9 comments found
We have run into these issues down in Bellingham.
There are a couple styles of mountain bike riders:
-old school XC. These folks like steep climbs, challenging roots, tight corners, primitive trails. Frequently complain about corners getting bermed that didn't need help, roots getting taken out, "teeth taken out".
-Beginners and casual riders. Like less than 10% grade climbs, wider, smoother trails.
-"Flow riders". Like flatter grade trails, that don't get all brake bumped, wide trail, big berms, jumps. These guys like to dig, but have a tendency to want to berm EVERYTHING, and put jumps EVERYWHERE.
-Old school "shore" riders. Like the woodwork and stunts. Not too many of these guys left, and very few that actually want to do the woodwork. Most of the O.G. builders that started out building tons of woodwork everywhere (myself, included), have moved away from woodwork unless it is truly the only, and best option. Woodwork is expensive and time consuming to build, and has a short lifespan in comparison to dirt work or rock work.
-DH riders. Like the steep and the gnar. Frequently think that "sustainable" trail = ghey trail. In many cases, think that the only good DH trails will always be illegal trails. I personally think you can build super gnar, super steep trail that is fun, sketchy, life threatening, etc, and is still sustainable, AKA, does not turn into a creek bed.
So there are 5 main styles of riding, and 5 main styles of trail. I think there should be good options FOR EVERYONE!
WMBC is a bit ahead of NSMBA in some ways, and following NSMBA's lead in
others. For example, we have been averaging turnouts of 40 volunteers for the
last 5 years or so, with max turnout of 85. This is with population of 100k.
So Vancouver, with population of near a million, is somewhat off the back in
terms of volunteerism, and community involvement. SOFT HANDS CITY BOYS. Sorry,
can't help myself. 😛
Some of it is due to the city boy aspect; busy career type people with "more important" things to do. I do feel like shore builders are pretty quick with the "you're with us, or you're against us" mentality, and would catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
On the other hand, NSMBA's TAP and Builders' Academy are fantastic ideas, and Mark Wood has worked with us to bring those ideas south with good success so far.
Big trail days are tough to organize. When you have 50 people, with varied levels of building experience, and varied ideas of what is a "good trail", wandering around with tools in hand, a lot of work gets done, but a lot of times, you end up with a bunch of roots and rocks taken out for no reason, lots of little holes dug at the side of the trail, random jumps built where they don't belong, berms everywhere, etc, etc, etc.
A couple things that have made our build days work smoother:
-extensive planning of trail work, with marking paint indicating exactly what sections need help. If there is no hot pink marking paint, NO DIGGING needed.
-Advertising the scope of the trail work project ahead of time.
-Educating volunteers on trail design and work. This takes time and comes with practice. The builder's academy has been a big help in this regard.
MANSMELL! This is a good photo and a rowdy line.
Portal is fun and scary. Two or three people have died on that trail.
Ambrose looking sharp in the Sundowners. I need another pair.
That's what my bike looked like when I got it.
It's a fun bike
9 comments found