Dual Sport Environmentalist

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mikem9, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    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 I’ll burn one or two gallons of gas. During this ride I’ll 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 set…I’ve 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. Don’t these people care about the environment?

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

    Source: http://dualsportalchemy.com/2012/02/the-dual-sport-environmentalist/
    #1
  2. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    Now I should feel ashamed for burning through 5-9 gallons on a dual sport ride.:cry Nah. :D
    #2
  3. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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    " 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.
    #3
  4. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    That guy sounds like an ignorant, assuming, self entitled asshole. :D
    Everybody else is the problem.
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  5. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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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."
    #5
  6. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

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    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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  7. RayAlazzurra

    RayAlazzurra Stuck in the Eighties

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    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.)
    #7
  8. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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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.
    #8
  9. Dan-M

    Dan-M Long timer

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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.
    #9
  10. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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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".


    J
    #10
  11. GeckoRider

    GeckoRider Been here awhile

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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
    #11
  12. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    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
    #12
  13. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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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.
    #13
  14. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    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.
    #14
  15. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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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.
    #15
  16. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    The biggest impact, IMO, is people who contribute to the population growth. People who have more than 1 child per parent contribute more to the long-term destruction/consumption/pollution of resources on this planet. 500 people on the planet could do pretty much whatever the hell they wanted, short of a nuclear event, and it would have minimal impact on the global environment. 10+billion people could live like total greenies and the planet could still be F'd.
    #16
  17. SteelJM1

    SteelJM1 Undercover KTM rider

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    And 4t thumpers with pipes are far FAR more obnoxiously noisy than 2t's.
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  18. Calamity Jesus

    Calamity Jesus n0ob

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    If he just wanted to go for a walk he could have done so on the sidewalk next to a bunch of noisy vehicles. Most hikers have chosen to be hikers specifically to get away from the stuff that makes the sidewalk environment so unattractive. Nobody goes hiking in the woods to save gas.
    #18
  19. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I grew up riding dirt bikes out of the SF Bay area. We ruined our hills by tearing them up with our knobbies. It is hard to imagine how deeply we scarred the range on Redwood Road above Oakland/San Leandro. No open area was safe from dirtbikes in early 1970s. They closed them not long after. And rightly so.

    In recent years I bumped into a very small carbon footprint. After a marital split, I moved downtown to a high rise condo. I walk to work. I use the subways for wider travel. People take care of all my niggling needs. Snow, parking, mail, building upkeep, even my ceiling spots! Basically I use my car once per week to run errands. I rent a space for my motorcycles, but keep my 690 at home in my garage parking. That costs $1k/year for that bike. The storage unit costs another $1300/yr. Meanwhile my monthly condo dues are $1k per month, so none of this is cheap...

    My heating/AC bill runs about $60 per month. I only fill my Subie gas tank once per month, and it would be less if I didn't have visitors who use my Subie for touring New England. I ride my motorcycles plenty but only on trips.

    Compared to before, I use 10% carbons in heating alone. But the knobby damage is still there. Today i like riding out west and on remote dirt roads intended for the vehicles. My favorite so far is Smokey Mountain Road. It stretches for 100 miles between Page, AZ and Escalante UT. Spectacular, remote, and dangerous as a solo rider. I was stressed early because of the weather damage, but loved it after I figured it would allow me through. In the end, it is a fair trade.

    I ride a Yam 250 thumper out west. It gets about 60 mpg.

    P
    #19
  20. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I fully understand that however as someone who lives out in the stix, I feel that person has no standing, its my land, or my community, not somebody's who came here to get away
    #20