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March 2007 4xForward - Urban Wheeling

Posted in Features on March 1, 2007
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Contributors: Rick Péwé

By any stretch of the imagination, the one reason we wheel is for the dirt. Of course the term dirt encompasses mud, rocks, snow, sand, or anything other than pavement. Heck, driving in a dirt parking lot is better than a paved one! Of course this doesn't mean everyone that wheels has to end up dirty, broken, or soiled, but without the basic concept of going in the dirt, you just wouldn't be wheeling. Does that mean pavement is bad? Of course not, since the majority of most people's driving time is taken up by concrete or asphalt. But I consider those surfaces as a way to deliver me and my 4x4 to the greater world of dirt. What is even more interesting is the fact that concrete and asphalt are often broken up and removed, and if not recycled then piled in what seems to be the epitome of Urban Wheeling.

Urban Wheeling is probably the next forefront on the 4x4 scene, as our trails get closed and uninformed environmentalists lead the charge to save the world from wheeling. I see viable venues for wheeling every day on my (asphalt) drive to work. A big pile of broken-up concrete sits on the side of the freeway, begging to be crawled and conquered by tires and traction. Sharp edges, slick surfaces, and nasty rebar wait for a victim to try and assault the debris of some former edifice. Just as in the forest, these obstacles can move, turn, and change with the season and weather, making it a challenge for the toughest rig you could build. Of course, the calamity caused by looky-loo drivers cruising by on the interstate might mean you'll have to cut and run before the authorities arrive, but the same concept could be applied to any area that might be legal for you to wheel in.

Alas, we didn't find any truly urban obstacle to show you in this month's action-packed issue. That doesn't mean they aren't there, it's just that you the reader need to let us know what legal Urban Wheeling you have, and send us some photos to prove it. If we think it's worth checking out, we might fly in and do a feature on your area, and make you more famous than your second cousin Bob who once met a guy who looked like Chuck Norris. Now that's famous. Send us an e-mail to 4wheeloffroad@primedia.com with Urban Wheeling on the subject line or go to www.4wheeloffroad.com to contact us. You never know what might happen, and we might find that dirt does mean asphalt and concrete after all, in a crunched-up sort of way.

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