No doubt about it. Our country is in a mess. The doom-and-gloomers pound us daily on the radio and TV about how bad the economy is, while newspapers and magazines reinforce those dire predictions of everything getting worse. It may very well be true, but I'm the proverbial Pollyanna whose outlook is for a better tomorrow, not just whining about where we were, who caused it, and throwing blame around. Just like wheeling, it is what it is, and the idea is to pick a line to most effectively overcome an obstacle. Instead, some wheelers whine about the rocks somebody else stacked in their way or the mud hole someone went through and splashed all the mud out of. Well, do something about it! Move the rocks if you don't like where they are! Go to a different mud hole! If someone is broken down in front of you on the trail, why not be part of the solution and help him out, while teaching him the best way to prevent a breakdown in the future?
Now there's an idea: Learn from the past so as to make a better future. What a concept. Not only for our economy as a whole, but for your own ride. Our magazine shows you both sides of wheeling, from the super-exotic (and expensive) to the bargain basement duct-tape fixes we all know and love. Going forward, you'll see a lot more of those budget builds, ideas, tips, and tricks in these pages. It's our way of being part of the solution instead of whining about the problem.
Since most of our readers have started out at the lower rungs of the sport, we know that there is a wealth of knowledge to be garnered from you guys and gals. In fact, years ago we had a section called Homegrown How-Tos, where the reader submitted an idea and if we liked it, we published it. So in the spirit of being positive we are bringing that section back. No, we won't send you a check (see, the economy affects us all), but we will send you a 4-Wheel & Off-Road license plate for your troubles. Make sure you include your name, address, phone number, and of course your tip with a quality photo of the tip in action. You can upload all this at www.4wheeloffroad.com/techarticles/hght. Another option is mailing to 4-Wheel & Off-Road HGHT, 6420 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048. We used to commission an illustration of the how-tos, but that luxury in our budget is long gone, so your photos will have to do. So instead of playing the blame game, you can do something about and help your wheeling brothers by sending in your easy ideas!