Learning to Drive

One Friday evening last year Karis and I were hanging out and we got a craving for junk food. Kyle urged us to take the snowmachine to the store to get snacks for ourselves.

“But, Kyle, I don’t know how to drive the snowmachine,” I objected.

“You know how to drive it,” he countered, “You just have trouble starting it sometimes. But I just charged the battery today so it wil start right up.”

So we went outside, I started up the snowmachien and then I drove us to the store. After buying some delicious junk food to eat while we watched our movie, we emerged from the store.

“Uh oh,” I said to Karis. “You’re going to need to drive.”

“Why?” she asked, “You did fine on the way here.”

Looking at where it was parked I explained, “I don’t know how to turn it around.”

So Karis hopped onto the driver’s seat and I sat in the back as she turned the snowmachine around and brought us back to the house.

When we entered the house Karis exclaimed to Kyle, “Did you know that Erika doesn’t know how to turn the snowmachine around?”

Incredulously, Kyle asked, “Really?”

I shyly answered, “Yes, really.  Last year when I drove to Shaktoolik it was only a straight path, I never needed to do a lot of turning and I never learned how to turn it around either.”

Jump forward to Thanksgiving Break this year. Kyle and I now have snowmachine helmets equipped with bluetooth headsets so that we can talk to each other while we are out riding.  Over Thanksgiving break we decided to go out and do some driving practice so that I could finally learn how to turn.

We went out of town a bit until we came to a nice clear spot. Kyle hopped off the snowmachine, stood behind me, and said, “Ok, now turn all the way around.”

I barely touched the throttle and slowly turned about ¼ of the way around before I stopped and squealed, “Eeep! I don’t know how to get it the rest of the way around!”

Kyle coached me the rest of the way around and I eventually finished the turn. Then he said, “Again.”

Once again, I got turned part of the way and then squealed, “Eeep, I can’t make it all the way.” Once again Kyle coached me through the rest of the turn.

When I returned to Kyle he said, “I’m turning off the bluetooth headset. You can do this. Just remember to give it more gas, that will help.”

So off I went, turn after turn after turn. The first few were admittedly weak, they were very wide and I often had to stop in the middle of the turn. After a while I started to get the hang of it and could make it through a whole turn without stopping. After much practice I can say that I can now turn the snowmachine around all by myself.

Erika Written by:

One Comment

  1. Mom
    December 28, 2010

    Yeah, pretty important to be aeble to turn!

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