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  1. #1
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    Where Are All the Younger Riders?

    Over at Pinkbike?

    Anyway, the coincidence of the "Oldest Rider" thread and our recent MTB club holiday [non-riding] get-together highlighted the fact that our group is not getting any younger. In fact, the cold reality is that it is getting older. The influx of young riders seems to have bonked. Maybe we're all jerks or no one wants to hang out with "old" people, but at least the former is not likely true (there were at least 60 people at the party - none of whom were below age 33 I think)
    So we discussed for awhile where all of our new members went/go, until it became too depressing of a topic.

    So, where are they? How do we find them?

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  2. #2
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    In our area, most of the younger riders are spending their time on XC racing, either within the confines of school teams or our state off road series. Most don't some to club social events, but they're still around and riding. Every time I find myself at one of the junior team practices, there are usually 20+ kids & some of them are pretty impressive as far as technical skills go.

  3. #3
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    they're riding bmx and moto.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    they're riding bmx and moto.
    I freqent a Moto forum, and I'd say they have just as many, and probably more posters by percentage that fall into the old school moto category. Also, see lots of threads on those forums about "the sport is dying."
    No dig no whine

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I freqent a Moto forum, and I'd say they have just as many, and probably more posters by percentage that fall into the old school moto category. Also, see lots of threads on those forums about "the sport is dying."
    Which sport were they referring to? Moto or mountain biking? Moto definitely has been dying a slow death over the last two decades.
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    Still in school or living in moms basement? Lots of peeps in the HS, XC racing teams in New England.

  7. #7
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    There are a ton of kids riding these days, but if you're talking about where online it's definitely on PB.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which sport were they referring to? Moto or mountain biking? Moto definitely has been dying a slow death over the last two decades.
    They were referring to the death of moto.
    No dig no whine

  9. #9
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    Just anecdotal evidence but it seems like younger people just aren't all that interested in active outdoor stuff. Social media and computer games are more interesting to them

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    Some more anecdotal data...

    A couple years ago we were down at the final NICA race of the season. The kids rode a tough course in tough weather, making the race one that is still talked about. No shortage of skill or competition. The field was maybe 30 riders across all levels. When I extrapolate that into how many non-racers of that age group I think there are, I get a relatively small number compared to the number of non-racers vs. racers in the more "mature" age groups.

    Granted, I didn't start MTBing until I was ~20, but I can't say I see a lot of riders in the 20-30 age range (like I did when I was 20-30).
    We do have a fair share of "old" former MXers, though.

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  11. #11
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    You should consider the possibility they just don't want to hang out with their dads' cohort

  12. #12
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    I see quite a few young riders at my local trail. There is also a big HS group that does a ride once a week or so during the summer.

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    Younger folks use the internet/social media differently than those of us who are older.

    Definitely PB attracts a younger crowd, but there are kids even younger that won't even use PB. Or Facebook. They're on Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere.

    The younger set is out there, for sure. And yeah...at a certain age, they don't want to spend time around people their parents' age. Wasn't until I was really into my 30's that I was comfortable hanging out with people in their 60s and 70s.

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    I know one young rider who's lying around in the living room right now recovering from the flu. He's a ripper and loves riding with his old dad as long as there aren't long climbs involved. Many of his friends ride too and it certainly helps that there's a trail network next to his school.
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  15. #15
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    Good gawd if I was 17 hanging out with grumpy thin skinned old people would be the last thing I'd want to do. I see quite a few teenagers on my local trails though. Either they're riding with other teens or with their cool hipster parents.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekin112000 View Post
    Just anecdotal evidence but it seems like younger people just aren't all that interested in active outdoor stuff.
    That's a good general statement without trying to tie it to kids these days.

  17. #17
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    I shook my stick at them and told them all to stay off my trail. Now they're gone.

    You're welcome :|

  18. #18
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    Really though, I dont really know any kids that do anything anymore. Kids watch other people do stuff on youtube.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Anyway, the coincidence of the "Oldest Rider" thread and our recent MTB club holiday get-together highlighted the fact that our group is not getting any younger. In fact, the cold reality is that it is getting older.
    Did you get a university sociology department to figure this out?

    Kids eh? They discover computer games, masturbation and computer games again in that order. Riding a bike requires going outside, and they ain't into that.

  20. #20
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    As a teenager, the only reason I hung around with older people is because I could get them to buy me beer.

  21. #21
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    Heck, kids my age were way more interested in watching Tiny Toon Adventures than mountain biking.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladmo View Post
    As a teenager, the only reason I hung around with older people is because I could get them to buy me beer.
    In Scotland you can legally buy alcohol from any corner shop when ten-years old.

  23. #23
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    We used to have to rollerblade ~4 miles (uphill, both ways) to get the homeless guy downtown to buy us beer. We were like 13.

    ... maybe its for the best that kids don't leave the house anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    In Scotland you can legally buy alcohol from any corner shop when ten-years old.
    That explains oh so much. And damn my chaperones for not introducing me to this law when I was over there when I was 13.

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  25. #25
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    They are all on Pinkbike and all the care about is bike parks, terrain parks, tail whips, hucking and the like...after riding the chairlift up. Youngsters don't have any desire to put it the effort of a long climb to earn the goods. They need the instant gratification.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    We used to have to rollerblade ~4 miles (uphill, both ways) to get the homeless guy downtown to buy us beer. We were like 13.

    ... maybe its for the best that kids don't leave the house anymore.
    Um...are you me?

  27. #27
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    Those of us in our mid 20's and such are all broke with no MTB money, luckily I can outshred all the dentists on their carbon bikes with my diamondback that is taped together.

    Just kidding...well only partially.

    If this meet you speak of is the one at the demo forest, I went riding that day (superbowl sunday) and passed all of you but didn't stop either on the way there or back mostly because I was trying to get home without missing too much of the super bowl. But it definitely looked like an older crowd, I felt I would have been the odd man out there, plus i'm still a noob here on the forums.

    But seriously though, most people who mtb are older and I think money is an important factor, especially here in Norcal. I always hear how much millennials are ruining everything or that we don't do this and that like the old days but there are reasons. "Back in the day" older family members couldn't afford college and dropped out and still had great success in life, most of us now though seem to get into debt getting expensive degrees for a lower quality of life. Most friends I knew in highschool did not get their drivers license at 16 for example, and some still are borrowing the family car in their 20s because they can't afford their own.

    I'm not complaining either, i'm very lucky, its just as one of the under 30 crowd this is my observation.

    And young people definitely go outdoors, in fact hiking areas near me have boomed out of control due to the younger crowd hiking to go get selfies, if you want to stereotype...

  28. #28
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    First Millenials destroyed Applebees and now they're killing mountain biking. Stupid kids.

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  29. #29
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    kids growing up in blue collar homes, like the one i grew up in, can't afford mountain bikes. how many high school kids have $5k laying around to get into biking?

    how many even have $1k laying around? most don't. by the time kids get a job, they are most interested in saving for a car, not for a bike.

    Its all fun and games, but mountain biking is definitely a rich man's game.

    Or, you make sacrifices, and buy stolen bikes off steve bay and CL.

  30. #30
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    Where are the kids? Snapchating.

  31. #31
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    My kid thinks XC riding is boring. Can't exactly say I wouldn't have felt the same as a pre-teen. I regularly ride with a bunch of guys in their late teens/early 20s though.

    As far as the rest of the 'kids don't go outside anymore' outlook, it sure ain't the case in my experience. My son is out riding something or other well over 300 days a year, and somehow also manages to be pretty kick ass at video games, playing and modding, and has almost 12,000 followers on Instagram. His buddies are good kids too, and do all sorts of stuff. IME, if a kid is lame, it's likely the parents' fault. Take a look through the Families sub-forum here and you'll see lots of kids riding.

    As far as not being able to afford a high end bike being an excuse, that's BS. No one needs a $5k bike, let alone a kid. You can get a killer BMX for a few hundred bucks, and perfectly serviceable used MTBs for $500. Most of the 20-somethings I ride with spend well under a grand on their first 'real' MTBs, and then proceed to crush most of us old guys into dust on them, including my marketing victim buddies on $7000 rigs.

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  32. #32
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    They be hittin' that weeeeed....
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by agreenbike View Post
    Those of us in our mid 20's and such are all broke with no MTB money, luckily I can outshred all the dentists on their carbon bikes with my diamondback that is taped together.

    Just kidding...well only partially.

    If this meet you speak of is the one at the demo forest, I went riding that day (superbowl sunday) and passed all of you but didn't stop either on the way there or back mostly because I was trying to get home without missing too much of the super bowl. But it definitely looked like an older crowd, I felt I would have been the odd man out there, plus i'm still a noob here on the forums.

    But seriously though, most people who mtb are older and I think money is an important factor, especially here in Norcal. I always hear how much millennials are ruining everything or that we don't do this and that like the old days but there are reasons. "Back in the day" older family members couldn't afford college and dropped out and still had great success in life, most of us now though seem to get into debt getting expensive degrees for a lower quality of life. Most friends I knew in highschool did not get their drivers license at 16 for example, and some still are borrowing the family car in their 20s because they can't afford their own.

    I'm not complaining either, i'm very lucky, its just as one of the under 30 crowd this is my observation.

    And young people definitely go outdoors, in fact hiking areas near me have boomed out of control due to the younger crowd hiking to go get selfies, if you want to stereotype...
    Don't bother dude. We're there reason trails get ruts and e bikes were invented according to a number of mtbr members.

    Of course, they lack the self awareness to realize that they're blindly making roughly the same accusations that the greatest generation made of them as the boomers... And not realizing how ironic and tired it is... But what can you do?

    Last week I saw all ages riding, fwiw. From about 5-60, and most everything in between.

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  34. #34
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    agreed, slaphead! xc or any trail with zero tech is boring as hell to a child as well as to the inner child in any of us. i made sure to get my kiddo into bmx at 4yo. he made his first ramp with a small board and a brick and 2 weeks later he was lined up on the gate at his first race. bmx is the gateway drug to bikes for kids.
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  35. #35
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    they are staying off this piece of a $hit forum... younger=smarter

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by agreenbike View Post
    Those of us in our mid 20's and such are all broke with no MTB money, luckily I can outshred all the dentists on their carbon bikes with my diamondback that is taped together.

    Just kidding...well only partially.

    If this meet you speak of is the one at the demo forest, I went riding that day (superbowl sunday) and passed all of you but didn't stop either on the way there or back mostly because I was trying to get home without missing too much of the super bowl. But it definitely looked like an older crowd, I felt I would have been the odd man out there, plus i'm still a noob here on the forums.

    But seriously though, most people who mtb are older and I think money is an important factor, especially here in Norcal. I always hear how much millennials are ruining everything or that we don't do this and that like the old days but there are reasons. "Back in the day" older family members couldn't afford college and dropped out and still had great success in life, most of us now though seem to get into debt getting expensive degrees for a lower quality of life. Most friends I knew in highschool did not get their drivers license at 16 for example, and some still are borrowing the family car in their 20s because they can't afford their own.

    I'm not complaining either, i'm very lucky, its just as one of the under 30 crowd this is my observation.

    And young people definitely go outdoors, in fact hiking areas near me have boomed out of control due to the younger crowd hiking to go get selfies, if you want to stereotype...
    Good post.

    Although the "no money for bikes" excuse is a stretch. I tried to get my alma mater to organize a MTB club. Their excuse to not do it was that it's too expensive of a sport for kids to gain interest (um, nevermind ski club). But I think my first bike was ~$350? Maybe $500 by the time I sorted it all out that first season. Anyone playing any other sport probably just paid $500 for gear or travel or coaching. ...and they didn't even get a bike out of it.

    I borrowed money from 3 people to buy that first bike, and went to work to pay it off. I certainly don't think everyone else should do it that way, but I think it often is a matter of priorities.

    All that said, what activities might merge the older crowd with the younger crowd? I'm pretty sure I avoided "old" guys when I was starting out, too - unless they had beer. Wait....
    But yeah, we tried that too.


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    bmx is the gateway drug to bikes for kids.
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  38. #38
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    mtb prices are out of whack, if you see kids on bikes they're on bmx bikes, or walmart bikes which can't handle any of the trails here in Colorado at least without falling to pieces.

    You can get a decent dirt bike for what a "good" mountain bike costs. What would you pick if you were a young kid again? A dirt bike for sure. Once the manufactures get their head out of their asses more people will become mountain bikers and the sport will grow.

    Until then, good luck seeing any younger kids out on the trails. Most parents aren't going to drop 1-5k on a bicycle for their kid or teenager. That's enough money to buy them their first car instead of a overpriced bike.

  39. #39
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    I'm always a bit surprised when I read posts like this. Maybe you and your buddies are just too far removed from where you'd see the kids?

    The sport of mountain biking has NEVER seen such a massive influx of youth.

    NICA has brought tens of thousands of kids and adults into our sport. Quite possibly kids who would have never tried it otherwise. It is now in 22 States (trying to remember) and it grows by about 2 States a year. In Utah we had over 3,000 kids registered last year. We are the fastest growing sport in the State.

    If even 10% of these kids continue to ride after school and into their adult lives, we will see a massive resurgence. IMO our greatest benefit will come with trail access but that is a whole other discussion.

    Like has been mentioned, kids find other social media outlets to share their passion on. I think it mostly comes down to forums needing to reinvent themselves.

    Get out there and you'll see the kids.

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  40. #40
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    They gave up because they can't keep up with all of us old guys.
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  41. #41
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    Slaphead, your kids a ripper. Reminds me of my childhood, pretty rare with todayís kids.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Slaphead, your kids a ripper. Reminds me of my childhood, pretty rare with todayís kids.
    Thanks man; he's a riot. Keeps me on my toes.

    Far as not seeing kids out ripping, you just gotta know where to look.
    I think the reason that most old guys don't see young guys riding is cuz old guys ride like old guys. Start riding like a kid and not a codger and you'll meet plenty of them.
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    doesn't matter where they are right now, cause sooner or later they will get old and show up here.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    IME, if a kid is lame, it's likely the parents' fault.
    This right here.

    As a parent, if you let your kids be raised by electronic devices and social media, and don't instill enough sense in them to not go $150K in debt for a degree that provides no employable skills, then it's your own damn fault if they end up living in your basement mooching off of you til they are 30.

    My kids have little interest in video games. They play games once in a while when friends come over, but if we see them spending hours doing it, we cut it off and get them to go outside and play, or if the weather is crap do something more worthwhile like read a book. Not surprisingly, our kids love stuff like mountain biking, playing baseball, camping, fishing, drawing, and reading books.

    And I don't buy the excuse that kids now days are just too soft and lazy to do something like ride a mountain bike. My 16 year old is a competitive swimmer. He spends on average, about 20 hours a week in the pool training, has a job working as a life guard, and loves riding mountain bikes.

    He doesn't have much free time to ride, but when I get him out riding with my regular group of 30/40/50 somethings, he schools everyone on the climbs, and keeps up with pretty much everyone on the downhills.

    This isn't intended as a "look at how awesome my kids are" or, "wow, I'm an awesome parent" post (I don't think Slaphead's post was at all either), it's a plea to parents of young kids (or future parents) to not just go with the flow of what direction society is going, but rather invest some time in shaping your kids into strong, healthy, intelligent, productive and self reliant members of society.
    No dig no whine

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    (I don't think Slaphead's post was at all either),
    Well maybe a little bit.

    More though, it's that I actually know a good number of 'younger' riders (and non-riders) and when I hear people constantly crapping on them as a group and saying 'they don't do anything but sit around', I feel the need to stick up for them and call BS. I know a LOT more 40+ people that don't do jack shit than I do sedentary teens and 20-somethings. I particularly get a kick out of old dorks with thousands of online forum posts complaining about how their kids are always wasting time on the computer. Does anybody remember what irony is?

    As far as video games go, I've got no problem with them as a downtime/chill-out activity either. Love me some gaming myself as a matter of fact; I consider video games as a similar art/entertainment form to music or movies. There's some really good stuff out there IMO, helluva lot better than crap we had bitd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I freqent a Moto forum, and I'd say they have just as many, and probably more posters by percentage that fall into the old school moto category. Also, see lots of threads on those forums about "the sport is dying."
    Dont believe anything you read on vital lol. Moto is alive and well. I dont know if it will ever be as mainstream as the late 90s/ early 2000's but the ratings and attendance are solid. As long as monster keeps pumping money into it, it will be fine.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyLight350z View Post
    Dont believe anything you read on vital lol.
    I take everything I read on vital as the gospel truth. JS7 will show up to race next week....I just know it! I mean, there's a new 20 page post every week saying so, so it must be true.
    No dig no whine

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    My 12 year old rides with me all the time. I guess he still thinks it's cool to hang out with his old man. In fact, we're going to ride Moab this weekend. He's bringing his 8 year old friend and his dad too.

    I do realize I'm probably not his first choice in riding partners, since things usually go like this when I get home from work:
    "Dad, can we go mountain biking? I've been waiting all afternoon because none of my friends will go with me."

    "Why won't your friends go?"

    "Their bikes have flat tires. I even told them if they brought their bikes over, I would fix their flats for them, but they still won't go with me."

    "Your friends are lame. Go load up your gear."

  49. #49
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    C'mon you guys all know that things have changed so much in the last 30-40 years for young people. Back in the bad old days there was no internet, no cell phones, no Facebook, texting, etc. Kids had to actually go out of their home and physically walk or ride a bike to their friends' homes. How much do you see that now? I rarely see a kid riding their bike more than a couple blocks away from their home, their parents often don't even allow it. My neighbor's kid is not even allowed to ride more than 50 feet away from his driveway. There are college kids that ride their bike to school but that's often because the parking lot is full by 8 AM more than their love for riding. And if you have not noticed, we have gotten very, very lazy as a society. People know they are supposed to exercise but they don't because it's not fun for them. It's more fun to eat carbs and watch TV at home instead of biking. There are many permanent societal changes that have reduced the amount of young people riding, it's certainly not the fault of anyone on here. If you want more young people to ride, you'd have to do a lot of things to help reverse the general trend of laziness in our society. That's a very tall order.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    C'mon you guys all know that things have changed so much in the last 30-40 years for young people. Back in the bad old days there was no internet, no cell phones, no Facebook, texting, etc. Kids had to actually go out of their home and physically walk or ride a bike to their friends' homes. How much do you see that now? I rarely see a kid riding their bike more than a couple blocks away from their home, their parents often don't even allow it. My neighbor's kid is not even allowed to ride more than 50 feet away from his driveway. There are college kids that ride their bike to school but that's often because the parking lot is full by 8 AM more than their love for riding. And if you have not noticed, we have gotten very, very lazy as a society. People know they are supposed to exercise but they don't because it's not fun for them. It's more fun to eat carbs and watch TV at home instead of biking. There are many permanent societal changes that have reduced the amount of young people riding, it's certainly not the fault of anyone on here. If you want more young people to ride, you'd have to do a lot of things to help reverse the general trend of laziness in our society. That's a very tall order.
    Completely agree, when I was a kid we rode to wherever we wanted to go and everything was cool as long as we were back on time for dinner. Still see kids riding around the neighborhood but is just a way to move from point A to point B, no passion for riding.

    My son started to ride at 3 and started to tag along on rides and doing kids races at 5, he's 21 and his love for riding is still there. With him we went from BMX to XC to road to track to TT to DH and now is hooked with fat biking. Just sold his 29er and is saving for a new wip, not sure what he'll get but this will be his first bike purchase as an adult, dad is just helping him make an educated decision.

    One more thing, he doesn't do forums or stuff like that so that may be a reason for the lack of youngsters in here; most of their things are done thru social media.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    If you want more young people to ride, you'd have to do a lot of things to help reverse the general trend of laziness in our society. That's a very tall order.
    I built a pumptrack for my town.
    All sorts of kids riding there all the time.
    Some goes for the local skateparks.

    Build it and they will come. Not all that hard really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    As far as the rest of the 'kids don't go outside anymore' outlook, it sure ain't the case in my experience.
    Same here. My kids have been involved in skiing, team sports, and riding bikes since they were young as have most of their friends. My son is 13 now and he loves his XBox and his phone when he's home, but he'd rather be out skiing or riding his mountain bike.

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  53. #53
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    I spent my teens through college jumping off of everything and anything on skis - I started skiing when I was 4. The family started mountain biking when I was probably 12. We got out probably every other week so I didn't develop skills on the same level as skiing where we skied 3-4 days a week. I am 100% sure that I would have been hucking everything possible on a bike if I had the same level of skill as on skis.

    Now I don't ski and ride bikes more. Weird.

    I spent a day at Thunder mountain bike park this summer and took a few laps with a 7 year old and his dad. We hit their big jump line 'hollywood'. This kid towed all of us in and cleared every single jump. He was insane. I saw myself in this kid (albeit a different sport @ that age).

    Point being, it's not generational, its upbringing. But kids like to jump and do cool shit. They don't like grinding on a fire road for hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Completely agree, when I was a kid we rode to wherever we wanted to go and everything was cool as long as we were back on time for dinner.
    We just aimed to be back before it was dark. Often didn't even manage that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    We just aimed to be back before it was dark. Often didn't even manage that.
    Dinner was at 6 pm sharp. With 3 other brothers I learned not to be late, or be hungry.

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    Hungry! We didn't get hungry. We were too busy having fun to get hungry.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Where Are All The Younger Riders?
    Where Are All the Younger Riders?-maxresdefault.jpg


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    There are plenty of young riders! I'm in college and I've met a bunch of riders not only while hanging around at school, but also when I'm out on the trail. If you go on youtube you'll see tons (TONS) of mtb edit videos by high schoolers and 20-somethings. I do disagree with cost being an issue with young people, because we're all really used to the idea of buying stuff second-hand. Maybe this isn't what you guys want to hear because it's fun to talk crap about the young'uns...that's fine, it's fun for us to talk crap about old people! As for mtb dying out...no way. As long as bikes are faster than walking and cheaper than four-wheelers, this sport will thrive.

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    Here's one ripper about to scorch dad down the mountain.

    Where Are All the Younger Riders?-img_0670.jpg

    He's always up for joining me on trailwork parties too. He's not too happy about long climbs, but I'm working on him there.
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  60. #60
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    I have been riding since i was 12. I am now 24. Met a lot of riders my age in high school and we spent our evenings building jumps, DH trails and our weekends on day long jaunts out to Santa Cruz, every weekend.

    Now, I ride with my coworkers (still frequent Santa Cruz) and see lots of people my age and younger on trails. Definitely not as many younger riders as I see +30 riders, but this is a prohibitively expensive sport. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford it, but I can see why people really only start picking it up once they're well established in their careers.
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    I definitely think it generational. Just the other day my 15 year old son was bragging that he had more online friends than real friends. I told him that's not really anything to be proud of. He needs to have real friends he interacts with in real life. Having said that, he's usually down to ride with me any time I go, unless we are leaving at the butt crack of dawn, or its 20 degrees outside. He's also riding with NICA this year, so he will have some friends closer to his age that ride, but he's still the oldest by a couple years. As far as equipment goes, you don't need to spend a ton to get them riding. Three years ago I built him an XS 29er, and was able to trade the XS for a MD this spring with nothing out of pocket. It's an equally capable bike, even though it's four years old.
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    My son was into it as a teen and rode with me quite a bit until he got out of HS. He's 22 now and has not been for 2-3 years. But I see teens in group rides from time to time so they are out there. I have noticed 'clubs' being formed and there are local HS riding teams which is great.

    I'm 58 and my 'posse' has officially petered out. About 3-4 years ago we would have 5-7 guys every ride (2X/week). Now I ride 3X/week and every other ride I'm solo...when not solo it's usually only one other guy. This time of year it's not uncommon to get through a ride and not see anyone but when I do they are late 20's into 40's.

    I feel like I'm riding as strong as ever but over the years it does take a toll on the body which I am reminded of sometimes when I roll out of bed. Bottom line is you gotta really love this sh*t to continue to put yourself through it into your 50's and beyond.

    So for those wondering where the young riders are don't worry...the longer you stick with it the younger the other riders get!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Some more anecdotal data...

    We do have a fair share of "old" former MXers, though.

    -F
    One here, rode 250 Maicos, current age 72.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder_mtber View Post
    One here, rode 250 Maicos, current age 72.
    Iím raising my hand as an of old world moto rider myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  66. #66
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    i meet tons of people on the trails or at the jumps, but i've met my closest and best riding crew while actually digging instead of riding...


  67. #67
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    I think the biggest factor as to why the sport of mtb is dying is because kids today donít have the same freedoms that I had when I was a kid. You never heard of a child abduction when I was growing up. Kids donít ride their bikes to school anymore, theyíre dropped off. We rode our bikes everywhere. Now theyíre glued to their phones and video games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALimon View Post
    I think the biggest factor as to why the sport of mtb is dying is because kids today donít have the same freedoms that I had when I was a kid. You never heard of a child abduction when I was growing up. Kids donít ride their bikes to school anymore, theyíre dropped off. We rode our bikes everywhere. Now theyíre glued to their phones and video games.
    Umm, no. Mt biking for the HS racing teams are booming in the New England area, and all over. Take a look in your area of CA, really.

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    All the young riders are priced out of the market by student loans, the 2008 market crash, and other shenanigans wherein the boomers voted themselves our present income.

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    I rode Hartshorne yesterday and saw three or four HS kids out of maybe 12-15 riders. This was unusually high.

    OTOH: The NJ NICA league starts its second season next weekend with double the riders (400 v. 200) from year one.

    Just a couple of data points.
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    Last fall in a mountain community of Colorado I came upon an elementary school mtb club. About 30 kids ranging from 6 to 13 years old. Some having some pretty pricey bikes. All having a blast with two teachers. They were on a paved sidewalk that encircles a mountain lake practicing climbing and building endurance on a steep 300 yard grade. Then turning around and bombing down it, doing it over and over.

    Put my faith back in to todayís youth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  72. #72
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    Why do we need to find them? Why does the sport need to grow? It doesnít. With todayís trail building techniques, a 5-600.00 hardtail is plenty sufficient for much of the riding being done so the cost argument is bunk.

    More riders means more congested trails, a need for more trails, more maintenance, and more chance for rogue activity that will get the do gooders panties in a bunch.

    Stop trying to grow/promote the sport and just ride. Those that are inspired to ride a bike will.

  73. #73
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    Got a nephew Inlaw, he's 21, we call him the day walker.
    Lives In his bedroom, his mom lives in her's,
    They both have a very full life online I guess.
    They both get sick all the time,
    He wears tight shirts to hold in the fat,
    Thinks he's God's gift to women, not sure he ever met one in the flesh,
    His diet Is lethal,
    He will burden us all with extreme health care cost as time goes by,
    I was thinking of showing him my trails,
    Then I saw him walk up one flight of stairs,
    Sad....
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    Then there are those with the right set of priorities :
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    Why do we need to find them? Why does the sport need to grow? It doesnít. With todayís trail building techniques, a 5-600.00 hardtail is plenty sufficient for much of the riding being done so the cost argument is bunk.
    Disagree. For someone struggling to pay rent, $5-600 is a lot for a recreational activity, and that doesn't even count the ongoing costs of keeping that bike running with tires, driver train, brake pads, repairs from crashes, etc. I've also known quite a few people who are doing just fine but have said they weren't interested in putting out the up front cost to get into a new sport. While it's not necessarily the most expensive hobby, it is certainly more expensive than a lot of others.

    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    More riders means more congested trails, a need for more trails, more maintenance, and more chance for rogue activity that will get the do gooders panties in a bunch.

    Stop trying to grow/promote the sport and just ride. Those that are inspired to ride a bike will.
    I generally agree with this sentiment. MTB has hit a critical mass where we have enough people doing it to promote trail building, innovation in products, etc. It doesn't really need to grow, just stay kind of where it is. Even a slight down tick would be okay, I think.

    On the other hand, from what I've seen, MTB is definitely on the upswing. New trails, new bike parks, new riders, new companies putting out more products... it seems like it is in a growth phase. There are so many new technologies, trails and building projects happening compared to a decade ago that I feel like we're in a golden age.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    All the young riders are priced out of the market by student loans, the 2008 market crash, and other shenanigans wherein the boomers voted themselves our present income.
    I work for a school and hear similar. The costs are too high they say. A lot of outdoor activities like mountain biking and skiing have become very expensive. One kid said he can buy a pair of $75 trail running shoes and go enjoy nature instead of dropping $4000 on a bike or even $2k on a decent used bike plus $$$ for a bike rack.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by manpurse View Post
    $4000 on a bike or even $2k on a decent used bike plus $$$ for a bike rack.

    No need whatsoever to spend that kind of money.

    So many marketing victims these days it's crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No need whatsoever to spend that kind of money.

    So many marketing victims these days it's crazy.
    True but even if you decrease the number to $500, the point still stands - $75 for a pair of trail shoes is still a much more cost-effective way to go enjoy nature.

  78. #78
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    It's true about the marketing, and some of these kids fall for it. Just like having the newest in-style clothes at school, they also want the newest bikes and gear, and if they can't they go do some other sport. I'm generalizing here because not all kids are like that.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by manpurse View Post
    It's true about the marketing, and some of these kids fall for it.
    Not just the kids...take a look around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    True but even if you decrease the number to $500, the point still stands - $75 for a pair of trail shoes is still a much more cost-effective way to go enjoy nature.
    I've managed to enjoy trails for decades without ever spending a nickel on 'trail shoes'.
    I don't even know what that means. Sounds like more marketing BS to me.
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    Trail shoes are the shit, man. I love my Merrells. Try them out, you'll never go back.

    They also work great as MTB shoes for flat pedals.

  82. #82
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    The answer is simple here, people. As Crosby, Stills, and Nash once said, we need to buy the children weed and beer.

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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I've managed to enjoy trails for decades without ever spending a nickel on 'trail shoes'.
    I don't even know what that means. Sounds like more marketing BS to me.
    If you trail run, you'll learn real fast. If you hike, maybe not so much.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    The answer is simple here, people. As Crosby, Stills, and Nash once said, we need to buy the children weed and beer.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    No, children should, work, learn the value of a dollar, then buy it themselves. I started working at age 12 and worked all thru HS after school, bought my first car at 16 and had money for whatever I needed. Once out of HS I just kept working and had no desire for college, so never any student loans and at 45 no car payments ever and very minimal bills.

    Money for bikes, even expensive ones was never an issue.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    No, children should, work, learn the value of a dollar, then buy it themselves. I started working at age 12 and worked all thru HS after school, bought my first car at 16 and had money for whatever I needed. Once out of HS I just kept working and had no desire for college, so never any student loans and at 45 no car payments ever and very minimal bills.

    Money for bikes, even expensive ones was never an issue.
    While I truly respect your opinion, Hacksaw, scientific studies, along with David Crosby, prove that providing kids with weed and beer is a key element to their development into turning them into young rippers and productive members of society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    While I truly respect your opinion, Hacksaw, scientific studies, along with David Crosby, prove that providing kids with weed and beer is a key element to their development into turning them into young rippers and productive members of society.
    So that's where I went wrong...
    oops I wasn't clipped in

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    Shit's expensive yo. It's one thing for a kid to have a bike that functions, gets them from a-b, lets them explore etc. It's a completely other thing to get them into the gear that us 'older riders' expect as part of the sport.

    So the only kids you'll see at destination trails for the most part are those that have MTB gear provided for them, or wanted it enough for themselves that they went out and earned it. This is not a cheap sport for youth, heck it's not a cheap sport for us!

    But I don't think that means what OP is implying at all. The big group ride in my area has around 60 people out a week now, with probably about half being 40+. But the whole other half is now in the 25-35 range. Makes sense when you think about it, people that age aren't feeling old yet, no problem getting into a sport you've always been interested in or expanding the biking you've already done, and you're at a point where you might actually have some disposable income to get into the sport.

    My son bikes. We built him up an old 90's hardtail. Bleading edge? Heck no. Bombproof? Well, close as you can get for a teenager I guess. Reliable? Yep.

    He rides trail with me. But not with his friends, NONE of his friends have MTB's, and there's a tight group of about 15 of them that spend most of their time riding around on bikes. Cruisers, bmx whatever. Just like when we were kids. And I have no doubt that more of these kids will end up on MTB's later in life than did from the group of friends I grew up with...I'm the only one that ever got into MTB from that group.

    So not surprised at all that we don't see a ton of youth out on the trail, but I'm absolutely positive that youth ARE driving the long term growth of MTB, and that way way more youth from today will end up getting into it than did in years/decades gone by.

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    Went for a tough and rocky 30 mile shuttle ride in the desert last weekend and two of my buddies brought their sons. One is 18 and the other 15 and they're both rippers. They were pretty tired at the end but still mustered the energy to hit all the chunky rocks and drops on the downhill run to the car. I didn't get a mountainbike until I was in college and I've been hooked ever since, so I'm not too worried. They're out there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    No, children should, work, learn the value of a dollar, then buy it themselves. I started working at age 12 and worked all thru HS after school, bought my first car at 16 and had money for whatever I needed. Once out of HS I just kept working and had no desire for college, so never any student loans and at 45 no car payments ever and very minimal bills.

    Money for bikes, even expensive ones was never an issue.
    Itís not quite so simple anymore.

    Jobs for younger teens are more limited in terms of function and hours. Minimum wage also hasnít risen as much compared to inflation. Cars have also gotten more expensive to insure. For example a teenager working 20 hours a week at minimum wage will end up with $600 per month before taxes. Average monthly auto insurance for a 16 year old is over $400 per month if they get it alone. Around $300 per month if bundle it with their parents. So already 50% to 60% of your income is going to auto insurance alone. Now add gas, vehicle registration, maintenance, and repairs on top of that. Letís say that is fairly cheap at $100 more per month. That leaves $100-$200 left each month. If you wanted to buy a $5000 used car, you will have to save for 2-4 years before you could afford it. And that assumes you never eat out, never buy anything, never go out to the movies, and that you pay $0 in any type of taxes.
    While it can be done, it isnít so simple as go out and work hard and everything will just work out in your favor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    Itís not quite so simple anymore.

    Jobs for younger teens are more limited in terms of function and hours. Minimum wage also hasnít risen as much compared to inflation. Cars have also gotten more expensive to insure. For example a teenager working 20 hours a week at minimum wage will end up with $600 per month before taxes. Average monthly auto insurance for a 16 year old is over $400 per month if they get it alone. Around $300 per month if bundle it with their parents. So already 50% to 60% of your income is going to auto insurance alone. Now add gas, vehicle registration, maintenance, and repairs on top of that. Letís say that is fairly cheap at $100 more per month. That leaves $100-$200 left each month. If you wanted to buy a $5000 used car, you will have to save for 2-4 years before you could afford it. And that assumes you never eat out, never buy anything, never go out to the movies, and that you pay $0 in any type of taxes.
    While it can be done, it isnít so simple as go out and work hard and everything will just work out in your favor.
    It's all what you make of it. It's very possible today as it was then. Jobs with tips pay way more than minimum wage. As does mowing lawns, yard clean ups, ect ect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    Itís not quite so simple anymore.

    Jobs for younger teens are more limited in terms of function and hours. Minimum wage also hasnít risen as much compared to inflation. Cars have also gotten more expensive to insure. For example a teenager working 20 hours a week at minimum wage will end up with $600 per month before taxes. Average monthly auto insurance for a 16 year old is over $400 per month if they get it alone. Around $300 per month if bundle it with their parents. So already 50% to 60% of your income is going to auto insurance alone. Now add gas, vehicle registration, maintenance, and repairs on top of that. Letís say that is fairly cheap at $100 more per month. That leaves $100-$200 left each month. If you wanted to buy a $5000 used car, you will have to save for 2-4 years before you could afford it. And that assumes you never eat out, never buy anything, never go out to the movies, and that you pay $0 in any type of taxes.
    While it can be done, it isnít so simple as go out and work hard and everything will just work out in your favor.
    You must live on the west coast because even full coverage isnt THAT expensive here, not even close.

    Teens are about looking cool and playing video games, same with a huge portion of those in their 20s. In the mixed cycling club in the town i live in I am the second youngest member by a few years.

    The MTB club Im with about 40 minutes away is better mixed but there are 10 30+ riders for every 1 in their 20s or youngers for riders I even see out. Kind of saddening really. Younger generations have no idea about being really outdoors. Numbers are much smaller than they were when I was in my teens and 20s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's all what you make of it. It's very possible today as it was then. Jobs with tips pay way more than minimum wage. As does mowing lawns, yard clean ups, ect ect.
    It might be different where you live, but where I am at there aren't a whole lot of yard work type jobs. Too much urban sprawl and a lot of not sure how legal immigrants who have that market already cornered. The main other job that offers tips is the restaurant business. But I honestly don't think I have had a 16 year old waiter or waitress in years. Too many limitations on how long they can work, how often, and what type of work. For example most states don't allow 16 and 17 year olds to serve alcohol in restaurants. I don't eat out very often though so my sample size is admittedly small.


    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    You must live on the west coast because even full coverage isnt THAT expensive here, not even close.

    Teens are about looking cool and playing video games, same with a huge portion of those in their 20s. In the mixed cycling club in the town i live in I am the second youngest member by a few years.

    The MTB club Im with about 40 minutes away is better mixed but there are 10 30+ riders for every 1 in their 20s or youngers for riders I even see out. Kind of saddening really. Younger generations have no idea about being really outdoors. Numbers are much smaller than they were when I was in my teens and 20s.

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    Yup, I am on the west coast. However my kids aren't old enough to drive yet so I pulled some cost information from online. Insurance is one of those things that can very drastically based on where you are, type of car you drive, and even school grades. So the actual number could be much higher or much lower than what I had posted above.


    I am usually the youngest person I see while out riding. Most people seem to be in the 35 to 60 age range. None of my coworkers ride, even though we have some decent trails 1 mile from our office. Most of the younger people I know who ride rode with their parents as a kid. They might have taken some time off for college and such, but they did eventually get back into it.
    I do occasionally see some teenagers out riding. They tend to gravitate towards building jumps and such though so I don't see them on my normal trails. But at least there are some of them out there.

    I think you can get some of the younger crowd out there, but you have to introduce it in the right way. Having a newbie tag along on your epic 20 mile long ride with 3000 feet of climbing while they are on a 40 pound walmart bike isn't going to be fun. And at the end of the day it isn't exactly a cheap sport. It's also something where the more fit you are, the more fun you can have. So it requires time, effort, money, and living close to some trails that you enjoy. The younger crowd doesn't always meet that criteria until they settle down a bit more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadcmpr View Post
    I think you can get some of the younger crowd out there, but you have to introduce it in the right way. Having a newbie tag along on your epic 20 mile long ride with 3000 feet of climbing while they are on a 40 pound walmart bike isn't going to be fun. And at the end of the day it isn't exactly a cheap sport. It's also something where the more fit you are, the more fun you can have. So it requires time, effort, money, and living close to some trails that you enjoy. The younger crowd doesn't always meet that criteria until they settle down a bit more.
    True Dat !

    I know one young guy, has a $500 a month car payment, lives with his parents, gotta look cool I guess, never has any money, weighs 300 pounds, must eat a crap ton of food.
    Nuther guy, same job, drives a decent older car, $230 a month payment, I asked.
    Has a really sweet Trek Fuel, just bought a nice used fuel for his kid brother.

    Makes the same money, good money. We choose our way.
    I'm broke, got three bikes worth about $6500, car is paid for, I'm good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watch View Post
    There are plenty of young riders! I'm in college and I've met a bunch of riders not only while hanging around at school, but also when I'm out on the trail. If you go on youtube you'll see tons (TONS) of mtb edit videos by high schoolers and 20-somethings. I do disagree with cost being an issue with young people, because we're all really used to the idea of buying stuff second-hand. Maybe this isn't what you guys want to hear because it's fun to talk crap about the young'uns...that's fine, it's fun for us to talk crap about old people! As for mtb dying out...no way. As long as bikes are faster than walking and cheaper than four-wheelers, this sport will thrive.
    I am ready to sign every word because It appears the things were written about me! Being a student, Iím riding my dear old friend Specialized hardrock and try to earn money for other stuff
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    Every activity (sport/hobby) I've ever been involved with has a significant number of "evangelists". Those are the people who spend more time worrying about the other 99% who don't do the particular activity. "My god, those poor people are ignorant to the joy it would bring to their lives! If only we could get them to try it, they would be hooked for life and it would give them the same feeling it does us." Which, always seems to lead to "the children". If only we could get the children to try the activity, they would lead meaningful lives and the future of the activity would be solid. "If only we could get children to play chess when they are young, they would love it and be hooked for life, because, how could anyone not love playing chess as much as I do?!"

    Well, things don't work that way. Innately, people have different interests, and across generations interests are different. The people in the Sierra club have no concept of why we like to go screaming around on bikes, ignoring everything we pass and treating mother nature like a $5 whore. "If only we could get them to leave their bikes at home and take a calm walk through the woods, commune with the forest, they would realize the error of their ways."

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's all what you make of it. It's very possible today as it was then. Jobs with tips pay way more than minimum wage. As does mowing lawns, yard clean ups, ect ect.
    It may be possible, but it is *much* more difficult for young people to make living money now than when I was a kid back in the 70's-early 80's. No comparison. I'm 58 and my kids are in their 20's, and their experiences were COMPLETELY different from mine.

    Minimum wage in about 1980 was $3.10 an hour, which is $10.00 today. My college tuition+books+fees added up to $1800 for the year, and I had my own apartment for $150/mo with all utilities paid. I could buy a car that I could drive across the country for $500 and the insurance was about $250 a year. I had health coverage through school that was included in my tuition and co-pays were $5.

    I didn't bother with minimum wage jobs, because I could make $5-6 easily. I would work a $6 job until I wanted to take a break, then I would just quit. I could get another job with just a phone call. $6.00 in 1980 was like $19.25 today. Show me *anywhere* that you can make $19.25 an hour on a part time job today, and I could get one back then with nothing more than a phone call. Today, and you can f&^^* off with your hater comments on this, most of the types of jobs I worked are taken by illegals willing to work full time, so you can't just call down to the landscaper or the builder and get a part-time job paying good money. I worked a full time summer in a factory when I was 19 and made $8.00 (equivalent to $29 today!), with all the time-and-a-half overtime I wanted. Find that today.

    Minimum wage today is $7.25 vs. $3.10. College costs are ten times more expensive than 1980, rent is 7-10 times higher (minimum), college health insurance is not included in tuition and costs more than my entire tuition bill did when I went to college. A decent car + insurance is at least five times what it was when I was young.

    Oh, and today you *must* have a cellphone and a laptop if you are in college. These are not optional. We had a payphone, a stack of 49 cent notebooks, and a couple of pencils/pens.

    I looked at the the Social Security statement they sent me a few years ago and I made $4500 in 1980. I paid 100% of my college, had a car, my own apartment, and saved $500 that year. I wasn't exactly living in luxury, but I made it. For someone today to do the equivalent, in Boulder, it would be $35,000, minimum.

    A mountain bike? LMAO, a lot of my kid's young adult friends couldn't afford to eat. My son literally fed a couple of his roommates for months at a time, he bagged college because it was so stupidly expensive and useless for him, and started working at 18. He has done extremely well, but he is definitely an outlier when you look at his peers.

    It all carries over into the later stages as well. My wife and I bought a house when we were 24 and two years out of college, and parked two brand new cars in the driveway. Talk to any new college grads recently? One bedroom apartment, an Uber account, and $50-100K in debt.

    People who say it is the "same" now as it was 30-40 years ago simply don't have a clue. I feel sorry for kids today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post

    People who say it is the "same" now as it was 30-40 years ago simply don't have a clue. I feel sorry for kids today.
    Well stated.

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    I know lots of 'kids' making decent money these days.
    Mainly the ones that ididn't get sucked in to the whole overrated college path and went to tech schools to learn how to do something that's actually useful instead.
    $20-25 an hour right out of high school.
    The ones that seem to struggle the most are the ones that took advice from some hippy somewhere to 'follow their heart' as far as a career path and now have useless 4 year degrees, big debt, no useful experience, and a gig slinging burgers.
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    So this weekend the BYRDS (boise young rider development squad) were out terrorizing the trail and there had to be 50 kids out in groups from pretty young kids to teens. At the local bikepark there was a group of 15-20 youths around 16ish running Stormin Mormon and the other 'feature rich' trails with drops and jumps, etc.(which may have been a high school club).

    So I was thinking they're too damn many kids on the trail...

    Both my kids hate biking. I think it's their idea of rebellion.

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