There has been an unofficial motto of FT3 that "we are doing a lot more than just riding bikes". Yeah, there is that whole beer swilling Iron John thing, but there may be a bit more than that as well. We are potentially helping to revitalize the dead or struggling economies of traditional ag or resource based communities.
While trying to catch my breath this weekend, I was once again hit in the gut by shot of reality delivered by the mighty welterweight NPR. Delivering the, often abused (only during pledge week), but always loved "driveway moment", NPR hit me with their new program State of the Re:Union. This show examines the burning question of, "where we go from here"? The answer may be as simple as we go Mt. Biking. During this weekends listening, enjoyed in my driveway, I learned of the drama being played out in the small hamlet of Oakridge OR. Oakridge is/was a dying logging town that is undergoing a revolution at the hands of those that normally grip handlebars! The old guard plays the tune of "locals only" while the purely selfish riders take on all trails as if they were only built for them. However, there is a group, a group settled somewhere in the middle, a group that loves its town, and sees the potential of new and vital growth. This transformation of a town has flushed out those that will either buy a chainsaw to make new trails or a Mt. Bike to ride where the once logged. Cafes, bars, and other new businesses have popped up to cater to this new economy and move the city from the ICU to that of stable condition. The whole time I was listening I didn't hear Oakridge, I heard Pollock Pines, I heard Colfax, I heard Ketchikan, I heard Home.
Now Mt. Biking is no new trend, its been around for a while and is tested and proven. This thing we do every Tuesday has grown from cult to mainstream, from build your own to how much can you spend. Which I guess isn't all that bad. If folks get out there and see the beauty of a place by bike, what can be all that bad about it? I guess the question is, how many folks do you want in your back yard? I am sure the first guys to step over a bike atop a rocky dirt trail had no idea that Mt. Biking may later be the key to saving local economies.
I guess in the end, the fun part is getting out there and seeing if you have a trail system vast enough to accommodate a group of yahoo's wanting some adventure. Who knows, but I am willing to do the research.
Anyone got a helmet cam?
Mosquito @ 5:45...Exit 54?
Until we ride,