Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ride On: Out of our way, we're important

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 12:24 AM

What with this past Saturday being what looked like the last sunny day for some period of time, a friend and I took a mountain bike ride. A ride up a trail that gets a lot of downhill traffic from riders who have been dropped off in the high-country. That always means more than a few encounters with riders bombing down and uphill riders like us going slowly.

Not to worry, on Saturday we encountered several groups of fast downhill riders and via hand signals or shouts established who had the right-of-way. 50 percent of the time we yielded; the other 50 percent the downhill riders yielded.

No matter who yielded, pleasantries, like, "Thanks', "have a great ride", ""have fun" were exchanged.

That was during the first part of the ride. Later things got, well, back to full-on Benditude. You know encounters with uber-serious riders who, because of their self importance, have the right-of-way all the time, always have their race face on and never say a word in passing. In short, riders who give local mountain biking a bad name.

The weird thing is that the problem riders aren't the local "name" riders. Most of the top local pro men and women are the first to observe the pleasantries of the trail and are not overwhelmed with their selves. Look no further than Adam Craig and Carl Decker.

No, it's the second tier of wannabes who prove insufferable. They want you to know that they are indeed fast and warrant your respect. Get outta the way dork(s) or you will suffer, seems to be their mantra.

There's also the "just moved here" types who feel they have to make a statement. Hey, they were apparently big deals wherever they came from and want you to realize that when the scowl at you and pass you at mach one on the trail.

So here's to those who have zero Benditute. Those who have their mountain bike riding in perspective and are out for shear enjoyment not to impress you with how epic/gnarly/extreme/cool and wonderful they are.

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