Saturday, 20 March 2010

I'm going green-one day

I ride a dirtbike for recreation and I am a sometime racer. I like nothing more than riding in the great out doors. The roar of a high performance two stroke engine ringing in my ears and spewing hydrocarbons into the atmosphere and a big knobbly tyre ripping chunks out of the earth. I have even been known to stop at times and appreciate view. We get to get into some really neat places.

Greenies are against people like me enjoying this kind of activity, just as they are against anyone enjoying the great outdoors unless they plant a forest to offset their carbon footprint and live off a diet of nuts and berries.

Riding areas are being closed all the time, not just because some greenie group or council has decided that a block of bush is the only known habitat of some unhitherto unknown species of plant that has to be protected but also because of increasing safety and well being compliance issues. Though sometimes it seems to me that environmental groups just want to close vast areas of the country off to preserve them in their pristine native condition so that nobody can enjoy them.

Of course some people who ride motorbikes don't help the cause by riding where they are not supposed to and damaging fragile ecosystems while their noisy bikes simply annoy people. There are hoons everywhere.

Most of the riding we do is on formed tracks on race tracks, farms and forestry or bush blocks, or single tracks purposely cut through through the trees. Any damage is pretty localised and nothing a bulldozer can't put right.

I am sure that one of the biggest objections to people on dirtbikes is the noise. Even a properly muffled bike multiplied by several hundred riders at a race track or trail makes a lot of noise.

But help is at hand. Electric dirtbikes are being developed around the world and could revolutionalise the sport and open up new riding areas that would normally be closed due to noise issues.

In terms of useability these bikes are nowhere close to the current combustion engined bikes. They aren't as fast for a start. They have limited range and the fact they take a few hours to recharge between rides doesn't make them attractive to most riders yet.

But the time is coming that these bikes will be the equal of a combustion engined bike and we'll be buying them along with generators so that we can charge a spare battery while we carry on riding in places like this block of bush.

That will just give the environmentalists another excuse to stop us-just imagine all the power stations that are going to have to be built to satisfy our lust for green electric powered bikes and cars.

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