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  1. #1
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    Mid-Life Crisis Riders Lack Trail Etiquette

    Is it me or are older Mountain Bikers becoming worse trail users? I have lived in the same area and have been riding the same trails for 20 years (yep, I am an ancient 45 years old), I have noticed in the past year or two there are more and more older mountain bikers that could not give a sh*t about anyone else on the trail. I mostly ride with my son and we ride a local trail most days after he is out of school. We have had head on collisions with people charging downhill on a mixed use trail that can have a lot of high traffic (in Thousand Oaks, CA). It always seems to be 40 somethings blasting down the hill during prime time. We joke that they are having their mid-life crisis and are trying to be "awesome". The last guy that crashed into me flat tracked around a corner coming down about 15 feet ahead of me as I was climbing. I saw him, stopped climbing and pulled to the side and he still ran full speed in to me, twisted my stem and effed up my rim. I told him he was going to get the trail closed for all of us when he took out a hiker and he told me that I was lucky he was only going half speed...more words were exchanged (though now we refer to all trail a-holes as "half speeds", so that's pretty cool). I have also come across riders on this same trail yelling "STRAVA", no...really...as they bomb the trail. It is a great trail, but it is not worth getting crashed into by some guy trying to prove his manhood. I also trail run a couple days a week and again the riders have no clue about trail etiquette, at most I get "RIDER UP, RIDER UP, RIDER UP!!!!!"....really you can't slow down a little and ask to pass...or how about a bell. Today two forty something riders came up behind me on a hill as I was jogging (okay I was tired and walking ), they did not announce themselves, but I heard them and moved to the side of the trail. The first rider was either very tired or a complete hack and tried to run me over in slow motion, I had to push him back on the trail away from me and up the hill. Both these guys were in full matching lycra kits (tee hee), but old like me. My highly scientific observation is that there are a bunch of old dudes new to riding that think they are young dudes and are trying to be "cool" but are just being asses. What's funny(?) is that the actual young dudes I have come across (sons mid teen friends and random teen trail users) understand how precious our trails are and for the most part show great trail etiquette. What's the deal? Anyone else get this...?

  2. #2
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    They act the same way on the trails as they do on the freeway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimwg View Post
    They act the same way on the trails as they do on the freeway.
    You see them texting while riding the trials?
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  4. #4
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    What do you expect after being married to the opposite sex for 20 odd years, thats enough to give any man a mid life crisis...
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11 Bravo View Post
    You see them texting while riding the trials?
    Winning!!

  6. #6
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    You must live in the worst area ever! Here in Utah I have never seen/heard the mythical beast who yells "Strava". Still not convinced it exists. Our trails are pretty busy and I very rarely run into another trail user acting badly. If I do, it is usually an equestrian, and those are always old guys.

    I've found that when I ride with my kids, my sense of trail propriety is thrown out of whack because I'm a bit more protective and all trail users seem to be going too fast. I use these as teaching moments to show my kids proper trail etiquette.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah

  7. #7
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    Mid-Life Crisis Riders Lack Trail Etiquette

    Funny how 25 year old d bags turn into 45 year old d bags after 20 years.

  8. #8
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    I have recently have had a couple minor run ins with trail jerks. However, I encounter a much higher ratio of assclowns off the trails. (all ages)
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  9. #9
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    Wow, OP, that sounds pretty awful. I rode a multi-use trail in my area once and that was enough for me. It was around dusk and there were no cars in the parking lot when I began the ride so I assumed (incorrectly, apparently) that I was alone. Just wanted to do a quick ride before it got dark and this was the most convenient trail for that. I was going pretty fast on a section of downhill and came around a corner to see two 60 something ladies hiking...didn't hit them but it was enough to scare me into thinking I certainly could have and probably would have sent those two poor old ladies to the hospital in a hurry. I stopped and made sure I didn't scare 'em too much and apologized for going a bit too fast.

    They were fine. But that one instance was enough to make me stick to our local MTB trails exclusively where I suppose you could run into hikers/runners but I never have. When I'm riding I want to go fast and not have in the back of my mind that grandma might be out for a stroll around the next corner. Our local singletrack is ridden directionally, for the most part, so not a whole lot of worry about other bikers climbing when I'm bombing a downhill section.

    The only problem I have ever had on trail from another biker is a guy that got his lycra in a wad because my dogs were with me on a ride. They didn't even bother him. They were chasing me going downhill and he was stopped on the side of the trail. As I went by he yelled "get those dogs outta here d-bag!"...so naturally I stopped and had a nice conversation with him . It is commonplace for most local MTB guys to be out riding with their dogs. Everyone I know that rides with dogs is very respectful and keeps their dogs in line. This guy didn't even have a valid reason for why it bothered him and ended up calming down after we talked. Other than that I have never had a problem with other riders. Thankfully I don't have to deal with "half-speeders" lol.
    All good things in all good time

  10. #10
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    I have never heard any one yell STRAVA on a trail. Never once. I actually found a really nice case of trail etiquitte this past weekend. I was climbing narrow two way since track. Narrow in that it was bench cut on side of a mtn. I am riding hard pushing and look up, but not very very far due to steepness of the climb. All of a sudden I see a downhill rider stopped by the side of trail letting my by 2 feet away. I never even saw him, but he saw me he had the time to get off the bike and off the trail. I thanked him and kept on rolling up the climb.

    That could have been nasty since there was no avoidance other off the side of the mtn, but the other guy was watching. The guy was older maybe late 40's or early 50's. Perfect example of why down hill riders yield to up hill. The hill was steep enough that he was above my sight line and one moment looking down cause him to be right there. My forward vision was sufficient for my slow speed, but simply did not capture the closing rate of the other rider.
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  11. #11
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    I've never encountered the "Strava" yelling rider either. Must not have them here in Utah.

    I don't have a big issue with trail etiquette -- I'm mostly a no-harm, no-foul kinda guy. But I do see, and even know (since I'm getting into that demographic) many late 30's to early 50's riders who are just getting into riding, mostly for the exercise (can't run anymore, bad knees, heart scare, etc), and have little to no knowledge of the trail rules, probably because they are mostly unwritten. After all, there is no manual that comes with that $4k bike they just bought, and who reads the signs on the trails? I am glad that many of our local trails now have trails informing riders not to ride when muddy.

    For example, I was invited to ride with a 40-something relative and his neighbor who are just getting in to riding. We head up, and the trail is becoming a little muddy. I mention that maybe we should find somewhere else to ride to avoid the mud, and they looked at me like I had an ear growing out of my forehead. I said, "you know, so we don't rut out the trail." Their response was, What??? I thought this game was about getting muddy and dirty and all of that. Had another conversation with a similar group, and they claimed to have never heard that the uphill rider has the right-of-way. In both cases, seemed to be good guys, they just had never been informed of the "rules" and hadn't been paying attention close enough to pick up on them, I guess.
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  12. #12
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    Have not encountered this species, must be confined to a local dispersal.

  13. #13
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    Yeah. I've found some of the most arrogant, d-baggy, pompous, Type A idiots are these salt and pepper hair poster boys for pharmaceutical commercials. Everything's a friggin' race, everything is absolutely serious, and the $8000 plastic bike on the blue 3-series roof and team kit caps it off all very nicely.

    Just go hit some super technical stuff. That's when a sales bonus can't buy you actual riding skills.

    I especially like when you call them on their BS, like, "Dude, is this a race or what?"

    "Oh, no. I was just checking out your bike... what year is that?" *huff huff huff huff*

    "1986"

    "Yeah..." *nothing else to say*

    That's when I roll my eyes so far into my head I can see my brain.

    These guys like to talk about adrenaline rush, extreme, wattage, etc. I told my wife that if I ever get like that, take a pistol and put a 9mm slug right into my forehead.

  14. #14
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    Using the responses in this thread as the sample metric, it seems to be a west coast issue.

  15. #15
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    Great, now it's the old guys that are the problem. Nice to see yet another group to look down on.

    In my opinion douch-baggery has no age requirements.

    And I really don't care about 26 vs. 29 either.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadie scum View Post
    Using the responses in this thread as the sample metric, it seems to be a west coast issue.
    Yes. I also believe SoCal is the worse of the two halves of this state, too.

  17. #17
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    Educate, not discriminate.

  18. #18
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    agree with previous posters that this must be local. I think the mention of the "California" in the OP explains it all.

    I have encountered the occasional db on the trails. The last one I recall specifically was in TX and I was doing some trail maintenance. db was one of the racers from the college team on a "training ride" and ran me off the trail. I called him out on it and he tried to make himself the authority on those trails, though he had never lifted a finger in maintenance. Good thing I personally knew the adviser for his team and I went up the food chain, complete with names (he name dropped himself like it meant something...moron). I think this was 2 or 3 years ago. So my rate of encountering jerks on the trails is pretty low.

    This guy MIGHT have been 20, so there's one of your future 45 y/o trail d-bags in 25 years.

  19. #19
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    Unfortunately, there are just a lot of aholes in general (especially in TO) and they spill over onto the trails. Especially on weekends.

    Having lived in the Bay though, it's not a problem limited to SoCal.
    buzzes like a fridge

  20. #20
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    I have no problem with people earning paper & beginners rocking $4k+ bikes with respect to others. But, damn! Is this what andropause buys you? A pair of man titties, poor trail etiquette, and fronting like a college thespian. I seen it happen with college kids too. At least, that's what I've experienced in my locale. You can definitely see it in snowsports too; especially, the newly minted backcountry shredders that think an airbag will definitely safe them as they get plowed into/off a terrain trap by a 70mph dry slab.

    I think the worst is if you end up riding them with one of the above mentioned mouth breathers and you try tell them that they are being a-holes in a nice way, they talk sh*t and keep on acting like a fool.

    More the reason to keep lifting, riding my bmx, and respecting others on the trails to avoid from degenerating into these man-titted, mouth-breathers.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inuitbiker View Post
    I have no problem with people earning paper & beginners rocking $4k+ bikes with respect to others. But, damn! Is this what andropause buys you? A pair of man titties, poor trail etiquette, and fronting like a college thespian. I seen it happen with college kids too. At least, that's what I've experienced in my locale. You can definitely see it in snowsports too; especially, the newly minted backcountry shredders that think an airbag will definitely safe them as they get plowed into/off a terrain trap by a 70mph dry slab.

    I think the worst is if you end up riding them with one of the above mentioned mouth breathers and you try tell them that they are being a-holes in a nice way, they talk sh*t and keep on acting like a fool.

    More the reason to keep lifting, riding my bmx, and respecting others on the trails to avoid from degenerating into these man-titted, mouth-breathers.
    lol, great post
    All good things in all good time

  22. #22
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    Mid-Life Crisis Riders Lack Trail Etiquette

    Some massive generalizations. I'm in NorCal and haven't noticed any of this stuff - from older or younger people. I would think it's novices that don't know any better.

  23. #23
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    Please stop making fun of my man-tits, and the bike was only $2000.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Some massive generalizations. I'm in NorCal and haven't noticed any of this stuff - from older or younger people. I would think it's novices that don't know any better.
    Yeah... but you're a girl on a bike. There is a VERY small minority of d-bags that will f' with a chick - but those of us who are men encounter d-bags on a much more frequent basis. It's all alpha-male BS, testosterone pizzing on the trail. In any sport, this happens among men. Take a basketball game, for example, no man is going to dunk on and shoulder check a woman. If a man does that to a woman - he's a sociopath.

    Men? It's very common, from tearing off in a car when the traffic light turns green, to food eating contests. Your gender has a lot to do with your lack of experience with this. We men have to deal with these chub muncher alpha-males' fycktardery in all walks of life, from sports, recreation, hobbies and in the workplace - especially if you work in sales among other men (like I do).

  25. #25
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    Mid-Life Crisis Riders Lack Trail Etiquette

    Sweaty moobs really turn on the ladies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    What do you expect after being married to the opposite sex for 20 odd years, thats enough to give any man a mid life crisis...
    Is this a veiled argument for same sex marriage? LOL

  27. #27
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    OP, you must have done something bad in a previous life to attract so many d00sh bags.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    agree with previous posters that this must be local. I think the mention of the "California" in the OP explains it all.

    This guy MIGHT have been 20, so there's one of your future 45 y/o trail d-bags in 25 years.
    Don't blame us native californians, most of the d*bags get sent here from somewhere else

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodgerdodger View Post
    Don't blame us native californians, most of the d*bags get sent here from somewhere else
    So....is California a nice place. Think I would like it there?

  30. #30
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    As a SoCal rider I know there are a lot of DBs out here. Everything for poor etiquette to a lack of understanding of etiquette. I've had people try to force pass me in the worst of spots and I've had people yell at me for not yielding right of way (pulling to the side and stopping) while coming down a 15 foot wide fire road. I chuck it up to the high population density that I'm just going to run into crappy people, I don't think age has anything to do with it though.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by friz View Post
    So....is California a nice place. Think I would like it there?
    haha, no! it's awful and the weather sucks and all the girls are fat!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post

    "Oh, no. I was just checking out your bike... what year is that?" *huff huff huff huff*

    "1986"
    You have actually kept a frame from cracking somewhere for that long?

    The longest I've had a mountain bike frame last me was 10 years before It got a crack.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Sweaty moobs really turn on the ladies.
    That's cool, you get down with that. I respect that.

    But I gotta ask out of cereal curiosity, do females get down with motorboating too?

  34. #34
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    Re: Mid-Life Crisis Riders Lack Trail Etiquette

    If someone comes bombing up on me yelling "strava", s/he's is not going to get her/his desired results.

  35. #35
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    Why do the whiny hater threads get all the attention?

    Oops, I just contributed ... carry on.

  36. #36
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    I am a 56 yr old that lives in So Cal, I dont drive a corvette(i drive a jeep),I have more problems with the younger crowd with earphones on,I also do not perm or dye my hair.I am confidant enough that I dont have to go around everyone and if you are faster or slower than me, great,just have fun.A big problem I have is almost nobody recognizes that when my bike bell goes "ding" I am just making you aware I am there

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inuitbiker View Post
    That's cool, you get down with that. I respect that.

    But I gotta ask out of cereal curiosity, do females get down with motorboating too?
    Females are into everything - especially cereal!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Yeah... but you're a girl on a bike. There is a VERY small minority of d-bags that will f' with a chick - but those of us who are men encounter d-bags on a much more frequent basis. It's all alpha-male BS, testosterone pizzing on the trail. In any sport, this happens among men. Take a basketball game, for example, no man is going to dunk on and shoulder check a woman. If a man does that to a woman - he's a sociopath.

    Men? It's very common, from tearing off in a car when the traffic light turns green, to food eating contests. Your gender has a lot to do with your lack of experience with this. We men have to deal with these chub muncher alpha-males' fycktardery in all walks of life, from sports, recreation, hobbies and in the workplace - especially if you work in sales among other men (like I do).
    I can see that. Bummer for you guys cuz it's so fun for us!

  38. #38
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    I live in the Thousand Oaks, CA area like the OP. While I haven't had anyone screaming down the hill yelling "Strava" I would not be surprised with this behavior. I have noticed that bikers in the last few years have gotten less friendly on the rides and seem to be more interested in speed.

    Last week I was going down a somewhat steep set of switch backs and I saw two women walking their dog up the slope. I dismounted, and walked my bike down past them while I wished them a good day.

    "We've seen almost a dozen bikers on our walk and you were the first one to say hello to us. The others just yelled rudely that they needed to pass."

    This is not a good trend.

  39. #39
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    That's too bad. Amgen is in Thousand Oaks. Maybe they can squirt some xanax-like substance in the air in the surrounding neighborhoods.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toff View Post
    You have actually kept a frame from cracking somewhere for that long?

    The longest I've had a mountain bike frame last me was 10 years before It got a crack.
    Double butted 4130 chromoly, homie. It's the stuff us BMX'ers have running through our veins. Aluminum? Not so much.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    ...
    "We've seen almost a dozen bikers on our walk and you were the first one to say hello to us. The others just yelled rudely that they needed to pass."

    This is not a good trend.
    I always say hi, thank you, or have nice day/walk etc to anyone I pass on the trail. The exception is the trail is wide and the hiker does nothing to move or acknowledge my existence. These types tend to have ear buds anyway.
    Joe
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    At 43 I guess I fall into the group we're discussing, except I'm always polite to other trail users. I do have a few questons about trail etiquette--

    1) When I pass another biker going the same direction what should I say? Do I pass on the left?

    2)What should I say when I pass walkers, same thing?

    3) Down hill yealds to up hill, right?

    4) If I break wind and nobody is around is it ok to laugh?

    5) What the hell does STRAVA meen?

  43. #43
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    1) Passing on the left is best, but it depends on the trail. A nice "hi" or "on your left". A lot depends on speed difference and trail features. You can also say "Like pass when you get a chance". I have heard that in races. Nice "thank you" is good

    2) Yes for the most part and again a nice pleasant "thank you" is good make people feel a little less like they are being run over.

    3) Yes, but if you going up hill and you see some fast downhill riders it may help give them room or simply wait till they pass if you are already off the bike. Again it depends, but helps most if you respect everyone else just being on the trail.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", Fetish Fixation SS 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post
    2)What should I say when I pass walkers, same thing?
    One thing I've learned is never assume that when you announce to hikers "passing on your left" that they hear or understand what you mean, especially if there are two hikers together. I find if there are two, they tend to scatter in random directions once you announce your intention to pass. So always slow way down and wait until they comprehend what's going on to pass, and of course make sure to say HI and THANKS!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    One thing I've learned is never assume that when you announce to hikers "passing on your left" that they hear or understand what you mean, especially if there are two hikers together. I find if there are two, they tend to scatter in random directions once you announce your intention to pass. So always slow way down and wait until they comprehend what's going on to pass, and of course make sure to say HI and THANKS!
    Or, just put Avid brakes on your bike.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by curly1 View Post

    4) If I break wind and nobody is around is it ok to laugh?
    You laugh at yourself for breaking wind, when you are by yourself?
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  47. #47
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    Regardless of everyones opinions, the OP is well written and seriously brings the funny. "ran into me in slow motion".......that seriously cracked me up. Plus rep OP!

  48. #48
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    Didn't your mama ever tell you, Ass Hats come in all flavors, sizes, colors, shapes and ages.....

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    So I guess if you are a older guy that has a nice bike
    and drives a BMW that makes you a DB? Also a lot of
    people in SoCal come from somewhere else.

  50. #50
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    Posts
    643
    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Some massive generalizations. I'm in NorCal and haven't noticed any of this stuff - from older or younger people. I would think it's novices that don't know any better.
    Yep, as a 50 something who's been riding for 30 years, I am still courteous on the trails and encourage younger / new riders. I don't see that on the trails I ride in CO, but there are always tools to deal with wherever we are.

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