Thursday, June 5, 2014

oh for fugg's sake...really?

Comments by terrified people intimidated by riding a bicycle on anything less than a dirt sidewalk?  Go ride your bike on a sidewalk or asphalt path, Gomer.

There's a unanimity of voices saying "we need easy trails."

WHY?

Were there "easy trails" where & when I started riding MTBs?  Sure.  They were called sidewalks, streets, asphalt paths on "greenways", rail-to-trail paths, etc.  The first MTB trails area I ever rode was, compared to the Gomer easy stuff, a bit intimidating.  Steeper by a long shot, with roots, ruts and rocks.  Guess what, fellow human.  That's our natural world. 

If you want to know why Euros dominate MTB racing, look no further than their older cultures not being spoiled teenagers with high expectation of immediate gratification.

The trails are what they are.  The land is what it is.  The terrain is what it is.  Raise yourself to the abilities required to manage them, or don't ride them.  That's your choice.

There's an abundance of beginner friendly trails EVERYWHERE.   If you're a total noob, you master them by humbling yourself to them, not by re-making them to remove what intimidates you or otherwise makes you feel less expert than you imagine yourself.

Trails are not there to fluff your ego.

They're there to give you a challenge while taking you on a journey.

Do you know what I did on that first MTB trails area ride?

When I encountered a section that intimidated me, I used the same approach I used when doing difficult word problems in math during elementary school:  I worked at them.  I didn't expect knowing or arriving at the answer without work.  So if a section intimidated me, either I walked it until (at a later visit) I'd developed enough skill/confidence to tackle it, or I tried it several times until it became more manageable.

That's how you grow as a person.

You don't grow in ANY dimension if everything is done FOR you.

***********************

Riding MTBs is not for everyone.  And, more importantly, MTB trails do NOT have to be dumbed down, changed holistically, revamped, or "modernized" to make it enticing to the most 'fraidy-cat, flatland-urban-area-dwelling, unathletic nimrod who can barely walk and talk at the same time.

Riding MTBs is like downhill skiing.  There are risks involved, and the activity is challenging relative to, say, playing a video game, working a crossword puzzle, playing poker, or challenging your friends to a Sudoku championship.

It takes place on uneven terrain by definition.

So stop trying to re-define it.

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So the whingers say, "well Chet, anyone can complain, so what's your solution?"

Good question.  Here's my answer for those who find MTB trails intimidating and who, for that reason, beg for "easy trails."

Instead of making what people call "MTB trails" that resemble pavement, I have a much easier solution that requires no trail construction or modification.

Learn to ride a bike on asphalt, concrete, or flat dirt.  Get familiar with balance, direction change, speed change, and overall bike handling while riding on such regular, even surfaces.

THEN, go ride some trails.

10 comments:

blister gear review fan said...

Dude, I just got a Norco Sight Carbon enduro crusher. I've never ridden a bike on a trail, only rode my tricycle as a 4 year old way back when. But I've seen those videos of Enduro riders and that's what I want to be. I want to be riding at a high level the moment I saddle up. I need flow trails. I only have 1.5 hours per week allocated to recreation, and my MTB experience needs to satisfy every ego need I possess.

You're just an obnoxious elitist who thinks everyone should do things the hard way. I have news for you, Mister Elitist. I do things the hard way at work 70 hours per week, managing currency trades and optimizing derivatives. When I ride my new Norco, I want it to be easy expertise.

You're an asshole.

TGR Armchair Psychiatrist said...

Yeah no shit, bgrf. This guy's a total douche. How am I supposed to take my GF riding if she's scared by the trails? The sport needs to grow and my GF needs to progress. Otherwise I can't convince her that we should go to Whistler this summer.

stuckinsidemyonlineidentity said...

Listen, I've been spending the past 4 years buffing my online image at TGR so that I am mistaken for a core expert honch. If we don't have easier trails, my meatspace self will lag so far behind my online image that I may lapse into suicidal ideation. Obviously trails need to be easy to prevent my suicide.

Cory Blackwood, Kona cool guy said...

What a reactionary misogynist rapist homophobe redneck repthuglican Bircher libertarian Randite perspective.

Real MTB riders have sleeve tattoos and a background as a club dj, and work to make lots of flow trails that are really easy, to grow the sport. Because seriously, real MTB riders work for the industry and need to grow the sport so that their income can match that of their friends who are in office jobs wearing white collared attire.

You hate everyone and everything, so I'm not surprised you hate rookies enough to kill the sport and diminish my income.

Chet Redweld said...

Well lookee here, a bunch of mindless Babbitts arrive to weakly throw rotten fruit at me.

Hey Babbitts, if you're gonna throw rotten fruit, shouldn't you at least be able to throw far enough to have a chance at hitting me?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbitt_%28novel%29

Chet Redweld said...

Otherwise I can't convince her that we should go to Whistler this summer.

So the entire sport of MTB must be reinvented to solve your relationship harmony issues? Nope, that's not selfish nor elitist!

Obviously trails need to be easy to prevent my suicide.

Maybe your online image should be reframed to resemble more closely your meatspace self. That would eliminate your anguish.

I'm not surprised you hate rookies enough to kill the sport and diminish my income.

No aspect of my athletics involves participation out of a concern for Cory Blackwood's income, but since you're an immature, spoiled little military brat who still hates daddy, I'm not surprised you assume that every MTB participant has YOUR interests first in mind.

When I ride my new Norco, I want it to be easy expertise.

I have an idea for you. Why don't you find a truly talented rider, dress him in clothing you normally wear, and film him riding your Norco. You can present the film as being one of yourself riding. Post it on facebook, quick-link that post on twitter. Ego salve complete.

Chet Redweld said...

From the linked page's comment thread are the following sentiments that I've put in italics. My response follows each.

I prefer flowly tracks with nice smooth berms and nice long fast table tops.

Then I suggest becoming a BMX racer. BMX tracks are surreal, artificial experiences of perfectly sculptured dirt which do not in any way resemble nature. They can be built anywhere, with any material, and do not require forests, mountains, or other natural features.

MTB, on the other hand, is a MOUNTAIN bike activity. So, you're not a MOUNTAIN bike rider, you're a BMX track rider. Maybe you should move to Florida.

Just hit the trails old skool. I don't need some one to make me a trail to ride. The terrain is already there. That's the point of a mountain bike. I do like a good trail centre with man made trails but I don't need one.

So, in your world, "old skool" is just going and riding wherever the fuck-all you want? You think that is how MTB came to exist? Wrong. It arose from riding on hiking trails. You're describing NO SCHOOL rather than an old one.

Well, IMO, the problem lies with IMBA's insistance on flow trails being built if you want their blessing as well as help and support with grants, land managers, etc. Heck they even list flow trails as "model trails" on their website. Until you convince IMBA that they don't need to steamroll every trail to make it sustainable and accessible, the problem will just continue.

Here's a novel idea: tell IMBA to fuck off! You don't need IMBA for anything. I say this as someone who has worked on 3 IMBA related trail projects. If you get IMBA involved, be prepared to build boring manicured trails.

IMBA should change its name to International Paved Path Riders Association.

Mike, you have created a false dilemma- there is no need for flow trails to exclude existing trails. What we have now is the best of both worlds: a growing industry, lots of new people getting into the sport, and an ever-improving selection of entry level trails encouraging even more people to start riding.

Ah, I save the best for last.

Why does MTB need to "grow" and get more participants?

You trumpet it like an unassailable value/advantage.

Growth = destruction. Growth = cancer logic.

Until you can see that more riders and more users = more boring trails and more good trails turned boring by Gomers cutting corners and removing features, you should shut your mouth. Thank you.

Chet Redweld said...

More idiocy from the linked page's comment thread:

I actually think it's about how to allow Jim from accounting to progress in the sport without killing him. Or George who is a long time mountain biker who's getting older, has a family, has seen a lot if serious injuries over the years, and realizes he isn't quite as invincible as he was when he was 20 or 30.

1) Nobody has an obligation to make life easier for anyone.

2) If you really want to busy yourself helping someone in his/her task to find daily life activities easier, safer, less challenging then I suggest you work with unemployed and/or homeless people. THAT is where helping make someone's life easier is really noble. Building Gomer trails for a washed-up has-been, so that WUHB can again feel like a honch, that's just pure bullshit.

3) Who cares if someone is "older" or "has a family" or "has other obligations"? You fucking Canadian pisspot, stop trying to be Mister Progressive. We who ride bicycles do NOT have an obligation to accommodate some Canadian Yuppie's poor life choices. If MTB riding was so important to your example, Ian, then he should have stayed a rider and not become Daddy Breadwinner Yuppie Derivatives Trader in Vancouver. It's not my responsibility to help him overcome his shitty life decision by making trails stupid-easy.

Chet Redweld said...

And yet more moronic spew:

If every trail out there is "brake melting gnar", it's just a shitload of people getting hurt, people getting scared away from the sport, bike rentals falling off, and parks closing.

Well then.

1) They didn't belong in the sport to begin with if it scared them off so easily.

2) Building a business based on bike-rental to people who shouldn't be riding, and then whining when those ill-suited people do not continue riding? Looks like your business idea was stupid, and I'm not going to bail you out.

3) Who cares if bike parks close? Oh I suppose people whose income depends on a bike park job, they care. But you know what? When you "grow the sport" by enticing people who previously had NO INTEREST in it, and who were gulled into trying it by marketing mumbojumbo and image-related social media puffery, you are actually ruining the sport.

These "grow the sport" idiots are so mindless. I have an idea for them. Wherever they presently live, we should invite lots of people to simply come share that living space with the Grow the Sport Booster. See if Booster likes his home being super-crowded and trashed by people who have no interest in the place.

Yep.

McKenzie Bros Public Relations said...

You fucking Canadian pisspot

That's really not necessary. Up here in Canada, we are guided by the spirit of Barney the Purple Dinosaur.