1.04.2008,7:51 AM
Riding Dirt

Why do we do it?

The only way to experience anything is to become immersed in it. You can't do that in a vehicle with four sides; it is a cage. Nor on a bike screaming on the asphalt whizzing by. You can glance at it, maybe smell it, but not experience it.

On the roads less traveled, the trails covered with leaves, dirt, gravel, sand and rock, your speed is limited by your degree of death wish. A dirt bike, a dual sport bike, tires that bite and grab, kick up stones, splatter water, push or hover over sand; you are out there.

Dust and sand covers your gear, helmet, goggles or shield; it crusts inside your nose and the outside of your lips. Odors, sun, water, sand and dust entomb you and your machine; rocks, boulders, sand and creek water chain you and your machine to the back of the terrain and take you for a ride as if you were tethered to Moby Dick. You can go down and under, the elements are unforgiving.

You rely on your nerves, judgment and skill. Adrenaline feeds your brain and steadies your hands while you snort and grin inside crusted sweaty gear. Pure determination keeps your legs from buckling under you after hours on the pegs. You fall, you get up, pick it up and try it again.

It's not a sport. It's not touring. It's real riding and being immersed in the terrain. A compromise between the engine and wheels under you and your perseverance on how far you want to, how far you can, push it. It's being there. It's being alive.

You stop at the top or bottom, turn off the engine and look around; and breathe deeply. Grinning. Feeling it. Knowing you're alive.

This is why we ride dirt.


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posted by Macrobe
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