Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Have you ever thought about starting a business or project but hesitated in fear that it would fail?
Have you allowed frustration and disappointment let you give up on something you were once passionate about?
Come on, let's be honest…
Are past failures still holding you back? Think about it for a minute...
Ask yourself, if you knew you only had 5 more years to live how would you spend them? What about a year… or how about just 1 week!
I could tell you countless stories in my own life about the times I have tried and miserably failed.
And carrying on IS NOT always EASY…
But I've learned that living in the reality of my dreams going to the grave is far more devastating and PAINFUL than any feelings of failure I could ever experience.
I’ve FAILED a lot…
In fact, I would go to say that I have failed way more than the average person.
I think it's because I attempt more things than the average person!
I could tell you so many of my own EPIC failure stories, but I'm going to save those stories for another time, because this week marks the 20-year anniversary of when my dad’s company On Yer Bike Adventures was SHUT DOWN!
So, for this post, I want to put my own dads’ failures in the spotlight.
My dad taught me heaps when it comes to not giving up on my dreams. And for this reason, I’m going to tell you about the 5 MOST TRAGIC things he’s had to overcome during the 21 years On Yer Bike has been in operation.
On Yer Bike Closed Down for Business
1. SHUT DOWN!
In 1997, Dad (Mike Roper) took a huge risk leaving his taxi business, and getting a loan to purchase four bikes and an Argo to start On Yer Bike Adventures. Dad put all his cards on the table to pursue his dream of starting this off-road adventure company.
On Yer Bike began long before Worksafe and adventure tourism safety regulations and laws we have today come into play. After an anonymous complaint was sent to OSH, On Yer Bike was SHUT DOWN for reasons such as:
Not being listed under the Amusement Devices Act
Not having a Marine License to cross water about a foot deep
These CRAZY TECHNICALITIES put us in an “indefensible position should an accident occur” according to OSH.
Our family was left without an income, a draining bank account, and a dying dream.
No amount of reasoning could convince OSH at the time to change their minds, at with that, On Yer Bikes operation was at a halt!
Back on track
While these events looked like the end of On Yer Bike, Dad didn’t lose hope...
West Coast member of parliament Damian O’Connor described the situation as "OUTRAGEOUS and a DISASTER", and with his help and the support of the wider community, doors were opened to negotiate a solution with OSH.
Not long later, after some investigation and new systems in place, On Yer Bike was back up and running.
Though the years On Yer Bike has complied with all the upgraded safety regulations and continues to have a great ongoing relationship with WorkSafe to ensure all requirements are met.
Fighting Against the Elements
2. FLOODING, CYCLONES & SINKHOLES
Between 2002-2010 downpours would create huge floods literary overnight, sometimes bad enough that it would come inside the bike sheds, workshop and even the café/reception area.
After the water receded, we would be spending the next a day or two cleaning up all the driftwood, it was a mess!
While the floods still come occasionally (every 1-2 years), Dad has now built a flood wall so the water no longer comes anywhere close to the buildings. Not only has this stopped the waters going inside the buildings, but it has also prevented it flooding over the main road which used to cause a lot of disruption for people trying to travel to and from work.
In 2017, we experience our STRONGEST WINDSTORM on record since operation. Taking down many trees and collapsing them over the tracks. It was devastating seeing the native rain-forest take such a beating.
However, we realised shortly after, this would make room for a lot of new growth. So after we had cleared the tracks, we seized the opportunity to turn this disaster into an opportunity to gather around 10 years of firewood!
Dad had to build two massive sheds to contain all the wood, and plans to sell a lot of it in the coming months.
Swaps & Sinkholes
One thing that makes our tracks so good is that we get so much water on the Coast. This creates an environment for native plants and tree life to thrive in this spectacular terrain, providing amazing scenery, and awesomely changeling tracks!
But there is a downfall to it…
The potential to get stuck is everywhere! In fact, I would say there ain't no vehicle my dad can’t get stuck!
Dad could tell you countless stories of times when he’s spent 2-3 days getting bikes, diggers, tractors, and dumpers out of holes.
In fact, just today Dad sent me a picture of buggy he retrieved that has been STUCK IN THE BUSH for 3 WEEKS! Let me know if you want to see it and I'll post in the comments - its EPIC!
A Lot of Perseverance
Over the years the tracks that have been carved out through the hills have been graveled, compacted, and brought to a standard that is much easier to maintain and drive over.
While there is still the occasional slip and fallen tree, it's nothing in comparison to the boggy swampland he had to work with when he first started making the tracks.
It took Dad OVER 20 YEARS to build some of these insanely cool tracks that are here today, and it could've only been done by someone with as much passion and joy for what he does.
It’s only by doing the things we love that we’re able to find purpose and meaning and continue to press on despite the struggles.
In the words of Solomon "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. "
For my dad, that has been PLAYING IN THE MUD, building tracks, and seeing new people come and experience the incredible adventure playground he has poured his HEART AND SOUL in creating!
I know I’m only up to number 3, but I think I’ll leave at this. I wasn't expecting this to be so long! I will continue the TOP 5 EPIC FAILS in the next post. Make sure check out the next post when I tell the story how we were SCAMMED over $20000. I've saved the best for last!
To be continued….