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  1. #1
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    Focus vs friendliness... Questioning trail etiquette

    This will be a little winded, but stick with me.

    Over ten years ago I got yoked and folded myself up at Sunday river in Maine. It put a strong damper on my biking lifestyle for quite some time. Through the years I had been living vicariously through my sons with dirt bikes and other sporting events.
    My son and my brothers have been riding all summer. Every weekend I felt like a puppy watching everyone load up and it eventually bit me. I recently picked up a left over 2012 stumpjumper fsr 29'er and have been riding the local trails.

    For Christmas and birthday my son got camber comp 29'er, so him and I decided to do a Christmas eve romp around the local trails here in town. These trails are not well publicized, and judging by the condition they have not really been getting the traffic they did years ago.

    We stopped at one spot that is half way on our 14 mile loop we ride. We hung and talked about the old trails, and I showed him some old planks we used to ride that have literally rotted over the years. ( it's really amazing seeing how things change over ten years )
    Out of nowhere comes a rider bombing down the trail. I was excited to see someone out on these trails and tried to make small talk. The rider barely acknowledged that there were two guys standing there, and he didn't even say hi. Too busy to say hello... Oh cool.

    Which leads me to the question...
    Have you ever been so focused that you ignored other riders ? Is that the way this sport is headed ? Maybe the rider was wrapped up in his iPod, or maybe he was on a Strava attack... But it just seemed odd he couldn't even say " hey ".
    Years ago, felt a camaraderie with other riders. It seemed we would stop just to check out other rigs, or share trail stories.
    Has that gone ? Are we so strapped to our own agendas that we can't at least verbalize with other humans that share the same passion ?
    I can understand if I was in New York on some busy street and was ignored... But these are trails that I reclaimed from mother nature 14 years ago and I have been clipping weekly as of late to reopen the trails.

    Are you the type to just ride by, or would you stop and say hello ? It's not like we were a couple of shady hacks on Walmart bikes, we both have brand name rigs, and we were wearing helmets lol.

    So if that was you with your rasta hat, riding on the blacked out rocky mountain ( I think ) with white fox forks... Hello you snob

  2. #2
    bike dork
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    The more the sport has grown so has it's population. As such it is more like life in general. Some cool people and some assclowns. Don't let it bug you, just ride and smile. And then, when you get fitter, crush that guy on a climb and talk to him at the same time
    Full disclosure; I sell and repair bikes for a living: http://blackstonebicycles.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Maybe you should let your husband take your son out for the next ride. He may not be so sensitive.
    It was just one dude
    Maybe he had to take a crap
    Maybe he WAS on a Strava attack
    Maybe he was on the verge of puking and a friendly "hey" might have put him over the edge
    Maybe he is a snob
    I still think riders are generally sociable and trade hellos
    I can also say that I don't say hello to every person I ride by and sometimes there's no reason why
    Maybe he was deaf, or mute. He could be reading this now crying. And you called him a snob.

  4. #4
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    It depends what type of a ride I'm on but I'll often just blow by riders who don't seem to have any serious problems. Sometimes I stop and chat. It happens both ways. Sometimes I'm training for racing and feel it's important to not stop my legs spinning, etc... There's no good reason to be upset about someone enjoying their mountain riding experience differently than you enjoy yours.

  5. #5
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    "It's not like we were a couple of shady hacks on Walmart bikes, we both have brand name rigs"

    Your original post implies that it's OK to ignore people on inexpensive bikes and your calling out someone for being a snob. Ha......too funny.

    For what it's worth, I acknowledge everyone I come across when riding. Wether they're riding too or walking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdee View Post
    The more the sport has grown so has it's population. As such it is more like life in general. Some cool people and some assclowns. Don't let it bug you, just ride and smile. And then, when you get fitter, crush that guy on a climb and talk to him at the same time
    true true, and thanks !

    Quote Originally Posted by kubaner View Post
    Maybe you should let your husband take your son out for the next ride. He may not be so sensitive.
    It was just one dude
    Maybe he had to take a crap
    Maybe he WAS on a Strava attack
    Maybe he was on the verge of puking and a friendly "hey" might have put him over the edge
    Maybe he is a snob
    I still think riders are generally sociable and trade hellos
    I can also say that I don't say hello to every person I ride by and sometimes there's no reason why
    Maybe he was deaf, or mute. He could be reading this now crying. And you called him a snob.
    Uhm.... I got a wife, but anyways... I'll just let you feel stoked on that one, congrats

    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    Sometimes I'm training for racing and feel it's important to not stop my legs spinning, etc... There's no good reason to be upset about someone enjoying their mountain riding experience differently than you enjoy yours.
    I completely understand and wasn't upset. I wasn't expecting the guy to pull over and give me a run down of his rig like we are at some cruise night, and maybe he just didn't hear me say, " Hello bud it's good to see someone else out here on these trails ".

    Quote Originally Posted by bighit2005 View Post
    Your original post implies that it's OK to ignore people on inexpensive bikes and your calling out someone for being a snob. Ha......too funny.

    For what it's worth, I acknowledge everyone I come across when riding. Wether they're riding too or walking.
    Satire at it's finest isn't it ? I guess you're right.

  7. #7
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    I almost always say hello unless I'm on a bike path and few hundred "hellos" can be tedious.

    I think a better question is "Are mtn bikers getting so sensitive that one rider that doesn't stop their ride to engage in conversation prompts them question the entire mtn bike community as a whole?"

  8. #8
    Go Bruins!
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    If we start making a lot of generalizations about this and that, we might as well say that he was probably too stoned to recognize that he could or should have said hi because he was wearing a rasta hat. That being said, in over ten years of riding, I've learned you will find that you get all kinds, but I think the majority of riders are pretty chill.
    Get out and ride even when you don't want to because ten minutes into the ride you'll be glad you did.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy View Post
    I almost always say hello unless I'm on a bike path and few hundred "hellos" can be tedious.

    I think a better question is "Are mtn bikers getting so sensitive that one rider that doesn't stop their ride to engage in conversation prompts them question the entire mtn bike community as a whole?"
    Thanks for your reply, and that seems to be the general feeling I would have. I wasn't letting it stop my day, nor was i grouping it as the way everyone was. I was simply trying to make small talk with the people of this online community. It's pretty chilly outside so I guess I was just spilling some lungs in here... Oh well, back to doing different things.

  10. #10
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    I find mtb'rs much more friendly and laid back than the roadies I encounter.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy
    Moonlander

  11. #11
    guru meditation
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    I have had some good chats with some friendly people, usuallyhappens when you're both yielding the trail at the same time. On the other hand, the hikers, bird watchers and equestrians provide the most entertainment out of anyone in the woods. I think I should get a gopro just to capture all the stupid @!#% that happens during a weekend in the summer.

    Being told off by equestrians in Upton SF then seeing the same lady FALL OFF HER HORSE in the parking lot was the best. Not nice but I lol'ed at that.

  12. #12
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    you said he "barely acknowledged" you. did he give you a head nod or did he totally stuff you? if he was ripping by and gave you a head nod than i would say that is acceptable. my experience over the years has been that most riders are pleasant and enjoy some good chit chat. the riders that are not friendly or have an attitude let their egos get in the way

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stop Drop N Roll View Post
    you said he "barely acknowledged" you. did he give you a head nod or did he totally stuff you?
    I didn't notice any nod, so I guess I should change " barely acknowledged " to " didn't notice us ".

    Maybe we just caught him off guard as these trails are usually quite and are somewhat secluded. I guess maybe I'm just a scatter brain and often I forget what it's like to be focused. It is comforting to read that most of you would have said hello.

  14. #14
    Sun Devils
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    I wouldn't sweat it at all. There could be a million reasons why, I make it a point to at least say hi people and tell them to enjoy the day, but depending on the day I don't stop to have small talk with every rider. On a busy summer day at Lynn Woods or Nam you wouldn't get any ride time in that way. I think it's still a very social sport, probably one of the most social activities I can think of. It all depends on the people you're around. Keep in mind that a lot of people are out doing all types of training as well, I've been on a few group rides that literally felt military style, with breaks all planned out before we even put our feet in the pedals.

    For the most part I think you'll find that 99% of riders are super cool and will be happy to chit chat for a bit, especially at obvious start/end locations like the parking lot or if you see people at a common resting point (Boston Rock at LW for example). Like everyone else said there's a million what-if possibilities but this is definitely the exception in the mountain biking community.

  15. #15
    memento mori
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    I always either make eye contact with a nod or say hi . Unless there's pot being smoked,then I always stop and make friends

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J View Post
    I always either make eye contact with a nod or say hi . Unless there's pot being smoked,then I always stop and make friends
    Hahaha ! Then I guess it wasn't you that rode by.





    Just kidding

  17. #17
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    so you expected "him" to stop his bombing speed run to talk? sorry, that's unrealistic if someone doesn't even know you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    so you expected "him" to stop his bombing speed run to talk? sorry, that's unrealistic if someone doesn't even know you.
    Sorry, but I think you missed the part where I said I didn't expect him to stop, talk shop, or give me a hug.

    bombing speed run... lol.

  19. #19
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    I wasn't aware of any "etiquette" that requires me to acknowledge other riders (although I usually do). Perhaps he just wanted to "bomb down the trail"? Ain't no big (or little) deal.

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