He spends his hours raking, digging and shoveling. He watches you cutting corners and blowing up berms. He’s had enough and tells you what's going on in his mind.
The grumpy trail builder:
I’m impressed. Not many people would have spotted the lightly worn path heading into the undergrowth. Hardly any would then have followed it, dragging their bike through the bushes as they went. Fewer still would then have come across the nearly, but obviously not quite, completed trail and thought “Yup, I’m going to shralp the shit out of this”.
Also, it would have been nice if you could have done it on a slightly drier day, saturated dirt is great for building features with and all, but until we’ve packed it down any tyres are going to leave massive ruts. And you left some massive ruts.
And I know, I know. I can’t complain too much. It’s an unsanctioned trail and I shouldn’t really be building it myself, but guess what, I’ve probably seen you riding my paid for work in the bike park too. Yeah, my free time and worktime have considerable overlap, I should probably find more diversity in my life. Let’s not let that distract me from my rant....
I might be getting paid to fix your crappy attempts at “blowing up” that berm, but it doesn’t mean I want to. You think street sweepers celebrate every crisp packet and red bull can they find as a justification for their salary? Actually, whilst I’m on the topic, I’m not saying it was you dropping the energy bar wrapper on the deck, but someone did, and someone else had to pick it up. I digress. When you see Kade2000 shralping the shit out of a corner, he’s doing that through a combination of ungodly levels of technique and being 95% muscle. When you do it, you come into the corner slowly, grab four fingers of back brake, and pretty much skid to a halt. It’s not big, it’s not clever, and it make a right bloody mess of my berm. Just. Don’t .Do .IT!
Whilst we’re at a corner, let’s talk about straight lining. It doesn’t just piss us off that you can’t corner for shit yet are desperate for that KOM (don’t worry, the fast kids aren’t on Strava so you can let your ego rest easy, although if it’s that important to you, maybe you should try turning up to a race one day and see how that goes...), we tend to put corners in for a reason. To slow you down into areas where there might be other trail users, to avoid heavy braking straight down the fall line that’ll just become an eroded water drainage trench in a few months, hell, just for the simple pleasure of having a well-made corner to execute. Honestly, setting up for, carving through, and exiting a corner well is one of the most rewarding facets of mountain biking. You should try it one day.
Shall we go back to the trails outside the bike park? Many hands make light work and it’d be great if you feel like helping put back and doing some digging. Saying that, can you dig WITH the folk that made the trail, not against them. I mean yeah, you can’t ride every feature on a trail, I get it. But it turns out there’s a whole load of folk who can, and were quite looking forward to trying. Still, thanks for going to the effort of returning with a sledgehammer and smashing the rocks out until you could ride it. I guess we’ll just go and find somewhere else to build a challenging trail.
That’ll last until you and Mr 16lb sledge come to visit.
***Seriously though. Almost every trail user is a respectful and fair rider almost all the time. And almost every one of us has had our little devil moment and done something we’re maybe not proud of, but was definitely fun at the time. Support your local trail builders, come out on dig days if you have the chance, and honest, we’re not all as grumpy as I seem here. Mostly.***