Vintage snowmobiles and tradition

Thanks to the recent snowfall accumulation there’s still time to get out and ride the trails, but there’s some snowmobilers out there that may have you turning your heads and re-thinking your family time.

Posted: Mar 7, 2018 6:49 PM
Updated: Mar 8, 2018 9:14 AM

John Mudge is a mechanic by trade, but he spends a good amount of his spare time working on vintage snowmobiles. John’s father started teaching him how to fix these machines when he was around ten years old. He also used to take him sledding right up here next to the television station. For a boy of ten it was a dream come true.

"This is kind of like the X-Box of the 1960’s and 70’s. This was a big thing. Geeze when Dad brought this home like, what little kid wouldn’t be happy with a mini-bike or snowmobile."

John has such an admiration for these machines, he’s now acquired a collection. Now John is continuing the tradition with his own son Johnny. While he doesn’t take the sleds out every day, he does ride them on nicer days, and the time he’s spending with his son riding these machines is priceless.

Johnny Mudge, a third-generation snowmobiler says: "I think it’s cool because I never got to meet my Grandfather on his side so it’s pretty cool to use what he used."

Howard Bushinger is the man who recorded John Sr. back in the 70’s. He remembers what it was like to ride on sleds with limited suspension.

"I was on the back of a 71 Artic Cat facing backwards there taking the film, and it wasn’t very comfortable. We didn’t… there was no grooming of trails. It was all washboard, but a lot of fun."

John Mudge talked about one of the things that makes these sleds different.

"It’s a much slower paced machine than as the ones are of today, where today you can run through the trails 30-40 miles an hour, and you know the bumps aren’t so bad, whereas this thing here you would be getting ejected."

So keeping the machines running in tip top shape isn’t just preserving the past, it’s keeping up a tradition of spending time together, and doing something fun.

"You’re going to see the newer ones more often, but when these are gone, they’re gone, so you might as well spend the time you have em’."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2147318

Reported Deaths: 53632
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28739010516
Queens28217910018
Suffolk2040833412
Nassau1870513184
Bronx1865306597
New York1427444530
Westchester1313192296
Erie905981814
Richmond770911855
Monroe698961117
Orange48988847
Rockland47345758
Onondaga39473680
Dutchess29847447
Albany25027358
Oneida22813518
Niagara20243375
Broome18789367
Saratoga15729168
Ulster14111258
Schenectady13361206
Rensselaer11422145
Putnam1073793
Chautauqua9008146
Chemung7840137
Oswego770493
Ontario750893
Steuben7013147
Sullivan676976
St. Lawrence675097
Cayuga642092
Jefferson625568
Wayne584873
Cattaraugus578193
Genesee5456124
Herkimer5255110
Clinton487833
Madison460689
Livingston455760
Fulton446193
Tompkins444152
Montgomery4291128
Columbia4130104
Cortland396864
Tioga387163
Warren376162
Wyoming362253
Allegany357987
Chenango355377
Otsego349747
Greene346879
Washington320355
Orleans314383
Lewis283736
Franklin257512
Delaware243139
Seneca203357
Schoharie173319
Essex162926
Yates118226
Schuyler109014
Hamilton3182
Unassigned8811
Out of NY0253
Utica
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 64°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather

Alivana Wellness Infusion Giveaway
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve