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Fast E Posted - 09/14/2007 : 1:03:13 PM
It used to be a word used for dogs that would just run to keep up without actually pulling.
Now it stands for 'many' a mushers who NEVER do a thing to help a club/race out--they just float around from race to race,usually having compalaints about what was done not correctly or things that should have been done.
This great sport is far more fragile that most realize--if you take the 2 main workers from the 20-30 top clubs/races and have them quit or leave the scene--what do you think would happen??

Are you a "FLOATER"--how many floaters do you know?
NOW is the time to step up and help a club or race near you.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
sallydawson Posted - 11/05/2007 : 8:50:51 PM
onehappyautum - I sure hope you are planning to come to Ohio next weekend for our dryland event! There will be a NOVICE CLASS for what I guess you are calling "freight haulers" like me: we may be slow, but we get there, and have a good time with our dogs in the process. I am counting on my Red Hat Society "sisters" (and sponsors!) being there to cheer me on! Maybe you and I can compete for the red lantern award....

It's really not that far for you. Do you have a rig of some sort? Bring dogs anyway - there MAY be a rig you could use if you don't have one. E-mail me privately and I can forward the a race application to you - or look here on SDC or ISDRA for information.

Fast E Posted - 11/05/2007 : 12:00:01 PM
when i wanted to have a race in my region--i organized a meeting--invited any and all that might be interested to help to show up so i could inform them on my plan.
I went out and found a race location-help put in the trail-help find sponsors for all class's and some i don't ever run(skijoreing).
Do you belong to a dog musher club?
Maybe you can do what i did and then you can have whatever class you want--i assure you if you do 'all' the work 'floater's' will show up and tell you how you can improve your event.
onehappyautumn Posted - 11/05/2007 : 09:46:40 AM
I'm not interesting in skijoring in the least. Well afraid is the word. I want to run with a light sled with 2-4 dogs.

And yeah, I really do get the feeling that I'm not considered a 'real' musher.

And to top it off I've gotten told, well since you can't really run you can volunteer. Wow. That REALLY makes me want to jump up and help (scarcasim).


Originally posted by Daisy Acres

ADMA has skijoring...that's 1- 3 dogs for adults. But those skiers go FAST so I wouldn't consider them freight mushers by any stretch! (Although there are some "normal folk" who move along politely with pet dogs.)

But "some" people think that 1-3 dogs don't count, and that you aren't a "real" musher unless you aspire to the open class. (Where do they get this idea?!) It's no wonder our clubs have trouble finding volunteers, because if all we had were open drivers (or just those who aspire to this thin air environment) NOTHING would get done!

Watcher Posted - 11/04/2007 : 12:07:22 PM
Not to speak for Eddy. He is very capable of doing so himself. But IMO, the point is that in our sport there are people who always are at the events and always have complaints about how the event is handled but NEVER participate in putting on an event or jumping in to help correct the percieved problems.
Lets face it folks, there are not many non muchers who have the interest, knowlege or experience to manage a sled dog event. When I was racing, I picked one race where I passed the team(s) off to my handlers and family members and volunteered for the entire event. I felt that in that way, I did my part to help promote the sport and could concentrate on managing my dog team at the other events. Again, IMO, if every musher that participates in races, took one weekend off from the runners and volunteered, all of us would have better events to participate in. Another advantage is that once the complainers spent a weekend working at putting on a race, I bet they would be much less prone to complain about those little snafus that always come up. Anyone can complain, those who truely want things to improve will take an active roll in that improvement. Eddy was much kinder in his term "floater". Being less tactfull, I always called them parasites. A floater simply goes with the flow, neither adding to or detracting, a parasite gains from the work of the host and leaves the host worse than it was before the parasite arrived.
krakenrsh Posted - 11/04/2007 : 06:47:41 AM
All the races in Northwestern Ontario, including Red Lake are 6-dog, 12-20 mile races.
Daisy Acres Posted - 11/03/2007 : 9:31:43 PM
ADMA has skijoring...that's 1- 3 dogs for adults. But those skiers go FAST so I wouldn't consider them freight mushers by any stretch! (Although there are some "normal folk" who move along politely with pet dogs.)

But "some" people think that 1-3 dogs don't count, and that you aren't a "real" musher unless you aspire to the open class. (Where do they get this idea?!) It's no wonder our clubs have trouble finding volunteers, because if all we had were open drivers (or just those who aspire to this thin air environment) NOTHING would get done! It's hard to volunteer when you've got 100 dogs to care for. Heck, it's hard to volunteer when you've got 50 dogs to care for! (I'm finding it hard to volunteer when I have less than 30 dogs to care for.) Although I fixed that problem by volunteering to foster dogs, and so the "caring for" is now part of the great!

ADMA has a class for most everybody, but we still need volunteers to make the races happen. Fortunately, our club has a long history and there are a lot of good people in our neck of the woods.

Yes, we can each do more. But, um, I leave it to YOU to decide what you want to do and where you want to do it and who you'd like to do it with. Although I am going to look into that race in Red Lake Ontario....probably a distance race. I'm not known for going the distance. I get distracted too easily!
onehappyautumn Posted - 11/02/2007 : 11:11:07 AM
I guess this post has two topics really...

I think if you had more events for (adult) people running only one or two dogs with a kick or light tobbogan sled (kinda like 'freight pulling' ) you could run those short events first and then 'freight pullers' would be available to volunteer for the larger teams later on.

There are far more people with 1-3 dog teams then their are with 4 plus. That would really open the world up to those people who are crazy dog lovers too and would love to volunteer but who are intimidated or otherwise cant participate because of having less dogs.

So why aren't there 'freight pulling' type events for 1-3 dog Adult teams?
Daisy Acres Posted - 10/23/2007 : 9:27:52 PM
Thanks Hank. And thanks to all of you for helping me think and clarify.

you said: "If everyone floats, then no one gets to play..."

And, well, I guess I don't believe this. This statement comes from a "glass half empty" place. I've been studying the way of the budda and my new mantra is literally "go with the flow"....stop trying to push, stop trying to MAKE things happen. Relax, enjoy, appreciate what is and stop tilting at windmills. Um. Did I mention I'm new at this!

I really think that each of us can play in our own way. And, I suppose that's sorta what Fast E was trying to say or inspire, and my apologies for taking it the wrong way.

I also forgot that there are other definitions of "floaters" tee hee, so thanks for that post too!

EACH of us has something to contribute. But it may not shine in a race setting. I appreciate the post that talks about using racing to self motivate. I do that too. But I come from a competitve family and I get caught in that "trap" of "not good enough" pretty easily and so some of my angst is purely personal and has nothing to do with any of you!

I'd go so far as to say that each of us projects our own heaven or hell, and that none of us are dependent on others for anything to be perfect in our own lives.

On the other hand, I've run a team of mismatched dogs and I know the hell and chaos and misery that ensues where there is no teamwork, or cross-purposes within a team. I've lived that experience within a club situation too.

Oh, and one last can't be a floater and a boat anchor at the same time...not possible, right? By definition, boat anchors sink, that's their job. And they serve a very important purpose too! (Did you see the photo of Zoya DeNure dragging her soon-to-be-husband John Schandelmeier as he tried to set the boat anchor they were using as a snow hook for her team?! GREAT shot!)

So I say let's all participate however we want and however we can and honor the game and the dogs that make it possible. Anchors Away...or, whatever floats your team.

lynn again

hank Posted - 10/22/2007 : 7:12:13 PM

I get your point about people being what they are, but the problem is that what they are is dependent on everyone else (or as Fast E points out, a very small number of selfless volunteers) to work their tails off so they can have fun. I loved going to fully staffed events where I could focus all my attention on my team and not have to worry about making sure someone else was around to drop at the right time so I could volunteer to help on the trail. But most or at least many races don't have that luxury and so it is the responsibility of ALL drivers to step up to the plate when called. This isn't browbeating, this is reality. If everyone floats, then no one gets to play...

Cliff Maxfield Posted - 10/22/2007 : 06:20:53 AM
I couldn't agree more about Floaters. On the flip side, don't be a Grand Stander. If you get the help you desire share the praise. Many a helper have been soured over the years because at the end of the day the few with huge egos stand at the awards podium and pat themselves on the back while the real troops get little or no recognition.
THZSteele Posted - 09/26/2007 : 01:41:09 AM
yeah mushpuppy I like that Idea as well...I'll bring it back to the Rest of our Race Committe..
Brenda Posted - 09/25/2007 : 1:43:31 PM
Is there a term for the people that don't help, belong to the club, or race but sure like to train on the well groomed club trails? We have quite a few of those. They go out of their yards, onto the trails and even have the gall sometimes to ask when they are going to be groomed again, or a bridge fixed, or brush cut, etc. EVERYONE can help in some way, whether it is time, money, support, PR, etc. Nobody has trails or races without a lot of work by a lot of people. Probably one out of every 10 people I run into, on the trail, even belong to the club whose trails they take advantage of. I just picture big sponges on the back of the sleds, soaking up what everyone else does. I would hope that people would take a look at what little (even join the club is a small help) contributions can be made will help keep the trails, clubs, races, i.e. the whole sport alive.
Rogue Posted - 09/25/2007 : 12:54:43 PM
I like that idea too. We've been talking as a club about ways to recognize our volunteers even more (we do drawings for prizes for our volunteers). I like the idea of a volunteer corner and I plan to bring it up at our next club meeting. I agree..this post is meant to get folks to get out and help....not put down people who already do what they can. Go Volunteers! We LOVE 'em!
Fast E Posted - 09/25/2007 : 09:51:51 AM
that is a very good idea i think.
Our club each yr lets the club prez hand out what we call the 'wheel dog' award--it is for who they think really stepped up and pulled more than their share of the load for the club that entire past yr.
Your idea to post and acknowledge more of the 'big time' volunteers to keeping the sport going is something our club will adopt for sure.
dogwouldfarm Posted - 09/25/2007 : 09:46:24 AM
That middle of nowhere race is in Red Lake Ontario. Middle of nowhere is a relative term I guess to you in Two Rivers! It is two hour drive from the Trans Canada Highway and 3 hours from the nearest other team (who always enters at least one team I might add).

Because I was the only musher (now gone from there) Middle of Nowhere has a different meaning. It is in the middle of MUSHING nowhere now! Those people live outside of our mushing world. Their interest may be in the dogs (some may wish they could live like us), in the commradery of the organization, in the feeling needed and appreciated and they get all this by putting on a race for us.

I am sure you would be a big hit to the people of Red Lake if you did come! They were very surprised and impressed to see the distance teams came from in the first 3 years (Manitoba, Minnesota and 7-8 drives from within Ontario). Your presence would knock them over!

The first few years of any event are likely the hardest! Coodos to the Red Lake Gold Rush Sled Dog Race organisers! (check out race results on SDC to see who has run there in the past.

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