Erik Foster has been riding snowmobiles for over three decades.
He’s here at the annual Saskatchewan Snowmobiles Snow and Show — to teach others on the importance of protecting yourself while out for a ride.
“Anytime you can add a little more protection to the body, to the head, first aid kit, knowledge about first aid and how to apply that if somebody has an accident in the middle of nowhere is so important,” said Foster.
Foster is a big advocate of wearing helmets and chest protectors.
Fifteen years ago he was severely injured in a crash because he wasn’t wearing safety gear.
Sask. Snowmobile Association safety instructor Rob Ferland thinks it’s great for other riders to learn from someone who is so passionate about snowmobiling safely.
“He is very motivational in what he does,” Ferland said. “He is going to touch people (and) that is going to change people’s minds and attitudes about snowmobiling.”
Foster describes going for a ride as his therapy. Something that has helped him cope with an ongoing fight with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“All other problems of the world now have gone away,” added Foster.
“It’s just me and my ride. It’s driving down that trail system enjoying the wildlife and enjoying the true freedom.”
Foster is planning a trek through northern Saskatchewan to raise awareness for PTSD as he visits local fire stations.
He’ll travel on a customized snowmobile, built by a community group 306 Riders Union. Foster is an ambassador.
“Made it one of a kind,” said 306 Riders Union owner Cody Hartley. “Made it stand out for the PTSD community and for anyone who is out there struggling with this condition.
“It will be a staple in the power sports industry for years to come,” he adds.
The trip is planned for early 2020. Beginning and concluding in Colonsay.