Podcasts are everywhere these days. They’re a great way to stay up to date or learn about the stuff you like. With a reported 750,000 shows out there, there's literally something for everyone. And if you might be interested in the news and views of a bilingual trail groomer working the remote snowmobile trails of Northern Ontario, well, now there’s one for you too.
After years of entertaining and informing Ontario sledders through various formats, Luc the Groomer Guy is venturing into the world of the podcast. With the help of Mike Medaglia, a newbie sledder from Sault Ste. Marie who has the technical know-how to get Luc into your ears, and support from Algoma Country's favourite powersports resort, the Magpie Relay, the Groomer Guy Podcast is already three episodes in. Sure to be educational and fun, it’s the perfect thing to listen to in the garage while working on your sled or on the drive to your next snowmobile vacation.
We got a hold of Luc and Mike to learn more about it.
Luc, for years you've been helping sledders from near and far stay up to date with snowmobile trail conditions in Dubreuilville and the area. You've used message boards, blogs, and most recently Facebook. Why are you entering the world of podcasting now?
Luc: It's been a while that I’ve been thinking about making a podcast. As a kid I was interested in broadcasting—TV, videos, and radio. In high school I did my co-op course with the local radio station in Wawa. I had a good fun experience and I ended up having the highest grades in our class that year—I won an award for that! That experience helped me decide that I’d go to school for broadcasting, but the following summer I got into a bad head-on ATV collision with a pickup truck. I ended up a long time in the hospital—over a year to recover from my injuries—and never went to school.
Doing things like the blogs, videos, Facebook page, and now this podcast, have always been there in the back of my mind. A podcast is something I've wanted to do for a while. Mike reached out to me after I posted on my Facebook about being interested in doing a podcast. I like doing a podcast because we’re in charge, no censorship. We can do anything we want. It's a great way to get the message out.
Mike, how did you first hear about The Groomer Guy?
Mike: I learned about The Groomer Guy thanks to the magic of social media. I took a trip up to Dubreuilville in the middle of April 2019 and I stayed at the Magpie Relay Motel where the manager, Patrick Bouchard, filled me in on everything about the area, including of course The Groomer Guy. It only made sense to follow him.
So how did you end up collaborating with him?
Mike: In April, 2019 Luc made a post on The Groomer Guy Facebook page:
The conversation happened shortly after and we started the process to get it going. Summer came and went Luc and I figured we better get this thing going, and now we have three episodes posted! I’m honoured and thrilled to be a part of this, and I look forward to the journey The Groomer Guy Podcast will take me on!
Who are you making this for?
Luc: We’re doing this podcast for the regular sledders, the club volunteers, and the snowmobile clubs—and let's not forget all those hard-working groomer operators out there! We want to get the word out about snowmobiling in Ontario and Canada.
We’ll share trail information, club news and snow reports from the regions. You’ll get valuable tips for seasoned riders, as well as the new snowmobilers who are just getting into the sport and who want to get involved with their local club. We’ll talk about how our system works in Ontario and why some things are done a certain way, and the reasons behind those decisions. We’ll search for answers to questions our listeners may have.
Mike: I’m new to the snowmobiling sport, so I feel that I can give the perspective of a newbie—ask the questions and point things out to those who are also new or interested in getting into snowmobiling.
What can we look forward to on the podcast this season?
Mike: At this time we’re aiming to release an episode once every second week. This can change as things happen, if something interesting is going on we might release two episodes back to back. So we’re really just going to go with the flow. I look forward to meeting longtime members and volunteers in the sport and to learn as much as I can. I honestly can’t express the excitement I have to join Luc on the trails and get to experience snowmobiling from his perspective!
Luc: We want it to be different, we want to try new things out. One of them is to do a podcast from the groomer while actually grooming the trails. Mike will join me on one of my trips this winter and our listeners will be able to ride with us in the cab. We also want to do a podcast from the trail—go out on a trail, stop at a location and talk about the conditions and the area, then move along to the next destination. We’ll head out to a local restaurant for lunch and talk some more. Keep doing that all day. A day in the life of a groomer!
How will you decide what topics to cover?
Luc: Right now the way it works is as I think of topic or show idea, or guest we’d like to invite, I write it down in a note book for future reference. During the first three episodes, we came up with a bunch of ideas and made note of them. We’ll look at these ideas and go back and do some research and bring them up for a future show. Some days we’ll just wing it and talk about what’s currently going on in the snowmobiling and grooming communities and go from there. I have so many stories from my snowmobiling and grooming years—it’ll be a long time before we run out of them!
Mike: Yeah, this really is a go-with-the-flow kind of podcast. We’ll talk about whatever we want, take questions and find answers. Luc and I just want our listeners to enjoy our “garage talk” and to give them a different perspective on the sport.
Luc, when it comes to snowmobiling in Northern Ontario, you're one of the most knowledgeable people out there. Why do you think people travel from so far away to sled in the North?
Luc: People travel from far away to sled up here because they want to have a different experience, they want to get away from the stop-and-go areas where you’re crossing driveways or there’s a stop sign sometimes at every 500 feet lol! They want to ride the vast network of trails and old logging roads that create the famous superhighways of the North. People also like that less traffic makes the trails safer and more enjoyable. Oh, and let's not forget the piles of snow we get and the long riding season that can go right into April.
You're lucky to both be up there in the thick of it all. We can't wait for our next trip north. So, where can we listen to The Groomer Guy podcast?
Mike: The main page is https://thegroomerguy.buzzsprout.com. You can listen right from that page, or you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tunein, and many more. If you subscribe to the podcast from one of above mentioned services you will be notified as new episodes are released.
Luc: And you can follow me, The Groomer Guy on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.
So there you have it. Subscribe and enjoy!