I pose the question as the attitude of a few riders has changed. As a first generation mountain biker; I and my fellow riders rejoiced at the opportunity to share the trails that had once been the exclusive domain of animals, farmers, walkers and equestrians. We came along and they accepted us. How nice was that? We soon discovered that in Worthing we benefited from more access and trails than just about any other town in the country. There are 18 bridleways starting in or around the town and that is with 50% of the town bordering the sea! Our particular part of the National Park is also one of the widest. However, times have changed and there’s a new generation of mountain bikers and some think they have a right to the Downs. They are like drivers who assume they have the absolute right to the roads and woe betide anyone that gets in the way. So how much should they, and as a consequence, the rest of us pay for a right to the trails? £50 per month? Bike Park Wales charge £26 per day.
Of course, I hypothesise. Most of us do SHARE the trails. Cows, sheep, horses, farmers, walkers, runners, dogs, dog walkers, horse riders and, not forgetting cyclists including mountain bikers, all use the bridleways that are on private land and, by mutual consent , have been granted the right to pass along them.
There is a misconception that all drivers want to kill us and all dog owners let their beasts defecate on the trails, the fact is that most don’t. So let’s not have farmers, equestrians, walkers and runners branding all mountain bikers as inconsiderate too.
If anyone wants an exclusive right to a trail, there is always the trail centre option!
Give way, slow down, smile, say hello, say thank you. You can even stop for a chat. Share and be considerate of others.
P.S. Strava is fun and motivating, but if you want to really take speed seriously: race! You have to pay for that too.