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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.' To my mind, it should be called the a-line since only the small percentage of riders that only ride for an adrenaline fix will choose to ride the other line that we typically call an 'a-line.'

Similarly, why do builders choose to create the easier path around these features rather than making the trail naturally take the easiest course while leaving the obstacle available for those who choose. Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm guessing because the A line was built first.
That's exactly my point, why are we building the feature that only a small percentage of riders can actually ride before the route that most will choose? The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
 

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Because when mountainbiking was uncool trail builders built things they wanted to ride. And generally trail builders were decent riders (I don't know many non riders of beginners who trail build) so they weren't going to build easy trails.
 

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Seems analogous to road riding where the A group is the faster, more experienced (often racers) and the B group is a bit slower, often recreational riders.
This. Some races and/or group rides still have A groups, B groups, and C groups (on down the alphabet). The A group is generally the fastest and most skilled, therefore, the harder line.
 

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The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.
 

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Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
First of all, that's assuming a lot to say that "the majority of us are just out there for exercise." Not true for an avid mountain biker. Exercise is only one of several reasons to be out there.

Second of all, "why should we have to ride around the features" is a lame-as-**** idea. You could instead be trying to improve your riding to where you can ride the A-lines. Challenge yourself to get better at mountain biking. F'ing try a little.
 

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Dumbing down trails 101.

Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
 

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Shartacular Spectacular
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I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.' To my mind, it should be called the a-line since only the small percentage of riders that only ride for an adrenaline fix will choose to ride the other line that we typically call an 'a-line.'

Similarly, why do builders choose to create the easier path around these features rather than making the trail naturally take the easiest course while leaving the obstacle available for those who choose. Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
Textbook case of Lycra castration. Gentlemen, let this be a lesson. Keep it loose or this could be you!
 
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Remember that many trails are built by volunteers who are often building things they would like to ride.
People who care enough to build trails are very often quite good on a bike.
Assuming that a “majority” of riders are just like you is wrong.
 

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Snow Dog
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Dumbing down trails 101.

Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
totally agree, especially with the bolded statement. Especially in the day and age where everyone thinks that they should get to do what they want with no effort...

will be interesting to see if there are even trail designations in the future...everything will be built "green circle" so everybody feels great...

get off my lawn!! ;)
 

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beater
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This.
The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.
And very much this.
First of all, that's assuming a lot to say that "the majority of us are just out there for exercise." Not true for an avid mountain biker. Exercise is only one of several reasons to be out there.

Second of all, "why should we have to ride around the features" is a lame-as-**** idea. You could instead be trying to improve your riding to where you can ride the A-lines. Challenge yourself to get better at mountain biking. F'ing try a little.
 

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The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.
This, 100%. Period.

That's exactly my point, why are we building the feature that only a small percentage of riders can actually ride before the route that most will choose? The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
In my experience there are a minuscule amount of features that only a small percentage of riders can "actually ride". The priority should be based on the level of the trail being built. For green, or easy, trails, you are absolutely right. For blue trails, the features should be rideable by the vast majority of intermediate riders with the easy ride around for the "small percentage" of intermediate riders that aren't quite up to it yet. On D (or black trails), the features should be appropriate for advanced riders with a ride around that may be suitable for intermediate riders but not at all suitable for those that can only ride the smooth paths. And on DD? Ride arounds - if they exist - may also be advanced skills required options.

To say trail builders ought to build smooth paths with a few features for "extreme riders" shows a profound lack of understanding of our sport.
 
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