After my post whining about grownups not liking to sled, I have been receiving indignant feedback that I just did not ask the right people. Apparently, there are many souls secretly salivating about sledding. Who knew?
Many grownups, shockingly, do not even own a sled. They were not aware that you could buy a sled at just about any hardware store. Heck, you can order them on amazon.com! However, buyer beware: whatever you do, do NOT buy the Sled of Death. I've seen this one and it is ugly. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to create a sled that you strap your knees into? Going downhill on your knees is just wrong, especially strapped in. Sheesh.
Ultimately, the greatest thing about sledding is that it is so simple. That it is just you and the plastic thingie and the snow. Even a cafeteria tray will do, as any college student will tell you. Like anything else in our charming little capitalist country, there are a few very sexy sleds out there. Unsurprisingly, folks have done a lot of thinking about sled technology. (Use bugmenot.com if they try to make you register to read that). And of course, if you are night sledding, in which a glow in the dark snowsuit, a headlamp, and night vision goggles are handy.
If you need some safety tips, you can check out this site.
Those of you returning to the sport from a long hiatus and in need of a brush up, one of the major factors of sledding is the hill. Here are my criteria for a good run:
Degree of slope. No slope, no move. Duh.
Number of folks who know about it. This is a subtle balance. You want enough people to get there before you to pack down the snow (and perhaps put in a ramp or two), but not too many that the place is mobbed and you have to wait turns to go down.
Distance from my apartment. Bonus points if I can walk there. Bringing a sled on a bus or subway does tend to attract throngs of admirers, but it can be awkward, especially during rush hour.
Where the hill ends . Negative points if it ends in a road. Getting hit by a car while sledding sucks. In some places, the town puts haybales at the bottom of the hill to prevent such accidents. And crashing into the haybales can actually be kinda fun, especially followed with snow/hay fights.
My local newspaper has gotten into the spirit, publishing this article about the best sledding locations. Fortunately, they don't know about my secret sledding spot. And no, I won't tell you where it is. What, you want the MILLIONS of people who read this blog to go and MOB the place???? Well, maybe I will tell you but only if you agree to go sledding with me.
Oh and to get your skills warmed up, you can always play this silly game.