Editorial: Crack the throttle and hang on

by Andru McCracken, Editor


Too fast into a corner? Don’t flip, give it gas!

It’s a cliche, but it’s true.

As a young man I used to ride a motorcycle around the city of Edmonton. Specifically I took my 1978 Suzuki GS550E on the Groat Road to work. I found I could reach very high speeds at 5 am. Traffic was light and I could use both lanes and a bit of the shoulder as a safety margin. Groat Road is a winding, curvy stretch of road climbing out of Edmonton’s river valley; it’s like catnip for motorcycles, and more than a few have crashed there.

One of the things I discovered during that irresponsible period was that when things got out of control, a little throttle (okay, a lot of throttle) would help pull the bike and I out of a nasty situation. I’m timid at heart, so I didn’t try this on purpose, it just seemed to happen. When in a panic, the throttle on the bike opened up. Contrary to logic, the bike sticks the corner and makes the turn.

I hear it’s the same with snowmobiles, though I have never experienced this.

But the principle is solid and motorheads of all stripes will tell you the same thing, in a pinch: apply throttle and hang on.

You may have learned this for yourself in your own vehicle, skating across black ice, hydroplaning across wet highway or losing control on washboard. Point the wheels where you’d like to go and apply the gas.

Reaching for the brakes will end in certain tragedy.

Now I’m not here to help you learn how to ride your sled or drive your car through adverse conditions. I’m not the least qualified for that. The reason I bring it up is because our communities have hit a rough patch that is sending us spinning.

In Valemount the delay of the Valemount Glacier Destinations resort is real downer. It’s got us in a high speed slide.

In McBride, not everything is going as planned. The school board announced a few weeks ago it is toying with a school amalgamation, and there are some clouds on the horizon.

But it’s not the time to hit the brakes.

As a community let’s apply the same smarts that our local kid Tyler Fowler used to win big on race day.

Pin it to win it.

Let’s steer in the direction we want to go. And open the throttle wide.

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