BUDDY BUOY

A ‘Lone Wolf’ is a rarity in the world of off-road motorsports. Nearly everyone rides with a partner, and depending on the terrain choice, it may take several good friends to “stay the course”. Though most backcountry mishaps are relatively minor and can be quickly remedied with an extra set of hands, when you find yourself alone in the wilderness, even a flat tire can escalate into a dire predicament.

.

“Lone Wolf”

.

Off-road adventures are mostly enjoyed in remote locations where we cover a lot of rough ground, see few people, and encounter many changing obstacles. If you fall in the forest, you’d best hope there’s at least one person to hear; stabilize the situation, find help, and of course, provide a story for all to enjoy!

.

“… several good friends…”

.

While safety should always be our primary concern – a riding buddy not only increases our likelihood of getting home, but just as importantly, our willingness to get out in the first place.

Our cohorts keep the dream alive with their incessant discussions about future trips, reminiscing over past adventures, and an ever-growing bucket list filled with mad escapades. They are often abreast of industry developments and are the first to share information about new trails, equipment, and accessories. A good pal can bring valuable mechanical skills and a willingness to turn a wrench while servicing, repairing, or modifying your ride. A buddy might offer tips and observations on your riding technique. Hopefully, they’ll talk you out of any dangerous stunts or maneuvers that exceed your riding ability. And at the same time provide reassurance in situations that are no where near as daunting as they might appear.

They are your loudest cheerleader – for as Dan Gardiner likes to remind us; “If they aren’t the best rider in the world, its only because they believe their best friend holds that title!”

.

“… new trails…”

.

There's no doubt that a good mate is critical to your riding experience – and as discovered this year, they can also be the driving force and influencer for a proper “Come Back”.

Despite all the rehab, weight loss, core strengthening, and cardio improvements, there was still an element of apprehension that kept us grounded following a crippling snowmobile accident a few years ago. The fear of taking a smack and compounding these injuries left us paralyzed. In fact, we had officially retired from all motor sports until several friends inadvertently colluded to provide the help we needed to get back in the saddle.

.

“…most dire predicament…”

.

Thus, we would like to take this opportunity to thank a few of our Boondocker teammates for their time, care, and consideration.

The first shout out goes to Dustin Pancheri for maintaining our Klim sponsorship throughout this hiatus, recognizing that our passion for writing had not wavered and it was only a matter of time till we sought out new material for our prose.

.

“… maintaining our KLIM…”

.

Next came Shane Kynaston, who joined us at the Salt Lake City snow show last fall, limping his way throughout the entire exhibit hall, talking passionately about the ride he planned for the  next day and the pain he was willing to endure in the name of sport. “There are certain things you’ve just got to live with, Andrew!” What an inspiration!

Eric Mercer makes our third spot when we happened upon his crowd at the start of a snowmobile ride from the Rugged Edge shop in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We’d already abandoned an early season run with Craig Borden and had no intention of joining this crew until Eric approached, stating; “Man the last time I saw you was on a Boondockers shoot in ‘Rope Cove Canyon’ and you were sporting a cast and crutches!”

 “Wow man! When did I become such a weiner!”

That proved to be our official comeback run and though we “felt it” later that evening, Shane was right, and all was well the next day.

.

“… comeback run…”

.

Finally, we owe a huge round of thanks to Brian ‘Brizzy’ Churchill for the extreme measures he undertook so that we might ride dirt bike this summer. Brizzy picked up the old 450 in late spring, stealing it away to a secret location where he could provide a proper service and a comfortable riding environment – away from prying eyes (our poor father).

Brizz kept our initial rides short, stopping often to talk through approaching obstacles, describing the best line of attack and important escape routes. He climbed down to bring the bike through some of the more tangly trails and always maintained a stoic element of patience that kept us going day after day.

.

“… Brian “Brizzy” Churchill…”

.

Its been three months now and we’re finally finding the old groove – head up, eyes down the trail, shoulders braced, elbows out, and knees gripped on the tank’s fan shroud – tearing up the abundance of ‘Single Tracks’ found throughout the island of Newfoundland.

Thankfully, a Boondocker doesn’t worry about ‘Fair Weather Friends’, for we’ve based our entire relationship on foul weather and a willingness to weather the weather, no matter the weather, whether we want to or not!

Sweat your brains out boys!

.

“… all 9 lives…”