Thursday, July 31, 2008

Road Rage On The Crest

A couple of weeks ago I took off with several friends to ride the Wasatch Crest Trail for the 2nd time this season.

I love the Crest - after you make it past "Puke Hill" the climbs are gradual, the descents are fast and it seems like there are half the people that you’d see on Mid-Mountain.

On that particular Saturday our gang had ridden up from the Keystone Trail at Park City Mountain and we all reconnected up at the top of puke hill. Because we took a breather and grabbed a snack, a few different packs of riders passed us – most waiving as they went by or calling out a friendly greeting.

Back on the trail, the four of us were quickly making up time on the two closest parties. Another 15 minutes into the ride we came upon two older men who were riding at a slower clip. I was leading and asked if we could pass. They ignored me so I decided to stop and wait for my other three friends to catch up.

I let my friend go to the lead and told her the men in front weren’t interested in pulling over. Marcy caught up to the men and asked very politely if we might be able to pass once we reached the right place.

The man closest to us told Marcy there was no way he was going to let us pass. When we commented that wasn’t very nice, he suggested we think of it as “over population of the trails.”

Both Marcy & I were speechless for a minute. Most mountain bikers that you encounter on the trail are overly friendly and so neither of us had ever been treated so rudely.

Finally the men said that they would let us pass if we were good enough to get by. The location they chose had quite a bit of loose dirt on the edges and as I went to follow Marcy on by – the second biker leaned his bike into me as if to push me into the churning dirt.

Thankfully my tire gripped down into the dirt and I was past. Marcy & I took off – not wanting to deal with the annoying men any longer. When we were far enough ahead we waited for Collin & Joel to ride up.

They were given no problem going by – our antagonists were apparently not happy that they had been passed by women.

The next few rides I took I was a little apprehensive – what if I encountered the chauvinists again on another trail – but this time solo without my buddies?

Not to worry – on every ride I’ve taken since, the Park City Trails have been back to normal with friendly, happy-go-lucky mountain bikers just glad to be sharing the trails.

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Blogger powstash said...

Unfortunately civility, be it on the roads, trails, in business or otherwise is seriously lacking in society these days.

While I've not encountered anything like that while mountain biking from fellow bikers, I've been surprised to get the cold shoulder from fellow roadies when out riding.

I don't understand where the reasoning comes from that it's ok to act like that. [shrug]

8/01/2008 10:49 AM

OpenID scienceguy288 said...

That is very strange. Mountain bikers are usually some of the most happy-go-lucky guys I meet on trails. And what does "overpopulation of the trails" mean anyway?

8/02/2008 8:06 AM

Blogger teleknees said...

overpop the trails? wow. i like to forget these stories in my experience, they really are disheartening. i had one rock climbing and i was speechless! doesn't happen much but when it does, really bums you out.

its like leaving the office and then getting stuck in office crap out on the trail!

that guy is probably one of the proud owners of egg salad in his seat tube. I heard bike shops do that to d-bags who come into shops. yum yum!

8/04/2008 12:11 AM


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