Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why Not The Countryside?

Riding a motorbike is a great way to spend your free time as the sense of freedom on the roads can both exhilarate and liberate your senses. The roads are good but why not go riding in the countryside? Even though the government are shutting down green lanes across the country there are still a load of great places to go riding in the great outdoors. Green lanes are registered roads which are often gravel or dirt tracks which litter the countryside and offer a new experience for those looking for a new riding experience.
I have been riding on green lanes for a number of years now and I can honestly say that it is the best way to ride a motorbike. With green lanes being used by four wheel drive users alongside motorcyclists there is a good crowd of people which both love and respect the countryside who want to see it in a different way to the norm.  It is all about seeing places which you always wonder about when driving along the roads in the country. What we do on our motorbikes is not anti-social or illegal, and doesn't cause many motorbike accident claims, but many other users of green lanes seem to believe otherwise.
Horse riders and ramblers are the biggest enemies to the green lane motorbike riders. They seem to think that what we do is significantly damaging the countryside and also disturbing the peace in the area riding our bikes. Who do they think we are? We don’t storm around the countryside in an antisocial manner on load and brash two stroke motorbikes, speeding across the lanes churning up the ground. Green lane riders prefer more quiet trail bikes with sufficient silencers to keep the noise levels down. We ride at slow speeds so we can negotiate any rocks, ruts and deep puddles in the lanes ahead and don’t throw up big chunks of dirt. We know that the countryside is not just ours and that we should respect the awesome locations we get to ride by doing so in a sensible manner.
What really annoys me is the self righteous attitude of the horse riders and walkers. Just because our method of seeing the countryside is different and less conventional does not mean we do not deserve a place to do what we want when it is legally allowed. Riding a road registered trail motorbike on green lanes is completely within the law in the UK.
We ride around in the countryside enjoying the views and the scenery whilst getting the challenge of riding a motorbike off road in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. People believe off road motorcycles belong on the motocross track but not everyone wants to ride their bike at top speed over big jumps in a muddy field.  Older people for instance want a calmer off road experience which can’t be found at motocross tracks or hare and hound races.
People need to realise that motorbike riders are not a collective which can be labelled under one banner.  The group I often ride with contains a dentist, a truck driver and a social worker. We are a varied bunch of people all brought together through our love for the countryside and riding on two wheels.  With the government shutting many green lanes cross the country, motorbike riders like me will soon be a dying breed and will be forced to ride at designated off road facilities. If the situation ever gets that bad I will have to find a new way to ride on two wheels off road. Trials biking looks like a good shout as it is a much slower and technical style of riding.
But for now, green lane riding is alive and well and this weekend I will be out on my bike checking out what the countryside has to offer. Riding the lanes is my favourite way to see the countryside along with being the best way to ride an off road motorbike. With time, we can keep a hold of the green lanes so future generations can enjoy them in a similar way to what we have. 

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