Whining & weanies

Seriously, I am not whining but merely jotting down the things that I see during my return to mountain biking.

What made me write this is because human ride mountain bikes which makes this sport more interesting as we are full of characters.

As a newbie in the new era of mountain biking, I was lucky as my first bike on my return was a freebie from a friend. Initially after she offered, I went over to have a look at the bike, I was a little reluctant to take it as it was sitting in the store rotting away, looking really rundown. But knowing myself being handy, I toughen my pride and took the bike home and did it up. It took awhile as a lot of parts needed to be change for it to be road worthy again. Which in the end I regretted a little bit as the cost of sprucing up the bike cost as much as for me to get a new one today!

Anyway, I was ecstatic, as I did it up with my own bare hand.

During the restoration, I read up a lot on mountain bike parts and visited a lot of local bike shops which in turn made me more knowledgeable on the current brand available. Which oddly also made me more aware that that some people are looking and judging me by what's on my bike?

I for one don't judge people on what they wear, drive or ride for this matter. And I dont stooge either on things as I believe in purchasing things for being practical and durable to buy at a reasonable cost.

For example, I was out shopping for a skewers for my wheels the other day. Yeah, I know its only a damn skewer, a rod passing through your hub for you to lock it. Well I got a Salsa because more generic-looking stuff didn't look right when surrounded by all the goochie megamoney junk I got. Would you put Shimano QRs on your King hubs? I think not. Granted most other QRs work fine, but some things you just get because they're appropriate for everything else you have. It has nothing to do with the fact that they're lighter and better designed than anything else on the market, does it? I mean, what kind of world would we live in?

The real problem with mountain biking is the amount of ego that "hardcore" (i.e.-poser) riders continue to display that pre-alienates potential biking converts before they ever come to understand the wonderful, even spiritual experiences that responsible riding has to offer. Even though the majority of riders are really not that bad, it is the 10-25% of the egotistical riders that make the most lasting impressions on everyone else. I see too many such riders, and what is so interesting is that they tend to be the ones that have the most to learn.

Ride because you enjoy it. Pick the speed you are able to go, or desire to go, and be secure with it. Do not feed into (or beat-down) the insecurity of other riders. Respect other trail users, and realize that ability, fitness, or the bike you're on does not change who has right of way. Yield to people coming uphill, but don't necessarily demand right of way from everyone coming down, particularly in sketchy areas that are difficult to stop in. Be polite. Compliment people once in a while: "Wow, those are nice skewers!"

I remember one time I was coming downhill while someone else was coming up at a decent pace. Although I stopped in plenty of time, I had nowhere to move my bike to give him a polite amount of space. He stormed by, grumbling something that I didn't bother listening to, and then promptly endoed onto a bridge. I watched him flop on his back, not sure whether to laugh or be concerned. My point is there's a fine line between racer and poser. Aspiring too much for one may get you awfully close to the other. And I don't think that guy was using Salsa QRs, either.

Seriously I am not whining...


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