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.

Confirmed Cases: 420345

Reported Deaths: 32768
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22758423575
Suffolk437491998
Nassau436282194
Westchester361801447
Rockland13936674
Orange11156491
Erie8850671
Monroe4922285
Dutchess4600153
Onondaga3565200
Albany2581128
Oneida2142115
Ulster205791
Niagara149498
Sullivan148848
Putnam144763
Broome112069
Schenectady105837
Rensselaer76130
Saratoga75517
Columbia53937
Madison41217
Ontario35734
Warren30833
Orleans29854
Steuben29842
Fulton29524
Greene29118
Genesee2775
Herkimer2734
St. Lawrence2634
Washington25714
Chautauqua2539
Oswego2533
Wayne2493
Tompkins2340
Chenango2156
Tioga19325
Livingston1768
Montgomery1724
Chemung1713
Cattaraugus1656
Cayuga1512
Jefferson1400
Clinton1274
Otsego1165
Wyoming1165
Delaware1054
Cortland950
Seneca893
Allegany791
Schoharie690
Yates567
Essex550
Franklin540
Lewis410
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Oneonta
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
Herkimer
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Thendara
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left