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Trail Topics

   The Pleasure and the Pain

    Monday, September 05, 2011

Author: George Lowry

Last week the bloody bike threw me off (yes blame the tools, not the tool riding it). As I sailed through the air, I started to ponder (as you do) how much landing was going to hurt. The problem was that my shoulder was lining up to take the full impact of landing and my recollection of the body armour I was wearing was that there wasn't too much of it around the shoulder area! Duh... note to self... get some more shoulder armour and a neck brace!

Bang! Crack! I hit the ground and immediately a sharp pain shot through the shoulder into the neck and down the back. Faaaaarrrrrge! I lay there wondering if I should move... as usual the audience soon arrives and provides great motivation to stand up, be brave and pick the bike up and continue onwards, if only to get to the next stop to ring for help!

Back in Perth, a lot of x-rays and CT scans later, I've been wondering some more as I swallow a lot of pills and limp about... why do we do this to ourselves!!! The answer I believe is pretty simple. Trail bike riding is the simply the most awesome recreational sport going round!! Out on the trails during the day communing with nature, sitting round fires at night telling epic stories of bravery, heroism and 'how good am I' (the last one obviously not me!).

As good as the sport is, I believe there are ever-present dangers which if left unchecked will destroy it. The first is called "selfishness". I'm guilty of it. Why should I get involved.. I know where I like to ride, when I ride and with who. Why should I give a toss about other riders much less help them. Selfishness leads to the next danger. Apathy. That's the sit on your fat ass and let others do the work.

So why do I give time and money to the RTRA? Because trail riding is the best sport. Because people are out there lobbying state and local government to not only protect the activity but invest significant resources in developing it. Because public servants are working at state and local government levels trying to do the right thing by our sport... and they need our support and encouragement. But mainly because I don't want to be another rider who is too selfish to get off his fat ass and give something back to the sport.

No pain, no gain!!