Life is full of warnings, usually to prevent the dumb from doing dumb things. We have all seen them, they litter our landscape. Caution, beverage may be HOT. Well ya it's a coffee smart guy. Caution, do not reach hands under lawn mower whilst in operation. Well of course not because A) you will loose said hand and B) you will make a mess which someone will have to clean up. For argument sake these warnings exist only because someone of lesser intelligence committed an act which warranted these common sense Warnings.
Fortunately however some signs are beacons of hope. They point to what lay in our immediate future. Take note of the sign above. "Bicycles stay ON single track. Do NOT detour around obstacles. Trail unsuitable for novices " I was confronted with this sign as we entered the beginning of the trail system in Elicotville NY. My first reaction was physical, I had a hard on. My second reaction was less obvious. The synapses in my brain began firing rapidly, lighting the neon sign in my brain that glows the words " Fucking Awesome". This home made sign, as simple as it is, guarded the gates to what can only be described as true mountain biking. Roots, rocks, gnarly climbs and descents. A tuck your balls in and get it done kind of trail. Unfortunately over the past several years riding has become slightly pussified. Trails have become over groomed. Obstacles have been given "chicken out " options. Logs have had ramps built to aid riders in getting over them and in some cases, do to the lack of riding ability often demonstrated, logs have been altogether removed. This is total and utter bullshit. If you can't ride it, get the fuck off the trail. If your looking for smooth terrain which is obstacle free, shave your balls, slap on some Lycra, perhaps something that says "live strong" and put a road bike under your spineless ass.
Boys and girls this is mountain biking. Grow a pair. Learn how to ride, truly ride. That means being able to ride anywhere, anytime without any excuses. "Oh my bike isn't designed for this type of riding".
Shut your mouth.
" I don't like to climb"
" How do we get around that log?"
I should kick your ass.
Lets take a look at the true meaning of this sign, read between the lines if you will. "Stay on the single track". This really means double track and road are for those wanna be riders.
"Don't detour around obstacles" I love this part. It means grow a pair, a pair the size of grapefruits and ride the line. Don't walk your bike it's not a dog. Don't make a cut around the obstacle, unless your from Hardwood. "Trail unsuitable for novices". Clear as day. This trail is for riders. This is not a gimme, you have to earn the right to ride this shit. This trail is not your mother, it will beat you like pimp beats a hoe. Pause for a moment, if your wearing a matching kit, if your bike match's your kit, if you have a recovery shake in the car rather then beer, this trail is not for you son. Take your kit and bike to a road near you. "cyclists yield to hikers". Note the choice of words, hiking not walking. Hiking dictates rough, rugged terrain. Translation, awesome.
Well there it is, a warning of warnings. Actually it's more like a leading suggestion. Get it done or get out of the way. Perhaps I have read to much into these simple words. Perhaps, as unlikely as it is, I have added more meaning then this sign intends. Perhaps.
Perhaps you should through your leg over that top tube and try to keep up?
Peace, love and single track for life.