It seems no matter what trail you access, where you ride; someone, somewhere has an opinion about what you're riding. Most of the hate comes down on skid-line downhillers, shuttle riders accessing freeride trails up in the mountains or just those that like to ride bigger bikes on progressive lines. But the focus from the haters comes down to anyone looking to shred! I don't get it! As a freerider (that has to ride 100% cross country lines to access more technical trails in Durango, CO) I'm hopeful these attitudes will change, and a newly formed Gravity Council in Durango will help address this. but if I've learned anything in the past year, it takes an entire community of commitment to change hearts and minds. Let me translate this...
The city and county governments needs to be just as vested in progressive trail development as the local trail advocacy groups! In my humble opinion, Durango/La Plata County needs to model other communities more closely to truly close this gap! A few communities that I'd like to highlight...
I'm pretty impressed with the amount of trail development in Sedona. It seems like the entire community is behind trail growth. A clear example of this is the newly built bike park - http://www.vvcc.us/2013/10/success-council-approves-sedona-bike.html This bike park took city authorization and they got it done! Without the support of the entire community, no bike park.
Oakridge, OR/Central Oregon:
Having shredded a lot of Bend, OR (didn't get to hit the high country), I'm super impressed with the area. There are like five different freeride areas, and if you add in Funner, Tiddlywinks and Whoops trail, you're got embedded progressive lines in cross country trails (what I really want). But my highlight is Oakridge, OR. In a recent article in Bicycling Magazine, Oakridge (the entire community) seems to have realized the impact that traveling mountain bikers have on the economy and they support it all (or so I've heard, and I'll report back later this year).
For a while, Moab used to think it could sit on its heels and not develop new trails. Those days are gone... With the TrailMix crew blowing it up on trail development, Moab has realized it needs to continue to grow as a MTB destination. I remember years ago I wrote a scathing letter to the Moab city council about how Grand Junction was dominating them with trail development. I'd say the tables have turned.
Again, I'm not bashing any particular group here! That's not my point... But I've seen written articles from people slamming my type of riding (not to mention destroying trail options that have existed for years). So I have to ask those people... Why the hate? Why are you down on freeriders, downhillers and those with a tendency to get in the air? What did we do so wrong? Finally, what can we do to change your mind (remember, we cross country ride too)?