For the past few years I’ve enjoyed a series of entertaining email exchanges with a couple Canadians who go by The Hammer and LumberHead.
Then the thought occurred to me that others might enjoy their north-of-the-border perspective on snowmobiles, ATVs and life.
So below is their introduction, with updates to come whenever they feel like it.
Good day Boys and Girls. It’s time once again for The Hammer and LumberHead show!!! Bringing you all the Arctic Cat news and views from north of the 49th parallel.
Before getting too deep in the Canadian Kitty Quagmire, Johnny suggested we give a little bio to kinda introduce ourselves, so here goes!
In a nutshell (pun intended), Hammer (me) and LumberHead are just a couple of sled heads from the Great White North. A modern day “Bob and Doug MaKenzie” type if you will.
Think of Rocky and Bullwinkle… wait… that’s dating myself. Let’s go with something a little more current… Duck Dynasty meets Monster Garage. Ya, that sounds better!
We basically eat, sleep and breathe snowmobiles, ATV’s and pretty much anything involving fuel. We’re just a couple of syrup-swillin’, beer-drinkin’ and back bacon-eatin’ Arctic Cat fans livin’ in the land of the Doo. And we live by these very simple principles:
1. We believe that ice is good for racing, hockey and chilling your drink. Period!
2. Anything that warms your head is called a “Tuque” and looks good in any weather.
3. Maple syrup and beer can also be called breakfast, lunch or dinner.
4. Keep your head up and your stick on the ice.
5. Don’t eat yellow snow and
6. Always ride a Cat
Now you may notice a hockey theme weaving its way in and out of our stories. That’s because up here in the Great White North (Minnesota included), hockey is required learning. You learn to skate before you learn to walk. You’re either playing it, watching it or talking about it.
You have your family name, your given name and your hockey name. Ergo: Hammer and LumberHead.
Now LumberHead may be as dense as the hardwood hills but great in the corners and a fellow motor head. The rest of the Motley Crew of misfits that we hang with up here in Ontario are a mix of Yamaha, Ski-Doo and Polaris riders. It’s a constant brand battle between all of us.
Fortunately LumberHead and I managed to center out the weakest of the heard (The Polaris guy) and we’ve been quietly pulling him to the Dark side. After hours of badgering, constant E-mails and several sled shows, we’ve almost got him laying down some green on a new 800 Cat. His Rush keeps getting killed on the lake and it’s as tippy as a sleeping cow in the corners. I think he bought it just because it’s named after a famous Canadian Rock Band. We will keep you updated with his intervention.
As for the other Meat Heads, the war rages on. Rest assured, we will continue the verbal assault, even throw the occasional flying elbow for safe measure until we turn these guys around one by one.
With the white stuff all but melted and the mosquitoes attaching in squadron formation, our attention turns to antique sled shows, grass drags and, as always, playing in the shop, where the beer’s cold and the bug spray plentiful.
Last year while cleaning the shop, LumberHead knocked over a chassis that had been leaning against the wall for years. After the mushroom cloud of dust settled, what was left was the bare chassis from my 1977 ElTigre 4000, my first sled and purchased when I was about 12 or 13.
After shrugging his shoulders and finishing his beer, LumberHead burped, “Well we’ve started it now. Let’s get it going”.
I thought, heck, the shop is clean and we still have a few pops in the fridge… why not?
This little adventure began with a mad treasure hunt for parts trying to find all the bits and bites. The parts for this little puddy tat were hiding literally in every nook and cranny of the shop. After hours of digging and with parts strewn about on the floor and bench, we began the re-assembly and restoration process.
A few months and a few cases of beer later, she was finally all back together. The moment of truth was upon us: Time to fire it up make some noise (and maybe just a little bit of smoke).
After sleeping for 20 odd years, the beast roared back to life and purred just like a kitten. You gotta love those free-air Suzuk’s!
When the smoke cleared we had another little Tig’r back in the litter and, best of all, another place to sit to watch the game. Can’t wait for the snow to fly and let this little kitty stretch her legs.
For those of you that have never done a restoration or a build, I highly recommend it. There’s really not much like it and the absolute best when you finally crack over that engine and fill the shop with smoke. Maybe it’s from the fumes but your face will hurt from all the grinning, I guarantee it.
I love the smell of 2-stroke in the morning. Smells like… Victory! (Pause) And … we’re back! Sorry for that little “Apocalypse Now” flashback. Some brain cells were lost in the making of this story. Don’t worry, the meds will kick in soon, I promise!
Well, I really shouldn’t ramble on too much so I’d better hit the kill switch for today. Sorry boys and girls but it’s time to shut off the Coleman stove and pick up those empties. Tune in to the next episode where we check out our first antique sled show of the summer in Wellesley, Ontario. We’ll also update you on our latest shop project, the “BitchCat”!
Until then, we’re off like a can of bug spray. It IS black fly season after all.
-Hammer (and LumberHead)
P.S. All of that and not one “Eh”. Pretty good, eh? Dooooooh (slap to the forehead)!