Yeah. I apologize if that sounds harsh on Cam, not my intent to dump on him at all. His apology and 'climb down' were all great and the right thing to do.
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You make some good points that are food for thought, especially around how I
perceive things and frame my comments. The "we" is quite notable, I need to
think about my perspective out there. Need to think about that one for a bit.
As for exposing irrational comments, I have posted a fair bit on various sites, trying to bring some sanity to the situation. I have a posting up above that has some of my comments, tough to get them without the context of the discussion though.
Your point about the minority with poor comments is quite relevant, the 'sound bite' nature of these boards allows for some poor and irrational comments.
The MSM is pretty poor, they are looking for the sensational sound bites that make great headlines. I have spent a lot of effort online and with family / friends explaining that there is no 'war in the woods', that there seems to be great relatinships between all trail users out there. In my opinion, 'war in the woods' simply does not exist. I had a beer last night with a Kneeknacker runner buddy of mine, looked for his opinion. He spends a lot of time running on the trails, interacts with mtb'ers all the time. He agrees, there is no 'war in the woods', simply media hype.
Seems to be that the best thing we can do is get past all this and move forward as one big group of north shore trail users.
"How about being part of the solution, instead of being one of the few posters exasperating the problem, by sharing some positive experiences you have had interacting with other trail users?"
I've had about 30 - 40 postings on various media boards commenting on how it really is out there, trying to put a good spin on it, here are of few I have posted defending mtb'ers and our good work out there . . . (apoligies, the context may be a bit tough)
"You obviously have never been on the north shore trails. People are not rude, no fingers given to eachother, it's a pretty awesome place."
"Hey, no risk in stereotying there at all ? Ever actually speak with mountain bikers ? You would be surprised with who participates in the sport."
"That is EXACTLY what has been going on on the North Shore for the past 5 - 10 years. The groups generally have great relationships, behave in a civil manner to eachother."
"Agreed, there is no 'war' in the woods on the North Shore. I ride and hike the trails a few times a week, no issues. Other reality… it is pretty much only mountain bikers that do any trail building. Everyone henefits from their good trail work."
"Another analogy . . . a lady gets upset at the kids zooming down the slide at
the park. They just whip down that thing, exit at speed, never know how that
will end up. So, best to put a log half way down the slide, show those kids a
thing or two.
The consequences of her actions were to hurt people. Come around a blind corner and hit a log, that can do some damage to someone.
The trails she blocked are mountain bike trails, in fact, they are not great trails to hike on. And, they will built and are maintained by the mtb community, with the blessing of the local government."
"You know that the obstacles were placed on officially sanctioned mountain
bike trails ? The landowners have endorsed the trails, there is a sign at the
top, they are completely legal and accepted by (nearly) all.
Hiking on these trails would be like snowshoeing up a ski run and complaining. There are countless hiking trails, heck, the mountain bikers don't mind if you hike on their trails, just be sure to expect them.
This lady set out to sabotage a trail, a very possible outcome of her actions is to injure someone. Just as we would be outraged if someone placed a log across a child's slide in a park, we should be outraged at her disregard for someone's safety in this manner."
I agree, this whole "War in the Woods" is absolute nonsense. It makes for great headlines but completely misrepresents how it actually is out there.
Sorry if it came across like I was dumping on you, not meant that way. You have suddenly found yourself in the media in a completely unexpected way.
Cam, apologizing was the right thing to do, a full and official retraction of the original article may be warranted.
This is a good time for reflection, by NSMB.COM and users of the site. Are we a major part of the problem by writing and posting articles, allowing a free- for-all discussion board and being too sensitive?
This situation reflects the nearly consequence-free nature of online reporting. Mainstream media would never have reported only one side of the story, especially withholding one key fact (the bite) that made their side look bad.
Unfortunately this whole incident dirties the reputation of NSMB.COM, it makes us look like the evil trail threats that we are.
Maybe it's time for an official outreach by the mountain bikers to the hiking community. Have an open house somewhere, answer questions, hear concerns, legitimately understand their position. The attitude some bikers have towards Espresso is horrible, "we built it, so it's our trail" sort of attitude. We built a public trail on public land, if hikers want to use it, we have to suck it up and accept that it is for the public, not just mountain bikers.
Every time I see hikers I say hi, try to be polite. My worry is that the one time I am not it will end up being the mayor's mother, a reporter's grandmother or someone else that could cause us real grief.
This incident really worries me about the blow-back on the mtb'ing community. Quite frankly, this incident and how we have reacted to it embaresses me as a mountain biker.
I simplified for the purpose of this board, but, one cannot extend freedom of speech to slander or where ir causes harm. Yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre is not expression of freedom of speech, nor would it be if I falsely accused you of getting it on with animals. I can't defend those comments under the pretence of 'freedom of speech'.
The problems arise when we try to define 'hurt'. Is that physical, reputational and emotional? Does it include belief systems as well?
Hyperbolic nonsense like "runaway global warming" and "ecologically suicidal tar sands" makes people tune out. They are as credible as the nonsense a few years ago about the himilayan glaciers melting within 20 years.
A message should be believeable, otherwise people tune out.
Thanks for the clarification, in my mind you did. Good point, I do like the civility on this board!
No, it has nothing to do with what I believe in, just a very odd bit that distracts from your piece. It's an interesting commentary that would may benefit from sticking to the point, less rambling. For example, why not inject some tax policy into it? Well, you would not because it is irrelevant, even though we all pay taxes.
I support people saying anything they please, so long as it is not offensive. I just don't see how this commentary benefits from linking her actions to the oil sands. Regardless, an interesting read it is.
Good read until you injected your own personal politics into it
"…decided despite the atrocities occurring in the Athabascan tar sands…"
unfortunately that taints your article as a personal soapbox on various completely unrelated issues.
My preference . .. . keep your personal politics out of my mountain biking.
Sure it is cool, but wow will it be expenseive to replace ! I had the option to go XTR, but went XT, much cheaper to replace the derailleurs and other bits I occasionally break on the Shore.
I have a pair of those, best purchase I made in the past 12 months. Feet are comfortable and warm. If you ride during the winter and don't have winter riding shoes, get a set of these.
Awesome article, love the spirit !
Wow, great riding ! Seriously, that guy kicks butt.
I can't wait to see the videos in 5 years when the best NS rider is cruising down bermed dirt trails.
Goretex socks, worth every $0.01. Pain to take off when they're wet, can't 'pull' them on like regular socks, but wow do they ever keep your feet dry and warm !
If not in the 'essentials list', they should be #1 in the 'not so essentials'.
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