Building The Off Road Community Episode 1: Dirt Biking

Building The Off Road Community Episode 1: Dirt Biking

June, 4th, 2019 at 11:37 am

In addition to the release of Apple’s first iPod and the revelation of the Human Genome, 2001 was the year that Jon joined the dirt biking community.  Sparks flew; not just from the grinding of gears in the bike itself, but also from Jon’s instant feeling that he had finally found what he was meant to do. He is a calculated risk taker. His fellow dirt bikers are the same. What appears to onlookers to be a dangerous gamble is usually a common maneuver. However, this disconnect between rider and onlooker is what gives the impression of exaggerated risk instead of the release that it actually is for the riders.

Jon’s passion for dirt biking led him to work as a mechanic. From there, it was an easy jump into the brotherhood of the dirt biking community. One year ago, Jon beat Runnit Racing’s founder Andy Blood at go-karts, and the rest is history. Jon is working for Runnit Racing as a mechanic, and will be the co-driver in the offroad trophy truck races that Andy plans to take on in 2020.

Dirt Biking Community

Dirt biking provides an important perspective for the off road community. The considerations of the dirt biking community contribute to the general community as a whole. Unique to the dirt biking community is the sense of competitive brotherhood. While competitors are initially bonded by the desire to go fast, it goes beyond that. Jon says, “You get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t help anyone, they won’t help you. There’s definitely a moto-karma.” This idea stems from the fact that an unfair competition is not any fun. By making sure that everyone is at a fair level, this attitude enables all of the competitors to push themselves and each other and become better.

This brotherhood also preserves the image of the dirt biking community to the onlooker. It starts small, with simply spending time together and having fun. Jon points out that “if you don’t get along when you’re playing and not competing, then it’s going to be a hostile environment. If we’re not getting along together, then we aren’t putting up a good front for the rest of the world to see. It’s not just for the competitors’ benefit, but for the reputation of the sport.” In this way, the dirt biking community cares about its interaction with the public, not just within itself. This attitude is welcoming, and encourages new comers to join the brotherhood. 

That being said, there are some ground rules. The first rule to follow: pick up your trash. The second rule to follow: respect others on the trail. By virtue of using the trail, all adventurers have the same interest in preserving it. Unfortunately, this mutual interest is sometimes forgotten, and hosilities arise. It is the responsibility of the dirt biking community to represent itself well.

Dirt Biking in the Off Road Community

Ultimately, everybody in the off road community uses the same Planet Earth to chase adrenaline and find adventure. Jon served on a board as a representative of the dirt biking community to come up with a new management philosophy for Hartmann Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado. Representatives from sports such as running, mountain biking, horseback riding, land owners, and off road enthusiasts met to brainstorm for this BLM (Bureau of Land Management) project. All participants came together immediately with a united vision of preservation and increased access to the area.

For the dirt biking community, what more could you ask for?

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