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  1. #1
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    Wink Biking alone, "trailing" together

    Hey there!
    I was today thinking about how I started in the mountain and a story that is about biking, friends and new experiences...
    First of all, one day I just decided I'd like to try Mountain Biking after watching some videos of MTB in Europe.
    So Without much knowledge, I went to a general sports store where a guy "adviced me" about a bike that could handle "Anything I could throw at it" (Back then I didn't understand how some bikes could cost over 3000 dolars and the guy at the store told me it was only "branding")
    Needless to say, The tires were hard and had no traction
    The shifters were plastic and of a crappy design
    the only shimano part was a shimano tourney rear deraileur
    well, you get the idea...
    My next step was to find where to ride, so i looked online and found a small group that went to ride on saturdays and welcomed newbies, so I contacted the organizer and he told me to go meet them
    There was where my REAL experience with the biker way of life started...
    First, after the first rock, my bike was already to cry for, the pieces that in a road would've had no problem, were moving like crazy in the rocks.
    My new companions (Even though they had just met me) stopped and told me "Hey, we have to get your bike right if you want to go on". Back then, I had no tools with me, and when a biker who was riding alone passed, they asked him for his tool to help me and he gladly left it and said "You can give me back my tool when we meet at the top"
    By then I had already discovered that this world was different, It was a world where people cared not only about people they knew, but about people they've just met and the environment too. It was all awesome!
    Well, after my first ride in the mountain finished, I was SO excited, the challenge to go up and the emotion to go down were something I had never felt before (I played Basketball and Soccer before only)
    But It was not only the ride, the people helping each other while riding was something also new for me...
    After that, I've had many good experiences, and I became part of it, from giving advice to people to sharing some food or water and picking up trash others leave in my favourite trails (I hate people who leaves the stupid trash in the mountain)
    I've had some bad experiences too, but the good ones outweight the bad ones...
    And that's the main reason I'd like to share this experience with you, to tell you to keep with this tradition of lending each other a hand and let you know that if one day I find one of you or any biker in trouble in a trail, I'll hapily lend a hand

    Well, I invite you to comment what you think and if you've time, share your own experience on how you discovered that in a bike we ride alone, but in the trail we are never lonely!!
    Regards


  2. #2
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    nice write-up. Good experiences definitely outweigh the bad!

  3. #3
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    Good story! I almost never see other people riding, but when I have it has always been a good experience.

  4. #4
    powered by peanut butter.
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    It's a good thing to take care of each other. You never know when you'll need a helping hand.

    I had the good fortune to ride the Porcupine Rim trail in Moab a few weeks ago. This trail is no joke - it's a blast, but it's a seriously technical trail, and when we were there (late June), the days were getting quite hot. It'd be real easy to get yourself hurt on this trail. (In fact, one of our group had a pretty close call when she fell and banged her knee on one of the bazillion rocks that make up the trail.) I was out with two other riders, and we were taking our time and enjoying the magnificent views. Out of no where, this teenager comes ripping up behind us. We scoot over so he can pass, and he goes flying down the trail.

    About ten minutes later, he comes walking back up the trail. He got a pinch flat and 1) didn't know how to change his tube and 2) didn't even bring a spare tube or tire levers with him. He had no tools whatsoever. Luckily I had three tubes on me, so we gave him one along with a lesson on fixing flats.

    He was lucky that we were there: from the point where he flatted, it would have been at least a 9-10 mile hike-a-bike back to the trailhead in 90+ degree weather, which is a pretty dangerous situation to put yourself in.

    So yeah, let's keep taking care of each other out there.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  5. #5
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    I loved the stories... Thanks...
    Spokin'SC
    Trek 4 Life

  6. #6
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Great post Izcool, and very eloquent for an ESL individual (assuming that from your profile). The camaraderie among strangers is one of the first things that attracted me to mountain biking those many years ago.

  7. #7
    MIA
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    Great observation

    Many times during my early years mt. biking, I was helped by people on the trail whom I had never met prior to that time. It leaves an impression.

    Two weeks ago on a local trail I happened on a group of relatively newer riders, who had one very new rider with them. This rider had run into mechanical issues, chain came off the rear cassette and lodged between the cassette and the spokes. The group did not have the tools to dislodge the chain, so our group stopped and helped them get things running again. We made sure he had a good experience that day, and I am sure one day he too will pay it forward.

    Funny thing is, I did not even catch his name. But that is the great part, I don't know the guy at all, but would happily stop and help him again. With luck next time we'll meet up at the trailhead after the ride and drink a beer.



  8. #8
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    Great post Izcool, and very eloquent for an ESL individual (assuming that from your profile). The camaraderie among strangers is one of the first things that attracted me to mountain biking those many years ago
    Hahaha, you're right, my native language is Spanish. Thanks for the compliment And for me, biking is one opf the best activities I've ever gotten into

    @heartland
    So yeah, let's keep taking care of each other out there.
    I agree, if we take care of other bikers and of our roads, we'll have our loved sport for a very long time

    And to everyone posting here or at least taking the time to read it, I'm glad the MTB spirit is regular in many many places

  9. #9
    pain is good
    Reputation: halflung's Avatar
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    friends

    Love the story izcool,
    First time I went to Downeville, got there a day before my buddy's, did a ride by down myself, got a flat, right after the falls, this guy (Henry-O-Donell, Santa Cruz Rider) and his pals ride up and stop, see me fixing my tire and help, but mostly just shot the ***t, it was awesome. They made sure that I was good to go, and hauled a** down. later that night, somebody yells out to me, it was them, so I made friend's, never saw them again, but why do we ride, because we have days like this. I love the comment that is in the first movie in The Collective, I made some of the best friends , mountain biking, Long live long rides.

  10. #10
    Hermit
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    Good attitude.

    I ALWAYS stop if I'm passing a rider who's stopped. Might only be that they're taking a rest, but they might be lost, or having a mechanical or even physical problem. One good deed could save their day.

    Broke my leg on the trail riding solo one time and had a passing rider stop his ride to help get me and my brand new (first ride) bike out of the woods. Payin' it back.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
    http://swampboy62.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
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    I've found that MTB'ers are more friendly and likely to help then road bikers. On our off road trails we often get asked if we are alright if we are stopped, and if we need a hand they will provide it. You can ask for directions or they will give you advise on things without asking. One even kept my GF company as I attempted a trail I wasn't prepared for, at all.....I also lend a hand if needed and ask others if they need help if stopped. On the other side when we ride on the paved road most of them could care less as long as your not in the way with nary a look or acknowledgement....

  12. #12
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    've found that MTB'ers are more friendly and likely to help then road bikers. On our off road trails we often get asked if we are alright if we are stopped, and if we need a hand they will provide it. You can ask for directions or they will give you advise on things without asking. One even kept my GF company as I attempted a trail I wasn't prepared for, at all.....I also lend a hand if needed and ask others if they need help if stopped. On the other side when we ride on the paved road most of them could care less as long as your not in the way with nary a look or acknowledgement....
    You know, you're not the first person who has told me that road bikers are indifferent to other riders needs, but I've not felt it first handed (Or at least, I've never let it affect me).
    The only experience I remember with road riders was one time I was at the edge of a trail that was next to a highway, and a small group of 3 or 4 riders passed next to me, I said "Hi" and they passed me without really paying attention. I didn't even payed more attention to that and went on.
    Maybe they're not as nice as Mountain bikers, maybe they're just more hermetic and care only about their groups, Maybe I've just encountered some who were training for a hard competition. I won't put labels I'm sure there are road bikers who would not leave a biker on the ground if they see it.

  13. #13
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    Quote Originally Posted by lzcool View Post
    You know, you're not the first person who has told me that road bikers are indifferent to other riders needs, but I've not felt it first handed (Or at least, I've never let it affect me).
    .
    I don;t think "indifferent" is the right word. Just a different culture and a different ride dymanic. Road club rides tend to be more focused on keeping a certain pace, working the paceline, and training. For some reason, most "roadies" tend to be type-A, winner-take all personalities. It is just assumed that everyone is in it for themselves. If some guy flats or is having trouble, people tend to think...man that sucks....glad its not me....the sag wagon will get to him sooner or later.

    MTBrs can be just as competitive, but also seem to remember that the sport is about having fun and riding, not just making time.

  14. #14
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    I don;t think "indifferent" is the right word. Just a different culture and a different ride dymanic. Road club rides tend to be more focused on keeping a certain pace, working the paceline, and training. For some reason, most "roadies" tend to be type-A, winner-take all personalities. It is just assumed that everyone is in it for themselves. If some guy flats or is having trouble, people tend to think...man that sucks....glad its not me....the sag wagon will get to him sooner or later.
    I agree, it must be only about a different culture with them!
    But hey, let's not lose focus here, let's share good stories about our experiences in the Mountain!! I invite you to share one if you have ok?
    C'ya

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