Potentially the most controversial post i will ever make on my blog

You know sometimes when you want to voice something that you feel but you kinda let it simmer inside yourself because you know it will open a can of worms? I have had that voice echoing in my head for quite a while now and i have always pushed it back back back. Even now i am thinking of putting this post in the draft and call it quits because i know certain ppl reading will be unhappy, certain ppl reading will be shocked and certain ppl reading might actually understand where i am coming from. I have lived long enough to know you can’t satisfy everybody in life with your actions but you owe it to yourself to explain why you feel what you feel. I am a pretty straight shooting guy so let me apologise to you right now if what i am about to say offends you or makes no sense to yourself.

Basically what i am going to speak about is trail work. For the uninitiated trail work is work done on trails *duh* that helps maintain or repair or better certain sections of a mtb trail. Trail work is invaluable and without it the trails we will be riding will be of a much lesser quality and potentially there will be less trails out there. I respect trail work being carried out by volunteers and i think it is very admirable.

For the rest of this post i will be referring to three parties.

  • Bmu as in the Bmu community and the ppl that forms this little community.
  • Them as in the ppl that i have an issue with in regards to this particular issue *this has to be stated clearly as it is just this particular issue that i am iffy about*.
  • Me as in myself.

So, with all the groundwork laid, lets get into the meat of it.

Starting with me. I have being riding MTB for around 2.5 years now and i have never ever attended or participated in any trail work of any kind. I can go on and try to explain myself saying i have work on trial maintenance days but for “them”, i don’t think that would be enough.

Am i passionate about the mtb community? Absolutely, and it is because i am passionate about the mtb community that i make this post. Think about it, why would i risk my neck expressing something controversial when i can just sit back and keep riding the trails and remain uncritiqued?

Why have i not done more trail work you ask? You seem to be riding an awful lot i hear you say. Well yes and no. You see a passion does not grow over night. I did not start riding and immediately come to my current levels of passion for our hobbies/sport. Even as it is now i am still gaining more knowledge/passion for this community/hobby/sport. So to be frank, if you asked me to do trail work in the 1st year i would flatly be uninterested because i simply was not that into it and i wasn’t that passionate about it. Keep this section fresh in your mind though because i will be coming back to it later.

So now that you have gained a little bit more passion what do you intend to do about our trails? It is clear to me that everyone lives with a different time structure. Even though i own my own business i do have to work 6 days a week. I don’t own a business where i have days off completely at odd times nor do i finish work prior to 6pm. Nor am i comfortable with going out to a trail where i think needs work done and start doing the work myself because i know that i am unskilled or qualified in that area and anything i do will most likely make it worse.

The most viable trail work day is currently the loftus oval days because they seem to have a clear schedule every month but unfortunately it is situated on a saturday. So why don’t you work on sunday? There is no clear cut schedule that says every sunday of the month is work on appin day or work on ourimbah day or work on manly dam day. You can say i have not being proactive enough to ask ppl *really only one person i know* what they are doing every weekend in regards to trail work on a Sunday. I do have a feeling that he does his work without a clear cut schedule one month ahead of everything *i might be wrong on this*. So generally i can work on trails on Sunday but due to my lack of proactiviness and ease of access of an advanced schedule it has not being happening. Believe it or not it really does help to have an advanced schedule when it comes to informing your family in regards to what you intend to do on a given day. The only given day that you have time off in fact.

What would help in getting me to do trail work more? Exactly waht i said above. Trail work days on Sunday to be clearly scheduled and marked every months so i know what i can expect and hence not schedule rides on those days with groups of bmuers. What i do to preserve our trails is not ride it in conditions that would adversely effect the trails. I educate newer riders to the cons of riding in bad conditions in a way that they would understand. Sure, these are most likely nothing compared to actual trail work but it is something i do.

So wait, what is exactly controversial about what i have posted so far? I mean all i have posted is a self assessment on why i have not being doing trail work and how i can do more. Well read on, the juicy stuff starts from here.

I call your attention to the bolded statement a million paragraphs previously in this post and i ask you to reread that again. There is one little exception to this bold post. That is to say that i appreciate all the trail work that’s done to maintain our trails but if it comes at the cost of splitting a community then no thanks. I would rather ride shit trails. I would rather ride crap trails with logs everywhere and branches sticking into derailleurs and sand with a good wholesome community then ride meticulously groomed trails with a community who’s always biting each others ass. Get me? To me the mtb community isn’t just about the trails. It is about the people as well. People tend to forget this. How good a community is isn’t how many people turn up to trail work. It is more about how nicely they bond with each other and solve problems presented to them.

The problems of trail work is always prevalent as long as we keep riding trails but i feel that by shoving trail work down the throats of everyone and then labelling the community unresponsive is about as close to the right thing to do as me riding the trails when its completely muddy. Not only is it stereotyping *because there is plenty of members of the community that turn up to trail work* it is also hostile towards potential people that have thought about doing trail work in the near future. How many of the rotorburners 44,746 members actually do trail work i wonder? How many of them submit comments? What are those ratios of actual participant across both rotorburn and bmu forums i wonder? Many of the members on bmu is simply non active or have not gone deep enough to care too much and by people stereotyping the bmu community as unresponsive is a sure way to shut those fledgling mtbers up permanently. This is a real shame.

Then there are people that simply do trail work to have a go at others. There are a couple of real enthusiast trail workers but to me there are a couple of people that simply does trail work to take the piss out of others or communities. This is not on. At the end of the day you do trail work because you love the trails and it is your passion to maintain the trails. You do these tasks out of your own time unconditionally and even if no one joined up with you and you had to dig yourself for the whole day you do it because you want to. You don’t go ahead and submit yourself to a full day of work and when no one else turns up you go on and bitch about the rest of the community. Wake up call, what you do is 100% admirable, but it is something you choose to do yourself and as such you have to get over the fact that anyone doing something differently to you isnt instantly labeled as the “scourge” of the community. That’s right people, the main point i am trying to make is this.

IT IS OK TO NOT DO TRAIL WORK. IT WOULD BE AWESOME IF YOU CAN DO IT FROM TIME TO TIME BUT IF YOU DON’T YOU AREN’T THE SCOURGE OF THE COMMUNITY. WHEN POSSIBLE PUT BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY. WHETHER IT IS IN THE FORM OF INFORMATIVE REVIEWS OR HELPING OTHER RIDERS OR WHATEVER. HELPING THE MTB COMMUNITY GOES FAR DEEPER THAN TRAIL WORK. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE IS AND AS LONG AS IT BENEFITS THE MTB COMMUNITY I THINK YOU HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB.

I know some of the people i am targeting with this post will instantly ignore the points i have made in my post and focus on the fact that 1. i have not done any trail work 2. i am simply justifying why i haven’t. Honestly though, settle down, read my points, understand my appreciation for trail workers and see that your approach to spreading the word on trail work is simply not the best way to do it. If you have personal issues and you feel strongly about it be a man and message me directly about it. In fact call me on my mobile. I would love to have a purposeful discussion on all of this with yourself. I am not holding my breath for any calls though.

Yours
Passionate mtber

Advertisements

About jingers

Instagram :: _jingli_

5 responses to “Potentially the most controversial post i will ever make on my blog

  1. ley

    com·mu·ni·ty (k-myn-t)
    n. pl. com·mu·ni·ties

    2.
    a. A group of people having common interests
    3.
    a. Similarity or identity: a community of interests.
    b. Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

    bitch (bch)
    n.

    2. Offensive
    c. A man considered to be weak or contemptible.
    3. Slang A complaint.
    4. Slang Something very unpleasant or difficult.

    vb Informal
    1. (intr) to complain; grumble
    2. to behave (towards) in a spiteful or malicious manner
    3. (tr, often foll by up) to botch; bungle

    /end

  2. Clifton

    Well said, pretty much sums ups whats going on in my head at the moment.

  3. Nat

    It’s all well and good if you don’t have enough time. But you have plenty of time to ride the trails and consequently do damage. If you go out and do some maintenance for a few days a year then you’re correcting the damage you’ve done, everyone that uses the trails (for free i might add) should put a little bit back into them.

    Most importantly you help the image of the mtb community (something that is real issue and I don’t think the people in the bmu community understand completely). MTBers ruining trails and hurting the environment is pretty much the only reason councils don’t build new trails. In a councils eyes mtbers are irresponsible and just do damage. If we are proactive we get more trails. What i’m about to say is incredibly ironic, but i don’t care. I predominately ride illegal trails for one main reason. Illegal trails are relatively unknown. I don’t have to worry about riders who don’t maintain them and ruin them. I do my bit and dig every now and then and the trail continues to live sustainably.

    And if you think you’re a trail building noob then come along to a build day and someone will show you how to do it, or you could do the menial tasks. It’s really important to keep the community going and it’s actually a lot of fun digging holes with mates!

    • Nat, thank you for your comment. A discussion is most likely the best outcome this post will bring and i am open for discussion.

      Like i said in the original post i understand about the you ride the trails -> you damage the trails -> you fix the trails concept. However what i wanted to point out is that if you do not do trail work that you are not immediately branded as the users and abusers of the mtb community. If such labelling goes on how much of the mtb community are actually users and abusers? How would that benefit the whole image of the mtb community thing you talk about?

      It is 100% like charity. You are a saint if you do donate but you don’t go to hell if you turn down a donation. Yes? How would you like it if you refused to donate money and the charity goers label you as a selfish human being? Not nice correct? Charity should be natural and free from pressure. If you are pressured to donate it isn’t from your heart any ways. Just like trail work. I believe it needs to be done from the heart and not done simply to appease a few people in our mtb community. Unfortunately it has come down to such a thing for many and i have had comments sent in to say that they are turned off from potential trail work in the future due to the attitude we have being seeing. Believe it or not there were real people that were very interested and building up their passion to contribute via trail work. Who loses? The mtb community in the end.

      The whole mtb community image thing is exactly why i made my post up. IMO even if the trails look a million bux it does not offset the damage done to the image of the mtb community via constant haggering on forums. Once again the haggering is not even justified as i challenge comment makers to look at the percentage of all contributors divided by the total amount of members on forums such as BMU and ROTORBURN. You get my point. It amuses me to no end when people say stuff like “i thought the bmu community call themselves enthusiast” or comments along those lines because to me we will be more of an enthusiast they will ever be. You are not the mtb enthusiast of choice simply because you do more digging than other. The damage they do to the mtb communities image far out weighs the positives gained from trail work IMO.

  4. Trieu

    I’d like to post this up in general for the unsavoury persons that stand on their pedal stools proclaiming to the MTB community what a good person they are doing trail work. Get off your high horse. You do trail work cause you enjoy and love it, not to brag and bring down others that don’t (for what ever the reason is).
    Let the trails be, DON’T do trail work. Don’t think, for one second, you have any more right over other trail riders that don’t do the work.
    Until it is legalised… riders will enjoy the fruit of your labour. And enjoy we will.

    Your words will fall on deaf ears….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s