Fort Erie family cruises through lockdown

·2 min read

Restrictions aside, the only thing one Fort Erie family needs to have fun, is some snow.

For Mike Battista, his wife Danielle Taggart and their sons Trayce and Dalton, snowmobiling through the streets of Fort Erie is their pastime of choice.

Armed with proper licenses and insurance paperwork, any time it snows, the family can be seen riding their vehicles in Fort Erie’s Sugarbowl Park or along the Niagara Parkway and even by the Peace Bridge.

“Freedom,” according to Battista, is what riding feels like, which he says is especially valuable during lockdowns and provincial restrictions on social activities.

He said the sport was great during a time like this as it's something people can do on their own or with a small group and still have fun.

“But once you’re out on the path, you're out in the wilderness, everything goes away; all your problems at work, everything. You're just gliding,” he said.

“It’s an old era sport,” said Battista, who found his love for the machines as a teenager during shop class in high school, while working on engines.

“I was excited,” said Taggart, as she reflected on her husband’s offer to not only show her how to ride, but get her a vehicle four years ago.

The couple said they made sure to teach their kids proper safety when including them in on runs, by starting them off on smaller, less powerful snowmobiles and giving them time to practice their turns and build their confidence.

Battista said this was especially important, given that bigger vehicles can easily achieve speeds upwards of 160 kilometres per hour.

“It's amazing when you're out in the wilderness. You just leave home and work in the back, you're just out having fun,” he said.

“And very tiring,” Taggart added.

She said riding strains the whole body and feels like a workout, joking that it was comparable to being in the Olympics, but agreeing that it was great fun.

“We can't wait to get out again,” said Taggart.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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