Why do they call them 'b-lines?'- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why do they call them 'b-lines?'

    I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.' To my mind, it should be called the a-line since only the small percentage of riders that only ride for an adrenaline fix will choose to ride the other line that we typically call an 'a-line.'

    Similarly, why do builders choose to create the easier path around these features rather than making the trail naturally take the easiest course while leaving the obstacle available for those who choose. Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
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    I'm guessing because the A line was built first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I'm guessing because the A line was built first.
    That's exactly my point, why are we building the feature that only a small percentage of riders can actually ride before the route that most will choose? The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
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    Depends, is the trail DD, D, blue, or green?

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    Because when mountainbiking was uncool trail builders built things they wanted to ride. And generally trail builders were decent riders (I don't know many non riders of beginners who trail build) so they weren't going to build easy trails.

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    Seems analogous to road riding where the A group is the faster, more experienced (often racers) and the B group is a bit slower, often recreational riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Seems analogous to road riding where the A group is the faster, more experienced (often racers) and the B group is a bit slower, often recreational riders.
    This. Some races and/or group rides still have A groups, B groups, and C groups (on down the alphabet). The A group is generally the fastest and most skilled, therefore, the harder line.

  8. #8
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    The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

    Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
    First of all, that's assuming a lot to say that "the majority of us are just out there for exercise." Not true for an avid mountain biker. Exercise is only one of several reasons to be out there.

    Second of all, "why should we have to ride around the features" is a lame-as-shit idea. You could instead be trying to improve your riding to where you can ride the A-lines. Challenge yourself to get better at mountain biking. F'ing try a little.

  11. #11
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    Dumbing down trails 101.

    Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

    This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

    It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.' To my mind, it should be called the a-line since only the small percentage of riders that only ride for an adrenaline fix will choose to ride the other line that we typically call an 'a-line.'

    Similarly, why do builders choose to create the easier path around these features rather than making the trail naturally take the easiest course while leaving the obstacle available for those who choose. Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    Textbook case of Lycra castration. Gentlemen, let this be a lesson. Keep it loose or this could be you!
    Only use Lycra myself....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Only use Lycra myself....
    You’re breakin’ my heart here DWB...
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    B Line is Bith Line. As bikes have become more capable, trails have become smoother. I won't even start on sanitation. Ok, just once. Someone placed the rock in the trail, when in reality, the root is the best line. I hucked it over the cliff.
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    Why do they call them 'b-lines?'-downsized_1106021458a%5B1%5D.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    You’re breakin’ my heart here DWB...
    Haha! Always liked it. Allows easy movement over the saddle, helps keep things from getting smashed, nothing to snag on the saddle, such and so forth! Don't make me post a picture....
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    Remember that many trails are built by volunteers who are often building things they would like to ride.
    People who care enough to build trails are very often quite good on a bike.
    Assuming that a “majority” of riders are just like you is wrong.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Dumbing down trails 101.

    Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

    This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

    It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
    totally agree, especially with the bolded statement. Especially in the day and age where everyone thinks that they should get to do what they want with no effort...

    will be interesting to see if there are even trail designations in the future...everything will be built "green circle" so everybody feels great...

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  19. #19
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    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

    Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.
    And very much this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    First of all, that's assuming a lot to say that "the majority of us are just out there for exercise." Not true for an avid mountain biker. Exercise is only one of several reasons to be out there.

    Second of all, "why should we have to ride around the features" is a lame-as-shit idea. You could instead be trying to improve your riding to where you can ride the A-lines. Challenge yourself to get better at mountain biking. F'ing try a little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one. Some trails are built to be easier, but have alternate lines that are more challenging. In those cases, the b-line will be the harder line. Other trails are built to be harder with easier alternates. In those cases, the b-lines are the easier lines. Some trails yet again are built to be much more difficult with mandatory lines that are very hard, and there are NO b-lines.

    Why it's that way, depends on the purpose of the trail when it was designed and/or built.
    This, 100%. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    That's exactly my point, why are we building the feature that only a small percentage of riders can actually ride before the route that most will choose? The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
    In my experience there are a minuscule amount of features that only a small percentage of riders can "actually ride". The priority should be based on the level of the trail being built. For green, or easy, trails, you are absolutely right. For blue trails, the features should be rideable by the vast majority of intermediate riders with the easy ride around for the "small percentage" of intermediate riders that aren't quite up to it yet. On D (or black trails), the features should be appropriate for advanced riders with a ride around that may be suitable for intermediate riders but not at all suitable for those that can only ride the smooth paths. And on DD? Ride arounds - if they exist - may also be advanced skills required options.

    To say trail builders ought to build smooth paths with a few features for "extreme riders" shows a profound lack of understanding of our sport.

  21. #21
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    Wow.

    The A line is the line that the track builder intended the go. When ridden at the speed the track was designed for the A line flows with the design intent of the track. The B line is a ***** route around a feature for those incapable of riding that feature. It allows a unskilled rider access to a track they would not be able to ride if the ***** line didnt exist.
    The B line typically does not flow with the design intent of the track.

  22. #22
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    I always considered the A line as the fastest route for a skilled rider. The B line generally being a longer, slower and easier line for the less experienced (would also be slower for a skilled rider)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MozFat View Post
    I always considered the A line as the fastest route for a skilled rider. The B line generally being a longer, slower and easier line for the less experienced (would also be slower for a skilled rider)
    Well said. That sort of how I always thought of it..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    As bikes have become more capable, trails have become smoother. I won't even start on sanitation.
    This could be a new topic all on its own, is it IMBA standards?

    My local trails have been dumbed down so much there's not even a need for a b-line.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.' To my mind, it should be called the a-line since only the small percentage of riders that only ride for an adrenaline fix will choose to ride the other line that we typically call an 'a-line.'
    If we read the first paragraph of the original post, the poster has an issue with terminology. In his mind the letter A has hierarchy over the letter B, and that is apparently offensive.

    So OP, how about instead of using the terms "A" and "B" you think of the lines as "easier" and "harder" or "left" and "right" instead? Or, I'd be okay with you flip-flopping the terms in your mind so that A means easier and B means harder.

    Come to think of it, I've never heard of anyone locally using the terms A-line and B-line.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
    I’m not just out there for the exercise. I’m out there because challenging features are fun. B-lines are there for riders who lack the skill to negotiate the A-lines. If I don’t want to ride challenging features, there’s always a road bike. No A-lines on tarmac. Snore.

    My unsolicited advice for anyone who hasn’t found joy in improving their off-road riding skills to the point that they find riding challenging features fun: give it a try. Keep at it. With luck and practice, someday you may look at the B-lines and laugh to think you used to be limited to riding the boring stuff.

    Meanwhile DON’T dumb down the trail, please. Raise your skill set to match the trail rather than lowering the trail’s challenges to match your skill set.
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  27. #27
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    If all we wanted out of biking was exercise, we'd do indoor cycling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Come to think of it, I've never heard of anyone locally using the terms A-line and B-line.
    I've heard them used, but not as often as "p-line."
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    since the majority of us are just out there for exercise
    I bet this is a single digit percentage of mountain bikers. The fitness riders tend to be out riding bike paths, gravel, and road. Or stationary bikes.
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  30. #30
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    As harold wrote- which is the A or B line is a matter of intent. We have a new pair of directional trails here. The first is intended as a green-blue, and all features are B-lines off to the side of the main line. The intent is to provide a fun experience for mixed ability groups, like a young family. The other is the inverse- the main line of the trail incorporates a number of rock outcrops and other features. There are ride-arounds for all of them. In this case the B-line is the easier line.

    OP needs a gravel bike.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Dumbing down trails 101.

    Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

    This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

    It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
    My local park is multi-use - we build trails to be fun on bikes but B lines are necessary for other users, especially horses, which we don't want riding over our dirt work.
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  32. #32
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    This thread has given me some hope for the future of this sport/hobby/love, never understood those who need to bring stuff down to their level instead of looking to raise their level up to the challenge, and until that time, just get off your bike and walk if you can't ride the feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Dumbing down trails 101.

    Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing? This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up. It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
    The hard hitting truth right there, demonstrated by the OPs listed bike of choice and p-thread topic Anyone riding a Slash, should not be complaining they need a "B-line"


    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    B Line is Bith Line. As bikes have become more capable, trails have become smoother. I won't even start on sanitation. Ok, just once. Someone placed the rock in the trail, when in reality, the root is the best line. I hucked it over the cliff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    The B line typically does not flow with the design intent of the track.
    Good ones do.

    But yeah, OP seems to have entirely missed the point of why most people I know ride MTBs. Exercise is just a byproduct.
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    Second wow... you cant write p u s s y on this form. Round here the A-line is the the main line and anything else is the p u s s y route.

    I think op's premise that most people are mountain biking for fitness only is for the majority incorrect.

    My thought would be that most are out there for more than fitness. I would think that most people are out there for the joy of riding. Whether that be the pedalling like a maniac uphill or hitting all the features on the dh.

    For me its about grin factor grin and flow. The more i grin the better, the more i flow and experience joy the better. For me thats on the down, hitting the A-lines.

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    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    ...Then go ride the B lines and be happy?

    I think you're coming at this from a perspective that isn't shared by most mtb-ers. I've been doing this for ...15 years? I rarely take B lines now, and have had hundreds of crashes, but i have yet to miss a day of work because of this hobby. (knock on wood) My worst injury happened riding my garbage bike to work on a bike path- some 300lb asshole came around a blind corner in my lane.


    The skills development is what's fun! We develop our skills and work up to more challenging features. Trails that were terrifying become easy and fun. Riding the A line is not mountain-dew xxxtreme; its riders may have a stronger sense of risk-aversion than you.


    People who don't 'get it' are having fun on roads and gravel, not asking weird questions. Road and gravel is fun too.


    Unlike road, with a MTB you're the final authority on the risks you take.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    If pedalling around without riding tech is your jam then thats ok.

    Ironically building skill, riding faster and flowing down the track at the speed the track builder intended can actually be safer than riding slower. Typically it is the unskilled that gets injured more the highly skilled that stays injury free or has less servere injuries.

    Its very hard to visualise this when you have a low skill level. You look at faster, "crazier" people and presume that the risk they are putting them selves at is higher.


    I have been through that curve and out the other side. I have watched dudes riding faster than i though safe, Then after building skill i have been the one riding at the speeds i previously thought unsafe, to then realise that the track flows more and the likelyhood of crashing is less........ It is definately counter intuative.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Again, since the majority of us are just out there for exercise why should we have to ride around the features made for these 'extreme' riders?
    I'm out there to stimulate all of my senses into maximum overdrive.
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    Reading down this thread I’d like to thank several in giving me a headache. Excuse me while I take the B line out of here just to get out quicker.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    What’s “xxxtreme” to you might be kitten play to most of us on this forum. Just because you’re incapable of riding something doesn’t mean that everyone else is equally incapable. Do you think that no one else has to go to work the next day too?

    Judging by the replies on this thread it sure looks like you’re in the minority.

    Edit: post a photo or two of some of these sections you’re talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    When it comes down to it, you asked for it, and IMO, you deserve it.

    You came onto this forum whining about technical aspects of trails. Yet you ride a Trek Slash. That bike is built to take the burly/rowdy/tech lines. If you're purposefully avoiding that stuff, especially on that bike, then what the f*ck are you doing? Might as well sell the Slash and stick to gravel.

    If you don't like technical stuff, that's fine. But don't whine about it. Just ride what you like.

  42. #42
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    Pics!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Pics!
    Of what? Me taking the B line out of here?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Of what? Me taking the B line out of here?
    piratemonkeyrimshot.gif
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Of what? Me taking the B line out of here?
    Ha! Make a bee line for the tree line.

  46. #46
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    Watch out for a large feline.

  47. #47
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    Q: Does Aquaman ride the A line or the B line?

    A: Neither. He rides the sea lion.

  48. #48
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    Because the A line is really the only line. The B line is installed for no other reason than as a compromise to the reality that the slower, less skilled, lamer riders will literally hack their way around a sweet feature to fulfill their dreams of pathetic mediocrity. It really should be called the "F" line for Failure at life.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The b-line is the alternate, non-main line. doesn't matter if it's the easier one or the harder one.
    Harold nails it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    F'ing try a little.
    ^ This. But the level of commitment can vary greatly depending on the trail/region in question. Not everyone that rides on dirt desires to send a 20 foot gap or hit a 7 foot drop.

    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Dumbing down trails 101.

    Why do we assume more people on a trail is a good thing?

    This invites more of the lowest denominators to head into the woods and jack stuff up.

    It used to be you had to ride something, or walk over it - but no, now there are "B" lines to accommodate people. So sorry, but if "having to ride around a feature" on an accommodating trail to prevent people from having to *walk a section* is problematic, GTFO the trails.
    It's funny how ones perspective can change in a short period of time. 5 years ago I would not have understood this mentality. Now I couldn't agree more.

    Don't ever dumb down a trail for me. If I can't ride it today it gives me something to work on and aspire to.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Because the A line is really the only line. The B line is installed for no other reason than as a compromise to the reality that the slower, less skilled, lamer riders will literally hack their way around a sweet feature to fulfill their dreams of pathetic mediocrity. It really should be called the "F" line for Failure at life.
    This: B lines are most often than not created by the unskilled riders that instead of attempting a section and or hike A biking through it, they’d rather alter the trail to their liking. Of course there’s always trail builders who find it necessary to enable unskilled riders to continue being unskilled riders by creating two lines through hard sections. That’s today’s way of mountain biking. The bikes get more capable and the trails get easier. Doesn’t make much sense to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    It's funny how ones perspective can change in a short period of time. 5 years ago I would not have understood this mentality. Now I couldn't agree more.
    There are just things in life that you cannot quantify.
    Things you cannot give a good reason as to why it is, or why it should be "this way".

    However, those things are what separate "the men from the boys".
    They are the things that separate winners from losers.
    They are the things that make certain people strive, while others shy away.
    They are the things that make us human, and allow us to further expansion, higher levels of quality, intelligence, strength, or just any other form of furthering our own being.

    I think this is why e bikes are such a hot topic. I cannot give you a real solid reason why they are "bad", but in an existential stance, I don't think they will further anyone's improvement.

    Making trails easier in the name of "inclusiveness" and "allowing more people to enjoy the trails" does not improve the nature of cycling. It does not bring advancement, greater skill levels, or a better understanding of one's own capability. It simply degrades the conditions, and because "the human condition" isn't quantifiable, the justification for maintaining difficult trails is no longer accepted. Instead, it's seen as a "problem" that needs corrected in the name of inclusiveness.


    Blah blah blah, I know....

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Of course there’s always trail builders who find it necessary to enable unskilled riders to continue being unskilled riders by creating two lines through hard sections. That’s today’s way of mountain biking. The bikes get more capable and the trails get easier. Doesn’t make much sense to me.
    Trailbuilders build the trails the land managers or owners specify. But go on about how the people who build trail for us to ride aren’t as pure as you.

  53. #53
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    Locally certain individuals have taken it upon themselves to do some "unauthorized" trail work. The one that really upsets me is a guy that took out a bunch of trees on a trail that was one of the most technical and challenging (and fun) trails around. It was known for being kind of difficult.

    We don't have a great deal of elevation or super technical and challenging trails locally so the few that are available are sort of precious. This individual cut down a bunch of trees that made the trail what it was, fun. Now it's wide open, no need to change direction, brake, turn, or anything. You can just go strait, which is faster and way less interesting.

    These trees can't be replaced, he just took it upon himself for his own reasons. What I don't like is that he permanently changed something that was special.

    If you can't ride the A line, don't ruin other peoples fun. I'm fully OK with B lines. They have their place.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    You asked a question and we answered. Not sure how that's "bro-splaining", but whatever. I guess people actually taking the time to answer your question is too extreme for you.

    And your question was dripping with judgement based on your perceived, but mistaken, idea of what mountain biking is and should be. So you got schooled. Also way to extreme for you, obviously.

    I'm sure you can find a forum for MUPs out there, somewhere. Or, better yet, rail trails. Great for fitness. Smooth, little to no elevation gain. Perfect for you. And lots of info out there on them. Enjoy!

    And you're welcome.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Trailbuilders build the trails the land managers or owners specify. But go on about how the people who build trail for us to ride aren’t as pure as you.
    Think you took it wrong. I’m just put off on how many trails in today’s era of mtbing are built to flow standards. I appreciate those that build and try to make things better for us. I just wish more sections were left more natural than groomed, that’s all. Didn’t mean to offend trail builders. I understand you more often than not you are guided in how the land managers and owners want it. Maybe they are the ones we need to address. However I don’t think the majority of them get what’s important to keep all riders happy.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  56. #56
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    Depends on where you live, but most of the urban trails have an A-line for mountain bikers and a B-line because we know that non-mountain bikers are going to ride trails anyways and sanitize the trails if they find something that is "dangerous." There's now way to keep them off the trails, so we make due with b-lines.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    That's exactly my point, why are we building the feature that only a small percentage of riders can actually ride before the route that most will choose? The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
    Trails that are challenging and therefore interesting don't have to be "extreme", but a "smooth path for everyone" is not even a mountain bike trail. That's just a road, and that sounds boring to everyone who enjoys mountain biking. I am curious, do you have some photos or a video of where you ride? I feel that the nuances of what an ideal trail is like is lost on the internet.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Trailbuilders build the trails the land managers or owners specify. But go on about how the people who build trail for us to ride aren’t as pure as you.
    bingo. it chaps my ass to see people in here ragging on riders who are slower and/or less skilled.

    Wouldn't it be most excellent if we had unlimited amounts of land for mtb trails, easy permission to build them all, unlimited labor for the work, and zero cost restrictions on anything so we could make them exactly how we want? that would be awesome.

    We don't get any of that. None of it. And so what we actually can have HAS to accommodate riders of varying abilities.

    Lots of trails need to be enjoyable for beginners AND more advanced riders. Give riders choices and a single trail can do that.

    The really advanced stuff with no alternate lines is going to be much, much less common than the beginner or intermediate trail with options. but I'm pretty sure that a lot of people in here bitching about easy lines wouldn't be riding that stuff, either. I mostly wouldn't. and of that kind of stuff that I have seen (and chosen not to ride), the riding line isn't even walkable on a lot of it, so even walking requires a "b-line" of sorts.

    Yeah, I don't like it when people sanitize a trail that's already there, either. I will undo that stuff. I've done it in the past, publicly announced it and pissed off the person who did it, and I'll do it again. But let's not confuse sanitizing existing trail with a land manager requiring a trail get built to a certain standard and mandating easy lines around something difficult, or mandating that difficult obstacles above a certain height BE the alternate line.

    It's true that some land managers are out-of-touch with what mt bikers want...or, more accurately, what the higher-level enthusiast riders, racers, or pros want. If the land manager isn't a rider and doesn't have much exposure to mountain biking, is this surprising? The more advanced the trail gets, the higher the consequences tend to be for failure. Not only do land managers have concerns with liability, but probably moreso with emergency response (both the difficulty and the cost of it). Land managers who aren't passionate about mountain biking are going to be less inclined to figure out these details and will just mandate an upper limit.

    I love riding with beginners. I enjoy encouraging them, and I enjoy helping them progress. I am disgusted with the people who are pissing on beginners and other less skilled riders who choose an easier line, on trail builders to design these alternates into a trail, and on land managers who require them. As someone who spends a lot of time with beginners and kids, these things are important aspects of beginner and intermediate trails.

    Yes, OP took the opposite extreme and deserved criticism for it. But then the thread morphed into this disgusting shithole with people repeatedly showing their own disgust at beginners. I'm taking a stand against that shit right now.

  59. #59
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    Agree^ as long as the A-line is there who the f- cares if there's a b-line. Don't like it, don't take it.
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  60. #60
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    Experience has taught me that using a single line on a feature is a failure to account for human behavior. No matter how much you scold, shame, or instruct, people will do what they want. And a lot of people will either ride around a feature and widen the tread, or take it upon themselves to “improve” the trail by trying to get rid of it.

    In the 15 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen several spots go from 18” wide to over 6 feet, all because of a 12” rock outcrop. One of those outcrops has been so beaten with a sledge and pry bar that instead of a smooth feature it’s a bedrock ‘severe tire damage’ bar. It’s infuriating, but it happens. And its predictable. A good trailbuilder should expect and plan for it. A well-designed B-line can preempt that undesirable behavior.

  61. #61
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    Skills vary markedly, nothing wrong with having two lines, in fact it's a bonus. Let's everyone use the trail. IMHO it also doesn't matter what each is called.
    Skilled riders can clear stuff at speed without batting eye, that less skilled riders would baulk at, at low speed and often stall out. No big deal and each to their own.
    If you're in between, you pick and choose the A lines you can manage and B line what you don't like or freaks you out.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Pics!
    I think I found the B-line in question... or is the A-line?

    Why do they call them 'b-lines?'-02ce67c0-7e0e-42a4-b60e-acf7e983f737.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Please stop bro-splaining at me because I like to get exercise on my bike and go to work unhurt the next day.

    Not everything is mountain-dew xxxtreme
    Nobody cares about that. What people are disagreeing with is your baseless declaration that the majority of us mountain bikers are only doing it for exercise, and trails should be even further dumbed down because you believe the main focus of mountain biking should be sitting and spinning and worrying about your heart rate.
    And of course, that anyone who has developed some level of skill must of course be some an 'xxxttreeeme' yahoo.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Nobody cares about that. What people are disagreeing with is your baseless declaration that the majority of us mountain bikers are only doing it for exercise, and trails should be even further dumbed down because you believe the main focus of mountain biking should be sitting and spinning and worrying about your heart rate.
    And of course, that anyone who has developed some level of skill must of course be some an 'xxxttreeeme' yahoo.
    My problem wasnt even that a secondary line exists over difficult terrain. It's that the OP feels he shouldn't have to go around hard stuff. The hard stuff should be the "out of the way" portion.

    So, regardless of an easier line existing, the easier line isn't "convenient" enough for him to even ride around.
    So, I stand by and in fact double down on my original statement.
    If the existence of an available secondary line is insufficient because it's too inconvenient to ride....GTFO the trails.
    Last edited by DethWshBkr; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:49 AM.

  65. #65
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    Amusingly i am the yin to op's yang. Local trails are built by a professional trail building company commissioned by the local club that has been given funding by the government.
    The trail building company is tasked to build benign easy level tracks devoid of any difficult features. Even devoid of table tops and feature that a small child could ride and advanced rided could double up and really rip. I see so many possible lines that could have been made to make the track also fun for the advanced rider. But they have purposefully rounded off a pontential lip or made the possible take off too shallow. Its a crying shame to see these tracks that could be great for advanced and below average riders dummed down to be designed for the below average.

  66. #66
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    what about the rest of the alphabet? why do we stop at B line?

  67. #67
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    Around here our land managers call harder alternate lines, B lines, since the A line is the main line, and we're happy to build them. We do our damnedest to shut cheater lines down. Call them whatever you want.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    I've never understood why they call the easier way around a feature a 'b-line.'
    Why cares? What difference does it make? Is this the most pointless forum thread of all time? Might be.

  69. #69
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    People get weird about b-lines.

    IMO, a GOOD trail will have at least a b line, ideally a C line. How many years can you ride the exact same trail and keep it fun?

    Sometimes the hard line is the A line. Around here, very often the b-line is the dropoff or the jump, and the C-line is the insanity HUGE drop thats sort of hidden.

    If you dig a huge gnarly jump in the middle of a narrow singletrack trail thats otherwise boring, people will probably get hurt and your jump gets dug up. If you make that a b-line, it might be there for years. Why is that so bad?

  70. #70
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    When you are doing something really well do you say you are on your "B" game? No, the phrase is you are on your "A" game.

  71. #71
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    I was tired this evening, so I took some alternative lines around some features.
    By continuing to browse my posts, you agree to send chazpat cookies.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    what about the rest of the alphabet? why do we stop at B line?
    They dont' you can also get C-lines depending on the trail...
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    They dont' you can also get C-lines depending on the trail...
    And here I thought the B line was the fastest way to C my way out of here.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mich800 View Post
    When you are doing something really well do you say you are on your "B" game? No, the phrase is you are on your "A" game.
    origins of the two phrases are not the same.

  75. #75
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    To give the OP the answer he was looking for, here is the truth...........

    The A line is the original line designed when the trail was being designed and built, it follows with the nature/style of the trail in general, the B line is the alternate line that was put in as a secondary route.

    Now on some trails that's going to mean that the A line is actually hard for some and the B line will be an easier options, these trails are normally for intermediate to advanced riders. On mellower/easier trails, the A line will normally be easier as that's the general design idea of the trail and the B line is a harder/more challenging option for more experienced/skilled riders, put in to help encourage better riders to ride easier trails as they introduce new riders or lesser skilled riders to the trails and not get bored out of their minds.

    So OP, as surmised by a lot who replied, your skill level does not match the trails or bike you're riding if the A line is hard for you and B line is easy, maybe you should consider trying some easier trails if fitness is all you wish to accomplish riding a mtn bike, but for most of us, fitness is a by product of challenging ourselves and having fun on a mtn bike.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Because the A line is really the only line. The B line is installed for no other reason than as a compromise to the reality that the slower, less skilled, lamer riders will literally hack their way around a sweet feature to fulfill their dreams of pathetic mediocrity. It really should be called the "F" line for Failure at life.
    Not everyone is Danny Macaskill. I see nothing wrong with allowing a single trail to serve riders of varying ability. People do not just hop on a bike and have the necessary skill. That only comes with experience. One can add features as skill and confidence allows.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Not everyone is Danny Macaskill. I see nothing wrong with allowing a single trail to serve riders of varying ability. People do not just hop on a bike and have the necessary skill. That only comes with experience. One can add features as skill and confidence allows.
    Agree 100%. No need for it to be one or the other. The OP objects cos his B lines are incorrectly named, another submits those that can't ride A lines with aplomb are life losers! 🙃🙄

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Because the A line is really the only line. The B line is installed for no other reason than as a compromise to the reality that the slower, less skilled, lamer riders will literally hack their way around a sweet feature to fulfill their dreams of pathetic mediocrity. It really should be called the "F" line for Failure at life.
    I assume this is hyperbole and a joke.

    When possible, make a trail difficult and challenging, but leave alternative lines past particularly difficult segments for less skilled people to go around without totally killing their flow. Hopefully they will eventually acquire the courage to ride the more difficult option, but in the meantime at least they have no reason to sanitize the trail.

  79. #79
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    Those kittens sure are cute.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by MozFat View Post
    Agree 100%. No need for it to be one or the other. The OP objects cos his B lines are incorrectly named, another submits those that can't ride A lines with aplomb are life losers! 🙃🙄
    Hahaha.... thats the first time i've seen aplomb used in a mountain bike conversation.

    I'm picturing dudes dressed up in old English polo suits saying something like this.


    "Tellyho old chaps, forthwith we shall ride the A-Line with aplomb!"

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    The priority should be the smooth path for all ability riders, not the obstacle for 'extreme' riders.
    as stated before, most trails with features that require a "B Line" are typically built by 'extreme' riders for their own enjoyment and the "B Line" is created by the less skilled. i don't know anyone who would rather build a 'dumbed down' trail for themselves..


  82. #82
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    Am I missing something? I'm not seeing a problem here children?

  83. #83
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    Joshuaface
    "Why do they call them 'b-lines?" They call them that because THEY built it
    "why are we building the feature" If you are included in the WE you can decide what the A and B lines are...

    As Harold stated B lines means alternative to the original line built. Build a trail, then you can decide what is A or B. Heck you may even be disappointed that someone thought your trail needed a B line.

  84. #84
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    wait...there is exercise in MTBing?....I'm out.....




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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    wait...there is exercise in MTBing?....I'm out.....




    Wait a minute, didn't you previously go by a different handle here on empty beer? Sexy BMXer or something like that? Your avatar looks suspiciously familiar, but your name, not so much...

    Oh wait, I got it! You used to be Travis Bickle. Damn I'm good.
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    I think I found the B-line in question... or is the A-line?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What? Everyone knows that's the fe line.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Wait a minute, didn't you previously go by a different handle here on empty beer? Sexy BMXer or something like that? Your avatar looks suspiciously familiar, but your name, not so much...

    Oh wait, I got it! You used to be Travis Bickle. Damn I'm good.
    =sParty
    actually I was originally sXexBMXer, but then turned to Picard, but that cost too much for copyright use, so then I went to the more clear str8edgMTBMXr, because the sXe actually stands for Straight Edge....definitely NOT sexy. I would never be associated with the word sexy....
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  88. #88
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    for the record, someone logged in to my account and started this thread, compare all my other posts, i dont talk like that.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I assume this is hyperbole and a joke.

    When possible, make a trail difficult and challenging, but leave alternative lines past particularly difficult segments for less skilled people to go around without totally killing their flow. Hopefully they will eventually acquire the courage to ride the more difficult option, but in the meantime at least they have no reason to sanitize the trail.
    I am taking a little liberty with the verbiage but I hope it conveys the patheticness of people who hack alternate lines instead of coming back later with improved skills. I believe there is a reason trails are graded on a scale. It just seems wrong for a black trail to have blue B lines, just my opinion with no facts to back it up. .

  90. #90
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    Not all trails are graded by skill. To my knowledge, none of the hundreds of miles of trails near where I live have any sort of rating, and some of that is very technical stuff.

    Your local trails may be different. Keep in mind that your experience of mountain biking is heavily influenced by your location.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    for the record, someone logged in to my account and started this thread, compare all my other posts, i dont talk like that.
    That's good. I'll need to remember that one :0)

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    for the record, someone logged in to my account and started this thread, compare all my other posts, i dont talk like that.
    Have you changed your password?
    How far back do you believe your account was maliciously accessed?

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    for the record, someone logged in to my account and started this thread, compare all my other posts, i dont talk like that.
    Well this is an interesting plot twist...
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Not all trails are graded by skill. To my knowledge, none of the hundreds of miles of trails near where I live have any sort of rating, and some of that is very technical stuff.
    Same around here - no official trail ratings.
    Gotta go out and figure it out yourself. Which is as it should be IMO.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    for the record, someone logged in to my account and started this thread, compare all my other posts, i dont talk like that.
    Damn them Russians...

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Damn og...
    fify
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  97. #97
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    Yes i changed my pass word, it says posted 4 days ago at 535 pm. Well at that time, im on rt 270 driving to work at 80mph, so i know i didnt post it, i suck at mountain biking, but i know the difference between a lines and b lines. Also look at all my other posts, i dont type or talk like that. Also i use very little punctuation.
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaFACE View Post
    Yes i changed my pass word, it says posted 4 days ago at 535 pm. Well at that time, im on rt 270 driving to work at 80mph, so i know i didnt post it, i suck at mountain biking, but i know the difference between a lines and b lines. Also look at all my other posts, i dont type or talk like that. Also i use very little punctuation.
    Brilliant, keep the new password safe.

    Locking the thread now as you didn't start it and cleaned out a few other posts as well.

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