Public land managers and politicians keep falling for the old mountain biking ruse that if mountain bikers were given legitimate trails to ride, they would stop their rogue trail building. The NSMBA has been doled out way more rewards from the District of North Vancouver, than many mountain biking organizations have in North America.
So has that stopped the mtb scofflaw rogue/secret mountain bike trail building? Nope! Not according to this braggadocious North Vancouver-based "for profit" website, NSMB.com :
You are a bad person. You ride secret trails? How dare you!
Hang on a sec. This isn’t a morality play. You are big boys and girls and hopefully you are intelligent and informed enough to make wise decisions. Do I advocate riding secret trails? Nope. But I’m a realist so let’s deal with the world the way it is shall we?
Wherever there are trails for hiking, horses, skiing, mountain biking, motos or any other activity, there are going to be secrets. In some places trails are secret because some Dear Leader has bent over to one user group and stiffed the others. In other zones secrets relieve an itch that isn’t being scratched. Many of these trails can’t take much traffic because of the terrain, because they’ll be closed or because of the way they were built. The fact is secret trails exist and will until there is no more wilderness. You can find them in Utah, Tuscany, Alberta, Hong Kong, on Maui and in B.C. – and everywhere in between.
Some of you are going to ride those trails. Right or wrong it happens. It’s a renegade world with few apparent rules, but even renegades have a code of conduct. Even if you want to go rogue like Sarah Palin you probably want to keep those sweet secret lines available and in good shape.
So for the love of Jebus, don’t be a dick. Here are some guidelines to shield you from that phallic moniker.
1. Turn off your god damned Strava. Your ego can rest for a day if you are riding a trail that is best kept under wraps. If you must record how awesome you are then make that ride private. You can still brag to your friends later. I’m sure they could use a reminder about how incredible you are. And for those making Strava segments on secret trails. Seriously. What the hell are you thinking?
2. Don’t uncover entrances like a dick. Maybe Joe Shredder doesn’t understand the situation, maybe he feels entitled to roll into every trail he finds. He’s a bid deal after all. Joe’s as wrong as Dubya declaring victory in Iraq. The best way to conceal a downhill trail is with an uphill entrance. Don’t cut your own line because you are too lazy to climb.
3. Get off your effing bike! If an entrance is hidden don’t lock up your minions and skid in just because you are too lazy to dismount. If someone has taken the time to cover an entrance there is a reason. Lift up your steed and put it down once you are safely past the concealed entrance. If carrying your bike for 30 seconds is too much effort for you it’s time to buy a razor scooter. You don’t deserve to ride a bike.
4. Don’t hang out near trail entrances or exits. Putting on pads or making some adjustments to your bike? You want to sit down and munch a Clif bar? Do it before you get to the walk-in, or out of sight down the trail.
5. Noise. Don’t make any if you can help it. This includes abundant hooting and hollering and squeaky brakes. Obviously you want to share the orgasmic two-wheeled zen you are achieving, but don’t do it at the expense of drawing too much attention to yourself or the trail.
6. Pick your days. If the monsoon is here skip the fall line loamer and ride something that can take a punch. Plush natural trails become ugly trenches if you are locking it up following Noah down the line.
7. Don’t cut corners or change existing lines. This point obviously goes for sanctioned trails as well. Nothing trashes a trail faster than Stravatards and their ilk cutting their own lines to save a few milliseconds or to beat their buddies to the bottom. Some poor builder spent days and days building a line and by creating a braid, you are taking a dump on that work. Have some respect. If the line needs modification to suit your needs then ride somewhere else.
8. Be part of the solution. There are many ways to do this. Somebody has uncovered the entrance to your favourite secret? Don’t high 5 buddy and roll in. Stash your bike and spend 5 minutes replacing the camouflage. If you are in the forest, grab some big branches as a first line and then spread some smaller leaf litter around to make it look natural. If someone is jawing off about a secret or posting on the web call them out. If your riding partner suggests riding some buttery line when the weather is nasty steer him or her in another direction.
9. Be careful about exits. Exits are often what gets stealth lines destroyed, overused or covered over. If you come maching out like you’ve just roped your first calf somebody just might notice. Stop before the end of the trail and have a listen to see if anyone is around. And just like trailheads, cover up those exits if that makes sense.
10. DON’T GIVE DIRECTIONS. Not in person, not on the web. Don’t draw a map or give GPS coordinates. Again, don’t make new segments on Strava and keep your rides private. Those who hate mountain bikers (hi there!) read mountain bike forums and web sites to get ammo to use against us. Don’t fuel their fire. If you have a worthy riding buddy, who can keep a secret, bring them along. If you don’t want to ride with them why would you want to let them in on your secret?
You think you are hardcore because you know a secret? Hardcore means you can keep a secret. One of the worst things you can do is show off by telling people the name of the trail. Smart ninja builders don’t advertise or even name their trails. Don’t mess it up to satisfy your ego.
Bring on the hate. The Loam Ranger uses it as fuel.
We may not always agree with the the Ranger, but sometimes we do. Do you?
Some of the more noteable comments from the mountain bikers:
LOL@Loam • a day ago
Flashbacks of the great chainsaw massacre run through my mind when I see senseless articles like this. As trails get pushed further and further out of the city by urban sprawl does it really matter what trail is secret. We are here to ride together, not hoard a single trail. Most of these people build these fall line duffers and never maintain them or any other trail on the mountain anyway, the more that know the more help they get.
stravillain • a day ago
First rule should be don't post articles about secret trails.
Also, if you PRIVATELY strava a trail and some douche does make a segment you have the option to flag it as hazardous/illegal which will shut down the leaderboard as well as comment/message anyone showing up on said leaderboard.
It sucks when the nugs get found by the masses but I have to laugh at the builders who put lines in within a stones throw of high traffic legit trails and then whine about them being found or showing up on Strava.
Congrats on the website, but there are trails that are not sanctioned posted.
What is your policy on this?
PM me which trails you are talking about? Some peoples definition of what is unsanctioned differs, there are lots of grey areas. But the general idea is too not have them. But its really up to the local riding association or club. We have been contacting them trying to get them working with the site. We have a regional permissions system, so can give full control over the content under a region to a local association, so they can decided their own policy.
I also have several different levels of for a trails visibility.
- Public info and location, shown on maps.
- Hidden location info and hidden from maps.
- Totally hidden from maps, lists, search. Only viewable to users an association grants permission to view hidden trails in their region too.
Marlz 06-20-2014 05:09 PM
In Vancouver you should reference Wade and Sharon's maps. Or ask the NSMBA.
Publishing user-generated maps is weak. It only calls attention to the sad fact that people are still out there building unsanctioned and illegal trails.
But like you say, there's gray areas.Slippery Salamander and Rapid Transit (Seymour) are all unsanctioned trails too, but they get the nod from (NSMBA's) Mark (Wood) and Sharon (Bader), so their fair game.
This is, after all, the "fine company" our District of North Vancouver keeps. Every forest user (good citizens, and scofflaws, alike) should be as richly rewarded as the NSMBA and mountain bikers have --- or would this just end up becoming an anarchy in the woods....? Think about it!
Should we continue to allow DNV to inflict such unfair double-standards on its citizens?Or perhaps DNV just needs to seriously rethink the NSMBA's over-entitlement to the woods that they have served on a silver platter to this wily dirt biking group in our midst?
Meanwhile more NEW trailbuilding continues, unabated, on Fromme Mtn. -- all ahead of the promised new Trails Assessment. This defeats the purpose of such a "Trails Assessment". Sooo disingenuous of DNV...You think?
Frankly, taking away the dubious privilege of the NSMBA's "Trail Maintenance Service Agreement" (which is a total farce) would be a good start at clipping the wings of this Extreme Freeride (on the backs of DNV taxpayers) group. It only serves to make DNV look pretty foolish in light of the all the ongoing NEW trail building activities of the NSMBA and corporate cohorts. (None of which can be realistically described as "maintenance or repair")
DNV is, once again, placing the cart in front of the horse... And not a single "peep" from our many environmental and conservation groups....<sigh>