It could be that technology has just passed up the Evergreen ride calendar. Many use other mediums (Facebook, meetup) to arrange rides and those mediums are more interactive in nature with discussions, chats and the ability to upload photos and videos from the ride. This seems to be the new norm.
Perhaps Evergreen should think about using the calendar for more official events and adopt something like meetup.com for rides. The club gets a more modern interface, links to facebook and wider exposure to mountain bikers who may not be Evergreen members.
This is the approach that the Cascade Bicycle Club takes:
Cascade Free Daily Rides (Seattle, WA) - Meetup
I notice that there is a Cascade Mountain Bike meetup with 200+ members:
The Cascades Mountain Bikers Meetup Group (Seattle, WA) - Meetup
Don't want to start some intrawebz drama, but...
Hmmm...how do I put this diplomatically? I'm also not a big fan of facebook faux-friendship; but you're not expressing yourself here in a way that's going to make a lot of folks want to ride with you.
Originally Posted by Tenuous
It's ok, you can say it was a snarky comment ... meant to be taken tongue in cheek.
Originally Posted by GeePhroh
My point still stands that when someone new to the area wants to meet people and ride ... and most of the people are getting together via Facebook or some other medium, which is a more intimate medium than the EMBA calendar ... how are people supposed to branch out or network with other riders?
It's true that it's harder to meet people in Seattle than other parts of the country or world. Go to NYC sometime and be amazed by how easy it is to talk to someone in a bar. My theory is that we're a region of engineers and our gene pool (ASD) is geared more towards figuring things out than engaging with strangers. Things like the ride calendar are good at breaking this down.
That said, trail builders are about the friendliest group of people on the planet - maybe it's just because everyone is stoked that you're there helping with what they're passionate about. I do most of my organized events via Evergreen trail work because I truly love building trail. Maybe it's the engineer in me :D Always a good vibe and friendly people.
^^ I agree, but will point out that even a lot of trailwork events (HLC for example) don't get posted to the calendar. I think momentum is part of the reason...people are used to using something like facebook to organize events so that's what they use.
Plus (and back to my point about using meetup), the calendar can be a pain for posting photos, directions, etc. if you are not HTML savvy. And the "email participants" functionality is not exactly reliable for communications.
I got you...and my apologies. My post was a little harsh. I know it's frustrating being a transplant trying to find a ride group.
Originally Posted by Tenuous
I'm also a non-native and it wasn't real easy finding group rides in the pre-FB era, either. I did some EMBA (BBTC back then) rides; but also used guidebooks (note: follow Zilly's directions backwards for a better time) and word-of-mouth to find trails. Eventually, I began spending more of my time at spots that match the kind of riding I like to do. The crew I ride with now are peeps I met on the trail, not the interwebz. They're dudes who rode the same kind of stuff I liked to ride, and who I talked to on the trail or in the lot or at the bar.
Originally Posted by Tenuous
So my advice would be, do some EMBA group rides, of course; but find the trails you like and stop to chat with other riders out there. Ask for the local beta and share a beer if you've got one.
Oh yeah...and if you see a bunch of dudes throwing dirt, get off your bike and offer to help. You are always welcome in my crew if you've got a McCloed in your hands. :thumbsup:
Point taken...but to be fair, the vast, vast majority of HLC "trailwork events" weren't-exactly-maybe-possibly-ummm...legal-ish until recently. ;)
Originally Posted by woodway
That's funny. Is it only because EBx is up north now?;)
I think Skooks actually hit on my current thoughts. It's hard to balance "expectations" from both the ride leader and the rider and it used to just be about hooking up for a ride and was much more casual. Now, there are more "restrictions" or, even expectations than before. And, I really think more and more just want to get straight to the goods and not explore a little which is what I like about mountain biking. My better half know full well that any 2 hour ride may end up being a 5 hour one....
Now, it seems like time is perceived to be in much shorter supply and just getting to the goods and then leaving to go do something else is the norm. Folks used to hang out after rides or go get food and now everyone just disperses and goes back to their life.
I was the Rides Coordinator for years and had to beg or bribe people to lead. The calendar helped but it's back to the same old. Now, years later, I'd rather just do impromptu rides when I can via e-mail or FB but I'll still post some events and rides occasionally. Knowing full well that I may get some fun folks or some a-howl who just doesn't get it. But, I'm already good with writing off that afternoon or day if that happens. Just don't think many out there these days want to bother though.
Plus, everyone's at Duthie anyways.... ;)
So does mine, if I go on a ride with you.
Originally Posted by Borneo
Mainly because there's 2 hours of riding and 3 hours of talking... :p
But seriously, sometimes there's rides where I wouldn't want to risk having someone show up and not be prepared for it, and that's when I think email and FB are a good idea. If you're just going to tool around at Tokul or PVCA, why not put it on the calendar?
Speaking of which...Evergreen MTB Calendar
Riding Tokul this Sunday as a matter of fact and everyone's invited!
Tempting, may be there if the weather isn't horrendous. I need to get out there some more to dollar cost average my pass down.
Originally Posted by slop
You're right, it's way down. Upgrading the calendar is a reasonable proposal to consider. But in any case we'll still need more people to volunteer to post rides (I choose the word "post" over "lead" with intention).
Originally Posted by ACree
I've been an on-again/off-again ride leader for the last few seasons. I tend to drop off the bike radar a bit in the winter months for other pursuits, but during the prime riding season I like to post irregular, midweek rides at less common (for the calendar) locations. One idea I've been kicking around since fall is to start an "intro to BC" type series, to reach out to folks interested in leaving the city trails and bike parks for some more adventure-type rides. Borneo does a lot of these types of rides, too.
Bob...I'm probably inclusive to a fault at times!
Originally Posted by Borneo
My advice to new riders to our area.
If you like to ride certain types of trail or area, then initially focus on folks that like to ride those same spots. That can be via a FB, Evergreen ride calendar, showing up for a trailday, etc. Back in the day, I went on a few BBTC rides. In fact, it was a BBQ guided ride along with a few others that showed me (and maybe JVP) Tokul way back in the day....so in many ways, you all have him to thank for the annual pass! ;)
A long time ago, I described the HLC as a bunch of beer-drinking trail builders with a mountain biking problem. We would regularly have new acquaintances join us for rides and some stuck (like GeePhroh, Largeextrasteeze Muttonchops, Kevmo) and some simply weren't into the gong show that often accompanies our rides. Those folks would be one and done! :p Prior to moving to the 'ham, our crew had a pretty informal ride schedule that usually entailed some building. As a result, folks that sought us out were welcome to join anytime, but those efforts couldn't really be promoted beyond the crew.
When I moved north, I was (am) riding and building very different types of trails every week - from pure xc stuff on Blanchard, Chuckanut and Galby to tech-gnar at the NF and elsewhere. I just like the various aspects to our sport and, as a result, I tend to ride with guys/gals who might shuttle one day, go on a 4 hour xc ride or race a Klunker bike down a fireroad the next.... :thumbsup:
A buddy often uses a saying that I like: Get in where you fit in.
And the beer drinking...
...has risen to epic proportions in terms of quality and variety (and $$). Seriously, it's like a beer tasting at a bottle shop after every ride. Last Thursday by the end of the night we'd had, among other beers, three different Cascades. Three! That's just ridiculous.
If we ever see you riding down here again you're going to have to step it up on the beer tip.
I hope you and your gals are well (is Baby X shredding yet?). Our daughter moved out in October-- yes, she's that old. It turns out Empty Nest Syndrome lasts only 24 hours if it's a teenage female that leaves the nest. When she came back for Thanksgiving she took it personally that we had bought a 50" plasma, and also that she didn't' have a curfew-- it's almost like not giving her one meant we didn't love her. Here's an equation even Stephen Hawking couldn't solve-- the teenage girl.
Originally Posted by ebxtreme
You sir, sound like someone I'd like to ride with. But I need to know your neck depth first.
Originally Posted by msylvan
There are so many answers to why things have dropped off... long-time ride leaders no longer posting, no one taking their place (and with few role models around, not many new ones will step up. vicious circle.), younger riders seemingly more interested in freeridey trails, impact of Facebook, maybe even the fact that the guide books are getting dated... it all adds up.
I think this is what has been missing the most. It's great to have weeknight rides, but everyone with minimal experience can go explore local trail systems where you can't get too lost. Doing backcountry rides is a whole different affair, much easier to commit to if you can join people who know what they're doing. I think having these is also key in showing people how cool mountain biking can be, and to grow the number of people committed to defending bike access to backcountry trails. (And I know you (ACree) and Bruiser understand this as well as anyone.)
Originally Posted by ACree
Thanks for keeping this thread alive with loads of thoughts and ideas. As I mentioned earlier, we have someone who has stepped up as Ride Leader Coordinator for this season who has loads of experience with a popular rides program in Colorado. Plus we'll do a couple of orientation meetings as when I've posted for ride leaders in the past, I had a lot of interest that came with a boatload of questions.
We are planning to have at least one local ride and one backcountry ride each weekend, plus at least one evening ride. Then whatever else folks want to offer.
Love the idea of creating an Evergreen meetup ala Cascade. Will do that for sure. And post more rides to FB too.
Also, I am neck deep in getting a new Evergreen website developed. It has a much easier to use calendar posting interface (no html required!). So I expect no excuses on that front when I put the call for ride leaders again this year. :-)
Thanks again for all the great thoughts. Clearly folks are still interested in the rides since this thread is still active.
Y'all are awesome!
Interesting topic, and good that it's being addressed. I've wondered if EMBA is dying by death of disproportionate trailwork-to-rides. Seems that isn't the case afterall
I went from riding on 15-20 group rides a year (all seasons) to.....last year ZERO. Also noticed regular ride leaders have completely vanished off the calendar.
Is everyone pissed off and hermitic? Is it all about the cliques these days?
Is it ****ing facebook?
I posted a couple rides, not a single bite, so in a way I discounted the calendar.
Never got on the facebook bandwagon, and I assume that's where the action is, so that's my fault I suppose.
I hope that a revitalization of EMBAs calendar brings it back to where it used to be 3,4,5 years ago when even in mid-December it was a matter of "****, which one should i do?"
Staying away from FB is OK. They make money off your info so I can understand, I don't like using it either. Hope the new calendar works out.
I don't know if it has anything to do with calendar posting interface, but it may make sense to provide an easier visual clue for people to distinguish different types of events on the calendar. Green heading for work parties, blue headings for classes, orange headings for rides, for example. Like Mtec said, the calendar at times had so many bootcamp classes and work parties that few rides that were there seemed to get buried and people stopped looking for them (I know I did).
Originally Posted by EvergreenStacy
For me, posting rides comes down to personal time commitment. When taking noobs out deeper into real mountains, I do feel obligated to provide enough information about the ride up front so that they know what they are getting into, but that takes a fair amount of research and preparations. I just didn't have the energy or time to keep on doing it throughout the season. Maybe I'll get into the mood for it again this summer...
Yeah, that's a fairly common comment. A new to here rider posted some Galby rides last year and only his wife signed up but he still did them. :thumbsup: No takers for Galby on a weekend? Wha? I say just like I did when JRA started doing the Thrillas and no one showed up, "Just keep doing them and do ride reports of how awesome it was and how everyone missed out." ;) Eventually people will come around.
Seems people,are way more timid about sticking themselves out there nowadays than even a decade ago. Both on the ride leader and rider perspective.
Time seems to be more of a premium which I think is BS. Mountain biking isn't about getting your 40 minutes of cardio in. More and more ask about "the goods". Just show me the goods, I don't want to waste my time searching for it.
I think that's one reason why people stick with places like Duthie for so long. Because it's reliable and safe. Talked to two guys there while building one day who are local and ride it 3-4 times a week but have never bothered to venture over the street to try Grand Ridge.
Yes, I have several descriptives for them.... :madman:
Stick your neck out. Post a ride for someplace you have never ridden before and share the discovery.
I have probably more posted rides over the years than any other member and I'll continue to do more but will be way down because I feel I've paid my dues and don't feel like I have to fill the calendar anymore because others won't step up. And, I know several other "regulars" are feeling the same way. We're burnt out and have our own lives too.
Sadly, I will have to concur that it does change the perception of the "Club to Alliance" in the area. For better or worse. Most new riders or riders I meet usually think of EMBA as an advocacy or trail building entity now and the social side is just not as apparent. No Christmas party? Whaaaa... Winter stoke party just isn't the same.
Hope the new sucker, er, Ride Coordinator, knows what they are up for. ;) In the mean time, contact Stacy or others and post something. For the fun of it.
Trail work is a good way to meet people to ride with. I might say better than riding. You have time to talk, shows commitment, generally is more social. The calendar group rides I have done in the past have ended with people getting in their cars and going their separate ways.
I would like to see every single penny of my membership fees and donations go towards trail construction, maintenance, advocacy, and compensation for EMBA employees.
Originally Posted by mtec
I agree with Ortedd, trailwork & maintenance parties are the best way to meet riding buddies and find new places to ride. Trailwork is conducive to having a conversation and getting to know people. It's more of a "sharing" experience than a ride.
I have a huge amount of trust and respect for everybody that does trailwork & maintenance, they are giving back and helping to create the riding scene I want to be part of. These are the people I want to ride with.
It might be hard to believe but there are some who just want a bike club experience. Some sort of "nod" should be made in that direction if EMBA wants to "capture" a larger segment of the local mountain biking population. Not everyone wants to do trailwork nor should they have to.
Ride Calendar should have had a WYSIWYG editor interface set up from the very beginning.
I know I stopped being excited about leading rides when the whole "THOU SHALT" attitude started creeping into the Ride Leader language. Stories of ride attendees who seemed to expect every EMBA/BBTC ride to be led by a professional guide didn't help things any.
I really miss the guidebook days. They've gone away but I still miss them. That has nothing to do w/ EMBA, just putting it out there. Too old I guess. :)
Yeah, two way street. I started posting a lot less rides when people stopped signing up for them. But then my rides are usually targeted at a fairly small demog too. This was mentioned previously and I think it has a big impact - who wants to nail themselves down to a ride time and be forced to disregard the weather, and hten have only two people sign up who both bail at the last minute ? Unless you are BBQ, it can be sketchy getting a decent quorum. Although I don't go on a lot of EMBA rides I follow the calendar out of general interest, and that's what I saw dragging down the calendar - when someone did post a ride, no one or very few signed up, and you would also see those same signups drop off randomly.
As far as the interface - in the old days we had to find rides in the newsletter that someone had scheduled 2 months previous. Now that's commitment ! We had an answering machine on a "hotline" that someone int he club painstakingly updated every week where they would read off the list of scheduled rides, and if you wanted to go you had to actually call the ride leader and talk on the phone "live". You damn kids have it so easy these days ! OTOH we didn't have to suffer the mental anguish of being "unfriended" (whatever that means, but from the descriptions I've heard people give, its quite the emotional blow).