A Call To All Mountain Bikers: Never Forget We All Started Somewhere
I was talking with some riding friends the other day about past biking experiences and what we “thought we knew” when we first started riding.
Like most mountain bikers, we did things like drool over rear derailleurs while forgetting about the rest of the bike, struggled to find the bike and riding style that fit us the best and had the “holy crap…I found the best thing ever!” look on our faces. Some things…like the holy crap look…never really go away, but over time…you start to realize what really matters in riding…the ride and the people.
As we get obsessed with parts and finding that perfect section of trail that keeps us begging for more, I think we sometimes forget about our old naive selves. You know, that guy that needed some suggestions, a helping hand and a friendly voice to get shown the ropes. No one ever jumps into the mountain biking scene knowing everything or knowing how to ride technical trail with ease. We all started somewhere.
A Disheartening Truth In Mountain Biking
I have a lot of frustration with mountain bikers who seem to forget that they were once in the shoes of the riders they try to ridicule. Luckily, in the mountain biking community I find these types of riders to be a smaller percentage than in others, but it is still prevalent at the local trail head.
You see riders that look down on others for not having as nice of a bike or ones that can’t ride as well or as fast as they can. In my opinion, that is sad. Instead, they should be helping instead of sitting on their high horse forgetting they are not the best thing in the world and there was a time they were in the same shoes.
If we want the sport to grow and attract more riders, leading by example is the only way to fly.
A Call To All Mountain Bikers
As a call to all mountain bikers, I challenge you to help a beginning rider out. Be the friendly face that takes the time to lend some knowledge much like those that did it before you.
Maybe…you are reading this and thinking “I am that beginning rider you are talking about”…and you can ride knowing that every rider has been exactly where you have been at some point in time. No rider is immune from the beginning ups and downs. Mountain biking is as much about community as it is riding, so find a group of riders that ride how you want to ride and introduce yourself.
In a community that was brought together in the early days as being the outsiders, we have now found a way to discriminate against ourselves. It is time to not worry about wheel size, riding ability or what kind of trails you prefer. It is time to come together as a community and realize that we all just like to put treat to dirt.
By appreciating the diversity and realizing that everyone has different abilities and preferences, we can continue to stretch the sport to new levels. The more we pay it forward…the more we will get in return.
Killer Photo Above by keithpyt <— Check out the rest of his work
What do you think?