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The Times
  • Thousands make pilgrimage to Snow Bash

  • For 21 years Snow Bash has been drawing thousands from the Northeast and beyond to the Town of Ohio Recreational Park for two days of snowmobiling without the snow.

    Presented by the Ohio Ridge Riders snowmobile club, Snow Bash was packed with racing participants, spectators and vendors from all over the country and Canada on Saturday.

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  • For 21 years Snow Bash has been drawing thousands from the Northeast and beyond to the Town of Ohio Recreational Park for two days of snowmobiling without the snow.
    Presented by the Ohio Ridge Riders snowmobile club, Snow Bash was packed with racing participants, spectators and vendors from all over the country and Canada on Saturday.
    “Not only do we have riders from New York, we have riders from Canada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Michigan and Minnesota as well,” said Jim King, who announced the racing action from one of two towers at the track. “Some of the riders packed up their sled and drove more than a thousand miles to be here this weekend. The level of racing is top notch.”
    Heats of snowmobile races of all makes and models threw dust and debris into the air on Saturday, even under conditions King called “slimy,” as riders tried to post the fastest time at 500 feet.
    But for many in attendance, it was more than a race. It was a ritual they have practice since 1992.
    Charles Null, Oneonta, said he has been making the pilgrimage to the town of Ohio for years.
    “I used to race, but now I just sell the stuff that sits in my garage,” said Null, who was selling engine belts, chains and gears, among other items, at the swap meet that accompanied the racing.
    Null said he used to race snowmobiles on ice and grass, and even competed at Snow Bash.
    “If I had a mechanized wheelchair I’d probably race that. It’s just natural for people to want to go fast and to race one another,” he said. “Anything with engine. That’s what we like to race.”
    Null added many snowmobile clubs used to conduct ice and grass races of their own.
    “With the cost of insurance that has gone away, so it’s great there are events like this for people to come out and purchase parts and merchandise,” he said. “The grass drags themselves began as a way for Arctic Cat, Ski-Doo, Polaris and Yamaha to market their snowmobiles. By the time the ice races took place it was too late for someone to buy a new snowmobile, the season had begun. So grass drags were created to take place in the fall when people are looking to buy a snowmobile.”
    In addition to the races and swap meet, Snow Bash also included a vintage snowmobile display.
    The event attracts a spectator gate five to seven times larger than the town of Ohio’s population.
    Not only is Snow Bash the major fundraiser for the Ohio Ridge Runners, but various community groups also benefit from the 5,000 to 8,000 people who enter the gates each year.
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