UP FRONT

SI­LENCE THE REA­SONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO ON AN AD­VEN­TURE

Cycle World - - News - By Mark Hoyer

It’s im­por­tant to watch ex­actly how your world will not end if you de­cide to get up from your desk to ride mo­tor­cy­cles for a few days. I was so glad to spend some time du­al­sport­ing on my 2013 Yamaha WR250R “ADV LITE” re­cently that it’s hard to express. But since ex­press­ing it is my job, I’m go­ing to take a swing at it…

I do love the bike and the soli­tary na­ture of putting on your hel­met and in­ter­act­ing with the trail, but the best thing about these rides is the peo­ple we take them with. Rid­ing in a group and shar­ing the strug­gles and vic­to­ries and vis­tas is pure joy.

My new pal Joe Brown, edi­tor-in-chief of Pop­u­lar Science, came along for a dirt ride we call The Trek re­cently in the Sierra Ne­vada range south of Yosemite. At a prime mo­ment watch­ing oth­ers con­quer the mud bog and slip­pery roots we just had, he said, “This is re­ally great rid­ing with other peo­ple, the ca­ma­raderie and shared ex­pe­ri­ence. I love rid­ing but I al­ways do it by my­self. This is so good.”

And this is ex­actly the rea­son Cy­cle World found­ing pub­lisher Joe Parkhurst launched the first Trek in 1975 with a trip to Mike’s Sky Ranch in Baja for his clos­est friends and as­so­ciates in the in­dus­try. It was a true trek—as in a long point-to-point ride—at that time, but the per­cent­age of high-level rid­ers in high-level places in the in­dus­try was very high back then. Times were also slower or at least less in­sis­tently elec­tron­i­cally noisy. The Trek has been an an­nual in­vi­ta­tional event for us ever since.

My first Trek in 1999 was at a place called Mon­tezuma Lodge in Ari­zona not far from Se­dona. We slept eight in the small cabin where I was bunk­ing, I found out one of the nicest PR guys in the busi­ness cussed up a storm in his sleep, and I should say eight hu­mans be­cause the ro­dent pop­u­la­tion in our cabin sent the liv­ing-crea­ture cen­sus way up. There was but one pay phone, and the near­est cell sig­nal might have been in Flagstaff. Imag­ine try­ing to keep 80 peo­ple off of In­sta­gram for three days in 2017! The fi­nal morn­ing, Lyle Lovett, mu­si­cian and avid rider, asked me if I’d like an­other cup of cof­fee on the porch. “Why, yes, Lyle, yes I would.” At the core, it is the shared ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mon bonds formed dur­ing the ad­ven­ture that have built the life­time friend­ships and pro­fes­sional con­nec­tions I have in the in­dus­try.

It’s changed over the years along with com­mu­ni­ca­tion, cul­ture, and mo­tor­cy­cle tech­nol­ogy, but the core shared ex­pe­ri­ence is the same and car­ries the same value. It’s even more fun now that we can share it all on so­cial me­dia nearly in real time. What could be better than watch­ing (or cap­tur­ing) your friends crash into a mud bog or con­quer a hard, rocky climb?

And while pretty much ev­ery part of the mo­tor­cy­cle in­dus­try is stressed right now and it’s easy to think if you just work a lit­tle harder it might help, you’ve got to stop a mo­ment. You ab­so­lutely must re­mem­ber why we got into mo­tor­cy­cling in the first place, and why we choose to work in the in­dus­try is prob­a­bly more im­por­tant to the long-term health of your­self and the sport you love. The best mes­sage to send about rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles is to pas­sion­ately pur­sue seat time.

An­other day at the of­fice doesn’t make memories to last a life­time. Yes, you have to pay the bills, but pay­ing the bills isn’t the end in and of it­self. I work so that I may ride and have ad­ven­tures with good friends. I feel for­tu­nate that those good friends are also my col­leagues and co-work­ers.

Take a day off and go rid­ing. Parkhurst would ap­prove. In fact, he would in­sist.

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