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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been mountain biking in the midwest & mid-atlantic states for over twelve years now; and in the last couple of years I have begun to notice a change that I don't like. Mountain bikers used to be a small (compaired to other sports) group of people. When you saw other mountain bikers at the trail head or on the trail there was a comradery that we shared; we were friendly to each other,we would say hi and exchange trail reports ext.. Now you do not see that as much. Just today while driving away from a trail head, I waved to a fellow mtber and he just kept driving. There was no mistaking what took place, he just decided to be a jerk. I have seen several other examples this season alone. I feel that the new genration of mtbers are missing out on one of the best parts of our sport and that is other people and the passion we share. What does everyone else think about this?:confused:
 

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Most people are friendly on the trails I ride. Wave to each other, share trail conditions, say hi out on the trail, and offer to help people who are broke down or hurt. So I haven't experienced what you are talking about here in Northern Indiana.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, most bikers are great, but it just seems there is a new group comming in that are only concerned about themselves. Maybe I was being to negative at first.
 

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I try to say hi to everyone I see on the trails. I think it's just common sense to be nice and friendly. I've also gotten the sense from a lot mountian bikers that they think they're hot sh!t and will not say hi. It's too bad we all come from different backgrounds and have a common bond that should bring us together.
 

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mtb 4ever said:
I have been mountain biking in the midwest & mid-atlantic states for over twelve years now; and in the last couple of years I have begun to notice a change that I don't like. Mountain bikers used to be a small (compaired to other sports) group of people. When you saw other mountain bikers at the trail head or on the trail there was a comradery that we shared; we were friendly to each other,we would say hi and exchange trail reports ext.. Now you do not see that as much. Just today while driving away from a trail head, I waved to a fellow mtber and he just kept driving. There was no mistaking what took place, he just decided to be a jerk. I have seen several other examples this season alone. I feel that the new genration of mtbers are missing out on one of the best parts of our sport and that is other people and the passion we share. What does everyone else think about this?:confused:
What unites us is stronger than what divides us.

Keep being an example of what is cool, friendly and positive about bike life. Don't let a few examples of real or perceived jerkness get you down. By waiving to that biker you opened a door. He may not have have responded to you, but an act of grace is never wasted. Even if he did not acknowledge it at the time, your act of community has much more resonance for you and for him than a mutual snub would have had.

I always say hi, how's it goin', dang it's hot, everything ok, etc. Hardly ever have I gotten the cold treatment, and, even then, I'm happy to have made the effort and not upset that it may not have been returned.

let it ride

:thumbsup:
 

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It's carbon dontcha know.
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You're a roadie from RBR in disguise aren't you?

j/k


I say hello to everyone I see out on the trails, hiker, biker or equestrian.
 

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mtb 4ever said:
I have been mountain biking in the midwest & mid-atlantic states for over twelve years now; and in the last couple of years I have begun to notice a change that I don't like. Mountain bikers used to be a small (compaired to other sports) group of people. When you saw other mountain bikers at the trail head or on the trail there was a comradery that we shared; we were friendly to each other,we would say hi and exchange trail reports ext.. Now you do not see that as much. Just today while driving away from a trail head, I waved to a fellow mtber and he just kept driving. There was no mistaking what took place, he just decided to be a jerk. I have seen several other examples this season alone. I feel that the new genration of mtbers are missing out on one of the best parts of our sport and that is other people and the passion we share. What does everyone else think about this?:confused:
I kind of agree with this. I notice there are some riders that are so wrapped-up in their little particular niche of riding that they look at others with horrid looks and they can't seem to expand their riding, or at least appreciate that there are so many other levels and types of riding above and below theirs (or laterally in the case of types). I try to do as much as I can on the dirt, whether it be straight XC on fairly smooth trails, or gnarly downhills with lots of dropoffs that require full armor. When I go out to do these rides and everything in between, it always seems like there are a lot of people who just can not ride the other disciplines at all, for whatever reason (usually mental I guess). It seems that these people usually don't have understanding or respect for the guys that do, and it seems to span across everything, XCers towards DHers, DHers towards XCers, everything else in between. I think the best thing you can do is try to ride as many disciplines as possible and develop an understanding and respect for all of these different types of riding and maybe that is too lofty of a goal, but it just seems that there are a lot of people out there that completely "fit" the standard stereotypes, of XCers being XCers and DHers being DHers and everything else. It's almost as if there's some sort of peer-pressure telling them to do things, dress a certain way, ride a certain way, buy a certian bike, and so on. Maybe it's just lack of knowledge and experience, I dunno.

In terms of saying hello, it always seems that these are the people that do not say hello much, they seem to be "concentrating" so hard on their one discipline. They seem to have the worst-attitude towards other riders.
 

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RIght on! and Ride On!

LCdaveH said:
What unites us is stronger than what divides us.

Keep being an example of what is cool, friendly and positive about bike life. Don't let a few examples of real or perceived jerkness get you down. By waiving to that biker you opened a door. He may not have have responded to you, but an act of grace is never wasted. Even if he did not acknowledge it at the time, your act of community has much more resonance for you and for him than a mutual snub would have had.

I always say hi, how's it goin', dang it's hot, everything ok, etc. Hardly ever have I gotten the cold treatment, and, even then, I'm happy to have made the effort and not upset that it may not have been returned.

let it ride

:thumbsup:
Nicely said...........I make it a habit to try to invite new people to ride as well as connect with people I meet out on the trail for a ride.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Haven't you heard what the new generation of MTBRS motto is? "Look out I'm totally downhilling". Basically it's my trail and you better get the fock out of the way if I’m on it. Why would any of them be friendly at the trail head if you’re in their way on the trail? Unfortunately this is the mindset of a large portion of today’s riders. Talk about getting trails closed to MTBRS this should do it in no time.
 

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It's soil, not dirt!
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LCdaveH said:
What unites us is stronger than what divides us.

Keep being an example of what is cool, friendly and positive about bike life. Don't let a few examples of real or perceived jerkness get you down. By waiving to that biker you opened a door. He may not have have responded to you, but an act of grace is never wasted. Even if he did not acknowledge it at the time, your act of community has much more resonance for you and for him than a mutual snub would have had.

I always say hi, how's it goin', dang it's hot, everything ok, etc. Hardly ever have I gotten the cold treatment, and, even then, I'm happy to have made the effort and not upset that it may not have been returned.

let it ride

:thumbsup:
Amen brother :thumbsup::thumbsup:

That is a wonderful philosophy on and off the trails.
 

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The sport did attract a different crowd back then.

Not one of the regulars that rode and raced back then that I knew still mountain bikes today. The few that ride at all are these days have become roadies (or worse, triathletes !), but most just returned to their other passions, after 10-15 or so years MTBing. Every time I run into one of them, I ask why they quit, and it's always the same answer. They didn't like the lack of respect that grew with the sport, both in regard to the land and each other.

There was a strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie back then, stemming from MTBing having being recently started by a bunch of screwball hippies, and populated shortly thereafter mostly by silent sports people like cross country skiiers, endurance runners, backcountry hikers, canoe racers, etc... most of those people were nature lovers, and regardless of politics, conservationists and tree huggers both went out and made good work of MTBing.

So what happened? Well, mountain biking was marketed to the masses by Mountain Bike Action, who was used to marketing the sport of Motocross, with Motocross Action. They applied the same formula, and appealed to the same type of people. They stopped depicting the sport as being healthy exercise, and pitched it as being all about big air, looking moto, and acting like a hardass. This caught on, appealed to the disposable-income laiden kiddies looking for an image to cling to, and was largely successful at providing a new direction for an explosion in sales for advertisers. Racing was hard, and selling it on TV was harder. Dowhnill & Dual Slalom looked flashy, didn't require superhuman athletics, and could be filmed and photographed easily. In the big (failed) effort to take MTB to prime time, Freeride was born. The push behind these three disiplines ushered in a new kind of mountain biker. Gone was the endurance athlete & naturalist. In came the motorsports, snowboarders, and finally a wave of bmx converts. And they brought their attitudes with them. We wound up with a whole generation of what turned out to be essentially motocross wannabes who love to emulate magazine shoots, buy kit like crazy, and have no respect for anything but their own good time. Perfect consumers. We shopped everything out to china on the cheap, doubled our (too low) margins, and they didn't even flinch at the quality hit. They didn't care about keeping a sport born of american innovation based in america, they only cared about their money. It turned out to be very profitable, even if concerns loomed over the fact that we were taking the sport in an unsustainable direction. That's where there the liberty bell is cracked. Hit them with a little background on trail access, and you'll get a "it's all good, as long as I'm having a good time with my friends". Existing MTBers didn't like the bad attitudes, big egos, and lack of respect to the environment or each other shown by the hordes of Mountain Dew commercial watching newcomers, and after a while, with the camaraderie all but gone, just got out, & MTB became a job. The pride died. The divide between roadies and MTBers grew to, not shrank as expected, and at this point, MTB has a presence that, to everyone outside its own ridership, that more closely resembles the unathletic, beer-swilling, trash-talking country-bumpkin cousin come (late) to dinner.

I don't necessarily agree with all the opinions in the above, but I've been listening for a long time to fellow industry leaders and vet racers opinions of the direction of the sport, as it was part of my job, and this seems to be more or less the general consensus among them. It's usually with a resigned sigh and a "well, those days are long gone" that they recall the golden age of our sport.

Personally, I think that the sport has just evened out in its mass appeal, cutting a wider swath of Americans. If mountain bikers are more selfish and less personable or environmentally conscious these days, it's because they more accurately represent the modern day social and political climate in general. People are grumpy in general. I let as much of that just slide off as I can, with the old smile and brake-finger salute. I don't care if they respond or not. The old guys always do, and that's good enough for me.

It's just changed. Not necessarily all for the better, but there are (loose) safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't get stuck in a feedback loop and kill itself off.



Or, yet another reason to ride alone.
 

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Almost everyone I come across at one of my favorite local trails is cool and will take the time to talk and shoot the shiite about a line, or the weather, or whatever, if stopped at a common spot. I think this is b/c these trails attract riders of all types. You will see SS'rs, 29ers, xc guys in spandex, guys with full armor, guys without any armor...all on the same trail. It's just a diverse crowd for the most part but you can tell who's not interested in chatting or even acknowledging you b/c they ride hard with their head down, looking like they are training or something........which they probably are.

As far as being aloof at the trailhead, I can't think of any reason to be that way, ever. I find that people at remote TH's are very friendly while people at the crowded, local TH's are more distant. I compare it to a small town vs. big city mentality. At a crowded mtb/hiker/trail runner type place people tend to act just like they do walking down a crowded sidewalk but in the woods, far from the crowds, people are different.
 

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mtb 4ever said:
I have been mountain biking in the midwest & mid-atlantic states for over twelve years now; and in the last couple of years I have begun to notice a change that I don't like. Mountain bikers used to be a small (compaired to other sports) group of people. When you saw other mountain bikers at the trail head or on the trail there was a comradery that we shared; we were friendly to each other,we would say hi and exchange trail reports ext.. Now you do not see that as much. Just today while driving away from a trail head, I waved to a fellow mtber and he just kept driving. There was no mistaking what took place, he just decided to be a jerk. I have seen several other examples this season alone. I feel that the new genration of mtbers are missing out on one of the best parts of our sport and that is other people and the passion we share. What does everyone else think about this?:confused:
What do I think about it? I think you need this:



Just because someone rides a mountain bike doesn't make them your "bro."

This "new generation" pap is silly. I haven't seen any changes in mountain biker behavior, and I've been riding a lot longer than 12 years.
 

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Here we go again...

Did you notice if he was riding a Specialized or a SS or a 29'r? Was his bike fully rigid perhaps? Or, heaven forbid, all of the above??? Maybe he was a roadie in disguise!!

I can't believe he didn't wave!!

Look, I get what you mean but I just don't know why people take this stuff so personally. Who cares? So he didn't wave back. This exact thread is repeated every week it seems.

 

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HotBlack does have some valid points. My old college roommate told me a few months ago that mountain bikes have basically become big bmx bikes.

Things must be different in my home town. Winona Lake has embraced cycling, we even host the Fat & Skinny Tire fest every year with a MTB race, road race, crit, century tours of the county, and even some BMX stunts. At the end of the day everyone drinks at the same beer tent and shares bbq. Being Indiana, we don't have much for DH or Freeride, so maybe it's a different crowd. Like I said, most everyone is polite. I'm not always up for a conversation when I ride and I enjoy the peace and quiet, I'll still say hi though. I'm sure there's many more like myself. I've been riding since I was a little kid, and not much has changed except for more miles of trails in the area to ride.

My aunt in her 70's is a life-long roadie. She's been seen on the single track on her steel framed tourer. She says she can ride almost anything my mountain bike can, only slower. Even the roadies around here still give us a nod or wave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HotBlack said:
The sport did attract a different crowd back then.

Not one of the regulars that rode and raced back then that I knew still mountain bikes today. The few that ride at all are these days have become roadies (or worse, triathletes !), but most just returned to their other passions, after 10-15 or so years MTBing. Every time I run into one of them, I ask why they quit, and it's always the same answer. They didn't like the lack of respect that grew with the sport, both in regard to the land and each other.

There was a strong sense of brotherhood and camaraderie back then, stemming from MTBing having being recently started by a bunch of screwball hippies, and populated shortly thereafter mostly by silent sports people like cross country skiiers, endurance runners, backcountry hikers, canoe racers, etc... most of those people were nature lovers, and regardless of politics, conservationists and tree huggers both went out and made good work of MTBing.

So what happened? Well, mountain biking was marketed to the masses by Mountain Bike Action, who was used to marketing the sport of Motocross, with Motocross Action. They applied the same formula, and appealed to the same type of people. They stopped depicting the sport as being healthy exercise, and pitched it as being all about big air, looking moto, and acting like a hardass. This caught on, appealed to the disposable-income laiden kiddies looking for an image to cling to, and was largely successful at providing a new direction for an explosion in sales for advertisers. Racing was hard, and selling it on TV was harder. Dowhnill & Dual Slalom looked flashy, didn't require superhuman athletics, and could be filmed and photographed easily. In the big (failed) effort to take MTB to prime time, Freeride was born. The push behind these three disiplines ushered in a new kind of mountain biker. Gone was the endurance athlete & naturalist. In came the motorsports, snowboarders, and finally a wave of bmx converts. And they brought their attitudes with them. We wound up with a whole generation of what turned out to be essentially motocross wannabes who love to emulate magazine shoots, buy kit like crazy, and have no respect for anything but their own good time. Perfect consumers. We shopped everything out to china on the cheap, doubled our (too low) margins, and they didn't even flinch at the quality hit. They didn't care about keeping a sport born of american innovation based in america, they only cared about their money. It turned out to be very profitable, even if concerns loomed over the fact that we were taking the sport in an unsustainable direction. That's where there the liberty bell is cracked. Hit them with a little background on trail access, and you'll get a "it's all good, as long as I'm having a good time with my friends". Existing MTBers didn't like the bad attitudes, big egos, and lack of respect to the environment or each other shown by the hordes of Mountain Dew commercial watching newcomers, and after a while, with the camaraderie all but gone, just got out, & MTB became a job. The pride died. The divide between roadies and MTBers grew to, not shrank as expected, and at this point, MTB has a presence that, to everyone outside its own ridership, that more closely resembles the unathletic, beer-swilling, trash-talking country-bumpkin cousin come (late) to dinner.

I don't necessarily agree with all the opinions in the above, but I've been listening for a long time to fellow industry leaders and vet racers opinions of the direction of the sport, as it was part of my job, and this seems to be more or less the general consensus among them. It's usually with a resigned sigh and a "well, those days are long gone" that they recall the golden age of our sport.

Personally, I think that the sport has just evened out in its mass appeal, cutting a wider swath of Americans. If mountain bikers are more selfish and less personable or environmentally conscious these days, it's because they more accurately represent the modern day social and political climate in general. People are grumpy in general. I let as much of that just slide off as I can, with the old smile and brake-finger salute. I don't care if they respond or not. The old guys always do, and that's good enough for me.

It's just changed. Not necessarily all for the better, but there are (loose) safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't get stuck in a feedback loop and kill itself off.

Or, yet another reason to ride alone.
You hit the nail on the head. Thank you for putting in writting what I was thinking! I agree, I'm not giving up, I suppose after the coolness of being an "extrem athlet" has run its course, only real mtbers will be left.
 
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