Going off piste and finding your way back!
So I had a thought the other day…whilst riding the trusted motorised cycle over more dirt, rocks and deadwood…what if I just ventured off the trail and see where the chosen route took me? What could possibly happen, what might I find and would I likely encounter resistance from property owners.
Well, the latter being almost certainly the biggest stumbling block as you can rest assured that as soon as you leave the proper trail, then you’ll be on private land and trespassing, which isn’t a good place to be so best not to try in the first place.
However there are lots of times when out riding along a route that you’ve plotted, that you come across another trail or backroad which you hadn’t bargain to ride along but it calls out to you to go ride it.
Whilst riding the official publicly accessible routes, there are many opportunities to go off piste but great care should be taken before doing so unless you want a screaming land owner chasing you up the track with shotgun in hand.
However, whenever you do so, at least try to stick to other trails or places that will not offend or cause any damage. You’ll have a much better time explaining yourself if you’ve merely veered off course slightly rather than being caught hooning around, digging up trails and breaking the country aired silence with your rabid growling machine.
The key is to be invisible, unobtrusive and inconsequential to anyone else. Think about the times of day and when others are most likely to be around so you might avoid them…and be respectful at all times. If you ever comes across a farmer, it doesn’t hurt to ask their permission if you can ride trails on their land. Sometimes they say yes and other times they say no…but at least you’re going about it the right way and in the best manner possible!
Whenever you go off the trail, there is of course a much greater risk of coming unstuck, but you have to approach it in the same way as a normal ride. Patience, caution and good decision making will be key to a successful ride but the rewards are certainly worth it for the hidden delights you will find.
Of course riding your bike is everything you want to experience, however sometimes there are footpaths that can lead to amazing spots too. Now I’m not suggesting you start riding footpaths however you can park up the bike and go for a walk to explore something new or even to check the way to see if it’s even rideable if you’re allowed to do so.
As a human being I am looking to have new experiences as often as possible. To keep the mind active and constantly topping up the brain with new information…information that I also find pleasurable too.
Going exploring on a bike has taken me to far flung places but I can honestly say that some of the best experiences I have had have been within a day’s ride of where I live.
Wherever you go, however far you venture out…you very soon come to realise that you’re not even scratching the surface of what is out there to see, so just enjoy whatever you find…wherever it is.
I have one rule which I like to stick by when riding my bike. Wherever and whenever possible, what ever journey I make I’ll always try to include a section of road or trail that I’ve not been on before. It doesn’t guarantee any spiritual enlightenment on every trip but I take solace in knowing that on this day…I saw something new to me st least.
Going off piste doesn’t mean you have to get off the safe path and ride the cliff edge, but it does mean you force yourself to venture out, add an extra 15mins onto your trip to go explore and give yourself the best chance of keeping the therapy fresh.
Go explore! Go motorcycle explore!