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Fast E

USA
2238 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2007 :  1:03:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

www.fastestreeperkennel.com

Razor

Canada
807 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2007 :  2:04:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Razor's Homepage  Reply with Quote
BRAVO Eddy, for years many people in the race circuit here are the same way. Lots of complaints, no action. This year my wife, Janice and I said we would take reins for this years OFSS symposium slatted for this month. It was a great joy for us to get this involved in getting guest speakers, organizing prizes and setting up all the menu for the partisipants. Actually we e-mailed you to be a speaker, but because of training and what-not you couldn't make it, which is totally understandable. Maybe next year eh!

You are right though, like I said in a thread a while back also, get involved with your local clubs, not by being just a member, but help out, give ideas, info, forward sledding stories anything that is pertinent to the sport. Make it better and stronger. Together were strong as one weak.

Good-Luck Eddy

Razor
Paws-e-Trax Dogsleds & Racing Kennel

Razor
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Karal

USA
471 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2007 :  07:48:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amen


live laugh love
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Daisy Acres

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  1:10:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How long do floaters last in your team?

Well, it seems culling in our clubs is not allowed.

As long as there are people willing to host races, there will be people willing to come and participate in them. And trust me, the bigger the purse, the more bouyancy you'll have in your event!

Those who are "competitive"...they're usually too busy training dogs to put on the race. So that task gets left to the wanna-bes and the retired racers.

I'm just about as bothered by the competitive mushers who thumb their noses at the "also rans" who are just coming out to have fun and play with their dogs in a race environment. There is only one winner in every race according to the clock. But if we stop honoring those who participate just for the fun of it, our sport (the racing aspect anyway) will fold up and go away pretty quick.

Paying an entry fee is what makes you a racer.

Floating is better than sinking. In my opinion anyway.

-lynn
Daisy Acres
Two Rivers, Alaska

What have you learned from your dog today?
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Woofy

USA
658 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  1:22:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Woofy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Daisy Acres, I don't think that Eddy was "dissing" anyone. I am sure he knows that if there weren't many racers, there wouldn't be races. I think he is more trying to generate more support. Maybe people who are busy getting their team prepared can call up relatives to help the RGO, even something as simple as taking pictures.

Everyone can help in some way, not necessarily on race weekend, but there are off-season events, advertising for races, etc. that anyone can help out in. I think Eddy's just trying to point out that many people don't even ask "how can I help", which is the first step to helping out.

My $.02, whatever it's worth.

"Sailor Girl Sled Dog Kennel"
www.freewebs.com/sailorgirlkennel

Edited by - Woofy on 09/21/2007 1:22:45 PM
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Rogue

USA
1158 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  1:24:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Daisy Acres

Those who are "competitive"...they're usually too busy training dogs to put on the race. So that task gets left to the wanna-bes and the retired racers.


Are you implying something there, Lynn?!? Ha ha ha! Just kidding!!

Right ON!!! I like to think of my self (clears throat) as competitive...but I still try to make time to help out with our local club, as well as those "speedsters" and the juniors as well. Sometimes it's hard and I can't do very much...other times I find myself running ragged from one event to another. I wouldn't have it any other way. But, Eddy's right. Usually, things are being done by a few key people...and when they get burnt out, what happens? Things fall apart. So, by all means...if you have a complaint, bring it. But, also be a part of the solution, not just part of the problem. Help out, even if it's just an hour at an event...or putting flyers together, or whatever. We all have to do our part or the events that we love will go away. Though, yes, to me floaters are welcome too.....

Happy Trails!
Tammi

"The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs."
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Daisy Acres

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2007 :  12:19:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand that those who travel 2000 miles to enter a race really don't have the time or resources to "help" put on that event. Although I was most impressed when Buddy Streeper spent the day at the new GCI building here in Fairbanks with his dogs and his big rig greeting the public and "promoting" our sport and the race that he had won that weekend.

And I venture a lot of the mushers who travel probably are pretty active in their home clubs (I would hope so!)

I personally used to "sit this one out" when I was one of those key players in putting on an event. It's just not fair to the dogs to trouble-shoot the last minute details and still try to race. And I don't know, but I venture there are others who "take a break" from racing in order to host an event. (Although, a lot of times, their best dogs still get to play...on somebody else's team!)

I guess my point was that floating dogs and floating people are perhaps floating for a reason. With my dogs, I have a couple of floaters. They float because that's the best they can do. I could choose to not include them in the team, and I've done that sometimes. Or, maybe I could loan them to somebody else and they could be the "star" of that team because they'll be going slower, or shorter, or whatever.

Maybe the human floaters are doing their best too!? Maybe they shouldn't have 50 dogs and try to race every race week after week. But, that's their choice too. And they'll need to figure it out for themselves.

I've know newbies to our sport who came out to race and had a WONDERFUL time. But I've also seen newcomers go away with a sour taste because they had a negative experience...usually with/from a competitive racer. That new, excited, uninformed and under-dogged person is NOT a floater! They are your next die-hard volunteer!!! And if you make it not-fun for them, you'll lose them...and maybe one of your current die-hard volunteers too.

At the ADMA races we sometimes have trouble finding sled holders. Our races start with the smaller classes and build up to the bigger classes. A lot of our volunteer base comes from limited class mushers. They hang around and help out for the bigger classes. I was pretty impressed to find an open driver as the turn-around marshal as I toodled by with my old AARP 4-dog team. Thank you Eric Lanser!!! (I told him so as I whizzed--NOT!--by...)

I understand that competitive racers care deeply about doing well. I might point out that us old farts and newbies do too, but, our "well" is a little different perhaps?

It's a sport. It's supposed to be fun. Nobody's life should depend on the outcome. (There's that elephant again...) Good sportsmanship is having fun, being kind, helping out. If winning matters so much that you can't have fun, maybe you need to try floating more!?

I won't complain.
-lynn
Daisy Acres
Two Rivers, Alaska

What have you learned from your dog today?
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dogwouldfarm

Canada
76 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2007 :  3:10:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very interesting. I started racing after years of just "recreational adventures" with my team. I started racing in order to keep motivated as I have a competitive nature. I soon realized that the races I was attending were being put on by many volunteers. Generally these were dog people themselves. I wanted to help out, but being from a small, very remote town, I was limited.

I decided to organize a race in my town to allow other mushers the opportunity to run in a new place, a very remote and wild place that offered great mushing. I also wanted my neighbors to experience the excitement of dog sled races. It also came at a time where excitement is limited (other than hockey of course!).

As I was the only musher in that town, I had to call upon a group of people with no mushing or racing experience. They came enthusiastically with event planning experience and great ideas!

The problem we encountered (I say “we” because I still provide assistance due to being the only musher in town and no one has taken up the sport there since) is getting teams to participate. Even some teams from the other races wouldn't come. Possibly due to driving distance and gas $. We tried to increase purse in attempt to help cover $ and ensured we paid out to last place and included gas coupons, lunch coupons, free boading and holel/motel coupons. Everything was done with the mushers in mind!

My career took me away from that town but the wonderful gang of volunteers... and when I say gang, I mean most of the town, kept the race going. They have managed to keep organized and have even expanded the purse and their profile last year. They are meeting again this week to start planning. I hope they pull it off again!


So on the other side of the “Floating” coin is the race where there are absolutely no floaters on the race organization level. Just people putting on a wonderful winter event in their hometown for us crazy dog sledders!

I think the same can be said for anything. If we don’t get involved with community events etc., it always comes down to a select few people to organize for the others. Soon those people get burned out or discouraged and their lack of enthusiasm shows, the event quickly dwindles.

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david poitras

Canada
474 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2007 :  6:59:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have seen many human floaters in my day but not nearly as many canine ones. It really irks me when I hear mushers that never contribute to the sport do a lot of complaining about race trails, prizes etc.

David Poitras
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snowfoot

USA
313 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  7:57:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My name is Sarah, and I'm a floater. I've just never realized that there was a category for what I was, or what a boat anchor it turns out I've been these last 30 years. Seriously tho, I think that there are true floaters, the folks that believe the world owes them something, whether it's a perfectly groomed trail, perfect weather, the perfect place in the starting draw or the perfect parking spot, and they waste no time in telling you and anyone who will listen how the fates have conspired against them at every turn to deny them these things they so richly deserve. I don't appreciate being lumped in with these people for a number of reasons. Even though I guess I'm what Ed considers a floater, consider this: First, I do not make my living racing sled dogs.((gasp)) I have a mundane factory job- you know, that 8 to 10 hour a day, 5 day a week reality check, with quite a few weekends of overtime thrown in just to make sure I'm paying attention. I'm also a working artist- in fact that is the part of my life that defines me when someone asks me what I do. I say I'm an artist. Does the fact that I don't say "I'm a musher" make me a floater?
Secondly, because of where I live, any race I would volunteer for, or any club I would wish to join would require some serious road time. (See reason one). I'd love to volunteer at the Beargrease someday, but I'm usually racing somewhere else that weekend, and have had trouble in the past getting vacation during the week at that time of the year because of the nature of the business I work in. There have been a few times when I left for a race after I got home from work at 11 PM on Friday nite.Thirdly, the races we do attend have done an extraordinary job in the last few years what with the bad winters, dwindling volunteers and problems obtaining trail permission, and I make a point to personally thank everyone for their hard work- from the race judges, the timers, the poor guy standing by a bad turn in the trail 10 miles from anywhere down to the volunteers that help get the sled up to the start. A good example was the race at Apostle Islands last year- it was brutally cold both days, and there were over 100 teams in attendance. The RGO's and volunteers did agreat job, and we had a good time, ( despite the frostbite.)What was our contribution? We stayed three nites in Bayfield, patronizing the local businesses that supported the race, and thanked them as well.Our dogs were well behaved, looked healthy and happy, and finished the race that way. We were happy to talk to spectators or residents about Alaskan Huskies and mushing both at the race and anywhere else. We are never too busy or too important to talk dogs and positively promote the sport. I volunteer at my local humane society doing sled dog demos and helping people who want to adopt huskies with problems and questions they might have. I also have my dogs listed on the website Dogster (laugh if you want to) but they are exposed to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who read their bios and our diary entries and just might learn something about mushing that they didn't know the day before. We try to be a good example for the sport both in the real world and on-line. There is more to mushing than just racing.
So I guess I'm a floater.
Okay.

http://community.webshots.com/user/musherpumpkin
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Daisy Acres

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  11:53:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, first off I want to know where this race in the middle of nowhere is that no mushers come too!? (Probably too far away from Two Rivers, Alaska, but DANG, maybe I could actually do well if none of the "real racers" bother to show up!)
But seriously, I'd be happy to help promote it because there are just not enough opportunities for mushers to have fun with their dogs in a public setting--in my not so humble opinion

Next, I'd like to say to all of us that we are what we are! If you want to think of yourself as a floater, I honor your choice. If you want to consider yourself competitive, that's okay by me too!

Where I get into trouble is when people start putting labels on OTHER people. Well, okay, there are distance mushers and sprint mushers, and then there are skijorer and dryland folks. And what about those who choose to play with purebred dogs?

In my book we are ALL mushers. Unless of course you choose to NOT call yourself one of those...it is YOUR choice.

Races are designed to give us an opportunity to test our skills and our training against others. There are no rules about who gets to play and who can't. (And even the rule about being 18 to race the ONAC can be overruled if the young musher, their parent(s) and the RGO membership agree!) Well, okay, they do have that rule about qualifying races for rookies in the Iditarod, and I don't think there's any way around that, but heck, I guess you'll just have to race MORE in order to be able to run the Iditarod?! (That's it, it's a scam to milk poor mushers of their precious dollars in excessive entry fees... PLEASE understand I'm joking here!?!

(Although the Alaska Dog Mushers Association has taken to paying for race marshals, turn-around marshals, announcers, and other volunteer help that is mandatory in order to put on their races, so I'd understand it if the entry fees went up too...I wouldn't like it, but I'd understand it!)

But I tell you, I know a lot of people who don't race anymore because it stopped being fun for them. Now, why did it stop being fun? Well, there are myriad reasons. Some of those reasons are fixable, some of those reasons are personal.

I think volunteers follow this same curve. I volunteer because I like to do it, I feel important, needed, appreciated, and I HAVE FUN!!! There were a few years there when it wasn't any fun at all, and I finally figured out to STOP volunteering! (Gads, sometimes she's dense...) Now, when I volunteer it's because I want to, and I usually have fun doing it.

But Eddy, let me give you a hint...it's not fun anymore when I feel brow-beaten into it! I realize volunteers are rare and precious. But you can't use a jingler to make another musher "get up and volunteer"...the ones that are already on your team and running down that trail may respond quite nicely. But, um, I'm rather like my lead dog Ice in that I'd rather sit down in the middle of the trail and make your life hell. (S'okay, she's getting old too...neither of us will last all that much longer anyway.)

Just "goin' with the flow, floatin down the trails of Two Rivers, I remain...
-lynn (the rabble rouser)
Daisy Acres
Two Rivers, Alaska

What have you learned from your dog today?
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THZSteele

USA
1081 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  12:10:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit THZSteele's Homepage  Reply with Quote
he he he ...I had a totally different picture in my mind's eye of what a floater was...but this is a good conversation non the less...carry on
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Fast E

USA
2238 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  05:52:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lynn,
if it bothers you that i am trying to get some people(they know who they are i'm sure) to actually step up and volenteer to do something to help keep the sport alive so be it.
To be honest the post 'wasn't' meant for people that aren't floaters--
maybe you need to start another topic and call it what ever you want huh?

www.fastestreeperkennel.com
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SharkyX

Canada
681 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  08:39:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit SharkyX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't see why people are getting there noses out of joint about what Ed said.

He was pretty specific about the group of people he was talking to... the mushers who go to races and complain about how things were done wrong or how they could have been done so much better... but who never lift a finger to make a change.
Nothing was said about people who go around thanking everybody or people who don't race competitively.

Seems more like a post that makes it put up or shut up time... basically if you're going to complain then do something to effect change otherwise don't complain.
If you go around and thank volunteers, race officials and so forth you are contributing because it makes people feel like they've done something worthwhile and that there efforts are appreciated.
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mushpuppy

USA
313 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  08:52:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit mushpuppy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maybe the race websites should post bios of their "top volunteers" and give awards to them as well? Get them more spotlight and make it more fun for them. Have "volunteer tip of the day" and "favorite checkpoints to volunteer at." I know as mushers we (hopefully) are polite and try to remember to say thanks, but just "giving a hand to all the volunteers" at the start of a race.....I think we can make it more interesting and fun, cant we?

Snow Angel Racing
Houghton, Upper MI
http://www.snowangelracing.com
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dogwouldfarm

Canada
76 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  09:46:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lynn
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.


DWF
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