Spoiled like a Hilton Grandchild

Words Cam McRae
Photos Paddy Kaye
Date Oct 7, 2015

Let’s create a scale to measure the impact unlimited access to money and privilege can have on people. Call it the Spoiled Brat Quotient. We could put a child who is dirt poor, yet content and thankful, at one end of the scale, and Paris Hilton at the other. Most of us would sit somewhere in the middle – if we are talking about life in general. But if the subject is mountain bike trails…

Riders here on the North Shore might break the scale. When you look at our access to hundreds of premium single track trails right here, many of them creative and challenging gems, boosted by our proximity to the spectacular riding in Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Valley, it’s a bit obscene. We’d rank as spoiled as Paris Hilton’s children – if she ever decides she needs a human accessory.

The North Shore, and each of the aforementioned riding areas, is improving quickly and dramatically, thanks to the hard work of volunteer advocates and builders, and landowners who see the value of mountain biking. Things are awesome.

And yet things are awful.

This has been a challenging year here on the Shore. We’ve had the Tineke Kraal sabotage case, a violent conflict between a hiker and a mountain biker that captured mainstream media attention, a summer drought that made trail work impossible, and a bitter feud, since spilled over to the internet, between two of the most well known trail builders and advocates in the area.

And then someone messed with Upper Dale’s Trail.

I’ll admit that the last time I rode the original Upper Dale’s, earlier in the summer, I thought it sucked – and I reported this on our trail conditions board. NSMB.com adopted Dale’s for two years, aided by experienced trail builders Todd ‘Digger’ Fiander and Jerry Willows, and a bunch of hard working volunteers. We made a lot of headway on the trail, but the upper section kept getting washed out. We tried everything but in the end we couldn’t keep it from becoming a stream during the sort of heavy rain we get regularly. Subsequent adopters didn’t have better luck.

mutters

An example of some of the complaints I’ve seen online. User names changed.

I’d heard the rumours and seen the vitriol online, but I hadn’t ridden the new Upper Dale’s myself. All I knew was that it was machine built. Comments I saw online were not positive, and I imagined a soul-destroying, crushed gravel path, but when I talked to riders I know, skilled and experienced riders, they raved about it.

beecee

Woe is me.

I was puzzled about what to expect, but once I dove in I knew I liked it.

Paddy Kaye of Joyride Bike Parks was hired to build a new line for Upper Dale’s. If you haven’t heard of Paddy, you may have heard of Crankworx. Paddy built the first ever slopestyle course for Crankworx (originally called Joyride) and recently he’s been put back to work building the line for Red Bull Joyride.

To replace Upper Dales, Paddy took his machine and sculpted 300 metres of berms. Joyride put in a total of 300 man hours, including the finish work done by hand. Some of the berms are long and lazy and a few are short and quick, forcing you to change direction dynamically. These aren’t easy, beginner berms – and in my view they are a blast to ride. Or I should say they are a blast now that I have the skills to ride them.

This is what it looked like in the beginning. Paddy Kaye told me that no living or habitat trees were removed or damaged during building.

This is what it looked like in the beginning. Paddy Kaye told me that no living or habitat trees were removed or damaged during building.

I was hooked from the moment I rode my first North Shore trail. The tech challenge lit my fuse and kept me coming back. I liked steep, winding trails and those with stunts aplenty, even though I was terrible at the balancing and hucking required. I was so enamoured with this riding style that I shunned everything else. Berms would have been boring to me then. I needed more to keep me focussed. And I didn’t have the skills to ride berms fast enough for them to be fun. My self from 1998 would have written this section of trail off and – if there had been internet forums to beak off on – I would have been the loudest Ahole (actually that might give me too much credit. There are some remarkably talented and snide mountain biking Aholes on social media and on forums like ours – and some, I assume, are good people).

Not every comment is negative.

When I reflect on local government (Metro Vancouver in this case) hiring one of the most skilled and experienced trail building operations in the world, paying his firm for their services on our behalf, and asking him to build a section of trail that will be fun for mountain bikers of (almost) all levels, and how this is being met by some mountain bikers, I actually get it. I was one of those spoiled Aholes. And I have been one of those Aholes recently as well, regarding some new work that has replaced sections I liked, with sections I don’t love. And it’s pretty lame.

pano_upper_dales

It’s as awful as it looks.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions, nor that those shouldn’t be expressed, but saying things like “I’m with you.that trail is horible (sic)” is beyond ridiculous. In most areas having a single purpose-built mountain bike trail – that can be ridden legally – would be a dream come true. Having a section like Upper Dale’s, that is truly a blast for most riders, is unfathomable. In Marin County, the birthplace of our sport, most trails are illegal for mountain bikers, and most that aren’t are sterile and joyless.

It’s become cliché to say mountain bikers are a tribe, but recently it’s become a toothless cliché. Our ranks are becoming more fractured and infighting, like we’ve seen around here lately, continues to weaken our position.

handwork

I asked Paddy about the cost of the trail and, while only Metro can release the figure, he told me it was much less than the number being tossed around online.

I realize some new section of trail may not mesh perfectly with your view of mountain biking, and it may even have destroyed a move that fed your ego and made you happy. I’ve had it happen as well and it does indeed suck. But the suck pales in comparison to what we might have poured on us if entire trails are decommissioned.

rider

No fun at all. It took a lesson from Shaums March to get me to the point where I enjoyed this type of riding.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about a trail that fits some bureaucrat’s vision of trail riding in a park; this is a legit section of steeply banked corners. It compares favourably with some of the trails at Silver Star, a berm lover’s paradise. My buddies and I liked it so much we did two laps back to back – and all of us are first and foremost Shore riders. The new section bears no resemblance to the original trail, that much is true. And I can understand some objections and grumbling about that, but calling it a “heinous crime” on the internet? You have to be kidding me.

trees

Here’s how Paddy responded when I asked him about the goals of the project; “A machine built trail is a big change for the iconic North Shore, so our goals included building a fun trail that could handle the heavy rain that falls in Vancouver, and be easy to maintain. We also wanted to showcase what is possible with the dirt in that forest and gather feedback from riders on the overall experience.”

Asking mountain bikers not to be dicks on the internet is like asking Donald Trump to let an attack slide, but speaking with a more unified voice will become increasingly important in the struggle to maintain access to the wilderness and trails we love. Perhaps all of us should gain some perspective before we complain that our trails aren’t exactly the way we like them (or our yacht isn’t big enough).

Let’s suck it up buttercups. These aren’t first world problems; these are the problems of the 1%.


Have you ever complained when a mountain bike trail (a good one) was made for you and paid for by the government?

Comments

trouterspace
0
Trouterspace  - March 17, 2016, 3:50 p.m.

Meanwhile in the east bay of California, I can only ride fire roads legally. And a whopping 10 miles of singletrack. Womp.

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johnpamaisling
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johnpamaisling  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:06 p.m.

I love that now, in a single ride, I can hit so many styles of riding: I can do a singletrack climb that busts my lungs, some old school technical climbing; a ripper on berms, into some old school XC and then another loop just for good measure that goes onto some heritage stunts. Feels like the biking version of doing a top to bottom ski run on Whistler. I liked the old Dales but the new piece is a blast, especially at max speed; and my dog freakin' loves it too! He goes right to the top of each berm! Thanks to everyone for the continued great work that allows us to continue riding the shore.

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reformed-roadie
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reformed roadie  - Oct. 8, 2015, 7:23 a.m.

Reading about these whiners is nauseating.
The title is on point.
There are riders in way worse terrain making the most of it.
Too easy? Ride it faster, or on a hardtail, or at night…or all of the above.

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richard
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Richard  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:25 p.m.

Yeah, I was quoted in a Mountain Bike Article I feel legit now.
Anyway, the word :"horrible" was definitely too strong a word to use, but when trying to convey an idea over the internet to start a discussion often it is necessary to overstate something so that your feelings are clear. Just as using "Spoiled Brat", might be stronger wording that you feel, but it is a way of saying "you don't know how good you have it". Therefore I will retract my "horrible" statement from the post of several months ago.
Is the trail well built? Yes, and my intentions was not say the workmanship was poor. Is it fun? I'll give it a 6 out of 10. What's my biggest problem, only that the trail does not keep with the feel of the North Shore. Builders on the North Shore have done an great job of building within the natural topography and features of the mountains, this is the only case that I can think of where a machine has been walked in to cut wide swaths, huge berms and deep trenches really altering the natural landscape. I guess I can only compare it to putting a glass and steel skyscraper in the middle of historic low rise brick and mortar part of town, its well built and a beautiful building but changes the vibe of the area. It also came at a time that the landowner had just decommissioned Cambodia, as well, Aftertaste and Lolas were removed the year before and then this is what was built. So is this where the landowner is going? Are we going to see more trails built by machines and older more natural trails decommissioned. As a one off trail I can stop pulling my hair out, but if this is going to become the norm because it is seen as safer more manageable, then I will be pretty disappointed. Will other landowners look at this and say, well that reduces my risk so why don't we do the same thing?
Mightyted - I'm not sure why NSMB.com should be accountable for comments on a bulletin board, or why they should not provide a venue for people to provide their thoughts about mountain bike topics whether positive or negative, I expressed my opinion about a mountain bike topic, others disagreed with me, some agreed with me, and Cam wrote an article about it. All great discussion about mountain bikes and trails on a mountain bike website. If we need to control the message for DNV, Metro and Monica Craver, then maybe NSMB would shut down the forums and just publish mountain bike propaganda.
Anyway thanks for the article Cam, it changed some of my opinion. Oh and by the way since I am a seed of the Hiltons, my mom is gonna buy your mag and shut it down.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:44 a.m.

I could have picked a bunch of different comments Butters - so don't take it to personally. But good for you for owning up and being able to gain some perspective. Very big of you.

The decommissioning of unsanctioned trails is often even more heart-breaking because of the labour and personal connection riders build - but it's pretty clear that isn't the way to build trust. I'm hoepfull there will be some balance in the trails built from now on, but how exactly do you build a natural trail if you are Metro?

Gotta go now - I've got a lunch meeting with Paris to discuss strategy and compensation.

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richard
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Richard  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:56 a.m.

Thanks Cam, didn't take it personally and I'm glad you picked my post as it was the OP of that thread and really the first comment about the trail. Re- reading it months later it definitely was much more "dickish" (is that a word), than I meant to be (which I'm a bit embarrassed about), but I was trying to get a reaction to see if others had the same view as me, or maybe I was way off base with my feelings. From that thread and others since I see that many have similar views as me, but probably the majority do not share my view. Cheers

cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:11 a.m.

Well spoken.

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mtraslin
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Mike Traslin  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:43 p.m.

As someone who grew up in North Van…. That started riding around 30 years ago…. It would be good to see some trails left the way they were originally….. And if you change the trail. Then maybe just change the name of the trail. My background in mountain biking. Some trail work…… Youngest mountain biker at 18 to qualify at the first World Mountain Bike champs 1990. Couple top 10's in World Cup Downhill. Couple top 20 in World Cup Cross country….. I guess it is part of life…. but it is a little heartbreaking to see trails lose there soul. It is still always worth it to get out there regardless…..

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wig
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Wig  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:03 p.m.

Fromme still has old-school knar tech that is freaky. I love it, and am still practicing last weeks missed lines. There are people on these trails; old- school guys that don't make a big deal about it. Fromme is in great shape and has seen the love where is needed.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:36 a.m.

I ran into a couple of guys on Crippler on Saturday and I almost scared them out of their skin. Great trail, and I've spent two hours shooting on it recently without encountering a soul. Indeed the tech is there - and it's being under-utilized. That said, the more groomed trails have been a great avenue for introducing kids and new riders to the Shore - and brining back riders who had left the sport. One day last week I only ran into riders in those categories. One guy who was riding seventh because he rides Expresso with his six year old boy - and that got him back in the sport. He had given up on riding Shore trails and had become a roadie. No Expresso and he'd still be training for fondos. It's possible to progress as a mountain biker on Fromme now - and that wasn't possible a few years ago.

It wasn't long ago that seeing a rider under 35 on Fromme was rare. Now there are all sorts of young and new riders and I think it's amazing. And not because it affects the bottom line of this business - because it doesn't (70% of our traffic comes from outside Canada). New riders give us a voice, they bring energy and vitality - and their numbers give us pull with landowners and other stake holders. And it feels good to share.

I used to be that grumpy guy who didn't want anyone new riding on Fromme. How selfish is that?

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wig
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Wig  - Oct. 8, 2015, 1:55 p.m.

HAHA, I was one of the guys on Crippler. I was having trouble making a tight turn and hitting the narrow line by the tree. We offered to film you.
Anyway, on the way up, a guy older than me passed me climbing up the nicely updated Griffin, we showed a young girl where the easiest trails were, then we rode 1/2 way up with some Dads pulling their kids to Expresso. It's the new norm. There are so many things on Fromme for everyone.

cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 11:58 p.m.

That's awesome. Did you guys film me? We were shooting some lines in the wet yesterday and it was nasty slick. So slick that I wiped out pretty badly hiking down a line, and Kaz did an endo to face.

brente
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brente  - Oct. 7, 2015, 5:19 p.m.

Nice sidewalk…what say we leave this crap in the bike parks.

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Faction
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Derp  - Oct. 7, 2015, 7:31 p.m.

we've got a bad ass over here

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brente
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brente  - Oct. 7, 2015, 7:54 p.m.

Not a badass just can't stand sidewalks in the forest leave them for the bike parks.Ruining good old trails with this crap is criminal.

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:22 a.m.

Did you build or maintain Dale's? Would you like a kleenex?

JLW124
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Jason Wolfe  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:16 p.m.

Cam,
I think it would help if the riding community knew what Metro Van's master plan was. I think most of us are in the dark on that. All we see is some long- established (and some newer) Seymour trails being suddenly decommissioned while new machine-built ones are constructed. As the primary users of said trails, and as tax-payers who fund the work, shouldn't we at least be informed, if not consulted?

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jason
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jason  - Oct. 7, 2015, 4:34 p.m.

this is going to sound funny, but there is more than one Jason Wolfe on the Shore. I am the other one, but I agree with Jason above.
I think that some of the anger or spoiled feeling on the shore comes from a lack of communication. NSMBA "dumbing down the shore" for example. NSMBA have done some great work on trails such as Espresso and others but when it looks like all the trails are getting smoothed out and no harder trails getting attention or getting built people get upset. Now we see work being done on Upper Oilcan and it is great. However, like Jason said above, if plans were communicated, along with timelines, it may help riders understand that while we get a great paved trail in one place, we also get "X" gnarly trail in another.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:22 a.m.

Proud to know both Wolf Boys.
I'm not sure how Metro would communicate with riders, but I agree. At the same time there has to be an enormous amount of red tape involved in getting something like this done. It seems to me that lengthy public consultation would paralyze the process. And then there is the relationship between the nsmbA and Metro. Complicated to be sure.

jason
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jason  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:27 a.m.

Agree Cam and God forbid there be process that results in nothing getting built. But how about some signage letting people know what is going on. Or a pamphlet laying out the plan (close Lola/Cambodia but build xyz trail). Same goes for NSMBA. At least then the riding public would know what is coming and the reasons. They could then take their gripes up with the entity or governing body directly.
I think that a lot of the trail changes that have occurred over the last few years could have benefitted from that approach.

JLW124
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Jason Wolfe  - Oct. 8, 2015, 7:43 p.m.

Regarding Metro's plan, sounds like a great topic for an NSMB.com article! Dig out your investigative journalist hat Cam!

cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 11:59 p.m.

Happy birthday to one of you today!

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:32 p.m.

I generally agree with what youre saying Cam; too many unreasonable complaints about trails from people who have nothing close to a moral sense of ownership (trail building and maintenance). Im just not so sure of your point about having a unified voice. If the people in a position of power (or their advisors) even take the time to read the message boards and comments sections, they surely do so with a somewhat realistic context- that it`s an uncensored sample of opinion, that typically does not accurately represent the population at large. The people in power deal with this sort of thing in everything they do.

Fundamentally, I think that people should be free to express their opinions no matter how stupid they seem, and its great that you do that. I see that youre trying to move some of the more extreme negative opinions to a place you (and I) see as being more reasonable, and I think thats a great thing too. I guess ideally Id just like to see these extreme negative opinions change because they see the value in having this kind of trail up on Seymour, rather than doing it to conform to some unified voice. (I understand you were trying to do both the former and the latter. Not trying to beat you up.)

And of course too many people around here are spoiled. It damn near defines the place.

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nzstormer
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Michael Stormer  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:24 p.m.

I honestly don't understand the "it doesn't fit in" argument. To paraphrase that would be to say it's not the same as everything else. Why would we want all the trails to be the same? People lamenting the loss of the old line - I can understand, but to complain about the creation of this line is really just posturing. Cam, well done on this article - too much complaining lately from us, who are so fortunate - it's nice to see some celebrating of the awesomeness. More celebration of awesomeness please. Personally, I am very thankful for everyone who makes the shore all that the shore is.

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Skip
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Skip  - Oct. 7, 2015, 12:28 p.m.

Great article Cam. Couldn't agree more. I'd also echo MightyTed's comments that it would be good to have a little more accountability on the NSMB boards. I don't know how you do that, but it's gotten so bad I think it's time.

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kperras
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Kenneth Perras  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:40 a.m.

Nobody likes facts.

Out of 278 trails shown on the North Shore Trail Forks site, 150 are rated black, double black, and proline (triple black?). That's more than half the trails. This doesn't include all the unmapped lines that many ride which can easily be classified as double blacks or harder.

If you look at the Greater Vancouver Area and inlcude the Coast Mountains, the percentage drops to 33%, which is incredible in that we have access to that many challenging trails and the North Shore enjoys a higher percentage of challenging trails within a region known for the best riding in the world.

As someone else said "Variety is the spice of life".

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Marco
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Marco  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:18 a.m.

You nailed it. There are so many challenging trails on the shore and people complain for a few of them dumbed down.

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dfiler
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dfiler  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:28 a.m.

I rode this trail last weekend. Just visiting from Pittsburgh I had no idea about the controversy. Here's my unbiased take…

Dale's was fun. I was grinning ear at the bottom. Then we hiked up to ride it again. With that said, I actually posted a video of it to facebook with a caption saying that it was the least awesome trail we rode. But all of the trails were world class and awesome, some just less awesome than others. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of super wide bike park flow trails. Yet I also like that they exist. In a perfect trail system, this flow trail would extend the entire length of the mountain. And It would be surrounded by other type of single track.

Variety is key. It would truly suck if every trail looked like this or if many trails were converted to flow trails. But we should welcome the building of a full length flow trail as just one component of a complete trail system.

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mightyted  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:05 a.m.

I agree Cam. I'd also like to point out that nowhere else that I know of is there the density of riders versus the relatively small trail network as there is on the shore. And we continue to leave the burden of trail building and maintenance of a relatively small number of people.

I think that NSMB.com needs to be accountable for providing an avenue for a number of internet titwanks to sign on and complain annonymously about how our trail network is managed. What the shore needs now is solidarity, but social media and annonimity is systemic poison for that. Stricter rules for account creation may be appropriate for your website.

The DNV, City Councillors and Monica Cravers out there can all see what goes on here. People should be accountable for what they say.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:33 a.m.

Are you suggesting we go to real names only on our bulletin board? Holding people accountable for what they say would be great - but it seems to me that implementation would be a challenge.

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mightyted  - Oct. 7, 2015, 11:45 a.m.

Challenging, not impossible.
Occasional 2 factor authentication could be used to help identify secondary accounts.

republicmalcolmisland
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RepublicMalcolmIsland  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:43 p.m.

I would love a forum built around a subject I am passionate about, to use peoples real names. I would be a member of that forums commenting community.
I would bring an absurd amount of clicks with me as well. So your advertisers can paw their dirty little gnarled and misshapen cabbage smelling fingers throughout as much of my browsing history as they can get their grotesque appendages on. A small burden, but one I am gladly willing to bare for such an online utopia.

SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:42 p.m.

My two cents… those of us that wish to use are real names- as there are those that are already… or sign in their signature file at the bottom of their post- those people over time will become more regarded within the community for what they say- whether or not we agree with them.

So, I think if more of the stand up and have integrity people do sign as their real names, even in their signature… (leave account handles as is) then… slowly the conversational tone will shift.

Making people sign on as real may not work… but those that wish to have a great conversation on any number of issues we agree with or not… can have that conversation a level that is not anonymous BS rants and attacks. It could get to the point where that stuff will just drop off since then they become the trolls.

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:41 p.m.

"What the shore needs now is solidarity,". Respectfully disagree Ted

Diversity of opinion is fine. Whistler and Squamish riders don't agree on everything but everything seems to work fine - just to give one example.

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mightyted  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:57 p.m.

Lee, I don't think you're comment is within context but I'll clarify anyways.
Respectful disagreement and conflict resolution is a form of Solidarity. I'm not Bill O'Reilly. Say what you want. All I ask is that people think about what they say before they post it. A lot of work has gone into gaining support from land owners, residents and the DNV. The worst thing we can do is come off like a bunch of ungrateful, poo flinging monkeys.

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:19 p.m.

Ted. Sorry about that lack of contextual understanding! I couldn't agree more that politeness and good manners is the foundation of the community; indeed of any community.

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mightyted  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:22 p.m.

Would you agree that sometimes forgiveness is required to move forward in a community?

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:28 p.m.

Hmmm i don't want to pollute this thread with offtopic meanderings. Howabout board PM

blickgnar
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blickgnar  - Oct. 8, 2015, 7:08 a.m.

Forgiving someone who has no remorse is just rolling over

cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:41 a.m.

You can have diverse opinions without being divisive. Therefore you can have diverse opinions and show solidarity. It's tough to see much downside to solidarity, particularly when within that framework productive discussions can take place.

When one party, in any dispute or difference of opinion, is able to let go of being right and winning, and see the other party's perspective, it's usually enough to resolve the issue.

One party can start a battle - but it takes two to wage a war.

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:57 a.m.

Cam speaking to generalities I agree. But also speaking to generalities I would say that politeness and respect is a pre requisite to resolving issues. Adding to that, peremptory diktats from on high create more issues than they raise.

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:45 p.m.

I disagree on your point of anonymity. I think most people use names other than their own for the very slight degree of wit they assume it bestows upon them, not because it allows them to avoid taking responsibility for their comments. Communication on the internet is largely a parallel reality. The people interacting typically don't know each other in the flesh, but if they do, they know their respective online names and therefore are subject to the accountability you mention. I don't know what sort of accountability that really is though, or at least how it differs to the 3D world we live and breathe in. If someone says some dumb shit online, they'll typically get called on it, or it will be so obvious to everyone that it's dumb shit and it gets ignored. And if someone repeatedly writes comments that are off in one way or another, they get a reputation for it just like real life. Just because someone isn't using their real name doesn't mean they're practically anonymous in the typical context we're talking about here (although I do acknowledge there could be criminal activity in other contexts online).

My take on this accountability problem is that if I see something that's clearly wrong (or whatever) to me, I comment on it in a way that demonstrates how it is wrong as best I can. Maybe there's a back and forth, maybe not, but it's laid out for readers to see and interpret for themselves. I think it's a little bit important for people to chime in with their dissenting opinions though, especially to obviously extreme comments, so that readers can get something closer to a balanced sense of where the community's head is at. And really, it's not about the people writing stuff, it's about the things being written.

Why don't you use your real name? You disagreed strongly (even mockingly) with a comment I made a few months ago, and I'm pretty sure your view would have been more representative of the community here. While my position is unchanged, I think it's great that a reader gets to see a counterpoint to what I wrote, and make up their own mind about it.

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mightyted  - Oct. 7, 2015, 10:09 p.m.

Hey Nat, Good to hear from ya.

The anonymity I am attacking is the kind that lets people post online without thinking about the impact of their comments. It's rampant on FB, and sometimes here. Yes people can disagree but often by the time we have a titwank in back- pedal mode the damage has already been done. Think how the DNV feels when they spend 60k to groom upper dales then a bunch of whiners complain about it. Think how digger feels someone suggests that only people who can ride the shore should be allowed to build on it. Trust me. A lot of damage was done over the summer.

Integrity is all I'm asking for.

Until I can figure out how to change my account handle, my name is Ted Roome. You can find my blog by clicking on my handle, in case you'd like to know what I look like.

Regards

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 8, 2015, 8:21 a.m.

That's a good, thoughtful reply Ted. Thanks. I'm still not with you on this point though. Maybe I'm unaware of the sort of comments you're talking about, if there's something that you feel is convincing post a link. Despite appearances I'm not that pigheaded. To the example you give above, I'd hope Digger could easily make the judgement that that's a stupid thing to say. And I also hope Digger feels like one of the most loved guys on the shore. I don't think that's a stretch at all.

I like your blog.

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:54 a.m.

A quick update: I just read the forum thread that this article started with (and I should say I generally don't read the forum). It also doesn't seem so bad to me, but I acknowledge that the tone there overall is very negative. My take on the forum is that it's an inner circle where a significant proportion of the participants behave like macho boneheads. And that doesn't appeal to me, or seem representative of the people I meet on the trails.

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mightyted  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:14 a.m.

Most of the threads and comments I'm referring to were taken down so unfortunately you'd have to take my word for it.
I agree that someone of Diggers status should be immune to the recent goings on, what he heard affected him deeply. We need to protect our volunteers.

martyz
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Marty Zaleski  - Oct. 7, 2015, 10:14 a.m.

I had no idea that Metro Van paid for this. Proof that the mountain bike community has succeeded in making them a partner. That's a huge win. And the trail itself is fantastic. It's different than anything else on the shore, sure, but let's be real: we needed the variety. Crossing my fingers that Metro Van likes the result and gets motivated to contribute more.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:42 p.m.

Metro is also currently paying for more improvements on Incline to Mushroom etc. They're doing a fair bit of work.

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the-prophet
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the prophet  - Oct. 7, 2015, 9:25 a.m.

Haha, flow trails have invaded Canada, eh?

Currently trying to outlaw them in Santa Cruz County, for some reason every new trail built or being planned around here is like this. Smooth, wide and easy.
If you want massive smooth trails you could ride a skateboard on, go to the skate park or pump track.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2015, 9:50 a.m.

A difference is that we have miles and miles of technically challenging trails. Many of them see hardly any traffic anymore - but some of us still ride them.

I've ridden quite a bit in Santa Cruz and a trail that is considered challenging there (for tech rather than gaps or jumps that is) would be considered an easy trail here. When a flow trail is built here it increases the diversity, but not everyone wants that obviously.

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ricky-pincott
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Ricky Pincott  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:56 p.m.

We have the same thing in Wellington NZ. Well sorta, we don't have massive amounts of super gnar tech (legal anyways). We recently had a "flow" trail built with machines, and there was a heap of people complaining about the abundance of flow trails all over the place. It's like the ONLY trail like that in welly, yet people still complain cos they are getting on the bandwagon. People like complaining, no!, they LOVE complaining about stuff

hoz
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Hoz  - Oct. 8, 2015, 12:58 a.m.

Well said Ricky. After all, Wellington aint Rotorua…..

jonathan-harris
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Jonathan Harris  - Oct. 7, 2015, 9:07 a.m.

Agree. When you look at other areas and what it takes to build new trails with volunteer hours, let alone having someone paid to come in to build it, the North Shore and BC in general is a very special spot. I moved to Vancouver 14 years ago and have never taken the network of trails there for granted. There are very few places, particularly big cities like Vancouver, that have access to such a large selection of mountain bike trails within a hour drive.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:53 a.m.

In an ideal world each mountain would have a full top-to-bottom trail of this type. We need to have enough foundational type trails (that are fun for everyone) to keep up with current traffic volume.

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Timmigrant
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Tim Coleman  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:49 p.m.

And to that point look at the most popular trails on Fromme; Bobsled and Expresso. For the hardcores complaining "you're dumbing down the shore" your hardcore trails are seeing less traffic, and staying in better shape, it's a win for you Johnny Extreme. Plus riders less comfortable on gnarly beat up trails are having more fun. It's win win win for everyone. I'm loving the rejuvenation of the shore, and the increase in variety of trails and styles, even if all the new trails aren't my particular cup of tea.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

It allows for more variety in a ride, which is a huge improvement to the old days of just shuttling the gnar. Now I can link some singletrack climbing with road climbing to hit old gnar, new tech and the updated flow trails. It's fun to hit a little of everything on a single ride. Or have full-on gnar days just linking janky tech. Options are good.

cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:47 p.m.

One small downside being I'm not sure that Bobsled or Upper Dale's teach you skills you need for the 'rest' of the Shore. Expresso does have some moderate- intermediate rocky/rooty/whatever bits. But unfortunately if you learned to be really good on Bobsled…. you haven't learned what you need to.

Just an observation, not a criticism.

republicmalcolmisland
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RepublicMalcolmIsland  - Oct. 7, 2015, 4:33 p.m.

An observation can be critical in nature. But if someone is to get upset with the observation of reality; they have the problem. I always pick up on things I am struggling to complete/learn quicker when told what I am doing wrong, over being simply told "you aren't doing it'.

Marco
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Marco  - Oct. 8, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

Confidence at speed is a big thing to learn. Easy trail allow beginners to understand how to move on the bike, keep momentum, slow down and get accustomed with the bike without have to think about obstacles.
We often forget how scary and unnatural biking is at the beginning (especially if you start at mature age).

pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

Debatable but worthwhile to mention.

In a way, your point makes their presence even more compelling. Lest the shore be misguidedly thought of as 'one-dimensional' (you and I know it isn't at all), trails like Expresso, Bobsled, and Upper Dale's add a new element. There aren't many things in life that aren't made better by diversity.

cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:11 a.m.

Yep, totally agree.

yvr
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YVR  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:24 a.m.

The Shore (and MTB in general) is self-inflicting the dissention across the ranks by the continual segmentation of the sport. Rewind a decade (decade and a half) and there were two types of bikes - hardtails and soft-tails. Both were XC-oriented. Then 'downhill' bikes showed up. Then 'all-mountain'. Then 'trail'. Then 'park'. Then 'enduro', 'fatbike', '29'er', '27.5', plus+, and whatnot. So rather than having the majority of the population show up with similar bikes able to ride similar trails, the design/technology explosion of recent years has turned the rider population into a completely mixed bag of riders, equipment and expectations. Factor in first-world 'me, me, me' thinking and it shouldn't be surprising that conflict is on the rise.

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Timmigrant
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Tim Coleman  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:20 a.m.

It you don't find the new trail fun you aren't going fast enough. The new trail is tricky to ride fast and great cornering practice. The old trail was beat, and took less time to get down than the new trail. I love the difference in flow of Upper Dales vs. the rest of the trail. And there is still plenty of old-Dales-esque trail to ride. Dales to Forever After to High School is one of my favourite lines down the hill with a wide mix of challenges. Props to the builders!

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Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2015, 10:06 a.m.

my thoughts exactly.

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TheCrimp
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OscarN  - Oct. 7, 2015, 12:13 p.m.

Absolutely spot on. Whenever people complain that trails like bobsled or expresso are too easy, I just tell them to ride faster. Ride faster until it scares you. There, now the trail isn't easy anymore 😉

Awesome work being done all over the shore.

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peterdaam
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Peter  - Oct. 7, 2015, 12:34 p.m.

Wouldn't it have been nice if they could have kept the old one though? to keep everyone happy?
the new trail is fun and you can really rip down it, but I did enjoy the old tech line too.

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Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:44 p.m.

Agree with Peter that it would have been nice to keep both the old and new line. However the reasoning I heard from Metro was that the old Upper Dales was not possible to keep from getting eroded and/or chundered. I've not done the amount of work on Upper Dales that Cam/Jerry/Muddbunnies did and only helped out on trail days there so can't really speak to Metro's reasoning

Timmigrant
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Tim Coleman  - Oct. 7, 2015, 1:56 p.m.

Who is going to maintain both lines? Metro likely doesn't want additional trails and made a decision to upgrade a section of trail rather than build new trail. Regardless of the reason, there are plenty of tech lines on Seymour. For example the rock line on Dales is in far better shape, and far more exciting than the tired section of Upper Dales. C-Buster is right there and still awesome as ever. If every challenging piece of trail was replaced with trail like new Dales I too would be concerned, but it's one very short section of trail, that I didn't think was particularly interesting.

Lee-Lau
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Lee Lau  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:21 p.m.

To the extent that Shar and I have a say, every tech section of the middle steep section C-Buster will be left in as tech as ever. Minimal maintenance there if at all possible

cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2015, 1:33 p.m.

We tried everything to keep the water off. And that was with Digger's help - and he's the water flow guru. When I last rode Upper Dale's it was in worse condition than I had ever seen it - so subsequent maintainers have had similar issues. There was no easy way to make that line sustainable. By which I mean a trail that requires a reasonable level of maintenance.

Faction
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Derp  - Oct. 7, 2015, 2:05 p.m.

people forget that speed in itself is a technical trail feature.

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cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:43 p.m.

Absolutely. And its a 'TTF' we're sorely lacking here on the shore.

dissapointed
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Dissapointed  - Oct. 7, 2015, 7:52 a.m.

More evidence that NSMB has jumped the shark.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2015, 8:06 a.m.

Finally! So Stoked!

Sorry we aren't pandering to 'the hardcore' to make ourselves look hardcore. Which part of my article did you disagree with exactly barbiegrrl?

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cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:41 p.m.

EASY TRAILS CAN'T POSSIBLY BE FUN!

Wait… what? They can? You can try to gap things? Go faster?

While I don't think that anyone will argue with whether or not the new upper Dale's is exactly keeping with the 'spirit' of the old trail, its fun, and a type of trail we really don't have here on the Shore.

You can be a really, really good Shore rider, and you go elsewhere where trails are facemelting fast…. and its a skill set you don't develop here. Cornering at Mach 5.

I find when I end up riding other places (even nearby ones, see: Squamish), I have to remember to actually look ahead. While I don't agree with everything MetroVan is doing, and think they could use a bit more rider input, as you say Cam, variety is the spice of life.

I think we'll incorporate Upper Dale's into tonights nightride….

Faction
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Derp  - Oct. 7, 2015, 5:52 p.m.

whoa you're into shark jumping now Cam? That would make for a TTF. Jumping your bike over a shark would be ultra mega hardcore

cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 9, 2015, 12:02 a.m.

TBH I expected to be roasted alive for this piece. My faith in humanity is restored somewhat by the generally positive reaction and the respectful dialogue that's come with it.

cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 9, 2015, 12:05 a.m.

I think that was a reasonable expectation. Kudos.

nat-brown
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Nat Brown  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:35 p.m.

I totally miss your point/don't see how this reference fits here.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 8, 2015, 10:17 a.m.

You're not the only one. Either a misunderstanding of what 'jumping the shark' means, or terrible trolling. I was hoping for a little more evidence, though - lots of places to enjoy 'shark-jump' content if it's what you're into.

litespeed74
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litespeed74  - Oct. 7, 2015, 7:13 a.m.

I've visited the Shore a few times now and really love the vibe there. The trails are unique that you get a ton of different terrain and flows. I am from Northern Idaho where trails are pretty empty, steep and fun. But the variety and beauty of the Shore and Squamish keep me coming back. I live in Colorado now where all trails are multi-use. (overcrowded and obstacles removed for easy hiking) You guys really have something great up there.

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jan-meyer
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Jan Meyer  - Oct. 7, 2015, 5:14 a.m.

Looks fun, all we got from our council was a super XC, elite level uphill, rhythm destroying crapfest. Well built though, just not fun at all. Which would be ok if they didn't then go ahead and close the illegal really fun trails claiming they have provided a suitable replacement… stupid Australian bureaucrats.

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kain0m
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kain0m  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:14 a.m.

If such a berm trail isn't fun, you're not going fast enough.
And they say variety is the spice in life.

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joel-massey
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Joel Massey  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:10 a.m.

That trail looks rad! Fine it doesn't fit in with all of the other trails in the location but is it a bad thing?! Where I live in the uk we have no support from land owners or the community and the majority of people are against mtb's all together! Be grateful for what you have!

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cooper
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Cooper  - Oct. 7, 2015, 3:50 p.m.

People have more fun arguing and complaining on the internet than riding. 🙁

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