by Dave Anderson
June 19, 2014
“I’m just a teenage dirtbag baby, Listen to Iron Maiden, baby, With me”
dirtbag (plural dirtbags)
1. (informal) A dirty, grimy, sleazy, or disreputable person
2. A dedicated follower of slumming it in the outdoors.
There is still much confusion even amongst us outdoor folk as to what exactly a dirtbag is.
At first glance, and to the uneducated eye, it is easy to confuse dirtbag with cheapskate, but subtle differences exist between the two. To start with a dirtbag is happy to admit the fact, in truth a certain amount of pride is felt when the subject is raised; the same isn’t true of the cheapskate.
The dirtbag isn’t cheap but rather channels all available cash to spend on quality reliable equipment at the expense of lesser priorities like mmm…tussocky accommodation, food and transport costs.
The path of the dirtbag is priority led; XTR and top notch kit but value beans and own brand bog roll.They’re usually easy to identify if you know the tell tale signs; a weathered scruffy looking rider with a weathered and well used bike, bike never cleaned to spotless but left with a patina of use that now seems part of the original paintwork, heading out on another ride when everyone is arriving back at the car park, a tendency towards wool due to the length of time it can be worn between washes, favourite riding clothes verging on the worn out, a been out all weekend aroma and grimy worn in dirt encrusted legs, ability to eat unending amounts of food especially when said food is free, bike that costs more than the car carrying it, and more than likely a bike industry job.
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Well done grasshopper you have now achieved full dirt bag status. There is no going back.
The Recommended reading list for aspiring Dirtbags
The book of the bivvy – Ronald Turnbull
Into the Wild – Jon Krakenaeur
Feeding the Rat – Al Alvarez
Desert Solitaire – Edward Abbey
Walden, or life in the woods – Henry David Thoreau
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