Don't Ignore the Real World - Opinion

Feb 3, 2016 at 13:47
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles Mike Kazimer

I was out for a ride the other day, taking advantage of a brief break in the stormy weather to get in some quality time on the trails. The sun was out, and the dirt was more tacky than sloppy – ideal conditions to shake off the cabin fever. As I was cresting the top of a climb, I saw a rider sitting on his bike, peering intently at the screen of his smartphone.

“How's it going?” I asked.
“Good. Just figuring out where I am,” he replied, not even bothering to glance up.
“Do you want any trail suggestions?”
“Nah, I've got Trailforks. I'm fine.”

Huh. Shut down, and feeling a little miffed, I pedaled onwards, finishing up my ride with a lap on one of my favorite trails, one that I would have gladly directed the phone-gazing rider to. That's what confused me the most – why would someone choose to get directions from their phone when a living and breathing human, a local who's intimately familiar with the trails, is standing right in front of them? Have we become so reliant on technology that we no longer trust our fellow riders?

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a rant against Trailforks (and I'm not just saying that because it was created by Pinkbike). It truly is an incredibly useful tool, and it's especially helpful when you're in an unfamiliar area – having detailed maps a few swipes away makes it that much harder to get hopelessly lost, and the ability to check trail conditions and view suggested loops makes it even more beneficial. But just because you have a wealth of information at your fingertips doesn't mean that you should shun all human interaction and blindly follow the electronic device in your pocket.

COYHAIQUE PATAGONIA CHILE - 19 January during the inaugural Aysen Rally Patagonia for Santa Cruz Bicycles launch of the Hightower. Photo by Gary Perkin
Watching cat videos doesn't compare to going on a ride like this. Photo: Gary Perkin

bigquotesJust because you have a wealth of information at your fingertips doesn't mean that you should shun all human interaction and blindly follow the electronic device in your pocket.

As technology becomes more pervasive, it's becoming easier and easier to isolate ourselves, to get sucked into that electric glow. How often do you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, staring blankly at a tiny screen for no reason other than to keep from thinking about other aspects of life? I know I'm guilty of it, habitually grabbing my phone as a way to pass the time in an airport or on a shuttle bus, zoning out into a mindless daze. But when those habits start spilling out onto the trail, it's time to take a long hard look at our digital dependence.

Part of the appeal of mountain biking is that it's a way to get outdoors, into nature, and away from the information overload that we're exposed to every day. Finding those moments of flow, when all worries and cares drop away and riding feels effortless – that's what it's all about, and the ringing of a phone or the 'ping' of an incoming text are distractions that can make it even harder to achieve this state.

It seems ridiculously simple, something that shouldn't even need to be mentioned, but the next time you're out on a ride, put your phone away and don't look at it until you return to the trailhead. Get rid of the digital leash, and pay attention to your surroundings. Focus on being present, in the moment, rather than feeding the part of your brain that's telling you to check your email, sneak a look at Facebook, and snap a selfie. If you're riding in a new area, smile, talk to the other riders you see on the trail, and stop by the local bike shop rather than solely relying on digital resources to plan a ride – you're much more likely to find the real goods, and you might even make some new friends along the way.


154 Comments

  • + 429
 "Less typing, more biking!" -Kelly Mcgarry
  • + 36
 Ride in peace.
  • + 18
 Sorry for the neg prop, stupid fat fingers Frown
  • + 6
 Wise words!
  • + 8
 This for sure. Leave the phone at home
  • + 20
 @MikeyMT Leaving it at home might not be the best idea though. What if you need to call an ambulance.
-->> RIP Kelly M.
  • + 11
 @colincolin I'm with you. Before I had my first cellphone (90's) I got into a massive crash by myself and had to crawl out of the zone I was riding. One of the scariest events of my life, and something that sticks with me 20 years later. I always bring my phone riding, but almost never bring it out unless I'm using the camera. If I'm riding solo, I also tell my partner where I'm going.
  • + 34
 Im a loser with no friends so I invariably ride on my own. Talking with other riders is about the only socialization I get, so my phone stays buried in the bottom if my camelback Smile
  • + 5
 @ajayflex with ya all the way on that one, I always ride solo so the trails are where I get to say hi to someone occasionally lol
  • + 4
 @ajayflex and @ctd07 you guys are both in the same country. it is a pretty long shot that you will be close to each other but imagine if you became riding buddies.
  • + 2
 I always ride alone aswell but always make time to have a chat on the trail, but it seems chatting to riders is becoming more and more rare, seems a lot of guys don't but I still say hi to them even if they ignore you or calling strava (freaking strava)...
So my phone is in the pack but connected to my icedot
  • + 5
 @Patrick9-32 we are 24hrs drive apart lol
  • + 4
 Lol, maybe not then.
  • + 3
 "Kelly had this endless, never-healing zombie elbow that he kept tearing open, over and over again. It looked like a road rashed ballsack with a pastrami skin-graft. I asked Kelly why he didn't wear an elbow pad on it, and he told me, "Charlie, there are two types of people who wear elbow pads: smart people and pussies. And I'm neither." - Team Robot.
  • + 1
 what are these smart phones you speak of, the only phone i have is at home, the only internet i have is at work. Am I the only one who doesnt want to be connected to a fantacy. I guess to each their own but i have no interest in riding or skiing or fishing or hunting with an arbitrary device to make me think I am more important than i actually am.
  • + 1
 Not sure what was wrong with the exchange of words. Guy said he was fine. Maybe he didn't want directions from a filthy casual?
  • + 104
 I can just imagine a viral YouTube video, "Exxtreme mountain biker fight! YOU WONT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!"

Douchebag: “Nah, I've got Trailforks. I'm fine.”

Kazimer: "Fool, do you know who I am?! I helped create trailforks!"

Douchebag: "Cool, thanks now I don't need you lol."

Kazimer: "Gimme that phone, you snot nosed millennial punk!"

---And the fight is on---
  • + 14
 like one of those gopro moto rider fights
  • + 47
 Some of us are out there escaping from everyone. Some of us need a break from all the other humans in the world, on occasion. Some of us wouldn't even talk to Sam Hill if he walked right up during "alone time."

Nothing against anyone else. Just a need some of us have. Maybe even including Sam Hill.
  • + 22
 Agreed, Sometimes I feel horrible when some of the nicest most sincere riders, ask to ride with me........and I just want to be in my own world, on my own pace. with no thought about anyone or anything less the trail and my bike.
  • + 12
 Definitely. I too enjoy my solitude, that's one big reason I enjoy mountain biking. tup
  • + 2
 Solo night rides in my area are like that - you can easily be 20-25Km from anyone out there with not much effort
  • + 3
 Hell yeah! That said, I enjoy the communal aspects of mtb as well, meeting others with similar interests and all of that. All depends on the day!
  • + 5
 i want. i need. i must be fully alone. not sure if technology is solely to blame but an egocentric attitude is definitely one of its symptoms. it's not hard to respond with a brief hello or no thanks i'm riding solo today. hell even sam hill would and he hates everyone and has business to attend to.
  • + 4
 To avoid human interaction.... Thats why HAVE a bike
  • + 5
 I like riding alone in the woods, no phone, no lights, just me and my birthday suit!
  • + 1
 @Justincs. But what about when you wreck and you gotta pick gravel outta your road rashed bird?!
  • + 3
 "Hey Champ! How's about a Knockout for you and a Muff Diver for the old lady?"
"I said, Pardon?"
"He said, How about a Knockout for you and a Muff Diver for the old lady?"
"Well I lose it, I snap, I grab the guys 25lb carbon fibre Enduro bike. The idiot thinks I'm going to steal it so I feed him so many rights that he starts begging for a left!"
"As he's sprawled out trailside I say, Is that Trailforks enough for you?"
Ever since I've been the champ!
  • + 2
 yall are some lonely ass people. nothing in the world beats riding so fast with friends youre almost crashing
  • + 88
 I've never used trailforks, but I've always thought the best trails are the ones someone has to bring you to
  • + 1
 That or some of my best rides have been, i know there's a trail head here... and then I just ride w/e I find
  • + 6
 But on the flipside Trailforks and the other map apps can help you navigate unfamiliar spots or find new trails when you don't know someone who can guide you. I like going out to explore alone and these tools are incredibly useful. Now I know my local trails better than my buddies and take them on linked loops they didn't even know were possible.
  • + 3
 Talking to people is how I've found most of the trails I've ever ridden. Not just that you get to meet people and ride with others. It's important for gaining skills. I also very much enjoy showing others trails that I know. Good point to an article.
  • + 1
 Trailforks is kinda shitty in my neck of the woods. Doesn't cover much at all.
  • + 2
 I used trailforks for the first time this week up in the Seattle area when I was visiting. LBS directed me to a specific trail, and I got some really useful up to date trail condition info on trailforks, and the maps helped immensely with navigating to the trailhead on access roads. It's not quite up to that level in my neck of the woods either but I sure concur about it being great for an unfamiliar area. I'm definitely a fan of keeping my phone away in my pack but it sure came in clutch for that as there were no other riders out there but me
  • + 60
 My dad got a car with parking sensors recently. He was proudly showing them off to me, reversing into a tight space. At this point an extremely attractive young lady started very helpfully waving us into the gap.

"Thanks, but don't worry about it, I've got sensors" My dad happily declared out the window. She smiled and walked off.

Ten seconds later my dad had to ask why I was suddenly glaring at him, clearly quite annoyed.... "Your stupid sensors may have just meant I didn't meet my future wife" I told him. He looked utterly bemused...
  • + 33
 Eh you could have easily saved it though:

"I'm sorry, my old and completely lame father can be very rude, but the truth is that not even these sensors will fix his terrible driving. None of that is your fault though, and to apologize, i'd like to take you out to dinner on saturday..."

Sometimes the easiest way in is right behind the guy who fell flat on his face.
  • + 3
 ... or.... if you were that good looking she wouldn't have allowed YOU to slip away and she would have insisted that your pop needed a hand to park ha ha !


kidding Smile
  • + 9
 "Hey I like your sensors a lot more than his"... and thats how it started
  • + 2
 And that kids is how I DIDN'T meet your mother!
  • + 24
 THAT'S IT... just go out and ride!!! It doesn't matter if you look like the guys on Pinkbike videos or not. What matters, is that you feel like one of them and, specially, that you HAVE FUN RIDING!!!

Thanks for this nice piece of words Mike. They speak wisely.

Cheers,
Beer
  • + 2
 Clearllly you haven't seen my face as i drop into a rock roll... Tho I'm having fun on the inside and that's what counts
  • + 22
 Devil's advocate here - I travel a fair amount for work and play. I love to head to a new spot with my bike and explore new stuff. The internet has made it incredibly easy to research and discover new terrain. Trailforks, Strava, web edits, EWS promo & maps, all of that is the fodder for my adventures. I see a really awesome section of trail in whoknowswhere and I want to ride it. So I research it, get maps, find other local gems around it, and then go ride it. Often times, when I am out on these trips I am on my own schedule and plan. I am there to ride some very specific trails and, usually, I am on my own timeline, so I do it solo.

That being said, I always make time to chat up locals on the trails and in the shops to get a feel for what is happening and what they recommend. BUT - I don't always listen, and here is why. You are still talking to individuals. Those individuals have different ideas of what is rad and awesome. They have different abilities and skills. What one person thinks is the most awesome, technically challenging, piece of trail could actually be a blue flow trail that meanders through the woods (I actually see this A LOT in my local riding area). Or vice versa. The local pro says 'check out XYZ, it's super mellow and fun ride that you can shred' and next thing I know, I'm standing on top of some pro line commitment gap that you couldn't pay me to send.

So my take is this: Everyone is on their own plan. Sometimes that is a go with the flow, ride with the locals, and explore. Sometimes it is my own personal mission. Neither is better or worse. But at the end of the day, say hi, chat it up, and don't be a d!ck.
  • + 4
 I think the point is that some people might not even know what they are missing. Sometimes I like to go get lost. It's liberating.
  • + 6
 @Duc, you hit it right on the head; MTBing is subjective. Problem is that we have so many people on here that don't get it. "You only need a 34T to climb," "these tires are the best," that internal rim width is worthless." Etc. And thus why we have so many dumb arguments. People need to provide a perspective for their comments or it's pointless. This might be too logical for the masses. Anyway, right there with you and spot on for your "take."
  • + 1
 So I am riding a new area and a local asks me if I need help. I say yes is this "x" trail. He says Yes but if you go down"x" then cut over to "y" and then hit "z" you will be able to ride "a" then at the corner take "c" and finish off with "f". I smile and say thank you. But in my mind I think what a douce. I don't know the unmarked trails and only wanted to know if this was "x".
  • + 2
 @Duc1098 agree totally. I had to laugh as the last part of your comment, as happened to me pretty recently.

A 'friend of a friend' recommended a great 'easy flowy trail' that he 'loved' riding. The first sign (I ignored) that I may not get what I was expecting, came when I had to take the cable car and ride 20km into the semi-high mountains to find the trailhead.

The first few km were pretty technical singletrack, a few rock gardens, a natural berm or 2, and lots of mud - all very uphill in true Swiss style - not a 'flow' in sight. At this point I had already exceeded my skill ceiling on a few occasions. My pride, the fact I was now 50km from home, and that I was now equidistant from the start/end of the trail meant I decided to continue. Into hell.

What followed was 15km of 'trail' that hadn't been ridden in about 5 years (other people clearly had more sense), with a vertical 45m drop on one side, *significant* drop downs, unavoidable badly placed *jumps*, giant roots, fallen trees I had to clear, and a landslide. Not a small landslide either, but a 30 meter wide mud slide that had removed not only the trail, but all vegetation and trees, leaving a 45 degree sheer mud trench where is had careered down the mountain - more importantly it had also removed the only bridge over a mud filled river, which I later found out went up to my mid thigh when I tried to 'hike a bike' across. I am pretty sure that part of my soul, and a 5.10 stayed in that river.

Wet, cold and exhausted, there was finally a perfect '500m' flow section at the end! I rode on with new hope - but as my bike now resembled a large rectangle of mud, I was pitched over the bars 50m later as my tires gave up trying to shed the super glue like mud and debris, and locked solid!

When someone now tells me 'blue flow trail', I swear I have PTSD flashbacks, and make a conscious effort not to listen.
  • + 19
 This scenario would have played out much the same pre-smart phone, except the guy with the phone would be a guy with a map. A lot of men don't like asking for directions.

And you are miffed because he declined your help and then wrote a 3000+ character opus ranting on technology on a technology platform?

Help people because you want to help them, if they decline, then that's fine too. I ask people if they need help all the time and frequently get declined-----but I don't get miffed and write about it. Afterall, it's not about me...
  • + 13
 I think this rant is less about people declining help.
It´s about our society and people in general just becoming more and more secluded. People just don´t bother dealing with others anymore.
Like, imagine what a great friendship could have resulted from this random encounter somewhere in the wilderness.
That´s the mindset with which i myself approach people when i´m out biking or skiing. But i´ve noticed a continuing trend of people just being straight up unapproachable. They try to run away the moment you start talking to them. I just really don´t get it.
You´re out there, alone, like the other guy/girl. Then you meet someone who obviouls enjoys the same thing you do. Why in hell wouldn´t you try to communicate or even go do the remainder of the ride together?
It´s more fun, it´s safer and maybe you can even learn something new.
Outdoorsports has become a szene of lone wolfs, driven by strava times. I can´t even remember the last time i had a nice little chat with some stranger while on the trails, because people start to run once you just even try to give them a friendly greeting.
So, i can perfectly relate to what Mike is talking about. It´s a continuing trend that just leaves me baffled.
  • + 7
 I couldnt agree more. I tend to make eye contact with and smile at every single person I pass. Nothing more. I don't demand any of their time, I just smile, cos why not. I should think about 1% of my smiles are reciprocated. Some people are obviously offended by my smiling, as if they assume I am about to ask them for something, or hassle them in some way. People are so terrified of real human interaction these days, that they actually actively discourage it. This did happen "pre-smartphone" but it absolutely happens far more regularly these days.
  • + 3
 I think a good point has been made there. It's a social stereotype that men will not acept help with directions for a reason. You would have to prize map, compass, satnav, smartphone, star chart and sextant from my cold dead hands before I accept help with directions! I am never lost, just temporarily out of sync with my surrondings
  • + 5
 I dont care where I am.
  • + 3
 @gabriel-mission9 if you live in London, the 99% of unreciprocated smiles are made of a) people annoyed by your good mood b) people thinking you're a creep c) drunk people that wanna get into a fight and will go "what-u-smiling-at-mate?"

But the 1% is usually from those resisting the big city life and still making it a livable place Big Grin
  • + 2
 "b) people thinking you're a creep "

It is so much this. 99.9% of them I'm sure. Cos I smiled.

Insanity...
  • + 4
 "It is so much this. 99.9% of them I'm sure. Cos I smiled.

Insanity..."

That´s just what came to my mind too.
People think you gonna drag them into your van in the bikepark parking lot or something like that, just cause you gave them a friendly greeting.

Funny story, i met some dude in the liftline once. He was fiddling about with his stem and bar and it was obvious something was not right. So i just asked if something was wrong. It became clear, that he had not tightened either the stem nor the headset. Since he obviously had no clue about his bike i just offered to drop out of the liftline and quickly head over to my car where i got my tools and fix it for him.
At first he looked at me as if i was offering him my firstborn or something. Like "why would any stranger spare 5 minutes of his life to fix my bike?! WTF ARE YOU!?!". He even wanted to go on riding with the loose stem/headset/bar combo XD

Not his fault and of course he wanted to be polite, but it tells you something about how most people are apparently not used to some kindness from strangers anymore.
  • + 2
 @Loki87 as opposed to when? Another viewpoint would be that for most of history we HAVE been secluded from one another. Now we have generally higher population densities and people are forced to be with one another, whereas it has historically been a choice. One could flip the scenario and ask; Why, in our enlightened society, do people so often find their own value in affirmation from others? If the guy didn't need / want Kazimer's help, why is Kazimer so bent out of shape? Does Kazimer need that affirmation to validate his existence, or does he have intrinsic value? If he has intrinsic value, then so do others, and they deserve respect... which does not mean a judgment about their use of trailforks.

Now, taking my argument above, people who freak out like you're a predator because you smile at them are obviously the extreme of "intrinsic value", which is narcissism.
  • + 2
 Well, there sure are points to be made for either viewpoint.
Everyone of course wants some alone time every now and then and that´s perfectly fine.
However, i would not drag an evolutionary approach into this.
I don´t even bother when people are unapproachable in daily life, but i think the point that was also made by mike is, that if you meet someone in a secluded place and you´re the only two people there, it´s just straight up strange to just hide behind your cellphone instead of talking to the other guy.
And i would not even go back that far in time. Again, just talking about my experiences in the outdoor communities.
It´s not too long ago, people would greet one another on the trails. I showed up to a downhill/freeride spot and people would straight up welcome you with open arms. I made many acquaintances and friends just by talking to strangers in recent years.
Somewhere along the way this seems to have been lost.
Mike´s observation seems to be just the most extreme case and i can understand where the general frustration comes from. To me this seems more like the straw that broke the camels back and less about a broken ego on Mike´s side.
But i guess it´s also up to personality. Personally i will never understand how one could choose to train for themselfes for example, instead of hanging out with some buddies.
So maybe that´s where my problem comes in. If i see people who also ride alone in the bikepark, i sometimes just ask whether they wanna go ride together. I even ask obvious beginners, just because i like to share the experience of riding a bike with others. So maybe that´s also a big "fault" on my side too. But, again speaking from my viewpoint and projecting it on mike´s opinion, it just makes me kinda sad people just don´t seem to enjoy that as much as i do or maybe they are just not confident enough. So when i talk about how that´s something i find a concerning trend, that´s more me being sad about it than me bashing others because they somehow upset me.
I think that´s what Mike´s article is about. Sometimes you just need to get that frustration out there and it just so happens he has the opportunity to do that.
  • + 8
 I was out for a hike with my wife the other day and came upon a couple of British tourists who'd obviously rented some bikes and gone exploring our local trails. They were in the same position - looking down at their phones when I asked if they needed some directions. Except they answered "yes please!" They seemed like they knew how to ride so I gave them directions for about a 3-hour tour of all the good stuff (with a pub stop in the middle) that they never would have found otherwise. Hope I made someone's vacation a little better!
  • + 2
 I tell all the out of towers I meet while riding about the Pelican. I think it makes fire roads more bearable.
  • + 8
 I love going to restaurants watching a table of five people beside me . All on the smart phones probably on Face book.
Zero actual human connection.
On the trails we tend to be quite chatty with strangers even.
Yes the cyber world is dehumanizing.
Thats why we ride bro!
Trails forks was created by Sharon was it not? And endorsed by Pink Bike.
Trail forks is amazing. Sometimes we need those solo rides to distance our selves from people. Not for the long run. Just enuf to unravel our minds and feel good about life again.
  • + 7
 Sometimes people just like to keep to themselves, there is nothing wrong with that, give them space without the shame, you can never judge what a person is going through or why they are out there in the first place. We are not defined by our worst days. For all you know on any other day that guy could have been the friendliest person on the planet. Imagine if he was really just fronting to cover for something heavier going on inside and is now reading this article about himself. Don't worry about things you cant control, do good and help others the best you can and keep moving forward. That's what this sport is about.
  • + 7
 Old-man-yelling-at-cloud-rant: Smart devices have enabled the a*sholes with poor social skills to stay a*sholes. It also has empowered the know-it-alls to stay know-it-alls since they surely must know everything since they read it from they phone or they can look it up with a couple of swipes.
  • + 6
 We don't know anything about the trailforks guy and shouldn't be so quick to say he is living his life wrong. Some people want to get out and explore on their own, to experience the unknown or to get away from society for a bit. There is nothing wrong with that. Indeed, if there's something worth criticizing, it is that our current culture's ridicule of introverts. Being introverted is not bad and it is not a shortcoming. They don't need to be fixed by strangers who claim to know the only way to properly live life.
  • + 6
 I agree with the Human > Trail app. Buddy missed out for sure. I've wasted so much time searching for decent trails using them, would always prefer a human guide (assuming they know where they are going).

However, phone-gazing rider may have had other reasons for denying the offer such as 1) Wanted to ride alone - I do this sometimes when I really just need time alone. 2) Anti-Social - Some people are afraid of other humans. 3) @mikekazimer forgot to brush the spinach and onion smoothy out of his teeth.
  • + 4
 4) Would really rather be at spin class.
  • + 3
 I absolutely like and need my solitude sometimes. It is very likely that if a stranger suggested we ride together for the rest of the loop, I would politely decline. Thats the key point tho, "politely". Just staring into your phone and grunting a response IS rude. You are essentially treating the other person as if you already know they have nothing to offer you, and you needn't even bother giving them the time of day.
  • + 9
 Ive seen some pretty good cat videos
  • + 4
 2 lessons I pulled from this outside of the main part about putting your GD phone down. If you are a tourist or new to a trail do as the locals do. Going to a bike shop is a great idea provided you are willing to spend some money (think bars, water bottles, etc.) If you are a local or know a trail really well, embrace the novice or tourist. Showing someone a trail for the first time is very rewarding!
  • + 3
 Perfect! I supervise an service IT desk for a living and it's insane how lost people are without that #@$#$% bit of technology.

In the 30 years I've been at IT I've watched the people skills part devolve to an all time low and the pervasive "wiki" attitude with instant info and zero "knowledge" take it's place.

Sooo if you ever see an old guy sitting at the side of the trail lost (me) you can bet your ass I will be grateful for the assist Smile
  • + 5
 I might be inclined to turn down a tour cause I wouldn't want to have to worry about whether I was gonna suck compared to that rider. Not a good feeling being the weak link.
  • + 1
 I look at it this way. If I'm at a new area and a local(s) asks me to ride with them, I accept. Its only polite and the best way to get the beta. If I slow them down its their fault for asking me; besides they are proud of their trails and if I fall behind its still a compliment.
  • + 2
 A good philosophy. I have accepted and slowed people down, while also taking people on tours of my tours and having to wait for them. But, I can still relate to a "no-thanks". Sometimes you just wanna ride selfishly and without being self conscious.
  • + 3
 As someone who can be a bit squirrelly, riding can be my escape. Not saying that this guy was the same but I could see how being out of the zone on new trails would make him a bit awkward. Also, maybe you look pretty hardcore when you ride and to him some machoism involved? "Hey bro, know where you're going?" People are weird and misinterpret situations often, there are so many factors and moods involved. Hopefully that was the case.
  • + 3
 ever notice the pavement watchers in the street? always looking at the ground or their phone never at the world around! I thought that's why we go out on our bikes! Phones are fine but common courtesy should come first, good article!
  • + 4
 Some how HIS ride had to be about YOU. You could have showed him the cool lines and told him how pinkbike you are, god damn we humans are self centered. Oh shit, now its about me!
  • + 3
 Im very fortunate to live on the north shore acroos the street from a trailhead. (brag) Anyhow I use cyclemeter app , turn it on at the beginning and off at the end. I hate using my phone to find my way around, I have lots of secret loamers that I ride ONLY by being invited to tag along from people I met out there. Thank you to all you friendly riders out there. We need more of you. Bikes are so common on trails here your lucky if anybody even ackownledges you when you ride by, especially XC riders , they seem to act a little "roadie"..
One of my favorites is an old fellow named Fred that is still rding the shore on a nice FSR and used to trail build. He shown me some nice trails and he rips , its amazing..
  • + 3
 When I go out riding, it is an electronics free experience. I always carry my cellphone just in case, and I usually try to have a map saved in my documents, so I don't need 4G to view it. I also dislike listening to music while I ride. i find that it distracts me from the trail at some points, it prevents me from being able to tell if my bike is running smoothly, and it makes run-ins with other trail users a bit awkward if you couldn't hear them. I don't bother with strava either, so I'm not stressing over getting KOM's (I do use a basic bike computer to track my mileage though)

When I ride, I look forward to challenging myself, getting out of nature and getting away from electronic distractions. The crisp shifts of my derailleur and the buzz of my free hub are relaxing and cathartic to hear after a long day at work.
  • + 2
 I went riding to Santa Cruz one year and had a similar experience. The local asked if I needed help because I looked like I was lost. I only declined his assitance because I did have a map on my phone. I wanted explore, get lost and have an adventure... do don't be all but hurt. Some people just really like maps.
  • + 3
 Who cares? If he didn't want any help/suggestions that's his perogitive, his loss obviously. Go and explore, handy if someone shares sometimes, but also nice to do it yourself, with or without gadgets.
  • + 2
 Last year I bought my first Nokia running MS Windows 8.1 (so no Trailforks for me), until then I've always been on regular Nokia phones. I briefly connect to the internet every few days or so to synchronise stuff, but other that it is mostly to have stuff handy. I can now buy a postcard, write it and send it right away because the phone has the addresses. Before that a postcard could easily spend weeks in my bag because I did write it but didn't know the address. I like applications like OneNote, the agenda, stuff like that. It is handy to have but I can't see myself spending considerable time staring at its screen. And sometimes I hate it as it becomes near impossible to write a simple text message with wet/muddy/gloved fingers. But the digital agenda is really good if you've got a family and stuff to juggle.

To be honest I usually get a bit mad somehow if I'm being called on the phone. I know, it is stupid but I get a bit pissed. It feels like someone is being rude, intervening in my interaction with the real people around me or distracting me from what I was working on. It is probably the ADHD, I put quite some effort in being focussed on what I'm doing and being called feels like sabotage. I don't mind if people stop and ask or talk to me in the real world because people are always considerate if they see you're onto something or interacting with other people. I love real life interaction, I just don't like real time remote interaction (like calling). And obviously a caller can't be blamed as there is no way he or she could see what I'm doing. It is just that the system feels to me like a necessary evil because obviously people need to be able to get in touch for some stuff. And I might need to call for help in case of issues, but that's it. You won't see me messing with the phone when I could be riding or chatting with another rider.

That said, I do use a Suunto Ambit watch with GPS in case I get lost and want to get back home. So that's some technology but I can't see it intervene with anything.
  • + 6
 ... do what you like, ride the way you like, it's your ride !
  • + 2
 I belive that maybe he felt like you were too fast for him, or too slow, so he didn't want to slow you down/be slowed down on the trail...

But after riding on actual mountain bike trails for the fisrt time in my life in Whistler (I had only ridden DH tralis and XC dirt roads in Brazil) I must agree that having a companion to ride with is priceless!
  • + 2
 My advise is Don't get bent on what other people are doing. He said No, I've got trail forks, so let it go. He doesn't want to talk, "ok see ya later" continue riding and don't think anymore about it. People are different, if checking the smart phone every second makes them happy, then great. If you don't like that style, then don't worry about it. What matters is you are doing what you want to do, and so are they.
  • + 5
 This article is transferable to some more aspects of life...! It is already beyond aweful! So sad...
  • + 2
 Could be the guy had time pressure? Was debating how close he was cutting his margins?

Opinions are like a*sholes. But still, new area, doesn't hurt to get the beta, could be he was one left turn from paradise.

I've had some terrific rides thanks to strangers but I've also followed enthusiastic directions that left me lost and faced with a 1500' slog up a freezing creek, or getting chewed out by a backcountry ranger...

The first time you go anywhere is the most magical - you don't have your bearings and everything is fresh. Antenna are out struggling to stay oriented, seeing the same landmarks from different directions. I spent 2 days having a blast getting lost in Rome - the first time I walked around the block was like stepping out of the Apollo lander. After 2 days I was having to struggle to 'be lost' and the freshness, mystery and discomfort had receded.
  • + 2
 How about someone just downloaded a new App and wanted to try it out. How about maybe you might have come off like a know it all? How about maybe not judging others for a 15 second interaction??? Smile

I like to do my own thing too. Nothing wrong with it...
  • + 1
 As many have pointed out and experienced, a cell phone is literally a lifeline after a bad crash. Yesterday I was riding frozen turf (great traction!), and my cell phone died because it was in my pack and got too cold. From now on during cold weather rides I will keep my phone in an inside pocket so it is warm and ready if I need it!
  • + 1
 Depends on the rider. I've been taken on some "fun" trails that were solely rocky nothingness containing everything but "fun". Then again, that's my opinion. I could see why a rider would rather take a consensus of many about a trail over the opinion of one.
  • + 1
 If you find yourself in a new trail system without being accompanied by a rider who can show you around (which is still the ideal in my opinion) I would argue trailforks and other similar apps are quite a useful tool. I wonder if someone had been looking at a map made of paper whether or not the writer's reaction would have differed. It's really the same tool but in a different medium. But I agree that once you get your bearings it's best not to have your nose in your phone ad nauseum.
  • + 1
 Great piece here. The benefits of nature and being unplugged for a while are just one of many reasons to be out riding. Not to mention the prospect of those "adventure rides", ones where my friends and I take a route we haven't gone before. It's gotten us caught in the dark and/or inclement weather before, but I never regret it and they make for great memories.
  • + 1
 MMM I like some times to be lost at the woods, the best adventures I can remeber always begin with, I wasn´t sure if ii was right or left.. so sorry but info ofevery trail (electronic or not) not always is fun hehehe, sometimes is good to get lost.

My 50 cents.
  • + 1
 I was riding in NZ a couple months ago and I had researched plenty of trails and had a good idea what I wanted to do, but obviously I was open for any trail recommendations from locals and pretty much asked everyone if there was anything I needed to hit in each area. One day I stopped in a shop in QT and was asking about trails, and one of the guys mentioned a trail and I asked where it was. He said it was on X trail at this junction. I replied with a "Cool, I saw that trail on Trailforks so I know exactly where it is" and without pause the guys snapped back with a "You need to talk to people for trails, not the internet."

WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK I WAS DOING?! I was a little miffed about that comment because the dude sounded so pretentious and patronizing.

I'm also from Utah which seemed to be the test area for Trailforks. Pretty much every trail in the state is on there, no gaps or anything so its actually a fantastic resource. I wouldn't judge anyone new to Park City using it where there are hundreds of miles of trails from one parking lot and tons of junctions between them.
  • + 1
 I carry my phone, and check it if it rings (in case it's about the kids). Because it's in my pocket I put on the gps to track my route, km's etc. I also have trail forks to help scope out road trips (where to camp near good riding) but at the same time I would never pass up the chance to hit a local gem with a local rider. They can show you so much more than an app, such as connector trails and the best line. I showed around a kid last summer. I was riding past as he was getting his bike off his rack. It felt good to help a fellow rider!
  • + 1
 I hate technology. Now i understand the irony of me saying this on Pinkbike.. on a smartphone... on the Internet BUT if didn't have it, I wouldn't cease to function anymore, too many people are too xaught up in it, and that's a bit sad.
  • + 1
 I'm not always one for talking, but mountain bikers in general are the most friendly and positive people to visit when you meet on a trail. When I do meet somebody on a ride it's usually nice to at least have a brief conversation. I've meet a lot of friends this way in the last 8 years
  • + 1
 I spent a year traveling the U.S. and western Canada. Nearly all of the most memorable rides from that trip happened when I talked to locals and ended up riding with them. I got tours of the goods in places like Galbraith, Mt. Fromme, Prescott, Fernie (hell yeah Dirt Diggler), Virgin, etc. For sure, the internet was helpful for initial planning though.
  • + 1
 Somehow I like to ride old fashioned with buddies. Buy a paper map and figure out where you are based on what's probably south (with help from the sun and your clock) the gradient and the water. There are loads of trails on the map but the best ones are always near the river and where the gradient lines are closests. Still I don't mind talking to strangers if they drop by.
  • + 1
 I have done some riding in Bellingham. A local guy took us around some killer trails that we wouldn't have found on Trailforks, and that was much appreciated. With that said, some locals can come off a bit pushy and condescending so I can see both perspectives.
  • + 3
 "Hi my name is burnbern and I am addicted to my phone (Strava, TrailForks, etc...) -- and I hate it. Would somebody please drive over my phone?"
  • + 12
 Just get one with a shitty battery, works for me Wink
  • + 1
 Just get a windows phone like I have and none of this applies because you cant do anything with it anyway.
  • + 1
 Best best part of traveling and riding is meeting those locals who will show you around !! I have ridden so many great trails thanks to random meetings! I love to repay the favor as well.. I know phones are a necessity at times, but I really hate what they have done to interpersonal relationships.
  • + 1
 What about the possibility that he was just learning to use Trailforks and wanted to become familiar with it before going to a new riding destination the next weekend? He shouldn't have to explain himself to everybody. Sometimes I'm a bit reluctant to start talking to somebody on the trails because it can be tough to get away from them.
  • + 2
 The type of person who would write a silly blog post like this on a media site is exactly the person to spend a whole ride checking notifications on their phone.
  • + 3
 I suppose I am happy to say I'm old (old school?), as I would never miss the chance to hit a trail with a local.
  • + 1
 way too many selfish riders out there, and several pros in Laguna beach, using strava, insta, and all else 'look at me media so I can get paid' and getting our trails blown up and closed down. dumb dumb dumb
  • + 0
 The optimist side of me says that he might have been intimidated by your obvious skills, Mike. Sometimes it's tough to ride with strangers who are just going to kick your butt. But my pessimist side says this guy fancied himself King of the Mountain, and had no time to ride with peasants.
  • + 1
 But how can I brag to my friends that I hit 50mph on the trails (according to a phone based GPS so it must be true) and instantly post it on social media without referring to my phone?
  • + 1
 I didn't realise people did this. To me a ride is a break from everything else in the world. The only time I touch a phone during a ride is at the start to set strava going and at the end to stop it.
  • + 2
 Refreshing article. Every time you leave the house, nothing but bobble-heads with their chins in their chest.
  • + 1
 I still use classic old reliable cell phone. It must be disturbing carrying that big flat "always connected" computer called smartphone...
  • + 1
 Wow, I was angry that there is no Windows Phone version, but now I am grateful :-) Thank you Pinkbike for not giving me an option to use trailforks Razz
  • + 1
 could have been updating his wife on his location. never tell a man not to reply to his wife texts. you are setting him up....
  • + 1
 I'm more likely to believe Obama's next teleprompter speech than i am to believe that wasn't an underhanded ad for trailforks
  • - 1
 I hope this lost-soul of a person reads this article and then starts kicking himself for missing the opportunity for a fun session. I can't imagine not giving a hello to any passerby on the trail, be it a hiker, horse rider, ect. I have the most fun when I'm on my bike, so pass it on to others on the trails!
  • + 3
 somebody feelie wheelies got hurt...
  • + 2
 The best trails will never be put on trailforks, you must know the right people/builders. His loss
  • + 2
 Theres no cell service at my trails anyway so leave that shit in your pack. Thanks Mike!
  • + 1
 wow that guy sounds like a level 5 loner. i love solitude in my home trails but when you're somewhere new and someone offers to give you a trail tour then HELL yeah!
  • + 1
 I have had Mike as a guide in the pnw before and rode some dam good shit that guy missed out. Locals no best think of your home trails. Feels good to spread the stoke
  • + 1
 This article makes me laugh!!! Thank you Mike, definately spinning circles.
  • + 1
 This article reminds me of this www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNdwifllVmc
One of the best bike scenes...
  • + 1
 I personally don't give two sh@t5 about how fast and how far I ride, nor do I care what my cadence is.
  • + 2
 But...but what about strava?!?!?
  • + 1
 I agree with this article %100. feels like we are losing touch with each other, even though it is easier to communicate.
  • + 2
 Most humans give really shitty directions.
  • + 1
 I hope the guy is reading this. Especially after he dissed Kaz and ended on some gravel road instead.
  • + 2
 quit e-telling me what to do...
  • + 1
 Moral of the story: if you have good trail suggestions, put it on Trailforks
  • + 2
 Dude did you just tell Pinkbike to smile?
  • + 1
 yes, he did.
  • + 2
 I quit the strava this year. made riding so much more enjoyable.
  • + 1
 How do you know if you had a good ride or not?
  • + 2
 U had a good ride when you get home with a grin from ear to ear!
  • + 3
 Don't talk to strangers
  • + 2
 My momma says cell phones are the devil.
  • + 1
 My best rides are with friends and other riders you meet along the way. No Strava, no GoPro... just trails, bails, and ales.
  • + 1
 What is this facebooks and tweeting?
  • + 1
 He was probably looking for a strava segment.
  • + 1
 I would have had u lead the way!
  • + 0
 Where you wearing a pink t-shirt? Riding a Pinkbike? He may have been deterred.
  • + 1
 Wanting a solitude and being a jerk is not the same thing.
  • + 1
 Oh please, this is too easy. Maybe you didn't look reliable.
  • + 1
 if it buzzs, blinks or lobotomizes it is bad
  • + 1
 Some people for all and not for anyone...
  • + 1
 Good advice! Happy trails!
  • + 1
 Spot on!
  • + 1
 TRUTH
  • + 1
 Yes!
  • + 1
 I like virginia!
  • + 1
 Tenderberry needs a hug.
  • + 1
 T R U T H !
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.088805
Mobile Version of Website