After seeing media releases about people banging pots and that sort of thing for first responders, Jenny Gehl went out on Green Lake and played some loud music while waving the Canadian flag. The next day, she and her husband Steve thought “let’s step it up a bit,” hooked the flag up to the back of the ATV and drove around the water frontier while people were out on their decks.
The night after that, a few people joined in, bringing their own vehicles and they drove all the way around the lake, says Steve, with even more people out on their decks waiving and flashing lights.
On April 6, they had 13 snowmobiles, quads and side by sides out on the ice and one resident showed up in a pickup at the end of the ride, according to Steve.
“We advised everybody to keep good spacing and we’re out on the lake, it’s fresh air and everybody is pretty much wearing full-face helmets so there is basically no risk of passing anything along at all.”
There’s been lots of great reviews and support for it, says Steve.
“[One night] one of the residents on the lake was having her 80th birthday and her kids couldn’t make it up for her birthday etcetera. So we parked for a few moments in front of her place, again well-spaced, and sang happy birthday to her. She was quite touched by that and then we just continued the ride up and down the south side of the lake.”
With the community that they’re in, it doesn’t take anything to get something like that rolling, he says.
“You just kind of mention it and people are there for it.”
There’s no shortage of ice with probably 20 to 24 inches, according to Steve, adding that one neighbour even drove their pickup truck out on it.
For one of the more recent rides, they also made a test ride to make sure that people wouldn’t go through the snow.
“The snow that’s on top of the ice starts to get too soft and you can break through the snow. The ice is still going to support you but the snow won’t, especially with the ATVs,” says Steve. That can be unpleasant especially with overflow, he says (when water comes through cracks in the ice and sits on top between the snow and the ice).
“So as you’re riding along, you break through the crust of snow and you’re in a couple of inches of water. If you get stuck in that it’s no fun to get going. So we’re watching it very carefully.”