Some who know me would call me a temperamental guy. Well, that's not entirely true--everyone who knows me would say I'm a little spicy. I just don't understand how some people can sit back and take it easy when they see some wrongdoing taking place. This goes for everything from someone picking on someone else to someone wasting the time of everyone else while being oblivious and selfish (hello, clueless cell phone drivers).
I'm trying to deal with my irritation issues, but there is one thing that will never let my anger completely subside: littering. Littering is the absolute worst form of needless pollution, and I encourage you to let others know how you feel about it if you see someone doing this tasteless, senseless, heartless, and careless act. Either tell them to pick it up, or go over and pick it up yourself, announcing to them, "Hey, let me pick up your trash for you!" to let them know that littering is just completely unacceptable.
Littering not only pollutes our wonderful environment, it gives off-roaders a terrible stigma and absolutely great ammunition for environazis to use against recreationalists in the fight to keep OHV areas open.
Why am I writing this now? Well, it's because I was recently reminded of how my blood boils when I come across a litterer. I was at a local area in Southern California riding around with my buddy in his Tahoe when he spotted a giant piece of chrome sitting on a trail near us. He stopped his Chevy, got out, and grabbed a giant running board from a Ford truck. He and I spent a few minutes tying it to the roof rack, and proceeded on our way. A couple minutes later, a stock dually Super Duty came up behind us doing about Mach 2 and we quickly pulled over to let it pass. A few minutes later we looked to the left to see this kamikaze pilot coming directly at us, perpendicular to the direction of the road. My buddy slammed on the brakes, as it was clear he never saw us, and the dually hit the big berm on the side of the road, launching his front end into the air, and landing the doors of the Super Duty on the berm--front tires hanging off the ground! He had some dookie-eating grin on his face when he looked over and saw us. We were about to get out and help this guy (against better judgment) when he yelled, "Hey, that's my running board!" Ah, the perpetrator! It figured. I took a few deep breaths and told him we found it a couple miles back on the trail and we'd be happy to give it back to him so he could throw it away, hoping that he had not known he had lost it and giving him a chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately, he responded that he had known it had come off and he wanted to know if we wanted the other one. Again, I asked if he wanted to take his trash out of the area. He clearly wasn't getting the picture. Instead of making a scene, I told my friend to just drive off, rolling up the window after stating for him to try to not leave trash on the trail from now on. The few thousand dollars of damage he had just done to his truck and leaving him there stuck was enough to quench part of my irritation, but I still wish he would've gotten a clue when I asked him if he'd like to take out his own litter.
Technically, the running board was not the worst trash we found -- it was just the only piece we found the owner of. Busted TVs, beds, tires, a fridge, and countless cans and bottles were strewn throughout the area. A couple friends and I are going back soon with a few trucks to try and clean out what we can. Almost all of this trash is not from off-roaders, but because it's in an area where people go 'wheeling, we off-roaders are naturally blamed for it.
For that reason, I'd love for you all to start packing trash bags in your trucks when you go off-roading. Just because we aren't the ones leaving the trash behind doesn't mean that we can't pick it up. As motivation, I am making this offer: For every email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org that contains an image of you picking up some trash, I will snail mail you an OFF-ROAD license plate and sticker.
And thanks for taking the time to take care of our environment.
This Month:We spent a lot of time bolting bumpers on and building custom ones. As easy as it sounds, building a cool-looking custom bumper can take a lot of work, and you should plan on spending a lot of time designing and redesigning it because the chances are that you'll want to change something.
We also got into shocks this issue, checking out some super-affordable rebuildable shocks, how you can valve your own shocks, and a handy portable nitrogen refilling kit that allows you to charge your own shocks.