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Trail Topics

   A Casey In Point

    Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Author: Tadhg MacCarthy

I woke at 6am on the 18th of May to the news that Casey Stoner at the tender age of 26 was going to retire at the end of the MotoGP season. The reasons cited were that he had lost the passion for motorcycle racing - a sport he had dedicated his life to. The passion killers were technical changes to the sport favouring weaker riders; but more telling was the lack of empathy for riders from the MotoGP moguls.

At 6:30am my missus announced her retirement from trailriding - as she had also lost the passion for the sport. I had to do a double take as ‘trailriding’ sounded like ‘marriage’ in my still half asleep consciousness. That certainly could have put a different spin on a mundane Wednesday.

Her reason for loss of passion for trailriding (not marriage) was the risk versus reward equation.
Put simply it was no longer worth it.

At 7:15am my son made it a trifecta when he also announced his trailriding retirement at age 12 to concentrate on skateboarding or something.

I glanced over at my daughter with a "Quinella?" look.

"No chance Dad. Sell their bikes and mine then I can upgrade to a Husky!" she exclaimed. That was the first piece of sense I had heard that day.

It did get me thinking - what pushes people to turn their back on their passion for motorcycling. Risk is always a factor and changes over time. What would it take for me to give it away?

Well if Scarlett Johnannson called and... oops did I type that out loud?

Certainly the quality of the trails on offer has a big impact - if that deteriorated to a level it has in large parts of the US and Europe then I would be hanging up the boots. Somebody recently told me a story of flicking through a UK Adventure Riding magazine recommending a couple of routes through their "green-lane" system. One was 3.1 miles long - the other 2.2 miles. Yep, that'd do it.

That'd never happen here ... right?

Wrong - apathy abounds. The Nanny state mentality grows daily.

What's the answer?

To paraphrase JFK "Ask not what the RTRA can do for you; but what can you do for the RTRA".

I could do more ... could you?

Otherwise see you on Trail Route 1 (of 2) with 400 of our closest friends, which will be a mammoth 6kms long - resplendent in freeway signs, traffic lights and fun police.