YOU ARE ALSO A PASSIONATE SNOWMOBILER. HOW DID THAT BEGIN?
Toni: My uncle had a powersports store in Mäntsälä, Southern Finland, when I was a kid. For Christmas holidays I was able to borrow a kid’s sled from the store to ride. My father is from Rovaniemi and he has had snowmobiles at his home from the beginning. When I got big enough, I got to ride his sleds and maintain them. My childhood home was in a sparsely populated area so I could ride there in the fields.
During my active racing career I couldn’t ride that much because winters were so busy. Racing season ended in early December and the test sessions for the next season started already in early January. You had to avoid any injuries because the racing season would have gone to waste right away. Also the body needed rest.
In the last ten years I’ve been able to ride much more on snowmobiles.
WHAT KIND OF SNOWMOBILING YOU DO? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A RIDER?
Toni: Active, fast trail riding is the thing for me with a sled. Even though the riding would be fast-paced, I still always use common sense. I don’t want to end up at a hospital. My main goal is to get in the sauna in one piece after a riding day.
In past years I did ride some enduro races in amateur class but with age I’ve been orientated more towards long journeys on trail than riding against a clock.
Last winter we had a 900-km journey with my friends in four days across the trails of Lapland. Early start in mornings, 5 to 6 hours on trail and then a sauna at our nightly accommodations – those were magnificent riding days.
For me, adventure is a part of snowmobiling. Often we are the first riders on the trail from Rovaniemi to Levi in November, and sometimes we get lost there because there are no other tracks to follow. In turn, we have our last spring rides when creeks flow freely on swamps and the sun warms in May.