The other day a friend of mine - for this story, we'll call him Jack (to protect the innocent) - got into a heated debate about taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions. What really got this topic started was an off-road video that depicted full-on anarchy at an off-road destination. After reviewing the video, it was easy to say, "Yeah, that video was so cool." I could see Jack's point of view. But my point of the argument was, instead of helping our sport, this video did more to hurt it.
I went so far as to say "If you're going to be an idiot, why tape it and show the world?" To make matters worse, I was at a local off-road show and saw a booth selling this video with people lined up to purchase it. I thought to my self, these are the same people who cry when our local off-road areas are shut down and just twiddle their thumbs. Hey, don't get me wrong. I own all of the Crusty moto videos - freestyle rocks. But the type of videos I'm talking about are a whole different story: drunk guys running through fire and being pulled through the desert on a couch.
Quite frankly, more people should be ticked off. On one hand, we are promoting mass chaos, while Big Brother shuts the land down for our use. If you think that propaganda such as this hasn't played a roll in the most recent land closure where this video was filmed, then you're kidding yourself.
As I was explaining my point to Jack, it was as though a lightning bolt had hit him and changed his attitude. Maybe it finally made sense to him, or maybe he saw my passion for the argument and knew he couldn't win. But the truth of the matter is, some of us still enjoy off-roading without any mind-altering substances. I like to get up early, fill up the tank, and ride 'til the gas is gone
Don't get me wrong. I am all for our first amendment right to free speech - I'm in the business. Also, I am an off-road enthusiast, and right now, as the editor of OFF-ROAD magazine, I have a chance to voice my opinion. There are a lot of things we can promote. If you are using the land with family and friends, camping out, and having epic adventures, then it is worth your time to filter through the mess and not promote something that can hurt what you treasure.
This can even be taken a step farther by policing this pastime before the government takes it away. Be smart and pack out what you pack in - pick up your trash. Use caution and safety when out driving or riding. But folks, really, it doesn't take a lot to promote off-roading in a positive way. A little common sense, picking up after yourself, and voicing your opinion can go a long way. And if that doesn't light a fire under your butt, how about Big Brother stepping in and taking away our land use for good?