Friday, July 20, 2007

Advocacy, No Piece Of Pie

I must admit, I wanted to do a short Zen post today.

I am still in my infancy in Mountain Biking. Sure, I have been riding a bike ever since my next door neighbor told me I should ride her ten speed and I fell off but I have only been heavily involved in Mountain Biking since a birthday present I received in 2003. A 1997 Specialized FSR, I still have that bike. Thanks Dad!

This addiction has grown inside of me. I remember being in Paul Harrell’s shop one day and I said “I don’t know what it is Paul, I am just addicted to bikes, now I want to ride them all.” He responded “What is wrong with that?”

A friend of mine that I helped get into mountain biking once expressed “I don’t know what I did before I mountain biked.” I guess it is these experiences along with a sense of responsibility that led me to want and be an ambassador of the sport.

The entire reason I moved to Greenville SC, is because I wanted to be closer to the mountains that I love to ride. Then I discovered MTBR and SORBA and realized that if I wanted this sport that I love to prosper, I would need to be involved. I am not saying everyone needs to be an ambassador of the sport because it will never happen nor do I believe everyone should.

So what sparked all of this? Last night I was checking my email when I noticed this response to my Dupont ride thread this week:

Originally Posted by mtnbiker66:

I rode it as well (Big Rock) and everyone did a great job with a lot of hard work I'm sure,but why does eveything have to be the same as every other trail? I've ridden that trail while it was still Dupont property and while that section has eroded some, it was one of the best sections in Dupont.The rock gardens and drops were the best part of that trail. Now it could be ridden on a tricycle. I'm not fussing about the quality of work at all, but there is no challenge to riding it.

I must first interject before I give you what I replied with. I respect mtnbiker66’s opinion, I have seen him and his son out on the trails and they are great technical riders. That is the only reason I even formulated a response. If it were someone I did not know or knew they didn’t know what they were talking about, I would have shrugged it off. However this was my response:

Ignore spelling errors as it was late and I was typing hastily.

Interesting you bring this up, as I rode down the trail yesterday and I believe during the workday we predicted these comments. It is what will always happen when you change a trail. Big Rock, was my favorite downhill in Dupont. Just ask ol SingleTrack Pig, he has followed my line down the beast that was a deliverable downhill. I loved every rock. However, on my blog today I expressed :

"As we came down Big Rock I was interested to see the finishing touches that the Trails Dynamic’s team put on all of our hard work from Saturday. WOW, is all I can say. The rock armoring came out fantastic and will only look better with time. The trail is a little more tame but at the same time its sustainability has moved up off the charts."

Unfortunately, taking care of trail doesn't always mean leaving it along. I too wish we were able to make more technical lines. In fact, we had some other TTF's (technical Trail Features) lined up, but we did not have the resources to execute these plans. Dave worked really hard to put up a small rock berm that is awesome. That berm took a lot of sweat. The trail is sustainable, will shed water (thank's to those with experince) and is less technical. Over time, the trail will cut harder more difficult lines.

As I stated earlier this week in my BLOG, I want to see a different type of trail out at Dupont. I feel mtnbiker66’s pain. I don’t want every trail out there to be a rock armored freeway through the woods but it is going to take some time and dedication to make our voices heard.

I already expressed to Woody that I want to make more hand built trails such as Cannon Creek. He says we need more resources, so how do I respond to that? Well I hope to bring even more people to the campout/work party next time. I will work hard to make sure that we have the dedicated resources and will re-remind people that if you want it done your way, you got to do it.

I hope to take this philosophy into our new Upstate SORBA group. Sorry for the advocacy rant but I believe it is well deserved and most importantly, we mountain bikers are making a good name for ourselves around the area. You can mark my word, this area is going to see more and more trail being built by mountain bikers and soon people (whether bad or good) will talk about our area as a leading example of what to do right.

Now get out there and rail a turn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow - you can akteraly write cool stuff without including a BdoubleEdoubleRUN?