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Trail etiquette - very disappointed...

Matt's picture

By Matt - Posted on 17 March 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication. the lack displayed at The Oaks today, and will not be riding with particular people again unless they change their attitude, you know who you are.

However good you (think) you are or however fast you want to ride I would expect people posting a group ride here to behave with some consideration for the others they are riding with, which would include:

- If somebody stacks then you 'kin well stop and help out, not just ride past and say OK mate, then discover when you haven't seen the person behind for half an hour that they actually had a serious technical or physical problem that they didn't immediately realise in the five seconds they had to consider your question as you sped by. If certain people had cared to stop when I stacked they would have realised at the same time as I did that I had a broken left brake lever, which was only the beginning of me getting the shits today...

- If somebody has a mechanical then repeat the above. Simple really. Again the five seconds of consideration as you speed by is nowhere near enough. For instance the busted chain and skewer problems that a number of you felt quite happy to ignore would have taken significantly longer to fix had I followed your example and sped on by, if you have any common sense you stop because:

- mountain bikes aren't simple contraptions and problems aren't always straightforward and
immediately obvious,
- you may have a tool that the other person needs and doesn't have,
- you can help out by say pumping up an inner tube while the other person fixes something
else on their bike,
- everybody gets away quicker, not just you,
- you might like somebody else to do the same thing for you one day.

- And last but most bleeding obvious, people don't get left behind if they're struggling. However well used a trail is you cannot assume somebody else will stop, and anyway what kind of a mate does that? If somebody is struggling then offer them water, food, a smile, tips, whatever you have, that way everybody enjoys their ride a lot more and gets to the end smiling. The last person on the trail should be the best rider, not the worst.

The worst indictment of the behaviour today is that if I were a newbie I would not be coming back on rides from this site, and I do not want a few inconsiderate riders spoiling what is a great forum.

If you want to race then fine, go and find an actual race, and I've raced with people who are more considerate. Otherwise can I suggest that if you wish to behave like I saw today you should not be posting rides on this forum.

Matt with the shits.
Normal service will now be resumed...

PS - Rob if you feel I've been a bit harsh here then feel free to modify in whatever way you see fit. Ta. Maybe I should have counted to ten (thousand...)

Stuart M's picture

Obviously not there today Matt but understand your sentiments entirely!!

Sounds like your down to 6 lives now though?

Matt's picture

Only a minor one, not sure how I managed to break the lever to be honest! Just going a bit fast and unbalanced on sketchy rocky stuff, following Steve of the bright yellow Cannondale, who knows no fear! Unfortunately I do...

leximack's picture

i was on this ride today and just want to say that i aree with everything you have said, we had a good chat after you left and worked out better ways of doing these sort of "faster" runs. We should have had a chat at the start of the trail and inform all that where there of our intentions, rather than just speeding off. I think a bit more planning is the key here. Yes i did leave my mate behind, but only becasue i have known him and been riding with him for more yrs than i care to remember and am confident in his abilities and he knows his limits, if he wanted to go faster than me and that was the purpose of the ride i would not hold him back as he did to me (unless you have a riding partner like this you wont understand where i am coming from). This sort of ride is different from the normal nobmob ride, it is definately not for everyone, hence why there was only 5 or 6 of us there. Most of the rides are casual, take it easy, chat away sort of rides.
We had some mechanicals, they got sorted out, noone got hurt, i am sorry Matt that you had a stack, i did not see it and didnt pass you, i would have stopped to help out. I am glad you stopped and helped me with my skewer problem as it saved a bit of time. Rob, Andrew and Steve were with me when i had the flat and i told them to keep going, did not want to hold them up. I am not used to riding in these sort of groups so trail etiquette is not my strongest point, but i will always help a fellow rider in need if they want it. I think in the future we just ned to plan these fast runs better so the aim of the ride is clearly stated. In saying that i hope we can still ride together as i enjoyed your company, but if not then so be it.

Rob's picture

It's disappointing for all when even one of us comes away feeling like this. I'm really sorry Matt.

To be honest, I thought we all knew that there was a 'sweeper' who would be coming along last and going slow and who would ride with whoever had problems, etc. I didn't see you again after handing over the bottle (see below for those who don't know), and assumed you were with Don's mate. Sorry - I forget the name - shocker! Perhaps if he was a little shorter and blonde? Eye-wink

FWIW, perhaps I'm doubly responsible for this. For those who don't know - Matt had a small moment on one of the rockier sections near the top. He got a little out of shape almost right in front of me and did well not to crash right there - regaining control quiet well. However, he lost a water bottle in the process which I picked up and shouted after him about it. On hearing my call, Matt slammed on the anchors a little too hard and proceeded into the bush to have a closer look at the trees - seems his instrument of choice for tree inspection was a brake lever which turns out to have been a bit of a bad option Eye-wink

Both of us back on bikes, and bottle handed over I thought things were all good, but seems the lever was beyond repair.

Anyhow - joking aside, yes - if they're not doing the usual social ride think folks should be really clear on what the plan is, and what contingencies there will be.

Hope we can all get over this anyhow, 'cos just about everyone I've met here has been a real good guy so far and I'm happy to ride with all (I know - what a slut!). And again I'm sorry there was some ill feeling 'cos aside from that had a great ride. Will post on the other aspects of the ride back in that thread.

Matt's picture

OK so it was disclosed that there would be a sweeper and my incident wasn't really what it's all about. I still maintain that if you claim to have a sweeper then he should be your best and most mechanically minded rider.

It's probably a bit also about safety and MTB mentality, MTB'ers help each other out, particularly the good riders helping out the weaker, egging each other on and generally having a laugh whereas this was just a bunch of individuals riding solo on a pretty dull trail with very little training value. My fault for misinterpreting I guess...

...OK so I'll stop whingeing now and shut up and ride...


leximack's picture

i think we made a few bad choices on the ride
1: we did not communicate properly at the beginning about the intend fast pace
2: we did not communicate who the last rider would be (my mate agreed that he would be the end rider as he was going to ride at a slower pace anyway)
3: we should of had a faster rider at the back that could keep up with the last rider. (shouldnt of had the slowest rider at the back)
This sort of ride is not the norm with nobmob, generaly the group ride as a GROUP. This ride was trying to do a trail (which yes is pretty boring in most parts) at a fast pace to see what time can be made. We will definately do things differently next time so as the ride can be done with no safety issues to all riders.
Hopefuly we can learn from our mistakes and move on.

lorrie's picture

Yeah sorry about that. I had the bit between between my teeth and could have stopped the bike ask you were going offer advice and then figure out about riding on. That was poor effort on my part.

A few more things we should have done:

Have a group chat before we all shoot off
Have two mechanically minded sweepers at the back of the pack
Walkie talkies are essential
Figure out each others fitness


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