was that goddamn stank everywhere, where you should be able to get clean air. For some reason this scent that makes me see red.  It's like the entire valleys of Lester were shit-stained during the dusk hours... I don't know how you can smell oil and gas fumes when there aren't any snowmobiles, but you can.

But who I really want to throttle, is the hosier who made the Dipshit  Trails, interlace with the ski trails. It's a constant reminder of the mentality we're dealing with here.

duluth_bishop

about 10 years ago

"I'm gonna take that dirty whore to Moscow, and whip shitties around the Kremlin." Best. Reply. Ever. Still laughing.

The Big E

about 10 years ago

The chief of police is hereby given authority to appoint special policemen who shall serve at no expense to the city, and who shall have the power to enforce all of the ordinances of the city of Duluth and the laws of the state of Minnesota relating to the ownership or operation of snowmobiles within the city of Duluth, and for such purpose such special policemen shall have the power of arrest and the power to issue summonses pursuant to the provisions of Section 33-45 of the Duluth City Code, 1959. (Ord. No. 7954, 10-30-1972, § 1.)

Herzog, you could print that out and take it to the next city council meeting to demand a tin snowflake badge.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

Hey, I want to see what a 237 pound dude on skis tackling a 37 mph beeler looks like as much as the next guy.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go grab another beer.

B-man

about 10 years ago

@bluenewt--"a very ugly run-in with a snowmobiler on Amity Trail last week. He nearly killed her, going way too fast,"  

Holy subjective description Batman!

-Very ugly run in?  Please define ugly and go on to describe how it was "very".

-Nearly killed her?  how near, is she in the ICU?  did she need a medivac?

-Going way too fast.  please define what fast is and then give us the operational definition of way too.

The trail you are talking about is a mixed use trail, but during the winter it is primarily a snowmobile trail.  Did you think the groomer was for pedestrians? Non motorized traffic is supposed to yield.  Please stop being so dramatic.  There are many more places in this city that allow walking than allow snowmobilers, so.... maybe move over, contain your dog and let them pass?

As for the dink riding on the ski trails, he is an ass.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

Change in tune.  From now on,  I encourage all you thumb monkeys to beel the crap out of the ski trails at Lester, because the city, bozos they are, lack the fortitude to use the Mn Ski Pass funds where they are intended. 
So, as you now groom the Lester ski trails on your wonderful machines, try to do it in a linear, side by side fashion. If you do not, I will assume your lack of 'testicular temerity' is what I suspected it to be in the first place.

Herzog

about 10 years ago

Trust me, no one will catch you.  And I will forever more think of you as having proper cajones. Put that piece of shit video game down, and do what needs doing.

B-man

about 10 years ago

@bluenewt

I am sure I know of the incident to which you are referring.  Here is the information you have left out. This meeting on the trail was the second time these two individuals had met that evening.  

Both times the walker's dog was unleashed and charging the snowmobile driver. (city parks require a leash).

At the second meeting the driver stopped and asked the walker to keep her dog off the trail so he would not run into it and injure it.

There were no threats, there was no danger of the person being hit by the snowmobile (same cannot be said for the dog).

The only ugly part of the interaction is the resolute defensiveness of the walker on her responsibility as a pet owner and responsible citizen of our wonderful city.

Most snowmobile drivers follow the laws and obey posted signs, same as car drivers.  Some make their own rules at the expense of others, same as car drivers.  If they are out of bounds report them, if you are out of bounds STFU.

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