There's an epidemic in Appalachia that no one is talking about. A gross injustice affecting an entire population, carelessly tossed into a larger group that look similar on the surface but couldn't be more different. Overlooked, neglected, ignored. Those forgotten souls, as no one realizes, are Dirt Bikers. Where are all of the DIRT BIKE trails?
When I started this [whatever this is] a couple years ago, I was simply seeking opportunities to ride my dirt bike. I didn't specify, any place close to Central KY (at that time) that allowed me to ride would do. Whether it was a motocross track, an open field, an ATV park, I didn't care. Although I was familiar with the idea of Singletrack, I didn't factor it into my decision for going somewhere.
Growing up in southeast KY, and having a trail system built in my home county, ATV trail development was everywhere. Every county wanted to use ATV trails to help promote tourism - because ATV riding is what we know - and this idea is still very active today. You just kind of automatically relate dirt bikes with ATV Trails, you don't really think of them as different. We just wanted to ride. [Also, shout out to the hometown Mine Made Adventure Park for actually having quite the selection for dirt bikers.]
Eventually the idea of looking for singletrack evolved after buying a mountain bike, which was out of convenience at that time. But I was still only applying that idea to MTB. Until recently, I thought Appalachia had a lack of opportunities for Mountain Bikers when in fact we have an greater lack of opportunities for Dirt Bikers. In a land of 'off-road trails', an entire segment has been overlooked.
Whether done unintentionally by lack of understanding or intentionally for whatever reason, dirt bikers really do not have that many options when it comes to experiences tailored to them. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the ATV trails being developed but I feel like there is an entire market that is being incorrectly lumped into a broader category. Doubletrack is good but Singletrack is great, and there is an extreme lack of the latter.
With the sport of motocross (allegedly) shrinking at the grassroots level and off-road racing growing, I think we could start to see some improvement. If we can get the public to start seeing dirt bikes as trail bikes again, instead of Monster Energy clad Supercross machines, the sport will only continue to grow and trails expand. [Side note: I am a HUGE fan of Supercross but I believe it has hurt dirt biking overall.] Hopefully we see the education of the powers that be sooner rather than later. Until then, I'll keep riding like there is a country music blaring Rzr waiting around every blind corner.