Have Mountain Bikers become the new Motards?

nathanm

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Mo-tard (noun) ~ Motorbike Retard

Unfortunately we're seeing lots of unauthorised riding on private property and closed trails (here in Tas at least) and trail damage from unskilled riders removing technical obstacles to suit their skillset during the zombie apocalypse, well at least is being concentrated due to it.

its something i'm seeing and hearing more of as people flock to the sport in greater numbers.

For decades Motorbike riders were the culprits continually tearing up MTB trail and riding on public land, but are Mountain Bikers now becoming more of an issue. There seems to be this entitled attitude of because i have a MTB I should be able to ride where I want (like moto/4WD owners have/had), when I want in any direction I want regardless of other riders/walkers/horse riders etc and the trails should be made to suit my individual skillset and if not I'll make them so.

or is this just me?
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
Probably just you.

Just kidding - perhaps the proportion of riders that understand and appreciate all the prior effort in gaining access to land and building trails (and as such consider it a privilege to be able to ride them) is diluted by those with the "have bike, will ride and change shit however I please" approach?

I've watched some local kids scratch out a bunch of jumps and berms in a local park over recent weeks. It would be no more than 30m x 30m of bush but it's got shit going everywhere through it. Even seen a couple of Dads there with shovels, making up wooden ramps and what not. All this within 5k's of sanctioned trails - go figure. I think council might have turned a blind eye to it when it was just a couple of small dirt poppers, but I reckon they'll go beserk when they see the development it's become and the impact on the bush.
 
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Jim Junkie

Used to sell drugs, now he just takes them
Can't disagree with the sentiment. I was on a couple of Bookface groups for local mountain biking and had to leave because the entire discussion devolved into people spider-webbing trails at any little obstacle that wasn't a nice smooth roller. Fair enough to have that discussion, but the attitudes of many were just way too entitled.

Add to that the last few times I've been out riding, I've noticed a distinct uptick in shitty b-lines & shortcuts carved into long-standing legitimised trails, which is just disappointing to see. It just reinforces the view that mountain bikers don't care about the impact of trails or anyone else but themselves, which I hope is only the annoying few.

It's a tough issue, at least around me, as there seems to be a lot of opposition from council & local government to get anything new built or maintained for mountain biking. Numbers are growing fast & the existing trails are getting crowded, even more now with the influx of people during the zombie apocalypse.

Even the local warm up / skills park area is crazy busy most days now and it's tough to get the kids there safely for a ride. Naturally I've taken the only logical path here, turning my front yard into a pump track. It may be private property, but my wife authorised it :D.
 

pink poodle

Our man in Japan
The lockdown has restricted me to riding one very central and popular shit hole with few interesting trails due to its proximity to home. The place is littered with filthy urchins who should be at home annoying their parents who chose to have them, not me. And damnit some of them are also good riders. There are also the swarms of loosers with meaningless lives that don't know what to do now they have been freed from their cube farms. They should be at home masturbating, not sex you arseholes!!! We can't risk any more of you.

These groups people trash the trails through over use, enjoying skids, and general lack of skill or aptitude to gain it. Obstacles that are "too hard" vanish. Stupid shit gets half built and abandoned. Rubbish is everywhere. It's a reality of the sport becoming popular.

If there is anything good about it becoming popular in Australia I'm yet to see it. Higher prices, mega stores, less competition, shitty morons for staff, homogenised bland trails, lock outs, rules, restrictions, and too many arseholes on trails that were once well maintained and unpopulated. I keenly await the day that mountain biking becomes as socially acceptable as rollerblading. Actually that is a bad comparison, lots of douche bags are taking it up at the moment.

And fuck me I hate the whole sale bullshit cliches people imagine when they hear I ride a mountain bike. Nobody ever imagined the red bull rampage Do they!!!???
 

Jim Junkie

Used to sell drugs, now he just takes them
What do people mean by removing features? i've only ever seen people add features to trails.
One example I can think of was perpetrated by the official trail managers. Dingo @ Gap Creek used to have some great rock gardens at the top that got bulldozed into a footpath, along with many other parts. That was frustrating.

In the context of this there's all sorts going on. Logs cut-out / removed by people, rock gardens bypassed or just smoothed out, etc. Dingo again is a good example of what was some switchbacks getting spider-webbed so bad you can barely pick out or ride the original line anymore. People went so far at one point as to dump a bunch of branches & sticks in one of the lines in a high speed blind corner, which was just bloody dangerous.

It's generally just a lot of people taking trail modifications into their own hands for their own wants, disregarding everyone else.
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
And have you ever considered what those features might do to someones strava times?
Yes I had. Believe it or not though, stroking someone's Strava ego with a slightly faster time, for something they didn't actually ride, doesn't rate as a valid excuse for ruining trails (in my opinion).
In fact I'd go one further and say every time a technical feature is bypassed, altered or destroyed in the name of catering for lower skilled riders, you ruin the joy in progressing your skills to match the trail and undermine one of the best elements of MTB'ing in general. If I could get away with it without ramification, I'd pull the fingernails off anyone I caught doing it.
 
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Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Yes I had. Believe it or not though, stroking someone's Strava ego with a slightly faster time for something they didn't actually ride doesn't rate as a valid excuse for ruining trails, in my opinion.
In fact I'd go one further and say every time a technical feature is bypassed, altered or destroyed in the name of catering for lower skilled riders, you ruin the joy in progressing your skills to match the trail and undermine one of the best elements of MTB'ing in general. If I could get away with it without ramification, I'd pull the fingernails off anyone I caught doing it.
Stromlo got massively sanitised last year, made me sad...
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Commercialisation of a sport, is not as good as what a lot of people made it out to be.
What do people mean by removing features? i've only ever seen people add features to trails.
I've seen features removed in Brisbane over the last 10 years, I even asked trail care why and they claimed too dangerous or ordered by local council. It's a total joke when they've part of the trail for the last 15 years. We've got knuckle heads going out to trails with electric chainsaws and chopping everything down that gets in the way of their 800mm bars.
 

Jim Junkie

Used to sell drugs, now he just takes them
They were actually pretty damn lame flat terrain rock gardens. Still, I agree that the trail was better with them.
Well, they were challenging to me at the time (this is about 15 years ago now). The upper one in particular I'd been working on for ages to build my skills on & get the right line. It had deep ruts, was uphill & really needed the right line to get through. I had just made it through once when BAM,Filled with dirt & they became piddly little rock gardens, which slowly turned into smoother dirt.

Maybe it's just my memory from trying to do it on the Shogun & building skills at the time, but that was a real disappointment to see them go. These days I generally just avoid Gap Creek, that side of it at least. It's been progressively ruined over the years & a real shame to see.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Stromlo got massively sanitised last year, made me sad...
Some bits didn't bother me, like the main climb. Lots of beginners and unfit people heading up there.

But I did scratch my head at some of the levelling out the back, like Brindabella (which wasn't tech anyway) and then there was a nice techy climb out of a gully (can't remember the name of this section), which was largely rocks, but there were lines to be learned. They steamrolled a path up that for no good reason.

Luckily though it tends to come back after a few months of riders and some weather, and they seem to leave the darker blue stuff well alone.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
They were actually pretty damn lame flat terrain rock gardens. Still, I agree that the trail was better with them.



Agree, that's shit. The whole top half of Dingo is in an absolutely shit state.
I said that would happen to the flogs if you let people straight line everything.
I rode there first time Sunday since last October, fuck that place has changed for the worse.

Whose doing work in there ? Someone has built up the berms on the Link trail to Rocket Frog and removed any substantial mounds of dirt that you can jump. I was quite shocked, especially the wall ride mound that's been there for years.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Some bits didn't bother me, like the main climb. Lots of beginners and unfit people heading up there.

But I did scratch my head at some of the levelling out the back, like Brindabella (which wasn't tech anyway) and then there was a nice techy climb out of a gully (can't remember the name of this section), which was largely rocks, but there were lines to be learned. They steamrolled a path up that for no good reason.

Luckily though it tends to come back after a few months of riders and some weather, and they seem to leave the darker blue stuff well alone.
Double dissolution got pretty damn sketchy for a while too, was very fun when rutted to shit! Nearly binned it hard there last month not accounting for new works they did to "fix" it...
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Well, they were challenging to me at the time (this is about 15 years ago now). The upper one in particular I'd been working on for ages to build my skills on & get the right line. It had deep ruts, was uphill & really needed the right line to get through. I had just made it through once when BAM,Filled with dirt & they became piddly little rock gardens, which slowly turned into smoother dirt.

Maybe it's just my memory from trying to do it on the Shogun & building skills at the time, but that was a real disappointment to see them go. These days I generally just avoid Gap Creek, that side of it at least. It's been progressively ruined over the years & a real shame to see.
The original rock garden on Dingo was fairly rough, one of the old mechanics at FTR tore their kneecap off on it about 10 years ago.

This is one of the original rock gardens on Dingo from years ago, the lower one was a lot rougher than this.

363112
 

creaky

The obviative
I said that would happen to the flogs if you let people straight line everything.
I rode there first time Sunday since last October, fuck that place has changed for the worse.

Whose doing work in there ? Someone has built up the berms on the Link trail to Rocket Frog and removed any substantial mounds of dirt that you can jump. I was quite shocked, especially the wall ride mound that's been there for years.
No idea but I assume there's no actual trial modification, only maintenance, authorised by BCC. For the last year or more I rarely ride GC trails that don't connect me from the top of Vietnam to the top of Samuel Griffiths as a connection for the occasional dirt commute.
 

Mr Crudley

Eats Squid
A bit ironic and bikes get more capable with more travel that the chunk can end up getting smoothed and flow trailed away.

You have to have a B-line option if you want more less skilled people to ride but they should not mean that the fun stuff must be removed.
It would be pity to take away that fear plus also the sense of achievement of getting through something nasty.

I wonder if or how much is done by the overlord to avoid getting sued when someone inevitably crashes their brains out.

Maybe it is a slow move to have most trails with a G rating.
 

beeb

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I'm pretty consistently a B-line rider, so obviously I'm in favour of the things. But I do believe the B-line should be a slower line, and there should be "armouring" around the line choices so no-one's splitting the difference.

It's one thing I reckon You Yangs MTB has done well, ie: Cressy isn't a super hectic track - but there's options to make it easier or harder as you need. The paved rock-gardens are pretty much mandatory, but safely passable so long as your ambition doesn't exceed your talent - but the small jumps have B-lines that keep the speed matched with those riding with you so you don't end up log-jamming the trail - and the bigger gap jumps have B-lines that get you right out of the way and slow you up a bit so the more skilled riders can safely pass while sending the A-line and don't end up accidentally launching into you as you re-merge.
 
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