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Old 12-30-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
mikem9 OP
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Dual Sport Environmentalist

Excerpt from an interesting blog article I found recently. Your thoughts on the subject?

".....The vast majority of us who ride prefer to be challenged by nature and rewarded with spectacular vistas and a sense of solitude. Of course, the same can be said for many other forms of outdoor recreation. But if you want to talk in terms carbon foot print, few outdoor enthusiasts have as little impact on the environment as those who ride dual sports.

My single cylinder DRZ400 gets gas mileage that puts most economy cars to shame. On an average day ride Iíll burn one or two gallons of gas. During this ride Iíll normally see a decent representation of other outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers that commute 60 miles to the trailhead and back in their SUV. Campers in an old VW Bus that belches black exhaust as if it ran on soft coal. Mountain bikers unloading their bikes from a V8 powered Toyota Tundra. And of course, the equestrian setÖIíve yet to see a horse trailer being towed by a Prius. With the exception of road cyclists and a few avid mountain bikers, most everyone I see enjoying non-motorized forms of recreation in the forest has consumed more fossil fuels in a single day than I will in several rides. Donít these people care about the environment?

Now that Iím an exponent of environmentalism, next time I receive stink eye from a hiker Iíll feel justified in giving it right back. I realize that nature has a delicate beauty that must be appreciated and admiredÖwhen Iím not busy trying to haul ass through it."

Source: http://dualsportalchemy.com/2012/02/...ironmentalist/
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem9 View Post
On an average day ride Iíll burn one or two gallons of gas.
Now I should feel ashamed for burning through 5-9 gallons on a dual sport ride. Nah.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem9 View Post
Excerpt from an interesting blog article I found recently. Your thoughts on the subject?

".....The vast majority of us who ride prefer to be challenged by nature and rewarded with spectacular vistas and a sense of solitude. Of course, the same can be said for many other forms of outdoor recreation. But if you want to talk in terms carbon foot print, few outdoor enthusiasts have as little impact on the environment as those who ride dual sports.

My single cylinder DRZ400 gets gas mileage that puts most economy cars to shame. On an average day ride Iíll burn one or two gallons of gas. During this ride Iíll normally see a decent representation of other outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers that commute 60 miles to the trailhead and back in their SUV. Campers in an old VW Bus that belches black exhaust as if it ran on soft coal. Mountain bikers unloading their bikes from a V8 powered Toyota Tundra. And of course, the equestrian setÖIíve yet to see a horse trailer being towed by a Prius. With the exception of road cyclists and a few avid mountain bikers, most everyone I see enjoying non-motorized forms of recreation in the forest has consumed more fossil fuels in a single day than I will in several rides. Donít these people care about the environment?

Now that Iím an exponent of environmentalism, next time I receive stink eye from a hiker Iíll feel justified in giving it right back. I realize that nature has a delicate beauty that must be appreciated and admiredÖwhen Iím not busy trying to haul ass through it."

Source: http://dualsportalchemy.com/2012/02/...ironmentalist/
" on an average day ride I burn One or two gallons of gas"... I would have to get 200 mpg for that to happen. It is a good start on my campfire though.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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That guy sounds like an ignorant, assuming, self entitled asshole.
Everybody else is the problem.
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bwalsh screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 04:24 PM
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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It just hit me as interesting because as a dirt oriented dual sport rider, I've often felt frowned upon by other forest users while out in the forest because I was on a motorcycle. As motorcyclists, most of us love nature also. That's part of the reason why we want to feel the wind in our face. Interesting quote from the blog article:

"Ever since I’ve been involved in off road motorcycling, I’ve maintained a us-against-them mentality when it came to environmental activists. Recently I came to an ironic realization: I love nature and as a dual sport motorcyclist I am, in fact, being environmentally conscious."
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem9 View Post
It just hit me as interesting because as a dirt oriented dual sport rider, I've often felt frowned upon by other forest users while out in the forest because I was on a motorcycle. As motorcyclists, most of us love nature also. That's part of the reason why we want to feel the wind in our face. Interesting quote from the blog article:

"Ever since Iíve been involved in off road motorcycling, Iíve maintained a us-against-them mentality when it came to environmental activists. Recently I came to an ironic realization: I love nature and as a dual sport motorcyclist I am, in fact, being environmentally conscious."
Anybody can say they are environmentally conscious but do they walk the walk or just talk the talk?
The guy is assuming a LOT, and ignorant to a LOT, in just the one paragraph that was posted.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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Feelin' good.

There are a lot of variables here. Motorcycles certainly use less fuel than SUVs and pickups, yet they will always be seen as destructive. Erosion into streams, and leavings ruts behind gives people a poor impression. I've always thought the environmental movement was making a mistake by focusing on fossil fuel use and global warming. The fuel conservation problem will take care of itself as fuels get more and more expensive. The old conservation movement's focus on habitat, habitat, and limited use made more sense than present day environmental dogma. So if I choose to buy into the idea that fossil fuel use is ruining the planet than I would feel good about riding a bike. Meanwhile roads and trails are closed in Colorado because of water quality issues. (runoff, etc.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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OP completely sidestepped the fact that an awful lot of back-woods riders will have trailered their bikes in. Also hikers and horse riders tend to travel two or more to a vehicle, thereby balancing out the fuel economy advantage of the lone motorcycle. Finally, as pointed out by others, environmental impacts include far more than carbon emissions. Erosion and associated stream sedimentation, noise, and disruption of wildlife being probably the most significant.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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I think the guy has a valid point with respect to the typical holier than thou attitude of some of the environmental conscious types he listed. Driving a giant SUV to a trail head or 3/4 ton pick up to tow your horse trailer and calling yourself more environmentally conscious because you hike and enjoy the outdoors without the benefit of an OHV is hypocritical.
I don't think he feels like he is better than them, only that he is tired of their hypocrisy.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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I think the intent of the Environmentalist DS blogger is lost to a few posters. Everyone rationalizes their path through life and the impact they have on their surroundings. Rarely does this mesh with other's conclusions. I've considered my own actions in very much the same way as the blogger right or not and in the end I have to live with my decisions. Thing is everyone else has to live with the the result of my decisions as well. I'm fine with all of that.

Carbon foot print as has been mentioned is not fuel consumption alone. Afterall all vehicles and just about everything else in this world we use, including many of the technical fibers the "holier than thou" crowd uses in their pursuit of happiness are all derived from fossil fuels. Paint, cloth for seats, shoes, buttons...thank you oil.

What the blogger may have missed is the reason everyone else is there...to get away from the sounds, smells and effects of modern urban and suburban living. My carbed bike does leave a funk in the air. I don't like that but I do my best to be as polite as can possible to hikers, equestrians, and cyclists. A nod and a wave can go a long way. I can see why some of the outdoorsmen he and we all have met from time to time out and about could give us the stink eye...I have just ruined their idea of getting away. Oh well, you can't please everyone.

I don't get the feeling the blogger is what many of us call an Environmentalist but he is us...at least at some point in time. He also assumed people approach their activities with a conscious thought to their environmental impact. I would guess most don't give it a second thought. Or they do and come to a different version of "low environmental impact".


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Old 12-30-2012, 11:31 PM   #11
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I think it is the few that spoil for the many. Of the complaints I have heard is about noise (esp in areas where 2 strokes are still allowed, and running mufflers that do little to reduce the noise) and general reckless/vandal behavior (carrying far too much speed for ability to see, blazing new trails, or tearing up the turf). While all that is fun for the motorcycle rider, it is not exactly acting as a good neighbor.

I don't like the closure of lands to our use. I do think the folks on that side of the fence lump us wrongly in with a small group that are creating the problems. Self policing seems the only way by driving home that acting the fool will in the long run ruin what we have and certainly not bring back lands to us. If we don't self police or take the actions to educate the folks on the other side of the fence will, and they will be far less understanding.

The other side of the dice is the legal stuff that comes up for areas like ranches/ranges, which at least in the US is tied to the overly litigious nature of our legal system that allow people acting the fool to be treated like victims.

And so on. /dons asbestos outerwear
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
OP completely sidestepped the fact that an awful lot of back-woods riders will have trailered their bikes in. Also hikers and horse riders tend to travel two or more to a vehicle, thereby balancing out the fuel economy advantage of the lone motorcycle. Finally, as pointed out by others, environmental impacts include far more than carbon emissions. Erosion and associated stream sedimentation, noise, and disruption of wildlife being probably the most significant.
As a member of a local conservation commission and as a land use consultant (certified wetland scientist) , I can say that yer wrong

the most significant disruption is granola bars, environmental zealots and other wannabes. the mere fact that your there is a disruption to their ideals

they cry erosion, sedimentation, noise, etc. the impact of a well maintained and designed trail for wheeled vehicles is no more than the horse trail or walking path. no I realize that not all ATV trailes are well designed or maintained, but the same goes for other nature activities
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:43 AM   #13
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Actually I have never heard a horseback rider address the impact to the soil that a pack of horses make. Ever been down a trail after they have? They make a chopped up mess worthy of any group of dirt riders. It is all perception of the individual. If you are listening for birds for instance , then you don't want to hear anything. I think MOST of us are realistic enough to know that mankind leaves a lot of different "footprints", whether sound, sight, movement or whatever. Otherwise you just have unreal expectations.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by goldentaco View Post
Everyone rationalizes their path through life and the impact they have on their surroundings. Rarely does this mesh with other's conclusions.

the reason everyone else is there...to get away from the sounds, smells and effects of modern urban and suburban living.

they do and come to a different version of "low environmental impact".
I believe J has hit the nail a few times. Each person works (consciously or subconsciously) to believe that their own way of life is reasonable. There are simply so many of us that the cumulative result is widely different users in the same space.

It is also very easy for quieter land users to point their finger at louder users.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:36 AM   #15
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Yup. The hiker who shouts/glares at you for riding your dirtbike down what they wrongly believe to be a "footpath" probably drove to their start point in a car. You almost certainly burnt less fuel in the same trip, despite using the bike for the 'hiking' part too. We could argue about the specifics of the damage you do DSing and even conclusively prove that it was less harmful than sitting at home in your house on Saturday instead, but it'd wouldn't make a difference. Let's be frank; some hikers simply don't like sharing the trails and will use any argument, however spurious, to make us look bad and to try and get vehicles banned from "their" rights of way.

That said, you get way fewer negative interaction bimbling along on an adventure bike, stopping, taking off your lid and talking to people, than nailing it on a race-ready 2T with loud pipes...

Me? I'm honest about it. I simply do not care about the CO2 emissions or whatever of my bike, or the damage my knobblies supposedly do to the trails. I don't believe the people who have a problem with it will be convinced otherwise, so why waste my time researching it, or my breath arguing with them? I derive enough enjoyment from doing so and live cleanly enough in other aspects of my life that my conscience doesn't bother me in the slightest.
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