Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mud and Guts

Autumn isn't too far away, and with autumn comes (a bit more) rain.  And rain means mud.

Ordinarily I'm much more of a fan of non-motorised means of having fun in nature.  I think that human powered and silent is the right way to enjoy the outdoors, however every now and then my inner rev-head rears up to have it's say.  Having spent a bit of time wrestling motorbikes around fields when I worked a stint on some farms in the past, I am in awe of good trials riders.
It's a fact of life that in this modern age, motorbikes and quad-bikes have replaced horses as the primary means of moving around large pastoral farms to herd animals and check fences.  And as with any farm-based routine it's developed into a competitive activity where the steepest, rockiest, most slippery, tree-root-ridden route is marked out and taken on by anybody with two wheels and an engine from nearby farms and villages.  Normally a trial is hosted by a farmer who has a patch of pasture that's either incredibly rocky, or that leads down to a stream or river where all of the mud has been churned up by his cattle as they go down to drink.  Cows go out, bikes come in for a weekend and then the land is left to recover.
The world of motor-sports and motorbikes loves it's bright garish colours and massive logos, but thankfully amongst all of the questionable design work you still spot the odd rider on an old bike that's probably been used daily for the past 40 years, or somebody in a canvas jacket or overalls wearing army surplus pilot's goggles.  These tend to be the blokes and bikes that get the attention of my camera.
Nature as an obstacle course, and the wetter and muddier it is the better.

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