Longtime enthusiast takes over at Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club
March 2, 2011
Craig resident Rob Albert said hitting the trails on his snowmobile has always been one of his biggest thrills in life.
On Tuesday night, Albert was installed in a position to lead others with like minds. He was named the new president of the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club.
"I joined the club back in 2002 because snowmobiling was really the only recreational activity I did with any regularity," Albert said. "It is one of my biggest passions in my life."
After serving as club vice president for two years, Albert, 42, was nominated in January and voted in during the club's monthly meeting in February.
The club officially has 83 members, but Albert said some memberships are for whole families, so the individual count is really closer to 150 members.
"Basically, we just want to help promote the sport," he said. "We also take care of the mountain trail system on Black Mountain."
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Albert said the club grooms more than 100 miles of trail every week, funded mainly through snowmobile registration fees turned into the state.
Members go out Thursdays and Fridays to mark trails when there has been heavy snowfall and to smooth out trails.
Albert said the club usually logs around 250 hours of groom time during the season.
"Sometimes guys will groom from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.," he said. "It is a lot of work, but it is important for those that want to ride."
Another club activity is the annual Poker Run on Black Mountain.
Half of the proceeds raised during the fundraiser go toward a local student scholarship fund.
This year's Poker Run, in which participants compete in a hand of poker by picking up cards at various spots on their run, brought in enough money for the club to hand out three $800 scholarships to local students.
The application process for the scholarships will begin in April.
Albert said club members also ride together twice a month on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday.
Being part of the club, Albert said, is great because of the diversity in ages that enjoy the sport.
"We have riders from age 8 to age 80," he said. "One of our members, Bill Spicer, is 74 years old, but when he rides he looks like he is still a young man."
As club president, Albert said he hopes to keep the sport alive and active.
"There are people who don't want snowmobiles because they think it destroys wildlife," he said. "As a club, and all snowmobile clubs, we try to notify people of trail closures and keep fighting to keep riding.
"Snowmobiling is the only thing in my life that is worth the trouble."
Albert said he hopes to keep the club growing while serving as president.
"Anyone interested can count on trails being maintained and that there will be people active," he said. "This club has continued for 25 years, so it is not just a fleeting idea."
Interested riders can visit http://www.northwestcoloradosnowmobileclub.org to download an application.