On this website, I want to celebrate and promote the use of internal combustion engines for sports, leisure, and just for fun. Of course, diesel and gasoline engines are an indispensable tool for transport and industry. But even beyond their purposeful use, there's hardly an area of life where humans didn't manage to somehow introduce gas engines. Whether they're competing in motorsports events, enjoying some spare time activities with friends, or just powering their garden party with a gas-operated generator—people love to beef up all kinds of hobbies and pastimes by adding a few motors and plenty of fuel.
A varied and impassioned subculture has developed around the use of gas engines for fun, games, and sports. I call it petrol culture, or gasoline culture for any Americans out there. From kart racing to motocross, jet-skiing in the ocean, riding snowmobiles in the mountains, joyrides on the motor scooter, and radio-controlled model cars with gas engines—there's something for every taste and occasion. Regardless of age, gender, location, skills, views, and interests, there are appropriate motorsports and motorised hobbies for absolutely everybody. That's how diverse, inclusive, and welcoming petrol culture and its followers are.
These enjoyable, carefree, depending on one's views also thoughtless and unreasonable uses of gas engines are what these pages are all about. Here, I want to acknowledge and honour all the people who are wasting tons of fossil fuels on such frivolous uses, and encourage them to keep going. To everyone who secretly enjoys seeing the air being polluted senselessly and recklessly, I want to show that they don't have to feel ashamed and guilty for it, but that it's a completely natural and fairly common reaction. I want to help anyone interested in finding local events where they can watch and experience the air being needlessly contaminated. And for any visitors who want to take the next step and experience the thrill first-hand, I'll try to help by offering some ideas and pointers on the cheapest and most accessible ways to blow toxic exhaust fumes into nature just for fun!
Internal combustion engines are one of the most impressive achievements of human ingenuity and engineering. Also impressive is the creativity with which humanity keeps coming up with new applications for them. We've sealed gas engines up to be able to use them in watercraft, made them smaller so we could build them into vehicles for children, built them lighter so we could carry them as a backpack for yard work, attached alternators to them so we could use them to generate electricity, and tweaked their fuels to make them run well at freezing temperatures.
An estimated 200 million combustion engines are manufactured each year, and around two billion of them could be currently in existence. In the modern world, every kid knows what a gas engine is, and for teenagers, getting a first motorised vehicle of their own is an exciting milestone that they can hardly wait for. It's clear that gas engines are one of the most successful inventions in the history of mankind, and one of its most sought after goods.
But petrol engines don't just fascinate us because of their technological sophistication. They also appeal to our senses because they feel almost alive: we hear their puttering and revving, feel the vibrations of the firing cylinders, smell the piercing scents of gasoline and exhaust fumes, and see how the fumes shoot out of the exhaust pipes. I couldn't think of another human invention that seems so spirited and vibrant, so vigorous and dynamic, so enchantingly appealing.
Thanks to that, a colourful variety of different communities has emerged around the numerous forms of motorsports and motorised recreation. They dedicate themselves to the appreciation and maintenance of their respective motor vehicles or gas-powered sports equipment, form and cultivate friendships, spend their spare time together, and develop their own customs, conventions, trends, and fashions. They put time and effort into promoting their motorised hobby to the public, bringing in new people, and ensuring that there's a generation of young people who will carry on the traditions.
For a while, it seemed as though motorsports and motorised leisure activities had well established themselves in society at large. Combining the stunning physical abilities of the athletes with awesome engineering elegance, motorsports felt like the most modern form of sport imaginable, the most appropriate and timely sports for a high-tech world. Successful race drivers became media stars, the look and style of racing gear inspired the world of fashion, every teenager was riding a two-stroke scooter, and going to the kart racing track was a highly popular, commonplace spare time activity.
Unfortunately, my impression today is that the culture of gasoline engines and motorsports isn't as widely appreciated anymore. Its social acceptance has dropped, and in many areas it's being threatened by electric drives. The understanding and recognition of the technical ingenuity behind internal combustion engines is getting lost. And even though it embodies the pinnacles of so many areas of human creativity and brainpower that one could genuinely consider motorsports to be a crowning achievement of human history, many people these days would consider a leisure activity where fossil fuels are being burned to be outdated. That's what I want to fight against! The world of motorsports and motorised recreation is incredibly fascinating, exciting, thrilling, and rewarding. But there's no imagining it without gasoline engines, and there's no replacing them with anything else.
It's just those particularly appealing aspects of gasoline engines that many people see in a different light today. Instead of a vivaciously rattling engine, people hear noise pollution. Instead of feeling the jolting of a powerful petrol engine, they prefer the almost imperceptible hum of an electric motor. Mixing fuel and filling up the gas tank are no longer pleasant rituals of anticipation, but an inconvenient and unwelcome annoyance. And the pungent smell of two-stroke exhaust fumes no longer calls to mind carefree fun, thrills, and sporty activities, but conjures thoughts of global warming and the climate crisis.
But for many individuals, these elements are indispensable. There's no way of converting our sports and our hobbies from using gas-powered engines to electrical ones, without also destroying what makes them so appealing to us. The engine noise, the smell of petrol, and the clouds of exhaust gas aren't just unpleasant side effects to us, which unfortunately can't be prevented as long as gas engines are being used. They are, in fact, major reasons for why motorised pastimes bring so much joy to us.
On these pages, I want to establish a dissenting voice against the current zeitgeist. Here, people should not be embarrassed to admit that they enjoy these incidental effects: the brash engine noises in the ears, the smell of fresh exhaust gas in the nose, the sight of thick exhaust fumes wafting over the race track. And they should be able to admit without a guilty conscience that thinking about how harmful the exhaust fumes are, and how much they contribute to the pollution of the environment, can in itself be a particular allure of motorsports.
I love the excitement of doing something unreasonable for once, something that's pretty much inexcusable considering how far-reaching its negative consequences are. Something completely legal which doesn't harm anyone, but still feels a bit evil and unconscionable. The temptation to do something inappropriate which increases my ecological footprint excessively, and the aftermath of which will outlast my own short existence many times over. The exhaust fumes my motorcycle's tailpipe emitted out into the atmosphere are probably going to have the most long-lasting effect of anything I did in my life!
I especially want to maintain this space because over the years, I have found out that there are a lot of people who feel the same way. Many of them kept those feelings a secret or tried to suppress them, before opening up after finding out that they're not the only ones. These views are very much politically incorrect, and these fondnesses don't fit the model of what people should rationally enjoy. Hopefully, these pages will help a great many people on their way to accepting this side of themselves, and ultimately getting to fully live out and enjoy these passions. Exhaust fumes are fun! So fill up the tank, put on your racing suit, and contaminate nature with some thick, noxious clouds of exhaust gas! Welcome to the Petrol Preserve, where internal combustion engines, fossil fuels, and exhaust fumes are under conservational protection.
What content is planned for the website?
- Information about me and how these views and fondnesses (presumably) emerged.
- Further explanation attempts by describing certain aspects I find especially appealing, and why.
- Stories of specific real-world experiences, which I hope will illustrate the appeal they have for me.
- Real-world news that people who are interested in exhaust fumes, air pollution, and environmental destruction may find interesting.
- Photos and videos to show the beauty of exhaust fumes, and the aesthetics of motorsports and petrol culture.
- Calendars of events for anyone who would like to go out and smell some freshly burnt exhaust fumes.
- Inspiration for easily accessible motorsports and motorised recreational activities, for anyone who wants to get active.
- Specific guides and hints for people with limited means or complicating circumstances, on how they still can have some exhaust gas fun.
- Opportunities to network with other exhaust gas enthusiasts, locally or across the world.
On and off for over 20 years, I have created and maintained various websites on these topics. I often had big plans but got stuck somewhere, and gave up on them again. Most websites I wrote completely from scratch, which was probably a major reason for why I always kept running out of time, even though I really like that kind of fully custom development. So I decided that this time, I'm going to set up a pretty, comfortable off-the-shelf CMS.
Over the next few weeks and months, I will experiment a bit with the various design and structural features of the software, while also writing new content. If you stop by occasionally, you can follow all progress and regress as it happens. A better introduction to the site for like-minded people, as well as an introduction to the topics for confused passersby, will follow. Until then, you can have a look at the old teaser page or the preliminary about section.
Thank you for your visit, and see you soon!