Ranting in Maryland- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ranting in Maryland

    OK, so since I moved here a few months ago I have a had tons of fun riding some of the trails in the DC/Baltimore area. I do feel like *****ing about certain things today however.

    1. Riders in Patapsco

    For the most part, most riders in Patapsco are really nice/friendly people. However, there seems to be a growing group of douchebags. I can generally tell if the person coming down the trail toward me is going to be a douchebag, based on a) how much Spandex they have on, b) how much their bike costs, and c) if their sunglasses are worth more than my entire bike.

    For instance: I went riding with two coworkers today who dont ride as much as I do so we were going at a fairly leisurely pace. This rider with tinted glasses, covered in spandex, with a bike worth more than my car came past us and I nodded and said hello. As he passed he glared and mumbled something at me. We saw this guy three more times on other various trails, and each time I said hi and each time he gave me a dirty look. I find it amusing that (not all but certainly some) riders who have expensive bikes and gear automatically think theyre better riders or somehow higher up than those who do not. I'm poor. I cant afford super nice gear. But It seems like these same riders who scoff at me and my friends, are always in my way and riding their brakes like big vaginas when I'm on their ass on DH sections with my $600 Specialized.

    2. The bike doctor in Crofton.

    Seriously, what the **** is up with this place? I pretty much have had nothing but problems there. One of the guys there is super nice and knows what hes doing (older guy, shaved head) but everyone else there seems like a moron. I went there this weekend because I was rebuilding the wheels on one of my bikes, and I needed some seals and spare axle parts to be compatible with my new freehub, and first off the guy said what I was doing wasnt going to fix my problem, then seemed confused when I elaborated on what I was doing. He then explained that they dont carry or keep "small parts like that" because they "get lost and just end up being thrown away". I asked him if he could look anyway, and he got mad that I inconvenienced him, half ass looked through a couple random parts bins, and seed he didnt have anything. I went down the street to the Family bike store or whatever its called in Crofton, and the dudes there were super awesome, let me look through their parts drawers, and I found what I wanted in like 5 minutes.

    So in summary:

    Douchebags who ride in patapsco with $5000 bikes and gear who give you dirty looks but dont know how to take a DH section correctly = lame.

    Bike doctor in Crofton = lame.

    Family cycle in Crofton = awesome.

    And actually for that matter, Avalon cycles in Elkridge is really good too.

    ok.

    Im done.

  2. #2
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    where did you live before?

  3. #3
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    I hear ya. Took me awhile to assimilate also. Moved here from Charleston, WV almost 7 yrs ago. Had a bad crash on that little hill going down to the dam from the top of the trail, before they paved it, and went head first into a tree. A couple was jogging by and watched the whole thing. Never asked if I was OK or anything, just stared and kept going. When I hit that tree, I heard something crack and thought I was seriously F'ed up. Luckily, just hurt my shoulder. I saw the couple in at the Park-N-Ride and yelled to them I was OK and thanks for asking.

    Another time, I had a flat and though I didn't need any help, I think at least 2 groups or riders went by w/o so much as a hi. A hiker did ask if I needed a hand though.

    When I had my truck, someone was nice enough to dump their McD's trash in the bed for me to throw away for them.

    As far as the Croften, Bike Doctor, Can't say. Never visited that shop.

    To be fair though, I've met some really great people here. Overall I'd say people out there riding are cool. I know that Patapsco gets pretty crowded and coming from a place where it's rare to even see another on the trail, it can get a bit aggravating. So even though I usually say hi, please don't take offense if I somehow miss that opportunity. I'm personally not trying to be a d!ck, I just want to ride by myself w/o the interruption. Little hard to do w/ all the trail users out there sometimes.

    I will stop and ask if you're OK if I see you fiddling w/ you ride on the side of the trail and move on if you say yea or give you my spare tube if you need it.

  4. #4
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    There is a really good article in the new Bike magazine about waving when your out on the trail and being cordial. I am from the south so it is what I am used to. Don't be too much of a hater on the spandex and expensive bike. I have a bike that is definately over my ability but was able to get a great price due to connections, couldn't turn it down. I also know my riding prowess is toward the rear of the pack and try not to come off too cocky in the COI.

    Some days suck, some days don't. Friend of mine had some good wisdom, don't make fun of the old people on DUI cycles or fat people on 100 lb wally bikes, at least they are out getting some pedal time.

    Of course, if we could all ride more the world would definately be a better place. At least the people I deal with on a daily basis would enjoy life more.
    Can you hook that up to your car?.......

  5. #5
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    Most folks on the trails that I have encountered are quite nice. Always an exchange of greetings. That said, I have encountered some that think they own the trails.

    Funny thing is, the least friendly of the riders are the ones on hybrids that ride on River Rd & the Grist Mill paved trail. They always looked like they are ticked off at something.

  6. #6
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    Haven't ridden Patapsco in about 10 years, but trust me, the douchebag rule goes for just about all trails I've ridden recently. I don't do the spandex thing, don't do the jersey thing, am not clipped into my pedals, etc. I just wear shorts, t-shirt, regular tennis shoes. That's how I roll. I still love to ride, probably have more passion about it than these d-bags in their $1000 outfits with $5000 bikes. But yet I'm the one who they want off the trails. I'll continue smiling and saying hi, and will still stop to help them if they have a flat or broken part/body part.

  7. #7
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    Patapsco is a crazy place. Especially on weekends. I've encountered my share of uncool people out there. But for every one of those people I've met hundreds of cool bikers, hikers, etc.

    I happen to be one of the spandex clad guys on a tricked out race bike. I race for a team. They give me clothes to wear so I wear 'em. I've got to compete so I ride the best bike I can get my hands on. Please don't judge folks based on bike/apparel choice.

    On the other hand I think the racing crowd has extra responsibility to be trail friendly as we represent our sponsors and we stick out at the trails. Sometimes the race geeks do get caught up in the training and forget to smile and say hi. Just give a big hello!

  8. #8
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    You always run into a few tools on the trails, but like it was said, for every ONE you run into, you meet 10 friendly riders.

  9. #9
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    there are a lot of a$holes in the world, if you go somewhere crowded, like patapsco, you are bound to run into a few of them.

    I wear lycra - that's what you wore when I got started biking (i.e., there was no such thing as baggy bike shorts back then), I wear sunglasses, and I ride a somewhat expensive bike. 99% of the time I wave or nod and I'll always ask if you need help if I see you stopped.

  10. #10
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    Yep, Family Bike Shop is a good place and they can turn you on to some good rides in the area too.
    Like others said here, please don't judge folks by the bikes they ride or the clothes they wear. I ride junk and wear crap, and the guys I rode with at Slatyfork have nice bikes and gear and put me to shame, but were a great bunch of guys that anyone would want to hang out and party with.
    And for every A-hole on the trail there's a hundred more that are friendly and helpful...

  11. #11

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    If you want a recommendation for a good bike shop in your area may I suggest Pedal Pushers in Severna Park. I have zero affiliation with then but they treat everyone extremely well. Occasionally I have needed something quick done that i just didn't have the tools for and he just tosses it up on the stand and does it while I am waiting. Twice he hasn't even charged me for a quick little thing but i always give him some cash. It is a great little shop.

    Also don't forget to pet the dog when you are there

    Pedal Pushers

  12. #12
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    I will post in this thread.

    Today is the 1st time in years that I really did experience some not so freindly faces in Patapsco. Droped in from the Park n Ride went over the river and up to Rockburn/MorningChoice loop then across Ridge and then back across the river and back to the park n ride. My quick evening ride loop.

    I must say that I always try to be freindly and say hello and always give other the right away if I can. Today I was MADE to move off the trail with a couple that would not even brake while passing. Then the single track through the open Tree area on Morning Choice I was about run over by a guy who must have been riding my rear Nobby NIC and he did not even say he was coming or speak a word once I realized he was there and being the person I am said sorry and moved over... he did not even look my direction and kept on going.

  13. #13
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    I gotta wonder if the prick on the expensive bike with the spandex is a roadie whose doing off road too. I've had similar encounters as well.

    couple years ago before i got my cyclo cross bike I used to ride my litespeed on the W&OD on lunch break to train. I'd pass the same a#$holes on their road bikes and nod and get nothing in return. THEN one day I buy a cyclocross bike, put some slicks on it and go back out. next thing you know I start getting more nods. Still some pricks out there, but where before some of these guys weren't acknowledging me; now they were.

    yeah, i hear ya.

  14. #14
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    douchebags are everywhere...even on two wheels.

  15. #15
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    I personally think its wrong to automatically judge sombody by the way they dress or the bike they ride. Spandex is a great material, its not for me but its a damn good material. Expensive bike, what is there not to love about seeing a nice looking bike on the trail? I stop and stare at beautiful cars, motorcycles, bikes, etc.. Its one of cheaper pleasures in life, so enjoy it. A blanket statement of equating expensive bike to an arrogant a-hole spandex wearing jerk is a complete ignorant statement. Fault people for people, but please leave out the equipment. Some of the things being said here is a complete discriminatory statement and we should be better than that.

    I like to ride expensive fast bike because its the next closest feeling of owning an exotic car that you can never afford. But most importantly I ride the expensive bike because I suck. Bad riders need all the help they can get.

  16. #16

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    I am a biker and also a hiker/backpacker. I find that hikers are normally very friendly. Will always so hi and if i pass another backpacker we normally stop and exchange a few words about our trip. I always make a point to nod and say a word to bikers that i pass (or more common) pass me.

    Why not be friendly?

  17. #17
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    Dudes, I have to agree. The bikes/clothes don't matter. It's mostly the person's attitude and having expensive bikes doesn't mean the person is a jerk. I started out with a really cheap bike which was nowhere near as expensive as a $600 Specialized ($75 used GT no-suspension) and I rode with guys from work which I knew were nice people. Eventually as I learned more about riding I tried a few more bikes and spent a few more $$ and now own a couple bikes that are more than that Specialized.

    I still say hello to anyone that talks to me if I can muster it through my heavy breathing. I also say thank you to anyone that steps aside and lets me through. Especially all the hikers. They seem to appreciate that a lot. A few of them don't respond, but I still say thank you. It's just the polite thing to do since they have the right of way. I also try to stay out of the way of anyone that is riding up the hill if I'm riding down. That's also something that I've seen other people not do no matter what type of bike/clothing they have. The uphill rider always has the right of way no matter what and most people respect that.

    The time I flipped over and separated my AC joint and sprained my ankle, we rode with this guy for the first time that was very cocky in my opinion. I took the lead towards the end, hit a root which caused me to endo and break my seat and this guy rode right past me without saying anything. The rest of the guys riding behind us stopped and were concerned if I was OK including a new guy we had just met that day as well. The non-stopper was putting his bike on his vehicle after we all caught up with him like nothing happened. Both had nice expensive bikes but one just decided that I probably didn't belong on the trail. Needless to say, I don't ride with him anymore.

    By the way, I'm probably that guy leaning on the brakes going downhill. After that nasty shoulder spill, I never got 100% of my nerves back. Although switching to a 29r has helped.

    I've also gone out by myself a few times and one time a guy was right behind me and I didn't even notice. He was obviously a better rider since he wasn't huffing and puffing, but he stayed behind me because I was doing a steep climb and probably didn't want to go by me which would probably cause me to stop. After we got to the top he rode by me and said "Nice climbing". He also had a nice expensive bike from what I remember.

    So in conclusion, stereotyping on clothing/bikes is just wrong. From the many rides I've done at Patapsco, there are definitely much more of the nicer people out there than the jerks. Those are very far and few in between.

    As far as bike shops go don't get me started. If you want to get elitist treatment from managers and such, go to any shop and you'll get that type of attitude. If they've never seen you at the shop before don't expect much. The really nice people that work at these shops are usually the younger guys/gals that just work there part time. When the manager's not around the shop experience seems to be much better.

    There's only one shop that I take my bike in whenever I can't do the work. They're very reasonable and after taking a while to get to know one of the mechanics I feel good every time I take it there.

    My 2cents.

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