Sunday, April 5, 2015

Move some dirt, ride some dirt…

I never want to get preachy on this blog. It's mostly supposed to be my fun, nonsensical rambling with a few tales of woe or whoa thrown in for good measure. But today I'm gonna get a little preachy, so in the words of Jack Nicholson, if "you can't handle the truth" then you should probably stop reading now.

You're still with me? Good. Here we go...

The whole thought of this post came to light for me this last Wednesday, which was April 1st , the dreaded April Fools' Day, which also happened to be the day to sign up for the Dakota Five-O.  Last year the Five-O sold out all 700 spots in a few hours and the expectation was that it would be the same or even quicker this year.  In addition to that, the website that everyone used to sign up last year was bought out by a different company, so everyone that I talked prior to the April Fools' 7:00 am registration was logging in early to make sure their old user name/password worked.  And at 7:00 when registration began, so did the flurry of communications about how the system was crashing, people couldn't register, people were getting registered 5 times, etc. all while I sat and drank my coffee watching the chaos unravel on my Steve-Jobs-Control-Your-Mind-From-Beyond-The-Grave device. "But Not-So-Serious, this will be your 8th Five-O.  You've done all of them since you moved back.  Aren't you doing this one?" I hear you say with a *GASP*.  Why yes, I am, but because of the actual point of this post, I didn't have to go through the gyrations of the other 699 individuals.

Gettin' dirty on the Centennial Trail.
You see, Perry has put out a call to arms the last couple of years.  Come help do some trail work to prep the course for this year's race and you're guaranteed a spot in next year's race.  You don't have to get up early, fight the other 699 people for a spot, or stress out when you were charged for 5 spots or didn't get in to the race.  Trade a little sweat equity for the peace of mind that you're in if you want to be.  So for the last two years, I've taken him up on his offer and it's been great!

Getting a guaranteed spot in the race isn't the point of my post though (even if it is a nice benefit) but getting out and doing some trail work is the point.  And this is where I feel like it gets all preachy and it can come off as "well, I do trail work so I'm better than you" and that is decidedly NOT what I want.  Look, I get it, we're ALL busy.  We have lives, work, spouses, kids, want to ride our bikes, yard work, want to ride our
More Centennial re-route stuff...
bikes, house work, want to RIDE OUR BIKES, soccer games, WANT TO RIDE OUR BIKES, shopping, WANT TO RIDE OUR FUCKING BIKES, that get in the way when it comes to doing stuff like trail work.  Guess what?  So do I.  The last thing I want to be doing on a beautiful Saturday morning is getting dressed to go do trail work.  I worked my ass off this week and I'd rather screw around on the internet for a while, drink way too much coffee and then go ride my bike.  But the trails aren't going to build, fix or clean themselves up.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of mountain bikers in our communities.  If we could just get 1/8th of them to go out and do two hours of trail work per year, TWO HOURS PER YEAR, we'd be miles and miles ahead of where we are now.

Sometimes there is a tangible benefit of doing trail work, like getting to laugh at everyone that is
Making trails better for your enjoyment!
having a meltdown about trying to get into the Dakota Five-O, and other times it is not so tangible, but that smug feeling you get when you ride a section of trail that you know would completely suck if you didn't work on it is totally worth it!

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