Sunday, February 14, 2010

Here to stay

I decided to lay low last week and fight off a cold that was lurking around the edges and threatening to take me down. Fortunately, the strategy paid off and I never really got sick—just spent a few quiet evenings falling more out of shape.

So it felt good to hit the trails Saturday morning and be reminded that some things never change. I still get sluggish after a week of reduced activity. Fat biking is still fun anyway. I still frequently forget what I’m doing and say “hi” to Nordic skiers. And they—most of them, anyway—still scowl like selfish pricks whenever they see a bike.

Allow me to pause for a moment and mention at this juncture that I don’t want to see a single comment from anyone attempting to tell me that “most mountain bikers are skiers, too,” or that I should be nice and not write or say divisive things because we should all just get along and share the trails. I know all that shit. That’s why I’m annoyed.

I’ve been trying to play nice with XC skiers in this town for years. I stay off their “ski-only” trails. I’ve attended meetings between user groups. I’ve been vocal—even obnoxious—in encouraging other riders to practice good trail etiquette on a year-round basis. I’ve tried to remain friendly when encountering skiers, only to have 90 percent of them glare at me as if I were some sort of criminal. Countless other winter riders have spent years making the same efforts as me. And what has it gotten us?

Kicked in the nuts, that’s what it’s gotten us. Over and over and over.

Arrogant skiers still treat us like second-class citizens. They still accost us on the trails and question our right to be there. They still fight our efforts to gain access to public lands. And personally, I think they still believe that if they resist long enough, we’ll give up and go away.

Fuck ’em. I’m running out of patience with their attitude. I’m tired of playing nice and getting kicked in the nuts. And if they think winter mountain bikers are going away, they’re out of their narrow little minds.

I’ll continue to be a responsible trail user, but I own the public trails as much as anyone else. I’m gonna ride my bike. I’m not going to apologize. I’m not going to beg for acceptance. And I don’t care who doesn’t like it.

6 comments:

Joboo said...

You know after awhile, if ya get kicked in the nuts enough times, it stops hurting!!
If I remember right I was up to 110 (but whose counting!!), kicks to the the ol nut shop, after I think kick 10 it stopped hurting, and after kick 110 I walked out on her pycho nut kicking ass. Oh, oh...... Shit we were suppose to be talking about xc skiers???? Oh my bad!! ;)

Remember xc skiers float into their pants they never ever even touch the ground, geez didn't you know they were God-like??!!
Same thing around this area, so now I go out at night and leave fat tire tracks to really
mess with them!!

Peace, Joboo

Vito said...

Holy shit! I am laughing my ass off.
Some of those self righteous bastards even give you the look in the autumn when there is no snow on the ground.

They do it when they are roller skiing on the "FREAKING BIKE TRAILS!!!"

Now that I have my new "Fatbike" I believe there are some trails nearby that need to be ridden on.

Paul Christensen said...

Coming from both tribes, i can see getting ticked at winter riders if:
1)They are riding on fresh groomed before it sets up
2)Trashing the grooves
3)Showing crack (unless its a hot chick)
3)Riding on nordic trails that require a membership. And this one is important, as the membership money is what pays for the grooming, and grooming is what makes 'em so awesome to ride on. So if you are going to ride/poach the nordic trails, pony up for a membership (unless of course they are groomed by the city or state, then all bets are off)
Following these three, no four, simple rules will allow you to ride groomed with a clear, somewhat sanctimonious concience.
However, again coming from both somewhat insular, in-bred tribes, i can assure you that when it comes to thrashing a person, nordic will always triumph over fatbikes. No comparison. None. Zip. Toodling along on a Pugs (or similar devil spawn) is akin to drinking beer on a comfy chaise lounge for gods sake!! La-de-dah,oh look, a moose! La-de-dah, bounce, bounce, bounce. Fun, but not very taxing.
C'mon, harden up, get out on the skinnies! Then you can feel smug and look down on winter riders too! And wear lycra, and drink mulled wine and wear nordic patterned sweaters! And argue endlessly about the latest Fluoro wax.
Good times i tell ya!

Banger said...

Interesting. Most of the skiers here (up north in Fairbanks) simply get out of my way as I am riding. I hardly ever get looks from them unless it's the surprised look of "Holy crap! It's someone on a bike!"

The snottiest folks seem to be the skijorers and the mushers. The average amatuer musher here seems to be completely unable to control their mode of transportation, so I understand their ire at anything that gets in there way. Many skijorers seem to be in the same boat. Strapped to a hairy beast set on full bore and snowplowing for all they are worth to avoid death.

stephengrant774 said...

Horse riders are the XC skiers of scotland.
steve - glasgow

gnarlees said...

I made mention to someone here in Tennessee, after explaining to him what a snow bike was, that I wanted to take it up to the top of the mountain and try it out. It's the only place we really get snow. Anyway, he said " Well, I don't want to see that!". To which I said, "hey, I XC ski too. So I know to stay out of your tracks." Before he walked off, hey restated that he still didn't want me up there.

I'd understand if I was up there riding all over their tracks, but I'm respectful.