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The Watchmen

March 2, 2015, 4:56 p.m.
Posts: 24
Joined: July 29, 2011

Yes.
It was presented in 2012. It is good to see it implemented. I remember volunteering for it initially but didn't receive further instruction on it after that point.

The picture on the front page this morning isn't really on point as far as image. But I'm not really expecting anything better to come out of John Colebourn and The Province.

You're not bro enough. And you certainly don't ride enough on the Shore to qualify.

March 2, 2015, 5 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

Yes.
It was presented in 2012. It is good to see it implemented. I remember volunteering for it initially but didn't receive further instruction on it after that point.

First presented in 2011 and presented every year since.

2011 AGM Recap
http://nsmb.com/4786-nsmba-agm-2011/

March 2, 2015, 5:44 p.m.
Posts: 8605
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

I think there are a couple of issues here regarding whether the name has come up before.

I vaguely recall hearing about it at AGMs, before any of the current issues had flared up, and on Friday I saw Mark sitting in my kitchen with his Watchmen shirt on. We talked a little about it and I liked the idea - but I didn't give the name much thought.

Seeing it in the newspaper, with the accompanying photo, left an entirely different impression on me.

Another factor which doesn't seem to have been factored in is the current political situation on the North Shore, which happens to correspond to the launch of the Watchmen, coincidentally or otherwise. While this name may not have been problematic at the AGM last year or earlier, the times sadly have changed. There weren't mainstream media organizations talking about a WAR IN THE WOODS then. This has had national media attention - both the sabotage and the hiker and biker conflict - and that attention necessitates a careful and thoughtful strategy.

The rest of us haven't spent any time thinking about the name of this organization before this, but I would hope that the nsmba has. It would be surprising to me if this initiative hadn't been re-evaluated in light of recent events, particularly when this was decided as the ideal time to launch. It's clear that times have changed - at least temporarily - and that the language surrounding nsmba initiatives should be more carefully considered than before. At the same time NSMB.com has made errors with the naming and presenting of information - and I have made countless errors personally over the years. Sometimes it's not until something sees the light of day that its full significance is felt. And when a name or issue is internal it often seems innocuous.

It's clear that many people don't find the Watchmen name problematic, but it's also clear that a group at least as large has an issue with it. I don't think either group is wrong - since these are only opinions - but it seems extremely likely that a name could be found that wouldn't offend either group. And one that wouldn't give people like Monica Craver ammunition to use with the media and politicians. People make mistakes and miscalculate. I'm the poster child for both. That's forgivable. But failing to examine, address or even acknowledge the validity of concerns among people within your organization is somewhat troubling.

March 2, 2015, 5:48 p.m.
Posts: 353
Joined: Feb. 5, 2007

maybe they just already had the tshirts made??

March 2, 2015, 6:11 p.m.
Posts: 3518
Joined: May 27, 2008

With the recent activities on the Shore, how is this organization helping? There may not be a war in the woods, but mountain biking is involved in a war in the media, and the world is watching what's happening on the Shore. Whether it's tongue in cheek or not, that picture probably looks aggressive enough to freak out a few of the Kraal's peers, and now MC is trolling for support on national news sites.

Being cheap is OK. Being a clueless sanctimonious condescending douchebag is just Vlad's MO.

March 2, 2015, 6:46 p.m.
Posts: 1054
Joined: Dec. 9, 2010

north shore penis boyz:rave::r::shhh:

March 2, 2015, 7:02 p.m.
Posts: 221
Joined: March 27, 2014

I like the integration into Trailforks. Thanks Trailforks!

I like the responsible and capable riders and builders involved in a positive future for the Shore. Cheers!

Do any of them have an advanced First Aid cert? Should this be a requirement? I know all rider leaders in NSRide do. This might be a consideration moving forward.

The timing, and imagery of the logo… dunno. First impressions matter. For such a role, a high visibility color is the norm in other trail jurisdictions. This way, if someone is in med distress, you see high vis in the trees a lot easier than black.

For Cypress, maybe we call them Trail Angels- hey wait! That works! Go to the costume store and get those white feather wings too!

Talk less, Say More.

March 2, 2015, 7:11 p.m.
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Perhaps the branding could have been better in light of recent events, as some have pointed out. However, if I'm not the one doing the work, I won't criticize. I won't make suggestions about colours, designs, and facial hair even though they can be an important part of the message.

That being said, the ambassador role they aim to fill can cover a lot of area and have a tremendous impact if they do it right and frame it right. They can be ambassadors that look out for everyone out there, not just bikers. Someone is hurt or lost? Watchmen just happen to come by…it's a good opportunity to strengthen relationships. Also, they might be able to help address the actions of that small minority of bikers that bring us down. We can't expect them to police parking situations or conduct speed checks on BP. However, through positive example, some subtle peer pressure, and engagement with the biking and non-biking community they perhaps can play a role in steering us all in the right direction.

Wishing them well, and thanks to the people that put the effort into projects like this.

March 2, 2015, 7:31 p.m.
Posts: 1006
Joined: Sept. 24, 2003

[QUOTE=cerealkilla';2862496]Perhaps the branding could have been better in light of recent events, as some have pointed out. However, if I'm not the one doing the work, I won't criticize. I won't make suggestions about colours, designs, and facial hair even though they can be an important part of the message.

That being said, the ambassador role they aim to fill can cover a lot of area and have a tremendous impact if they do it right and frame it right. They can be ambassadors that look out for everyone out there, not just bikers. Someone is hurt or lost? Watchmen just happen to come by…it's a good opportunity to strengthen relationships. Also, they might be able to help address the actions of that small minority of bikers that bring us down. We can't expect them to police parking situations or conduct speed checks on BP. However, through positive example, some subtle peer pressure, and engagement with the biking and non-biking community they perhaps can play a role in steering us all in the right direction.

Wishing them well, and thanks to the people that put the effort into projects like this.

I'm not picking on you but a comment in here irked me a touch… We are all ambassors for our sport whether we wear a t-shirt or not. Yes it is good that this crew is visible but at the same time if i see someone lost, in physical or mechanical need of help or if it is just a cheery hello and waiting for them to climb a steep section of the BP that I'm about to ride down… I am a good ambassador. I stop to help, I'm courteous to everyone, not just a fellow biker. I try and portray a good image of the typical person that rides the trails on the north shore.

Lots of good comments here and I just think that the timing and image portrayed is a little off based on the attention that our sport and the perceived conflict (even though there isn't one) is getting in the media recently.

Jon-boy.

March 2, 2015, 7:36 p.m.
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

That's great Jon-Boy, join the club. I whole heartedly agree with your assertion about our shared responsibility. However, the comment was not about you or me or every other rider. The Watchmen will themselves be watched by the public. That potentially makes their actions matter, and thus form the focus here.
We can second-guess ourselves and each other all day long. I'm going to be happy to get behind those that put the pedals down and take action. They may not do it my way, but I bet they'll do a load more good than any perceived harm.

Maybe we can have a pink-shirt edition for Valentines, and a green one for that all-important holy day in March! :)

March 2, 2015, 7:47 p.m.
Posts: 18433
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

This is about reporting trail conditions so they can be acted on. It's not first aid, bikini bike washes, free chain lube or directions. Please don't picture a volunteer ski patrol.

And yes, we (you included) are all ambassadors.

March 2, 2015, 7:53 p.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: May 8, 2010

[QUOTE=cerealkilla';2862496]Perhaps the branding could have been better in light of recent events, as some have pointed out. However, if I'm not the one doing the work, I won't criticize. I won't make suggestions about colours, designs, and facial hair even though they can be an important part of the message.

That being said, the ambassador role they aim to fill can cover a lot of area and have a tremendous impact if they do it right and frame it right. They can be ambassadors that look out for everyone out there, not just bikers. Someone is hurt or lost? Watchmen just happen to come by…it's a good opportunity to strengthen relationships. Also, they might be able to help address the actions of that small minority of bikers that bring us down. We can't expect them to police parking situations or conduct speed checks on BP. However, through positive example, some subtle peer pressure, and engagement with the biking and non-biking community they perhaps can play a role in steering us all in the right direction.

Wishing them well, and thanks to the people that put the effort into projects like this.

I think you're reading into it too much.

According to their mandate on the NSMBA website, they are out there to observe and report trail conditions. Nothing more.

Everyone should be a good ambassador for whatever title they choose to use for their use of the forest (recreational user, hiker, biker, human being, etc.) regardless of what t-shirt your wearing. Anyone can help anyone else.

March 2, 2015, 8:16 p.m.
Posts: 3483
Joined: Nov. 27, 2002

Great PR skills with those names. And then why not pose for the news paper with a bunch of guys out front, in black, looking mean with arms defensively crossed?

Who is the public relations wizard here?

My god that's bad. I feel a bit embarrassed for them to be honest.

Just for the record I think everyone at the NSMBA is amazing but this is high octane fuel to the anti MTB fire.

"I do like how you generally bring an open-minded and positive vibe to the threads you participate in"

- Morgman

March 2, 2015, 8:21 p.m.
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

I'm not really reading into it overly much, or expecting anything of them. I'm only responding to the criticisms of them looking too burly and not friendly and fluffy enough.

I think it's pretty clear that they have no mandate to do official outreach activities or play ski-patrol. However, by virtue of the Province article, and other recent attention, they will be noticed more, and will (whether they like it or not) be viewed as representatives of MTB.

I quote from the article "He also likes the idea of having identified representatives of the association out on the trails on a daily basis. “The Watchmen are ambassadors as well,” he said."

So, um yeah. Again, just so the context is not lost here.

[HTML_REMOVED]No expectations (by me, or most others) for them to do official outreach

[HTML_REMOVED]They will be looked at as example-setters whether they like it or not, AND have been marked as "Ambassadors" by persons (Trailforks spokespersons) associated with the project. You put on the shirt, you're still just another rider, but public may view you differently (regardless of faulty assumptions)

[HTML_REMOVED]They will encounter opportunities to play this role and engage in _informal _outreach, again whether they set that out in their mandate or not. Public members won't just say, "Oh" that Dave guy was nice. They will also remember the "uniform".

[HTML_REMOVED]Some care to criticize their image for its impact on the above-noted capacity and public perceptions.

[HTML_REMOVED]I won't second guess the designs of the program. I just wish them well.

[HTML_REMOVED]Everyone being an "ambassador" seems to be mutually agreeable to all of us, and does nothing to contravene the above statements.

March 2, 2015, 8:25 p.m.
Posts: 18433
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

And yes, we (you included) are all ambassadors.

That was intended as a general, wide sweeping "you" to anyone reading.

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