“Trailgrams” tip of the month:
Try not to be any of those guys we’ve
mentioned. But, if you must, we’ll
probably still ride with you.
soul-searching. Please find the positive in
our biking community in your next editorial.
But, I’m willing to give you some latitude if
it’s really number one. Then it’s time to get
a new job! Life is too short to be tortured
by 77 percent of all those jerk-wad bikers!
Come on up to the Jackson
Demonstration State Forest and I’ll show
you how the upper half lives with their
positive regard towards all in the greater
Bay Area biking community.
Now, I’m out the door for a ride with
some really great, fun folks! Best wishes
for an enjoyable life!
Interesting piece you did in the October
MBA on “that guy.” Yup, I try not to be any
of them, either, but it seems we always run
into them. Here are a few more:
—Wilbert the whiner: Wilbert is constantly whining about: 1) He doesn’t feel
well today. 2) He’s hungover. 3) A recent
injury. 4) Any of a dozen physical ailments.
Basically, Wilbert’s problem is he can’t
hang with the group. Wilbert would do
everyone a favor by taking time off to heal
(if he’s truly injured) or quit complaining.
—Mickey the mooch: Mickey thinks
through his strategy on the morning of a
ride, figuring out how he can avoid paying his share of the group expenses. He
doesn’t own a bike rack for his car, so he
never offers to take his turn and drive. He
thinks throwing in a couple of bucks for
gas will cover it. At the post-ride dinner
gathering, if the check is a little short, you-know-who didn’t contribute his share. A
friend who is constantly taking advantage
of you isn’t really a friend.
—Todd the tinkerer: Todd is a cousin of
Wilbert, but he blames his lack of stamina
on his bike. He’ll hold up the group so he
can add 1 pound of pressure to his shock,
tires or fork, and claim, “That should do it.”
Other minor adjustments throughout the
ride are constant. The best thing for Todd
would be if everyone just kept riding when
he feels the urge to fix something.
—Front-row Felix: Felix always takes
off first from the trailhead, or during a
group pause in the ride. Unfortunately, he’s
one of the slower riders up and down, so
the majority of the group has to pass him
(again!). He’s totally clueless about the ride
pecking order and thinks he can run with
the big dogs.
—Oh-no Oswald: “Oh no” are the
words muttered by everyone when Oswald
attempts a technical section clearly over his
ability. He wants to have bragging rights,
like everyone, but doesn’t realize his tes-
tosterone puts the whole ride in jeopardy.
If he takes a big digger, everybody has to
figure out how to get him—and his bike—
back home (or to the hospital). Fortunately,
natural selection takes over and Oswald
either learns quickly or isn’t able to attend
—Happy Harry: This guy is a joy to be
with. He always seems to be in a good
mood, even if you spent the last hour riding
back in a torrential downpour. A tough
ride? Hey, it’s over with and we know not to
do it again. He’s the least bothered by the
characters mentioned above. An inspiration
for the rest of us.
Sent anonymously via e-mail
MORE GUYS TO NOT BE LIKE
Lately I’ve seen a lot of “no-helmet
guy” at Lair of the Bear (west of Denver).
Usually, it’s a couple spray-tanned, shirt-
less body builders (picture Dwayne “The
Rock” Johnson—but these guys aren’t as
cool). When I’m riding up, they’re skidding
down the trail without a helmet. It would
only be funnier if they had Mountain Dews
in their water-bottle cages. Take it easy.
ADD THESE TO THE LIST
Thanks for the sad-but-true portraits
of your 10 most irritating trail users. You
missed my top three that plague our local
—Silent but deadly: This is the mountain biker who has no bell of any kind
and apparently no vocal cords, either. He
sneaks up behind you on singletracks and
passes you without a sound, then seems
irritated that you are startled since, after
all, you were in his way!
—Hikers (and some bikers) with off-leash dogs: Despite leash laws and signs,
not to mention coyotes, rattlesnakes and
cacti, these people insist on letting their
dogs run off leash. They generally dole out
dirty looks if you say anything to them or
Rover, because, “It’s a free country and
this is how dogs live in the wild.” This is
dangerous for other trail users, especially
horses and their riders, should the canine
embrace its natural roots and chase/bite
—Can you hear me now?: The hiker
(though occasionally biker) wearing head-
phones apparently turned up so loud that
neither my bells nor my yells get through
to them. On fire roads, this is not so bad;
however, they seem to favor singletrack for
some unexplained reason.
San Diego/Penasquitos Nature Preserve
NO MORE LYCRA!
The number-one offense is guys who
wear spandex. I almost had to cancel my
subscription due to the proliferation of men
in tights, but fortunately there has been
enough downhill to keep me from taking
drastic action. Spandex is for the road and
girls only; sexist, probably, but I make no
YOU SHOULD BE RUNNING…
Love the column this month. I would add
“don’t be the unsolicited advice” guy. He
sees you riding flats and tells you you really
need some clipless or vice versa. Or, your
bike would be way better if you had remote
lockout or a dropper. Those XYZ tires aren’t
helping; you need to run ZYXs.
DON’T DO THIS, EITHER
“Earbud Sunday” rider—the guy with
earbuds jamming to his favorite gran-ny-gear spin music who doesn’t hear me
ride his wheel, ring my bell or ask if I can
get around. Then he acts surprised when I
tread the loam to get by.
Via e-mail ❏