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  1. #1
    Lawyer Time! No Comment.
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    Well, that was an eye opener!

    Well, I just watched "Unchained - New World Disorder 6", and I can honestly say that aside from being simultaneously lame, melodramatic, and trashy, it made an impact. For the first time in 20 years of being a Mountain Biker & MTB access activist, I completely understand the reaction folks like the Sierra Club are having, wanting to ban bikes everywhere they can.

    I don't even see what that has to do with mountain biking. Yeah, it happens on two wheels and off road. But I wouldn't call them cyclists. Seems like it's just a bunch of bmx kids doing tricks off jumps. Which might be neat I guess, if it were kept on a track. Trashing the pristine face of a mountain a million years in the making so you can do your little 2 second stunt and then mug like a idiot at the camera while talking about how this crap "helped the sport"... its atrocious. That was definitely a perspective changing hour.

    I've spent 2/3 of my life in this sport. If this is the driection this sport is going to go, if these asshats are just going to continue this crap until they run all the progress we've made into the ground, then the sooner it's over with the better.
    Nothing left to lose, & half mad.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingsuperpetis
    Well, I just watched "Unchained - New World Disorder 6", and I can honestly say that aside from being simultaneously lame, melodramatic, and trashy, it made an impact. For the first time in 20 years of being a Mountain Biker & MTB access activist, I completely understand the reaction folks like the Sierra Club are having, wanting to ban bikes everywhere they can.

    I don't even see what that has to do with mountain biking. Yeah, it happens on two wheels and off road.
    While I can't disagree with some of your points (trashy and melodramatic especially), these are pretty broad generalizations based on watching 45 minutes of a movie. What you should realize is that most mt. biking movies, in general, have those quick (MTV style) edits with hucks, dirt jumps or urban sessions. Why is that? Because it's the easiest and cheapest for filmmakers to capture and their editing creativity is practically non-existent……

    Personally, I’d love to see more flowy, rippin’ singletrack stuff on movies, but it’s hard to capture the speed and exhilaration of riding really good singletrack…..you know the kind where you’re hooting and hollering the whole way down. The kind where you’ve got a sh!t eating grin on your face for hours. I’ve taken hours of helmet cam footage flowing in some killer destinations and it always amazes me how good they are in person and how totally unspectacular they translate to video. I think the Collective has done this best, but all of the filmmakers could do much better here, imo.

    To the topic of “the future of our sport”. To be honest, I think our sport is currently evolving. I’ve noticed that even “old-school” xc riders now stop to session a technical area on the trail nowadays - whether it's a tough climb, a burly rock garden, a chute, a drop or a ladder bridge. It seems that with bike technology advances, there have been big leaps in riders’ abilities over the past 3-5 years. I know that was the case for me and our crew. I ride with 15+ guys that range from late 20’s to mid 50’s and everyone is technically stronger these days and some of that may be due to the equipment…... As a result, we mix in more challenging rides along with our weekly xc rides.

    I feel that a better way to look at DH and FR scene is that you've got a (mostly) young, energetic and passionate group of people getting into our sport who can help it if given the right set of tools and knowledge. Frankly, I’m amazed at how far the progression of tricks has come in the past several years from these young rippers. While folks like myself got into our sport by first riding XC (still do) and are aware of the history, many people are getting into our sport riding FR and DH and many of them need to be educated on the history of access issues and the impact they can make – both positively and negatively. Instead of calling this crap, places in the PNW have embraced this direction and work with the local builders (adults and kids) to make stuff that is safe and fun to ride, less risky, well signed, etc. The local clubs are also actively working to get these folks involved in advocacy and creating new areas for them to ride. If you’ve got folks stoked to ride, why not get their input on trails and get them out there digging?!?!

    Some examples:
    http://www.whimpsmtb.com/
    http://bbtc.org/php/show_page.php?page_id=19
    http://www.gfra.org/aboutus.shtml
    http://blackrockfreeride.org/mx/index.php

    Some folks may love to do 40 mile epics in the backcountry, some may want to hit the bike park all day, some like to do urban sessions after work and some want to dirt jump. Some, like myself, like to do all of the above and I feel like when we realize that all other user groups categorize us all as “bikers” whether we’re on a 22 lb. hardtail or a 45 lb. DH bike, the sooner we’ll be able to have a more commanding presence with our land managers and legislators. Until then, we’re just a bunch of finger-pointing nit wits.

    Cheers,
    EBX
    Last edited by ebxtreme; 01-24-2006 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    smw
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    The Collective was the first Mt Biking movie I saw, and I can say Ive been disappointed
    with every one Ive seen since then. Maybe they should make fewer movies and put out a better quality movie. OF course the must be an audience for these low grade movies or they wouldnt keep making them. I dont know that it hurting the sport, but its not helping.

    Sean

  5. #5
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by smw
    The Collective was the first Mt Biking movie I saw, and I can say Ive been disappointed
    with every one Ive seen since then. Maybe they should make fewer movies and put out a better quality movie. OF course the must be an audience for these low grade movies or they wouldnt keep making them. I dont know that it hurting the sport, but its not helping.

    Sean
    The Collective was the first full length bike vid I watched, and it is still the best.

    Yeah, I have issues with people building stunts and stunt trails where they shouldn't. I haven't actually watched New World Disorder 6, so I can't say that they were doing things where they shouldn't. However, my biggest concern has been the kids who watch the vids and think it's cool to go out and build a stunt, without permission, in the middle of a trail. (Um, I've actually been a little bit guilty of this sort of thing myself, so I understand the impulse to "create" a stunt when you see some prime stunt material by the side of the trail.)

  6. #6
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    I'm 17 and I'm one of those young guns with the DH and FR sceen. I also ride XC so I love the trails. I see where you're comin' from about the jumps in trails. I do like boost for jumps, but not on a good single track. And I do most of my FR in my yard where there is ledges and stuff, but a lot of kids don't have that so they trying to find a place to do that stuff. Even though they are builbing in good trails, they're just trying to have fun like the rest of us. The reason they're building on pemade trails is that they don't really know what they're doing when it comes to making and clearing a trail.

  7. #7
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    I'm 19 and a pure trail/XC rider- I got into MTB thorugh bushwalking. You do have to admit that though that FR & DH'ers cause a fair amount of erosion- the abundance of skidding done by the pro's can be viewd by riders on such mtb videos and movies. Also, many of the MTB movies don't even go near the issue about the environment, sustainable riding and trail building. So unfortunately many of the new young riders don't quite get this. Where I've moved to for uni, all of the other riders around my age group are heavily into FR/DH and quite frankly couldn't give a 'badword' about the sustainability of the sport- all they seem to care about is "pin it!" I find myself riding with 30+ yo riders (not that it's bad, it's a really nice change from my usual friends at uni).

    I love to watch FR and DH... in fact I've tried doing some DH runs- but it just doesn't interest me (well it actually scares me stiff). I believe that this area of our sport has its place- it's what may just make it 'popular' again (4X on tv), which would be nice because the closest I get to the 'glory days' is the section at the the back of Mountain Bike Action. But I also believe that its dragging the rest of our sport down too- aforementioned points about trail care. I think that if you are into these disciplines and meet younger riders- talking about trail care/responsible riding should be next to talking about which chain guide to run.

    my two cents

  8. #8
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingsuperpetis
    Well, I just watched "Unchained - New World Disorder 6", and I can honestly say that aside from being simultaneously lame, melodramatic, and trashy, it made an impact. For the first time in 20 years of being a Mountain Biker & MTB access activist, I completely understand the reaction folks like the Sierra Club are having, wanting to ban bikes everywhere they can.

    I don't even see what that has to do with mountain biking. Yeah, it happens on two wheels and off road. But I wouldn't call them cyclists. Seems like it's just a bunch of bmx kids doing tricks off jumps. Which might be neat I guess, if it were kept on a track. Trashing the pristine face of a mountain a million years in the making so you can do your little 2 second stunt and then mug like a idiot at the camera while talking about how this crap "helped the sport"... its atrocious. That was definitely a perspective changing hour.

    I've spent 2/3 of my life in this sport. If this is the driection this sport is going to go, if these asshats are just going to continue this crap until they run all the progress we've made into the ground, then the sooner it's over with the better.
    I've only seen the different videos on as background at a few local shops. Never had any interest in purchasing one either, but that is not the point I want to make.

    Some of the best 'movies' have been the helmet cams that local riders are making of their own rides. These show the flow, the effort, the challenge that some XC rides have. I might like these because I understand, or it might be because the riders look like they're having a blast!

    One of the riders from around here went out to Moab, and he's an agressive XC type rider, it makes me want to ride (and even avoid in one case) the trails out there. The sense of flow, the sense of challenge are in his video. It's not the slick professionally done video like the ones I could buy, but it's one that makes me go ride.

    Just need a place to host all of these videos and I think we'd have a solution to the problem of bad videos.

    JmZ
    JmZ

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyingsuperpetis
    Well, I just watched "Unchained - New World Disorder 6", and I can honestly say that aside from being simultaneously lame, melodramatic, and trashy, it made an impact. For the first time in 20 years of being a Mountain Biker & MTB access activist, I completely understand the reaction folks like the Sierra Club are having, wanting to ban bikes everywhere they can.
    This is an interesting topic. I watched "The Collective" about a week ago, and there were parts that I felt the same about it. After I thought about it I realized this was probably the best movie that I had seen on DVD. I'm not sure what that says about the industry as a whole.

    Anyways I wanted to say that the helmet cam videos I've seen over the years blow these movies out of the water. Pete's, Winston's, and Wherewolf's helmet cams are great. Although the most impressive collection of helmet cam footage I have seen was at the IMBA trailwork school last year, when Nat Lopes showed footage from all of the trails that they had worked on the last year.

    -Derek

  10. #10
    smw
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    [ Some of the best 'movies' have been the helmet cams that local riders are making of their own rides. These show the flow, the effort, the challenge that some XC rides have. I might like these because I understand, or it might be because the riders look like they're having a blast!
    Just need a place to host all of these videos and I think we'd have a solution to the problem of bad videos.

    JmZ[/QUOTE]

    Best idea Ive heard yet. I find the local/ helmet cam videos more entertaining too. Seems a hosting site would be great, we could watch rides from all over the world and decide where we want to take vacation.

  11. #11
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    I've watched many of the MTB movies... chain reaction, NWD, earthed2, Kranked, the collective etc.. I agree that some of the stuff is just blatant misuse of good riding areas. But we can't say that this style of riding is not part of the sport. Lets face it, it is. The Collective has some of the best footage I've seen in any of the movies. I believe it gives more life to the sport than other movies have. The trail building and such was amazing, along with the riding.

    On the other hand, i've watched many of the "mountain bike bill" and "petefagerlin" movies and they are so close to what I like it's crazy. The singletrack footage is amazing.

    Everyone has their own interests in our sport.. We all just need to accept it. I watch the MTB movies for entertainment. I would never buy a downhill bike, but it's fun to watch sometimes.
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  12. #12
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    Helmet cams

    I would agree that the helmet cams posted here are more enjoyable to watch. I've seen a few of those FR videos and the stunts they do are of course insane. I think the mountain bike parks are the way of the future for this type of riding. i can compare it to the skate boarding craze of the 80-'s. I was into that and the video ,along with a bunch of new skateparks really took off. That's just what the FR reminds me of. Building stunts on already developed trails is certainly not cool. What whistler and B.C. got going on is pretty impresive though. Just my 2 pesos!
    the - E - dog

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM
    I would never buy a downhill bike, but it's fun to watch sometimes.
    ZoZo,

    Never's a really long time. For instance, a good buddy that's been riding XC for over 15 years and recently turned 46, just bought a DH bike this winter. Another that's been xc riding for 20+ years and raced BMX in the early 80's just picked up a used FR bike on ebay.

    Granted, we live in an area where these bikes are utilized regularly with areas to ride them, but I'd say don't knock it, 'til you've tried it! I've known more than a few XC guys that walked away from Whistler with the bug and a whole new set of skills. On that note and for what it's worth, I've picked up many skills while riding my FR bike that have carried over to big gains on my XC rig and vice versa.

    Cheers,
    EBX

  14. #14
    you know your crazy right
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    ZoZo,

    Never's a really long time. For instance, a good buddy that's been riding XC for over 15 years and recently turned 46, just bought a DH bike this winter. Another that's been xc riding for 20+ years and raced BMX in the early 80's just picked up a used FR bike on ebay.

    Granted, we live in an area where these bikes are utilized regularly with areas to ride them, but I'd say don't knock it, 'til you've tried it! I've known more than a few XC guys that walked away from Whistler with the bug and a whole new set of skills. On that note and for what it's worth, I've picked up many skills while riding my FR bike that have carried over to big gains on my XC rig and vice versa.

    Cheers,
    EBX
    I agree...all of the FR biking i do has inproved my XC riding HUGE..esp on the downhills and I actually love the climbs a bit more...it's nice to earn them once in a while.I know that the kids that are kicking a$$ out there might not have the same respect for the trails that they should but if you watch them you should at least be able to acknowledge what they can do.I love the way the sport is progressing..I wish i had gotten in to it many years ago...but at 34 I find that I love FR,XC and Urban.I just watched a really good movie..lots of it was in Whistler....and it was great.But of course i have no idea what it was (such a girl,lol) but the riding was amazing.And then.of couse, I cant wait to ride Whistler again.Kona
    Boobs to the tube.......

  15. #15
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    EBX
    Couldn't agree with you more. The stye of riding, stunts, trails, and bikes have changed so much within the past five years it's incrediable! What hasn't changed/improved is the mentality of some of these riders/filmers have towards the trails they ride - some just don't give a **** and think they can do whatever they want, where they want. One example - a bike movie was filmed here in Kamloops, on trails that were already in trouble of closing. Did they care and move the location? no way ! They built the stunts anyway and left a hell-of-a-mess for the City to clean up after the filming was done - thanks guys you just put us back in the doghouse with the public!!
    If the Ski Hills, such as Whistler an others, didn't embrace our wounderful sport when they did , I think the "sport" of Mountain Biking (X-C, DH, FR) would have been pounded back to the Stone Ages never to be seen again.

    So the bottom line is; education, education, education!

  16. #16
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    New Collective trailer.

    On the points about the Collective, folks can see how much goes into a particular shot if done right. Check out the teaser below to see the amount of cable cam work they're doing here. I know, for instance, that a shot where Wade Simmons does a big road gap on their first movie took a full day to set up for. Most film makers don't have the time, budget or creativity to do something like that in their films.

    http://www.thecollectivefilm.com/roam/index_roam.html

    EBX

  17. #17
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    While I can't disagree with some of your points (trashy and melodramatic especially), these are pretty broad generalizations based on watching 45 minutes of a movie. What you should realize is that most mt. biking movies, in general, have those quick (MTV style) edits with hucks, dirt jumps or urban sessions. Why is that? Because it's the easiest and cheapest for filmmakers to capture and their editing creativity is practically non-existent……
    yeah, it's sort of like saying a Warren Miller ski flick that's 90% heli skiing sick lines in the chugach is indicative of the general state of skiing...

  18. #18
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    It's Porn

    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    yeah, it's sort of like saying a Warren Miller ski flick that's 90% heli skiing sick lines in the chugach is indicative of the general state of skiing...
    The common thread that I see between a state of the art ski film and a like bike film is that it is sending a strong message to the people that watch it that being out of bounds is all right. Think of the danger of avalanche in 90% of those shots, it is real. While it will not harm the environment much in the Chugach in the winter it could mean death, biking all over the place does leave damage, many times irreperable and death to the environment as it were.

    While they may disclaim that it is all done by pro riders on closed courses it still sends out the vibe that it is "what to do". So if someone is hurt trying to immitate their on screen heroes or the land is scarred who is going to take the blame? Certainly not the producers. Which is not very right. Another example are the car ads on tv where they are ripping it up to show how much power you have with your new toy.

    A bit of a confession here though. My son works for a film company and has had footage in the last 3 NWD flims. I love my son, but I haven't watched any of it and he is always getting me to look at his ski footage.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  19. #19
    DOH!
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    A point is being missed here: many areas used for filming are multi-use, and the film makers have gotten permission from the appropriate entities to do what they do. What might appear to be careless destruction of pristine dirt might, in fact, be nothing of the sort. Take the Redbull course in S. Utah, for instance. Before the event, it was a garbage dump (literally). Riders restored it.

    Sure, there are exceptions, where bad decisions are made by clueless people. By and large, however, rules are followed. Making the blanket statement that all gravity riders are nothing but a scourge to the environment and a liability to the sport is about as intelligent and informed as saying all XC riders are nothing but anal, lycra-clad weenies more interested in shaving 1.25 seconds off a climb than simply enjoying the ride.

    The NWD series is not about race footage or rides in the woods. People buy the videos to see riders push the envelope of what's possible on two wheels. As formica said, it's not illustrative of what general mountain bike riding is all about.

    Before you spout off and attack a segment of the riding population, stop and think first. Are your comments based on a diverse sampling population, or are they made using only a few data points near the edge of the curve?

    I would suggest using the remaining 1/3 of your days not being so critical of a certain population and, rather, figuring out how you can use your access activism experience to better educate and integrate all riders. Why do you think horse riders are so influential in trail usage policy, when their animals - by and large - do far more damage to pristine wilderness than bikes ever will? They stand as one, and speak with a united voice. Western, english, hunters, whatever...it doesn't matter. If we continue to insist on fracturing the community into XC, trail riders, freeriders, DH'ers, etc then you are right: we're done. We might as well get it over with as fast as possible and accept that we're eventually going to be tossed off of every piece of dirt on public lands.

  20. #20
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    Making the blanket statement that all gravity riders are nothing but a scourge to the environment and a liability to the sport is about as intelligent and informed as saying all XC riders are nothing but anal, lycra-clad weenies more interested in shaving 1.25 seconds off a climb than simply enjoying the ride.

    Your words, not mine. The film in question just happened to be, well yes, about Freeriding. (a very popular segment of our sport right now) I was using that as a example to make a point that not all riders ( note the word "riders" - not FR's or DH'rs) follow and respect the rules of the trail. If this wasn't the case - why are we having so many trail issues?

    If it was a DH'r blowing past some hikers on a training run, or a FR putting some nails into a tree for a stunt , or a X-C rider leaving his tube on the trail - all it takes is one careless person to ruin it for others (X-C, DH, and FR)

    I think I see why you are getting upset. I used the word "stunt" in my previous post, you automatically assumed I was signaling out 1 or 2 user groups, ( perhaps one you do) well that's not true. Stunts can apply to FR's, DH'rs and yes even the X-C guys.
    Or maybe it was my comment about ski hill's saving mtb'ing? I wasn't implying FR or DH have effected mtb in a negative way and needed to be moved up to the mtn where no one can see them - mountain biking was in trouble way before FR was ever born ie: Mt Tam
    What I meant by that was, with ski resorts now embracing bikes, riders (yes even the x-c) can go up to the mtn and enjoy themselves in a controlled, legal enviornment and not have to worry about any user conflicts. Simple - everyone's happy (maybe except for the fact that you now need to pay to ride your bike)
    Well I spent a greater 1/3 of my hour typing this so it's time for me to go

  21. #21
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    I've just watched Cease and Desist and felt it made an impact also. 20 years as an mtber and trail pioneer and I'm bummed my skills and trail building have not kept pace with whats in that movie. I see creativity and soul, I like what is said, and the example it sets.

    I identify with what this particular movie represents and it inspires me. People respond to different stimulus. The Collective was great too, only seen the trailer for NWD. But your point is valid.

    Just wanted to put in a plug for Cease and Desist cause I can't quit thinking about it...
    must go build...

  22. #22
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    Well perhaps I should rephrase this.. I would never buy a freeride bike for this area. I might get something in the "All-Mountain" category but nothing that weight 45lbs. Of course some of those allmountain bikes are pretty damn heavy. .. If this area had more places to ride I might be more apt to try it out.
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  23. #23
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    Let me start by saying...

    I ride XC, but love technical stuff and would ride DH, FR bikes on bigger technical stuff given the chance. Still I guess Im old school because I came to this sport when all MTBs were rigids. I have seen it go front suspension, then dual suspension and then rapidly to the 8-10 inch, monster-travel, bikes that everyone loves to ride now.


    I mention this because having been in the sport as long as I have been, I know all about the access issues and have had plenty of time to learn trail etiquette and most importantly IMHO "leave no trace" (tire tracks are fine) What I perceive to be the problem is not the direction the sport is taking, or the types of bikes or specialized groups (I think all that is fine) but rather that many (not all) of the new riders coming into the sport for its extreme/choppy MTV video clip side of things dont learn these things. Unfortunately most of the videos contribute to this, I think that this is a big problem. For example several times I have met younger kids (teens) that had big-hit bikes on multi-use trails and thought it was OK to jump off everything and bomb down every downhill sesction at 35+ MPH. Sadly, they didnt know any better, they didnt know they had to yield to other users (the one kid did not even know to carry an xtra tube even though he was launching off 5-6 drops - yes he pinch flatted ) I have seen this quite a bit...and with all that they know being these movies - its hard to say "hey dude, thats just not cool here" and get understanding.

    So the question is, who is to blame? Producers/bike makers/shops selling DH/FR bikes? I think its kind of everyones fault. I think everyone is playing ostrich here, with their collective head in the sand hoping that everything will be fine. Unfortunately that is just not the case. If more and more of these kinds of bikes are sold and less and less of the biking population is being taught the rules of what is and is not ok, well, then we ALL will suffer more trail closures and more ill-will from the hiker/horsey/nature groups that dont like us. That is the reality we are facing....the problem is the people with money at stake: producers/manufacturers/sellers are not going to jeopardize their new meal ticket.

    I dont want anyone, especially those of you that are DH/FR/extreme riders, to think this is a personal attack on you. I can appreciate the riding you do, just as I appreciate the rigid SS'ers that pound out 30-40 miles in a day. In fact, I like all bikes and I am amazed at the skills some people possess. However, all of those new to the sport NEED to be good ambassadors for biking. Everybody needs to show more respect to other users and watch what they are doing - ie, ride the appropriate way in the appropriate areas. Since the industry is not going to change we all have to make a point to better instruct newbs of what is acceptable and what is not. We need to be cognizant of the fact that the only "us versus them" are bikers vs those (non-bikers) that want to exclude us from certain lands to ride on NOT XC vs FR vs DH vs SS vs 29 or whatever else. The new bikes and the diversity is good for the sport, the fractionalization between members of the tribe (old skool term) is not. All of us bikers need to do more trail work, educate others more, and be more respectful of others and the environment. Whatever we may think of ourselves, we have to realize that no matter if we like it or not, we are all lumped together (regardless of discipline) as mountain bikers by everyone else.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDtofer
    I ride XC, but love technical stuff and would ride DH, FR bikes on bigger technical stuff given the chance. Still I guess Im old school because I came to this sport when all MTBs were rigids. I have seen it go front suspension, then dual suspension and then rapidly to the 8-10 inch, monster-travel, bikes that everyone loves to ride now.


    I mention this because having been in the sport as long as I have been, I know all about the access issues and have had plenty of time to learn trail etiquette and most importantly IMHO "leave no trace" (tire tracks are fine) What I perceive to be the problem is not the direction the sport is taking, or the types of bikes or specialized groups (I think all that is fine) but rather that many (not all) of the new riders coming into the sport for its extreme/choppy MTV video clip side of things dont learn these things. Unfortunately most of the videos contribute to this, I think that this is a big problem. For example several times I have met younger kids (teens) that had big-hit bikes on multi-use trails and thought it was OK to jump off everything and bomb down every downhill sesction at 35+ MPH. Sadly, they didnt know any better, they didnt know they had to yield to other users (the one kid did not even know to carry an xtra tube even though he was launching off 5-6 drops - yes he pinch flatted ) I have seen this quite a bit...and with all that they know being these movies - its hard to say "hey dude, thats just not cool here" and get understanding.

    So the question is, who is to blame? Producers/bike makers/shops selling DH/FR bikes? I think its kind of everyones fault. I think everyone is playing ostrich here, with their collective head in the sand hoping that everything will be fine. Unfortunately that is just not the case. If more and more of these kinds of bikes are sold and less and less of the biking population is being taught the rules of what is and is not ok, well, then we ALL will suffer more trail closures and more ill-will from the hiker/horsey/nature groups that dont like us. That is the reality we are facing....the problem is the people with money at stake: producers/manufacturers/sellers are not going to jeopardize their new meal ticket.

    I dont want anyone, especially those of you that are DH/FR/extreme riders, to think this is a personal attack on you. I can appreciate the riding you do, just as I appreciate the rigid SS'ers that pound out 30-40 miles in a day. In fact, I like all bikes and I am amazed at the skills some people possess. However, all of those new to the sport NEED to be good ambassadors for biking. Everybody needs to show more respect to other users and watch what they are doing - ie, ride the appropriate way in the appropriate areas. Since the industry is not going to change we all have to make a point to better instruct newbs of what is acceptable and what is not. We need to be cognizant of the fact that the only "us versus them" are bikers vs those (non-bikers) that want to exclude us from certain lands to ride on NOT XC vs FR vs DH vs SS vs 29 or whatever else. The new bikes and the diversity is good for the sport, the fractionalization between members of the tribe (old skool term) is not. All of us bikers need to do more trail work, educate others more, and be more respectful of others and the environment. Whatever we may think of ourselves, we have to realize that no matter if we like it or not, we are all lumped together (regardless of discipline) as mountain bikers by everyone else.

    I agree fully with what you said. Most kids that I talk to on the local trails seem willing to listen and help the sport as long as you don't get too confrontational. There will always be instances where people are jerks and don't want to listen but you have to do your best to educate people.

    I recently had a run in with a FR rider that was doing the trails at our local system backwards b/c it had more interesting drops that way. And when I confronted him about it he told me to "f**k off" that I was on a "***** ass xc bike and I can't tell him ****." Well that really irked the hell out of me b/c all I wanted to tell him that if he insists on riding the trail system backwards at least have a 2nd to look as a lookout so to avoid injury, especially on some of the blind hills. So I went to the parks office and had him removed but that being said I have had other encounters where people were willing to listen and learn.

    For the most part people will listen and the ones that don't wouldn't do it anyway regardless of sport. I really don't like blaming TV or Vids for kids being jerks I blame Parents for not teaching them respect for things in the 1st place. I think that there are alot of people in the free ride community that are smart and teach good ettiquette to riders and as long as there numbers grow I am fine with vids that show disrespect.
    Progression is fine just remember to respect your roots.



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  25. #25
    Lawyer Time! No Comment.
    Reputation: flyingsuperpetis's Avatar
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    Well, thanks to everyone who posted. There are quite a few very passionate posts on here, and that's always nice to see. Several interesting points as well. I thought I'd give this thread some room to breathe before I replied to any of it, but I may have waited too long.

    I was pretty emotionally charged when I wrote that original post, and it came off a bit more harsh & hotheaded than I typically like to get. It was also more tangential, and the widely varying responses reflect that. Apologies if this post is badly worded, I'm typing fast, as there seems to be a lot to say and little time to do it in.

    Here's what happened:

    I work for a small high-end custom component manufacturer. We're planning on taking some of our components to mass production and going big next year. It came time to down trying to decide which niches we want to focus on, and when we came to "Freeride" we realized it's been a year or 3 since we've paid much attention to it. We thought we'd start by grabbing a few of the newer vids & then go spend some time out in it. However, we came away from watching those videos with mixed reactions.

    On one hand: The FR is youthful, fast, exciting, & flashy. Looks great in print, on tv, everything. Pure sensationalism, totally MBA. The people are learning new and exciting skills, having lots of fun and the bikes are hot on the heels of riders abilities, in a constant state of innovation. These bikes also suffer a lot of abuse and enjoy relatively short lifespans. This all makes FR an incredibly attractive market. Easy to sell.

    On the other hand: The videos we watched are, accurately or not, a representation of our sport on film. Several of us came away with the feeling of the video more as incriminating evidence. True, Formica, most people do not ride off fragile formations in pristine wilderness areas. But the ones that do are becoming the focus and drive of the sport. And as many of you have keenly identified, we're perceived as one group by non-mountain bikers. Non-MTBers sometimes see us when we pass them out in the woods, where we have a few seconds to be impress them with our manners, but the rest of the time they're out, they have hours to observe, up close, our effects on the widerness. The only other thing they have to go on is video footage of us in action. And when that video has been compiled to make us look like a bunch of shredders tearing up mountain sides, we start losing in a large, large way.

    In case it needs pointing out, shredders tearing up mountain sides IS destructive, also legitimately referred to as "bad".

    But back to our own human-scale struggle of us vs them. Our acess opponents don't care one iota about how our personal riding skills are improving. They don't care about "pushing our sport forward". They care about the land getting trashed. They also compete with us for access. When the vast majority of what they see of us is destructive, they have a compelling case against us, complete with video evidence. They also have a TON of money to make their case in Washington. But we're making it so easy for them with actions and videos like what we're seeing in FR/DH.

    Yes, equestrian, hiking, and other environmental groups have their respective unified voices, when it's time for a unified voice, which is when presenting their case. They also have as many valid divisions and concerns within their ranks as we do, and discuss them openly. This is how they arrive at thier strongest arguments. The "We have to be united" mantra has a time & place. The rest of the time, it's akin to saying "if you have a different opinion, shut the hell up", and is not constructive. If the group you're in starts doing something you see as wrong, do you shut up and let them hang themselves, or do you make your concerns heard?

    The concern wasn't with the riding done at ski resorts. Ski resorts built those courses, and they maintain them, and you pay them to do it each time you ride there. It's a closed, functioning system. Getting an approved app from the gov for a day of shooting a bicycle movie on protected lands doesn't mean, "we have permission, so we're exempt from responsibility". If you're going to be doing big stunt riding where, when you land, you're going to tear up the face, then do that kind of riding in a private place where that face is going to be maintained, as in, mtb parks. Tearing up natural faces is trashing something you didn't build is getting something for nothing, and like anywhere else in life, has its reciprocal. The "Leave No Trace" philosophy is the only reason that post 1985, we're allowed to ride on any public lands at all. It's looking like theres a new generation of mountain bikers completely unaware of this, who are bound to learn it one way or another.

    Often enough, we hear Freeride "pushing the envelope" as being "Progressive". If it turns out that this progression ends with another wave of land closures like we've been seeing over the last few years, is it still progress? In the respect that time progresses, and therefore anything that progresses in it does too in some direction, sure. But if mountain biking is about having a good time and some excersize, will the direction be in our favor? I don't see it with this movement.
    Nothing left to lose, & half mad.

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