This thread is in response to the one that was started yesterday and shut down in a few hours after 3 pages of discussion...this is out side of the story.
I understand that there is some animosity between road riders and DHr's or DHr's and the rest of the world...but we're trying to create a riding community with the burgundy van and the last 2 years of Wednesday morning shuttles....
We chose wed. because it's the middle of the work week and fewer people are on the trails that we love to rip and on the road that we drive to the top of. We were actually considering other people on this decision...
The purpose of the burgundy van is to transport riders to the top in a safe manner. Before we were stacking many people into the back of a pickup and realized that it was very unsafe to do so, when the opportunity to purchase the van arose we had to jump on it and put her to work. 15 people with 15 seatbelts = a safer day on the hill.
As for the commercial interests: we make 0, zero, zilch, nada in running the van on wed. mornings. We do this to take our friends and new riders We ask for donations to cover the gas in the 10 mile a gallon guzzler, insurance in case something happens and over $2000 worth of repairs to keep the beast running as to date and other expenses ie, tire rubber, trailers, bungy's, etc. The reason for the commercial plate is to protect us from liability in the event someone gets the bright idea to sue us...(the wife's wouldn't have it any other way) We know that it is wrong to be making money off the park and if we did we would donate it back to help with trail access and maintenance.
As for trail destruction...us DHr's/ FR's/ AM's/ 29r's/ riders that frequent the bus put no extra strain on the trail system that is already there. We actually stop for a minute and repair damage that has be done by "rock fairies" and if needs be...mother nature. If we could schedule a day for maintenance with the park service...we'd be all over that. (I will discuss with them on Tuesday to see if this is a possibility)
Relationship with Rangers: The rangers know what we are up to and understand why we do what we do, when we do it. We have an open dialog with them and anytime they feel we are in the wrong they let us know and we comply. Complaints will happen and we understand that not everyone gets what we do and sometime look down on our fun...but we can't please everyone.
Noise on road up mountain: We feel that by making our presence known to riders makes a safer road for us all. Riders coming up and riders ripping down. If a dowhhill road rider hears us as he is coming down he is aware that there is something going on below and should use caution...versus us passing in silence creating a surprise for the descending rider. For the ascending riders...we have had 99.99% positive feedback from them. Smiles, thumbs up, shaka's, etc are passed between us and the riders on the road...most of the time. Some riders feel we are making fun of them, but thats not the case...we want to stoke them out mini Tour De France style. (anyone see how many cowbells and whistles are at that race?) Plus the ruckus only lasts for a minute or two and then it's back to your quiet ride. For the .01% that don't like it...sorry for having fun
Unsafe passing and speeding: we have been driving the road every wed. for the last 2 years and know where the safe spots to pass and the unsafe spots are. Blind corners, narrow spots in road and uncertainness of whats coming down only spells disater. We want to keep doing this for years to come and would hate to have a road rider bounce off our van and ruin it forever...so safety is always a concern. We pass with the maximum distance allowed and in the event that is seems too close is because another rider/car is coming the other direction and we don't want to hit them either. We have been spoken to about our speeds on the hill and have slowed way down...now if we could only say that for the downhill road riders riding the line mach chicken style. We understand you like to go fast (we do too) but having clocked riders over the 15mph speed limit is an hourly occurance on wed. mornings...
Being unfriendly...we try to wave and say hi to everyone we come across. We have helped numerous road riders who've crashed, have flats and other mechanical issues. Even gave rides down the road and offered up the first aid kit when in need. Hikers and other tourists get friendly info from us daily and we keep the rangers on speed dial whenever we see wrong doings...taggers, illegal/unsafe activities, etc.
Creating a community...Since starting the wed. morning thread, I've met hundreds of riders from around the globe and locally and am proud to call them all my friends. For the last two years we've been one of the highest viewed/posted on threads on AZ MTBR. We've shared laughs, stoke, scrapes, bruises and blown out side walls. Many others have created friendships and found new riding buddys too. We are here to create a community of riders...no matter if you ride a full on DH Sled, and AM bike or a HT 29r...we've had them all on the van and we welcome everyone who wants increase their skills and ride some sweet trails. Feel free to flame on or whatever this site drives people to do, but this is our side of the story and we're sticking to it. See you wed. morning for some more shred action!!!!
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